The Intel DG965OT motherboard is a microATX motherboard with an LGA-775 socket for Core 2 Duo and similar processors. Features are:
- Up to 8GB DDR2 SDRAM
- G965 Integrated video processor (X3000)
- 10/100/1000 Integrated Ethernet
- 6 SATA II (3Gbps) internal ports
- 2 IEEE 1394 ports (one internal, one external)
- 10 USB 2.0 ports (4 internal, 6 external)
- High-Definition Audio with 5.1 and S/PDIF external outputs
- 2 PCI connectors
- 1 PCI Express 16x connector (for an sVDO card)
The chipset coolers are passive.
The integrated audio sounds fine to my old, dull ears. The backplane jacks include TOSLINK and 5.1 channel output. We use TOSLINK and have configured MythTV to use AC3 and DTS pass-through.
The integrated video works well with 720p and 1080i OTA programs. Although the hardware has a variety of acceleration capabilities, the drivers don't enable them. Nonetheless, the drivers support XVideo for scaling, and the processor is more than capable of handling the rest without working up a sweat.
I see some tearing, which I hope future versions of Intel's driver will fix. Meanwhile, choosing Linear deinterlacing has reduced the tearing.
Any decent, quiet cooler can work. I use a Zalman 7000, with the fan set to low.
The quirk about the integrated video is that the board has only a VGA connector. If you want DVI or HDMI, you need an add-on card that sits in the the PCI Expression 16x slot. These cards are not easy to find. I purchased an Asus "TV Connect to TV" card from Amazon. My understanding is that any sVDO card will do, even if it is branded for HP, Lenovo, or whatever. It's just a matter of which connectors you want. Some cards are DVI, and some are HDMI.
I've had no major problems with the integrated audio, video, network, or USB. I haven't use the ATA, IEEE 1394, or floppy connectors.
Personally, I think this board makes a fine frontend-only board, not perfect, but it meets our needs and let us build a decent, inexpensive front-end.