Intel D810E2CB Motherboard
Most of us are familiar with Intel
through their long and successful presence in the processor business. They have
also managed to accrue a good portion of the budget/OEM market with their i810
based products. Intel is about to introduce a new motherboard based on the
i810E2 chipset the D810E2CB.
As we will see in this review, this product has some
unique characteristics that set it apart over other integrated low cost
motherboards . And aside from low cost computer systems, Intel intends to put
this product to work in various other purposes.
About the i810E2
The i810E2 is an integrated chipset whose graphics are based on
the 82810E Graphics Memory Controller Hub (GMCH). The GMCH handles all graphics
and main memory system workload. It also features ACPI functions and all known
power management features.
Also part of the i810E2 chipset is the 82801BA I/O
Controller Hub (ICH2) which directly connects motherboard peripherals such as
the graphics, memory, the AC97 controller, a LAN controller, the ATA 100
controller, 4 USB ports and PCI add in cards and provides for a 266 MB/sec
bandwidth (twice the bandwidth of the PCI bus).
The system and video BIOS are situated in a 4Mbit Firmware Hub (FWH), the
82802AB. Interestingly, the D810E2CB features a firmware chip made by SST
instead of the Intel's own 82802AB.
The board we received is a pre production sample and
included the optional LAN controller and connector.
The D810E2CB is by
far the smallest motherboard tested here at PCstats. In fact, it is one of the
smallest motherboards ever made. The size derived from its FlexATX form factor
makes it ideal for ultra small sized systems and for other specialized
applications where system space is limited. As this board features a video
accelerator, in built audio (AC97) and a network board, all of which are
integrated, no additional cards are necessary for system operation. With that
being the case, the D810E2CB sports 2 full sized PCI slots and 2 DIMM
The board layout is very well designed: all sockets and slots are
well positioned, allowing easy hardware installation. 2 fan headers are provided
and the CPU socket itself can handle mid sized heatsinks. It is the interference
of a single capacitor which prevents the use of much larger cooling
A system speaker and a USB header for 2 additional USB ports
have been provided.
The D810E2CB features Intel's Rapid BIOS Boot which
reduces the POST and BIOS booting process by about 80%. BIOS flashing within the
Windows operating system is allowed with the Intel Express BIOS Update
Included with this board comes Norton Internet Security 2000; a
suite of applications consisting of the following applications: Norton Antivirus
2000, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton Privacy Control and Norton Parental
Control. Encryption Plus Secure Export, which allows compression and encryption
of confidential information, has also been included in the software
System operating power and thermal conditions can be monitored
with Intel's Active Monitor, which unlike other monitoring applications requires
only 1% of system resources. All of the aforementioned software along with the
board's unified drivers can be installed easily through Intel Express
The installation of the D810E2CB was simple and problem free.
Installing of Windows 98 and all the board's drivers was a snap driver
maturity has always been evident in Intel based platforms. There is also a very
useful ATA utility in the latest driver set which displays the ATA protocol and
allows the configuration of each IDE peripheral connected to the