We've been struggling to find a recent must have AM2+ board for a little while now. The Asus M3A79-T Deluxe has fulfilled it for quite a while and we would have reviewed it were it not for its failure last December. It's also struggled to keep its price sensible and at just under £140 it just isn't that cheap any more.
Alas, our faith was put in DFI, often maker of killer motherboards (in both the positive and negative for the hardware subjected to them), to see if it could stretch out something special from AMD's recent pairing of its 790FX chipset with the newer SB750 southbridge.
Comparatively, the DFI costs the same as the Asus but does it stand shoulder to shoulder in a brawling match of features, stability, overclocking and performance? We set up the ring, found some gloves, called Don King and 'ding ding' went the ringside bell.
Click to enlarge
Two SATA ports
One yellow rounded floppy cable
One yellow rounded IDE cable
One molex to SATA power adapter
One CrossFire bridge
One floppy disk with SATA RAID drivers
Metal rear I/O bracket
DFI Smart Connectors
Multi-language user and ABS manuals
After many years those people who want to run RAID on XP (and thus need a floppy disk to load the drivers) will already have them and the rest of us will be using Windows Vista, which either has the drivers built in or can accept them via a USB key. The lack of a full complement of SATA cables is also disappointing, as most of us will prefer SATA cables for the many hard drives filling our systems these days, especially as mass storage is so cheap.
DFI does keep the traditional uniform colour cabling (yellow this time around), which we still love because it goes so well with the rest of the board - more on that later.
The manuals aren't that great because while DFI caters for everyone with multi-lingual versions in the same booklet, the whole thing is the same size as one from Gigabyte, MSI or Asus, meaning a single section is a fraction of the depth of other brands. This, added to the fact that the pictures aren't all that helpful and there's absolutely no BIOS or general software discussion leaves us wanting more, frankly. We can't help but feel that DFI needs to revisit and reassess its bundle to bring it up to the same level as the competition - it's being left behind in this department.