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AMD Crossfire Xpress 3200 Chipset for Core 2 Rolls, But Doesn't Rock

The First Of Its Kind: DFI LanParty UT ICFX3200-T2R

Board Revision: A
BIOS Version: 2006-12-22

The first motherboard using AMD's Crossfire Xpress 3200 chipset for Intel to reach our test lab was DFI's LanParty UT ICFX3200-T2R. Don't be scared of the product name: LanParty UT is the product series, ICFX3200 stands for Crossfire Xpress 3200 for Intel. DFI didn't want to stay with the chipset's default feature set, so it equipped its new product with a number of enhancements.

To make up for the lack of RAID 5 support and Serial ATA port count, there is a Promise PDC40719, which offers four more Serial ATA/300 ports with full Serial ATA 2.5 features. A Firewire controller by VIA provides additional connectivity for IEEE1394a devices such as camcorders or external hard drives. We found three 32-bit PCI slots and three x16 PCI Express slots on the motherboard. This board's sound system is HD-compliant, and it sits on a Karajan audio module to isolate the audio system from possible electrical interference, which could result in static noise or cheeping. Finally, two Marvell Gigabit Ethernet chips provide dual Gigabit Ethernet connectivity via PCI Express.

Both the Northbridge and the Southbridge carry heat sinks of average size, which makes it clear that there is no need for active cooling. We still recommend that your case feature at least one or two fans, ideally with a large diameter (120+ mm), so they run as quiet as possible. There are more heat sinks on the voltage regulators. In any case, this motherboard is suitable for low-noise PCs - unless you decide to get serious about overclocking.

Although the BIOS offers more tweaking options than we've ever seen before on a consumer motherboard, we're not quite sure if they are really necessary. They might give the user full control - or at least the feeling of full control - but we doubt that many people would really do more than use trial and error anyways.

Bottom line, though: if you want it all, this board will give you it all. We spent roughly one hour trying to find some nice overclocking settings with this motherboard and we maxed it out at 475 MHz and 1.72 V northbridge voltage. Although we've seen users reach higher base clock speeds on their P965 motherboards, this result is excellent, elevating the LanParty UT ICFX3200-T2R into the highest overclocking spheres.

DFI has been using a separate audio module for its motherboards for years. The little board is called "Karajan" and helps to keep electrical interference away from the audio connectors, and thus away from your speakers or stereo.