Intel DQ35JO mATX Motherboard - Gaming Tests and Conclusion

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

Gaming Performance:

We tried to some gaming on this integrated graphics solution but found it to be very lacking on today's games.  While no one in their right mind will try to do any serious gaming with on-board graphics, I thought it would be interesting to see how it works.  I installed a few games to play, but was unable to run several of them (UT3, CoD4, Crysis) as they wouldn't even load.  I'm not surprised at all, and in fact would be surprised if any of those had actually loaded.  Instead, I installed Steam and loaded up a couple of games to play on different resolutions to see how they behaved.

Right off the bat, it's not looking that good.  Steam installed fine and updated okay, but when I tried to load I game I was met with the message posted below.

UnknownVideo

I had a little faith that Valve knew what they were doing though and selected "Continue Anyway" and loaded up Counter Strike: Source.  It worked - at least it loaded.  The default resolution had been turned to 640x480 due to the unknown video card, but the settings remained on HQ.  I ran the Source Stress Test and managed a solid 24FPS at 640x480 with detail turned to high.  I knew I wouldn't be able to actually play the game at this resolution so I fired up some old school Counter Strike 1.6.  This played much better and I was able to run at 1280x720 and average 71FPS.  I went for broke and pushed up the resolution to 1920x1200 with all detail on high and managed a very playable 45FPS average.

Gaming

The graphics chipset is no replacement for an 8600GT, but you can have some fun on older games.  Unreal Tournament (99) also played fine at maximum resolution and detail.  If you're into some nostalgic gaming or have Gametap installed and a couple of wireless controllers handy, you'll have tons of fun playing the classics when using this as your HTPC.

 

Final Thoughts:

Intel motherboards have a reputation of being solid performers and from what we've seen on the DQ35JO this board is no exception.  Performance is good and the board is rock solid throughout testing.  It has a nice layout, adequate cooling and runs virtually silent with the stock cooler on our little E4300.  HD Video playback seems to work very well using the integrated video and thanks to the DVI-D and D-Sub out, you can hook HDTV and a computer monitor to this at the same time for some extra fun.

6 USB2.0 ports on the back are quite nice, although Intel could have put a couple more on the back as they left off the legacy PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports.  The added eSATA bracket is also a nice addition as it allows you to hook up external eSATA devices without losing any performance in comparison to internal drives.  Overall, I'm very pleased with the results on this board and if you're building an HTPC on a budget, you should really take a look at this board.

If you're serious about quality, you'll want to drop in a soundcard however as the quality and lack of 5.1 audio is a bit disappointing.

Pros:

  • Nice Layout on mATX board
  • Rock solid stability
  • Works with every CPU from Celeron to 45nm "Wolfdale" Quad Core CPUs
  • DVI and VGA output
  • Lots of USB/Firewire/SATA ports

 

Cons:

  • "Hi-Def" Audio is not High Quality
  • Only 2+2 Stereo Audio
  • No BIOS tweaking options

 BCCRating
 
I'd like to thank MemoryExpress for sending this board our way for a review.  Make sure you check out their web store for lots of great hardware at fantastic prices.
 
If you want to comment on this review, you can do so at the "Comments" link below.  We'd love to hear your feedback!