Intel DG35EC: G35 mainstream mATX board

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A board's layout is important in several regards. The positioning of components can dictate compatibility with other products (third party heatsinks mainly) and also ease of installation. Poorly placed cable connectors can also disrupt airflow and make the system more thermally challenging.

The layout.

The board's layout is slightly below par. The 4-pin AUX12V power connector is near the back panel, meaning that cable will have to be either snaked under the CPU heatsink or behind it, preferably as tight to the board as possible to keep it out of any airflow paths. The northbridge cooler is also very close to the PCI-E 16x slot. Many third party graphics card coolers having mounting hardware on the "back side" of the card, which may cause interference. The position of the onboard FireWire header between the PCI and bottom PCI-E 1x slot is also not ideal.

Viewed from the bottom.

Visually, the most impressive thing about the DG35EC are the heatsinks. Both the northbridge and southbridge coolers are well-designed with a vast array of fins to maximize the cooling surface area. They are attached with wire spring clips to metal hooks on the PCB. The northbridge heatsink is a bit taller than most, measuring 38mm high from the PCB surface. From the photo above you can see that most of the capacitors are standard variety except in the voltage regulation circuitry for the CPU and the memory, which are solid caps.

Rear connectors.

The back panel supports VGA and DVI outputs as well as FireWire and gigabit ethernet. HDMI and S/PDIF are not available.

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