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DFI NB70-SC Motherboard Review

DFI NB70-SC Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: With the rather plain brown PCB, the NB70-SC looks quite drab in the face of the red and black coloured boards we have been seeing so much of these days.
 77% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: DFI Jan 22 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > DFI NB70-SC

Socket and Heatsink Mounts

Ever since the Pentium4 came out, the CPU socket area has been standardized (this is a good thing). With the trend going towards larger and larger heatsinks, it was a nice move Intel did and this way there will never be capacitors near the socket that interfere with a cooler. Still, it's quite hard to find a really good 3rd party heatsink for socket 478 CPU's yet. There are a few good ones from AVC and Arkua, but compared to the number of coolers for the socket platform, this is just a drop in the bucket.

One thing someone might notice right away is the abundance of jumpers on the NB-70. There's the usual jumper to clear CMOS memory but then again every board has this. There is also a "Wake on KB/Mouse" jumper (which I personally hate) and yet another one for enabling the riser USB ports. Still, there are a few interesting jumpers on the board by the socket 478.

In the manual, jumper JP2 states what FSB the CPU is suppose to run at, 100 or 133 MHz. This is quite odd since the current i845-D doesn't support 133 MHz (533 MHz QDR) based P4's! Current P4 users need yet another stepping of their current chipsets to "officially" support the new P4's. Basically the way DFI state it, the NB-70 has the potential to support the 533MHz QDR by 'overclocking' the settings to 133MHz.

Still, that's not the most mysterious jumper, jumpers J1, J2, J4, J6 and J7 are apparently "Factory Use Jumpers". What the heck does that mean? If a user is not supposed to use them, why not just solder the appropriate settings onto the board?


Overclocking

Overclocking was not the NB70-SC's strong suit, but that is okay because this motherboard is not geared towards that market. I was only able to overclock it slightly, by just the FSB adjustments, which were in 1 MHz increments. Sadly, the highest overclock that the NB70 would allow our 1.5 GHz Pentium4 to go up to was 108 MHz FSB!

Things that didn't the situation were the lack of voltage adjustments primarily. Still, I know this chip does better then 1620 MHz, as we've gotten it up to about 1.7 GHz on other more overclocking friendly boards. Anyway, as I said before, DFI didn't produce this motherboard with overclocking in mind, so this is really just a footnote.

I was a bit disappointed to see a lack of memory tweaks in the BIOS. Most other value motherboards I've seen usually have those settings. Everything else in the BIOS was pretty standard, and expected.

Test System Specs:

Computer Hardware:

Processor: Intel Pentium 4 1.5 GHz
Motherboard: DFI NB70-SC
Chipset: i845-D
Videocard:

MSI GeForce 3 Ti200 (MS-8850)

Network Card:

N/A

Memory:

2x 256 MB Corsair XMS PC2400

Hard Drive: Samsung SV6004H 5400RPM UDMA100 60GB
CDROM: Samsung SM-308 CDRW-DVD
Floppy:

Mitsumi 1.44MB

Heatsink: Akura 8568
PowerSupply: Enermax 550 Watt

Software Setup:

Windows Professional 2000 + SP2
Intel INF's 3.20
DetonatorXP 22.80

Benchmarks:

SysMark2001 + Patch 3
Winbench99 1.2
Business Winstone 2001 1.02
Content Creation 2001
3DMark2001
Quake III Arena Ver 1.17

Please keep in mind the CPU overclock as well as the FSB when viewing the benchmarks.

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Contents of Article: DFI NB70-SC
 Pg 1.  DFI NB70-SC Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Socket and Heatsink Mounts
 Pg 3.  Overall System Benchmarks
 Pg 4.  3DMark2001, QIII Benchmarks, Conclusions

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