Im thinking about getting a Lan Party mobo for my next mobo. But everyone says "ONLY FOR EXPERTS" etc. So what about LP mobo's makes it only for experts? Im just wondering because I really want to get one and I hope its not too confusing to set up.
I dont have the expert, but I have a DFI LanParty UT nF4 Ultra-D mobo, and it has a lot of settings. Before I got it I didn't know much about OC'ing and what not, but I ran it just fine. I'm sure that expert has more settings, but if you don't know about OC'ing, I wouldn't touch those settings.
I generally go by the rule that if they are supposed to be good for OC'ing they should be stable at stock. I have had 2 DFI mobo's and both were great at stock and OC'ing. I had the Ultra D and the SLI-DR..... My only complaint about those motherboards is the loud chipset fan. But you can mod it and make it quite if you choose. Also, you can go into bios and learn about OC'ing..... if you ever screw it up bad enough where the system won't post, just reset your bios via the jumper by the battery. Easy enough...... there is plent of info on the web telling about what each setting does if you do not already know. Also, I have found from my own personal use that the DFI motherboard have been the best for overclocking, just like everyone else says. They have an enormous amount of settings, and they tend to OC a little higher than some other brands. The extra settings really help tweak it and make it stable at max OC. The list of brands I have used with NF4 are ASUS, MSI, DFI, ECS, and Biostar. Don't think I left any out. In order from worst to best in terms of OC'ing I would go ECS, Biostar, MSI, ASUS, DFI..... but qualtiy options and stability would be the same other than ASUS and DFI tied for #1..... MSI is in a close second with the better than average onboard sound, but second, since I don't use OBS..... The current board I use is the ASUS A8N SLI premium as it has no northbridge fan.... heatblock with a heatpipe and small radiator. It is a great mobo, and super stable. The only reason I don't like DFI is the loud chipset fan...... :x
DFI's boards will work with about any hardware...as will most other mobo's...But you have to sometimes *get* them to work...even at stock settings.
I just set up a dfi board that wouldn't work at stock settings with some hyperX stuff...It took a little fiddling, but i got it going and hopefully solid now that it has the correct settings (i won't know for sure until i've run some testing programs for hours on end).
Think of DFI as the rich chick with some serious baggage...She expects a lot of TLC, expects the best of components, and bitches like hell if she doesn't get what she wants...
They have pretty advanced options within the BIOS menu related to tweaking and overclocking in general. Since I've never used one, I can't comment on how touchy they are, but a lot of guys here swear by them, and as a result, you will have quite a knowledgeable resource to fall back upon if you run into trouble.
DFI have a forum dedicated to questions such as that. Go to www.dfi-street.com and give it a gander. Check out just how many options there are in the bios.
I'm not exactly new to overclocking, but I;ve never really played around with all the ram timings and overvolting. Th newer lanpaty series just lost me wityh all the choices and not knowing what each one does.
If you want to get serious about overclocking, then I can;t think of many better than the lanparty series. Otherwise I suggest a brand like abit or Asus.
I know there are plenty of other manufacturers of boards, bit I've found theirs to be the most famililar feeling for ME.
You can replace the stock fan with a VGA fan, and some people have come up with passive heatsinks that they put on it. Either work, but it's a pain in the ass, I like it to come stock with passive cooling.
I would suggest to try to get that guy on the forum to make you a passive cooler, otherwise replace the stock one with one that works off a video card, just be careful and MAKE sure to get the correct one, the one I received did not line up with both screw holes, and others are too tall.....
i like this board a lot and cant ask more from it.
2x 4850's (Crossfire setup)
The Bios settings are THAT extreme either.. Most of the time, people jsut leave it alone.. minus changing boot priority and disabling onboard devices or whatnot.
Other common problems people have are when they buy expensive RAM that need extra voltage.. a lot of people dont know about this and then end up searching online for hours not knowing what the problem is.
Just takes 2 sec to change the voltage going to the ram.
That said, I've stably OC'ed my 2.4 quad to a MODEST 3.0. I don't care for OC'ing that much and wanted to try it out. 3.0 is fine with me as I dont care for overclocking.. Most of teh settings are on Auto.
Only things you gotta change/check are FSB, FSB:RAM SPEED ratio (dont know terminology), and like PCI-e bus speed or something. If you want, I can post my bios settings.
The advanced settings are even in a different part of the bios so you wont see it unless you want to see it. This board f*%ing rocks.
DFI motherboards aren't really all that difficult to work with or overclock. There are dozens of options that can be tweaked to eek out the last couple megahertz from the CPU or RAM, but in general you only have to change a few settings to get near peak performance.
My last two builds (i7 & socket 939) have used DFI LanParty boards and I haven't been overwhelmed by the options. My overclocks haven't been record breaking, but I have been satisfied by them and don't believe that superior knowledge of the settings would have yielded significantly greater results. I change 5 - 10 settings in the bios and leave everything else at auto. There are also a lot of forums out there where you can read up on what each setting does and the benefits it has provided to others should you want to get everything your components can give.