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Newbie builder needs help/suggestions on purchasing mobo!

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December 15, 2006 8:30:41 PM

I'm preaparing to build my first gaming rig and and I'm having trouble selecting my mobo. I've been browsing newegg for over a week and I cannot make a 100% opinion on what to get.

Rading the reviews can be somewhat helpful to mixed opions to making me not even think about purchasing that model. I've heard much about this site so I was hoping the pros can help me decide.

What I'm looking for is a mobo that:

Is user friendly to newbies
Easy switchout from my old mobo
Up and running easily without hassle

I'm looking for a mobo that I can pop my current P4 Prescott 3.2 into and soon upgrade to C2D Conroe.

I'm not planning on overclocking but I would like to learn so I wouln't mind some OC'ing leverage.

I'm looking in the price range from (lowest) $75 to highest $150ish. I'm not looking for the highest end overclocker, I just want a stable, newb-friebdly mobo that I can build my new pc around and possibly have a few BIOS options I can experiment with. All in all something I won't have hard time putting in as I'm a first time builder.

Terms to consider.. I've already started building the pc, I've already purchased the Case/Fans - CD RW/DVD - SATA250 Gig Hard Drive. I have the new parts in my case paired with the my old mobo, ram, vid card, psu, proccssor. I would like the mobo to be able to pop in there with my old P4 Prescott but still be able to upgrade to C2D when money allows. And yes I know I have to replace my ram with what the mobo specifies, which will be purchased when I finally choose the mobo with help from you guys. Please throw me a line and get me on the right path.

Thanks in advance.
December 16, 2006 1:16:10 AM

Sweet? I'm getting nowhere here!
a c 435 V Motherboard
December 16, 2006 2:09:46 AM

I just downloaded the gigabyte 965p-ds3 manual, and it has plenty of overclocking adjustments. I suggest you do this before ordering any board.
Related resources
December 16, 2006 2:25:38 AM

Yeah I've been downloading the manuals first off when I see a board I like. I'm concerned about what to choose mainly due to the fact that I see so many people posting that they got doa boards or random problems here and there that make stray away from 90% of the boards i have looked at.
December 16, 2006 2:52:33 AM

Gigabyte 965G-DS3

Good board!
December 16, 2006 2:40:46 PM

I was considering that board but as I said earlier I'll be running with my P4 prescott and as far as I can see it only supports Core 2 Extreme/Core 2 Duo/Pentium D/Celeron. Thanks though.
December 16, 2006 2:48:53 PM

Although when I was considering buying the GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 I read one post where a guy says hes using a P4 630 3.0 and I'm using a P4 640 3.2 so I'm still looking into if this board can support me. If anyone out there can confirm it is compatible please let me know. Thanks
a b V Motherboard
December 16, 2006 4:14:23 PM

Quote:
Although when I was considering buying the GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 I read one post where a guy says hes using a P4 630 3.0 and I'm using a P4 640 3.2 so I'm still looking into if this board can support me. If anyone out there can confirm it is compatible please let me know. Thanks


Gigabyte GA965GDS3 CPU support:
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupport_Model.aspx?ClassValue=Motherboard&ProductID=2417&ProductName=GA-965G-DS3

OEM website says it will support almost any LGA775 if you get board version 2
and use BIOS v.5. I suspect the compatibility issues are with quad-core not with P4s. Should not be a problem.

Also, you are looking at the 965G board which has integrated graphics. These boards will not overclock well, but are otherwise very good boards. If as a gamer you will buy a discrete videocard, consider the 965P-DS3 instead.
December 16, 2006 4:38:31 PM

The Gigabyte board sounds good.... Make sure that your CPU is not the 478 pin... It's got to be a 775... sorry, you probably knew that...

:) 
a b V Motherboard
December 16, 2006 4:43:27 PM

P4 640 is an LGA775.
December 16, 2006 4:49:21 PM

Oops, missed the second post, only read the original, sorry... :oops: 
December 16, 2006 9:54:29 PM

Yeah, I know my proc is a 775. I was just kinda worried about which brand to buy cause all the good brands have tons of doa and compatibility issues. Reading reviews seems to make any board seem like trash. The Gigabyte seems like a good choice considering 88% of the posts were 4-5 on Newegg.

Also considering I have 0% experience installing a new mono as far as flashing and anything that needs to be done, I'm not really looking into overclocking. I just want something I can start out with that may have a little bit of tweakage but more concerned with stability and hoping for an easy install that me being a newbie won't have to put too much thought into.
a b V Motherboard
December 17, 2006 9:26:10 AM

Quote:
...Also considering I have 0% experience installing a new mono as far as flashing and anything that needs to be done, I'm not really looking into overclocking. I just want something I can start out with that may have a little bit of tweakage but more concerned with stability and hoping for an easy install that me being a newbie won't have to put too much thought into.

The Gigabyte is a good choice. I would bet that most of the DOA complaints that Newegg gets really should be called "killed after delivery and returned".
If you are looking for other options, then consider these:

Intel BOXDG965RYCK LGA775 G965 Conroe $113+6 12/17/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813121048

Intel BOXDP965LTCK LGA775 P965 ATX Conroe $109+6 12/17/2006
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813121035

Intel offers great support for their boards in case you run into problems.
You will still have to think some though.
December 17, 2006 4:42:43 PM

Thanks lots for all the help. I agree with he "killed then sent back vs. DOA", no company would hold up with 50% of their merchandise defected. Well I think I'm going to stick with the Gigabyte and hope for the best. I like the overall design of the Gigabyte, mainly the color scheme..although I know thats not the best way to choose a board but my case has a side window and eye candy is always pleasing. I've did plenty of research on the board and it seems like a good deal imo.

Since I've narrowed it down to the Gigabyte can you guys help me choose between the 965G-DS3 and 9the 65P-DS3. Both are the same price but the 965P has more overclocking options due to no onboard video...I've never had a board with no onboard video so I don't know what I'd be getting myself into and more or less still want a board with a fairly easy install.

Last but not least, I have a few questions.

Are all mobos the same as far as installing and getting up and going?
^^ If no whats the difference?

What factors should I know ahead of time when I'm about to install the mobo?

And do you guys know of any mobo installing guides for newbies like me?

I'm just really concerned about getting it right and not stressing myself to no end, which all in all I may be putting too much thought into it.

Thanks everyone for all your support and help, it's nice to find a forum where I ask questions and don't get called a newbie and get the "Bump This" deal. Thanks lots guys!
December 17, 2006 5:47:41 PM

Here are some links to recent articles titled "How to Build a PC Parts 1, 2, & 3"
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
December 17, 2006 7:52:08 PM

Maybe you should wait till you're ready to buy the C2D.

Waiting equals better prices, chipsets, or revisions.
a b V Motherboard
December 17, 2006 8:33:43 PM

Quote:
...Since I've narrowed it down to the Gigabyte can you guys help me choose between the 965G-DS3 and 9the 65P-DS3. Both are the same price but the 965P has more overclocking options due to no onboard video...I've never had a board with no onboard video so I don't know what I'd be getting myself into and more or less still want a board with a fairly easy install.

Last but not least, I have a few questions.
Both are good boards. the 965G will not overclock well because of the integrated video. IF you don't want to overclock, then buy the "G" along with 533MHz 1.8v DDR2 value ram. It will POST without hassles and save you some cash. If you do plan to learn how to overclock then get the "P" board without integrated video and buy 800MHz ram. I recommend these:
Kingston value DDR2 CL4 1.8v 2x512 KVR533D2N4K2/1G $117+0 12/17/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820144152
Corsair XMS2 2x512 DDR2-800 5-5-5-15 1.9v $124 12/17/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145566
Just for comparison, a more advanced user would likely choose this:
Corsair XMS2 2x512 DDR2 4-4-4-12 2.1v $152 12/16/06
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145040
Quote:

Are all mobos the same as far as installing and getting up and going?
^^ If no whats the difference?
Pretty much yeah.
Quote:

What factors should I know ahead of time when I'm about to install the mobo?
The power supply must have the right cable ends to power your motherboard (and everything else as well).
The case uses stand-offs to support the mobo. They must be used for every mounting hole, and never put where there is no hole. This will prevent shorts (a common nOOB error).
Memory should be able to POST using 1.8 volts. If you buy overclock friendly (high-end) ram it often needs 2.0v or more to run right. This takes an extra couple of steps to work around.
Oh, and if you have a Brand name computer now, proprietary parts can make upgrades tricky. Give or throw it away and build a whole new box.
Quote:

And do you guys know of any mobo installing guides for newbies like me?
The best one will be the owners manual you read twice before taking the parts out of the box.
Quote:

I'm just really concerned about getting it right and not stressing myself to no end, which all in all I may be putting too much thought into it.
The first time for many things is stressful. At least for this you don't have to worry about impressing anyone else, so take your time and check each step twice. All will be well.
a b V Motherboard
December 17, 2006 8:42:25 PM

After re-reading your first post, it appears that AS A GAMER you will need more horsepower than a motherboard's integrated video can provide. Regardless of the motherboard you get, you will need a better than average videocard. You CAN use a discrete card with the 965G without problems, but you will have to disable the integrated video in BIOS (easily done).
There is one advantage to on-board video that is often overlooked. Trouble shooting a system is easier when you have 2 choices for video output.
!