DFI LanParty UT P35-T2R
The LANParty UT P35-T2R places DFI's latest motherboard in an increasingly-competitive segment of the motherboard market, as Asus and Foxconn are no lightweights to take on. However, DFI has been offering gaming motherboards for many years and has some profound expertise itself.
This motherboard is based on a black PCB with green and yellow components, giving it a unique visual appearance. The massive aluminum heat pipe extends from a flat heat sink on the Southbridge, runs along the Northbridge with a solid LANParty-branded heat sink, and reaches a heat sink at the back panel. DFI's special feature is a mountable addition to the heat pipe, which it calls Transpiper. You can mount it onto the Southbridge or onto the back panel heat sink and Transpiper will extend the heat pipe by another segment, which ends in a massive aluminum heat sink. If you place it onto the back panel heat sink you can mount it in a way that that heat sink will reach out of the computer to dissipate heat.
The Bernstein HD audio module is placed onto a small PCB and has to be mounted like a slot cover. A flat ribbon cable connects the audio module to the appropriate header on the motherboard. There are a total of eight SATA/300 ports; six of them are powered by the ICH9R Southbridge and two more ports along with an UltraATA/133 channel are provided by an additional mass storage controller by JMicron. The additional ports are bootable just like the chipset integrated ones are.
You will find three 32-bit PCI slots and three x16 PCI Express slots on the LANParty UT P35-T2R. However, the PCIe slots are only laid out as x16 to allow for all PCI Express cards to be installed. The first slot runs 16 lanes, the second one four and the third x16 slot only runs a single PCIe lane. The 32-bit PCI slots are well distributed, and leave at least two of them available even if you run dual-slot PCIe graphics cards.
Traditionally, DFI has designed in hardware power and reset buttons on its LANParty motherboards; that's the case again with this one. There also is a two-digit LED display to report BIOS POST codes (power on self test), which helps to diagnose misbehavior or other issues. We found six fan headers on the LANParty UT P35-T2R, which should be appropriate even for highly overclocked gaming systems.
From an overclocking standpoint we've got decent news as well: We reached 490 MHz FSB speed reliably; 500 MHz crashed once in a while. However, DFI offers many ways to tweak and tune system and memory settings and it might be possible to achieve even slightly more system speed. We also found ITE's SmartGuardian software bundled with this motherboard. It allows comprehensive monitoring of component voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. You may also adjust all six fan speeds.