X48 Motherboard Comparison, Part 2

DFI Lanparty LT X48-T2R

DFI has earned itself an excellent reputation among “elite overclockers” by adding a broad range of BIOS settings to its Lanparty series motherboards. The company is never in a hurry to release new products, however, as it prefers to take its time tuning them to face off with the best its competitors can offer.

Layout and Features

The most striking visual characteristic of DFI’s Lanparty LT X48-T2R might be its green theme, but our eyes hop immediately to the eight-phase digital voltage regulator. We’ve had slightly better overclocking stability in the past with boards that used a similar design.

Also noteworthy is that DFI uses all seven slot positions to fill its X48-T2R with expansion options. But while the board does feature three PCI-Express x16 slots, only the top two have 16 pathways and PCI-Express 2.0 transfer modes. The third x16 slot has only a quarter of its pathways (four lanes), and its bandwidth is further halved by the use of PCI-Express 1.0 mode.

The top two PCI-Express slots are spaced adequately to support huge triple-thick graphics coolers, and typical CrossFire configurations of double-thick cards will still leave two PCI and one PCI-Express slot open for other cards.

Most cable connections are ideally located for use in traditional tower case designs, with the exception of the floppy cable header on the motherboard’s bottom edge. Though required for loading RAID or AHCI drivers during XP setup, DFI likely believes that anyone who uses that installation method will remove the drive when it’s no longer needed.

Of slightly less concern are the eight forward-facing Serial ATA connectors, which could be blocked by the hard drive cages of some cases. The X48-T2R is an enthusiast motherboard, and DFI likely believes that enthusiasts will choose their cases appropriately.

The Lanparty LT X48-T2R uses separate sinks for the Northbridge, Southbridge and voltage regulator, while the Northbridge sink ships uninstalled. The sink supports a 60mm x10mm cooling fan using wire clip retainers, but is large enough to operate without its own fan in systems that have other fans nearby. DFI includes sink paste and a spreader to ease installation, but users requiring additional cooling must purchase their fans separately.

The Lanparty LT X48-T2R’s lower front corner features a post code display, power and reset buttons that are perfect for bench top testing and diagnostics, in addition to the poorly placed floppy header, several fan connectors and three two-port USB cable headers.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • nihility
    I thought the major concern with overclocking was doing it with 4 GB or 8 GB of memory installed and with quad cores.
    Buying an overly expensive high end motherboard but installing a 65 nm dual core processor and just 2 GB of RAM seems a very odd combination to me.
  • @ni

    Not so odd if you want to get the base foundation set up and then wait for lower prices on higher performance parts later on down the road.
    A quad core (3.0 GHz x 4) chip is coming down the pike by years end and DDR3 prices are on the slide. Building an E8400 / 2 GB base machine is exactly what I did to finally migrate from my 5 year old P4 Extreme Edition / Intel 875 based rig.

    That's the beauty of the X48 platform; longevity.
  • The ECS offering has supposedly been out for around a month, but I can't find it for sale ANYWHERE!! can't even find a price. I used to turn my nose up at ECS products. Our company used Asus boards exclusively thinking they were a higher quality product. Evey one of our Asus boards failed within 4 years. This may be because the Chinese have studied the American business model... Make a product that is designed to either fail or need parts within a calculated period of time. ECS are much cheaper, and so far seem more stable than the Maximus Formula board we purchased recently. The Asus BIOS is for people who like to toy with settings. Unfortunately their BIOS has become complicated beyond their programmers ability too write stable code.
  • Glad to see that gigabyte's board was so much more energy efficient than Asus', or any other board for that matter... especially while overclocking
  • Fedor
    Arcolyte - lol. Did you fall asleep and dream up another page of the review which had power consumption whilst overclocking? :p

    For the record I'm using my first Gigabyte board (X38-DQ6) and overall I'm pretty happy with it, but having said that I haven't used Asus in at least 5 years. With these comparisons it often comes down to features since performance is pretty near (although the low memory speeds achieved by the Gigabyte surprised me!).
  • " Intel covers all of its CPU VRM MOSFET?s with sinks. Our apologies for the alphabet soup that made up the last comment. " -> You could've gone with " Central Processing Unit Voltage Regulator Module Metal?Oxide?Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor's " , so it's ok =)
  • frodbonzi
    I wonder how the Asus' Rampage Formula stacks up here? It supports DDR2 or DDR3 and is part of the RoG line... X48 as well...
  • xanxaz
    asrock rocks....lol...although i'll keep my gigabyte... as i dont know where to say this, it's better say it here... your main page is eating my cpu cycles... between 25% up to 50% cpu utilization while viewing your site? please cut down in animated ads... running a c2d at 3.6 and still lags while surfing... dah... it's just your site... os is it me? i think it's the ad on the top right corner that is causing that...
  • wozeus
    I see that Newegg has ECS X48T-A for under $200. Looks like it's a great deal...going to get one.