DFI Lanparty DK P45-T2RS Plus

DFI are a company that need no introduction on a site such as this. Producing quality motherboards designed for enthusiasts for years, they made their name with what is arguably the best board ever produced – the NF4 SLI-DR. However, I can’t help but feel that they have struggled under the weight of their own reputation, with enthusiast expectations being raised to extremely high levels. Still, while the boards that they have produced in recent months may not be able to brand themselves into the memories of enthusiasts as the SLI-DR was, they have been extremely competent and very good performers.
Today we have the opportunity to take a good look over a mid-range orientated board. Designed for people who want good performance without the price tag, this has take form of the DFI Lanparty DK P45-TR2 Plus. The DK (short for dark) has been a relatively new line of DFI boards under the Lanparty header that appeared around the time Intel’s P35 chipset was adopted, with the intention being to fill the mid-range gap referred to above. It’s occupying a space that I for one have felt DFI have been missing for a while, sitting nicely between the Infinity and Lanparty UT (and more recently the LT) ranges. The range, like its elder UT, can be found in all of Intel’s chipset flavours, both DDR2 and DDR3 variants, but bears a fraction of the price tag.
So let’s see what the mid-ranged board has to offer us with a look at the specifications taken directly from DFI’s own web page:
# LGA 775 socket for: – Intel® Core2 Quad and Intel® Core2 Duo
# Supports Intel Enhanced Memory 64 Technology (EMT64T)
# Supports Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST)
# Supports Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
# Supports 1333/1066/800MHz FSB

# Intel® chipset – Northbridge: Intel® P45 Express chipset Intel® Fast Memory Access technology – Southbridge: Intel® ICH10R

System Memory
# Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM sockets
# Supports DDR2 1066MHz (O.C 1200MHz)
# Delivers up to 12.8Gb/s bandwidth
# Supports dual channel (128-bit wide) memory interface
# Supports up to 8GB system memory
# Supports unbuffered x8 and x16 DIMMs

Expansion Slots
# 2 PCI Express (Gen 2) x16 slots dimensionally with x16 transfer rate lanes for PCIE2 and x8 transfer rate lanes for PCIE4 (16-lane ports, 8-lane ports) – 2-way CrossFire: One slot operating at x16 (16-lane port) or two slots each operating at x8 (8-lane ports) bandwidth
# 2 PCI Express x1 slots
# 2 PCI slots

# Award BIOS
# 8Mbit SPI flash BIOS
# CMOS Reloaded

# Realtek ALC885 High Definition audio CODEC
# 8-channel audio output
# DAC SNR/ADC SNR of 106dB/101dB
# Full-rate lossless content protection technology
# Optical S/PDIF-out and coaxial RCA S/PDIF-out interfaces

# Marvell 88E8053 PCIE Gigabit LAN controller
# Fully compliant to IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T), 802.3u (100BASE-TX) and 802.3ab (1000BASE-T) standards

Serial ATA with RAID
# Intel Matrix Storage technology
# Supports up to 6 SATA devices
# SATA speed up to 3Gb/s
# RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and RAID 5

# JMicron JMB368 PCI Express to PATA host controller
# Supports up to 2 UltraDMA 33/66/100Mbps IDE devices

Rear Panel I/O
# 1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
# 1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
# 1 optical S/PDIF-out port
# 1 coaxial RCA S/PDIF-out port
# 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
# 1 RJ45 LAN port
# Center/subwoofer, rear R/L and side R/L jacks
# Line-in, line-out (front R/L) and mic-in jacks

Internal I/O
# 3 connectors for 6 additional external USB 2.0 ports
# 1 connector for an external COM port
# 1 front audio connector
# 1 CD-in connector
# 1 IrDA connector
# 6 Serial ATA connectors
# 1 40-pin IDE connector
# 1 floppy connector
# 1 24-pin ATX power connector
# 1 8-pin 12V power connector
# 2 4-pin 5V/12V power connectors (FDD type)
# 1 front panel connector
# 4 fan connectors
# 1 download flash BIOS connector
# 1 diagnostic LED
# EZ touch switches (power switch and reset switch)

Power Management
# Ultimate 4-phase digital PWM with 12 MOSFETs
# ACPI and OS Directed Power Management
# ACPI STR (Suspend to RAM) function
# Wake-On-PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse
# Wake-On-USB Keyboard/Mouse
# Wake-On-LAN
# Wake-On-Ring
# RTC timer to power-on the system
# AC power failure recovery

Hardware Monitor
# Monitors CPU/system/Northbridge temperature and overheat alarm
# Monitors Vcore/Vdimm/Vnb/VCC5/12V/V5sb/Vbat voltages
# Monitors the speed of the cooling fans
# CPU Overheat Protection function monitors CPU temperature and fan during system boot-up – automatic shutdown upon system overheat

# 4 layers, ATX form factor
# 24.5cm (9.64″) x 30.5cm (12″)

An impressive specs list with a few features I’m very glad to see on there, like the mass of USB ports (6 on the I/O plate + 6 internal), both optical and coaxial SPDIF out and 8 internal SATA ports (6 on chip, 2 controlled by the J-Micron controller). These are often areas that miss out when it comes to budget boards.
Next we take a look at the board itself and the packaging it came in…