DFI LANParty UT NF680i LT SLI-T2R nForce 680i LT

Article Index

Additional Features and Bundle

Sitting to the right of the Southbridge are six Serial ATA-II/300 ports, which hang on the edge of the PCB at a 90 degree angle (allowing for cleaner cabling and less interference when lots of expansion cards are installed). The six SATA-II/300 ports are connected to the Nvidia Southbridge, and support RAID level 0, 1, 0+1, and 5. Interestingly enough, this board has no eSATA connectivity, which we would expect from a board of this nature. Sitting to the south of the Southbridge is a Silicon Image 3132 SATA-II/300 controller, which has an additional two storage ports (bringing to the total onboard to eight), which also support RAID levels 0 and 1. Honestly, we think these additional two ports are somewhat un-necessary with six faster, more flexible Nvidia SATA ports nearby.


Nvidia SATA Ports


Silicon Image SATA Ports

The I/O panel of this board is somewhat unique in that it's shipped with a large gap in the middle of it. This gap is where the bundled DFI analog audio card (dubbed Karajan) sits, if you choose to use it. The analog audio abilities are kept on a separate PCB, along with the codec itself (Realtek's ALC885), in order to allow for cleaner signal to these ports. If you're using a separate audio card, you can simply opt not to install this card, and this allows for a little more breathing room around the processor and VRM heatsinks. This card also includes the connectors for front panel audio connectivity for your chasiss, although due to the placement of this connector on the card (rather than located on the main motherboard PCB), running a case cable to this card may prove to be difficult in terms of length and maintaining a clean cabled environment.


Karajan Card - CODEC


Karajan Card - Connectors


LANParty UT NF680i LT SLI-T2R I/O Panel

The rest of the I/O panel is packed, however. On the left side there are PS/2 and 8-channel digital audio input and output connectors. On the right side there are six USB 2.0 ports, a single Firewire 400 port, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The board also has additional headers near the bottom of the board for four more USB 2.0 ports and one more Firewire 400 port. The Firewire ports are controlled by a VIA 6307 PCI controller which sits near the left side of the board. Right alongside are the two Gigabit Ethernet PHY's from Vitesse, which interface with the 680i LT Southbridge. The two Gigabit Ethernet ports support TCP/IP Acceleration, packet prioritizing, and Nvidia's Dual-Net (teaming, failover) as well, a feature we did not expect to see on 680i LT boards.


Dual Gigabit Ethernet PHYs and Firewire Controller Chip

Continuing on with the orange theme of the product, DFI bundles matching bright orange cables with this motherboard. The bundled components can be seen below, which includes rounded IDE/floppy cables, four orange SATA-II class cables, SATA power adapters, an SLI bridge card, and a standard I/O panel shield.


Bundled Accessories

Tags:  nforce, sli, LAN, party, force, art, 680, RT, AR

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