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Best Intel Mother Board and Processor - Doubt

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May 5, 2006 9:37:24 PM

May I have a help??

I want to buy the following PC and I dont know if I buy a NVIDIA or an ATI video card. Is it true that an ATI card with intel processor gets a better performance than a NVIDIA Card?

Specs:

Intel® Pentium® D processor 960 65 nm, LGA775 2x2MB L2 3.60 GHz 800 MHz

Intel BOXD975XBXLKR Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard

Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3300822AS 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 667 Dual Channel Kit System Memory

Memorex External Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer

What about this PC? Any other advise to give??
Thanks in advance,

Bacha
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.
May 5, 2006 9:54:57 PM

I don't think it's true that ATI cards would get better performance than an nVidia card on Intel chipsets. They should both run pretty much the same as they should run. The advantage of going ATI is that the i975X that you are choosing officially supports Crossfire, while it doesn't officially support nVidia. It's obviously your choice, but I would go with ATI since their cards are very competitive right now and offers you an upgrade option later.

Second, I'm going to have to tell you not to get that 3.6GHz 960D. As far as I know, there is no justification for going with that processor. You should get the 3.4GHz 950D instead. The performance difference will be minimal while you'll save more than $200.

http://www.intel.com/intel/finance/pricelist/May_1_06_1...

If you look at the official prices, the 960D sells for $523 while the 950D is only $316. I'd take that money that you save and get a better graphics card. Preferrably, you could allocate that money toward getting better RAM like Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 which should allow you to run DDR2 667 with lower timings to improve performance.
May 5, 2006 10:31:56 PM

Thak you very much. But wihch ATI videocard shuold I buy??

In what concerns the corsair memory I think it is too expensive... does it worth??
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May 6, 2006 12:25:32 AM

It'd be helpful to know your price range for the overall system and for the graphics card in general to get a better idea of what to recommend.

In regards to the faster memory, it depends on where you want to allocate your savings. Going from the 960D to the 950D will save you $200 while going with the faster Corsair will cost $100 more but you'll still be saving $100. In regards to performance benefits, I generally feel it's better to run your processor in sync with the FSB in this case DDR2 800 with a 800MHz FSB as that avoids the higher latency with asynchronous mode. Some of the few decent comparisons of memory speed versus latency and overall performance is available here:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ddr2-oc...

I haven't used ValueSelect be it's likely that it would be DDR2 667 running at either 4-4-4 or 5-5-5. You can compare to other timings and frequencies.

The major consideration is whether you plan on overclocking. If you do, then better memory is definitely recommended. If not, then you might as well save your money.

Oh, and if you plan on getting an Intel D975XBX you should make sure it's a revision 304 or higher. That will be required to support the upcoming Conroe processors. Even if you don't plan on upgrading, it's still good to have the latest parts.
May 6, 2006 5:09:10 AM

Answering both questions:
I use to play BF2, my PC is a P4, 3.0, 2mB Cache (630), 1gb RAM 533, HD 120 GB SATA II, Video Card GT 6800, motherboard Intel 945 GNT.

I will sell this machine in Brazil for 1,000 dollars and buy a new one in US for 1,100 dollars.

When I wonder to by a PC I was not planning to buy the intel 960 model (I made a mistake when I posted the topic). I would (and will) buy the 950, as perfectly recommended by you .. but as my account I was planning to expend $150 with Memory, but this corsair 800 mhz that ypu recommended is $260 dollars...

By the way I do not plan to overclock it... I am a laywer that loves games and editing DVD movies with computer .. but I dont know shit about of overclocking...

The doubt about the VIdeo Card persists and now I still have the doubt on the memory...

But so far I appreciate a lot you help!!! Thanks!!!
May 6, 2006 6:34:24 PM

I thought that I should comment that your current computer really isn't that bad. Just upgrading the video card would probably improve your performance significantly in games.

In any case here's a sample system:

Intel BOXD975XBXLKR $208
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Intel Pentium D 950 $337
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB $125
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

For memory, the Corsair Value Select DDR2 667 2GB 5-5-5 that you originally had was $146
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

You could also consider Corsair TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB DDR2-675 which runs with 4-4-4 timings and is $30 more expensive at $176
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

For an ATI video card I would recommend the X1800XT. It's generally faster than the nVidia 7900GT and is well priced right now because it is no longer the flagship product.

ZipZoomFly doesn't have a good selection of X1800XTs so I'll quote from NewEgg.

ATI graphics cards are generally all the same regardless of the manufacturer because they all use the reference design so you can just pick the one with the best price.

SAPPHIRE Radeon X1800XT 100134SR 512MB $319
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

A better option is probably the SAPPHIRE Radeon X1800XT 100154SR for $289 with a $30 Mail-in-rebate on top of that. The difference is that this one only has 256MB of ram. The clock speeds of the core and memory are the same and the performance should be very similar. The difference is that if you run at very high resolutions and quality settings, like 1600x1200+, it's possible that you'll run out of onboard memory which will slow down the card. However, at lower resolutions like 1280x1024 the performance should be about the same.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
May 6, 2006 8:17:06 PM

look at my sig. i love my rig and performs just as good as my opty on a dfi cx3200. and cooler
May 6, 2006 8:19:08 PM

dude get the asus p5wd2-e or the workstation one i have and get some nice crucual ddr2 800 its much better than the corsair. sorsair is no good for overclocking
May 6, 2006 8:36:33 PM

I've never had problems with Corsair before. In any case, DDR2 800 memory is too expensive for his budget, and he's not planning on overclocking anyways.

In terms of the ASUS i975X motherboards, they are a good choice for overclockers, but they're more expensive especially the workstation one. The Intel one is a good choice right now because revisions 304 and higher have support for the new Core architecture. Personally, I'm still mad that ASUS skimped and only included a 4-phase voltage regulator on the P5WD2-E Premium. Even Intel included a 5-phase one for better stability and lower temperatures.
May 6, 2006 10:54:14 PM

I just dont understand one thing: how I am going to buy a 800 Mhz memory igf the motherboard D975XBX supports olny 533/667 memory?

And how can I make sure it's a revision 304 or higher??

Thank you soo much
May 7, 2006 12:26:53 AM

Quote:
how I am going to buy a 800 Mhz memory igf the motherboard D975XBX supports olny 533/667 memory?

The motherboard only officially supports DDR2 400/533/667 however, there is also unofficial support for DDR2 800. If you go into the BIOS, there is a setting to configure it manually.


http://www.digital-daily.com/motherboard/intel-d975xbx/...

ASUS actually advertises their motherboards with this support and actually have options up to DDR2 1066. The i975X chipset supports DDR2 800, it's just whether the manufacturers included a BIOS with the option available.

In any case, I was just suggesting DDR2 800 based on the original post where you could afford a 960D. DDR2 800 wouldn't be worthwhile on your $1100 budget. The better ram I suggested for $30 more is still DDR2 667, but is designed to run at 4-4-4 timings versus 5-5-5 for the Value Select.

Quote:
And how can I make sure it's a revision 304 or higher??

Buying online, I don't think you can guarantee that the board you get is revision 304 or higher. However, if you buy from a popular online site they would probably clear their inventory quickly meaning that they only stock the latest models which should be rev 304. Rev 304 has been around for a few weeks now so availability should be pretty good as long as they aren't giving you old stock.

This is the official Product Change Notification to retailers about revision 304.

http://developer.intel.com/design/pcn/MTHRBRD/D1060560....

The part number is D27094-304 and they began shipping on April 16th.
May 7, 2006 12:27:46 PM

Last post, I promisse ...hheeheh. Look under the "decided" and "doubt" items.

Decided:

P4 D 950, 3.4 ghz
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1800XT 100154SR
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200KS 320GB
Corsair TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB DDR2-675 (is it necessary 240 pin memory?? How can I make sure this one is 240 pin?? All models I found are 200 pin and my mobo says "Number of DDR2 Slots: 4x 240pin DDR2")

Doubt:

ASUS P5WD2E or Intel 975X????

I really enjoyed the ASUS mobo ... Its has a special connect with hometheather (that would be usefull for me) ..etc... but I saw the cons at newegg and got worried, look:

Cons: The Marvell SATA controller thing that plagues these boards. I have to re-install the driver every time I reboot, and I don't even use the controller. I suppose it should offer FireWire 800 at this price.
Cons: Using m/b for about a month then after loading a game the whole system died tested the new power supply no problems checked video card and memory those where ok just this Motherboard had died... More »
Other Thoughts: This is the Second Asus board that I have used that just up and died without a reason the 1st one was the P4C800E-Deluxe and not this one.

What should I do? The price is nearly close. Other thing I found this Con at newegg: Cons: I received board revision D27094-302 (order paced April 18th and received April 21st)and it does not support Conroe. Only D27094-304 or higher will. Newegg can't guarentee board revisions when you order so you're shooting in the dark right now.

Bacha
May 7, 2006 2:04:03 PM

You should get the D975XBX, I dont fully trust ASUS anymore :) 
May 7, 2006 5:03:32 PM

Quote:
Corsair TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB DDR2-675 (is it necessary 240 pin memory?? How can I make sure this one is 240 pin?? All models I found are 200 pin and my mobo says "Number of DDR2 Slots: 4x 240pin DDR2")

It is 240-pin. 200-pin types are SO-DIMMs for labtops.

It's difficult to tell whether these problems are isolated incidents since I've heard quite a lot of good things about the ASUS P5WD2-E Premium too.
Quote:
Cons: The Marvell SATA controller thing that plagues these boards. I have to re-install the driver every time I reboot, and I don't even use the controller. I suppose it should offer FireWire 800 at this price.

Personally, I don't think the controller issue is a very big problem. The reviewer still gave the board a 5 star (egg?) rating despite it. I doubt you would be using the extra SATA connectors from the Marvell controller anyways so you should be able to disable it in the BIOS to avoid the driver issue. The chipset itself already comes with 4 SATA ports anyways which should be more than enough. I would have perferred there being a Firewire 800 port as well since it's an enthousiast board, but if you don't need it it's not a big issue.

Quote:
Cons: Using m/b for about a month then after loading a game the whole system died tested the new power supply no problems checked video card and memory those where ok just this Motherboard had died... More »
Other Thoughts: This is the Second Asus board that I have used that just up and died without a reason the 1st one was the P4C800E-Deluxe and not this one.

These might be isolated incidents since I have no idea how they set up their system. In any case, that's what the warranty is for.

Quote:
Cons: I received board revision D27094-302 (order paced April 18th and received April 21st)and it does not support Conroe. Only D27094-304 or higher will. Newegg can't guarentee board revisions when you order so you're shooting in the dark right now.

That's what I was saying before how online stores can't guarantee which product they ship you.

If you are not planning on getting a Conroe processor later on then you might as well get the ASUS board, especially if it has the connector you want to connect to your home theatre. The ASUS board will actually perform slightly faster than the Intel one too since ASUS optimizes their BIOSes for best performance.
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