DFI MI P55-T36 Mini ITX
DFI has put together a very nice little board here, literally, with the MI P55-T36 mini ITX. There’s a smart layout, respectable features, and good overclcoking options available. And with one PCI-E X16 slot available, you can install a discrete card such as a Radeon 5670, to build a very adept little LAN box here on a modest budget.
While there are some overclocking and tweaking options available, the reality is that this motherboard isn’t designed to be heavily pushed despite the fact it is a P55 board. A robust and extensive BIOS is a hallmark of DFI products, and the MI P55-T36 is no exception, offering a great feature set, albeit a streamlined one. There are a few overclocking niggles such as our inability to change the CPU multiplier without total lockup, as well as having to clear CMOS for a failed overclock. However, for the average user, this shouldn’t be a concern, as the options and abilities here are more than enough, and frankly may never be touched for the most part.
The only real downside here is that by virtue of this board based on the P55 chipset, there is no onboard graphics capabilities that we’d find in the H55 chipset, for example. As a potential HTPC backbone, the MI P55-T36 certainly fits the bill in terms of size and features for the most part, but the lack of integrated graphics does reduce the versatility that most media setups require. A discrete card is necessary, and while that’s not a dealbreaker, it does increase the cost on what could otherwise be a very affordable build.
All things considered, however, DFI has done a fine job on the MI P55-T36, showing what can be possible for a smallform factor; far smaller doesn’t have to necessarily have to be far less capable. Quite the contrary, actually, as this motherboard is very capable for what is being accomplished on such a small platform. There are some quirks and limitations on the MI P55-T36, but the features and positives far outweigh the detractions, leaving us with a solid mini ITX board overall.
DFI MI P55-T36
Our thanks go to DFI for providing the MI P55-T36 for this review.