DFI got their foot in the door with their Lan Party boards and hasn’t looked back. I was impressed all the way around with the 875P-T, from its performance at stock speeds to its overclock, this board was rock solid and a great performer.
That DFI chose the 875 chipset for this board is interesting. There are very few differences between the 875 and cheaper 865 chipset (Intel’s PAT technology, Integrated Gigabyte Ethernet in the SB), and most tests show a 2-5% performance boost across the board. The main difference is price, with 865 chipset based boards on average $35-40 cheaper than 875 chipset boards. So why did DFI choose the 875 chipset for the 875P-T? After talking with the great folks at DFI I was told that the 875P-T was their initial offering into the “hybrid” board field, and that in fact they intend to release a 865 chipset based board for the LGA 775. Aside from that I was told that DFI feels that the 875 chipset offers better overclocking potential than the 865 chipset, and that along with the PAT and Gigabyte Ethernet would pique consumers interest in this market. I couldn’t agree more!
Another factor that comes into play with any hardware package is the included bundle. DFI bundles have always been top notch, and the accessories bundled in with the 875P-T are no exception. Besides the usual manual, driver disk, etc, DFI included flourescent orange rounded IDE and floppy cables, a sticker and badge set, a transport strap, A UV reactive sleeving kit for wiring, extra jumpers, WinDVD, and the Front X Drive Bay. The Front X drive bay is an odd duck, fitting into one of your case’s 5.25 drive bays. The Front X panel has a set of four diagnostic lights for diagnosing system issues. Also included on the panel is a 1394b Firewire port, an optical SPDIF port, and finally an SATA port, for connecting an external SATA device (something that will become very handy in the coming year with SATA taking over on a larger scale). As nice as this panel was, I was a bit shocked and a lot disappointed that there were no USB connectors at all included in the Front X Drive Bay! How useful is something like this actually going to be without a single USB connector?
Seriously, after spending $400 on an X800 Pro or $350 on some top of the line memory, why would you want to drop the whole system because none of it is supported under the 915/925 chipsets? I think these “hybrid” boards offer a great alternative to a complete system upgrade and should have no problem finding a market until the newer 915/925 chipset mature and show real performance gains.
The Legit Bottom Line
If you are wanting to take advantage of the performance improvements offered by Intel’s new pinless processors, yet don’t quite have the money to invest in a PCI-Express video card or a couple of sticks of DDR 2, I highly recommend the DFI 875P-T. DFI has outdone themselves yet again and definitely cemented themselves in the enthusiast motherboard market.