Quality and Design
A Closer Look...
first inspection, the initial impression that I had
with the AD70-SR is that this is not a "jumper-less"
motherboard.With the majority of motherboard
manufacturers moving toward the jumper-less design, I
was a bit surprised that DFI has chosen to go against
the trend.This particular model has a total of
5 jumpers not counting the obvious jumper for clearing
the CMOS.The setting that we came across is the
ability to toggle the voltage of the USB 1 & 2
connectors between 5V and 5VSB.With 5VSB
enabled, the USB ports remain live when the system
goes into standby mode.
a USB device is activated, the system will awaken.
One of the jumpers is located behind the USB
connections and the other adjacent to the WOL connect
near the battery.
Jumpers were also
provided between the 2nd and 3rd PCI slots which
enables 3.3VSB Standby for PCI.The default
setting is "Enabled" which satisfies the PCI 2.2
specification.Between the 3rd & 4th PCI was
another jumper to manually disable the RAID capability of the board.
If for some reason you could not figure out how
to turn it off in the BIOS, the jumper is there.
Lastly, the final jumper next to the RAID connectors
allows you to toggle the FSB between 100/133, the
default setting being 100.
Located between the IDE and RAID IDE connections is a
series of 5 dip-switches for adjusting the CPU
multiplier from 5x-12.5x. DFI has also provided
a case sticker with a chart explaining how to set the dip-switches
appropriately so there is no need to go looking for you manual when
you want to start overclocking your chip.
The AD70-SR comes
with a total of 5 PCI slots with space available for
another PCI or CNR slot, this model came with neither.
The AGP slot is appropriately spaced as not to crowd
the DIMMs, making for easy RAM upgrades. The AGP
slot is also equipped with a latch that secures the
video card in place. The ATX power connector is
mounted in a manner that has the potential for interfering with
proper airflow around the north bridge and CPU. This motherboard comes
with a total of three fan headers. Ideally, we like
to see a minimum of 4 fan headers on a motherboard
The AD70-SR comes
with on-board Promise RAID controller which can be
located by a flashy sticker with "RAID" printed on it.
Underneath that sticker is a Promise PDC20265R chip
with the Fasttrak "Lite" BIOS. Normally we would
go into further detail of the RAID BIOS, but there
really isn't much to cover with the "Lite" BIOS.
Simply connect your drives, select your system profile
"Performance" for RAID 0 (Striping) and "Security" for
RAID 1 (Mirroring) and basically you are on your way.
Other options are available to select your machines
primary role whether it be Desktop, Network Server or
Let us now move to
the BIOS and see what ties it all together...
What Makes It
As with a
large majority of motherboards on the market today,
the DFI AD70-SR comes equipped with the popular Award
BIOS v.6.00. This version of the BIOS covers all
of the standard items one would expect in a system, no
big surprises here. We found the options
available adequate for normal use and sufficient for
overclocking, but for those of you serious tweakers,
you might be disappointed.
again, DFI isn't what I would call a high profile
"flashy" motherboard manufacturer. When I think
of DFI, I think of good performance with a lot of
stability. One way to insure good stability is
to offer some of the more important settings one would
need to set their system up for optimal performance,
but that is it.
settings under DRAM Clock/Driving Control were
sufficient for optimizing memory bandwidth and yet
adjustable enough for attempting a stable over clock.
The Frequency/Voltage Control screen had the bare
minimum with the ability to increase the CPU voltage
in .25V increments up to 1.85V and the FSB in 1
megahertz increments up to 250.
the lack of more advanced BIOS adjustments found on
other higher end motherboards, I was curious to see if
it played a major role in overclocking this board.
So let us move on and see how high this board could