DFI LANParty JR P45 T2RS

Manufacturer: DFI
UK Price (as reviewed): £97.25 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $144.20 (ex. Tax)

Micro ATX boards are a little niche but different in a good way - in days gone by, the gulf between full ATX and MicroATX in terms of performance and features was vast. Trying to find a small form factor board with even half the features of a full ATX was nigh on impossible - I know, I've been there scouting for parts for an old acrylic cube mod in 2002.

This is 2008 though, and thankfully the JR series from DFI has come along. The P45 T2RS has had quite a bit of interest from our community as a tiny board with CrossFire support (and technically you could install quad CrossFireX into the space the size of a shoebox), not to mention other DFI-esq ideas bolted on.

DFI drops in some other nifty features too, like its Auto Boost System, or ABS, and a removable northbridge heatsink that allows other coolers to be strapped to the heatpipe instead. Does DFI's little monster do enough to tempt us back to SFF? Read on to find out...

DFI LANParty JR P45 T2RS DFI LANParty JR P45 T2RS
Click to enlarge

Box Contents

  • One rounded floppy cable
  • One rounded IDE cable
  • Two SATA cables
  • Smart Connectors for USB and front panel pin-outs
  • One Molex to two SATA power connector, adapter
  • Metal Rear I/O shield
  • Manuals, Driver CD and floppy disk with ICH10R drivers/
DFI LANParty JR P45 T2RS DFI LANParty JR P45 T2RS
Click to enlarge

I think DFI needs to rethink and modernise its bundle. While we accept that we will never see IDE and floppy ports removed on the mainstream products for at least the next two to three (or more) years or at least until Windows XP is effectively dropped by Microsoft, including a floppy cable and even floppy disk with drivers is a bit 2006. No one else does this and I've never heard complaints suggesting that they're wrong. With only two SATA cables for the six sockets the bundle is skewed to legacy components instead of new ones. The saving grace is the fact that they're all orange: matching the board colours and keeping your case internals looking uniform and smart.

The "Smart Connectors" mirror what we find in bundles from Asus and MSI, and they're always a welcome addition because they're very useful. However, the multi-language manual is very basic as it only lists the board layout and installation, while completely negating any further information on the BIOS or software installation - there is, however, a BIOS guide nestled away on the DFI site.

DFI does include a manual for the ABS system it's keen to push to newbie overclockers and, in complete contrast to the included manual, it's comprehensive enough to guide them through.
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