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Thread: DFI LANParty UT NF680i LT SLI-T2R - Mini-Review

  1. #1
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    DFI LANParty UT NF680i LT SLI-T2R - Mini-Review

    This was surely one of most wished motherboard in the industry.

    After I saw the small booth of DFI in Cebit I have serious doubts that DFI can even produce and market this board to attend enthusiasts demand.

    But now the wait is over, and the 680i mobo from DFI finally arrived at the shelfs.

    As some of you may know, I’m long time DFI Lanparty fan, I use a socket 939 DFI Lanparty to break the AMD 4Ghz barrier with my friend Ricky.

    I still have a few 939's DFI Lanparty fully operational here, waiting that have time to mount it with PC’s to offer my nephews.

    Lanparty DFI motherboards differentiate from others by the following:
    - 1st - they are aimed for enthusiasts
    - 2nd - good layout and design (although I’m not a big fan of neons)
    - 3rd . for me the most important thing is the BIOS – very complete, with a lot of options that are not generally available in other motherboard (tweaking is one of my favourite games)
    - 4 - they are not for newbies – particulary this one with his “suicide” range of voltages and very obscure options very "experts" oriented

    As usual in my mini-reviews, I cut the crap (features, nice photos ..bla bla) and go to thing everyone want to know here: Overclocking and OCers Gaming (3DMark )

    Here at DFI you can read more detailed information on features http://us.dfi.com.tw/Press/press_hea...57.jsp&SITE=US

    Based on the Nvidia 680i chipset they are not a motherboard for high FSB maniacs (600 or more) but I already see very good results here, special from our friend VitorWang that run a dual prime in a Core2D (E6700) at 533 de FSB which is remarkable for a 680i – see http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=144585

    So my question: is this the best 680i on the market?

    I will try to answer that question.

    1st advice: be very careful on mounting the northbridge cooler – DFI put a large sticker say something like this “if you broke it with bad mounting, warranty may not cover the damages caused on the motherboard” – I doubt it is completely legal for a consumer product, but the board came from China: the future leaders of world (sorry US citzens) so who cares about consumer protection laws ..this is a board for experts, if you dont know how to mount a fragile NB cooler better buy an Apple

    2nd advice: obviously upgrade the bios. Go to this site http://www.lejabeach.com/DFI/dfilpnf680i/ – Attention Beta Bios are different for Dual and Quad Cores – so pay attention before upgrade the bios.


    In the 1st part of this mini-review I used my m QX6700 – Quad Core – because of the following reasons:
    1st. – I’m chasing the best mobo for Quad Core im SLI in my twin 8800 Ultras - hello, hello 3Dmark2006 Game
    2nd – In July Q6600 will drop price a lot and gonna be “mainstream”;
    3rd – Overclocking a Quad Core is always more challenging, and I like chanllages..

    Here is the photo of the setup used



    - QX6700 retail
    - Corsair 6400C3
    - Tagan 900W
    - EVGA 8800 ultra
    - Tuniq tower

    Ambient temp here was around 26ºC

    As you can see mounting a TuniqTower it is not an easy task, and due to its large size may difficult the air flow on the NB cooler and on the voltage regulators (on the front of the CPU on this photo).

    In relation to Bios settings I used most of VitorWang settiings the he describe very well (nice job my friend and case study ) in this thread http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=144585

    I’m sure VictorWang does not oppose if I reproduce here this very well explained screen - very nice work Victor



    Before some results, where are the chipset information detailed on Everest



    Did you like this 3-3-3-3 1T – I like it, a lot .. seems DDR1 but is DDR2

    In this aspect (low latencies) I have a feeling that this mobo may crush the competition, so it may very soon to my mini-cascade to play my favourite Game (3DMark2001 of course) that loves 1T and low latency

    And now the usual 4 simultaneous SuperPIs



    With just 1.45v on core and silent air cooling i tis not to bad

    Sorry about the size of the screen, but I want to demonstrate that the CPU Temps read on SmartGuardinan are to high compared Everest and CoreTemp.

    I really don’t care which temps are more accurate, as long the rig is fully stable.


    And now the very demanding CineBench with a very nice score for that low speed : 11 seconds.



    And finally my favorite game, althought with a single stock card and a freshly instaled HD with no special tweaks



    In the next days I will show you some DualCore results and more considerations on this very nice mobo.

    I will also put this one the mini-cascade, to play my favourite game at decent CPU speed (near 5Ghz with a X6800)

    This is mobo will go definitively in my collection. Less 250€ in my bank account, a bit expensive but there are other sports more expensive and more prejudicial to my healt (cars and nightlife with a lot of alcohol for example).

    I hope you enjoy reading this 1st part of the mini-review, I really enjoy and have fun in these first 2 hours of testing the board.

    And, in the end, that’s the most important part of it (much more than scores) have fun and not stress too much.

    This is Pedro Rocha over and out.
    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 05-31-2007 at 03:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    OK, here starts the 2nd part of this mini-review, dedicated for Core2Duo results

    First the usual photo of the setup



    If you look close, I put a small 40mm fan pointed to the Digital PWR.

    I strongly recomend you do this for serious OC, specially with Quad Cores that really put that are quite hot (not so hot as the P35 mobos), but anyway quite hot. Having active cooling on that area may be the key for more stability with overclock systems.


    The motherboard boot very easy at 500FSB with the X6800, but for now I will concentrate with results with memory at 1:1 3-3-3...1T, because is usualy the best for my favorite game

    And here are some results with X6800 air cooled (Tuniq of course):



    I must say that I'm really impressed with the bandwith / perfomace of the memory at 3-3-3..1T, but at suchh low speed: 420Mhz

    Of course this reflects on the results of my favorite game..



    Will continue this weekend the Dual Core results...
    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 06-02-2007 at 09:59 AM.

  3. #3
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    nice... typical LP bios mem settings?
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    Hey nice mini review. 412x9 is a great OC on a quad...

    Can you share your GTL settings? What about voltages?

    In my experience getting this board and a quad PRIME stable is a real challenge... have you tried for PRIME stability? What is your experience?

    BTW, for others interested in this board, there is a wealth of info available via these links...

    A list of tips, tricks and known issues with the DFI NF680i LT board on my blog...

    http://virtualrain.blogspot.com/2007...and-known.html

    Many XS members interested in this board are also familiar with these key threads...

    [First Look] DFI 680i LT NF-680i LT SLI

    DFI LAN Party UT NF680I LT SLI-T2R 1T 3d benching

    DFI LP UT NF680i LT SLI-T2R nears completion

    Victor Wang's Overclocking with DFI NF680i LT

    Windwithme's Memory Overclocking Thread

    And of course, the wealth of information available at the DFI Club Forums.
    Last edited by virtualrain; 05-29-2007 at 06:53 PM.

  5. #5
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    very nice review..

    subscribed..

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  6. #6
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    Good review and awesome results

    I'm also interested in your GTL and voltage settings

  7. #7
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    Well I did not change the GTL settings yet, so use the default:
    - CPU GTL1 - 140
    - CPU GTLL 0/2/3 - 75
    - NB GTL Ref volt - 75

    Other voltages: more or less the voltages recommended by VictorWang, just a bit more on LDT e VTT voltage.

    With these settings here is the max FSB stable I can get with my retail QX6700



    ---------------------------- Begin of Hipro5 style ---------------------

    460MHz FSB for a Quad Core in a NForce 680i mobo it is quite nice

    Also really like the 1T setting in DDR 1000+ no other board I tested can do this ..nice work DFI

    ---------------------------- End of Hipro5 style -----------------------


    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 05-30-2007 at 04:57 AM.

  8. #8
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    wow nice stats Pedro
    how about some mem bandwith shots at T1

    subscribed

  9. #9
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    How about PRIME stability? I found this board can be stable enough to run SuperPI but not be PRIME stable at all.

  10. #10
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    If you guys insist I can try some quad cores primes, BUT (and that's a big but) I do not understand why some of you guys are so blinded with Prime.

    Is there any real life application / game / benchmark that put some much stress on the components as prime?? I don't think so

    I do overclocking for near a decade and I always follow the 10 - 15% rule for 24/7 use and I never had stability problems.

    For instance if I had a CPU that run most of the benchs (superpi / 3mark, etc) at 4.000Mhz, for daily usage I always run it wih less 10 to 15% of the max OC, more or less 3.500Mhz in this case.

    Please do not flame this, it is just my opinion. I respect others opinions, if you consider a system stable only if passes a 100% stress prime it's ok - use it and stress it..

    The most important thing in OC it is not to have stress (prime or other) but have fun a enjoy your system

  11. #11
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    Nice job on the review, good to see somebody doing some good testing on this board. I'm looking at purchasing this board before long, but I have yet to see it show up in any danish shops

    Also, I'm quite jealous of that psu of yours, damn heavy equipment you've got there, 9000 Watts and all :p

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  12. #12
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    Fair enough Pedro, I partially agree with you.

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    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 06-01-2007 at 03:32 PM.

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    A very strange problem happend, suddenly the board stops to post any overclock, after a few minutes I discover that the problem is the VDim that stay at 1.36 no matter what value I select in the bios.

    EDIT: OK, FIXED: If this problem happend you should:
    - Remove batery for a few hours
    - Reflash the bios
    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 05-31-2007 at 06:04 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Rocha View Post
    If you guys insist I can try some quad cores primes, BUT (and that's a big but) I do not understand why some of you guys are so blinded with Prime.

    Is there any real life application / game / benchmark that put some much stress on the components as prime?? I don't think so
    Yes, there are application like cinema 4d and other 3D creating programs that stress the components like prime and for more than just 8 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Rocha View Post
    Bad news, seems the review have to stop

    A very strange problem happend, suddenly the board stops to post any overclock, after a few minutes I discover that the problem is the VDim that stay at 1.36 no matter what value I select in the bios.
    Thats too bad
    Have you tried to remove the battery and leave for some hours perhaps it might come back.

  16. #16
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    Early BIOS? At DFIs official webiste all I can see is the initial release...

    But at the Beta site I see a lot of BIOSes

    - 4CTST521 - 2007/05/21 - http://us.dfi.com.tw/Upload/BIOS/4CTST521.zip

    Major Reasons of Change:
    1.Fixed Core Multi-Processing function fail issue on Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 /X6800 CPUs.
    2.For Intel Core 2 Quad ,Intel Core 2 Extreme & X6800 CPUs only.


    - 2CTST521 - 2007/05/21 - http://us.dfi.com.tw/Upload/BIOS/2CTST521.zip

    Major Reasons of Change:
    For Intel Core 2 Duo & Q6600 CPUs only.


    - 4CTST504 - 2007/05/04 - http://us.dfi.com.tw/Upload/BIOS/4CTST504.zip

    Major Reasons of Change:
    1.Fixed CPU Bselect can’t set to Auto mode with E6750(FSB 1333MHz) CPU.
    2.DRAM Voltage will be selected on 3.04V when doing the load last bootable setting.
    3.Fixed CPU Fan speed control.
    4.Fixed DRAM speed can’t over 1100MHz at unlink mode.
    5.For Intel Core 2 Quad CPU only.


    - 2CTST504 - 2007/05/04 - http://us.dfi.com.tw/Upload/BIOS/2CTST504.zip

    Major Reasons of Change:
    1.Added “CPU Clock Ratio Unlock” in BIOS .
    2.Fixed CPU Bselect can’t set to Auto mode with E6750(FSB 1333MHz) CPU.
    3.DRAM Voltage will be selected on 3.04V when doing the load last bootable setting.
    4.Fixed CPU Fan speed control.
    5.Fixed DRAM speed can’t over 1100MHz at unlink mode.
    6.For Intel Core 2 Duo CPU only.


    - QX67TEST - 2007/04/24 - http://us.dfi.com.tw/Upload/BIOS/QX67TEST.zip

    Major Reasons of Change:
    1. Modify Dynamic ROMSIP Table.
    2. Enhance OC function for Intel® Core™2 Quad processor .


    -----------------------------------

    Interesting way to work those tweaked-to-the-bone BIOS, specific for Dual and QuadCore CPUs... although a bit annoying...

    Noticed the 3.04v VDimm after load last bootable?? Some DDR1 can handle it... lol
    Last edited by Gothic; 05-31-2007 at 07:58 AM.
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  17. #17
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    nice start.

    i'm surprised no one has commented on pedro's 9000 watt Tagan psu

    i'm sure it's a typo but who knows... wouldn't be surprised if they sent him a prototype PSU


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  18. #18
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    Problem fixed

    Flashed 4CTST521 - 2007/05/21

    Been playing with memory timmings and here is something quite nice:



    433Mhz @ 3-3-3-3-3-16-3-6-3 1T

    I really love these DDR2 very tight timmings with 1T and I suspect my favorite game (3dmark 2001) also gonna love it

    More to come in this weekend ..
    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 05-31-2007 at 06:03 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimmishim View Post
    nice start.

    i'm surprised no one has commented on pedro's 9000 watt Tagan psu

    i'm sure it's a typo but who knows... wouldn't be surprised if they sent him a prototype PSU


    I wish, my twins 8800 ultras will love that power

    Fixed the typo . thank you

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Rocha View Post
    ---------------------------- Begin of Hipro5 style ---------------------

    460MHz FSB for a Quad Core in a NForce 680i mobo it is quite nice

    Also really like the 1T setting in DDR 1000+ no other board I tested can do this ..nice work DFI

    ---------------------------- End of Hipro5 style -----------------------




    Nice work as always my friend...
    INTEL PWA FOR EVER

    Dr. Who my arss...

    .........



  21. #21
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    very nice DFI mobo.. a little late.. but its ok..
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  22. #22
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    Edit for Stability issues: read the proper thread http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=146441

    nice review btw but sorry 1 gig of ram is not mainstream,2 gigs is........1 gig is good for showing quick benches but try to run a nice 2 gig kit.
    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 06-01-2007 at 03:38 PM.
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    if it wasn't for the uber crappy placement of the pci-e 1x slot I'd be all over this board.. grrrrr.. I love my rocketraid card tho..

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by railmeat View Post
    "
    nice review btw but sorry 1 gig of ram is not mainstream,2 gigs is........1 gig is good for showing quick benches but try to run a nice 2 gig kit.

    CPU-z error .. all test with 2x1GB Corsair 6400C3

    Plese don't start a discussion on stability, anyone is free to have their opinions ..besides this is for benching, for 24/7 I use noiseless system with very low OC (E6700 at only 3.4 with 1.35v) is more than enought for me.

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    Last edited by Pedro Rocha; 06-01-2007 at 03:38 PM.

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