DFI X58 T3H6 JR mATX Motherboard

Test Setup, Power Cons. & Overclocking

Test Setup
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below: 
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 (2.66Ghz)
Motherboard: DFI X58 T3H6
Memory: 6GB Corsair DDR3 @ 8-8-8-24 1600Mhz
Graphics Card: NVidia GTX280
Power Supply: Gigabyte Odin 1200W
CPU Cooling: Stock Intel Cooling
Hard Disk: Hitachi Deskstar 7K160 7200rpm 80GB
Graphics Drivers: Geforce 180.60 CUDA
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1
During the testing of the setup above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.
top ram side ram
Installation of the motherboard was relatively painless but a couple of points worthy of note, one good, one not so good. First the good news: Even though this is a mATX motherboard there is still enough room to fit an oversized CPU cooler. Now the bad: Fitting or removing memory modules will require the removal of the graphics card as the memory slot clips cannot be opened once a GPU is in place. Other than that, there was little I could fault with the baby DFI motherboard. All of the sockets are in the right place, around the leading edges of the motherboard and even with two dual slot GPU's in-situ, the reset and power buttons can still be activated.
To guarantee a broad range of results to best evaluate the motherboards performance, the following benchmark utilities were used:
Synthetic CPU Test
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• PassMark CPU test
• SuperPI 1m, 8m, 32m

Memory Test
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• Everest 4.60

File Compression & Encoding
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach
• Sisoft Sandra 2009

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage

3D Games

• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Call of Duty 4
Overall System Performance
• PCMark Vantage
Power Consumption

Power consumption is an aspect often forgotten when it comes to enthusiast motherboards but in todays climate, with rising utility bills special consideration needs to be taken when choosing you components as over a period of time, one components can prove to be much more expensive than another over its lifetime. Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of 3DMark Vantage.
Nobody could accuse the DFI T3H6 as being eco-friendly, consuming a fair amount of power at idle. The motherboard settles down when placed under load though which is a relief and it also consume less power than the Asus Rampage II Gene under both idle and load conditions. 1 - 0 to the DFI.

Here's a couple of the obligatory CPU-Z screenshots at stock:
cpu motherboard

Using a respectable Vcore of 1.40v set in the BIOS, the remainder of BIOS voltage settings were left in their stock state to ensure equality throughout the testing. Here's what I managed out of the DFI motherboard:
An excellent result for the DFI T3H6 obtaining a 4.2GHZ overclock, surpassing many of the previous full size motherboards I have tested. I was a little disappointed that I could not break the 4.2Ghz barrier with this motherboard though as 4.2GHz was the first setting I tried (200x21 Turbo enabled). Anything over 200 Base Clock resulted in a non boot scenario. As a few other boards struggle to overcome this hurdle I suspect that the CPU is actually the limiting factor and not the motherboard. So much so that I would place a large bet that the newer D0 stepping CPU's could easily break this barrier on the DFI T3H6.
Vdrop was non existent, in fact the board slightly overvolted the CPU Vcore by 0.008v. Nothing major, but something you may want to consider when you increase the voltage to the CPU. Vdroop again was not apparent, with the board actually overvolting itself by 0.03v! While this will inevitably help with stability, overvolting the board when under load is certainly not a good idea, especially if you have set the voltage to you comfortable limit only to find it exceeds this voltage when under load conditions.
The DFI motherboard recovered well from non-boot scenarios when I did push things too far, loading back the previous bootable settings. This motherboard has a handy little feature which can be pre-configured to load whichever setting you wish from the CMOS 'bank' that stores up to four different configurations.
Returning the DFI X58 T3H6 and the CPU to their stock settings I then ran the standard suite of benchmarks and compared the boards performance to a number of other X58 motherboards. Let's see how it got on...    
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Most Recent Comments

27-04-2009, 09:26:28

Nice job webbo.

I'm happy to see more performance mATX boards springing out and actually making it into production. Now we just need one that's £50 less but still as good .Quote

27-04-2009, 09:43:34

DFI's X58 Jr. is certainly a quality base to build one mean, micro sized machine. Nice to see that unlike the other Jr. boards, both PCI-E slots are electrically 16x.

Owned a DFI LP Jr. P45 T2RS for a couple of months and was very impressed with it. DFI's mATX range is looking very good indeed Quote

27-04-2009, 10:10:26

Id question wether or not you need a dfi matx, as most people clock the whohas out of them and the insane bios options are half the reason why they buy them.

Not something you need in a HTPC, but chioce is never a bad thing.

Great review mateyQuote

27-04-2009, 10:21:18

Yeah, those that'll make good use of the rediculously high voltage options and tweaking benefits are likely to be using high end or extreme cooling solutions and that usually means either a very large or no case at all.

However, there are those that still want a top end gaming setup but for whatever reason cannot do with a large chassis sitting around. These motherboards allow users to pack high end components into small but capable cases such as the Sugo SG03 and Lian Li V350 series. A somewhat "niche" market but still a market that's worth targeting Quote

28-04-2009, 08:53:40

Agree with everything above.Quote

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