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Old February 22, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Default Intel D975XBX2 vs. the ASUS P5B deluxe….P965 vs. 975X

Newbie question here.
Intel D975XBX2 vs. the ASUS P5B deluxe….P965 vs. 975X
I am building my first custom designed computer and have decided to go with the:
Conroe E6600 Core Duo 2.4 GHz processor
2 GB RAM
EVGA e-GeForce 7600GT nVidia 256MB PCI-Express
3 Seagate Barracuda hard drives
Coolermaster Centurion 5 silver mid-tower ATX Case with 380 WATT PSU
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX CPU cooler and a fan for the hard drives
Here is what I plan to do with this new rig. It will be solely dedicated to processing large batches of multiple RAW and TIFF files in PhotoShop CS2. I plan to use an even more memory intensive program in the future Adobe Lightroom with Vista 64 BIT. It will NOT be used for gaming, Internet or MP3 burning/ripping. I state this because I think digital photo buffs have much different needs from gamers. I do NOT overclock right now. I think I MAY get in to oc’ing as this system gets older and I need to squeeze everything out of it but that is maybe 4 years down the road when I decide to learn more about oc’ing. I may add another hard drive and set up a RAID configuration in the future when I learn more about this. My passion is photography not computers – but now that photography is digital I am going to commit myself to learning this stuff since it will improve my photography.

I decided to stay away from RAID at this time. My passion is photography not configuring hard drives and worrying about redundancy or data loss. I have a Maxtor OneTouch external HD for backup.

Any advice? I really am stumped as to what motherboard to get. I am not too concerned about the cost – I’d like to get the best possible mobo for my needs. However, I don’t want to spend money on a mobo that has bells and whistles that I will never use like remote on-off switch, ability to play MP3s while it is powered off, or dual video card ports, crossfire ready, HighDef. But, I don’t mind spending more if it means I can safely not worry about upgrading for an even longer period of time in the future. I want a mobo I can grow in to. The mobo must be good for an overclocking novice.
Can anyone suggest the best motherboard for 2 GB RAM and an Intel E6600 2.4 Ghz processor? It seems to me the Intel D975XBX2 and ASUS P5B deluxe mobos are high-end boards designed for the Extreme series processors. Am I wrong? Would they really buy better performance over a cheaper mobo with 2GB RAM and a E6600 2.4 Ghz duo core Intel processor? Or am I paying for features I wouldn't use like easier to extreme advanced overclock BIOS, slots I'll never use? Does one of the two perform better at stock while NOT overclocked? Is one more likely to perform at a higher temperature or more likely get my PSU to fry it? Is one easier to be overclocked by a novice? Is the P965 chip better than the 975X for speed and performance when UNclocked?
Mobos bewilder me – their array of slots and features get my head spinning. I can’t seem to grasp them. Thus I seek your help.
I am a photographer, not a techie. So I ask you bigger-brained guys: Which of these motherboards best suit my needs as a digital photographer who may oc in the future and whose future plans include 4 Hard Drives in RAID. I will also increase the RAM to 6 GBs when I go to Adobe Lightroom on Vista 64 bit in the future.
Also what type of 2gb RAM should I use with this E6600 processor and motherboard? DDR2 667 or the DDR2 800?
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Old February 22, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Again- my usual disclaimer-- not an expert-- but here goes..

Those motherboards you've chosen are very good, feature-rich, overclocking beasts-- perhaps overkill if you're not planning on overclocking.

But here's the thing-- I think you'd be crazy not to overclock a C2D and most would agree- you can take a 200 dollar e4300 and turn it into a 700+ dollar chip in no time. I would urge you to spend less on the processor (if budget is an issue) and we could walk you through the OC very easily. For example, if you bought the e4300, you simply enter the bios, and change the fsb setting to 266 and voila- you've got the same speed as an e6600- change it to 333 and you're at 3.0 GHz-- those speeds are attainable on stock cooling with no other adjustments-- you could probably even do it without bothering with the monitoring programs (although I would recommend TAT). Even at this setting, the chip will still last you eight years.

Either way, I would still save some money on the motherboard- try a Gigiabyte GA 965P DS3 - only 170 bucks, and you can still overclock like that, and you don't have all the features you don't need.

After saving all that money, I would go for a faster GPU..it doesn't matter whether you're gaming or not..image processing is GPU intensive-- I know because I do alot of GIS work.

Everyone else- feel free to jump in here and lend your opinions.

ALSO--THAT PSU (power supply unit) IS INADEQUATE NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO (I think )
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Old February 22, 2007, 02:17 PM
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I am certain a better vid card is not needed for Photoshop, which is a 2D program. I won't be surfing or gaming with it.

I have never oc'ed before - which is why I'd like a mobo that will allow me to safely when I am confident. My passion is photography - not computers. So I need toget up to speed and will only get up to speed whenever my computer ceases to be able to do what I want it to do - process large batches of RAW and TIFF files.
So primarily I'd like a mobo that is STABLE and operates FAT at NON-overclocked state.

OK - I'll get a better PSU - I was lead to believe the Duo 2 cores operated at low temperatures and that the Intel board also was very heat efficient. SO I hoped that with a CPU fan, a good case and an extra fan that it would be fine.
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Old February 22, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Up to you!
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Old February 22, 2007, 04:32 PM
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I agree that the power supply might not be up to the job with 3 HDD's. I would go with the following.

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...y&promoid=1061

If you main concern is photoshop and you won't be overclocking the MB you choose really won't impact the performance of the system. You would be better off going with a slightly cheaper MB and using the extra money towards a better power supply, CPU or HDD.

For the CPU you could go up to a E6700, which is a few hundred more.

For the HDD I would recommend swapping one or two of the seagates out for a couple WD Raptor 150gb's. Or better yet, To save a few bucks. get one Raptor 150gb for your main drive, a Raptor 74gb for your scratch disk and 1 large Seagate for storage.
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Old February 22, 2007, 05:23 PM
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If you're down east I can point you towards a couple of used 36 gig raptors that are being sold for $125 for the pair.... :)
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Old February 22, 2007, 05:38 PM
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I have found when doing 2D and 3D GIS that a faster video card speeds things up tremendously, but I did some reading about photoshop and it's not tuned to use the gpu much (although some of the plugins do), so I see what you mean about not needing much of a card.

Also found out that the previous versions of photoshop can only take advatage of 2GB of ram- anything beyond is a waste, but CS2 can use more. You probably knew this and are using CS2 anyway, but in case you aren't, it might be useful info.

Last edited by Babrbarossa; February 22, 2007 at 05:47 PM.
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Old February 23, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
If you're down east I can point you towards a couple of used 36 gig raptors that are being sold for $125 for the pair.... :)
Down east? You mean Scarborough?
Just joking. You know how we Torontonians feel T.O. is the center of the universe...
How's the park in Halifax that was ravaged by the storm a few years ago? Pretty town you have there!
Good price on the Raptor tho' - thanks.
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Old February 23, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babrbarossa View Post
Also found out that the previous versions of photoshop can only take advatage of 2GB of ram- anything beyond is a waste, but CS2 can use more. You probably knew this and are using CS2 anyway, but in case you aren't, it might be useful info.
There is much debate as to whether CS2 can use more than 2 GBs of RAM. Some people have installed 4 GBs in their system only to have XP Pro recognise about 3 of it. If one uses the /3 GB switch one can allocate 1 GB of the RAM to the Windows page file and one can set the CS2 preferences to increase it's allocation of RAM. From what I've read, people (those who use CS2 professionally) differ on the benefits of this and what XP Pro actually does when this set up is used.
The bottleneck with Photoshop isn't the CPU - I won't need more than the E6600. The bottle neck is the huge files being processed. The calculations aren't complex - a faster CPU won't help. What is helpful is a CPU's large cache size that allows it to take bigger bites of the equation at a time.
The real bottleneck is the amount of RAM one has. Often the files (if large batches of files are being processed simultaneously) force CS2 to use the hard drive scratch disk to transfer memory when the RAM is used up. So having a 3 HD set up speeds things up if you have the program, Windows file page and CS2 scratch disk allocated to separate drive, This will speed things up more than an even more powerful CPU. CS2 professionals are adamant that a better vid card beyond a 128 mb card has no additional effect on CS2 workflow. The bottleneck is the RAM memory, not vid card or the CPU. There is no high speed changing of video buffer modes with a 2D photo - just a massive large RAW file that requires simple mathematical operations done on it's pixel arrays.
The swapping of info from page file/scratch disk to RAM could be quickened with a SATA array but I am too new to computers to set one of these up. And don't know how to set up a good recovery strategy - yet.
The Raptor's would definitely speed things up -no doubt - but my research indicates they are not a cost effective way.

Hey - I am new to this stuff. My passion is photography - not this stuff. So I KNOW that I will need to learn it in order to be a better photgrapher. I just need a motherboard that will be FAST and STABLE for me NOW. And one that will still be advanced enough so that in the future when I have moved up the learning curve, I will be able to overclock easily and set up a RAID configuration.

SO please - any recommendations on a good motherboard that will serve my needs? I don't need one that has useless slots or remote access or is an extreme overclocker's wet dream.
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Old February 23, 2007, 06:42 AM
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but thanks for your responses!

I will definitely get a better PSU in light of your comments.

..just need the right mobo first.
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