Intel DG33BU - mATX For Your PC - Installation, Software Setup and Testing

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

Windows & Software Installation:

Intel claims that the DG33BU has full support for Windows Vista so we thought we'd use the latest OS from Microsoft for this review to see how well it works and if this board supports Vista as much as Intel says.  To do a Vista Install, you will need a boot disk if you are installing a RAID array or if you have the SATA connections set to anything other than IDE mode.  We choice native IDE mode as we only have a single 320GB drive to use for testing.  The Vista Ultimate installation went smoothly and in a matter of 15-20 minutes we were at the desktop ready to install some drivers from the included driver CD.

Right off the bat when we installed the new G33/P35 chipset drivers we were struck with a warning message and I thought, "Oh yay.  One of the 'Full Vista supported' motherboards!"  Fortunately, this was the first and last time we saw a warning message or error during installation and testing.

DG33BU Driver Warning
DG33BU Driver Warning

 

Most of the hardware installed fine with the Windows Vista installation and we only had to worry about chipset, video and sound.  Everything else worked fine out of the box.

 DG33BU Intel GMA Installation
DG33BU Intel GMA Installation
DG33BU Intel Bearlake Graphics
DG33BU Intel Bearlake Graphics


Although the Bearlake graphics chipset features DX9.0c support, don't expect it to tear up any framerates.  Later, we'll show a 3DMark score, but it's nothing to get too excited about.  Thankfully, the board offers a 16x PCIe slot for those that want to do some real gaming. 

The sound features of this board are quite impressive.  It has the ability to play different audio streams for the front and rear speakers at the same time.  This would be handy in a multi-tasking HTPC setup where you want to listen to some music on your headphones, while the rest of the family wants to play a movie from the hard drive.

 DG33BU Audio Features
DG33BU Audio Features
 DG33BU Realtek HD Audio
DG33BU Realtek HD Audio

 

The High Definition Audio supports playback of 24 bit 192kHz audio and offers many other features as well.  This all sounds good on paper, but how does it actually playback?  We've posted some information from RightMark's Audio Analyzer below:

DG33BU RMAA
DG33BU RMAA

Network Performance:

Before we jump into our full Test System Setup on the next page I wanted to mention the performance of the integrated Marvel Network.  In our testing here at BCCHardware we've seen some motherboards with 1000b network show pretty dismal throughput numbers as well as high CPU loads.  Running iPerf has become standard issue for our motherboard tests.  The Intel DG33BU did very well in our tests and provided 493Mbit / sec performance with a relatively low CPU load of 16%.  We've seen boards run around 300Mbit / sec with as much as 30% CPU load.  Intel and Marvel have teamed up for a fast, efficient Gigabit network solution.

Head on over to the next page as we cover our test setup and information and jump into testing.