DFI LANParty DK P45-T2RS PLUS (Intel P45)



After a long saga, news of abit's demise in the motherboard market has been recently confirmed. For long-time fans of overclocking, it comes not so much a surprise, as regret that a former household, acclaimed brand is now no more. While abit has not showed any signs that it could revive its glory days, it was still a loss for enthusiasts.

What it also seemed to imply is that going niche is insufficient in such a competitive market, especially if the niche segment does not have the volume. This can be seen in recent years, with big players like ASUS expanding aggressively into all segments with a broad range of products, including premium models that are meant for enthusiasts. Smaller manufacturers like DFI, which has quickly cultivated a reputation for overclocking, has hence been under threat.

One of the company's latest attempt to distinguish its products from the competition is the LANParty DK P45-T2RS PLUS, which comes with a new Auto Boost System that could simplify overclocking for less experienced users. This new feature will be present on all new motherboards from its LANParty DK and Blood Iron series and it's telling that these are the more mainstream series. Of course, DFI's extensive BIOS options remains on these boards and here to illustrate this, here's a look at this Intel P45 board using the ICH10R Southbridge:-

As usual, DFI's motherboards are UV reactive and paired with the included UV reactive cables, they are certainly eye-catching.

Before we explore this board any further, the contents of the retail package are quite typical and listed below, along with the technical specifications:-

  • 2 x SATA data cables
  • 1 x SATA power converter cable
  • 1 x 80-conductor Ultra ATA data cable
  • 1 x floppy drive data cable
  • 1 x CrossFire bridge
  • RAID driver diskette
  • I/O shield
  • Driver CD
  • User manual
  • Auto Boost System Installation Guide

Board Design and Layout

This DFI board is pretty much your modern motherboard, with all the features and perks that we have come to expect. We were also generally pleased with the board layout, with the exception of some minor grouses.

The rear ports of the DFI LANParty DK P45-T2RS PLUS are quite typical of this class of motherboards, including optical and coaxial SP/DIF outputs, Gigabit LAN, audio jacks and six USB 2.0 ports. Additionally, DFI has a clear CMOS jumper at the rear, useful for overclockers and unlike a button, no chance of users accidentally clearing the CMOS.

Like all the P45 boards we have seen so far, the DFI LANParty DK P45-T2RS PLUS supports CrossFireX via its two PCIe x16 slots. Either one of these slots have full 16 lanes if operating alone and 8 lanes if together in CrossFireX mode. One thing we didn't like was the location of the floppy connector, which meant pulling the floppy cable across the board to be plugged in and possibly messing up your attempts at cable management.

Besides the standard 6 SATA 3.0Gbps ports from the Intel ICH10R found onboard, DFI have added two more extra SATA ports (in yellow) thanks to a JMicron JMB363 controller (the black IC in the background here). This controller also enables IDE support. The extra two ports are one of the 'extras' found on the PLUS version of this board that is not on the normal P45-T2RS.

There are four DIMM slots for DDR2 memory, supporting officially up to 1066MHz and a total of 8GB. The IDE and ATX power connectors are thankfully close to the edge of the board.