Intel DQ35JO mATX Motherboard

Article Index
Intel DQ35JO mATX Motherboard
Intel DQ35JO - Layout: Up Close
Installation, Software Setup and Testing
Test Setup and Benchmarking
Gaming Tests and Conclusion

Product: Intel Desktop Board DQ35JO
Provided By: MemoryExpress



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.  Also if you're building a Home Theater PC, you don't need a $300 ASUS Maximus powering a little media center, and mATX boards like the DQ35JO work very nicely.

We are looking at a motherboard today from Intel that is designed and targeted toward the masses of regular consumers and HTPC builders.  The board we are looking at is the Intel DQ35JO, and this is based on Intel's new Q35 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 for just about any computer.  The main focus of this review is in the HTPC arena and we've got HD-Video playback performance coming up.  We'll also try and find out what makes this an "Executive Series" product.

Mainboard Box
Mainboard Box

First Look:

The Intel DQ35JO 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 Q35 Express chipset.  This chipset is responsible for 12 USB2.0 ports, six SATA ports, two Firewire ports and more.  The large aluminum cooler keeps things under control and should be excellent in most situations.

Board Profile
Board Profile


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])
  • 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® Q35 Express Chipset
Audio Intel® High Definition Audio subsystem in the following configuration:
2+2-channel audio subsystem using the RealTek* ALC268 audio codec
Video Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3100 onboard graphics subsystem
I/O Control Legacy I/O controller for serial ports
LAN Support Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mbits/sec) LAN subsystem using the Intel® 82566DM Gigabit Ethernet Controller
Peripheral Interfaces
  • Twelve USB 2.0 ports
  • Six 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
Expansion Capabilities
  • One PCI Conventional* bus add-in card connectors
  • Two 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:

Q35 Diagram

The Intel Q35 and Q33 Express Chipsets will deliver support for Intel's upcoming 45nm processors. Intel is also bringing higher performance in combination with greater energy efficiency and supplying critical building blocks for continued Energy Star* support. The Intel Q35 Express Chipset is continuously advancing capabilities of the Intel® Core™2 processor with vPro™ technology by providing leading security and manageability.

The Intel Q35 and Q33 Express Chipsets
Desktop PC platforms based on the Intel Q35 and Q33 Express Chipsets, combined with either the Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel Core 2 Quad processor, and with support for next-generation 45nm Intel® Core™2 processor family, deliver innovative capabilities and usages for digital home consumers and new levels of 3D and media performance while enabling lower power and quieter systems.

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