The board’s layout is clean and effective for the most part. There’s ample room around the CPU socket, and DIMM clips can be opened and closed without being affected by larger AGP cards. We did notice, however, after some use, that many of the board’s jumpers are positioned quite inconveniently. For example, two jumpers are crammed between PCI slots -- virtually impossible to get at with cards installed. Others are positioned in between capacitors, or up against connectors, and are generally difficult to get at after the board has been installed. If everything is set and ready to go before installation, there won’t be problems, but how many times do we actually get every setting right the first time?
Fig 1. The RAID jumper, pictured here, is very difficult to access once the board is installed in a case and PCI cards are installed.
The AD70-SR features on-board ATA-100 RAID capability, provided by Promise’s PDC20265 controller. The controller provides two additional ATA-100 IDE channels, and supports RAID levels 0, 1 and 0+1 using two or four IDE drives. In conjunction with the two on-board ATA-100 IDE channels, a total of eight IDE devices can be supported.
We’re very pleased so see that DFI chose to implement a Promise controller, as we’ve long considered Promise’s controllers the best in the business. They’re generally more stable and reliable, and have better driver support than those from Highpoint or AMI.
Fig 2. Promise's RAID controller is pictured here.
The rest of the board’s features are fairly standard. Three DDR DIMM slots are available, although in most cases, we still advise using as few as possible to ensure maximum stability. All of the standard amenities, such as WOL, WOM and IR headers, and additional USB connectors, are in place. Five PCI slots round out the package.