Articles: Mainboards

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PCB Design

The exterior of the LANPARTY PRO875B is its point of pride. Installed into a system case with a window and neon highlighting, the mainboard is a sight. Moreover, its slots and ATA and FDD cables shine in ultraviolet light. So there’s one more reason for you to get a LANPARTY PRO875B – just to make your friends burst with envy.

Besides the stylish appearance, LANPARTY PRO875B has some other design peculiarities. The EZ Touch feature is one of them. It consists of two buttons, Power and Reset, soldered up right to the PCB. This may come in handy if you decide to tweak your system (when overclocking or experimenting with the memory timings), while the mainboard has not yet been installed into the system case.

The back panel of the mainboard has an RJ-45 (network) connector, four USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 connectors for the keyboard and mouse, one serial and one parallel port, and sound-related connectors (five mini-jacks, coaxial SPDIF input and output).

There is the usual set of onboard slots: four DDR DIMM, five PCI and one AGP 8x. With a moderate number of slots, the PCB design is quite acceptable. The installed graphics card doesn’t block the DIMM latches, and both ATX power connectors find themselves in front of the processor socket, which is a very nice location for them.

Anyway, the PCB design of our today’s hero is not absolutely impeccable. The IDE connectors belonging to the HighPoint 372N controller, the SerialATA connectors and the FDD plug are located in front of the PCI slots and this may cause some difficulty in placing the cables inside the case in an optimal way. The onboard USB connectors are not exactly in their best places (they sit in front of the last PCI slots), considering that DFI suggests you should output them onto the front panel of the system case.

The CPU voltage regulator has no cooling elements, but a passive heatsink is mounted on the chipset North Bridge. We have already got used to the manufacturers installing heatsinks on the voltage regulator elements and active coolers onto the North Bridge, but the “light” cooling solution of the DFI LANPARTY PRO875B proved more than enough for nominal work modes as well as for overclocking tests.

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