Abstract: We are currently witnessing a flooding of high performance motherboards on the market today. These days, the fastest motherboard may only be marginally faster than the slowest ones available. Without a doubt, the mainboard and chipset market is no less than cutthroat. Though most users are accustomed to seeing such products available in abundance, a significant portion of the market remains interested on those products that focus upon the delivery of good business performance at a low cost.|
Integrated graphics performance
The D820E2CA3 with
its integrated graphics accelerator is limited by the unified memory
architecture. As both main system memory and bandwidth are shared with the video
accelerator, 3D performance is suffers considerably.
The D810E2CA3 comes
equipped with a 4 MB dedicated video buffer used for Z buffer caching, resulting
in slightly improved 3D performance as compared to other integrated solutions
based on Intel chipsets.
In terms of overall 3D performance, the
D810E2CA3 is obviously lacking. It performs poorly, does not offer 32 bit
rendering nor does it feature texture compression. Those looking for a
business end solution will not mind this of course.
What's more important
to note is that during our tests, 2D acceleration was more than adequate for
business applications. In fact, the D810E2CA3 with its 230 MHz RAMDAC supports
true color depth at 1280x1024 at ergonomic refresh rates, while other integrated
solutions based on VIA PM133 with a 300 MHz RAMDAC cannot offer the
The display in all resolutions up to 1024x768 looked fine. At a
display setting of 1280x1024 and above, we began to encounter some
The graphics driver allows for multiple gamma settings that can
be set automatically according to the executed application.
graphics subsystem supports motion compensation which helps reducing the
processor load during DVD playback. Where the D810E2CA3 lacks in 3D performance,
it certainly makes up for it in DVD playback.
On our 3D performance tests
test we used 4 boards with integrated accelerators: DFI CS65 SC (i815), Soyo
7VMA (VIA PM 133), the D810E2CB (i810E2) and the D810E2CA3 (i810E2).
boards based on Intel 815/810 series have a limited 3D triangle setup which
means that their integrated video adapter doesn't scale well with high end
processors during 3D gaming. Even at 640x480, the VIA PM133, with its integrated
3D Savage4 engine performs a bit better on a lower end Celeron. By using faster
processors, the integrated graphics adapter found on the i810/i815 cannot keep
up with VIA's PM133. However, we must release that all of these boards are not
poised as gaming platforms, so there's no point in judging these scores
The D810E2CB offers the best integrated sound capabilities
we've seen up to now. Based on Analog Devices' AD1885 CODEC, it comes with
SoundMax 2.0 drivers. SoundMax 2.0 drivers support all known DirectSound APIs
(A3D 1.0, DirectSound, EAX 1.0, EAX 2.0) through Sensaura algorithms. Sound
quality was definitely superior to any other motherboard we've tested with AC97
The sound interference was very
limited and the sound to noise (S/N) ratio seemed to be very good, definitely
better than any AC97 solution. In terms of CPU occupancy, the SoundMax 2.0
manages to compete with and even outperform many low cost PCI sound cards. More
information about the SoundMax 2.0 is available on PCstats SoundMax 2.0
As this board is made by Intel for Intel CPUs, it comes as no
surprise that overclocking is not supported. Nevertheless, since the board
utilizes an oscillator manufactured by ICS (9250BF 16), overclocking might be
possible through software reprogramming of registers of the ICS chip (till date,
we have been unable to locate software that supports this oscillator).
The Intel D810E2CA3 was designed to be a low cost solution
offering excellent performance under business applications. It is an appropriate
alternative for those users who are looking to pay only for what they need. Does
it deliver as a business focused solution? It most certainly does.
cheap and stable, has an excellent software bundle and a small footprint with
many features (integrated graphics, excellent sound output, 4 USB ports, support
of ATA 100, etc). In addition to business use, home users can find much utility
in this board as well.
All in all, when it comes to good, low cost
integrated motherboards, the D810E2CA3 is among the best we have ever
||Use the power of Google to search all of PCSTATS and the PCSTATS Forums. Tell us what you think of this new feature - FEEDBACK?||