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STABLE motherboard wanted

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  • Motherboards
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January 14, 2007 7:22:29 AM

Hi I want to build a system with these parts

Cheapest Core 2 Duo (not sure to get E4300 or E6300)
Cheapest STABLE Motherboard (Must have on-board VGA)
Cheapest 1GB of mem (not sure to go for 2x512 or 1x1024)

Can anyone help?

1, The E4300 and E6300 seem to be similar price but I cant afford performance memory to make the best of the FSB, so is it better to get the E4300 or the E6300 and just run it slower until I can get a 1066MHz mem kit for it? To rephrase what will run better with slow DDRII (533MHz) memory?

2, Does the C2D require Dual channel i.e it wont boot unless two sticks are present?

3, i have a case etc from old PC.

More about : stable motherboard wanted

January 14, 2007 4:31:57 PM

1) E4300 FSB=200MHz (800MHz QDR)
E6300 FSB=266MHz (1066MHz FSB)
If you run the RAM at 1:1 ratio that would be:
DDRII-400 for the E4300
DDRII-533 for the E6300
Only those running RAM on a multiplier need to worry about high performance sticks. And the difference (while measurable) is difficult to "feel" in everyday usage.

2) C2D does not require dual channel RAM to boot, it will run in single channel mode (but with half the memory bandwidth).

Good Luck!
January 14, 2007 5:53:04 PM

Great thanks man my Girl appricates this as this pc is for her and will (except mem size) will be better than mine :oops: 

If your intrested I will probaly use these parts

Motherboard

Memory

and of course the E6300

If anyone knows better or if these parts dont talk to each other please let me know!
Related resources
January 14, 2007 6:06:19 PM

If you ever want to be able to OC that thing, you may want to get RAM capable over faster speeds (although you'd probably have some luck OCing that stuff too), maybe DDR2-667 or 800. The price difference in the states is negligable (not sure about over there). If you never plan to OC, don't worry about it.
January 14, 2007 6:32:30 PM

Hi Dave_McMahon,
The thing is, with any FSB1066 motherboard the new E4300 is an instant overclock on 'stock' mobo settings of 266MHz baseclock.
You would then have the same clock as E6600 while requiring only DDR2-533 memory.
If you get the E6300 you will probably want the faster DDR2-667 memory.
So you can see why they're going to sell a lot of those E4300's!
L8R
January 14, 2007 7:43:39 PM

I'm getting the E4300 with my new computer. Heard it's one hell of an overclocker, even if your not overclocking, it performs almost as well as the E6300 at stock speed, but I would go for the E4300...but thats me.
January 14, 2007 7:58:57 PM

For RAM. If you want better performance get 2 x 512 sticks. They will work better in dual channel mode.

On the other hand if you get a 1 x 1GB module then you upgrade more in the future. (assuming you dont want to bin the 512 modules when you upgrade)
January 14, 2007 8:10:35 PM

Wow didn't realise that about the E4300! Sold! now im nervous about the cooler though!

I'm getting a Mem "kit" whatever I do and will just sell the "excess" when I next upgrade. It's going to dual boot XP and Vista but 99% XP so 1GB will be enough, would run 2GB if mostly Vista.

I think the price of the E4300 is almost exactly the same as the E6300

Also because the E4300 uses a slower FSB it means the memory/chipset etc is under less stress anyway. Hopefully the system will last longer (I want it to become a 486 well before it expires!
January 15, 2007 5:17:31 PM

Quote:
I think the price of the E4300 is almost exactly the same as the E6300

The price for the E4300 is currently expected to be around $163 or ~$20 less than the E6300. If you don't see one selling for $163 initially (is that ~84 UK£ ex VAT :?: :?) then I suggest you wait a week or two to let the market price "settle".

-john, the upgrade cheapskate redundant legacy dinosaur
February 8, 2007 8:46:50 PM


The motherboard you pointed to, Gigabyte GA-965G-DS3, has integrated graphics. Nothing wrong with that if you intend to go with integrated graphics to save some money. Just mentioning it to make sure that's what you intended to do. :) 

OTOH, if you're planning to go with a graphics card, then you'd be possibly better off with the GA-965P-DS3. Exact same board, just without the integrated graphics.

-john, the ostensibly clueless legacy dinosaur (still waiting for the price of the E4300 to drop! :oops: )
February 8, 2007 9:07:18 PM

Yeah the onboard X3000 looks about the best onboard VGA ever so am happy with that. Gonna buy her a nice 8-series for xmas
February 9, 2007 9:54:50 PM

Ok i'm happy with my choices but now i'm concerned that if the Bios version is less than F5 i wont be able to boot the board! Is it possible to boot the board <Enough> to do a Bios update. (i.e Is the F5 version only required for Windows stability?)
February 9, 2007 11:56:40 PM

Quote:
Ok i'm happy with my choices but now i'm concerned that if the Bios version is less than F5 i wont be able to boot the board!

Why? What's so special about the F5 version? Or, rather, what was so bad about the BIOS prior to F5?

-john
February 10, 2007 12:45:50 AM

According to Gigabyte the board only supports the E4300 on F5 and above!
February 10, 2007 8:53:13 PM

Quote:
According to Gigabyte the board only supports the E4300 on F5 and above!

OK, now I can see how that might be a problem.

So ... have you placed your order yet? If so, nothing to do but wait and see what you get I suppose. It seems likely that if you get a rev 1.0 board that it would come with the F5 or later BIOS since F5 has been out since Oct 16. (Wonder how Gigabyte knew how to change the BIOS for the E4300 way back in Oct 2006. Pre-release engineering sample of the E4300?)

If you get a rev 2.0/3.3 (?) board it looks like you'd be guaranteed to have at least the F5 BIOS. No earlier BIOS level is listed by Gigabyte for the rev 2.0 boards.

And if you get a rev 3.3 board, I'm jealous. :) 

EDIT: Just speculating ... Even if you get a pre-F5 BIOS level GA-965G-DS3 you may be OK. Just because the BIOS doesn't recognize the CPU doesn't necessarily mean the system won't boot ... assuming the other BIOS internal checks pass OK. It seems more likely that if the BIOS runs up against a CPU that appears to work but which it doesn't recognize that it would set the lowest possible default "fail-safe" settings for the FSB and other timings. In other words enough for you to boot a BIOS update from a floppy diskette. (Uh ... you do have a floppy drive laying around someplace, don't you?)

-john
February 10, 2007 9:47:40 PM

Quote:
(Uh ... you do have a floppy drive laying around someplace, don't you?)


Yes I have several once I bought 20 off Ebay thinking I would sell them D'oh. Still better than that guy who bought $$$$ worth of PS3's and tried to sell them. Wonder how long it took him to update the firmware on that lot?

Anyway I have placed my order so here's hoping! Also bought 2 Sharkoon Silent Eagle 2000 80mm fans and a 3.5" fan controller. :) 

So spec goes like this now

GA-965G-DS3

2x 512DDR2667 KVR (Kingston Value Ram)

E4300

Cheap metal case that will double as foot stall with 80mm fans (mesh cut out with dremel so have to watch hands!) (Glad that Athon XP rubbish is cleaned out now!!!) (Flame me)

2x Sharkoon 80mm Fans (one for HDD, one exhust)
Akasa AK-FC-06SL fan controller
Seasonic S12-430 PSU

30GB Windows XP SP2 partition
800GB Vista Partition (Should be enough)
February 10, 2007 10:06:47 PM

Quote:
Yes I have several once I bought 20 off Ebay thinking I would sell them D'oh.

Tell me about it! :roll: I bought three new ones once because the price looked good and it seemed like a good long-term investment. After all ... every PC that gets built will always need a floppy disk drive, right?

Well, I guess that's true enough if you change it to "every PC that I build will end up having a floppy drive". :oops: 

If you can, I'd appreciate it if you could post how this turns out for you. I'm thinking of taking a path similar to yours and I'm curious what revision level of Gigabyte DS3 boards people are getting lately. (OK, not really relevant since you're in the UK and I'm in the US ... still curious though. :) )

-john
February 17, 2007 12:39:04 AM

Hi I'm back!

(Long post this) Ok so i got the parts today and my girlfriend is also coming round. (I pick her up at a bus stop so I dont have to drive all the way). So jobs in rough chronalogical order were

1, Prepare case for big day Cut the front fan blockages with a dremel

2, Install fans and postion them so that the cables are at least tidy-er than normal

3, Keep Girlfriend amused with Cheescake (Must have dope inside)

4, Unpack and marvel how it remids me of a 2003 P4 board from gigabyte and how I still use it for my familys PC so they use the web.

5, Read the instructions a few times so i am familar with the (for me) new S775 CPU

6, Nervously take out the unwanted MB standoff's and put them in correct places (I use 6 in this Case/MB combination)

7, (The bit i hate) Install the board (never sure what to hold) and hear it scrape as it clicks into place into port bracket

8, screw in screws to Standoffs and at this point some of the standoffs use different threads (Some HDD/Case style and some ODD/Floppy style) :oops: 

9, Connect stuff like the 24-pin PSU and 4-pin 12V connector (Was expecting an 8-pin)

10, take chip out of packing (I got the retail one to avoid first-timer mistakes) The TIM is already applied to the bottom of the Retail HSF to make life easier and pressed home the four pins (Would prefer nuts and bolts)

11, Installed memory (2x 512MB for dual channel)

12, hooked up just PWR on front panel connector and turned on wall voltage and PSU voltage and pressed the big red button....... Beep (The nicest sound in the world) (Normally I never suceed in doing a first time boot as the memory slots are dusty)

13, Bios version is F4 so updated that using floppy to F7)

14, Post's again phew!

15, loaded optimised defaults

16, posts again so started fiddling

17, Notice that you can have the onboard GPU as well as PCI-e card so great for multi monitor setup

18, Notice all sorts of other options

19, Use my new VIA VT6421 card to control the ODD because my 642 had a boot rom I can select the drive directly in the BIOS (if i use CD-ROM I get nowhere)

20, XP disc boots and installs... BSOD sh1t. Turns out you have to install the F6 driver even though was only using drive to install windows.

21, Install F6 driver and all is well and XP installs just fine!

22, Loaded the supplied CD to install Drivers and this completes sucessfully

23, Installed Autopatcher, Spyware Blaster, Spybot Search and Destroy all okay plug in network cable to update above and all is well

Spent rest of day playing with it and seems okay except for using Easy tune 5 to get a 20% increase whch killed the onboard NIC! a reboot and turned off O/Cing sorted it!

Was running a 10% O/C and now Memtest reports errors <if I use the Test All Memory AND Bios-All options>. Windows Memory Diagnostic (From UBCD 3.4
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ reports no errors.

I ran Prime 95 for about an hour (earlier today) and it was okay so dont know why memtest failed. I'm hoping that memtest is just too old for DDR2 or maybe the 965???

Gonna run more tests (maybe Prime 95 overnight) and hope for the best otherwise will just start RMA'ing!

P.S the Bios version is REV 1.0
February 17, 2007 1:28:19 AM

Quote:
P.S the Bios version is REV 1.0

I assume you meant to say that the motherboard revision level is 1.0, right? Pity you didn't get the newest revision. They probably just don't have as much turn-over for the 965G chipset motherboards as for the 965P boards.

As for the dance of the BIOS levels you performed ... I wasn't sure I followed all of that. But I think you wrote that the board initially had the F4 BIOS but booted OK with the E4300 so you were able to install F7. Did you happen to notice if the F4 BIOS recognized the E4300? I know that the Gigabyte website says it wouldn't be able to, but other people have been saying their boards recognized the E4300 even though they had a BIOS Gigabyte claimed would not support the E4300. Don't know what's up with that.

Strange that you had to go back one level from F7 to F6 to install XP. That's the first time I've heard about a problem like that.

FWIW, earlier today I finally committed and ordered a GA-965P-DS3 from the US site www.clubIT.com One of the big reasons I decided to buy from them is that they actually promise you'll get the rev 3.3 board. Should get it sometime towards the end of next week and we'll see how it works out then. Since it's a rev 3.3 board I know it'll probably have the latest BIOS installed on it.

Good luck with your overnight test runs. I hope you don't have to go through the hassle of an RMA.

-john
February 17, 2007 1:42:24 AM

Quote:

Strange that you had to go back one level from F7 to F6 to install XP. That's the first time I've heard about a problem like that.
-john


No i meant i had to use an F6 Driver floppy disk to get windows to recognise the PATA card
February 17, 2007 1:55:30 AM

Quote:
No i meant i had to use an F6 Driver floppy disk to get windows to recognise the PATA card

Oooooooooooooooooh! The "Press F6" route to install the windows "SCSI" (wink wink) driver. So you couldn't boot the Windows install CD when your optical drive attached to your DS3's on-board PATA? That's a tad disturbing. While I've got 2 different PCI IDE controller cards I could fall back on, I'm hoping I won't have to. Oh, well.

-john
February 17, 2007 2:01:56 AM

It's important they have boot roms i have 4 of these one card has no boot rom. One don't work and the other two use a SST chip remind me to look it up) You need a specific boot rom to go with the VT6421 which are cheap ebay items (was told not to get the SIL3112/4 cards shame cos a SIL3114 is a 4 port card for a large bag of peanuts.

I installed the ODD on the card and put the XP (Or other Boot CD) in drive. The MB BIOS wont detect the drive unless there is a bootable CD!!!! So bios are getting smater in that direction also.

You could also install both HDD and ODD on one cable and move the drive once windows is installed if the card has no boot rom.
February 17, 2007 3:00:45 AM

Quote:
It's important they have boot roms i have 4 of these one card has no boot rom.

Haven't tried booting through a PCI controller yet, but expect to at least try it in the near future. Both of my cards are Promise PCI non-RAID IDE controllers and both have a BIOS so I should be OK there. One of them, a Promise SATA300 TX2plus, I paid $50 for since I was stupid and got it new from newegg. Later I was smarter and picked up the other one, a Promise Ultra100 TX2, for $15 shipped on newegg. :) 

I also have a PATA to SATA adapter which uses a Silicon Image SiI3811 chip. I've had good luck using it with hard drives, but not with a DVD burner. Was going to try using it to attach my PATA drive containing my Windows partition to one of the motherboard SATA ports when I get the DS3. I've also got a SATA drive which I can use for Windows boot drive if I need to. But I want to put off moving my windows partition to it for a while if I can.

At any rate, I hope to use on the motherboard PATA just for my 2 optical drives.

-john
!