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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

When it comes to building inexpensive, efficient, no-nonsense computer systems for the business world, Intel has long been the IT industry's first choice.

While some of the credit for this has to go Intel's extensive line of desktop processors, a large part of Intel's popularity in the computer industry is due to the excellent reputation of its integrated motherboards.

Intel's DG45ID motherboard is designed to fulfill a few different roles. Since it's based on Intel's G45 Express chipset, it's already got some street credit for having rock-solid stability and high production values, a must in office and corporate environments.

However Intel'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.

Of course, upgraded graphics are only half the story. The Intel DG45ID motherboard supports all socket 775 Intel processors, including the recent 45nm variants, running on a 800/1066/1333/1600MHz front side bus.

The four DDR2 memory slots support a maximum of 8GB 667/800 RAM in 64-bit versions of Windows.

Intel DG45ID Motherboard

User Manual, Drivers, (2) SATA cables, I/O Shield.

Despite being an mATX board, there's a fair amount of room for plugging things into the Intel DG45ID motherboard. Care of Intel's ICH10R southbridge, there are six SATA II ports capable of RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, as well as an eSATA port for external storage. Intel's southbridge doesn't support legacy IDE controllers, so older hard drives and optical drives aren't supported on the DG45ID.

Expansion slots come in the form of a single PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot, a pair of PCI Express x1 slots, and a single legacy PCI slot for older peripherals. Intel has also included connectivity for the more popular standards on the I/O panel: there are six USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, Firewire, eSATA, S/PDIF and 8-channel stereo output. Six more USB ports can be added thanks to headers at mid-board, with the use of an optional bracket.

The Intel DG45ID motherboard can be found on retail shelves for around $125 CDN, ($110 USD, £70 GBP), which makes it just about average for an integrated graphics motherboard with a comparable feature set. Naturally PCSTATS will be putting this motherboard through its paces as both a home theatre box and as the base of an office/productivity system.

Before we get to benchmarking though, let's take a closer look at what makes this motherboard tick...

Graphics Onboard the Intel G45 Express Chipset

The Intel G45 Express Chipset is a combination of Intel's popular P45 Express chipset paired with its Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD integrated graphics processor, and unlike some Intel's earlier integrated chipset designs, compromises very little to accommodate its on-board graphics.

The GMA X4500HD graphics processor contained within the G45 Express chipset, like the rest of the G45 platform, isn't a radical departure from the GMA X3500 that was introduced with the G35 Express. Astute readers may have noticed the eponymous 'HD' suffix that the newer chipset has acquired, and the reason its there is to herald the addition of Blu-ray and 1080p content playback with hardware acceleration, a first for Intel chipsets.

Intel's Clear Video has become the focus of the GMA X4500HD, with the goal of using the integrated graphics to do full hardware decoding for major video codecs. The massively parallel microarchitecture of a GPU makes it much more efficient at processing and decoding video than can be managed with even cutting-edge CPU designs, so as resolutions and bit rates for high-definition video climb upwards it becomes increasingly important for the GPU to shoulder more of the video processing load.

For the GMA X4500HD, this means that H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 can all be fully decoded using the on-board hardware, with only minor CPU overhead. The GMA X4500HD is DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4 compliant, and supports Display Port interface at resolutions up to 2560x1600 (motherboard manufacturer implementations vary).

We'll continue our look at the high definition video output capabilities of the Intel G45 Express chipset next, right after the jump...

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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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