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New CPU and MOBO what to get

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July 9, 2006 3:10:10 AM

I sold my Epox nForce 4 Ultra and my A64 3000+ for $200.
I can spend some more money maybe $100 or a little more.
At first I was going to get the same Mobo and maybe an A64 3800+ or maybe an A64 X2 3800+. But then the Conroe hype came into the scene and I thought that it would be wise to wait a month to see how much of a price drop I can get. Maybe I can get a better CPU for the same money or the same for a lot less money.
But I have been reading reviews and I´m not so sure what´s the best road.
My choices are:
Socket 939
Socket AM2
Conroe (Whatever socket it is)

Socket 939
Pros: The Epox nForce 4 Ultra is a extremely mature Mobo and so is the whole platform. That Mobo is the fastest when run at stock and the second fastest when overclocked behind the nForce 4 Ultra DFI. I have 1 Gig of Corsair DDR 3200 RAM from my old system.
Cons: This socket is near the end of it´s life.

Socket AM2
Pros: It uses DDR2, It will have new chips in the future. I´ve read that an AM2 Mobo will support an AM3 chip.
Cons: You need to get DDR2 800 just to get a little more performance than with socket 939. I need to buy new memory because mine is DDR

Conroe
Pros: It is better than any chip known to man, and it will have a very decent price for it´s performance. Plus according to the reviews it will cure cancer and end poverty LOL
Cons: The Mobos are around $200 double of what the Epox which is a top of the line motherboard (in my opinion) costs. Intel never thinks of it´s customers as soon as it unveils a new chip you will need to buy a new motherboard. It only has one PATA connector and right now I´m using the 2 that the Epox mobo had.

Taking this and whatever I missed into consideration what is the best road to take.

My main concern is finding the sweet spot between price, performance, upgrade path and motherboard features.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

More about : cpu mobo

July 9, 2006 3:32:51 AM

If someone replies let me know which mobo+cpu+ram to get I´ve read that with AM2 not all the brands of RAM work and maybe that´s true for conroe too.
July 9, 2006 3:39:55 AM

I forgot to add that I don´t plan to use SLI, and I won´t overclock, I don´t mind having a good overclocking board (because that makes for a very stable board at stock) or with SLI but I don´t want to pay a lot extra because I´m almost sure that I won´t use it
Related resources
July 9, 2006 3:55:54 AM

Well I do have 4 hard drives but none in a Raid array. I would like a solid mobo like the Epox I had and I would like two PATA connectors because I have 2 hard disks that are PATA the other 2 are SATA, but I also have 2 DVD writers a NEC which I use for everything and a BenQ with lightscribe for the DVDs that I want to burn a cover in the disc
July 9, 2006 5:30:39 PM

Come on guys I can´t believe that nobody replies. Is everybody hungover?
July 9, 2006 5:36:59 PM

Quote:
I sold my Epox nForce 4 Ultra and my A64 3000+ for $200.
I can spend some more money maybe $100 or a little more.
At first I was going to get the same Mobo and maybe an A64 3800+ or maybe an A64 X2 3800+. But then the Conroe hype came into the scene and I thought that it would be wise to wait a month to see how much of a price drop I can get. Maybe I can get a better CPU for the same money or the same for a lot less money.
But I have been reading reviews and I´m not so sure what´s the best road.
My choices are:
Socket 939
Socket AM2
Conroe (Whatever socket it is)

Socket 939
Pros: The Epox nForce 4 Ultra is a extremely mature Mobo and so is the whole platform. That Mobo is the fastest when run at stock and the second fastest when overclocked behind the nForce 4 Ultra DFI. I have 1 Gig of Corsair DDR 3200 RAM from my old system.
Cons: This socket is near the end of it´s life.

Socket AM2
Pros: It uses DDR2, It will have new chips in the future. I´ve read that an AM2 Mobo will support an AM3 chip.
Cons: You need to get DDR2 800 just to get a little more performance than with socket 939. I need to buy new memory because mine is DDR

Conroe
Pros: It is better than any chip known to man, and it will have a very decent price for it´s performance. Plus according to the reviews it will cure cancer and end poverty LOL
Cons: The Mobos are around $200 double of what the Epox which is a top of the line motherboard (in my opinion) costs. Intel never thinks of it´s customers as soon as it unveils a new chip you will need to buy a new motherboard. It only has one PATA connector and right now I´m using the 2 that the Epox mobo had.

Taking this and whatever I missed into consideration what is the best road to take.

My main concern is finding the sweet spot between price, performance, upgrade path and motherboard features.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!



Hey,
If I were you I'd go with AM2 just because AM3 and DDR3 will go into it. Core 2 mobos will be high for awhile as supply rises.

I'm just not into Intel because they are a little too predatory and seem to not care about customers (OEMs).

Also K8L (the "new" arch) will go into Am2 with dual core chips. Thsi should even the playing field in the middle of next year if AMD keeps to their promises.


As afr as which to get DFI has agreat AM2 as does ASRock and both are pretty cheap. Both comapnies have both nVidia and ATi.

For the CPU the 3800+ is now $144 at Newegg but the faster chips will decrease in price in the next weeks.
July 9, 2006 5:39:25 PM

From the current mobos at newegg which ones are good for socket AM2?
July 9, 2006 5:41:56 PM

Also it's not the speed of the RAM but the latency. DDR2 667 @ 4-4-4-8/10 is avaialable at a good price.
July 9, 2006 5:49:38 PM

Quote:
From the current mobos at newegg which ones are good for socket AM2?




here's a list. they all will do well. Do you wantsomethign with onboard video or a full blown mobo (no SLI)?

I would go for the ABIT near the top.

Mobos
July 9, 2006 5:50:46 PM

And which motherboards do you recommend for AM2 so I can start reviewing them. Since there´s a little time until the end of July and conroe I want to read so I can make a good choice. I don´t think I´ll be upgrading for a while
July 9, 2006 5:53:46 PM

I don´t care for onboard video I have a 256 MB GeForce 6600 I know it´s not very good but it´s better than onboard video.
I won´t be using SLI but if the best board has it and it´s not charging too much for it I don´t care
July 9, 2006 6:00:01 PM

Quote:
I don´t care for onboard video I have a 256 MB GeForce 6600 I know it´s not very good but it´s better than onboard video.
I won´t be using SLI but if the best board has it and it´s not charging too much for it I don´t care



Basically I can save you tethe trouble. Get the Abit SLI. I went with SLi JUST in case. The board is only $129 and I saw a review somewhere I'll look for it but it may take awhile as I am at work (Yes on a sunday)
July 9, 2006 6:49:13 PM

Quote:
And which motherboards do you recommend for AM2 so I can start reviewing them. Since there´s a little time until the end of July and conroe I want to read so I can make a good choice. I don´t think I´ll be upgrading for a while

Asus M2NE-E Best line of mobos for am2 but with am2 make sure you get ddr2 800 memory everything under that runs like shit get a 3800+ or 3800+ x2 after the price drop
July 9, 2006 6:59:51 PM

That mobo looks good the only downside I see is that it only has one PATA connector.
Maybe I can install a PCI controller card.
What is the problem when you install one of those cards does it have a smaller bandwidth?
Do you know of any good RAM that is known to work well with that mobo.
July 9, 2006 7:01:47 PM

Core2 Duo E6600
LGA775 ATi RD600
DDR2-667 CL4(DDR2-800 CL4 if you want to overclock)
July 9, 2006 7:04:45 PM

thanks gOJDO!
Do you know if the LGA775 ATi RD600 is available right now?
Preferrably at newegg
July 9, 2006 7:30:46 PM

You wont be able to get a conroe chip probly till christmas and its out of your $300 buget but if you can wait save up money and get the gigabyte DS4 board probly $180 and the conroe E6300 about $230 if you dont want to wait get the M2NE and the 3800+ and some ocz ram and you will be able to use am3 and ddr3 once it comes out
July 10, 2006 3:19:48 AM

So then my best bet is AM2?
July 10, 2006 3:24:54 AM

Quote:
You wont be able to get a conroe chip probly till christmas and its out of your $300 buget but if you can wait save up money and get the gigabyte DS4 board probly $180 and the conroe E6300 about $230 if you dont want to wait get the M2NE and the 3800+ and some ocz ram and you will be able to use am3 and ddr3 once it comes out


Here are Core2Duo's in Stock
July 10, 2006 4:50:51 AM

Thanks Rich, but do you know how much are the 6300 going to cost. The 6700 and the 6800 are way over my budget.
July 10, 2006 4:39:25 PM

Quote:
Thanks Rich, but do you know how much are the 6300 going to cost. The 6700 and the 6800 are way over my budget.


Around $200 and you are not going to wait til Christmas. BaronMatrix is just throwing you a curb ball. He's an anti-intel. Sounds like MMM to me. I'm waiting for the Conroe. I don't want to build a system now and regret it in a month. Intel has the production capability that AMD lacks. CPU will be available.
July 10, 2006 5:10:51 PM

Xeon 5160 3.00 GHz, FSB1333, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA771 - 851 US dollars
Xeon 5150 2.66 GHz, FSB1333, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA771 - 690 US dollars
Xeon 5140 2.33 GHz, FSB1333, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA771 - 455 US dollars
Xeon 5130 2.00 GHz, FSB1333, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA771 - 316 US dollars
Xeon 5120 1.86 GHz, FSB1066, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA771 - 256 US dollars
Xeon 5110 1.60 GHz, FSB1066, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA771 - 209 US dollars
Core 2 Duo X6800 2.93 GHz, FSB1066, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA775 - 999 US dollars
Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66 GHz, FSB1066, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA775 - 530 US dollars
Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40 GHz, FSB1066, 4 Mo L2, socket LGA775 - 316 US dollars
Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13 GHz, FSB1066, 2 Mo L2, socket LGA775 - 224 US dollars
Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86 GHz, FSB1066, 2 Mo L2, socket LGA775 - 183 US dollars
Core 2 Duo E4200 1.60 GHz, FSB800, 2 Mo L2, socket LGA775 - Price nonavailable
Core 2 Duo T7600 2.33 GHz, FSB667, 4 Mo L2, socket mPGA479 - 637 US dollars
Core 2 Duo T7400 2.16 GHz, FSB667, 4 Mo L2, socket mPGA479 - 423 US dollars
Core 2 Duo T7200 2.00 GHz, FSB667, 4 Mo L2, socket mPGA479 - 294 US dollars
Core 2 Duo T5600 1.83 GHz, FSB667, 2 Mo L2, socket mPGA479 - 241 US dollars
Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66 GHz, FSB667, 2 Mo L2, socket mPGA479 - 209 US dollars
July 10, 2006 5:59:09 PM

Socket 939 Is NOT At The End Of Its Life, It Will Continue To Replace Socket 754 For The Upcoming Socket 939 Semprons (And A Sempron X2 Is Also Rumored) And It Will Also Replace The Curent Socket 754s In Notebooks/Laptops Because The Turion And Turion X2 Line Will Be Moved Over To Socket 939 For Notebooks/Laptops
July 11, 2006 12:55:30 AM

183 dollars is a very good price if the cpu lives up to the hype.
I liked the ASUS mobo that somebody suggested my only complaint is that it only has 1 Pata connector, do you know what´s the disadvantage to installing a ATA controller card.
July 11, 2006 5:19:24 PM

Quote:
(...) it only has 1 Pata connector, do you know what´s the disadvantage to installing a ATA controller card.


There'll always be a downside when using the good ol' PCI 2.x protocol; but, most of the new i965/i975X will have a single P-ATA connector, at best. So, if you don't do professional A/V, you'll hardly notice the difference with 133MHz P-ATA boards; otherwise. you'd better go with IEEE 1394b (up to 800MB/s, peak) or, better yet, SCSI, for your storage HDDs.
If your system HDD is a S-ATA (I,II) and you've got "enough" RAM (> 2GB), create your 'page file' in a secondary drive and you'll be fine with your HDD set up.

On what regards the motherboard, mind this: if you go Intel, check if the board is VRM 11.0 compliant & has - at least - 4 Power Voltage Regulators; it'll secure your investment, upgrade wise.

Hope this helps.


Cheers!
July 13, 2006 12:18:35 AM

Yes that helped thanks.
So if I understand correctly the slower speed with the ATA controller card won´t be noticeable? Am I right?
July 13, 2006 12:36:16 AM

Quote:
Thanks Rich, but do you know how much are the 6300 going to cost. The 6700 and the 6800 are way over my budget.


Around $200 and you are not going to wait til Christmas. BaronMatrix is just throwing you a curb ball. He's an anti-intel. Sounds like MMM to me. I'm waiting for the Conroe. I don't want to build a system now and regret it in a month. Intel has the production capability that AMD lacks. CPU will be available.

That would actually be "curve." I'm not anti Intel I based my stock (SKU) analysis on what Intel said their Q107 ratio would be. By that I extrapolated that demand would be very high - unfortunate for P4 sales - and they MAY not be readily available in retail initially.


They have also had to "recall" B1 stepping so hopefully they didn't make that many. It is a great chip according to pre-release tests.

I wouldn't steer you away from it, but I have had better work experiences with "generic" AMD PCs than Intel. I hope Core 2 changes the trend for me. Most companies use Dell.
July 13, 2006 12:51:08 AM

At the very end of this thresd I realized that everyone did your research for you. Alot of the posts could have been answered reading THG articles....JM2C :roll:
July 13, 2006 1:02:23 AM

I did read reviews, but I still want to hear what the community has to say, reviews are usually biased, but if you ask the community you get a lot of different opinions, and then you compile everything and make a choice.
July 13, 2006 11:18:09 AM

Quote:
Yes that helped thanks.
So if I understand correctly the slower speed with the ATA controller card won´t be noticeable? Am I right?


Yes, it won't be too much noticeable (nothing replaces a good on-board implementation, of course).

Some brands (like, Adaptec, Promise, Highpoint, Lycom, etc), do have good controller cards; Tom's has some articles/benchmarks on those; and, price is an issue, if you take into account CPU utilization as a heavy factor. Then again, it'll matter more for professional A/V, RAID setups and such. Nothing lots of [good] RAM & fast HDDs cannot make up for, if you've got the money. It's always a compromise, isn't it?
Now, there are some threads on this forum which alert for the non-native P-ATA (i.e., not integrated on the southbridge) implementation on i965 boards, which might be a serious issue for a fresh Win XP install; you might want to check 'em up.

Or else:
http://www.modsynergy.com/review98.htm


Cheers!
July 13, 2006 11:18:54 PM

you are asking questions that are not opinion based but fact based and I found myself getting annoyed with the simple questions....please don't annoy these fine people...ty
July 14, 2006 12:35:54 AM

If you find yourself annoyed with the questions don't read them.
You have 2 posts none of which are constructive and you're telling people what they should do?
A lot of people read the threads and they don't answer, I myself answered a lot of those annoying questions to newbies like you, and I don't mind doing it because if I know something that can help somebody with less knowledge than me in that area why not do it?
Because he can learn by himself?
If you think about it you can learn everything by yourself.
Why didn't you learn to read by yourself? Because it's easier if somebody that already knows teaches you.
It's going to be faster that way, and you can learn yourself but you won't have to start from zero.
If I ask about an ATA controller card maybe somebody with more knowledge of that type of card can tell me that it's OK or he can tell me use this other type of card is better then I can search online about that other type of card, that I otherwise wouldn't even know that existed.
July 17, 2006 1:21:32 AM

The controller card I have might not be very good.
I got it for free with a Western Digital hard drive at Sams, do you think that if I get the conroe setup it would be better to buy a new card to get the extra PATA connectors. If that´s the case could you recommend one from newegg, honestly I don´t know what to look for in a controller card.

Thanks in advance.
July 17, 2006 12:59:47 PM

Quote:
The controller card I have might not be very good.
I got it for free with a Western Digital hard drive at Sams, do you think that if I get the conroe setup it would be better to buy a new card to get the extra PATA connectors. If that´s the case could you recommend one from newegg, honestly I don´t know what to look for in a controller card.


I live in Portugal (no "newegg"...); I'd recommend you to check "Promise" website (think the controller is a TX 2 ATA133 for dual IDE conns & the TX 4 ATA133 for 4 IDEs; not sure, though); you might also check "HighPoint" controllers, at their website.
For a more thorough opinion, hit Tom's site & search for P-ATA controllers.


Cheers!
July 25, 2006 3:54:40 AM

Finally the price cuts are here but I can´t decide on which AM2 mobo to get.
It seems that all the boards have very few reviews and some of them are very bad.
Everybody says that conroe will be much better but Intel is too confusing and I´ll have to wait more time.

Anyone has an AM2 mobo that runs stable and have good features?
July 25, 2006 4:23:22 AM

That controller that came with your hard drive will be fine. And P-ATA, esp. 2 that are not in RAID are not enough to saturate the PCI bus. you only need to worry if you've got lots of other stuff on the bus or 3 or more drives in RAID 0.

ATA133 is such an old technology that $10 ATA RAID cards are common (I have one and it's worked for more than 8 years now)
July 25, 2006 6:10:42 AM

dunklegend,

If you really want to stay within a $300 budget, I think the most reasonable option is to stay with socket 939. Otherwise you'll have to shell out money for memory as well which will cut into how good a motherboard and processor you can buy.

For $300, I'd suggest this,

Newegg sells various good NF4 Ultra based boards (which allow you to use the memory you have) for $100 or less (about $80 for the epox I believe)

That leaves roughly $200 in your pocket. For that money you can probably get an X2 4200. This will be a nice and fast system.

You won't get that kind of performance from any conroe chip after you've spent most of your money on the motherboard and memory (say $170 for argument's sake). You'll have $130 left and that won't get you a conroe at this time. Moreover, $170 will certainly not get you a really good motherboard and memory for an Intel conroe.

Note: the prices that RichPLS posted above are "tray prices", that is, in quantities of 1000. Add at least $30 to $40 on top of those prices to reach what will likely be the retail price.

Hope that helps you make your decision.
July 26, 2006 12:11:50 AM

Yeah, pretty much what 440 said I was going to. :) 

There really isn't a major difference in the AM2 and 939 socket performance-wise yet. Its a path to future improvement more than current. If you are buying a $300 package then you have to assume that you may want to upgrade more in a year.

Also consider that there is going to be a TON of older memory modules on the street as enthusiasts upgrade to AM2 and Conroe that use DDR2. In a few weeks you may easily upgrade to max your board can handle. (make SURE you get at least a 4 place board for memory)

I did a very similar upgrade a few years ago with memory/MB/2600+ for my server - for about $315. I bought them as a lowest cost method to extend the life of my server. Its STILL going.

Heck, I would offer you a deal on my old PC's memory (I am upgrading to AM2 myself) but its RDRAM. :p  All 760mb of it....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... would be a good "disposable" board for what you are trying to do. Don't spend much on the MB, dump every penny on getting as high up the ladder in CPU. You can always drop a new CPU/memory in the box later with out having to re-configure -- again those will be cheap on the ground pretty soon.

With about $500-600 would be time to hit Conroe, or AM2. I sorta predict that lower end Conroes won't be all that hard to get. Its early in the process and they will have a lot more product test in at lower speeds until the process is optimized.

There is also the enthusiast demand factor. Even with the big athlon price cuts most hardcore DIYers will be planning a Conroe upgrade if they are going for the high end. The current "high" end Athlons are the realm of the upper middle class upgrade now.
---

Upper middle has been where I have always gone, except for laptops -- those I end up keeping longer and cannot really upgrade.
July 26, 2006 2:22:30 AM

It´s true that with 300 my best choice is a socket 939 system, but I think that I´ll try to sell my RAM.
I might be able to spend a little bit more than whatever I get for the memory.
I think that I´ll be getting an AM2 3800+ X2.
If I do that what would be the best choice for a motherboard with socket AM2 and some memory that works well with that mobo.
July 26, 2006 4:00:17 AM

In that case would go with the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... -- MSI or ASUS's basic 570 Ultra- based MB.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682... or similar DDR2 800. There isn't THAT much of a price variance between lower end 667 and 800 to not get 800. :) 

Those put you at about $260 total, plus whatever the processor you get runs you.
Figure $450ish or so with a 4200.
---

Once you go this route you have to decide if you would rather go Conroe though, since the legacy memory was the main reason to go with the older AMD platform. In the lower DIY end there isn't that much difference dollar/power unless you are overclocking.

The Conroe is probably a better deal for raw power, whilst the AM2 has a FAR superior chipset in the 570 and 590. The M2N32-SLI was the main reason I went with AM2. My new machine is eventually going to become a personal server with a Raid 5 array. Some time next year will probably build a Conroe gaming machine if they have a good chipset by then.
July 27, 2006 3:21:43 AM

Somebody said in another thread that there´s an ASrock mobo that let´s you use DDR 3200 with a conroe. Does anyone knows which model it is? And if it´s a good mobo.

If this is true I can save some money on the RAM and put it towards a better CPU
July 27, 2006 3:29:17 AM

dunklegend,

I have not spent enough time looking at AM2 boards to make a well founded recommendation.

I suggest you look at this board

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

people seem to like it and it certainly is reasonably priced.

There is also another ECS board

http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWeb/Products/ProductsDetail.as...

which sounds quite good (at least on paper).

There are a few reviews of both boards on the net. Check them out, see what you think.
July 27, 2006 3:44:28 AM

thanks for the links to both of you!
July 29, 2006 8:17:43 PM

I found this EPoX EP-MF570SLI has anyone used it.
It looks good but It has a very short list of tested memory.
July 29, 2006 8:51:20 PM

I´m undecided between the epox and the M2N-SLI Deluxe.
But I think it will be one of the two.
Anyone has either one of this boards, what are the Pros/Cons and which memory are you using.
I want only good regular memory.
On my S939 system I had Corsair Value Select ram and it was stable.
I won´t be overclocking.
July 30, 2006 1:48:55 AM

After reading anandtechs review I think that I´ve decided to get the Epox board.
Now if only someone can tell me which RAM will work good with that motherboard.=)
!