LANParty UT X58-T3eH8 – Design
As has been the case for many generations now, DFI has gone with the fluorescent slots and connectors. Those that want to take that disco feel home with them can install UV lights into their computer cases. DFI says this makes their LANParty motherboards more stylish. It probably won’t help you attract partners of the opposite sex, but it might win the approval of fellow gaming buddies.
Crazy radioactive looking slots and connectors aside, the LANParty UT X58-T3eH8 is a pretty aggressive looking motherboard, largely thanks to a massive cooling design. We suspect that someone at DFI got the Intel Core i7 processor and Intel X58 chipset TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating a little mixed up. The cooling solution featured on this motherboard looks as though it could tackle today’s fastest processors.
The north bridge heatsink for example measures 11cm long, 4.5cm tall and 3.5cm wide. This massive heatsink features a pair of heatpipes, one of which runs through an even bigger heatsink. The largest heatsink sits over the I/O panel and it looks like something Thermalright might have designed. Measuring 13.5cm long, 4.5cm wide and 4.5cm tall it’s massive, and surprisingly this heatsink is designed primarily to cool the motherboard's power circuitry.
The ICH10R south bridge chip receives a smaller heatsink, though when compared to solutions on other Intel X58 motherboards it is still quite large in comparison. Taking things even one step further, DFI has added another huge heatsink that protrudes out through the I/O panel accepting air-flow from a rear case fan. In terms of cooling the LANParty UT X58-T3eH8 is extreme to say the least, and that is good news for overclockers and gamers alike.
Design flaws that many motherboards suffer from, such as DIMM slots conflicting with longer graphics cards or graphics cards conflicting with SATA ports, are not present on the LANParty UT X58-T3eH8. Despite the huge heatsinks, there is a surprisingly large amount of clearance around the CPU socket allowing users to install large aftermarket heatsinks.
In fact, there is almost nothing we do not like about the design and layout of the LANParty UT X58-T3eH8. If we were to nitpick, the battery can be hard to reach behind the first PCI slot and the I/O panel is a little barren. Also the PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot placement, which is directly under the primary x16 slot. Being the only x4 slot on the board means that most users will be unable to use it as it will likely be blocked by a dual slot graphics card.
Still, most of these are minor issues that can be worked around. The I/O panel as I mentioned is quite bare as it features just six USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit LAN, Firewire and two PS/2 ports. Other than the PS/2 ports there are no legacy ports featured on the LANParty UT X58-T3eH8. Though realistically there is nothing else that is needed on the I/O panel, as all the audio related connectivity is on the sound card.