Articles: Mainboards
 

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Get Ready to Play

Mainboards on Intel X48 Express chipset spread all over the place slowly but surely. Slowly, because the only significant difference between the new chipset and its predecessor is high price, although even Intel X38 Express already cost quite a bit. So, the customers are not really rushing to stores to get their hands on the new mainboards and there is no buying frenzy of any kind. However, the mainboards and the buyers are there alright. The manufacturers, just like fortune tellers, realized a while ago that the magic of numbers has serious effect on people. From the customers’ standpoint, X48 core logic is indisputably better than X38, just because it is a higher number. The graphics card developers have taken advantage of this human perception peculiarity for a while: just change the working frequencies a little bit and give the card a new name and it will immediately become more valuable from the consumer’s prospective. Although you may even leave the frequencies untouched: just change the name and it will do the trick.

Now it’s the mainboard manufacturers’ turn. Launching a new product has never been easier. Just replace X38 chip with X48 on the old mainboard and you will get a new product right there. So, we see a lot of new boards being dead ringers for the old ones around. And today we are going to take a closer look at DFI LANPARTY LT X48-T2R, which is practically identical to DFI LANPARTY LT X38-T2R, which we have already reviewed before. It is really bring to talk and read about exact same things all over again, so to spice things up I suggest playing a game. We will be looking for differences between the two mainboards. What if in the end they turn out pretty significant despite the seeming similarity?

Package and Accessories (Difference 1)

Even if you can’t read you will immediately notice that the package design of the new DFI LANPARTY LT X48-T2R board is different. Although they used the same style and design principles, the front of the box only bears the series name, while the list of main mainboard features is on the back of the box.

 

I agree that it is a small difference and under other circumstances we may not have even mentioned it. However, the two mainboards have so few differences that we will be counting in even the smallest ones.

As for the accessories bundle, it remained exactly the same. All accessories are packed into a separate box. DFI LANPARTY LT X48-T2R still comes with FDD and IDE cables, four Serial ATA cables and SATA power adapters, I/O Shield for the case rear panel, user’s manual, CD disk with drivers and utilities, a floppy disk with RAID drivers, colorful installation guide for LGA 775 processors, four replacement jumpers with convenient long “tails”.

These are standard accessories that you may find bundled with any other mainboard. However, there is also something unique in the bundle. The chipset North Bridge cooler is too tall to be shipped preinstalled, so it comes separately with an additional installation manual, a syringe with the thermal compound and even a special card for even spreading of the compound on the chipset heat-spreader. According to DFI web-site, this cooler was designed y Thermalright that is why its superb efficiency pointed out in our previous articles comes as no surprise to us.

One of the comments we have about this cooling system is its huge size. Some large processor coolers may simply not fit next to it. However, this time we can name one more drawback. These cooling systems used to be fastened to DFI mainboards with secure steel brackets at four spots. For example, the cooler on DFI LANPARTY UT NF680i LT SLI-T2R.

Some time ago four secure steel hooks have been replaced with two weak plastic “spindles”:

No wonder that when we completed testing and took the system apart, one of these plastic clips broke.

 
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