Articles: Mainboards

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The mainboard back panel carries all ports and connectors typical of contemporary solutions:

  • PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse;
  • Optical and coaxial S/PDIF and six audio-jacks implemented through a high-quality eight-channel Realtek ALC889 codec;
  • Gigabit network port implemented by Marvell 88E8053 controller;
  • Six USB ports (the remaining six are available as onboard pin-connectors);
  • ClearCMOS jumper.

The only thing we have our doubts about is the use of a ClearCMOS jumper instead of a traditional button or switch on the mainboard back panel. In fact, there are three ways of clearing CMOS on DFI LanParty JR X58-T3H6 mainboard: back panel jumper, onboard jumper and EZ Clear function. In the latter case this function will work if you simultaneously press and hold for about 4 seconds the Power on and Reset buttons.

The jumper or button on the back of the system case is very easy to reach at all times and this way of resetting parameters is evidently very convenient. However, resetting the jumper on the back panel all by touch is not any easier than resetting a jumper on the mainboard itself. Moreover, you won’t ever need to use the onboard jumper due to EZ Clear function. So, the only situation when you might find it convenient to work with a ClearCMOS jumper on the mainboard back panel is when the board is installed onto a testbed.

The components layout from the mainboard user’s manual will once again show how skillful DFI engineers actually are - they created an almost ideal mainboard design in a limited microATX form-factor space:

The schematic layout doesn’t reveal any serious issues, but it definitely helps us uncover a few more advantages: IrDA and COM connectors, a jumper disabling the integrated speaker, Safe Boot jumper for system reboot without clearing CMOS when the system hangs and can’t restart, and as many as six fan connectors. And as you know some full-size mainboards offer only three! And of course, even though you can’t see it on the picture, we have to remind you that all cables and onboard connectors glow in UV light, creating a truly attractive and unique look.

We would like to wind up our discussion of DFI LanParty JR X58-T3H6 exterior layout with a summary of its technical specifications taken from the official manufacturer web-site:

I think DFI definitely scores high for an excellent design and functionality of their LanParty JR X58-T3H6 mainboard. And taking into account the natural difficulties that the developers were facing right from the start because of the limitations imposed by the microATX form-factor and that they have successfully overcome, an additional plus or even full point is well-deserved.

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