Intel DQ35JO mATX Motherboard - Intel DQ35JO - Layout: Up Close

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

Closer Look:

The Intel DG33BU packs quite a few features into such a small package.  The heart of this board is the newer "Bearlake" Q35 chipset.  This chipset provides the board with integrated graphics in the flavor of GMA3100.  Video out on this board is taken care of by independent D-Sub VGA and DVI-D connectors.  This means that you can hook up this motherboard to your favorite 30" LCD for a spacious desktop environment, while using a nice 27" display on the VGA adapter for a large "Extended Desktop" experience.

CPU Socket
CPU Socket
RAM and Power
RAM and Power

 

The CPU Socket area is pretty clear of obstructions and there are absolutely no issues with the stock cooler as well as most large after-market coolers.  The Q35 Chipset HSF is quite close to the CPU socket, but many coolers go up instead of out and this shouldn't present any issues.  In the picture above and left you can see the 4-pin auxiliary power connector.  To the right of the CPU Socket are the four DDR2 slots and even farther right is the main 24-pin power connector.  As with most Intel motherboards, the CPU fan header is 4-pin PWM and that is located in close proximity to the top edge of the board.

The rear IO is devoid of PS/2 keyboard mouse connections and in turn provides you with a total of 6 USB2.0 ports.  There are DVI-D and D-Sub video connectors that should take care of any displays you want and need to hook up to your little motherboard.  Also on the back of the board is a single Firewire 400 port and a 1GB Ethernet port for additional connectivity.  Audio is taken care of by Intel HD Audio and provides 2+2 support (quadraphonic) only.  If you want some real surround sound you'll have to drop $40 on a PCIe 1x Audigy X-Fi.

Rear I/O
Rear I/O

While this board has adequate video performance for watching movies and surfing the web, if you want to do any gaming on this little board you'll want to drop in a new graphics card.  Thankfully this is possible thanks to the presence of a PCIe 16x slot.  There are also a couple of PCIe 1x slots below the large PCIe 16x and a single PCI slot at the bottom of the board.  Beneath all of these is the single IDE connector that will allow you to hook up a couple of optical drives or older IDE hard drives.

 Slot I/O
Slot I/O
 Southbridge and SATA
Southbridge and SATA

The ICH9R Southbridge chipset offers up support for 6 SATA devices and the DQ35JO has all of these available for you to use.  They've color coded the eSATA connector which can easily be hooked up to the eSATA PCI Slot adapter pictured in the bundle image.

 

About the BIOS:

This little motherboard offers absolutely nothing in terms of BIOS tweaks for overclocking and while it has some custom RAM options and boot devices listed, I thought I'd save you the pain of reading about the dull BIOS that ships with this board.  Clearly, this board is not for the enthusiast, but rather for the mainstream user who simply wants a computer to work.