Performance Summary

It's the same old story on the performance front; all P55 boards perform about the same during fixed frequency tests.

Application Performance - WinRAR 3.90 x64

Gaming Performance - Far Cry 2

For the next test we measured AC power consumption from the wall while using the same set of components on all boards. All power saving features were turned on, with OS software installed where necessary to give maximum power saving at stock operating frequency on our i7 870 CPU. Real power consumption will probably be a few percent lower than what the AC wall meter reports but as we're going apples to apples here, the percentage of change is the important factor.

System Power Consumption - Idle/Load

DFI's MI-T36 produces respectable power consumption figures during idle and full load scenarios, bettered only slightly by MSI, who are the class leaders when it comes to power saving features and software.

As part of the performance summary, we also include a DPC latency screenshot for the audio aficionado's out there;


Overclocking

DFI offers plenty of overclocking features within the current BIOS. However, the VRM for processor VCore is limited to 150w max (110w in the near future). Although we managed to pass our gaming tests at 4GHz, 860/870 CPUs are best left near stock operating frequency to avoid catastrophic board failure during heavy load tests.


We overclocked our 750 CPU to 3.6GHz with a 1800MHz memory speed at 7-8-7-20 timings (180BCLK x 20). Voltages were 1.25V CPU VCore, 1.25VTT and 1.65VDIMM. All other voltages were left at stock. On the DRAM side, we only needed to set the primary timings; the board defaults were perfectly adequate for this speed. We must add that we were using an open test bed and pointing a high speed fan directly over the PWM area. Within a PC case, we think you're going to be limited to stock operating frequencies on the CPU. S3 Sleep mode recovery is limited to around 150 BCLK on the current BIOS too, anything higher and the board gets caught in a reboot loop.

Index Board Features
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  • Mini Motherboard - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    Thanks for great review. I have been waiting for someone to write about it. I have linked to your article on my blog at my [url=http://www.minimotherboard.com">http://www.minimotherboard.com]Mini-ITX blog[/url] Reply
  • Saosin - Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - link

    Mini-ITX review and no power consumption tests? :( Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - link

    Page 2
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - link

    Check page 2 in the performance summary :) Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    I have my 860 on a MI P55 at 150bclock with HT on. While gaming core temps usually get up to the mid-60s. So far so good! Thats about as far as I can push it safely. Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    Did you observe the PWM temps at 4.0GHz? Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    Not sure if you read the review in depth, but the 4GHz benches were for fixed frequency compare purposes only. I used a 120MM fan to blow air across the board just for the sake of running the game benches where the CPU loads are very light (only around 50 Celsius). If you're running the board in a case or stress testing (OCCT, Linpack etc), keep it at stock with HT enabled CPU's and at a max of say 3.6GHz with a 750 in a case.

    later
    Raja
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    Any version on what Creative chip DFI is actually using?

    I'm guessing it's the cheapie they use on their gimped X-Fi XtremeAudio cards, since I haven't seen a real X-Fi chip on any board, but I was just curious.
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    the X-FI features are purely software/drivers from Creative, supported by the Realtek ALC885. So no Creative hardware I'm afraid (I did mention software support in the feature table on page 3).


    regards
    Raja


    Reply
  • ScavengerLX - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    Rajinder-

    Thanks for the great review. I have this motherboard so I appreciate the insight into the finer details.

    Josh
    Reply

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