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What are the best budget Core 2 Duo mobos?

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July 15, 2006 6:45:15 PM

It might be too early to ask this but I'd like to know what the best budget ($100 range, don't laugh:p  ) mobos are for a Core 2 (E6300 or E6400 specifically)? I don't really need any special features but something that doesn't require me to tinker with it too much would be nice. The only necessities include: 1x (native) PATA for optical device and at least 4x SATAs.

I'd like something that'll let me gey by for a year without taking too much of a performance hit. I'd like to upgrade to ATI's R600 mobo after a while so I'm not too worried about having anything high end.

I'm trying to asses what I can build around a Core 2 and X2. The X2 build is already done but the Core 2 needs more work, and I'm still in the dark about how Intel flat-forms work but the Core 2's performance is way too good for me not to see what I can do. I think I was told to look at a 965 chipset, but I don't know which one as they all seem to be followed up by a letter..:?

More about : budget core duo mobos

July 15, 2006 7:26:39 PM

Quote:
It might be too early to ask this but I'd like to know what the best budget ($100 range, don't laugh:p  ) mobos are for a Core 2 (E6300 or E6400 specifically)? I don't really need any special features but something that doesn't require me to tinker with it too much would be nice. The only necessities include: 1x (native) PATA for optical device and at least 4x SATAs.

I'd like something that'll let me gey by for a year without taking too much of a performance hit. I'd like to upgrade to ATI's R600 mobo after a while so I'm not too worried about having anything high end.

I'm trying to asses what I can build around a Core 2 and X2. The X2 build is already done but the Core 2 needs more work, and I'm still in the dark about how Intel flat-forms work but the Core 2's performance is way too good for me not to see what I can do. I think I was told to look at a 965 chipset, but I don't know which one as they all seem to be followed up by a letter..:?


don't jew it up, you won't get your money's run unless you buy an expensive one
July 15, 2006 7:31:35 PM

The 965 and Special revision Chipsets are only needed for the CNR-E6600,CNR-E6700 and the CNR-XE6800 and beyond Because the older chips don't support 4Mb L2 Cache. The CNR-E6300 and CNR-6400 can be supported by any 9XX series. is'nt all this information in the Conroe Core 2 Duo Sticky?? http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Collection-Conr...
Related resources
July 15, 2006 8:18:15 PM

I haven't seen this particular mobo out yet, but the ASUS P5B should be fairly cheap. It is the watered down version of this. It uses the Intel 965 chipset which is supposed to be more mainstream compared to the higher end 975 chipset. When I compared the two on ASUS's website, the main thing the P5B lacks is built in Wireless support.

You also said you were looking to spend around $100 on it. At the moment, I don't think you will be able to get anything for that price for two reasons. Right now all the mobo manufactures seem to be releasing their high end Conroe compatible mobos first (which run over $200) in order to get early adopters to spend extra $$$. Also the stores will probability bump up prices until the initial Conroe feeding frenzy ends. An example, I saw the X6800 on New Egg about two days ago selling for $1,300 when it is supposed to retail around $1,000. When the mainstream mobos come out I'd expect to pay at least $140 - $180 for one.
July 15, 2006 8:24:39 PM

Well I thought this board ( ABIT AW8D ) was at a decent price $165.

Abit AW8D

Saw one Review:

CPU3D Review

Seems as though its a good performer.
July 15, 2006 8:44:19 PM

That board won't support Conroe. It even says it in the review and nothing is posted on Abit's website about revising it to do so.

ADD: Right now the only chipset that will work with a Conroe for certain is the Intel 965. All 975 boards must be revised to support Conroe. This board must be revision 304 in order to support Conroe. This board will require a BIOS update to support Conroe. Currently these are the only 975 boards that I know of that are being changed to support Conroe, or can be updated to support it.
July 15, 2006 9:04:04 PM

Bummer man, I realized I over looked what it said on the review.

Though I thought it was perhaps one of the newest 975 boards out there. Kinda dissappointed that it won't, which might be the reason why it's price caught my eye.

I guess the AB9 Pro is the platform to watch out for, in Core 2 support.

AB9

It looks soo much like the AW8D. minus SLI :lol: 
July 15, 2006 9:39:16 PM

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

Does that look like a good mobo? I know I said $100 but I cut out my soundcard so I can spend about $160 now and still have $220 for the CPU. That means I need a mobo with surround sound since I lost my soundcard.

And I don't really care for any dual GPU set ups at the moment since I'll be upgrading the mobo later on with ATI's R600.

It looks like a good board and states it Core 2 ready. Also, according to Gigabytes site, it has Intel's HD audio- not Realtek. Intel's HD audio is supposed to be better and the mobo has optical out which is nice.

If this works, that basically makes my AM2 build irrelevant.
July 15, 2006 9:46:25 PM

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

Does that look like a good mobo? I know I said $100 but I cut out my soundcard so I can spend about $160 now and still have $220 for the CPU. That means I need a mobo with surround sound since I lost my soundcard.

And I don't really care for any dual GPU set ups at the moment since I'll be upgrading the mobo later on with ATI's R600.

It looks like a good board and states it Core 2 ready. Also, according to Gigabytes site, it has Intel's HD audio- not Realtek. Intel's HD audio is supposed to be better and the mobo has optical out which is nice.

If this works, that basically makes my AM2 build irrelevant.


I'd say go for it but you're mistaken about the audio. Azalia is a spec set by Intel for 7.1 HD audio. Any manuf can claim Intel Azalia HD and it IS a RealTek chip.
July 15, 2006 9:49:43 PM

The DFI Infinity 975X supports Conroe and runs for $250CND at NCIX.

DFI's web page.
July 15, 2006 9:50:57 PM

Yea, the AB9 Pro should work fine. It is just a little disappointing to me that with all the hype and anticipation around Conroe, motherboard manufacturers haven't released that many Conroe compatible boards yet. Conroe is a little over a week until its official release and there is still too much confusion over what will work. Fortunately for me I haven't invested in a board yet, but I know that there are a lot of people who heard that 975 would support Conroe so they bought a board. Later they come to find out that they need a special revision. If it were me I'd be pissed off especially when the manufacturers knew what had to be done to make 975 work with Conroe well in advance and the didn't implement it sooner. I just feel like they mislead consumers in to buying something sooner with the idea that it would be future proof, just to find they haven't accomplished anything. I guess it is just another way for them to make money.
July 15, 2006 9:55:29 PM

Seems to be a good product for its price.

Heh, it was actually a MB on one of the MB forums I remember posting to. I guess this board finally made its way to NewEgg.

Here was the review I saw for it:

VR-Zone: Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6
July 15, 2006 9:58:30 PM

I had problems with Gigabyte products in my last build... I'm staying away from these boards.
July 15, 2006 9:58:53 PM

Ya, I can understand/feel the frustation, or the pain in that.

I'm just glad I'm broke, and have allot of patience. Also I'm still happy with my P4 northy. If I had X2 system or Core 2 duo, I'd still be doing the same thing on it as my current system. :lol: 

But during the years of my upgrading, ya I understand what your saying.
July 15, 2006 10:02:17 PM

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

Does that look like a good mobo? I know I said $100 but I cut out my soundcard so I can spend about $160 now and still have $220 for the CPU. That means I need a mobo with surround sound since I lost my soundcard.

And I don't really care for any dual GPU set ups at the moment since I'll be upgrading the mobo later on with ATI's R600.

It looks like a good board and states it Core 2 ready. Also, according to Gigabytes site, it has Intel's HD audio- not Realtek. Intel's HD audio is supposed to be better and the mobo has optical out which is nice.

If this works, that basically makes my AM2 build irrelevant.


I like that board by Gigabyte. I am currently undecided between that one and one of the ASUS P5B boards. I probably won't decide until the last second. Basically whichever board is available on New Egg when the E6600 come in is what I'm getting. If there both in though I'll probably go with ASUS.
July 15, 2006 10:11:30 PM

Well, good to know that the mobo is good and that review is reassuring (though it sounds like this mobo is good for enthusiasts and OCers more than the first time PC builder).

Now the question.. should order now or risk it being OOS when the E6300 is released (whenever that is, anybody know the date?).

EDIT*That review isn't for this mobo, it's for a slightly different one. The review is for a GA-965P-DQ6, while the one I linked to is a GA-965P-DS3. I think I found to the 'budget' version of that mobo.:) 
July 15, 2006 10:12:57 PM

Quote:
I had problems with Gigabyte products in my last build... I'm staying away from these boards.


Which board was it? It has been a while since I have used one of their boards (last one was back in the AMD T-Bird days) but I have always had good luck with Gigabyte and I am curious to know which ones have serious problems. After all if it is something they haven't fixed yet, I don't want to get stuck with a bum board.
July 15, 2006 10:16:27 PM

It was 3 years ago, I bought a VIA chipset Gigabyte for my brother, and it fried about 5 months after...

EDIT : Spelling.. yes I made typos in that post :crap:
July 15, 2006 10:18:13 PM

Quote:
Now the question.. should order now or risk it being OOS when the E6300 is released (whenever that is, anybody know the date?).
I really hope that it comes out on July 27th, cause that's the chip I'll be buying. Now way I'm spending more than 300$ on a processor.
July 15, 2006 10:19:32 PM

Quote:
Well, good to know that the mobo is good and that review is reassuring (though it sounds like this mobo is good for enthusiasts and OCers more than the first time PC builder).

Now the question.. should order now or risk it being OOS when the E6300 is released (whenever that is, anybody know the date?).

EDIT*That review isn't for this mobo, it's for a slightly different one. The review is for a GA-965P-DQ6, while the one I linked to is a GA-965P-DS3. I think I found to the 'budget' version of that mobo.:) 


Just a heads up, the board you posted at New Egg is a different model that the one in the review. One is version DS3 and the other is DQ6.

Edit: previous edit already made my point. :D 
July 15, 2006 10:27:06 PM

Quote:
It was 3 years ago, I bought a VIA chipset Gigabyte for my brother, and it fried about 5 months after...

EDIT : Spelling.. yes I made typos in that post :crap:



Cool that makes me feel a little better about that board. I think it is just VIA chipsets, they suck. I had an old ASUS with a VIA chipset and it was crap too. I have always had good luck with both companies except when putting a VIA chipset into the equation.
July 15, 2006 10:39:30 PM

I am currently posting with an old Asus A7V600-X . Never had any problem with that board.
July 15, 2006 10:39:57 PM

Quote:
Well, good to know that the mobo is good and that review is reassuring (though it sounds like this mobo is good for enthusiasts and OCers more than the first time PC builder).

Now the question.. should order now or risk it being OOS when the E6300 is released (whenever that is, anybody know the date?).

EDIT*That review isn't for this mobo, it's for a slightly different one. The review is for a GA-965P-DQ6, while the one I linked to is a GA-965P-DS3. I think I found to the 'budget' version of that mobo.:) 


Just a heads up, the board you posted at New Egg is a different model that the one in the review. One is version DS3 and the other is DQ6.

Edit: previous edit already made my point. :D 

DOH.. that was the same confusion on the MB forum here. Sorry :oops: 

The price of the GA-965P-DQ6 is in the $220-240 range. :lol: 

Actually it is a good board with SLI support for those looking for that path. One of the complaints was that the X4 PCI-E slot with long cards could block the STAT2 ports.
July 15, 2006 11:16:54 PM

Quote:
I am currently posting with an old Asus A7V600-X . Never had any problem with that board.


The board that gave me problems was the Asus A7V8X-X. I even tried switching CPUs and that didn't help the board still ran unstable. Finally, I changed both the board and the CPU out and continued to use the same parts (RAM, PSU, HDD, etc.) on my new board. After that my problems were solved and it is still the same computer I use today, just with a few upgrades (see signature for details). Since I've had good luck with Asus in the past and still do, I concluded it may have been the VIA chipset.
July 18, 2006 7:02:50 AM

NewEgg - AB9 Pro

NewEgg got the Abit board if anyone wants to look at.

North Bridge Intel P965 Express
South Bridge Intel ICH8R

159.99 ATM

No SLI support but not a biggy.
July 18, 2006 7:43:38 AM

Quote:
It might be too early to ask this but I'd like to know what the best budget ($100 range, don't laugh:p  ) mobos are for a Core 2 (E6300 or E6400 specifically)? I don't really need any special features but something that doesn't require me to tinker with it too much would be nice. The only necessities include: 1x (native) PATA for optical device and at least 4x SATAs.

I'd like something that'll let me gey by for a year without taking too much of a performance hit. I'd like to upgrade to ATI's R600 mobo after a while so I'm not too worried about having anything high end.

I'm trying to asses what I can build around a Core 2 and X2. The X2 build is already done but the Core 2 needs more work, and I'm still in the dark about how Intel flat-forms work but the Core 2's performance is way too good for me not to see what I can do. I think I was told to look at a 965 chipset, but I don't know which one as they all seem to be followed up by a letter..:?


You could also try Asrock. They have cheap baords that support Conroe 6xxx series and 4xxx series.

http://www.asrock.com/product/775i65G.htm
http://www.asrock.com/product/775Twins-HDTV%20R2.0.htm

Not the best chipsets out there as compared to 975 and 965. However since Conroe is not memory bandwidth limited unlike current P4's then you are good to go. You could also use old DDR-400 with tight timings. This will give you much better result compared to using DDR2-533.
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