iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Intel D925XCV Mainboard
Based on Intel 925X

At present this is the top mainboard from this company. Perhaps the most interesting things that we can note in this mainboard are a network controller from the third party manufacturer and an audio codec from a completely unexpected (for Intel mainboards) Realtek instead of Analog Devices habitual for Intel mainboards. However the latter issue may be due to the lack of HDA codecs available from Analog Devices at the time this mainboard was designed. We shall withhold detailed comments for now, because we are reviewing a preproduction sample.

The PCB layout is usual for Intel – a lot of empty space along the left PCB edge, but it does almost no harm to the mainboard due to a moderate number of connectors. Audio-In is not located very conveniently (before the PCI/PCI-E slots), with a video card installed the access to memory modules will be hampered, and the density of slots will hamper manipulations with them. Access to the jumper is not hampered, when the mainboard is in a case, its 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 five 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 layout provides space for a TPM connector, which is left empty. Mainboard dimensions – 305x245 mm ("wide" ATX, ten-screw mount, all mainboard edges are firmly fixed). The National Semiconductor PC8374LOIBU/VLA chip is used to monitor:

  • CPU and memory voltage, +3.3 and +12 V
  • RPM of 4 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 DDR-2 SDRAM DIMM (differ by color, grouped in pairs)
  • 1 x PCI-E x16 (with a latch)
  • 2 x PCI-E x1
  • 4 x PCI (32bit, 33MHz)
  • Power connectors: standard EPS 12 V (24 pins), AUX and 2 4-pin connectors for 12 V
  • 1 x FDD
  • 1 x IDE (Parallel ATA) – in the chipset
  • 4 x SATA (Serial ATA) – all in the chipset
  • 2 connectors for brackets with additional USB (2.0) ports
  • 2 connectors for the bracket with additional FireWire ports
  • 1 x CD/DVD audio connector
  • Connector for a case open sensor
  • Headers for additional Audio-Outs and S/PDIF
  • 4 x fan connectors (three of them are with RPM control)

Back panel (left to right, blockwise)

  • PS/2 mouse and keyboard
  • 1 x LPT, 1 x COM, S/PDIF-Out (Coaxial and TosLink)
  • 2 x Audio (Center/Sub, Rear)
  • 3 x Audio (Mic-In, Line-In, Front)
  • 2 x USB and FireWire
  • 2 x USB and 1 x RJ-45 (Gigabit Ethernet)

Package Contents

  • Documentation: Short user's guide on 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

Note that we deliberately skipped the description of cables and other "wiring stuff", because it's a preproduction mainboard. But to all appearances the software bundle will be the same. The latter 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 Realtek ALC 880 codec (7.1 ch Audio) with front Audio I/O and S/PDIF jacks
  • Network controller based on the Marvell 88 E 8050-NNC chip supporting 10 Base-T/100 Base-TX/1000 Base-T
  • FireWire based on the Agere FW323-06 chip supporting three FireWire ports

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:

FR passband ripple (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB:
+0.14, -0.16
Very good
Noise level , dB (A):
Dynamic range, dB (A):
THD, %:
Very good
Intermodulation distortions, %:
Very good
Channel crosstalk, dB:

General performance: Very good (details).


Jumpers and switches Configuration jumper Normal/Config/BIOS Recovery
In BIOS v6.00PG from Intel Memory timings + tCL, tRCD, tRP, tRASmin
Memory frequency selection + Auto, DDR2-266, DDR2-333, DDR2-400, DDR2-533, DDR2-667
PCI-E x16 bus setup -  
PCI/PCI-E x1 bus setup -  
PCI/PCI-E x1 frequency divider setup + Default, PCI=36.36, 40 MHz, PCI-E=101.32, 102.64, 103.96, 105.28, 106.6, 107.92, 109.24 MHz
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 0218, the latest available BIOS version at the time of our tests.

Preliminary test results

Intel D925XCV
Return to Castle Wolfenstein, 800x600x32
Adobe Photoshop 7.0, script execution
DivX 5.1 Pro encoding
7-zip archiving


Dmitry Majorov (destrax@ixbt.com)
8 January, 2004

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