DFI NB70-SC Motherboard Review
Large OEM's and computer retailers hailed the original i845 chipset as a
savor to the Pentium 4. Finally, a chipset that allowed SDRAM compatibility and broke
the shackles of expensive RDRAM. Little did they know that pairing a Pentium 4 with SDRAM would severely hamper the
performance as much as 30%!
Now with P4 DDR chipsets coming from every corner,
from Intel's own i845-D to SiS's 645 and VIA's unlicensed P4X266, users no
longer have to put up with lousy performance to save some money. Today
we'll be looking at DFI's NB70-SC motherboard based on the i845-D
With the rather plain brown PCB, the NB70-SC looks quite drab in the face of the
red and black coloured boards we have been seeing so much
of these days. But heck, it is a motherboard and not a car! Standard
equipment is two DIMM slots for a maximum of 2GB PC1600/PC2100 DDR RAM, one
4x AGP, five PCI's and one CNR slot so the system is pretty expandable.
The NB70 also has onboard audio care of the VIA's
AC'97 codec which isn't the very best, but it will be fine with most
generic computer speakers.
You know it is funny to see how trends work out. If
you look at AMD based motherboards most of them have IDE RAID included (or
optional). In fact, it's basically a standard feature. However, on the
Intel side most motherboards still don't seem to have that.... at least
that is the way it seems sometimes, but keep in mind, this is coming from a
| DFI NB70-SC Motherboard|
||Ships with the following:
- IDE ATA33 Cable
- IDE ATA66/100 Cable
- FDD Cable
- USB bracket
- Driver CD-ROM
The Chipset: i845-D
The i845-D is the
exact same chipset as the the original i845, however DDR was "disabled"
for legal reasons. Only until recently was Intel allowed have it's own
chipset use DDR because of licensing agreements with Rambus Inc.
Intel says it's the new stepping that allows DDR capability. As you
can see, the i845-D uses flip chip technology too. It looks
a lot like a Pentium III and uses its own special type
of passive cooling heatsink with thermal interface material to boot.
82801 ICH2 (I/O Controller Hub 2) has been around for quite some time now,
debuting when the i810E and i815E chipsets came out approx. 1-1/2 years ago.
eternity in computer time, but that also means it is proven, and realistically peripheral technology
hasn't progressed that far yet. I expect the days of this southbridge are
numbered, as the 64bit PCI slots are just around the corner. The
NB70 has Ultra100 hard drive support for up to four IDE devices. It also has four
USB 1.1 ports - two on the board and two on a riser card.