The board, for the most part, is well laid-out, although we do have one or two critical concerns. Our primary concern is around the CPU sockets, and particularly the second CPU socket. Both sockets are lined very closely with capacitors, some of which are located near the heatsink clips. Not only does this interfere with the use of larger heatsinks, but the closeness of the capacitors pose a very serious risk when installing and removing heatsinks. If you need to use a screwdriver or other tool to apply force to a heatsink clamp, be very careful.
Fig 2. Notice the placement of the ATX power connector in between the CPU and the AGP slot.
The second CPU socket is particularly crowded, as the ATX power connector is jammed somewhat awkwardly between it and the AGP slot. We really wish something could have been done about this, however, realistically speaking, dual CPU boards are always fairly crowded. The second issue is not so severe, the floppy drive connector is located along the side of the board below the PCI slots, which means a cable may need to be draped around a few PCI cards.
Fig 3. Floppy drive connector located at the far side of the board in line with the PCI slots.
The DVD266-R also boasts support for up to 4 GB of DDR memory, which suits it nicely as a workstation/server board. The board offers four 184-pin DIMM sockets, and supports ECC and Registered DDR SDRAM as well, which is critical when dealing with such large amounts of memory.
Fig 4. The four 184-pin DIMM sockets and the four IDE connectors. Notice that the RAID connectors are colored yellow, while the stndard IDE connectors are colored blue-green.
As the name implies, the DVD266-R features on-board IDE RAID capability as well. The on-board RAID is provided courtesy of AMIís MG80649 controller, which supports two ATA100 IDE channels (up to 4 devices), and RAID levels 0, 1 and 0+1. Our RAID controllers of choice are still Promise parts, although we prefer AMI controllers to Highpoint parts. Further, AMI controllers are significantly cheaper than their Promise counterparts, so perhaps itís in our best interests to save a few dollars.