Articles: Mainboards

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PCB Design

Since the mainboard we are talking about today belongs to LANParty UT series, the developers did their best to make their product look attractive in regular daylight as well as in the UV light. Therefore, all slots and connectors on the PCB are bright orange and bright yellow, glowing in the UV light. The PCB textolite is of noble black, which makes the board design very contrasting and hence appealing to the hardware enthusiasts.

However, color perception is very individual, however, there is one thing that is equally important for everyone: the location of the slots and their easy access. All in all, DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G is well put together from this standpoint. All connectors for cables are placed in convenient spots at the front and back sides of the PCB. Chipset SATA ports and FCC connector are turned parallel to the PCB, which allows laying the cables very conveniently inside the system case.

The first graphics PCI Express x16 slot is moved away from the next PCI slot, so that you could use graphics cards with massive cooling solution without sacrificing any of the mainboards expansion options. The only upsetting thing is that the graphics card will inevitably block the DIMM slot latches.

As for the third PCI Express x16 slot, its location is a little confusing. The only thing that can justify the mainboard designers’ decision is that this slot will hardly be ever utilized in the system. As this slot is too close to the left side of the mainboard PCB, you may have hard times trying to install graphics cards with massive cooling solution. Moreover, a large card installed into this slot may hinder access to the Serial ATA connectors of the external Promise controller and to the nearby connectors for additional USB 2.0 ports.

The back panel of DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G mainboard features a traditional set of ports and connectors. There are six High Speed USB ports, an IEEE1394 port, two RJ45 network connectors with diagnostic LEDs, coaxial SPDIF In and Out, PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse, and six audio jacks if the Karajan audio module is also installed.

DFI designers have always cared about testers and those users who do not have their systems inside the case. DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G is no exception here. There are two soldered buttons in the lower left corner of the PCB serving as Reset and Power On.

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