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The Integrated Video Solution

The integrated graphics accelerator, or Direct 3D as Intel named it, is nothing impressive. Just like in the 810, 810E chips, Intel decided to implant a low cost video solution. We can accept such an accelerator on the lower cost motherboards such the ones featuring the 810 chips, but implanting a similar accelerator on 815 motherboards is less acceptable. Perhaps Intel is trying to make the 815 chip-set a new version of the low cost 810. It seems like they will have to do so in order to stabilize their 820 sales and maintain a relationship with RAMBUS in order to collect their royalties. In most scenarios, the integrated video on the 815 chip-set should perform better than the one on the 810, because the new one can operate at a higher clock speed.

Here is some 3DMARK 2000 numbers comparing the Integrated 815 accelerator to the Matrox G400 32MB video card. Unlike the 810 based mainboards, the 815 motherboards include an optional AGP port supporting AGP X4 that can be used to install a normal quality accelerator.

i815 Accelerator- 4Mb
Matrox G400- 32Mb
1246 Marks
2874 Marks

I donít think anyone will opt for the integrated video accelerator, as its performance is close to being horrible, however it should satisfy most office users. A better choice would have been not including an integrated video solution at all, as even the ones that will never use it will have to pay for it. Although some OEM assemblers will appreciate it for theyíre lower cost systems.

The bundle

The mainboard came packed with two IDE cables, one standard ATA/33 (40pins) and an ATA/66 compatible 80pin cable. One FDD cable was also present. Azza is one of the few companies that actually decided to include these options. The included userís manual covers almost everything a beginner would ever need, such as installing the CPU and RAM, and a full look at the BIOS with the explanations for every option. Not to forget a complete chapter focused on installing the drivers for the integrated video and sound solutions.

We applaud Azza for the quality software bundle, which comes with every single motherboard. First is a bonus pack featuring Virtual Drive, which is a CD-ROM emulator: you can run applications without the CD-ROM drive. You can copy & compress the CD programs to the hard-drive and run them from that source instead or inserting your CD every time. The second bonus is Virus Buster; which as you may guessed, is an Anti-Virus based application. The bonus CD#1 also includes all the required drivers for the motherboard.

The second CD is Azzaís own branded CD. It includes video clips on troubleshooting, including some interactive clips on their newest products. The third bonus CD is definitely something that many customers will appreciate. Itís the latest version of Linux Mandrake. Azza decided to take a similar strategy to Abitís whom a few months announced their official Linux distribution. The Mandrake distribution coming packed with the kit is the full official release, and is not modified or improved for Azza motherboards.

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