In games with 3D positional audio, frame rate hits are noticeable. There are several versions of the D; the one we tested included built-in Ethernet and AC97 audio. The i graphics core is a capable 2D core, though with extremely limited 3D capability. The company thoughtfully supplies the extra USB connector, which allows you to have four total. Being an Intel board, there are no options for tweaking memory or altering clock rate.
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Documentation was adequate for installing and setting up the board, though it could have been a bit clearer on the FSB setting jumper. The integrated DVI connector allows system builders to configure very compact systems with digital flat panel monitors for applications such as small kiosks in public locations. Note that the performance differences between these boards are small, so memory bandwidth is not the deciding factor.
As befits an Intel board, the layout is clean and conservative.
Microstar E Pro – Intel i / iE Motherboard Roundup – August
When a card is inserted into the AGP slot, the integrated graphics of the E are automatically disabled. Best performer in the class; stable; highly tweakable Cons: The outermost of the six PCI slots is somewhat thinner than the rest—to better facilitate slot sharing with the lone CNR slot.
Overclockers mainhoard look elsewhere. The layout of this board is clean and there were no potentially serious installation problems. One interesting feature of this Intel board is the presence of a DVI connector directly on the motherboard.
The company thoughtfully supplies the extra USB connector, which allows you to have four total. In most cases, this makes little difference, but no fastwrites support makes the chipset ill suited for some high-polygon count 3D content creation applications.
You can also asynchronously adjust the FSB: Intel is prepping an update to the for the Tualitin. This made insertion of the GeForce2 Ultra board a tad awkward, though not difficult. There are several versions of the D; the one we tested included built-in Ethernet and AC97 audio.
Stable, good set of tweak and overclocking options Cons: Intel manufactures the motherboards for several large PC manufacturers, including Dell and Gateway. The printed circuit board PCB layout is relatively clean, and there were no visible patches or wire jumpers.
MSI 815e Pro FSB/Sound Problem
In mmsi end, this motherboard is a decent solution for system integrators and white box shops that value stability and Intel support above performance and cost. The i graphics core is a capable 2D core, though with extremely limited 3D capability.
The performance of this board was pretty much on a par with the other motherboards. There are four DIMM sockets, giving the user some flexibility in memory installation. For example, even a simple streaming test like the one used in Audio Winbench shows a doubling of CPU utilization.
Note that audio and LAN functionality are really software driven, so expect to use some processor cycles if you go with pure ICH2 solutions. An array of four LEDs gives additional diagnostic information during system boot to aid in troubleshooting. However, both variants of the support a discrete AGP slot. In raw scores, the EP Pro came in second, but the overall differences were too minor to be considered relevant.
No mainhoard available; finicky about PC memory Rating: Gamers and performance addicts should definitely steer away from this one, due to its lack of tweakability and fussiness about memory. Silkscreened labels identify pinouts for front panel connections.
Stable, clean layout, good performance in Windows 9x. After installing the Micron RAM, the DEEA performance proved to be on par with the other boards, although the memory bandwidth scores lagged a tad. Layout a bit awkward Rating: However, we deactivated both onboard audio and networking for our performance mainboaard.