Intel D865GBF - Page 4

..:: D865GBF ďBayfield" Layout: Southbridge & Memory Areas ::..

The bottom right hand corner of the D865GBF is one of the cleanest areas component wise of the motherboard, especially considering thereís well, nothing there! This is typical of integrated motherboard designs from Intel, and can usually be seen on nearly all of their motherboards that are heavily integrated in an ATX form factor. The bulk of the traces and chips begin alongside the fourth PCI slot. The first physical items that we come across in this area of the motherboard are a single black header for an optional rear USB 2.0 expansion bracket, the ICH-5 Southbridge, and finally this are also houses the system battery.

As we move up the board, we next come across the system BIOS chip, and the blue BIOS configuration jumper, along with the onboard system buzzer. This BIOS configuration jumper is only of major concern if you plan on adjusting options that are not available to you normally, albeit only one or two items. There are also solder points for a Clear CMOS jumper, although it is physically absent from our PCB. The BIOS also jumps out as it is not in the usual brown connector, rather it is soldered directly to the PCB itself. Located directly above the front panel header, we come across both of the Serial ATA connectors. The last items in this area are a two-pin chassis intrusion header, and the last three-pin power connector for the front system fan.

The area around the four DIMMís is, once again, very well organized. The two main IDE connectors are placed high on the board, as is the floppy connector. The black IDE connector is the primary, while the white connector is the secondary. The main ATX power connector is located in an ideal position and will aid in the proper airflow of the system by not being in the way. As we can see, there are tow setís of DIMMís, with each running on their own memory controller. In order to run in dual channel mode, you must place matching RAM in either DIMM0 or DIMM1. Lastly, we have the NSC PC87372 LPC Super I/O chip in the far upper right corner of the PCB.

Overall, the Intel D865GBF sports a very clean and well organized layout. The only two problems I can see with the layout of this board deal with the fact that if you want to swap RAM in or out, youíll have to first remove the graphics adapter to do so due to the positioning of the AGP slot and DIMMís. The small capacitor located under the locking tab on the AGP slot also could pose a small problem, but that wonít be anything major as these boards will more than likely end up in closed system where prying hands such as mine arenít a common problem. Now that weíve seen the design, letís see what the BIOS offers up.