I'm considering these two boards and I want to aim for a decent overclock, somewhere between 3.2-3.5 for either a 6420 or 6600 (haven't decided yet).
Anyway, the "some" of the additional features of the PLUS version really mean much to me, such as 2 ethernet, better sound, and 2 16x PCI-E since I don't plan to run SLI now or in the future. What actually interests me most is the additional cooling vs the standard version. The northbridge of the standard only has an aluminum heatsink which, as expected, gets pretty hot, especially during OCing, and the southbridge has no cooling. The PLUS version has a better, passive cooling system.
My main question is, would it be better to get the PLUS version for it's cooling (with some other bonuses) or get the standard version which is about $60 less and add my own cooling to the north and south bridge? I don't know much about cooling, and am not sure if it would be better to get active cooling on the north bridge and either passive or active for the south bridge of the standard, or to use the more 'elaborate' cooling of the PLUS which is passive and uses heat pipes.
Also, if the recommendation is for the standard + additional cooling, can anyone recommend coolers for the north/south bridge?
Hey, I'm also new to this OC thing but I'm planning a new system and have been going through the same thought process as you. P5N-E = too hot, P5N32 = too many features and too $$
After scouting around I would suggest you check out the p5b-E instead. First of all its priced in betwen the P5N and P5N32. Also, from what I've read it uses much less power, has better overall performance than either of the P5Ns, doesn't run as hot and OCs much better ( people are hitting stupid OCs of ~500+ fsb). It won't run SLI but you/I aren't interested in that feature.
Anways, that's just my summary of the literature so if I'm wrong people are sure to let me know.
I was actually considering that for a while, but thought since it's $20 more than the P5N-E, I could use that money for extra cooling. Also, I'm not sure of the chances of getting a 1.01G. Although as of a couple months ago, a lot of people from Newegg at least got the 1.01G, a few newer posts say they got 1.02G, but not to many list which they have.
I know the intel boards use less power, but does anyone have a reference that shows whether the stock cooling for north/south bridge is fine for OCing?