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Intel Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K Review

ccokeman    -   January 2, 2011
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Closer Look:

The DH67BL (Bearup Lake) motherboard is a MicroATX design that is packed full of functionality. This board is built using the Intel H67 PCH chipset and is designed for use with Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors that use the Socket 1155 package. While the DP67BG motherboard is built for the power user, the DH67BL is built for the mainstream user that is going to be utilizing it for the multimedia capabilities of the Sandybridge processor family and H67 chipset. This board includes Intel's Gigabit LAN, 10-Channel High Definition audio, SATA 6GB/s, and USB 3.0 technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The I/O panel features most of the connectivity for the DH67BL including the display outputs if you choose to use the built-in capabilities of the Intel HD 3000 graphics. Starting from the left, there is a single eSATA port, six of the fourteen possible USB 2.0 ports, a single RJ-45 Ethernet port for the Integrated Intel Pro gigabit network controller, a single DVI-I SL and HDMI 1.4 port that support dual independent displays, two USB 3.0 ports with 5GB/s signaling colored blue, and the audio connectivity for the 10-channel Intel High Definition audio that supports multi-streaming. There are five analog ports with an SPDI/F Out on the I/O panel, while an SPDI/F In is onboard along with the front panel connections. Expansion is limited, as you might guess on a MicroATX board, but there is a single 16x PCIe 2.0 slot, a pair of 1x PCIe slots, and a single PCI slot.

 

 

Across the bottom of the PCB, you find most of the additional connectivity for the DH67BL. From the left, you have the front panel audio connection, the Internal SPDI/F connection, four USB 2.0 headers for eight ports, and the Clear CMOS jumper - something Intel is still fond of even though the board partners have moved on.

 

 

On the right hand side of the PCB are the front panel connections for the power switches and LEDs. There are a total of five SATA ports; two SATA 6GB/s ports and three SATA 3GB/s ports with one additional red one supporting the use of an eSATA connection. Intel Rapid Storage Technology allows these ports to support RAID 0,1,5,10. Further up, you have the ATX 24-pin main power supply connection, IR ports, and debug connection.

 

 

Along the top there is not much to talk about, but there are a few fan connection headers for the front fan, CPU fan and the rear fan. The auxiliary power connection for the CPU is a 4-pin instead of the more common 8-pin design seen on power user grade boards. Between the rear fan header and power connection is the CHiL 8104 digital power controller.

 

 

Around the socket there is not a lot to speak about, but one thing that stands out on an Intel board is the lack of a Foxconn bracket assembly. If you choose to use a larger-than-stock cooling solution, there is plenty of room to accommodate it as even a low profile solution should have no problems here. The four DIMM slots support up to a total of 32GB of DDR3 1066 or 1333MHz memory in a dual-channel configuration using voltages from 1.2v to 1.8v for added flexibility. One note is that pretty much all the modules I tried in this board booted up with no problem, something I had a problem with when I tested the Clarkdale processors last year on the Tom Cove H55 board. The lack of heat sinks lets you know that this is not an enthusiast or gamer board, but there is still a single heat sink on board to keep the PCH cool.

 

 

This is the board I tested the Core i5 2500K on, as well as the Core i7 2600K when checking the graphics performance of the Integrated Intel Graphics. Overclocking was attempted, but any move away from the timings set by default ended with a no POST black screen. Adjusting the Turbo multipliers was not an available option, so the only speed bumps you will see with this board are when you enable EIST and Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology in the BIOS. That's fine since this board is not targeted for that segment of the market, although there needs to be support for that segment.




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