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What motherboard to get? Confused

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May 13, 2007 5:22:21 PM

Hello everyone. I am very confused by all of the differant motherboards and chipsets available... I am looking for a bare bones motherboard that doesn't have anything fancy on it. It would need to provide the best SLI performance possible too.

I will be putting a E6600 CPU / Geforce 8800 GTX on it. Oh and i need it to be able to accept DDR and DDR2 memory.... what motherboard should i get?

Thank you everyone :) 

More about : motherboard confused

May 13, 2007 5:43:46 PM

ddr and ddr2 and sli...

sure you don't want to add rdram to that list? how about agp and pcix too!

good luck
May 13, 2007 5:45:30 PM

... i dont understand.
Related resources
May 13, 2007 5:49:16 PM

Quote:
... i dont understand.

Exactly!

why do you want to include ddr in your list?
May 13, 2007 5:50:24 PM

Because i currently have 2 gb of pc 3200 DDR memory installed and would like to continue using it if possible ;) 
May 13, 2007 6:03:33 PM

ddr is totally obsolete... Don't even consider trying to build a kick-butt game machine for a few more years.

Your best bet is visit the hp, dell, and/or gateway sites and pick out the most expensive one that still fits within your financial constaints. You'll wind up with a _much_ cheaper system and a _much_ better game machine.

good luck
May 13, 2007 6:05:23 PM

Did you just recommend that buying a pre-made system is cheaper then updating a few components???
May 13, 2007 6:21:10 PM

based on your demonstated knowledge, your experience is likely extrememly low (i.e. you are just throwing out words that have no meaning).

So, absolutely YES; in your case only I am recommending that to have a functional kick-butt system, "buying a pre-made system is cheaper then updating a few components"
May 13, 2007 6:32:51 PM

Quote:
... I am looking for a bare bones motherboard that doesn't have anything fancy on it. It would need to provide the best SLI performance possible too. ...
Those two statements are contradictory.

Any SLI capable board is going to have alot of bells and whistles. SLI is high performance enthusiast level which means it's only for people who have alot of money they don't need.
If you want the "best SLI performance" you'll be paying for a high end board.

Just in case you're confused, "SLI" means running TWO video cards together in the same machine. The two cards work together to create one picture. By working together they can double your graphics processing power but it's an expensive option and totally unnecessary for any current games.

For Nvidia SLI you will have to buy a board with an Nvidia 680i Chipset. A 650i board might be an option too but I'm not sure.
And you'll need TWO of those Geforce 8800 GTX video cards.

You can forget about the DDR ram too. You won't be able to use it on any SLI capable board with a E6600.

I priced out a high performance 680I system with 2x 8800GTX and couldn't do it for less than $3700. Not worth it IMO.
May 13, 2007 6:33:33 PM

You have to forget either SLI or DDR. Also if you have more than two sticks of DDR memory, forget DDR + DDR2 alltogether. There is only one mboard i know that supports DDR and DDR2

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=4CoreDual-V...

although you cannot have both at the same time installed. If you want my advice, sell your older memory, buy 2 gigs of DDR2 800 memory (should cost you around $120) and go for an Nvidia 680 mboard from a respectable manufacturer. Good luck!
May 13, 2007 7:00:40 PM

Thank you BigBlack, at least not everyone on these boards has a nail stuck in their ass.
May 13, 2007 7:11:24 PM

and most are more honest and direct when they are confused with technical issues instead of going with a near challenge...

Quote:
Did you just recommend that buying a pre-made system is cheaper then updating a few components???


good luck mongoosed...
May 16, 2007 2:05:43 AM

I think one of the purposes of this forum is to help newer users begin to understand the fundamentals of information technology. I think harping someone for asking a question, however inexperienced a question, is contradictory to that goal.

SLI isnt just available on the 680i chipset, nor with the 8800 GTX cards.

There are some very respectable older nVidia chipsets that support SLI, a 680i is only really recommended if you want an intel rig.

There are some quite reasonable (and likely more appropriate) older 7900 SLI cards that are just fine. More reasonably priced, also.

A 680i reference board can be had for around $225- try New Egg and eVGA 680i a1.

Oh, and 650i doesnt support SLI. It's not pointed at the enthusiast segment, thats a chipset for the midrange boxes.
May 16, 2007 2:22:56 AM

Quote:
There are some quite reasonable (and likely more appropriate) older 7900 SLI cards that are just fine. More reasonably priced, also.


But is the performance of 2x 7900 equivalent to that of a single 8800GTX? Is it worth the trouble anyway with SLI? I have no personal experience and have seen no tests either, so if you have any source please share it. Thank you...
May 16, 2007 2:38:35 AM

Now that you mention it, I believe a single 8800 GTX can crush a pair of 7900s...

Now I feel stupid :oops: 
May 16, 2007 2:56:56 AM

I am sorry, didn't want to make you feel bad. But is there a consensus about SLI? Is it any good to use 2 older cards to beat the performance of a new one, or is it just marketing? I think i will open a thread with that question...
Cheers!
May 16, 2007 5:13:40 AM

mongoosed: SLI is rather overrated, and does not work as well as it should. I think an 8800 would suit you better.

For an obsolete memory standard, it is amazing how ddr400 is still able to keep up with DDR2. It says more on how bad DDR2 actually is. I own a Asrock 4CoreDual-VSTA, with DDR400 memory, and a E6600 CPU, and with just 2 WD Raptors set at RAID 0, I beat all the other E6000 benchmarks. This is with a "substandard" motherboard and "obsolete" memory. You will get better performance with the best hard drives and video card, than you will with a motherboard and memory.

Joke: it is a shame you do not know what the heck you are talking about, worse, you let people know you do not know what the heck you are talking about.
May 16, 2007 8:40:03 PM

I guarantee your substandard POS won't come close to my benchmarks. Put some real numbers to your claim even if they are only theoretical, how about ddr400 and 4.6GB/s vs ddr2-1066 and 8.5GB/s. On the real side, where have you posted your raptor-ass fire-breathing raid 0 specs? Mine are in my sig...

So, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about but you are definitely stuck in the past, those ddr2 latency claims were totally put to rest many years ago. You need to find a new ddr-claim to fame and quit showing the world just how ignorant you really are.

Speaking of shame, you are the shameful one; hiding your insults underneath a post meant for another person.
May 18, 2007 3:24:34 PM

Quote:
I think one of the purposes of this forum is to help newer users begin to understand the fundamentals of information technology. I think harping someone for asking a question, however inexperienced a question, is contradictory to that goal.

SLI isnt just available on the 680i chipset, nor with the 8800 GTX cards.

There are some very respectable older nVidia chipsets that support SLI, a 680i is only really recommended if you want an intel rig.

There are some quite reasonable (and likely more appropriate) older 7900 SLI cards that are just fine. More reasonably priced, also.

A 680i reference board can be had for around $225- try New Egg and eVGA 680i a1.

Oh, and 650i doesnt support SLI. It's not pointed at the enthusiast segment, thats a chipset for the midrange boxes.


Hunter_Green32, just to be fair, 650i ULTRA does not support SLI, while 650i SLi does support SLi, as it name states. The 650iSLI mobos are Asus P5N-E SLI, Gigabyte N650SLI-DS4, Abit FP-IN9SLi, ECS650iSLIT-A. They run in 2 x 8 mode, not in 2x 16PCIe mode, which is theoretically different, but in practice is very close, as reviewers show. However, most of the 650i sli mobos show many BIOS problems. From some forums it may seem that 680i boards have memory problems as well. The least critical review on 650i sli is about Gigabyte.

Mongoosed, with all that I agree that with one 8800GTX card there is just no need for SLI. Two cards like that are an overkill, money badly spent.

Thus my opinion - better buy one 8800GTX and... maybe a stable mobo with an Intel chipset. I am not sure, but it seems that 965P Intel chipset has good reviews (Asus p5b deluxe, Abit ab9pro, gigabyte 965p-ds3p or ds4) or if you are willing to experiment a bit you may want to try a brand new, just on the shelves, boards with the Intel P35 Bearlake chipset which is the successor to 965P (and 965P might end of life very soon). The P35's are now exibited by Gigabyte.

It's difficult to advise (always the two sacramental questions pop-up - PC is what for? and How much I am willing to spend?). Plus, I am afraid giving recommendations - end up blaimed by others for their bad experience after your advice. Well, I wrote above what I thought about it and here is the DISCLAIMER - no my liability in case of a bad mobo (it happened in P4 times with me and my MSI865PE Neo2v)...

Good luck! 8)
May 18, 2007 4:15:29 PM

the MSI P6N Platinum and P6N SLI-FI both support 2x8 SLI as well
May 18, 2007 5:03:34 PM

Just thought over a couple of things and I am sorry guys to go off the topic of this thread a bit, but well, things need to be cleared:

Primo - I though it is still good to explain once again in brief and general what is SLi, mongoosed (I know, I know, you guys mentioned it to mongoosed). Well shortly and very simplified - one can get better results with two VGA cards running at the same time in a link. Two nVidia cards will be SLI. One card - no SLi. These two VGA cards (which have nVidia video chipsets) will mainly (but not only) run on a mobo with... an nVidia mainboard chipset, not surprisingly, isn't it? Hence for SLi you need an nForce mobo and for your E6600 that means mobos with chipsest that support both Intel Core 2 Duo processors AND SLi. Currently it is only worth looking at boards built on the 650i sli and 680i sli chipsets. But these only support DDR2 - no other choice. I agree with guys that it is best to sell your DDR. The day has come - it would have anyway, inevitably, one day or another.

Secundo - ATI also has an identical technology which it calls CrossFire - two ATI cards, but... on (mainly) an Intel chipset that's worth mentioning, like for example 965P, 975 or brand new P35.

You CAN SLi with two 8800GTX (but that's a clear overspent), OR with two less expensive 8800GTS(640mb ddr3) about which people on some forums say they perfom better than one 8800GTX (here is one thread at good Hexus forums Hexus-8800sli vs 8800gtx), or perhaps with two even less expensive 8800GTS(320mb ddr3). I am not sure but you can even buy two less expensive 8600GTS and SLI with them. That you can, but the question is - will you?

Now 8800GTX performs great, but rumour goes that the super new 2900XT outperforms it. And new ATI cards are on the way. Don't know if this outperforming isn't a marketing trick, though.

So, first, Mongossed, you will have to decide if you want SLi or CrossFire, or just single but more powerfull VGA card. For that please have a search in forums and reviews and obvserve the performance of the SLI cards over one 8800GTX - just look at the #of FPS in games, that's what you buy two VGAs for.
Second, after you take the decision, give this thread a clue about how much you want to spend for a mobo and I am sure someone will give you a hint in the right direction (of course with all the usual Disclaimers :wink: ). Although I think at that tie you might already observe which mobos people use and praise.
Third, don't forget, the expenses will not stop there - for two 8800 VGAs you'll have to buy a really powerful Power Supply Unit/PSU and a nicely cooled case.

To give you a first hint regarding mobos (with only one VGA though) - here is a link to one of the very few first reviews/comparisons done by ocworkbech (quick guys! thanks for your review) between some of the mobos built on the P35, nF680 and 965P chipsets in Fear and 3Dmark05:
Benchmarks - 3Dmark05 and FEAR

To disposablehero - yes, you are right, I forgot to mention the MSI boards built on the 650i sli (I guess my old dissapointment in MSI did it). I didn't quote all other 650i SLI mobos as well, sorry, but indeed there are such mobos.

If something else come to my mind "I'll be back" and Mongoosed say something!
May 18, 2007 5:38:12 PM

Now, yes, I forgot something, again.

mongoosed - I may be stating obvious, but I am not sure since there is no feedback - well, until then anyway, you can use one/single nVidia VGA card OR one ATi VGA card on any board that has one x16 PCIe port. For exmpl (one ex only to spare space) - one 8800GTX on the Intel chipset P35 based Gigabyte P35-DQ6. Only if you think to SLI or CrossFire now or in the future you have to buy a mobo with the corresponding chipset (nF for SLI and Intel for CrossFire).

Now sorry for these extended nuby things :oops:  , but I guess this info is enough for starters, mongoosed will give us a clue on what he thinks (I hope) and we'll pass on to a discussion which mobo is now best for purchase. Here I leave the floor to hard core OCers and enthuso. Cheers m8s and a nice weekend, by or buy :D  ! :arrow:
May 18, 2007 6:18:59 PM

Quote:
I think one of the purposes of this forum is to help newer users begin to understand the fundamentals of information technology. I think harping someone for asking a question, however inexperienced a question, is contradictory to that goal.


I agree man. WTF are you doing???? It's so unnecessary. If you cant help, dont bother posting anything. Rather spend the time playing WoW.
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2007 6:52:49 PM

Quote:
based on your demonstated knowledge, your experience is likely extrememly low (i.e. you are just throwing out words that have no meaning).

So, absolutely YES; in your case only I am recommending that to have a functional kick-butt system, "buying a pre-made system is cheaper then updating a few components"


And much safer :p 
May 18, 2007 6:57:15 PM

Ooops, I am back.

mongoosed - Tom's Hardware published on May 14 an article on R600 (alias ati 2900XT) where you can find plenty of benchmarks with various VGAs in SLi, Crossfire and and nonSLi/nonCrossfire modes. It might help you decide about the VGA config. Looki hera: VGAs - ATI & nVidia

Guys, btw, to the point now - mobos for the mongoosed config with E6600 and possibly(!) one 8800GTX or not :wink: . Here are three options I come with - feel free to criticise or add:

1. On nForce 680i - best reviews EVGA nForce 680i A1. For that see this thread on Anand: Best 680i mb

2. On Intel 965P - new goody from the DFI itself - DFI Infinity 965-S. This one was discussed and highly raised on one thread here at TG. The guys from this thread say this board is selling fast. For a discussion see this thread on XS:DFI Infinity 965-S Tests (535 FSB 1:1)

3. On the brand new Intel P35 Bearlake - future Penryn supportive, fast and somewhere furious :twisted: - Gigabyte P35-DQ6 (or Gigabyte P35-DS4). I know these two did not get time for a decent review and testing to prove they are sufifciently stable, but do bear with me. I've metioned that DQ6 was already tested in comparison with 680i and 965p on this quicky ocworkbench site: P35-DQ6 vs 680i and 965P

What do you think?
----
The usual disclaimer - my advise, your decision: bad mama is your problem, not my fault
a b V Motherboard
May 18, 2007 7:04:50 PM

Quote:

Just in case you're confused, "SLI" means running TWO video cards together in the same machine. The two cards work together to create one picture. By working together they can double your graphics processing power but it's an expensive option and totally unnecessary for any current games.


I agree 100%. I just wouldn't say "double" because that makes beginners get excited about SLI only to be disappointed later. Let's say "adds a bit, depending on game and resolution and settings and type of card" or whatever.

OP, check this out, for example.
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=332&type=expert&pid=4
May 18, 2007 7:16:13 PM

Ooops, I am back.

mongoosed - Tom's Hardware published on May 14 an article on R600 (alias ati 2900XT) where you can find plenty of benchmarks with various VGAs in SLi, Crossfire and and nonSLi/nonCrossfire modes. It might help you decide about the VGA config. Looki hera: VGAs - ATI & nVidia

Guys, btw, to the point now - mobos for the mongoosed config with E6600 and possibly(!) one 8800GTX or not :wink: . Here are three options I come with - feel free to criticise or add:

1. On nForce 680i - best reviews EVGA nForce 680i A1. For that see this thread on Anand: Best 680i mb

2. On Intel 965P - new goody from the DFI itself - DFI Infinity 965-S. This one was discussed and highly raised on one thread here at TG. The guys from this thread say this board is selling fast. For a discussion see this thread on XS:DFI Infinity 965-S Tests (535 FSB 1:1)

3. On the brand new Intel P35 Bearlake - future Penryn supportive, fast and somewhere furious :twisted: - Gigabyte P35-DQ6 (or Gigabyte P35-DS4). I know these two did not get time for a decent review and testing to prove they are sufifciently stable, but do bear with me. I've metioned that DQ6 was already tested in comparison with 680i and 965p on this quicky ocworkbench site: P35-DQ6 vs 680i and 965P

What do you think?
----
The usual disclaimer - my advise, your decision: bad mama is your problem, not my fault
May 18, 2007 8:26:23 PM

Agreed.

Personally, I went with the P35-DQ6 and 8800GTS.
Parts arrived today, building this weekend.

The 8800GTS is more than sufficient for me without SLI.
On an LCD monitor, anything more than 60FPS is a waste.
May 19, 2007 11:00:53 AM

Quote:
Agreed.

Personally, I went with the P35-DQ6 and 8800GTS.
Parts arrived today, building this weekend.

The 8800GTS is more than sufficient for me without SLI.
On an LCD monitor, anything more than 60FPS is a waste.


cahutch I agree.

BTW I am going to build a new rig myself and I'm buying some parts this Wednesday, but not all yet and without spending too much. Was thinking about Abit Fatal1ty FP-IN9 sli on nF650i. I searched the reviews and those were absolutely great and I was happy, and then... I found a Hexus thread on that board. O boy(!), according to those guys that board has serious PROBLEMS at OC and some people had problems even without any OC! What a pitty, I was so hopeful, but well... So I might be either looking at the same mobo you have or maybe spare for the future and most probably look at the "middle" brother of your mobo - the P35-DS4.

On some formus people sugest P35 heats more than 965P - hence the cooling. I am not sure, since DQ6 and DS4 had a good colling even with the 965P. Tell us next week what your rig feels temps and BIOS wise, will you?
May 24, 2007 8:47:09 AM

I had only one chance/day for parts shopping - yesterday. So I just bought a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 + e4300 + ocz2gb1066mhz listed as compatible on the Gigabyte website dedicated to p35-DS4. I also read a review that the P35-DS4 doesn't heat up that much, not hotter than 965P version (or even less). Well, anyway, unfortunetely don't have time for it. Moving to another apartement and it's a mess.
May 24, 2007 2:13:32 PM

If you can afford it, get the Asus Striker Extreme. It delivers top-notch performance for a little over $300.
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