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1/18/2002


Author:
Juan Herrerķas Rey
 

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DFI NT70-SA: perfecting to the maximum the Pentium 4


 

In Autumn of last year, we analyze the DFI WT70-EC, a motherboard for the Pentium 4 in format Socket 423, with support of memory RDRAM. The result of the above mentioned analysis was in general lines a positive, especially for the high relation yield / price resulted from the use of the chipset Intel 850 and of his orientation towards the market of mounting blocks of PCs, the market "OEM" (principal source of income of DFI).

Now we have had the opportunity to try his successor for Pentium in format Socket 478, the DFI NT70-SA. What changes has he suffered, apart from the connector for the mike? How does he behave opposite to the new solutions that have arisen on the market, for Intel and for AMD? Let's see...

 

Specifications: a renewed outstanding figure and equipped good

The badges of the series NT70 use the same chipset Intel 850 for memory RDRAM (Rambus-DRAM) that his antecesoras WT70, what implies that the specifications dependent on his internal architecture are very similar:

Photo of the DFI NT70-SA
  • Support of Pentium 4 Socket 478
  • 400 MHz bus
  • 4 grooves RIMM for memory RDRAM
  • It includes 2 modules CRIMM
  • Chipset Intel 850 (82850/82801)
  • 1 groove AGP 4x 1.5 V
  • 5 grooves PCI
  • 1 groove CNR
  • Support ATA/100
  • Sound AC97 integrated
  • 2 ports USB + 2 optional ones
  • Checker RAID ATA/100 Promise
  • Network 10/100 Intel, connector RJ45

Anyway, the true thing is that the electrical design scarcely has changed, and logically the distribution of the components is almost identical. One has supported all the positive characteristics of the WT70-EC (buzzer, integrated sound... we send the kind reader to the corresponding paragraph of the above mentioned article), therefore we are going to indicate the principal differences and progress between both models: Photo of the socket Socket 478 for mikes Pentium 4

The first one and more clear, the use of the Socket 478. This is the most modern connector for Intel Pentium 4, so much for the based ones on the "old man" 0,18 micron s nucleus and 256 KB of cache memory L2 (models up to 2,0 GHz), like the based ones on the newest nucleus Northwood of 0,13 microns and 512 KB of cache memory L2 (I shape "To" of 2.0 GHz and following).

Since it is appreciated in the photo, the size of this socket is really minuscule, 35 x 35 mm. (Certainly, for our Latin-American readership, the currency is 1 euro and is 23 mm in diameter). nevertheless, the fans and necessary spendthrifts to refresh a Pentium 4 are enormous, since the 0,18 microns model removes 2.0 GHz: more than 75 W!; of course, the model recently presented of 0,13 microns removes little more than 52 W... a pity that is so expensive.

Anyway, in any case the new socket has like additional advantage a new system of subjection of the fan based on "paper clips", much simpler than the first system that appeared for the Socket 423 and not less sure. The badge in itself is reinforced by a metallic stunted gross in his rear part, to bear the weight added without problems.

The following change is the distribution of the external connectors, where the block of connectors USB and RJ45 (network) it has happened to be after the series and parallel. This distribution is not "the rarest of the world" either, but he needs a sheet for the box ATX different from the "normal one". Fortunately, DFI has included the necessary sheet of connectors, which is a detail about which all the manufacturers do not think.

Photo of the external connectors of the DFI NT70-SA

On the other hand, the groove AGP has two notable progress: the first one, a system of retention of the graphic card: it is a cheap progress of helping but more than necessary frequently, especially in teams that are going to be submitted to taslados. And yes, I do not understand why this system is not ALWAYS included either.

Photo of the groove AGP of the DFI NT70-SA

The second progress is even cheaper, but even more important: a simple sticker remembering that there must only get connected graphic cards AGP of 1,5 V (generally, the AGP 4x modern). Why? Because if a card gets connected to 3,3 V, as they are many of the AGP 2x more ancient, we might fry the chipset i850 (a limitation of his design, much less serious than it sounds). It is supposed that the cards and connectors must continue the norms AGP, so that it should be physically impossible to insert the card in the groove if the voltage is not the correct one... but he should not rely, there is always some card badly made (especially if something is ancient) that it might enter the groove AGP and destroy our wonderful motherboard. A reminder does not come badly at all from that we must check the specifications of the card, although it is so simple as this sticker. "Far-sighted motherboard costs for two".

And little more we can say on this topic. The distribution of the components is, in general, excellent, especially in case of the connectors for hard disks and disk drive (to the right of everything), those of the RAID (hardly they will interfere with the cards PCI) and the principal electrical connector.

Ah, precisely in the electrical connectors the design has been improved, so that now the principal ATX is more exterior, ideal if we are going to try to use only this one (if our source is not compatible with the norm ATX 2.03, but yes of approximately 300 W and of good quality). And that of 12 V is a little more above (closer to the power supply, therefore) and it already does not have any too much condenser surrounds.

And another personal opinion: there is the one who says that the connector of fan of the mike is too much far from this one... extra drops. Thanks to that it is in one of the most clear areas of the badge, without ANYTHING that could break on it having tuned in or to disconnect it, and at least I do not know any cable of fan so short as for not to cover these 6 cm of distance.

 


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