I like it when motherboards ship with rounded IDE cables,
but quality seems to be slipping. The UV cables that DFI ship with this board
are good, don't get me wrong, but I think the braided type included with the DFI LANParty NF2 Ultra B and LANParty PRO875B motherboards
were much easier to mold around components in the chassis. The folded type
of IDE cables DFI includes with the LANParty NF4 SLI-DR are stiffer
in that regard.
The UV sensitive Serial ATA cables are quite nice,
and are even a little smaller than your average SATA cable. With the
LANParty NF4 SLI-DR, DFI also includes a a UV reactive wire sleeving kit which comes with
(19) 10cm zip ties, two heat shrink tubes that are 30cm long and two braided wire
sleeves, both of which are 90 cm long.
DFI is known for including
everything but the kitchen sink with its LANParty motherboards. One of the more
unique items you'll find in the large LANParty box is the FrontX I/O drive
This is a handy little 5.25" bay which moves the
most common ports to the front of the computer where they are easier to access and
use. The unit that shipped with this motherboard included a four LED system
diagnostic tool (helpful for figuring out what may be causing the PC to not
boot), an IEEE 1394 Firewire port, and a couple of others which we'll cover
For starters, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that
the FrontX drive bay supports external Serial ATA devices - the port is on
the side of the FrontX in the picture above. Consumers can already buy external
Serial ATA chassis, so this only makes sense. There is no power jack however, so
don't be expecting to hook up a HDD without its own powersupply here.
The other interesting port is an optical SPDIF out port for the audiophiles in the crowd.
This allows you to connect your high end audio equipment to your PC easily.
But hey, you're right, something's missing... What about
the basics? Where are the headphone and microphone jacks, and what about a
couple USB ports?! Neither of these are included. The FrontX panel is a great
tool, and the ports which were included are handy,
but without basic USB and headphone jacks it's a little useless. I suppose this
just means consumers will have to make a trip the store to buy these ports if
their case does not already feature them on the front bezel.