DFI UT X48-T3RS LanParty - Living Review


The Package

Firstly, let's have a look at the packaging.

The UT-T3RS comes in a sturdy, eye catching retail box that gives a sneaky glimpse of the DFI's new cooling solution - The Flame-Freezer.

Inside the main box, there is a hard plastic protective shell that the motherboard lives in, and in the lid of that shell are two compartments for the Flame-Freezer Extention piece and the Bernstein Audio Module...

...And a slightly smaller box full of accessories.

First Look At The DFI UT X48-T3RS

As you may be aware, we have tested the X48 chipset extensively over the past few months, most recently being the DFI LT X48-T2R which used the same PCB design/layout as it’s P35 UT/X38 LT predecessors, however, one of the few gripes with the layout was that when the top PCI-E slot was filled with a decent sized card, the lower DRAM retention levers were blocked shut, meaning that you had to remove the graphics card to remove the memory. DFI appear to have listened to what their customers have said and have redesigned the PCB.

The Board Itself - A 6 layer PCB design with cooling by Thermalright.

The slot layout is different to previous boards, and from top to bottom we have:

  • PCI-E 2 = 1x Speed
  • PCI-E 1 = 16x Speed
  • PCI 1
  • PCI-E 4 = 16x Speed
  • PCI 2
  • PCI-E 3 = 4x Speed if used with one of the 16x slots, or can be used at 4x speed with a physics card and a pair of 16x speed cards in crossfire - alledgedly

Update 06/06/2008: The User manual has an error that shows the PCI-E slots labelled wrongly, below is the correct layout.

  • PCI-E 2 = 1x Speed
  • PCI-E 1 = 16x Speed
  • PCI 1
  • PCI-E 4 = 1x/4x Speed (Depending on BIOS settings) if used with one of the 16x slots, or can be used at 4x speed with a physics card and a pair of 16x speed cards in crossfire - alledgedly
  • PCI 2
  • PCI-E 3 = 16x

I hope this clears up any confusion

The layout is now pretty much perfect as far as the slots go.

We can see the first evidence of the PCB redesign here and the power circuitry appears to have had an overhaul, however, the CPU socket area is still clutter free and will be easy to insulate for sub zero cooling.

The PWM heatsink, as on other DFI boards, protrudes through the I/O panel, and another piece can be bolted on to give extra cooling (more on that later).

Next we have the I/O Panel:

  • PS2 keyboard
  • PS2 Mouse
  • 1x Firewire
  • 6x USB2
  • 2x Gigabit LAN

This part of the board will be familiar to any previous DFI users and looks to be unchanged on the whole.

Things of note here include the on board power and reset switches, the LED error display, the floppy drive connector and the power/reset/HD LED jumper section.

Another shot of the board - One thing I forgot to mention is the on board speaker, a smal black circular thing located directly above the PATA slot. This can be turned on or off with a jumper.

A Closer Look At The Flame-Freezer

The Flame-Freezer's upright heatsink can be fitted or removed by simply removing the two screws in the pic below, and then unhooking the small retention plate - Very easy, although it is a job that requires you to remove the motherboard from the case.

I suspect that a blob of thermal paste will help on the joint between the bracket and the heatpipe and I will try that during the review.


On the back of the board is a small, aluminium heatsink/backplate to help stop the Flame-Freezer from bending the board - This is a great addition and shows good attention to detail.

The Accessories.

  • Instructions
  • Drivers CD
  • Driver Floppy Disk
  • Flame-Freezer Installation Guide
  • UT X48-T3RS User Manual

You get two sets of these (2 SATA Power + 2 SATA Data).

This has to be the heaviest I/O shield I've ever seen, it's very solid and comes with a small steel plate with two screws which are used when fitting the Flame-Freezer.

One PATA (IDE) Cable, One Floppy Cable.

And a bag that contains:

  • One Crossfire Bridge/Cable.
  • Spare NB Heatsink Clip
  • Tube of Shin-Etsu Thermal Compound
  • A Heat Minator Thermal Helper (piece of cardboard for spreading the thermal compound )
  • One Bag Of Motherboard Jumpers
  • Bernstein Audio Module Cable