With a retail
price of about $175 CDN ($108 US), we were very pleased just how well the AD77
Infinity performed. When teamed up with an AthlonXP 2700+, it is able to perform
on par to that of a P4 2.8 GHz with a Granite Bay based motherboard which is
much more expensive.
With the AD77, it looks like DFI will try to get into the enthusiast market a
bit as well since the AD77 Infinity has a whole slew of overclocking options.
The AD77 Infinity is well equipped, but then again most motherboards in its
class are. Standard options with this motherboard are 5.1 audio, Serial ATA,
IEEE 1394, USB 2.0, 10/100 LAN and 8x AGP. For those who can find something that
isn't built into the board, there are five PCI slots which should be ample in
terms of expansion. Rounding out the expansion options are the four DIMM slots
which can support up to 4 GB of PC1600/2100/2700/3200* (* unofficially).
of the motherboard is very good, and using this motherboard was extremely easy
thanks to all the little things DFI such as placing a fan header just above
the AGP slot (our Radeon 9700 Pro which uses a Thermaltake Crystal Orb GPU
cooler). The board is well labelled, if you don't know what a certain jumper does
just look for an explanation on the PCB, you'll find it.
The four diagnostic LED's is a very handy feature especially when trying to
figure out hardware problems, but DFI did not include any information on how to
read the lights. Perhaps they simply forgot to include the necessary information
with the test sample. I hope that's the case.
Our biggest problem with the motherboard are that the KT400 Northbridge is
cooled with a passive heatsink which is attached with thermal glue. VIA's
previous chipsets have all gotten very hot at high speeds and it would be easier
for the mind if DFI used better cooling.
We had quite an interesting overclocking adventure. With
the BIOS the board ships with (the original available on their site) we were able
to hit 190 MHz FSB with no stability problems, but once we flashed it with
the latest BIOS, we could no longer overclock even 5 MHz FSB. Hopefully DFI will
solve this problem with future BIOS updates if this is not simply isolated to
the unit we tested.
If you're looking for a middle of the pack motherboard that performs well at
stock speeds, and has a lot of features the DFI AD77 Infinity is a motherboard
that should not be overlooked. Sure it's not as "pretty" as some of the
other boards out there, but it does the job well, and in the end isn't that all
that really matters?
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as well...
1. MSI KT4 Ultra-FISR KT400