Intel DG33BU - mATX For Your PC

Article Index
Intel DG33BU - mATX For Your PC
Intel DG33BU - Layout: Up Close
Installation, Software Setup and Testing
Test Setup and Benchmarking
Real-World Performance and Conclusion

Product: Intel DG33BU Desktop Board
Provided By: MemoryExpress
Price: ~$115 CAD Online

Introduction:

Many enthusiasts build incredible computers that have large, expensive motherboard, fast processors, tons of RAM and one or more graphics cards.  The truth is, the enthusiast makes up for only a small fraction of computer hardware sales around the world.  Standard components sell to OEM PC manufactures in the 100,000's of units, where other specialty motherboards sell 10,000's of units.  The same is true of high-end graphics cards.  I know many people who have 7x00 series graphics cards from nVidia but I know of no one personally who has dropped their wad of cash on an 8800Ultra.

We are looking at a motherboard today from Intel that is designed and targeted toward the masses of regular consumers.  The board we are looking at is the Intel DG33BU, and this is based on Intel's new  G33 Express chipset.  Although the board comes in a mATX form factor doesn't mean it's short on features.  Overall, the feature list is pretty long for a mATX Intel motherboard.  We'll see that although this board is geared toward OEM's and people wanting to build a basic PC, it still offers good value and stock performance.

 

First Look:

The Intel DG33BU is a standard mATX board measuring 9.6" x 9.6".  Although the board measures quite small, the layout is pretty decent and there is plenty of room for vital components.  As you can see by clicking the picture below, the board comes with four DDR2 slots and can support up to 8GB of memory.  The large chipset cooler provides quiet cooling for the G33 Express chipset.  This chipset is responsible for 12 USB2.0 ports, four SATA ports, two Firewire ports and more.  The large aluminum cooler keeps things under control and should be excellent in most situations.

DG33BU Board
DG33BU Board

Specs & Features:

This next bit is clipped from Intel's product page.

 

Form Factor microATX (9.60 inches by 9.60 inches [243.84 millimeters by 243.84 millimeters])
Processor
Memory
  • Two 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM) sockets
  • Support for DDR2 800 MHz, or DDR2 667 MHz DIMMs
  • Support for up to 8 GB of system memory
Chipset Intel® G33 Express Chipset
Audio Intel® High Definition Audio subsystem in the following configuration:
6-channel (5.1) audio subsystem using the Realtek* ALC888 audio codec
Video Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3100 onboard graphics subsystem with Intel® Clear Video Technology
I/O Control Legacy I/O controller for diskette drive, serial header, and PS/2* ports
LAN Support Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mbits/sec) LAN subsystem using the Intel® 82566DC Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Peripheral Interfaces
  • Twelve USB 2.0 ports
  • Four Serial ATA IDE interfaces
  • Two IEEE 1394a ports (1 external port, 1 internal header)
  • One Parallel ATA IDE interface with UDMA 33, ATA-66/100/133 support
  • One serial port header
  • One diskette drive interface
  • PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports
Expansion Capabilities
  • Two PCI Conventional* bus add-in card connectors
  • One PCI Express * x1 bus add-in card connectors
  • One PCI Express * x16 bus add-in card connector
Microsoft Vista* Premium Ready With a PC built with Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or Intel® Core™2 Quad processors, and the Intel® Desktop Board, you can experience a more responsive and manageable environment of Microsoft Windows Vista* including a new visual sophistication of the Windows Aero* interface.


About The Chipset:

Chipset

The new Intel® G33 Express Chipset supports Intel’s upcoming 45nm processors. It combines performance with greater energy efficiency. The Intel G33 Express Chipset enables enhanced 3D and high-definition video technologies for a better end-user experience.

The Intel G33 Express Chipset
Desktop PC platforms combined with either the Intel® Core™2 Duo or Intel® Core™2 Quad processor, deliver new technologies and innovating capabilities for digital home consumers. A faster 1333 MHz system bus, DDR3 memory technology and Intel® Fast Memory Access (Intel® FMA) deliver increased system performance for today’s user needs. Lower power consumption and Intel® Quiet System Technology (Intel® QST) enable quieter systems and innovative form factors. The combination of complementary technologies provides platform scalability. Innovative I/O technologies speed up application load times, provide data protection, and improve overall system responsiveness.  The Intel G33 Express Chipset enables a balanced digital home platform within your home computing environment.

Read up on the entire product brief PDF here.

On the next page we'll take a closer look at the board.