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Old May 4, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Default Time to upgrade - opinions, please

Heyas, all.

I'm sick of my CPU limiting performance since I picked up an EVGA 8800GT about two months ago - plus my multiboxing in Everquest/WoW seems to be limited by both my CPU speed and memory limitations (2GB) under XP32. I am currently running an AMD 3500+ (yes, that is single core); I picked up a X2 4200+ for cheap from someone locally, but it's going in my wife's computer (I told her that she's forcing me to buy other hardware for me, and she just rolled her eyes; Thank goodness for my large tax return this year!).

I took a look, and shook my head at prices for mainboards - all I could find locally at Memory Express (in Edmonton) were 790i's or Asus Maximus boards in stock, and while having 3-way SLI would be nice, it won't happen for me. /grin

I primarily play EQ (yes, old EQ, not EQ2), WoW, and various FPS's like TF2, CSS, etc.

I was looking into the following

Gigabyte P35-DS3L
4GB (2x2GB) RAM
Intel Quadcore Q6600

Although even SLI would be nice, I can't justify for myself (and what I play) getting an SLI setup. Single card should be fine. I have 1 IDE DVD-RW and another SATA DVD-RW, and 2xSATA HD's (1x160, 1x500). The more USB ports/headers the better, as I have an internal memory card reader that uses a USB header (it's a combo floppy drive/memcard reader - hmm...floppy drive...I love legacy stuff!). The IDE drives I'll be leaving with the old motherboard for a Linux install for web/ftp/development stuff, so I really don't care for the IDE connection except for maybe that IDE DVD-RW. Firewire would be nice (I have a DV camcorder to connect in every once in a while), but not absolutely neccesary as I can always purchase a PCI firewire card.

I don't really do any overclocking (I'm more interested in stability), but as the Quad core is known for being a good OC'er (3.2Ghz with air cooling only is pretty common, I believe) I may just do that for the first time. :)

Any suggestions for memory manufacturers / other motherboards? I was initially trying to keep the price down as much as possible - I was originally going to go for 4GB of ram (2x2GB sticks), but may go with 8GB instead as I'll be installing 64bit Vista Premium.

Thanks!
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Old May 4, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Have you checked out BCOM? A friend of mine has shopped there for years and swears by them. Good prices, good service, smart folks.

I think 8G is really going to be overkill even 2boxing WoW. Since I doubt you can get any kind of deal on buying 8G instead of 4G I would wait. If you find you are maxing the RAM just buy two more sticks and plop them in.

Edit... remove question about video as it was answered in the first sentence of the OP.
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Last edited by Jack Rabbit; May 4, 2008 at 03:21 PM. Reason: my own stupidity...
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Old May 4, 2008, 02:14 PM
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4GB should be plenty for what your doing and you could put that extra money towards a better motherboard for example such as the DS3R or DS3P. Could also go with the ASUS P5K. The DS3P and P5K both have firewire onboard as well.
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Old May 4, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Thanks for your responses.

I originally chose the DS3L simply because of cost and a lot of people seem to like it for stability and overclocking - I can get it around $109 (locally), although you are correct - if I forego the cost of the extra 4GB of RAM, then I can get a better mainboard with more functionality to it.

What would you suggest as an SLI board, then? Let's reduce the memory to 4GB (still 2x2GB sticks, mind you) and say I'd spend about $200 for a mainboard.

Would the EVGA 750i become a viable alternative? It's not available from what I can see at any local retailers (MemoryExpress, OEMDepot, BCOM), but I think I can get it from NCIX for $190 (after rebate). I know there's also the Asus board (same chipset, P5N-D...I think..) around the same price range. I don't know if they are very 'new' boards and how their support is; I've had to deal with EVGA before (a 7600GT's caps literally exploded, they replaced it with a 7900GT) and was pleased with their responses, anyone have opinions on Asus?

Edit: Just to add - the last two motherboards I've had were Gigabyte boards (7N400Pro2 and a K8NPro-SLI) which both used the Nvidia Nforce chipsets which I've been very pleased with (previous I had an Abit KT7A-RAID, and I got sick of Via drivers and various incompatibilities/problems with them). This was the other reason I was looking at another Gigabyte board as well.

Last edited by EventHorizon; May 4, 2008 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Edited for more info
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Old May 4, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Well, EVGA is top-notch I'd say.

ASUS, well, you need to phone them apparently to get any support. Online support is pointless.

The EVGA 750i FTW board looks pretty good, though Intel + NVIDIA chipsets isn't exactly the best combination. Usually you'll run into some silly problem.
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Old May 4, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Stick with the DS3L, or the DS3P if you wish to have Firewire. I've had many Gigabyte boards, and I was most pleased by the DS3L price/performance ratio. That little board can handle a Quad no problem - I did 4.1 Ghz (on water, mind you) with the DS3L and a Q6600.

Memory? All my Gigabyte boards ran with Mushkin. Not one single hick-up. Ever. I don't think you'll ever need 4Gb, 8Gb even less.

I can't help you choose a SLI board - I don't believe in SLI or Crossfire. Just give me the best GPU that my budget will allow.
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Old May 4, 2008, 04:32 PM
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I am quite literally surrounded by Asus gear. To my right is the Asus P5N32-E SLI in my game comp. To my left is the left is the A8V Deluxe in my old comp. Behind me is the A7N8X in the even older I-want-to-make-you-a-linux comp. In the basement there is a A7V8X-V that powers my NAS.

With the exception of the A7N8X (which I just do not have the time to get to) these have been running pretty much non-stop since I bought them and I have never had a problem with them. Just look at the new post page and you will see posts about problems with Asus support but keep in mind that people are ten times more likely to be vocal about something they do not like than about something they do like.

I am certainly not saying that other brands are not good. Frankly, I think all the major brands are just fine so long as you (1) don't get unlucky and get a lemon, (2) don't need to be on the very bleeding edge of uber, and (3) don't have some weird personal preference of software that just magically s up the system.
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Old May 4, 2008, 10:12 PM
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Default Well...

...after digging around a bit more and checking prices and such, I think I'm going to end up doing this:

From NCIX.com:

$340.70 from NCIX incl. Shipping / Insurance

EVGA Nforce 750I SLI Ftw LGA775 ATX DDR2 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 2PCI SATA RAID Sound GBLAN Mothe *IR-$20* In Stock 29440 $189.99 $189.99

Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB 2X2GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL4-4-4-12 EPP Dual Channel Memory *IR-$5* In Stock 26701 $109.99 $109.99

From MemoryExpress.com:

Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz w/2x4MB Cache $251.95 incl. GST

I'll see how it goes paired up with my 8800GT - I might just get the added 4GB of RAM in a few months, I'll see how it goes.

No serial port. Sad panda, but I think I'll live.

Thanks!
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Old May 5, 2008, 12:42 AM
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P35 board + e8400 + 8800 GT = gaming bliss.

You don't need 4gb of memory but if you insist on running that then just keep your current windows and don't bother with 64bit.
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Old May 5, 2008, 06:39 AM
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Be sure to price out things at Buy Computer Parts, Computer Hardware, PC Parts at Best Online Computer Shop - DirectCanada as well. It is a sister company to NCIX abut better deals. I priced out two identical builds over the weekend a 8400 + mobo + crucial ballistics ram and it was $60 cheaper
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