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Intel D810E2CA3 Motherboard Review

Intel D810E2CA3 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
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.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel Mar 18 2001   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Intel D810E2CA3

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 same.

The display in all resolutions up to 1024x768 looked fine. At a display setting of 1280x1024 and above, we began to encounter some blurring.

The graphics driver allows for multiple gamma settings that can be set automatically according to the executed application.

Lastly, the 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).

All 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 harshly.

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 support.

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 article.

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.

It's 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 seen.

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Contents of Article: Intel D810E2CA3
 Pg 1.  Intel D810E2CA3 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  First Impressions
 Pg 3.  — Integrated graphics performance

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   11 / 18 / 2018 | 1:22PM
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