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Old November 14, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Default Motherboard selection conundrum

Hi All!

I am trying to figure out some details on a build:

GPU - EVGA 8800 Ultra

CPU - Q6600

PSU - OCZ GameXStream 700W Power Supply

Heatsink - Thermalright ULTRA-120 Extreme 6 Heatsink + 120 MM fan

Case - Antec P182SE

Optical - Samsung SH-S203N Black SATA DVD+RW 20X8X16

OS - Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition 64BIT

RAM - OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 4GB 4X1GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-12 240PIN

Monitor - Samsung SyncMaster 245B 24IN Widescreen Black LCD Monitor 1920X1200

Sound - Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Music

HD - Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache (Since I have a 500GB external, and they are relatively cheap, I guess 500 GB is good for now, I can always get another one later)

SO

Now I am left trying to decide on a motherboard to put all this stuff on.

680i? p35? x38?

ASUS P5N32-E SLI Nforce 680i? (This is my current choice)
ASUS Maximus Formula?
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Old November 14, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Couple of questions for you:
Do you plan to OC? IF so how much of an Over Clock are you looking for?
Do you plan on upgrading the CPU but not the motherboard in the next year'ish?
When are you planning on building? Can it be put off untill next quarter for example?

I would personally stay away from a 680s just because they are more temperamental when it comes to overclocking quads (plus the 780 will be out soon). P35s are showing just as good results (if not better) than the x38 BUT your future upgrade path is slightly less. So IF you do want to upgrade to a new PCIe 2 graphics card late next year or the new quads then maybe a x38 would be a better choice.

Personally I would get either the Asus Max Formula NON SE version or a gigabyte x38 DQ6 and swap out the OCZ for some Mushkin XP PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB. IF you plan on HIGH OC's then 8500 ram is the way to go (assuming that your quad will ever let you get THAT high). Next quarter the new intel quads will be out (unless you count the new $1200 extreme quad that was just released) and I would swap out the q6600 for one then.

Just my 2 cents.
AkG
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Old November 14, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Couple of questions for you:
Do you plan to OC? IF so how much of an Over Clock are you looking for?
Do you plan on upgrading the CPU but not the motherboard in the next year'ish?
When are you planning on building? Can it be put off until next quarter for example?

I would personally stay away from a 680s just because they are more temperamental when it comes to overclocking quads (plus the 780 will be out soon). P35s are showing just as good results (if not better) than the x38 BUT your future upgrade path is slightly less. So IF you do want to upgrade to a new PCIe 2 graphics card late next year or the new quads then maybe a x38 would be a better choice.

Personally I would get either the Asus Max Formula NON SE version or a gigabyte x38 DQ6 and swap out the OCZ for some Mushkin XP PC2-6400 4GB 2X2GB. IF you plan on HIGH OC's then 8500 ram is the way to go (assuming that your quad will ever let you get THAT high). Next quarter the new intel quads will be out (unless you count the new $1200 extreme quad that was just released) and I would swap out the q6600 for one then.

Just my 2 cents.
AkG
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Old November 14, 2007, 02:30 PM
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Vendor: I really like anything from Asus, I recently had a bad experiance with a Gigabyte board so I would avoid them. I'm not sure about EVGA build quality but I hear they are decent. DFI is also a good choice if you are willing to spend the extra money (and are planning a major overlock).

Chipset: I am currently using the P35 and I like it a lot. I think the X38 is a bit too expensive for what you are getting. 680i is good as well if you are planning on adding an extra videocard but if not you probably don't need it. Decide which features you need (SLI, Raid, 1066 RAM, 1333 FSB, etc...) and then decide on the board. I personally see P35 as the best bang for your buck at the moment.

Last edited by Asspigeon; November 14, 2007 at 02:39 PM.
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Old November 14, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses guys!

Well, your advice sounds good and that's one of the debates I've been having. SLI sounds like a great idea, and I can only imagine the power of dual 8800 Ultras, but at the same time I know that in actual execution they don't always live up to the hype.

I do plan on OC, so that is another consideration. As to how much, I guess that depends on what I'm doing, but I would like to see that Q6600 get up to around 3.6.

That memory does look like it would do the trick, although it is more expensive than the OCZ stuff I was looking at. Is it worth the extra?

I am still learning about this stuff and am reading articles and reviews like crazy, but sometimes it gets more confusing than anything else, which is why I decided to try here.

I think your suggestion about the x38 makes a lot of sense, and the ability to upgrade the CPU and GPU next year are also strong considerations.
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Old November 14, 2007, 04:02 PM
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Default X16 Pci 1.0

If you get a PCI 1.0, P35, X16 and just want to run one of "next years" cards you probably won't see much difference between PCI 2.0. or PCI 1.0/1 X16.

The latter has still got a bit of headroom or so I'm told.
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Old November 14, 2007, 04:06 PM
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I guess when I say "next year" I mean "some time in the future as yet to be determined when something comes out that totally kicks my current card's butt" but with the Ultra that'll be a while :D
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Old November 14, 2007, 04:20 PM
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Default 6 weeks-8weeks

I think they are scheduled to release the flagship G92's in January.

You may be better off with a GTX or GT and ocing them for now. Then you could switch to one of the latest and greatest next year.

SLI seems to be a waste of money price:performance-wise so just run one "flagship product" instead. The SLI boards often have a lot of very desirable features even if you dont want SLI. Additionally X38 and SLI currently dont work.

On the other-hand crossfire runs quite well and there are supposed to be some fantastic crossfire options next year along-side the phenom.

If there is a chance you want to run dual high end cards you might be better off waiting to see how the spider performs c.w. SLI.

just some thoughts.
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Old November 14, 2007, 04:31 PM
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My choices? Check out my sig for 2 Q6600s running @ 3.6Ghz.... both are running under water.

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Old November 14, 2007, 11:17 PM
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Avoid X38. Overpriced and add no real funtionality compared to P35 unless using Xfire.

I bought the X38-DQ6 and hated it intensely. I ended up sending it back to NCIX for refund - restock fee. It had massive BIOS problems as well as 4x1G performance issues, as well as a host of other problems. I think X38/48 will someday be a great chipset, but at the moment nothing more than a novelty. I see it as a push to get DDR3 rolling as no-one is making big bucks on DDR2 nowadays.

What I ended up doing is going for the DFI P35-T2R as it seems to have high Quad Proc FSB capabilities (although not the easisest to accheive said high FSB) which will come in handy with the new 1333 FSB proc in the 45nm product line-up. The problem is that the 333 FSB means lower multi's and also means that higher FSB chips will be allot more.

Now what I am hoping is that this board will get me into a Yorkie for a decent price after they release in the midrange in Jan-Feb and that will hold me over until Nahalem. Time will tell if this is a sound plan.

I also agree with the above post about PCI-E 2.0. I highly doubt that 2.0 will be needed untill the gen after next.
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