I recently have given up on my efforts to use the MSI 975X platinum power up edition as my motherboard of choice for my overclocking goal of 3.0 Ghz. I had high hopes as Tomshardware had listed it as an editors choice pick here.
Sadly I found the board not very stable or friendly at speeds of 3.0 ghz, even with lazy ram timings. And when trying to see where stability woes were Intel TAT did not run properly.
Here's my current list of items, the board cost about 240 CAN including taxes. I'm willing ot spend more or less, I just want some suggestions on what boards to consider. If you had a chance to pick any MOBO what would it be?
Core 2 Duo E6400
1 GB (2x512) Corsair TwinX DDR2 PC6400
ATi RADEON X800XL 256 MB GDDR3
200/250 western digital IDE hdd
ULTRA Grid case 500w PSU
stable E6400 clock speed of 3.0Ghz (375Mhz FSB) suitable ram timings to match.
If there's anything in the list u'd recommend I change what should it be?
Graphic card will stay for now, until I get my new one from my hook up at ATi. looking at 1950 PRO.
Gigabyte 965 - DS4. According to reviews can hit 485 fsb. So your 375 will be a walk in a park. The reason that I bought this one is the heatpipe cooling solution. Much better choice for overclocking. I have my e6400@ 2.95 with artic freezer pro, hitting 40*C idle and 52*C full load orthos and tat.
The advantage to the QuadGT over the Gigabytes ( & I had a DS4 which is a decent mobo too) is that they switch over to the looser 1333 strap ~400fsb whereas the QuadGT stays on the 1067 & hence performs better.
It's also capable of doing over 500fsb on the 1067 strap but at that level you're going to need v. good cooling on any mobo.
Of course if you don't want to spend for a QuadGT/DS4 then the S3/DS3 are cheaper, still perform well but aren't as fully featured.
I have to admit I found the MSI 975X to be better design (pin layouts on boards) and the MSI has better build quality (all components were fitted perfectly into their slots). But if this Asus can do the trick I think I'm going to be in heaven.