Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Making the jump to Conroe, need advice...

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
October 1, 2006 1:07:48 AM

I am looking for specific recomendations for motherboards for a conroe rig - you can see my current setup in my sig - will be adding 4G of corsair memory dependant on the board and a conroe x6800.

I have a GX2 now but will probably go back to ATI when the R600 is out so I want crossfire capability. As I understand INtel (not alot yet but taking it all in) that means either the P965 or 975x chipset.

I have seen there was alot of early trouble with all Conroe boards so am looking for recomendations as to a good solid performace board for the Conroe. I want O/Cing capability even if I don't plan to go crazy over cooking the CPU.

Am currently considering the below boards but open to suggestions:
- MSI 975X Platinum Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard?
- ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard?
- ASUS P5W DH DELUXE/WIFI-AP Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard?
I suppose this one is worthy of consideration allthough I have never built with DFI:
- DFI INFINITY 975X Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard

Current Rig:
AMD 64 FX-60, K8N Neo4, nF4 U, 2G Mushkin XP3200 DDR400, 4 WD RaptorX 10k RPM S-ATA, Promise SuperTrak EX8350 Array, OCZ 520W PS, Nvidia 7950 GX2 (1G), Audigy2 ZS, 24" WS LCD
October 1, 2006 1:35:40 AM

Any of those motherboards will serve you well, though Crossfire compatibility for the P5B is still in its infancy (P965 just got compatibility). The best one is the P5W DH but will cost a cool $260 (though this shouldn't be an issue if you're buying FX-60s and X6800s :wink: ); it's an excellent overclocker with a solid BIOS as I understand. These boards will also take a Core 2 Quad Kentsfield when they're released.

Whatever you do, hold on to that sound card, PSU, and those hard drives (though R600 may suck too much power for that PSU to handle).
October 1, 2006 1:39:35 AM

As for the ones I posted - is it your understanding that the early issues have been resolved? Aside from that, what is your sense on going forward as far as the P965x VS 975x? Originally I thought the 975x was supposed to be the performance chipset but reading around that impression has been clouded.

And what about manufacturers - in AMD world MSI and ASUS are rpetty much at the top - that hold true with Intel as well? I understand INtel branded boards are typically mroe stable but maybe less performance/overclocking able?

Definitely hanging on to the other hardware - allthough a pal is sending me an xFi - I hadn't gotten one because I just personally hate Creative so I wouldn't spend anythign for thier stuff. lol
Related resources
October 1, 2006 1:49:26 AM

Just noticed on the ASUS P5 - will not work as my Promise RAID controller needs a x4 slot - and I eventually will use both x16 slots.

DFI INFINITY 975X Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard

Is only one on my list that has an x4 slot - only thing is despite hearing good things about DFI I have never used them for any performance rigs - thoughts on this board?

Am I correct in assuming the regular 4 pin CPU plug works in the 8 pin connector some of these boards have?
October 1, 2006 4:55:20 AM

MSI and ASUS are most definitely top contenders in the Intel arena as well. P965 is a newer core logic designed specifically for Core 2, but it may still have issues with Crossfire (something you obviously want to avoid), as I mentioned its compatibility is still very new. 975X is an older, more mature chipset that had its voltage settings tweaked to meet Core 2 requirements. I would go with 975X if you ever plan on Crossfireing. Plus, its Crossfire benchmarks are slightly better.

I think that DFI is a respectable brand, check that board's reviews. That RAID controller is unfortunate, considering PCIe x4 slots aren't terribly common. Is there any way you could use the built in RAID on the motherboard for your hard drives?
October 1, 2006 5:09:53 AM

The controller is just so good it is worth the effort to find the slot it needs - it blows away on board solutions.

I found this board, Intel BOXD975XBXLKR Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard - its third x16 slot would hold my controller and down the road if third slot physics comes to fruition I could always change up.

On the P965 - keeping in mind that I DEFINITELY won't be doing crossfire until next year (early Q1) when the R600 hits - I will be sitting on the sidelines with my GX2 until then so I imagine any crossfire quirks would be ironed out by then.

So if the P965 is really a better platform for the Conroe then I would go that route, even if it means I have to switch to using the PCI version of the controller which is just abotu as good as this PCI-express one.

I just want a solid performing base for the system goign forward. I want to O/C but given the default clock on the 6800 even just a small O/C would put it over 3 Ghz which is a milestone I would like to top being an AMD guy - I would probably be happy just to get it past 3 and call it a day. So, don't need a super O/C board - just want the option with performance and stability being the main concern.

I suppose the hard thing for me to get my head around is all these chipset choices - am used to AMD world where there is one clear dominant chipset and most everythign else is the 'old' version - it seems in Intel land they have a couple or few out that are all current without necessarily a clear curretn and old generation (think nForce 3 or nForce 4 verses this 975x, P965 stuff - much more overlap in Intel world).
October 1, 2006 5:26:45 AM

Gigabyte GA-G1975X:

http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Products/Motherboard/Produc...

I would prefer ASUS or MSI but I think of GigaByte along the lines of DFI - definitely has some good products out. Thoughts on this and the above post?

I get the feeling though that I want the P965 as it seems the chipset designed for the Conroes. GigaBytes P965 board doesn't have an x4 slot, ugh - in fact it seems nobody has P965 boards with an x4 slot..
a b V Motherboard
October 1, 2006 6:16:34 AM

One thing you may want to consider with the P965, is that in Crossfire I don't think it runs at 8X8. I maybe wrong, but as I understood the articles written for the boards from ASUS when CrossFire was being made available, it runs at 8X4. Now don't jump down my throat if I'm wrong. I think the article was at AnandTech (sorry no link). Now if you were running a lower end set of cards you might get away with it, but your talking the R600. These cards may be the first generation of cards that generate enough PCI-E traffic to make it worthwhile to wait for 16X16 CrossFire. Now I'm speculating here so don't everyone come all undone. I would say minimum you would want to be running 8X8 with these new cards.

I have the P5W DH Deluxe (not running CrossFire yet just have a single x1900xtx) and I can say it's an excellent board. It runs at a full 8X8 in CrossFire. Most of the early problems have been solved with BIOS updates. Due to it's popularity, you shouldn't come across a board with an old BIOS version with CPU microcode that doesn't support Core 2 from the initial bootup. When they first shipped their BIOS had to be flashed with a compatible CPU (re. Celeron or P4) before they would POST with a Core 2 in the socket. Again though these early boards should have all disappeared from the retail channel by now. From my experience with the board, I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I have also read that the MSI 975X Platinum v2 is also an excellent board with tremendous overclocking potential.

Some things to think on.
October 1, 2006 7:52:35 AM

oops, see below - bad clicks.
October 1, 2006 7:56:40 AM

It seems my choice is the 975x with x4 support (GigaByte or DFI) or tossing this HDD controller in lieu of the PCI version and going with the P965 board. I don't mind doign that as my pal at Promise assures me the PCI version of the controller would serve me just as well - I just hate to do it wihtout good reason.

Also - thoughts on that 3 x16 Intel boad I posted - anyone heard anything about it?

And in general - when we talk in Intel world of 975x and P965 it isn't like we are talkign about nForce 3 and nForce 4 over in AMD world, is it? I mean these Intel chipsets are far more concurrent than they are linear generations with one being old gen and the other being new gen? I think that is part of my hesitation on the 975X - I just don't want to get a nforce 3 chipset when nForce 4 is upon us.
October 1, 2006 9:39:23 AM

I would definately go with the 975, as for that intel mb you did not provide a link and I cant comment without more information.
October 1, 2006 10:39:17 AM

How about looking at the gigabyte P965 DQ6? I might be getting this next week for my new rig :lol: 
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

Conroe E6600
Gigabyte GA-965 DQ6
2GB DDRII 800 Kingston
2X74GB Raptor SATA RAID0
Silverstone ST75ZF PSU
ATI x1950xtx or R600/G80 IF I CAN WAIT
Thermaltake Kandalf LCS 8)
October 1, 2006 5:54:37 PM

Quote:
How about looking at the gigabyte P965 DQ6? I might be getting this next week for my new rig :lol: 
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

Conroe E6600
Gigabyte GA-965 DQ6
2GB DDRII 800 Kingston
2X74GB Raptor SATA RAID0
Silverstone ST75ZF PSU
ATI x1950xtx or R600/G80 IF I CAN WAIT
Thermaltake Kandalf LCS 8)


The thing about some of those P965 boards that concerns me, as someone else pointed out, is the dual x16 slots seem limited. Note the specifications say "2 x PCI Express X16 slot(x16, x4)" which to me means crossfire at 8x4 and not 8x8. Aside from that it is also lacking the x4 slot I would need for my controller. Right now I suppose I am leaning towards the DFI (or GigaByte) 975x board with an x4 slot for my Promise EX8350. I haven't heard any reason to sacrafice the slot in order to get the P965 chipset.

Oh, here is link on the three x16 slot Intel board:
http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/d975x...
October 1, 2006 6:03:15 PM

the gigabyte board has 8 SATA connectors and runs on the newer ICH8R. and crossfire was recently certified on it if i'm not wrong. if not, u can always get some hacked drivers to run at 8X8. that's what people have been doing anyway. SLI OR CF.

Oh yea, i should mention it supports raid 0,1,5,10.
October 1, 2006 6:08:22 PM

Help me with memory, I understand on Intel that speed is less an issue than with AMD because the FSB is locked, so timings are more important so long as the memory is rated at the speed the baord can handle.

Boards I am considering:
- DFI INFINITY 975X Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Intel BOXD975XBXLKR Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Gigabyte GA-G1975X 975X Express

I am really just trying to decide between CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory or CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit.

Which of those two modules will provide the fastest plug in operation and the best stability/performance under mild O/Cing. My understanding is the DDR2 1066 would probably be worse than the DDR2 800 as the speed is limited by th eboard/chipset and 1066 has higher timings - please correct me if I am wrong.
October 1, 2006 6:12:44 PM

Just FYI - found this on Intel's website - I understand Crossfire is possible on the p965 but it seems at best it is unsupported for now.

Quote:
Desktop Boards
--------------
Compatibility with ATI CrossFire* Technology


CrossFire* technology is a recently introduced product from ATI Technologies designed to dramatically improve the graphics performance of hardware and software applications designed for gamers and other high-end users.

The following Intel products are compatible with ATI's CrossFire technology.

* Intel® 955X Express Chipset
* Intel® 975X Express Chipset
* Intel® Desktop Board D955XBK
* Intel® Desktop Board D955XCS
* Intel® Desktop Board D975XBX



Specifically, it is the boards' support of multiple PCI Express* x16 slots, along with support in the chipset and BIOS, that makes these boards compatible with CrossFire technology.

The PCI Express* x16 slots are implemented as follows:

* Intel® Desktop Board D955XBK - one slot running at x16, and one running at x4
* Intel® Desktop Board D955XCS - one slot running at x16, and one running at x4
* Intel® Desktop Board D975XBX - one slot running at x16 or 8x, and one running at x8 (a third PCI Express* slot is available on the board, routed at x4)


Given that and the 8x4 thing as well as my inability to find a P965 with an x4 slot for my Promise controlled I think a 875x board is the way to go, which leaves me needing to here some comments on the boards posted inthe post above, as well as any thoughts you have on the two memory modules posted.

Boards:
- DFI INFINITY 975X Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Intel BOXD975XBXLKR Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Gigabyte GA-G1975X 975X Express

Memory:
- CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
- CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit
October 1, 2006 6:53:11 PM

Wait for RD600.
October 1, 2006 7:12:48 PM

I actually had been waiting but since the ATI/AMD merger the MB manufacturers are shying away from what amounts to AMD chipsets on intel boards - word is the top manufacturers are not going to be producing the RD600.
October 1, 2006 8:13:12 PM

I like the DFI. It's cheaper and has a DDR2 800 standard unlike the intel.

XMS2 memory is good, but get the 800, I haven't seen many boards at all that are at the 1066 standard (remember, the RAM will just slow itself down to match the mobo if the mobo's standard is lower).
a b V Motherboard
October 2, 2006 5:19:04 AM

Quote:
Just FYI - found this on Intel's website - I understand Crossfire is possible on the p965 but it seems at best it is unsupported for now.

Desktop Boards
--------------
Compatibility with ATI CrossFire* Technology


CrossFire* technology is a recently introduced product from ATI Technologies designed to dramatically improve the graphics performance of hardware and software applications designed for gamers and other high-end users.

The following Intel products are compatible with ATI's CrossFire technology.

* Intel® 955X Express Chipset
* Intel® 975X Express Chipset
* Intel® Desktop Board D955XBK
* Intel® Desktop Board D955XCS
* Intel® Desktop Board D975XBX



Specifically, it is the boards' support of multiple PCI Express* x16 slots, along with support in the chipset and BIOS, that makes these boards compatible with CrossFire technology.

The PCI Express* x16 slots are implemented as follows:

* Intel® Desktop Board D955XBK - one slot running at x16, and one running at x4
* Intel® Desktop Board D955XCS - one slot running at x16, and one running at x4
* Intel® Desktop Board D975XBX - one slot running at x16 or 8x, and one running at x8 (a third PCI Express* slot is available on the board, routed at x4)


Given that and the 8x4 thing as well as my inability to find a P965 with an x4 slot for my Promise controlled I think a 875x board is the way to go, which leaves me needing to here some comments on the boards posted inthe post above, as well as any thoughts you have on the two memory modules posted.

Boards:
- DFI INFINITY 975X Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Intel BOXD975XBXLKR Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Gigabyte GA-G1975X 975X Express

Memory:
- CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
- CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit

Both of the 975X models from GigaByte don't support Core 2. The only Core 2 boards GigaByte makes use the P975 chipset. I notice you aren't considering the ASUS P5W DH Dlx. Is this because of price? Not an ASUS fan? I can definitely vouch for this board. I'm sure many here with Core 2 systems would do the same. No pressure, just something to consider. It overclocks pretty well from what I hear. I only have a moderate overclock on mine (E6700 from 2.66 to 3.0). I will get it higher, but I only had the system built a week and I had to go to work. I work in the middle east, while I'm away I let my computer crunch UD units. So you can see I wanted something that was completely stable to run unattended for 6 weeks. It's still crunching according to the UD stat's.

I love Corsair, but they are a little more expensive compared to some other highly respected manufacturers. When I was buying my components, I was told not to use OCZ because they were compatibility issues with the Core 2 systems. This is odd, since the Core 2 systems don't have the memory controller on the die like AMD, it would be more like the platform and not the CPU's having the problem. Anyway they were pushing Mushkin, when they didn't have any decent Mushkin kits in stock I said screw it give me the OCZ. It worked great at the published timings of 4-4-4-15 (PC2-6400). Later I discovered the problem was more with the P965 boards (particularly with GigaByte boards) where the default startup Vdimm voltage (this is set by the BIOS) was too low to POST with the higher Vdimm requirements of some of the OCZ kits (such as their Gold series). These problems seemed to have been fixed with subsequent BIOS updates.

Someone mentioned to wait for RD600, man if I could have I would have. I just had to get mine built before the cash evaporated.
October 2, 2006 2:42:18 PM

Quote:
Help me with memory, I understand on Intel that speed is less an issue than with AMD because the FSB is locked, so timings are more important so long as the memory is rated at the speed the baord can handle.

Boards I am considering:
- DFI INFINITY 975X Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Intel BOXD975XBXLKR Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard
- Gigabyte GA-G1975X 975X Express

I am really just trying to decide between CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory or CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit.

Which of those two modules will provide the fastest plug in operation and the best stability/performance under mild O/Cing. My understanding is the DDR2 1066 would probably be worse than the DDR2 800 as the speed is limited by th eboard/chipset and 1066 has higher timings - please correct me if I am wrong.


If that's the case, i would recommend the intel board. It packs more than the other P975 boards. But as for me, i will still stick with P965 with the newer ICH8R, solid state capacitors, cool heatsink/pipes and the "soon-to-come-or-arrived" crossfire support. With 8 SATA 2 ports, it just nicely fits my storage and raid needs.

There has been alot of good comments about the intel board though, but i'm not that big of a fan of intel boards. Oh, and check out the asus board. I was going to get that at first but it lacked the number of SATA ports i needed and a RAID card with 8 channels would've costed me a tiny fortune.

As for RAM, i've been sticking to kingston for as long as i can remember, they're quite alright for me. Going for HYPERX 2GB kit.
October 2, 2006 4:07:28 PM

I use a Promise SuperTrak EX8350 controller for RAID that blows away any on board solution so my bigger concern is the board/chipset and, of course, having room to use all my devices.

Does eveyone agree on the RAM in so far as my understanding that with Intel faster than rated memory is useless so mind as well go for faster timings? IN short, the DDR2 800 with 4-4-4-12 timings would be better than the DDR2 1066 with higher timings?

Quote:


Both of the 975X models from GigaByte don't support Core 2. The only Core 2 boards GigaByte makes use the P975 chipset. I notice you aren't considering the ASUS P5W DH Dlx. Is this because of price? Not an ASUS fan? I can definitely vouch for this board. I'm sure many here with Core 2 systems would do the same. No pressure, just something to consider. It overclocks pretty well from what I hear. I only have a moderate overclock on mine (E6700 from 2.66 to 3.0). I will get it higher, but I only had the system built a week and I had to go to work. I work in the middle east, while I'm away I let my computer crunch UD units. So you can see I wanted something that was completely stable to run unattended for 6 weeks. It's still crunching according to the UD stat's.

I love Corsair, but they are a little more expensive compared to some other highly respected manufacturers. When I was buying my components, I was told not to use OCZ because they were compatibility issues with the Core 2 systems. This is odd, since the Core 2 systems don't have the memory controller on the die like AMD, it would be more like the platform and not the CPU's having the problem. Anyway they were pushing Mushkin, when they didn't have any decent Mushkin kits in stock I said screw it give me the OCZ. It worked great at the published timings of 4-4-4-15 (PC2-6400). Later I discovered the problem was more with the P965 boards (particularly with GigaByte boards) where the default startup Vdimm voltage (this is set by the BIOS) was too low to POST with the higher Vdimm requirements of some of the OCZ kits (such as their Gold series). These problems seemed to have been fixed with subsequent BIOS updates.

Someone mentioned to wait for RD600, man if I could have I would have. I just had to get mine built before the cash evaporated.


I understood that the P965 boards are 8x4 as far as the two x16 lanes, additionally - none of them have PCI Express x4 slots and the Promise controller I have needs an x4 slot, it is worth considering in this. I would agree with you on Corsair and Mushkin - definitely the top two manufacturers of performance/quality RAM IMHO. OCZ is pretty good too but not on the same tier with Mushkin/Corsair.

I too would love the RD600 from what I have heard about it but for one it is all just talk until the transistors hit the PCB and for antoher it seems dead before arrival as manufacturers just don't want to risk ticking off Intel by releasing AMD chipset boards for Intel chips.

Right now I am leaning pretty strong towards the Intel BOXD975XBXLKR board with 4G of CORSAIR XMS2 DDR2 800 TWIN2X2048.
October 4, 2006 6:05:41 AM

OK, I decided - I went ahead and updated my sig with the new rig even though I won't physically update teh rig until this weekend.

:-)
July 24, 2007 3:08:17 AM

I’m using motherboard Microstar 975X Platinum PE with SuperTrak EX8350, and the computer doesn’t see the RAID controller.
There is no controller’s screen in the bios, and the Windows Vista doesn’t display “new hardware found”.
I have tried to swap the video adapter with the controller in the PCI-X 16 slots. The video works in both slots, the controller doesn’t work anyhow.
How can I solve this problem? Should I try a different motherboard?

!