November 22, 2006 | 11:45

Tags: #benchmark #enthusiast #lan #lanparty #overclock #party #review #sli #stability #tweak #ut

Companies: #dfi #test

DFI LANParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G Board Layout
DFI LANParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G Board Layout
You may be familiar with DFI LANParty products, so the black and yellow theme may be old news to you. If not, check-it-out! DFI has got this pretty much nailed in the looks department, and on top of this all the yellow (and orange memory) components they are all UV reactive. So pop in a few UV cathodes or LEDs in your case and watch your PCI slots, your SATA ports and memory slots glow.

This effect is far from perfect in practice - in order to get an even, overall glow you would really have to flood your case with UV lighting. However, to my knowledge DFI is the only manufacturer that offers this at all. The company has been doing this for some time, but the effect is still a nice inclusion if the lighting is set up well, and provides immediate brand recognition. Without even looking at the box you know it's a DFI board. To some it contains a certain statement of user calibre and knowledge at LANs and such.

The heatsinks on the (upper) north and (lower) south bridges are both fabricated from copper. Despite the south bridge having a fan, it's genuinely quiet for a 40mm. It does feel like it's shifting no air at all, but the temperature of the chipset never suffers. It's questionable whether a larger passive heatsink would work just as well, but then you have to take into consideration the height constraints of the adjacent expansion slots and width constraints of other components on the board.

There are other big meaty heatsinks across the board but they aren't adorned in an orangey shade, instead they're all standard aluminium affairs. Surprisingly it doesn't detract from the theme too much since they sort of "go" with the metal from the rear I/O components and their shape is consistent. They are included for keeping those hot voltage regulation components cool during overclocking by ducting the heat outwards rather than into the PCB. You might get some conflict between the PCI-Express x4 slot if you use a long card in it, but the other expansion slots are clear.

DFI's power regulation components are an ingenious affair that uses digital voltage regulation which minimises components and allows for more precise adjustments. It does, however, require that honking great heatsink in the top right hand corner to keep it all cool. The ATX and 12V power plugs are extremely well placed together up there also, along the edge of the board.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04