Intel D525MW Motherboard Review

On-board Peripherals

The chipset paired with the Atom D525 is the NM10 Express, which controls audio, USB, Ethernet, and SATA ports. This chipset also provides four PCI Express x1 lanes and two standard PCI slots, and “talks” to the CPU using a DMI bus at 2 GB/s (1 GB/s per direction).

The Intel D525MW has two SATA-300 ports, shown in Figure 4. It doesn’t have ATA-133 or floppy disk drive ports.

Intel D525MWFigure 4: SATA-300 ports

This motherboard has seven USB 2.0 ports, four soldered on the rear panel and three available through two headers located on the motherboard. It doesn’t have any USB 3.0 or FireWire ports.

The Intel D525MW supports audio in the 5.1 format. The audio is generated by the chipset using a Realtek ALC662 codec, which has a 98 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog outputs, a 90 dB signal-to-noise ratio for the analog inputs, up to a 96 kHz sampling rate for both inputs and outputs, 24-bit resolution for the outputs, and 20-bit resolution for the inputs. These specifications are good for the mainstream user, but if you are looking into working professionally with audio editing, you should look for a motherboard that provides an SNR of at least 97 dB and 24-bit resolution for the analog input.

The audio connectors at the rear panel are shared, which means that if you want to use a 5.1 analog speaker set, you will need to use the “mic in” and the “line in” connectors. The motherboard lacks an on-board optical SPDIF output on the rear panel, but you can install either a coaxial or optical SPDIF output installing an adapter on the header labeled “SPDIF.”

The D525MW has one Gigabit Ethernet port, controlled by a Realtek RTL8111E chip.

In Figure 5, you can see the motherboard rear panel, which resembles the typical panel we used to see five years ago, with PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse, VGA output, legacy serial and parallel ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and shared audio connectors.

Intel D525MWFigure 5: Motherboard rear panel

Besides the parallel and serial ports at the rear panel, there is one more legacy serial port available on a motherboard header. If you want to use it, you will need to buy the adapter, since it doesn’t come with the motherboard.

Figure 6 reveals the accessories that come with the D525MW: drivers and utilities DVD, SATA cables, case rear frame, and a sticker showing the motherboard connections to be glued inside the case.

Intel D525MWFigure 6: Accessories

Author: Rafael Coelho

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.

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