iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Intel D915GUX Mainboard based on Intel 915G

It's a low end model with the basic functionality for this chipset, so there is nothing surprising that we managed to get this mainboard only in the OEM package. Such mainboards are popular either among fans of the mainboards from this manufacturer or among system integrators and dealers of the off-the-shelf systems (the last two groups are obviously leading from the point of view of purchase amounts). However, despite the lack of a colorful box, the mainboard comes shipped with a CD with software. As we have recently written, you can find a lot of interesting utilities for common home users there.

The PCB layout is standard for this form factor, no peculiarities. Access to the only jumper (it's used to go to BIOS Setup as well as to enable BIOS Recovery) is not hampered, when the mainboard is installed into a PC case, its short description is provided on the PCB. +5 V Standby on the mainboard is indicated by a green LED. The 3-phase switching voltage regulator of the processor incorporates four 1200 uF capacitors and eight 560 uF capacitors. The PCB also contains voltage regulators for the PCI-E x16 bus (2x1000 uF) and for memory (6x1000 uF).

The PCB contains empty seats for a FireWire controller and its connectors. Mainboard dimensions – 305x245 mm ("wide" mATX, eight-screw mount, the bottom-left PCB edge may sag). The SMSC LPC47M182-NR chip is used for system monitoring. "Hardware aesthetes" should be reminded that Intel still refuses to use Super I/O from Winbond and ITE (favored so much by Taiwanese manufacturers) in its mainboards, preferring the products from a less-known (and initially American, like) SMSC. It controls:

  • CPU and memory voltage, +3.3 and +12 V
  • RPM of 3 fans
  • CPU temperature (by the embedded CPU sensor)
  • board temperature (by two on-board sensors)

Onboard ports, sockets, and connectors

  • CPU socket (Socket 775)
  • 4 x DDR2 SDRAM DIMM (differ by color, grouped in pairs)
  • 1 x PCI-E x16 (with a latch)
  • 1 x PCI-E x1
  • 2 x PCI 32-bit 33 MHz
  • Power supply: standard EPS12V (24 pins), AUX, and 4-pin connector for 12 V
  • 1 x FDD
  • 1 x IDE (Parallel ATA) – in the chipset
  • 4 x SATA (Serial ATA) – all in the chipset
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (for additional brackets)
  • Header for a chassis intrusion sensor
  • Header for the bracket with additional Audio-Outs
  • 3 fan headers (each with rpm control).

Back panel (left to right, blockwise)

  • PS/2 mouse and keyboard
  • LPT, 1 COM, D-Sub (VGA)
  • 3 x Audio (Mic-In, Line-In, Front)
  • 2 x USB
  • 2 x USB and 1 x RJ-45 (Fast Ethernet)

Package Contents

  • Documentation: Short user's guide in 11 languages including Russian
  • CD with software:
    • mainboard drivers
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • GameSpy GameTools
    • Intel Desktop Control Center
    • Intel Audio Studio
    • Intel Desktop Utilities
    • Intel Active Monitor
    • InterVideo Home Theater Silver
    • InterVideo WinDVD Creator Silver
    • LANDesk System Manager
    • MusicMatch JukeBox
    • Norton Internet Security 2004
    • NTI CD Maker Standard 6
    • RestoreIt Lite
    • DirectX 9.0

The software bundle demonstrates some heterogeneity to please any taste. See for yourselves: who may need LANDesk System Manager, MusicMatch JukeBox, Norton Internet Security 2004, NTI CD Maker, and RestoreIt Lite at the same time? On the other hand, chances are high that at least one program will be to customer's liking. Intel obviously counts on that.

Integrated Controllers

  • Audio, based on HDA codec Realtek ALC 860, (7.1 ch Audio) with front Audio I/O jacks
  • Network, based on the Intel 82562EZ chip supporting 10Base-T/100Base-TX

The integrated audio quality was tested in 16bit, 44 kHz using the RightMark Audio Analyzer 5.1 test application and the Terratec DMX 6fire sound card:

General results

FR passband ripple (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB: +0.14, -0.27Good
Noise level , dB (A): -88.9Good
Dynamic range, dB (A): 88.1Good
THD, %: 0.0038Very good
Intermodulation distortions, %: 0.013Very good
Channel crosstalk, dB: -91.3Excellent

General performance: Very good.


Jumpers and switches Configuration jumper Normal/Config/BIOS Recovery
In BIOS v6.00PG from IntelMemory timings+tCL, tRCD, tRP, tRASmin
Memory frequency selection+Auto, DDR2-266, DDR2-333, DDR2-400, DDR2-533, DDR2-667
PCI/PCI-E x1 bus setup  
PCI/PCI-E x1 frequency divider setup  
PCI IRQ manual assignment 
FSB frequency setup+ Default, -2%–+4% to the nominal value at 1% steps
CPU multiplier+ x8–x50
CPU core voltage control 
Memory voltage control +1.8, 1.85, 1.95, 2 V
Chipset voltage control  
PCI-E bus voltage control  

We used BIOS 0234, the latest available BIOS version at the time of our tests.

Preliminary test results

  ASUS P5GD2 Premium Intel D915GUX
Return to Castle Wolfenstein, 800x600x32 229 233
Adobe Photoshop 7.0, script execution 00:08:23 00:08:21
DivX 5.1 Pro encoding 00:07:20 00:07:21
7-zip archiving 00:07:38 00:07:38


Dmitry Majorov (destrax@ixbt.com)
October 1, 2004

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