The nForce4 SLI chipset offers support for up to four IDE devices and four SATA devices all of which can be set up in various RAID configurations. Integrated Gigabit Ethernet is also part of the nForce4 SLI chipset and this comes with a built in hardware firewall. A second Gigabit Ethernet controller from Marvell is connected via the PCI bus, but this is not compatible with the built-in firewall. DFI has also added FireWire 400 to the mix with a single port around the back and a header for a second port available.
No less than six USB 2.0 ports are part of the rear I/O alongside the two Ethernet connectors, the FireWire 400 port, the six audio connectors of the Karajan module, coaxial S/PDIF in and out and finally two PS/2 ports. If you’re still using serial and parallel devices you’re out of luck as neither of these ports are present. There is a header on the board for a serial port, so this could be bought as an upgrade option, but there’s no such option for a parallel port.
A couple of interesting and useful features that DFI has equipped the Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-D with are four small debug LEDs that works in a similar fashion to MSI’s D-LED modules.
My favourite feature though, is the onboard power and reset buttons. These make it much easier to test that the system is working when you’re tinkering around inside your case. There are also plenty of fan headers spread around the board although the location of a couple of them could do with a re-think. If you’re using SLI you need to connect either a Molex or a floppy connector to one of the two power connectors on the board. Being given a choice to use one or the other is rather unusual, but it might make it easier to route the cables from your PSU. Two spare USB headers are also available for front mounted USB ports on your case.
Apart from the odd layout with the memory modules above the CPU socket, the design works quite well. The power connectors are grouped together at the upper front part of the boards and all the MOSFETs are covered by some solid looking heatsinks. The only complaint here would be that the case connectors aren’t colour coded but at least they’re clearly labelled.
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