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Intel DG45ID Intel G45 Express Motherboard Review

Intel DG45ID Intel G45 Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: ntel's also been a little more playful lately, and have upgraded the on-board graphics capabilities of the DG45ID as well. Intel's updated GMA X4500HD graphics now supports high-definition video acceleration, as well as better 2D and 3D graphics support and an HDMI output capable of carrying video and audio.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel Apr 27 2009   J. Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Intel DG45ID

Intel X4500HD Graphics - Sooth HD Playback?

Intel's DG45ID fulfills the need for a reliable, inexpensive and small motherboard that can be used as a home server, in the office, or as a home theatre PC. After some testing, we've found it's more than capable of doing any of those tasks.

The key to the success of the DG45ID motherboard as a home theatre platform is the Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics processor. It's a pretty big improvement on Intel's IGPs from previous generations. Playing back high-definition 1080p Blu-ray movies over the HDMI output was flawless, with low CPU and system resource usage. Intel's GMA X4500HD is more than capable of HD video playback because Intel engineered H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 hardware decoding into the G45 Express chipset so these tasks are off loaded from the processor.The Intel GMA X4500 HD also doesn't have any trouble with standard 2D desktop applications, but make no mistake: this is still very much an IGP, and it's not at all suited for 3D gaming.

Fortunately the graphics capabilities of the Intel DG45ID motherboard can be expanded by placing a dedicated graphics card in the DG45ID's PCI Express x16 slots. The DG45ID can also have additional peripherals installed into either of its PCI Expess x1 slots, and has a legacy PCI slot for older devices.

Azalia HD codec for 8.1 channel stereo output can output over the HDMI jack or via the optical S/PDIF, which is a nice touch for those of you putting together a killer home theatre system on the cheap.

Audio on the DG45ID is handled by the Azalia HD codec, which gives 8.1 channel stereo output, that can be routed along the HDMI output, through an S/PDIF out, or through a multiple-out stereo jack system. There are plenty of options here that will fit pretty much any speaker/home theatre setup.

For those using the Intel DG45ID in more serious environments, this motherboard still holds its own. With six USB connections, eSATA, Firewire 400 and six SATA ports, the DG45ID has plenty of room to expand. Thanks to compatibility with pretty much any Socket 775 processor that Intel is currently selling, and its support for low-cost DDR2 memory, it's pretty easy to build a decent Intel DG45ID-based computer system on a tight budget.

So how does this all stack up as a value? Well for $125 CDN, ($110 USD, £70 GBP), the Intel DG45ID has a pretty complete feature set that can compete with more expensive IGP offerings that use AMD and NVIDIA chipsets. While these later two manufacturers might have IGPs that give better 3D gaming performance and better overclocking, neither of those tasks are particularly suited for micro-ATX motherboards.

Those looking to build a home theatre box or just seeking an inexpensive but fully-featured office computer should definitely consider the Intel DG45ID. It's a small motherboard that manages to live up to Intel's big reputation.

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Contents of Article: Intel DG45ID
 Pg 1.  Intel DG45ID Intel G45 Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  High Definition Video via G45 Express
 Pg 3.  Motherboard Highlights Photo Gallery
 Pg 4.  BIOS Options and Motherboard Power Draw
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSmark 2007 Preview
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra 2008 - Processor
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra - Memory
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 9.  Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: 3DMark06, 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 10.  Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 11.  — Intel X4500HD Graphics - Sooth HD Playback?

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