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E6600 Core 2 Duo but what for motherboard?

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November 29, 2006 4:32:10 AM

Alright, here is the basic story. I am currently majoring in 3d Animation, but never had the money to build my own computer to work on at home (rather than the school's labs). Plus, right now my computer is held together by ducktape (too many plane rides) and with a modest-average budget (looking at about 1000 total), it is time to build a new one.

I want to get the E6600, but I can't decide on a motherboard.

I want something stable, but I need it for animation and rendering, so performance is key too. I don't need anything fancy, especially since my budget isn't too high, i just need something that will be able to run for a while, and well.

Help the noobie gamer girl!
a b V Motherboard
November 29, 2006 5:37:20 AM

Ah, but can it be fancy. I have several compatible boards here, and my favorite among them is the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H. The fact that it's a full-featured and fast 975X board and cost only $165 might be clouding my opinion a bit...
November 29, 2006 10:08:14 AM

You might wanna go with the 975X chipset because everyone says that they work better with the E6600 although i have NO idea why :?
If you want something a bit cheaper though and nothing fancy then you might wanna go with the 965 chipset. Something like the gigabyte S3 or asus p5b-e.
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November 29, 2006 11:46:16 AM

Quote:
You might wanna go with the 975X chipset because everyone says that they work better with the E6600 although i have NO idea why :?
If you want something a bit cheaper though and nothing fancy then you might wanna go with the 965 chipset. Something like the gigabyte S3 or asus p5b-e.


Avoid ASUS!! If you're trying to save money, Gigabyte's DS3 is one of the finest mobo's for the Core2[or even the PentiumD for that matter] that money can buy. Abit has released a very good board as well[don't remember the model number]. If money is no issue, EVGA's Nforce 680i is simply the cream of the crop, but the afore-mentioned Foxconn 975X board is very nice too. Did I mention AVOID ASUS?
November 29, 2006 11:48:57 AM

I have built 3 systems so far on the Gigabyte S3 platform with the E6600 and E6400 chips and have found them very stable. The price of this board is around $116 on newegg.com. It has all the features needed for play and work, audio, gigabit lan, raid 0 and 1 support. I do light graphics and video editing with it as well as play 3d shooters.
November 29, 2006 1:05:35 PM

Unless you have built lots of systems, avoid the p5b series motherboard.

Once you get it running, its rock-solid.

The problem IS getting it running. It's finicky on memory (and won't tell you if it doesn't like it), doesn't always completely reboot after a bios change, has a bios update that doesn't fix any of the main problems you will run into and occasionally does not take driver updates the first time.

I don't think its the worst mb I've dealt with but its in the bottom batch. So unless you know what you are doing avoid the p5b series.
November 30, 2006 2:42:39 AM

kcrush, is the P5N32-SLI Premium in your bottom list? Because im considering buying one. Are there any problems with this board?
November 30, 2006 3:54:18 AM

this post should be a sticky I was asking myself the exact same question.

Is there any mobo out there that also supports AGP X8 at the same time?

Thanks.
November 30, 2006 3:56:50 AM

Quote:
this post should be a sticky I was asking myself the exact same question.
LOL!!
November 30, 2006 5:10:59 AM

Quote:
this post should be a sticky I was asking myself the exact same question.
LOL!!

With E6600 Core 2 Duo getting affordable I'm sure a lot of people ask the exact same question. n00b. :) 
December 3, 2006 5:55:11 AM

kcrush-

Thanks for posting. I have seriously been considering waiting for the P5B-E Plus. I've begun to assemble parts for my 4th build. But I'm still not too adept at resetting jumpers etc to get a board going. So I'm trying to figure out what the good choices would be.

I've no interest in SLI, so the 680i boards would be overkill. I took advantage of newegg's recent good pricing of Crucial Ballistix memory, and picked up a 2gb pair (1gb each) of DDR2 1000 memory (part BL2KIT12864AA1005). I'd like a simple, stable, well-powered board that'd be compatible with the memory, an e6600, and able to play City of Villains well. The 650i ultra chipset sounds appealing. But I have a feeling boards based on it will be few and vaporous for months to come.

So, would a Gigabyte S3, Abit AB9 or similar p965 board fit the bill? Or should I wait until March-ish for the 650i Ultra.
December 4, 2006 5:25:01 PM

I dont know about the 650i ultra but a good old gigabyte S3 will do the job you need just fine.
December 5, 2006 12:32:23 AM

Quote:
The 650i ultra chipset sounds appealing. But I have a feeling boards based on it will be few and vaporous for months to come.

The only 650i Ultra motherboard I've seen announced so far is one from MSI. It's supposed to take at least one step further toward reality towards the end of this month. At what point it will actually be available to purchase and, more importantly, if I'll want to do that are still not clear. Oh, well.

But I'm willing to hold on for another month or two to see what develops. There is nothing wrong with the current set of P965 boards, it's just I haven't seen anything that feels like it's what I would really want. And if I'm going to spend over $100 on something, I'd like to feel better about doing it.

The 650i Ultra is supposed to support up to 4 IDE devices and I believe the support is actually part of the chipset, not some sloppy, Intel coerced "let's just slap on a JMicron PATA controller chip and pray" solution. I think I actually saw 2 PATA connectors on the MSI marketing photo for their 650i SLI board. For anyone with as much invested in PATA as I have, that's a possibility worth keeping an eye on.

Here's a link to a MSI press release FWIW.

-john, the redundant legacy dinosaur
a b V Motherboard
December 5, 2006 12:45:26 AM

Hey now, I haven't had any problems with the JMicron controller, so long as native ATA mode was supported in BIOS.

I did receive a few early boards that didn't support ATA mode (only RAID and AHCI modes), but both were fixed with BIOS updates by the end of summer.

You know the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H comes with the ICH7R AND the JMicron controller, with EACH supporting two Ultra ATA drives.
December 5, 2006 1:50:33 AM

Quote:
Hey now, I haven't had any problems with the JMicron controller, so long as native ATA mode was supported in BIOS.

I believe you. My objection to the JMicron controller solution is based much more in emotion than in any rational thought. Whether it can be made to work or not is not as important to me as that it is "just one more thing that could go wrong".

I understand that PATA is a dead end technology. I realize that the industry is moving towards SATA and I can see why this is "a good thing". What I do not understand is why Intel decided that now was the time they should attempt to force everyone to migrate everything to SATA. No, I don't understand it and I sure as hell don't like it either!

If they want to get rid of "legacy" hardware, how about ripping out the frickin' parallel printer ports, eh? USB device support is widely available these days and if you need to support a legacy LPT or COM interface there are PCI adapter cards that do this which will integrate a heck of lot cleaner than any of the add-on PATA controllers I'm familiar with. Arrrrrrrrrgh! :evil: 

Like I say, my opinion on this is anger-based, not thought-based.

-john, a dinosaur from the legacy era when bit herds moved in parallel
a b V Motherboard
December 5, 2006 3:11:32 AM

Quote:
Alright, here is the basic story. I am currently majoring in 3d Animation....

I want to get the E6600, but I can't decide on a motherboard.

I want something stable, but I need it for animation and rendering, so performance is key too. I don't need anything fancy, especially since my budget isn't too high, i just need something that will be able to run for a while, and well.

Help the noobie gamer girl!


8)

Allright...
Here is a good shoping list...

The MSI P965 Platinum is a good all around performer at a good buy. Gets the Thg editors choice in the latest review anyways. http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/11/13/shootout_at_the_... And at $135, ya can't beat it.

The C2D 6600 is a great cpu with a lot of potential for overclocking. You will need that rendering 3d animation. In order to get the best performance out of it though, you will need a beter cooler. I would recomend the Zalman 9500.

At least 2Gb of ram is a must while rendering.

And...

A good video card will be verry important. Depending on how tight your budget is, I would recomend a 8800Gts or a X1900XT. The Gts can be had for $450 where as the 1900 can be had for less than $300. Course I would recomend the 8800, but you can still get some good performance out of the 1900 at a midrange price.

Here is the breakdown.

MSI P965 Platinum $134.99
C2D 6600 $309.99
Zalman 9500 $62.99
Corsair XMS2 2GB 4-4-4-12 $289
X1900XT $269.99
-or-
8800GTS $449.99
Current at newegg.com

That would be $1066.96 with the 1900, or $1246.96 with the 8800.

You could probably save your hd, dvd drives, case and ps providing it is strong enough.

Hope this helps you make your decision and good luck!
December 5, 2006 4:16:26 AM

Quote:
kcrush-

Thanks for posting. I have seriously been considering waiting for the P5B-E Plus.

apparently not to be marketed in the US.

Quote:


The MSI P965 Platinum is a good all around performer at a good buy. Gets the Thg editors choice in the latest review anyways. http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/11/13/shootout_at_the_... And at $135, ya can't beat it.!

actually you can - the Platinum is good at stock but is a bit touchy on RAM & it typically runs out of steam ~ 360-370fsb when overclocking which is worse than a good 975.
a b V Motherboard
December 5, 2006 4:27:25 AM

PPR wise, I am pretty sure it would be a good choice. Also, with a rendering box, you probably don't want to push the cpu tooo far. Erroring on the side of caution could save you alooot of re-rendering time. Even if you decided to push the fsb to 350, you would still be hitting 3.15ghz. That is still solid gains. Personaly I wouldn't want to push my luck any further when I would be leaving my system rendering for a day or 2 at a time.
December 7, 2006 3:58:58 PM

Quote:
kcrush, is the P5N32-SLI Premium in your bottom list? Because im considering buying one. Are there any problems with this board?


Can't say I've used that one, I just finished going round and round again with the Asus P5W DH Deluxe.

I purchased alll the MB at the same time otherwise I would have swapped brands.

After the debacle with the P5B series it was a welcome change. No real issues with it and it has a lot of options.

Doesn't run quite as fast as I'd expect it to run, but I guess all the bells and whistles slow it down.

My client especially like the remote feature when the kids are being obnoxious, she pulls out the remote and shuts down the machine to thier horror. :twisted:

Personally I'd spec out a system with the 8800 GTS/X and wait until march when ATI releases thier next gen card so that the prices on the 8800 series can come down from being stupid.
December 7, 2006 4:29:39 PM

To those who know -

Whats wrong with the DFI INFINITY 975X or the MSI 975X motherboards??
Why must i pay extra for ASUS or Intel?
a b V Motherboard
December 7, 2006 4:51:40 PM

You don't have to pay extra for those brands, you should instead consider the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H. Dedicated overclocking forums such as XtremeSystems are getting great results from it, its a great performer, it has good features, and it uses a 5-phase DIGITAL voltage regulator for superior CPU stability.

It also cost around $160.
December 8, 2006 8:13:38 AM

Quote:

Whats wrong with the DFI INFINITY 975X or the MSI 975X motherboards??
Why must i pay extra for ASUS or Intel?

the DFI with the latest BIOS is apparently very good
December 8, 2006 10:07:21 AM

Quote:

Whats wrong with the DFI INFINITY 975X or the MSI 975X motherboards??
Why must i pay extra for ASUS or Intel?

the DFI with the latest BIOS is apparently very good

Are u sure??
My ONLY problem right now with DFI is the drivers that dont allow overclocking.
December 8, 2006 11:34:28 AM

Well,
with $1000 you can buy the BFG nFORCE 680i (sameone as I just got) that is stable, nice, fancy, etc. This MOBO can be purchased at $350, not that much.

And you will still have other money ($650) to do your Christamas presents.

Byeeeeee.
December 11, 2006 2:55:38 AM

Quote:
If you want something a bit cheaper though and nothing fancy then you might wanna go with the 965 chipset. Something like the gigabyte S3 or asus p5b-e.
I'm looking for pretty much the same thing -- a MB for an e6600. I've read about the gigabyte S3 and the DS3 and don't know what the difference is. So I went to Gigabyte website and did a comparison. The ONLY difference shown is a different Marvel LAN controller or something. There are all kinds of boards and revisions and mention of making sure you get RAM that matches the motherboard and now I fear that I'll make all these purchase and nothing with work with anything else I buy. Someone says buy ASUS another says AVOID Asus. I know a lot of this is personal preference and experience, but how does one decide which parts, revisions, memory and everything actually will WORK together? All I have is the e6600 and an ATI X1950 Pro. After about 10-20 hours reading here and other forums, I know FAR more than I did and am FAR less confidant about purchasing anything else!!!

I don't need onboard sound (I do some high end audio and will add an M-Audio card, and probably a external Extigy for "normal" sound stuff. I'm not really interested in overclocking.

So, with the Gigabyte P965 S3 will any DDR2 800 mhz ram work? Part of my reading over the last week was Dual Channel, and that seems a good way to go. And how is the Gigabyte DS3 different?
December 11, 2006 3:28:24 AM

Again I just looked at the Foxconn mention above and that has TWO IDE channels and this would help quite a bit with the optical drives and hard drives I already have. OK, so now that's probably the first choice. What about compatible memory for that?
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2006 3:55:37 AM

The board supports all non-defective DDR2 SDRAM. Updated BIOS (should be already installed on current boards) allows it to be set at speeds up to DDR2-800. DDR2-667 CAS3 is a better choice performance-wise than DDR2-800 CAS4, and DDR2-800 CAS3 cost too much.

DDR2-1000 and 1066 will operate at speed of 800 or below.
December 11, 2006 6:00:28 AM

The only difference is that the DS3 has solid capacitors which means its supposed to last more yet the S3 will last you long enough. ALso the 965 chipset has been out for long enough so almost any ram should work on your motherboard. The only problem you might experience is if the ram has a high voltage then you might have problems starting for the first time but then youll be fine.
a b V Motherboard
December 11, 2006 7:50:15 AM

No problem installing higher-voltage RAM and starting the first time unless the RAM is defective: DDR2 is supposed to be bootable at 1.80V using default speed and timings, so it's often set to default to low speeds.

There were companies that screwed up the SPD values, but that's a defect.
December 11, 2006 10:59:37 AM

Quote:
DDR2-667 CAS3 is a better choice performance-wise than DDR2-800 CAS4, and DDR2-800 CAS3 cost too much.
The CAS3 or 4 is new to me. How can I tell which it is? Here is an ad for two gig OCZ Dual Channel for $205 after rebate. (OCZ is a new name for me, but seemed to have some good reviews...) That seems like a good price....
December 11, 2006 11:11:05 AM

If I've narrowed it down to the Foxconn or the Gigabyte, I see two differences.... the 965 vs. the 975 and 3 PCI vs 2 PCI. The Foxconn has only 2 PCI slots, BUT it also has 2 IDE channels so I wouldn't need to add an additional IDE controller, so that amounts to the same thing, unless onboard IDE offers and advantage over PCI IDE....

Someone said 975 works better with the e6600? I think the 975 offers stuff like Crossfire, but that's not of interest.

Then there's the MSI -- that also has 3 PCI slots, but only 1 IDE channel, but has SLI (not sure what that is, but I think it's a video Crossfire like thing that also isn't of interest.)
December 11, 2006 5:35:57 PM

Quote:
this post should be a sticky I was asking myself the exact same question.

Is there any mobo out there that also supports AGP X8 at the same time?

Thanks.

hey toastman, i've been wondering the exact same thing, since i want to upgrade to a core 2 duo E6600 but i'm not too keen on replacing my graphics card which i only got about a year ago - ATI Radeon x800 PRO. my current motherboard (an ancient ASUS P4B) doesn't support PCI-E so i got the AGP version of the x800 pro and i don't feel it's really necessary to upgrade the card yet. now that i'm looking to upgrade the processor and motherboard, though, i think i might as well get a motherboard which supports both AGP and PCI-E for when it does become necessary to upgrade the graphics card (hopefully a wee while to go yet).

anyway, after many hopeless searches on google for "motherboard agp core 2 duo" i suddenly remembered i could use the AND function and straight away i found this: ASRock 775Dual-VSTA.

i'm a complete noob at this (my brother usually does this sort of thing for me but he told me to find a motherboard this time) so i've no idea how to judge if this is a good choice or not. it's certainly not a top of the line mobo but it supports the core 2 duo along with AGP so i thought i'd share.
!