DFI intros MI P55-T36, the world's first P55-based mini-ITX board

By on November 6, 2009, 1:15 PM
DFI has announced the world's first P55-based mini-ITX motherboard, the MI P55-T36. The company's new system board will allow users to cram the power of Intel's Lynnfield processors into a tiny package, and is aimed at overclockers and DIY enthusiasts. Unfortunately, no price or availability have been disclosed.

DFI's MI P55-T36 measures 170 x 170mm, and specifications include a PCIe 2.0 16x slot, two DIMM slots for dual channel DDR3 RAM, three SATA II ports with RAID, six USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA/USB port, Gigabit Ethernet, Coaxial/Optical SPDIF, Realtek ALC 885 7.1 audio, six-phase PWM with Japanese-crafted solid capacitors, high-frequency multi-layered inductors, a dump-proof CMOS reset button, an LED POST code display, and ABS II.


Being that there is no onboard graphics chip, you'll have little choice but to occupy that PCIe 2.0 16x slot with a video card, and with support for Intel's LGA 1156 Core i5 and i7 processors, DFI's MI P55-T36 should provide the foundation for a well-geared HTPC.




User Comments: 26

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swilllx2p said:

One thing i notice here and I realize size and space was of course an issue. Isn't DDR3 + i5 or i7 best run in a triple channel setup? If I'm correct on this it kinda sucks to only have 2 DIMMs.

Another thought, I've always wanted to try doing this sort of thing, but I'd love to use this board in a higher end system with a highly modded case that actually looked like something else...for example I've seen people make theirs look like its actually say a school bus toy or VW Beetle etc..

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I can't believe how small this motherboard is! This looks like something I could use for a media center PC for the living room.

Guest said:

nope. the new i-5's and i7's use dual channel memory, that's why only the 2 dimm slots.

elroacho72 said:

Thats really small .I agree with swilllx2p more ram slots would be great,but really cool looking, I would buy one.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That's as dinky a board as I've seen. But as wagan8r said, perfect for a small, living room media center.

retro2112 said:

Isn't a Lynnfield a bit overkill for a HTPC??

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@swilllx2p: You're thinking of the first round of i7 processors (Bloomfield), which support triple-channel memory. Lynnfield chips have a dual-channel memory controller.

*Edit*

Looks like I was a little too late haha. Good call Guest.

swilllx2p said:

Hmm, So triple channel memory isn't better then dual? I thought that there was probably some sort of added benefit in it being a triple instead of dual, I never really read up on it though..or is it just the lower end ones use a dual-channel controller?

buttus said:

This would be amazing for HD movies in my livingroom (with the addition of a decent graphics card). Given how absolutely HUGE HTPC cases are right now, this board would make for a very small form factor.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

swilllx2p said:

Hmm, So triple channel memory isn't better then dual? I thought that there was probably some sort of added benefit in it being a triple instead of dual, I never really read up on it though..or is it just the lower end ones use a dual-channel controller?

Benchmarks show an absolutely negligible performance increase.. and when I say negligible, I'm talking about a 0.3 FPS increase or 20 points on PCmark etc..

You can bet if it is *that* negligible in benchmarks, then you definitely won't notice it in real life.

Nirkon said:

Wow.. this opens the door for ultra-small heavy gaming PCs

ken777 said:

Needing to put a big video card on this kind of defeats the purpose of having such a small board. You might as well get a micro-ATX board. This form factor will make much more sense when Arrandale with integrated graphics comes out next year.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@ken777: Who says you need to strap a huge card to the board? Link

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Now all we need is a low profile single slot Radeon 5870.

njel said:

Now all I need is the price and maybe I would buy one to buid a small super server...

Hey it would be fun...

pioneerx01 pioneerx01 said:

I smell a great new HTPC board. and you can play a game of two as well.

It seems to be very "techy" for any normal HTPC PC though...?

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Wow that's some serious hardware.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Looks great. Wonder what the temps will be once an i5/i7 processor and a decent graphics card gets shoved inside a small HTPC box.

Timonius Timonius said:

right now triple channel hasn't proven itself but it is still too new. Give it some time and everyone will want triple channel over dual channel. The performance concept is good the rest of the hardware needs to support it. I wouldn't expect triple channel memory on a mini-ITX like this one unless it gave up something else (the PCIe for onboard video), there's going to be a trade off no matter what given the limited real estate.

zaidpirwani said:

ken777 said:

Needing to put a big video card on this kind of defeats the purpose of having such a small board. You might as well get a micro-ATX board. This form factor will make much more sense when Arrandale with integrated graphics comes out next year.

Exactly what I was thinking about, small board should get a small card, if only DFI had thought of that, just think about a small PC with this, if there is a big card plugged in, and if small form factor is really that necessary then there will be a good need for cooling, otherwise the system will be quite suitable as a pop-corn machine...

Colonel Lance said:

Looks like a ginormous motherboard, at least in height.

No integrated graphics? what?

JieMan JieMan said:

ken777 said:

Needing to put a big video card on this kind of defeats the purpose of having such a small board. You might as well get a micro-ATX board. This form factor will make much more sense when Arrandale with integrated graphics comes out next year.

Why is that ? I think you'll find most HTPC do it yourselfers like to put in there own gpu anyways , I know I do ..

I think its great to have a choice in the video card and it just makes the board cheaper.. ( btw P55 isn't setup for an integrated video and if it did it would be some crap from Intel ,, so we can all thank PacMan that didn't happen)

The best thing about this little feller is no need for a sound card for blueRay

as the Realtek ALC885 has Content Protection for Full Rate lossless Audio content playback (with selected versions of WinDVD/PowerDVD)

This is awesome and I can't wait till this comes out.

psycholexx said:

There are other mainboards better suited for an excellent htpc, who really needs i7 power to watch/record movies and listen to music?.... Intel GMA 4500 is in many ways better than the old Intel graphics, but is crap when compared with nvidia and ATI... This board is ok if you really, really want to use an LGA 1156 CPU....

Guest said:

guy's check out DFI's site, they say it comes with Creative X-Fi extreme sound onboard!!

Think this is the perfect board for me, i want a tiny media center pc (Silverstone SG06) under the TV but i still want to play the odd game at decent quality on my lcd tv. can't wait for pricing

Guest said:

I think a few people are missing the point. This is basically for Sugo SG05 and SG06 motherboards, to make the ultimate lanparty rig. I'm running one with a Zotac 9300 ITX board + Q9400 + HD5750. Works really well. As you can get a 9" card in the Sugo's you can probably squeeze a 5850 in there with an i5 making a great gaming rig. I will pre-order one of these as soon as I can. Nice one DFI.

Guest said:

I too have thought about putting this mobo with a 5850 in a sugo sg06, but what power supply would fit in the case but power and i5 and a 5850?

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