DFI X58 T3H6 JR mATX Motherboard


DFI have long been known to produce some fantastic motherboards for the enthusiast and the Lanparty series are the ones that appeal the most. Most recently, I had the pleasure of reviewing the X58 based DFI T3EH8 Ultra which at the time was the best clocking X58 motherboard I had tested. Today, I have in front of me a micro version of this motherboard in the form of the DFI X58 T3H6 JR mATX.
X58 mATX form factors are thin on the ground at present and thus far I have only had the opportunity to sample the Asus Rampage II Gene, which was very impressive to say the least. Therefore today I will be putting the mATX board from DFI, aptly named Jr, through its paces to see how it compares to what is safe to say it’s most direct competitor, the Asus Rampage II Gene.
The DFI T3H6 Jr is aimed at the enthusiast market and being from the Lanparty series, one would expect it’s most suited to well, erm, LAN parties. Those who have experience of attending LANs will tell you, taking a large tower case to such an event is a chore and more and more gamers are now building portable sized PC’s that can be easily transported from one venue to the next. I once made the mistake of taking along a (very) old tower case setup and getting it from the car to the gaming area at the LAN was a mammoth task, resulting in me being doubled up in pain for a good few weeks after wards due to a suspected slipped disc. Today though, with mATX Aluminium cases such as the 350b from Lian Li and a much lighter PC, back problems should be a thing of the past. More and more LAN attendees are choosing the mATX form factor over the standard ATX as the larger motherboards offer little over an mATX. Sure, due to the size limitations it’s physically impossible to fit everything an ATX has to offer onto a mATX such as TRI-SLI but all the essentials that are needed for the ultimate gaming machine are there.
DFI have identified this niche in the market and building on the success of their P45 JR board they have released what appears to be a very capable, very well featured motherboard with their trademark vivid aesthetics that appeal to the gamers market. Let’s hear what DFI have to say about their motherboard:
The first CPU with a built-in memory controller of Intel, Core i7, running with X58 chipset of completely new configuration, will further improve performance of personal computers. X58 motherboard unveiled by LANParty this time also embodies the design philosophy of “performance first” and will bring supreme efficacy to players with top specification and material. It has 6 memory DIMMs, which support unprecedented 3-channel memory and can significantly expand the memory bandwidth; and also two PCI Express 2.0 slots, which, for the first time, simultaneously support Nvidia SLI and ATI CrossFireX and can considerably improve the 3D processing capability of the system.
The following specification was taken directly from the DFI product page:
* LGA 1366 socket for Intel® Core™ i7 processors

* Intel® QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) technology – point-to-point interface that connects to X58; providing a dynamically scalable interconnect for increased bandwidth, lower latency and stability
* Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) supports 3 channels of DDR3
* Intel Hyper-Threading Technology delivers 8-threaded performance
* 6-phase digital PWM provides stable voltage to the CPU

* Intel® chipset
* Northbridge: Intel® X58 Express chipset
* Southbridge: Intel® ICH10R
* System bus – 4.8GT/s to 6.4GT/s
System Memory 
* Six 240-pin DDR3 DIMM sockets
* DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz
* Triple-channel memory architecture
* Delivers up to 43.2GB/s bandwidth
* Supports non-ECC unbuffered DIMMs
* Supports up to 24GB system memory
* Windows® 32-bit operating system is unable to accurately detect more than 4GB system memory. Therefore, if you are using this operating system, we strongly recommend that you install a less than 3GB system memory.
Expansion Slots 
* 2 PCI Express (Gen 2) x16 slots – 2-way SLI or Quad CrossFireX configuration at x16/x16 transfer rate lanes
* 1 PCI Express x4 slot
* 1 PCI slot
* Award BIOS
* 8Mbit SPI flash memory
* CMOS Reloaded
* Multiple GPUs – 2 graphics cards in 2-way SLI or Quad CrossFireX configuration
* Realtek ALC889 High Definition audio CODEC
* 8-channel audio output
* 108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality
* Marvell 88E8053 PCIE Gigabit LAN controller with Teaming technology
* 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
* 1 CIR 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
* 1 4-pin 5V/12V power connector (FDD type)
* 1 front panel connector
* 6 fan connectors
* 1 download flash BIOS connector
* 1 diagnostic LED
* EZ touch switches (power switch and reset switch)
Power Management 
* 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
* 6 layers, microATX form factor
* 24.5cm (9.64″) x 24.5cm (9.64″)
As you can see there is not a lot that has been left out of the DFI T3H6 Jr, infact this board, on the surface at least appears to have more features that many full size ATX motherboards.
Let’s take a closer look at the motherboard itself…