Mobo question - evga 680i vs. asus commando
Just wanted to get some feedback. I'm looking at building my first system, and I'm trying to decide on a mobo. Right now I'm looking at either a evga 680i a1 version vs. the asus commando board. I'm gaming, going to be using a 6600 processor, 2 sata hds, onboard sound. I'll probably run for a month or two to make sure everything is stable, then try overclocking it somewhat, not maxing it out. The cost difference is only about $30 on Newegg (but I could use the $30 to help build a "family" computer). What's your thoughts, or should I go for a different mobo?
This question, in essence, is this:
Intel P965 chipset, or nVidia 680i SLI chipset?
I think most of us would tell you the nVidia offering is better, so the eVGA board is a better choice- in my opinion, much better.
You have chosen the reference board, by the way. It's available from nVidia directly, BFG, eVGA, XFX, Foxconn, couple others... they are all the exact same board, made by the same manufacturer, and branded. Only bundled gear is different. Whomever is cheaper is the one to go with. I suspect that Foxconn is the manufacturer, but I dont actually know this for sure.
Have you built a machine before? My one complaint about the EVGA board is the complete lack of a manual. They give you a quick reference guide that is near useless.
If you've built systems before its not much of a problem but if you haven't build them recently be VERY careful about the 1394a vs USB connectors on the motherboard. They look identical you have to put a strong light on the board and read the tiny writing around each of the to figure out which is which. I'll give you a hint. The usb connectors aren't labeled. the 1394a is.
If I remember the the power switch, reset switch, etc. connectors are hidden near the IDE slot instead of on the lower edge of the board like most mb and they weren't labeled due to space contstraints.
Other than the setup issues and the requirement to use a floppy to update the bios (really who uses floppies anymore, thumbdrives pls) the EVGA board is a good solid board.
If you go with it, and use ram that is faster than 800, remember to go into the bios and set it to max auto OC to get it to run at its rated speed otherwise it will default run it at 800.
The EVGA are indeed manufactured by foxcon. However, the warantees offerred are excellent and may be worth paying a little extra for (10 year, I think).
If you want to save money, go for the LT version of the 680i. Passive cooling is a bit of a loss (the fan is a little wurry), but apart from that you shouldnt miss any features: a potentially redundant 3rd pci-e slot, lack of support for 1200mhz memory, only a single ethernet controller, and only 8 usb ports. But you still get everything else that make it a great board.
Manuals can be downloaded direct from evga website (but I agree, bit cheap for them not to throw one in).