Help selecting the right Motherboard (for Core2)

well, around December time, I will be making a new system from scratch. I have enough money for the average part, but am not rich, so won't be able to afford a Kentsfield or the new DX10 cards (which I assume will be expensive).

basically, I will be using either, the E6300, or the E6600, and plan on getting the 7950GT graphics card
Seagate SATA2 Hard Disk
Logitech x230 2.1 speakers
Standard microsoft keyboard
G5 laser mouse
19" Samsung 931BF LCD monitor

I originally was looking at the ASUS P5B deluxe for this rig, but are there any better, or cheaper variants on this? I have heard good and bad reviews about it. I also am not going to be overclocking.

and finally, even though this is in the wrong part of the forums, would the 430W powersupply that comes with the Thermaltake Soprano case (sorry can't find any specs on it, even at the Thermaltake site, I did find they have SATA and PCI-E compatability, as well as plenty of protection, and im gusesing its 430W continuos not maximum), be enough to power this system? Otherwise, what sorta Power Supply should I get? (I can stick it in an older case)

also, is it worth getting a low end soundcard? I figure that most motherboards come with decent sound capabilities anyway.
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More about help selecting motherboard core2
  1. What will you use this for?

    Do you want to OC, SLI/Xfire, future upgradeability, etc?
  2. well read the above post ^^ for OC, no I will not be overclocking.

    possibly in the future I will add another 7950GT in SLI, but SLI is not high on my agenda, won't mind if it is there or not.

    hoping the computer will last me a long time.
  3. Non SLI/Crossfire:

    Gigabyte P965 - DS3
    Abit AB9 Pro
    Asus P5B-E

    Crossfire capable:

    DFI Infinity 975X/G
    Abit AW9 Max
    Asus P5B Deluxe

    All good boards.

    DX10 won't matter for a year or so until games support it and the 7950 is overkill for the monitor you have chosen. Unless you are at 1600x1200 a cheaper vid card will be fine.

    Check out the ATI X1900 GT or XT.
  4. umm, I thought if anything with the monitor it would be the other way round, the 931BF has a 2ms refresh rate. Explain why the Graphics card would be overkill?

    also thanks for that, I will look into all of them. so the normal p5b (not deluxe) still supports conroe does it? I just wasn't sure.

    Also, if I say went with an ASUS motherboard, would it be best to also go with ASUS graphics card as well?

    also, unfortunately, the coice for ATI components arund where I live is very limited. Pretty much the x800 GT, or up to X1900 CF 512MB, X1900 XT 512MB or the X1900 XTX 512MB.
  5. Your display has limitations:
    Key Features
    Size 19 inch
    Contrast Ratio 2,000:1
    Aspect Ratio 5:4
    Max. Resolution 1280 x 1024

    Since there is no point in running any higher than 1280x1024, the video cards he recommended are fine and will save you a little $
  6. what about in say 6- 12 months time, when a new game comes out which has some hefty graphics requirements? Since I can't get those graphics cards (without shipping em from probably USA), would the 7600GT do?
  7. I think the 7600 is a good choice to hold you over until Dx10 cards come out. It will save you money in the short run and will give you time to save up money for the 2nd wave of dx10 cards when they hit the market. I can't tell you how the 7600 will perform with future games though so if you get the itch to get games as they are released then you might want to discard the 7600 as an option.

    "also, unfortunately, the coice for ATI components arund where I live is very limited. Pretty much the x800 GT, or up to X1900 CF 512MB, X1900 XT 512MB or the X1900 XTX 512MB". Skimmed thru this the first time. You have access to get the x1900 xt 512? That was one of the cards recommended--is price the problem?
  8. 7900 GT is a good card though not as good for the $$$ as the X1900 GT.

    Check out these links:

    VGA Charts:

    Best cards for the $$$:
  9. I have already read both of those. I know that the x1900GT is good, but it is not available where I am (Sydney Australia) AFAIK, and shipping it from America will be expensive and will require credit card, and will also make customer service hard.
  10. Go for the 7900 GT. Unless you want to max out the settings on every game it will serve you well until DX10.
  11. well I was going for the 7950 GT because it was only about 40 bucks extra (aussie dollar, about 30 dollars US extra) for it.
  12. That will work too! Or the 7900 GS would save a few $$$.
  13. "You have access to get the x1900 xt 512? That was one of the cards recommended--is price the problem?"

    sorry, I missed that the first time, yeh, its 700 bucks here, which is over my budget.
  14. also back on track of the original topic, what works better crossfire, or SLI? or are they the same?
  15. SLI/Crossfire = bragging rights.

    Unless you have an uber monitor, resolution 1600x1200, there is not a lot of benefit.
  16. as far as I could tell, for double the price (since you have to buy 2 of the same card), you get about 40% bonus performance, but if you got a card now, and then in 6 - 12 months later, the price of the graphics card will probably be 40% of the old price so you actually get the value for money.
  17. If Vista and DX10 weren't around the corner that would be a good plan. But in 12 months you will want a DX10 card. Buy one decent card for now and wait, unless you have the money to burn or need the performance now.

    As was stated before, your monitor won't give you the benefit of Xfire/SLI anyway.
  18. would you have any other recommendations for monitors, or would that one be perfectly fine? its an upgrade from my 13" CRT at least :P.
  19. Depends on how much you want to spend. The sweet spot in the US is the 19", most around $200. that monitor should be just fine.

    20" monitor would get you to 1600x1200 and depending on the game and your settings, could work the video card pretty hard. Here these cost $400-450.
  20. yeh this one is quite expensive (450 Aussie), but will/should last me a long time, I could downgrade to 6ms 17" which is 300 bucks, or 19" 8ms for 300 - 350 bucks, but I am never completely sure on the 8ms monitors.
  21. 8ms monitor should still be ok. Anything higher = bad.

    Just be sure to buy a good brand, don't go for the cheap no-name.
  22. Yeh I was informed that Samsung has a good customer service/warranty, and the place I am buying it from has a 7 day 0 dead pixel warranty.

    Also might interest you, the Games I want/do play are mainly FPS, oldskool UT, BF2, UT2007, warhammer mark of chaos, medievil 2:total war, also posssibly BF2142, and quake wars.
  23. Cool, I play UT2004 and next UT2007. No time for other games.

    Any of the 7900 series should carry you over to DX10. Remember, to get DX10 you will need to upgrade to Vista. There is another $400 US for the full version.
  24. Whereas I can get XP for free. I really want the setup to last me as long as posible since I am a poor uni student :P.
  25. Good luck with your build!
  26. I bought a 19" Viewsonic VX922. Excellent monitor and no problems with it so far. Gaming looks better then my old 17" CRT, bright colors and no ghosting.

    Great choice and great price!
  27. cool that is similar to what I am getting (although doesn't say what constrast rating it has), it has a highly variable price tag too 8O.

    also, I decided on the P5b - e, its 2/3rds the price, with most of the same features as the deluxe, but no SLI. Also has overclocking features, which I won't use yet, but perhaps in the future when I wanna pull every last penny from the machine, I might OC it.
  28. I also found out the 17" 6ms monitor (from BenQ) s only 250 bucks (200 bucks off), and still has 1280 X 1024 resolution, so I might get that one.
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