Intel DG33TL G33 Express chipset mATX motherboard

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The box's design screams excitement.

The package contents.

The board ships with two SATA data cables of the perferred locking variety, but no power adapters. Also included is an internal SATA to eSATA PCI bracket adapter for use with the red SATA port designated for eSATA use. The documentation warns, "Do not use the red external SATA (eSATA) connector to connect to an internal SATA drive," which is puzzling since normally any SATA port can function for external use with a proper adapter (such as the one included with the Antec MX-1 eSATA enclosure). It may be that Intel has wired this port and the included adapter in some proprietary fashion.

The DG33TL layout.

The board's layout is a bit of a mixed bag. We applaud putting the front panel header well away from the bottom of the board (great for fat clumsy fingers) and aligning the SATA ports vertically, but we absolutely hate the placement of the IDE connector. There is a perfect space for the IDE port beside the 24-pin ATX connector, but alas it is empty, housing only the traces of a non-existent floppy port. A 4-pin fan header is located at the top edge of the board for use with the CPU fan. Additional 3-pin headers are located at the rear of the board just above the PCI-E 16x slot and on the opposite side just above the SATA ports.

The northbridge heatsink stands 38mm tall.

A closer view of the chipset heatsinks.

The northbridge cooler is very close to the PCI-E 16x slot, which may pose problems with users who use video card coolers with hardware on the top (trace) side of the card. The heatsink's size is intimidating and confidence inspiring. The retention clip is latched onto a plastic frame on each side of the heatsink, which in turn, are attached to four metal hoops soldered directly to the PCB. Replacing it just isn't feasible. The much smaller southbridge heatsink is comprised of many well-spaced fins and is held on in a similar manner, but without the plastic frames. At first glance it appears chipset cooling will not be a problem.

Board's back panel.

The back of the board facilitates VGA and DVI connections as well as 6 x USB, FireWire, gigabit ethernet, and both analog and digital audio (via an optical TOSLINK connector). Note: The DG33TL is completely legacy free.

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