Asus, DFI, MSI Give Mobos The Crossfire Treatment


Board Revision: A02

BIOS Version: 11/02/2005

The new Crossfire-LANParty motherboard uses ATI's outdated SB450 Southbridge component, but it includes a secondary Silicon Image Sil3114 Serial ATA II mass storage controller in order to provide decent connectivity. Besides RAID 0, 1 and 0+1, it is even capable of running RAID 5. The missing Gigabit Ethernet support is replaced by implanting two Marvell Gigabit controllers. The primary hooks up to PCI Express, the secondary one is somewhat bottlenecked by its PCI interface.

DFI paid more attention to several details. For example, there is a piezo PC speaker, while others mobos require a case speaker to be connected to be able to listen to system status beeps. Next we found three rather than only three fan headers on the board, which again is a plus (check out the overclocking results on the following page). The Northbridge fan should not be disabled, since the heat sink won't provide sufficient cooling without the fan. The physical power and reset switches on the motherboard are a nice add-on for tweakers and enthusiasts, because it avoids the annoying shortcutting of pins.