Patchou's Cabana

The personal blog of Patchou

Intel new chipsets & video

It’s nice to have a blog. You can talk about as many things as you want and you don’t even need to navigate through FarmVille messages and weight loss advertisements.

Today, I feel like talking about technology. While selecting the hardware for an office my company is opening in Montreal, I came across an interesting issue regarding motherboard. The P7Q57-M DO is a nice product, from ASUS. It features one of the latest chipsets from Intel (the Q57 Express), lots of cool Intel technologies for businesses, the latest CPUs, etc… go ahead, check-out the links. Heck, it’s even “ready for Windows7″! incredible stuff I tell you.

If you check the picture of the motherboard, you’ll notice it has a bunch of graphic ports: a VGA port, a DVI port and even an HDMI port. Asus’ web site mentions the max resolution for each one, bpp and even frequency. All that for 135$ CAD at Newegg, pretty good deal right? well, maybe, but there’s a catch: if you use one of those cool Core i7 processors Intel has been distributing recently, those graphic ports serve no purpose. The fact is, the new H55/57 line of chipsets from Intel needs a graphic unit embedded in the main CPU to output video. Unfortunately, this tiny detail seems to be mentioned nowhere on Intel’s Q57 chipset page or on Asus’ web site. I bought two of those cards and I can tell you this information is nowhere to be found in the manual either.

Surprisingly, there seems to be no review of this motherboard on hardware specialized web sites, and this is why I felt I had to write this post. I hope it will prevent some of you to make the same mistake I did when I bought those motherboards. If you buy one and plan on using the integrated graphic ports, checkout this support page on Intel’s web site to see which CPU will give you video. As for me, I’ll stick to an i7 and I’ll just combine it with an ATI 5450 (50$, twice as powerful as Intel’s integrated solution and it does not even require a fan). The end result is nice, I just wish Intel and especially Asus had done their homework when publishing their specs and manual.

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