Athlon Hit Parade: 10 mobos with the nForce2 Ultra400

Leadtek K7NCR18D Pro 2

Board revision: A

BIOS version: June 25, 2003

The color of the Leadtek board is somewhat reminiscent of Asus. Only the aluminum heat sink, the three red fan connectors and the violet DIM sockets in the second bank give it away as a Leadtek model. We have already seen the K7NCR18D Pro before in our tests. The latest "Pro 2" version is also based on the reworked nForce2.

In contrast to most of the other boards, this one has an ACR slot. This is of little use to the home user, because you can rarely find the appropriate expansion cards (Advanced Communications Risers) in the retail market. This may give major customers the opportunity, for example, to incorporate modem functions more cost-effectively than with a PCI expansion card. In this particular case there is, however, an ACR included in the package. This offers the user a second 100-Mbit port, three FireWire connectors and extra audio sockets for surround sound, as well as an optical digital output. A good idea, because it means that, in addition to the standard audio sockets, serial and parallel ports and the first network port, there are a total of four 2.0 standard USB ports fitted into the back panel.