by Rob Williams on July 4, 2005 in AMD Motherboards
DFI knows that hardcore gamers are interested in a motherboard with huge overclockability and modding potential. We are taking a look at the UT Ultra-D NF4, which promises just that.
We can see how everything is laid out from the picture below. I certainly have no major complaints about the layout. They have left sufficient space around the socket area, so you should have no issues hooking up your large heatsink and cooler, or waterblock. Mounting a CPU cooler could not be any easier, either. My stock Venice heatsink sits in very comfortably.
At the furthest side of the board, you can see the IDE and S-ATA connections. Both IDE connections are facing upwards, while the floppy IDE faces towards the front of your case. I’m sure they did this due to the fact that if you are using a floppy drive, it will only be a few inches from the area, so plugging it in is made easier.
For the DIMM slots on the board, the yellow are 1 & 3 and the orange are 2 & 4. If you are using two sticks of memory and want Dual Channel mode, you must use 2 & 4. The positioning of the DIMM slots may allow you for better cooling, it did for me. The DIMM slots are also spaced enough from the socket, so you should have no issues installing any heatsink, unless it’s massive.
Taking another look by the S-ATA connectors, we see that they have chosen a great looking chipset heatsink and fan. Installing any PCI-Express video card, especially top end NVIDIA cards, will hover the card directly above the chipset fan. The BFG 6800 GT actually stretches past the fan, so you will want to make sure it’s properly seated and that nothing else is going to get in the way and become a problem.
Beside the chipset is the BIOS chip and two power buttons. This is another feature that makes this board perfect for modders. Rather than having to short something to get the computer to boot, you can just push a button to turn the computer on and off. The button beside the power, is of course the reset. This allows for you to use the motherboard without a case, a plus if you plan to use huge cooling on your board, such as LN2, Dry Ice or some other insane cooling method.
Looking now at the expansion slots, we can see the promised (2) PCI-E 16x. Since this board is not initially meant for SLi support, you can mod the motherboard to enable it. This is done by moving jumpers around and modifying the chipset. This is not approved by NVIDIA, and they are apparently making sure future drivers will prevent this from happening. If you are interested in SLi and don’t mind a little simple modding, you’ll have to search Google.
The board still obviously gives you Dual PCI-E support, else it would not have two. So if you are interested in having two PCI-E based GPU’s for multi-monitor support, it will work fine. However, if you want SLi, it will *not* work unless you perform the modifications.