Motherboard Guide

DFI LanParty MI P55-T36 review

The Tiny Giant - DFI LanParty MI P55-T36 (Intel P55)

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Overall rating 8/10
No major loss in functionality despite the smaller form factor
The first mini-ITX board based on the Intel P55 chipset
Motherboard could be prone to overheating issues from the cramped layout
More expensive than competing microATX boards

DFI Shrinks the P55

DFI Shrinks the P55

As the mainstream chipset that Intel was pushing last year, we have seen our fair share of motherboards based on the Intel P55 Express chipset. From the high-end models that rival those using Intel's X58 chipset to the basic models that have minimal features, including some that use the micro-ATX form factor, we have seen and tested a decent number.

Still, despite our exposure to a range of P55 boards, we were nevertheless caught unawares when DFI sent us a very tiny board - the mini-ITX based LanParty MI P55-T36. Yes, you didn't read that wrongly; this new, squarish board measures 17cm (6.7 inches) on all sides and it's probably one of the more capable chipset that has been converted to this form factor. The last mini-ITX board we reviewed was based on NVIDIA's Ion platform, which should give you an idea of the type of chipsets that's typically found in these dimensions.

We're pretty sure that there are some compromises made to ensure that everything fits on this small board but there's a certain charm in such a small board. We'll soon find out how this mini board differs from its other counterparts besides reduced ports and connectors. As you can see below, with our usual test system components installed, the DFI LanParty MI P55-T36 is hardly to be seen.