DFI NFII Ultra Infinity - Page 3

..:: DFI NFII Ultra Infinity Layout ::..

When DFI released their LanParty series of motherboards out to the gaming community, they sure did "defy" the limits of board cosmetics when they started using UV reactive colors for the various types of expansion slots. But if ultra-violet just isn't your cup of tea, then the Infinity series aims to please almost everybody with the good 'ole red, white and blue. I guess you could say that it adds a nice touch of freedom this board is suppose to exemplify to you when it is being used.

By the way, the current revision of DFI's new LanParty NFII Ultra B motherboard shares a near identical layout to this revision of the NFII Ultra Infinity that we are looking at today, so hopefully this review can provide you with a preview of what to expect with DFI's newest LanParty.

Almost all of the juice will be supplied through the main ATX power connector, which is located to the very right of the processor socket. We would rather see it placed elsewhere, as the location and position could decrease the air circulation within a closed system case. We also think that the location of the main ATX connector is the reason why the processor socket is in its' current location, pushed all the way to the top edge of the board and about as close as you can get to the rear of the I/O back panel. This location of the processor socket on the NFII Ultra Infinity has created a potentially serious problem that cannot be overlooked, and it is most unfortunate.

If your heatsink of choice is any wider than the actual size of the processor socket, or if the heatsink must be mounted to the motherboard prior to installation, there is a strong possibility that the overhang from the heatsink could completely prevent the installation of a screw through this specific mounting hole to fasten the NFII Ultra Infinity motherboard securely to the corresponding standoff in an ATX case.

The picture above has a Thermaltake Volcano9 installed and is in reference to the afore mentioned problem. It might not look like the overhang is by much, but this picture was taken on an approximate 65 degree angle from the horizontal plane. If you were able to lean forward to look directly over the hole, the heatsink would cover an increased area of interference. While this type of interference does not occur with mounting the NFII Ultra Infinity to a case standoff using the other motherboard mounting holes, this is the first time that I have ever come across a design that has left me holding an extra screw in my hand.

Unfortunately this design is a major cause for concern. You must remember that in this area of the motherboard, this is where you will be plugging in your mouse, keyboard, USB devices, etc. to the ports in the rear of the computer... and we all know that these devices cannot be plugged in or removed easily. Furthermore, for people that will be using the extra large heatsinks that must be mounted to the four holes around the socket that DFI has now kindly provided for you, I can almost guarantee that you will not be able to correctly install the screw without some type of modification to the heatsink. You don't want the motherboard to bend or vibrate with a fragile processor core under a large chunk of moving metal, when the PC goes to a party or when you yank the mouse cord accidentally, do you?

All is not lost, however. If you are going to be using a small heatsink, or some type of extreme cooling that won't interfere, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You could also try to remove your power supply to get a decent angle with a screwdriver, but do you really want to go through with all of that? We don't think it will help much anyway. The included I/O backplate should be adequate enough to hold the motherboard in place for most users, but I did catch myself peeking into the case a bit more often to see if everything was ok.

Since this is a new release from DFI, maybe they could add some type of "mounting plug" in the accessory bundle to use in place of or in addition to the case standoff, so we can be rest assured that our PC is solid at all times. At the very least, every motherboard manufacturer should make a note that a potential problem like this will not be taken lightly and is completely unacceptable.