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Intel D850GB Motherboard

D850GB Specs per Intel | Reviews from other sites MaximumPC | Tom's hardware | AnandTech

Intel stands behind their product... waaayyyyy behind it. Read on to see what I mean.

Revised on

Originally reviewed on June 21st, 2001

The Good:

  • Cool System Monitor software.
  • Fast RDRAM support.
  • New i850 chipset.
  • CNR slot.
  • Rapid BIOs.
  • 400MHz system Bus (100MHz x 4).
  • Low temps on CPU when running extensive processing.

The Bad:

  • Expensive.
  • No AGP pro.
  • Difficult CPU mounting hardware.
  • Can't use Voodoo cards for video.
  • Hard to access advanced BIOs features.
  • Gaming not that great.
  • Benchmarks slower than other boards in almost every area.
  • LAN port didn't work (see notes).
  • Terrible support policy.

If you're looking for a motherboard that's stable and slow then step right up partner. This 3 legged horse is for you!

Last month I had a system meltdown of my FIC AZ11 motherboard with 800MHz Athlon T'bird cpu. Don't know what happened. It just started acting strange, you know what I'm talking about if you are a system builder or computer enthusiast.

I thought it was time to get a new system. Something I could really get my teeth into. I started shopping around and found this Intel board, the D850GB.

This board is pricey. At $215 that's a pinch. This board better perform I thought to myself as I flipped out the American Express card. I needed a cpu so I picked up a 1.3Ghz CPU that was bundled with 128MB of RIMM memory. Don't forget the special power cable you'll need to power that AMP hungry CPU. That'll set you back another 9$. And don't forget that you'll need a special P4 ready case and power supply (ATX12V) on top of all of that.

So I run home in between client calls to assemble my system. I'm late of invoices, email and general computer duties so I needed to get to work.

Got the system put together in my Antec SX1240 tower case, plugged in all the wires, special power supply cable, special mounts for the CPU and on the safe side I left out all my cards but the video to start the scratch installation process. Got through that okay, but it kept detecting a UNKNOWN DEVICE whenever I got to the desktop. I pointed the New Hardware Found dialog box to the CDROM for detection but it didn't find anything. Of course Intel's skimpy manual doesn't mention it.

Okay so I got everything loaded. Everything with the exception of the LAN port built on the mobo. I loaded the driver and still nothing... Popped in a Kingston KNE110TX NIC to get online with my DSL and found some updated drivers. Downloaded and applied those but still nothing. tried to call Intel but the hold time didn't jive with my schedule so I dropped the issue until I had time to look into it.

A few days go by and its time to call Intel. I called the motherboard assistance line at 800-404-2284. I took everything out of the system but the video card, a Radeon DDR 32. Got a tech on the line at 7am sharp when they open. We spent the next 3 hours diagnosing the LAN port not working, we did everything under the sun, flashed the BIOs, reinstalled drivers, removed drivers, registry tweaks, you name it. nothing worked. The tech wanted to keep trying (guessing) the problem and I had enough and said I wanted another board. I told the tech that I bought this board because of the Intel moniker and expected nothing but top quality support... he gave me another number to call... okay. My fingers start walking. I called 800-INTEL4U (800-468-3548) and got another tech on the line (it's now close to 12 noon. I started this expedition at 7am, remember... I had to give the girl my case number (don't you love those. I guess there are just tons of John Smith's calling Intel for tech support) and was told its going to take 20 working days for my board to be repaired... that's repaired... not replaced. My brand new out of the box 4 day old 215$ Intel motherboard is going to be hoisted up on the rack. I informed the tech on the phone that I expected more from Intel for a DOA board. She said okay... I wanted another cross shipped and she said they don't do that. The policy is what it is. She said if I wasn't satisfied with her answer she would escalate it. She said that a manager would call me within 30 minutes to talk about it.

25 minutes later... phone rings... I re-explain the situation. Manager says that's tough. The policy is what the policy is. I tried to persuade him with the fact the I run a website with 2,500 visits a day and that didn't phase him.

So, the morel of the story is. If you want a Intel motherboard, you need to heed these pathetic policies that the brass dream up. Intel basically caters to the big OEM guys like Gateway and Dell and the little guys like you and me are NOT AS IMPORTANT. Intel says they stand behind their product. What you need to know is they stand WAY BEHIND their product.

Summary; if you got money to burn, and a tolerance level of a dead person buy Intel, otherwise get the replacement board I got which is a ASUS P4T. I just installed this board today so a detailed analysis isn't ready yet. So far so good. The P4T is quick, boots up as fast as the Intel (if not faster) and is cheaper by 6 bucks with loads more features.


--- Michael 

with sound & nic
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This is my case.


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