The BIOS on the DFI LANParty DK P55-T3eH9 follows the same lines as the rest of DFI's boards, with one thing that is a little different being the CMOS Reloaded menu. Normally you have a listing of the banks available for you to save to or load from, but this is not visible in the T3eH9 until you open the Genie BIOS option.
Another item that is odd is that when you save current settings we did not see an option to save to a particular bank and all banks remained the same (one single one describing a 166MHz BClk and the rest listed as blank).
Other than a few extra features like BIOS Genie and CMOS Reloaded, the DFI implementation of the Award BIOS is pretty standard.
As with the DFI GF9400, I ran into the now familiar problem with resetting the BIOS on the T3eH9. I had to completely power down the board (remove the PSU connectors) and pull the battery. This was the only way the BIOS would reset. The DFI BIOS is very hardy, but at times this can become a real inconvenience.
Here things get very interesting. BIOS secure, as we mention above, is a method for flashing the BIOS on the LP DK P55-T3eH9 no matter what the state of the current BIOS. You do not even have to have it powered on for this flash to work.
There is a little bit of a setup, though. To run this you need a second system. We used an MSI Wind 200 running Windows 7. The first thing you have to do is plug in the included USB cable. This will open up the "install new driver" dialog, but will fail because Windows 7 does not have the needed drivers.
The good news is that the needed drivers are on the Drivers and Utilities CD-ROM; the bad news is that the CD-ROM auto run feature will not work on a non-DFI board. So you will have to manually install them.
After you install both serial converters (yes, there are two; A and B), you will need to install the application. It is found in Utilities\SPI_Link. From there it is pretty simple to flash your motherboard in the event of an epic fail.
Overclocking the LANParty DK P55-T3eH9 was not the treat I was expecting. I was unable to get even close to the max OC that I have run on the i5 750 that I have been using. It is capable of running at 4.3-4.4 stable, yet on the T3eH9 we only saw 4.214GHz; this was at 210x20. There was (oddly enough) no direct option for turning turbo mode on or off. This could be the reason that my higher overclocks failed as the turbo mode on the Core i5 and i7 can cause instabilities during overclocking when left on.
You can see the validation here.
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.