We've seen just three AMD AM3 boards to date from the usual suspects, and we've investigated overclocking the popular and very inexpensive Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition CPU as well, so when DFI sent us its LANParty DK board we were very curious to see how it stacks up the competition when overclocking. The MSI 790FX GD70 has been our favourite to date, but the DFI is also around the same price and has similar features.
Similar, but not the same. For starters there's the DFI look and also the use of digital power management for the CPU cores and integrated northbridge, as well as the usual DFI jiggery-pokery on the inside too.
Has DFI make an overclocking fiend and gaming guru, or a lukewarm reheat of the older M2SRH? We put it up against the other AM3 competition to find out!
Support for socket 938 AM3 CPUs including Phenom II, and Athlon series.
AMD 790FX northbridge
AMD SB750 southbridge
Four 240-pin DDR3 memory slots supporting 1,066 and 1,333MHz DIMMs, with 1,600MHz overclocking support for up to 16GB in total
Two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots (x16/x16 bandwidth) with ATI CrossFire-X technology support
One PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot (x4 bandwidth)
Two PCI slots
Realtek ALC885 7.1 channel high-definition audio codec, with Dolby Home Theatre support
One Marvell 88E8056 PCI-Express Gigabit LAN
Six SATA 3Gbps ports from SB750 supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD
One IDE port
Twelve USB 2.0 ports (six rear I/O, six pin-outs)
Click to enlarge
One rounded IDE cable
Four SATA cables
Two Molex to four SATA power adapters
Metal rear I/O shield
Easy plugs for one USB and front panel pin-out
Extra jumpers (for when it gets cold - Ed.)
User manual, Auto Boost System manual and Driver DVD (not shown)
Click to enlarge
As usual DFI keeps the cables in line with its motherboard colour scheme, so at least in the case everything looks like it's working in unison, if that matters to you. The metal I/O shield is cheap and flimsy compared to others like the Asus Q-Shield, but it's very much an install and forget... just be careful with your fingers!
The four SATA cables are enough, but don't complete the total complement of six ports on the board; some 90 degree connectors for optical drives would be nice, as well. The manuals are pretty well featured but the installation disc does not come with an auto-install for the drivers like the competition from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, to name a few. For the most part the bundle is very good, but in the attention to detail DFI is falling behind slowly in a few areas, and it's somewhat frustrating to watch.