Motherboard: DFI LANPARTY NFII Ultra Review :: Introduction

10-07-2003 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

DFI (Diamond Flower International) is a company that has made motherboards for several years. Not a big company, DFI has made a name for itself recently with the release of their LANPARTY series of motherboards. Their first LANPARTY board, the KT400A based LANPARTY KT400A board. Other boards that they've released with the LANPARTY moniker include the LANPARTY PRO875, the LANPARTY 865PE and this product, the LANPARTY NFII Ultra.

So what does a LANPARTY motherboard represent? Why spend $200 on a motherboard when you can purchase a similarly priced product for $100 without the extras that a LANPARTY board has? I hope to answer this question in this review. It's necessary from the point of view of reviewing a motherboard to explain the target market.

LAN (Local Area Network) parties have increased in popularity at many computer centers. In my city alone, there are three LAN centers around the block from my office. A LAN center, in my case, consists of 20 computers hooked together and to the internet. Every afternoon, students from the local elementary school and college gather around the center to play games like CounterStrike, Half Life, Quake3, Warcraft 3 and other popular games in a multiplayer environment. But these centers don't necessarily constitute a "LAN Party". A LAN party, by my definition, consists of people gathering together to play games in multiplayer.

Events like the Million Man LAN, QuakeCon and others take the LAN Party concept to its logical conclusion. Literally thousands of game players bring their own computer to compete for prizes, cash, and hardware. A whole culture has come out of playing iD Software games like Quake3, Doom 3, and other first-person shooters. Imagine, if you will, a thousand people playing a multiplayer game in a hall the size of a convention center.

The DFI LANPARTY NFII Ultra is based upon the nForce2 Ultra 400 chipset that NVIDIA released in June. NVIDIA's 3rd released motherboard chipset, the nForce2 Ultra 400 is designed to support the new 400 MHz AMD Athlon CPUs and supports most of the modern features available to motherboards today. I'll go more into the features of the motherboard in the board and features section of the review.