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New rig, can't decide on 6600/6420/4300 + mobo

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  • CPUs
Last response: in CPUs
May 31, 2007 1:54:04 PM

I want to pull every single hair out of my head.

I spent ALL DAY yesterday researching, and have been for weeks before this, and just can't seem to make up my mind. Do I get the cheap 4300 and OC, or get the awesome and stable 6600 and OC up to 3.2 ghz? But then there's the 6420, which seems to be a good balance, especially with the 8X multiplier.

I have G. Skill F2-6400PHU2-2GBHZ 2X1 GB RAM, Antec Sonata III case, earthwatts PSU 550, EVGA 7900GS GPU, Vista Home Premium (reluctantly). All that's left is the stu*%d processor and mobo.

Really, I will buy today if I could actually make up my mind. I'd rather spend less money of course, but I want something that will last me a while.

This is my first build and my first OC. I really don't want to spend ALL summer tweaking it, so a rather stable, user friendly BIOS on a mobo would be nice. I would like eSATA, Firewire, optical audio out, and lots of USBs. And I want to keep it for a while. I couldn't care less about SLI/Crossfire.

Specifically, I was looking at the MSI P6N Platinum, ASUS P5N-E, P5B-Plus, EVGA 680i, P5B Deluxe (a little $$), and the ABIT AB9 QuadGT. Maybe even the new ASUS P5K for $145 from Directron.

Every board has good and bad reviews, "get this" and "stay away" type advice. Is it best to stick with an Nvidia based board because I have an Nvidia GPU?

Every processor seems to be the BEST. No clear winners.

I will be doing mostly multimedia type stuff (burning DVDs, music, photoshop), MS Office, and some gaming.

There has to be an obvious choice of processor and mobo, right? RIGHT????

More about : rig decide 6600 6420 4300 mobo

May 31, 2007 2:55:39 PM

you should evaluate a better ram too, 1066 mhz can run with better latencies, if you plan on overclocking and you switch your cpu for a better one, if you really want to get 800mhz ram, you can find some really cost effective without any heatspreaders... patriot signature 800 mhz

for the mobo, aim for a chipset... p35 boards just came out, it could be a good choice in order to get a good evolutivity toward ram and cpu support.

the cpu to get could also be a quad-core. after the next price cuts...
depending on your use of the computer and how much time you'll keep it.
quad core isn't supported righ now, it'll be supported as soon as apps will be core-scaled... then, any program will be able to use as much cores as you have... ( probably until a limit of 8-16-32 cores... )
May 31, 2007 3:10:12 PM

Quote:
you should evaluate a better ram too, 1066 mhz can run with better latencies, if you plan on overclocking and you switch your cpu for a better one, if you really want to get 800mhz ram, you can find some really cost effective without any heatspreaders... patriot signature 800 mhz


The RAM I have is the RAM I have, period. It's DDR2 800 mhz, highly overclockable. It was the most highly recommended RAM I could find for overclocking on a budget.

Quote:
for the mobo, aim for a chipset... p35 boards just came out, it could be a good choice in order to get a good evolutivity toward ram and cpu support.


Does it matter that I have an Nvidia GPU?

Quote:
the cpu to get could also be a quad-core. after the next price cuts...
depending on your use of the computer and how much time you'll keep it.
quad core isn't supported righ now, it'll be supported as soon as apps will be core-scaled... then, any program will be able to use as much cores as you have... ( probably until a limit of 8-16-32 cores... )


I'm aware of all the price cuts, but there's no way I can wait until the end of July to get a CPU. I start school again a couple weeks after that, and I'd never have enough time to get it all tweaked and set up to be functional. Plus, I have no use for quad core CPUs at this point in time. Nor does anyone else who uses a computer for normal, day to day operations from what I understand.
Related resources
May 31, 2007 7:18:54 PM

Quote:
for the mobo, aim for a chipset... p35 boards just came out, it could be a good choice in order to get a good evolutivity toward ram and cpu support.


Does it matter that I have an Nvidia GPU?

Not in the slightest.

Stay away from the E4300 because it will top out around 3.2Ghz but you can't use a 8x multi so there is no real point.

The 6420 should do perfectly @ 8x400 and a little more.
May 31, 2007 7:43:48 PM

Quote:
...Do I get the cheap 4300 and OC, or get the awesome and stable 6600 and OC up to 3.2 ghz? But then there's the 6420, which seems to be a good balance, especially with the 8X multiplier.

Just remember that the actual CPU you will be buying will not be from the same batch (or perhaps even same stepping) as those you've read about. In addition, reports of less dramatic OCing are less likely to be posted for obvious reasons. You may not be able to overclock your CPU as far as your paragraph above suggests, so buy something that you will be happy with even in the worst case where it can't be OC'd very much at all. In any case, you won't go wrong out of those three.
As for MBs, ratings at places like newegg are just about worthless. Instead, take a look at the manufacturer's tech support forum for each of the boards you're interested in. I know you'll see a lot of complaints/issues for at least one of those boards you've mentioned.
May 31, 2007 7:54:58 PM

Quote:
for the mobo, aim for a chipset... p35 boards just came out, it could be a good choice in order to get a good evolutivity toward ram and cpu support.


Does it matter that I have an Nvidia GPU?

Not in the slightest.

Stay away from the E4300 because it will top out around 3.2Ghz but you can't use a 8x multi so there is no real point.

The 6420 should do perfectly @ 8x400 and a little more.

Since it's his 1st build, why not the E4300? It's an affordable CPU, and he's over clocking (his 1st time) which voids the warranty. If something should go wrong with the CPU, at least it won't be something he spent over 200 (E6600 in mind) bucks for.

I don't understand why you say you can't use x8 on it. It uses speed step, and when disabled, you can specify the x8 multi, since it's stock multi is x9. So you can decrease it, but you can't go above x9.

Now I haven't tried OC to 3 ghz on my dad's PC, nor does it run DDR2 800 memory. I did find someone off another forum comparing the E4300 to the E6400:

Core 2 Duo e4300 vs. e6400: performance on Air and Water Cooling

Now the guy says you can get more performance from the E6400 (even more perhaps off the E6420) but the point I'm showing here:

Quote:
The maximum overclock reached for the e4300 at stock settings with the stock 9X multiplier was 2.81GHz (312MHz FSB). While not mind-blowing, this is 56% overclock and nothing to shake a stick at. However, it was not as high as I had hoped to achieve at stock voltage. As mentioned earlier, I more overclocking success with an 8X multiplier and at stock Voltage found that I could reach 3.0GHz (375MHz FSB). This is not far from the e6400's 3.15GHz on stock settings.


Meaning he did use the x8 multi, instead of x9.

Since the OP has mention he has DDR2 800, I won't argue that an E6420 would be better suited for it. But as far as the E4300 is concerned, it should be able to handle it with the right settings and hardware.

Edit:

Of course, it will depend on what the OP's targeted speed would be. But then even at 3.0 ghz, that's not something to sneeze at since its just as equal to a E6800 stock speed, when your looking at price/performance wise.
May 31, 2007 9:30:06 PM

Weird. I honestly can't even get my computer to boot @ 200x8, it won't have it. I was apparently wrong to make a generalization and that is my fault. I apologize. I tried everything on my board to get other multi's to work and it just wouldn't have it.

The reason I say stay away from the E4300 is experience in OC. The Allendale core require more voltage to stay stable at the same speeds as a Conroe core. At 3.2GHz you will likely need to run between 1.45-1.5vcore, which for a first timer may be a bit "scary." However, a Conroe core should be able to do that on stock voltage.
May 31, 2007 9:31:14 PM

I too was also on a budget, but I went for the ASRock ConRoeXFire-eSATA2 board along with 2GB of ram at 667mhz and the E4300. This is the best choice if you don't plan on overclocking but since you are, I would suggest you pick the Asus P5B board instead.

In my own opinion, the E4300 does fine.
The people that get the E6600 are the overly computer obsessive people that care about every inch of performance or those that have money to blow.
May 31, 2007 9:43:45 PM

Quote:
Weird. I honestly can't even get my computer to boot @ 200x8, it won't have it. I was apparently wrong to make a generalization and that is my fault. I apologize. I tried everything on my board to get other multi's to work and it just wouldn't have it.

The reason I say stay away from the E4300 is experience in OC. The Allendale core require more voltage to stay stable at the same speeds as a Conroe core. At 3.2GHz you will likely need to run between 1.45-1.5vcore, which for a first timer may be a bit "scary." However, a Conroe core should be able to do that on stock voltage.


:lol: 

You know, I had the same problem with my dads system. I was trying to force the DDR2 667 to run at DDR400 speed (200mhz x 9) manually. The damn thing wouldn't boot. But for some odd reason, it did ended up booting, when I was trying to reset the bios without hitting the MB reset switch (it doesn't have a jumper on the MB). So, on the MB I have to hit the power button 4 times to force the bios to run at stock speed to get back into the bios. My freaking jaw dropped after the 2nd power off/on. I should have done a CPU-Z validation, but I thought naaaaaa, lets just get this thing 1:1 at 533.

Later on I tried forcing it to run 533 speed (blank screen). Not exactly sure what was going on, but I think after just leaving it off after the 3rd try, for at least 30 secs, it booted. :lol:  . o O (wat... 10 secs not enough time?)

So.. I guess the MBs out there will respond differently when you change settings.
May 31, 2007 11:02:55 PM

Quote:
In my own opinion, the E4300 does fine.
The people that get the E6600 are the overly computer obsessive people that care about every inch of performance or those that have money to blow.


Money to blow?

E4300: 114
E6600: 223
X6800: 980

E6600 builds are generally the midrange, E4300 are budget conscious rigs, X6800... now those are people with money to blow. :wink:
May 31, 2007 11:10:19 PM

boxed e6420 $160 or so as part of a Fry's bundle!
May 31, 2007 11:29:04 PM

The prices are amazing out there.

I still think the E4300 would be the best value though. I'm still considering the E4400 since I like even numbers, but I thought why not just wait and get the quad later on this year for myself.

Only thing I see the E6420 has over the E4300 in MHO, the 2MB extra LS cache for 5% performance on certain games/apps if OC to the same speed.

I guess the main question would be, what would be fast enough when your over clocking? 2.8, 3.0, 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, or higher?

Wasn't there a thread (gah can't remember where) on the extent to where you reach a certain speed, the performance actually starts to decrease because of the FSB strap? Can't remember the exact speed achieve where the performance stopped increasing, or if I'm having a brain fart. :lol: 
June 1, 2007 12:13:38 AM

Quote:
I guess the main question would be, what would be fast enough when your over clocking? 2.8, 3.0, 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, or higher?

Wasn't there a thread (gah can't remember where) on the extent to where you reach a certain speed, the performance actually starts to decrease because of the FSB strap? Can't remember the exact speed achieve where the performance stopped increasing, or if I'm having a brain fart. :lol: 


You are right that question needs to be answered.

As for the second paragraph, I have no idea what you are talking about. What I do know is that as you approach the change over from one strap to another your memory becomes unstable and then the bandwidth takes a small drop once the switch is made.

None of this applies in my case because DFI lets you specify the strap. :wink:

The glories of the RD600 hehe, I just couldn't resist.
June 1, 2007 2:38:06 AM

I guess I was having a brain fart. :oops: 

I couldn't find the thread I thought I saw. All I remember was someone noticed that the performance wasn't increasing once they hit a certain speed (3.8?), and pushed it even farther.

I guess it really doesn't matter anyways, since over all, over clocking was just a way to save money by buying a low end, and make it perform like the big dogs, and not have to pay a pretty penny.

I mean I debated on how fast my dads pc should be, and came up with 2.4 ghz to match a 6600 stock.

Over clocking can be addictive, since I did get the jitters in thinking.. bwhahahah, how fast can this puppy run, but refrained. It was my dad's b-gift. So far he's a happy camper.

Yet I'm... broke, but yet have hopes in having a quad, and OC to 2.8 ghz, with a 650 or 700 PSU, 8800 GTS, with the Corsair led ram.... :shock: . o O (Ahhhhh make the thoughts stop!!! I can't afford it :lol: )
June 1, 2007 3:47:52 AM

I feel ya. OC'ing can be addictive, so is raw power. I very much want to see a quadcore under my hood with a 8900GTX.... o the dreams.

Damn dreaming is expensive.....
*smack*

Back to reality.
June 1, 2007 4:20:42 AM

E6600,cache my man,had for cheap now also.
June 1, 2007 3:28:17 PM

I'd like to get at least 3.2 ghz out of it. With my 800 mhz RAM, set at 400 mhz, and set the 6420 to 400 mhz and 8X multiplier, I should be able to get 3.2 ghz, right?

I just don't see the need for the extra multiplier on the 6600. And like someone said, if I got the 4300 and got a bad batch, it wouldn't OC nearly as much as everyone says it does, and then I'd be disappointed. So for the money, in my mind, it seems the 6420 is at the sweet spot.

As far as mobos, the P6N platinum is looking nice to me. I also like the new ASUS P5K, and the EVGA 680i AT, both at $150. Or the ABIT quadcore PRO...but that board seems to be hit or miss. Any thoughts? Since it's my first time OC, I'd like something pretty straightforward and user friendly. I won't have endless amounts of time to figure out why my computer won't boot when that happens (and I'm sure it will and I will want to throw it out the window!) :) 

Edit: OK, so now I see the 6600 is only $36 more than the 6420. NOW WHAT? Is it worth it for the extra multiplier coupled with my RAM?
June 1, 2007 4:01:48 PM

Quote:
In my own opinion, the E4300 does fine.
The people that get the E6600 are the overly computer obsessive people that care about every inch of performance or those that have money to blow.


Money to blow?

E4300: 114
E6600: 223
X6800: 980

E6600 builds are generally the midrange, E4300 are budget conscious rigs, X6800... now those are people with money to blow. :wink:

Prices for core 2 duo in the UK are as follow:

E4300: $125 - £63 (rough equivalent, applies to both)
E6600: $285 - £142

For more then double the price but with with only about 30% more performance. What more can I say... Not to mention that these prices are with the google checkout offer which gives $20 dollars off.
June 1, 2007 4:12:33 PM

Quote:
In my own opinion, the E4300 does fine.
The people that get the E6600 are the overly computer obsessive people that care about every inch of performance or those that have money to blow.


Money to blow?

E4300: 114
E6600: 223
X6800: 980

E6600 builds are generally the midrange, E4300 are budget conscious rigs, X6800... now those are people with money to blow. :wink:

Prices for core 2 duo in the UK are as follow:

E4300: $125 - £63 (rough equivalent, applies to both)
E6600: $285 - £142

For more then double the price but with with only about 30% more performance. What more can I say... Not to mention that these prices are with the google checkout offer which gives $20 dollars off.

You also get more OC potential with the E6600 which should be taken into account sometimes, it really depends on the build and person. I see your point though.
June 1, 2007 4:14:11 PM

Quote:
I'd like to get at least 3.2 ghz out of it. With my 800 mhz RAM, set at 400 mhz, and set the 6420 to 400 mhz and 8X multiplier, I should be able to get 3.2 ghz, right?


Yup. You are good to go with the 6420. You probably get the best of both worlds with the 8x multi and RAM pair.
June 1, 2007 4:21:55 PM

I was reading a review of the MSI P6N Platinum, and found you can't tweak the RAM as much as I'd have hoped. People were having some problems with the BIOS software also.

What do you think of the ASUS P5B Deluxe or P5K? EVGA 680i AT? P5B-Plus? P5N-E?
June 1, 2007 6:17:50 PM

If you intend to hit 3.2, any of those boards will do.

If you can afford it, I would grab a P5K. The new P35 chipset uses a new NB that translates directly into better performance (all be it a small increase) and it will support the next gen processors just in case you decide to upgrade.

If you want to keep the costs respectable, the 965 is a less expensive chipset (P5B) and still performs very well.
June 1, 2007 6:56:05 PM

Quote:
I was reading a review of the MSI P6N Platinum, and found you can't tweak the RAM as much as I'd have hoped. People were having some problems with the BIOS software also.

What do you think of the ASUS P5B Deluxe or P5K? EVGA 680i AT? P5B-Plus? P5N-E?


:lol:  . o O (guess this guy is looking for all the bells and whistles)

From the reviews I've read on the P6N Platinum, most really describe the bios a really pain in the butt (1.1 version), but later on when they test it, they loved it.

I admit that the vanilla P6N SLI MB my dad has, did confuse me some, but I got used to it, and feel confident that it would push the E4300 to 3.2 with hopefully no problems. Thing is, for what my dad does on it, E6600 speeds are perfect for him.

Now as far as memory tweaking... From what I understand, tweaking the memory can give you some better results, but with the CPU having a 2MB or larger cache, your really not going to see a difference. Unless your a benchmark perfectionist. :lol: 

The MB of your choices, I agree any of those should have no problems in delivering 3.2 speeds. If you do have the money to burn, why not go with the P35 chipset, like superfly mentioned.

That E6420 should be pretty well suited with the DDR2 800, so I agree too that is a good matching pair. GL on your build when you decide on all the parts. :D 
June 1, 2007 9:31:49 PM

Who has the most user friendly BIOS?
June 1, 2007 9:52:38 PM

It should be more fun to actually go out and buy your new system instead of overanalyzing things, but maybe that's just me. :wink:
June 2, 2007 3:26:37 AM

Cant tell you what to buy..can only post my results with an E6420 and a Gigabyte N650SLI-DS4
I have had the little bugger run stable on stock cooling at 8x425,I unlinked the memory from the FSB and upped the voltages all across the board....DDR+.20=2.00
NB/HT link+.35
FSB +.35
southbridge +0.3
VCC12_dl +0.20
CPU...........1.5000 but works at 1.4500

CPU-Z 1.40 report file

Processor(s)

Number of processors 1
Number of cores 2 per processor
Number of threads 2 (max 2) per processor
Name Intel Core 2 Duo E6420
Code Name Conroe
Specification Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6420 @ 2.13GHz
Package Socket 775 LGA
Family/Model/Stepping 6.F.6
Extended Family/Model 6.F
Core Stepping B2
Technology 65 nm
Core Speed 2699.9 MHz
Multiplier x Bus speed 6.0 x 450.0 MHz
Rated Bus speed 1800.0 MHz
Stock frequency 2133 MHz
Instruction sets MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, EM64T
L1 Data cache 2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L1 Instruction cache 2 x 32 KBytes, 8-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L2 cache 4096 KBytes, 16-way set associative, 64-byte line size

Chipset & Memory

Northbridge NVIDIA 650i SLI SPP rev. A2
Southbridge NVIDIA 650i SLI MCP rev. A3
Graphic Interface PCI-Express
PCI-E Link Width x16
PCI-E Max Link Width x16
Memory Type DDR2
Memory Size 2048 MBytes
Memory Frequency 450.0 MHz (1:1)
CAS# Latency (tCL) 4.0 clocks
RAS# to CAS# (tRDC) 4 clocks
RAS# Precharge (tRP) 4 clocks
Cycle Time (tRAS) 12 clocks
Bank Cycle Time (tRC) 20 clocks
Command Rate 2T

System

System Manufacturer
System Name
System S/N
Mainboard Vendor Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
Mainboard Model GA-N650SLI-DS4
BIOS Vendor Award Software International, Inc.
BIOS Version F5
BIOS Date 04/11/2007

Memory SPD

Module 1 DDR2, PC2-6400 (400 MHz), 1024 MBytes, PDP Systems
Module 2 DDR2, PC2-6400 (400 MHz), 1024 MBytes, PDP Systems

Software

Windows Version Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (Build 2600)
DirectX Version 9.0c
June 2, 2007 4:13:38 AM

I decided to get the Gigabyte DS3 mobo...for $129 and free shipping on the egg, you really can't beat the price.

Now for the CPU...$36 difference betweeen the 6420 and 6600...hmmm...?
June 3, 2007 8:59:38 AM

Hey all..

I will build a new pc around E4300 cpu, I intend to overclock it to about 3 - 3.2 ghz. My problem is the tight budget so i want a mobo that's cheap and good overclocker with stability.

Please help me with your suggestions for mobo and ram ( prefer to be ddr2 667)?

Thanks in advance,,
June 4, 2007 2:36:15 PM

Quote:
I too was also on a budget, but I went for the ASRock ConRoeXFire-eSATA2 board along with 2GB of ram at 667mhz and the E4300. This is the best choice if you don't plan on overclocking but since you are, I would suggest you pick the Asus P5B board instead.

In my own opinion, the E4300 does fine.
The people that get the E6600 are the overly computer obsessive people that care about every inch of performance or those that have money to blow.


then, tell me if i'm wrong. that guy has 800mhz overclockeable ram...
which gives a little more than 800mhz... why would everybodu only suggest 400 mhz fsb wall limited boards...

i say. using a P35 intel chipset ( P5K you have no fsb wall... then, you can use any multi if you use a better than 800mhz ddr2 ram. )

tell me if i'm wrong but... if he can get a new 800mhz FSB WALL, he'll be able to overclock the E6420 easily more than 400x8 let's say a 800 mhz ram can easily go over 800 mhz... limitation then would no more be the 400 fsb wall from the mobo but the ram frequency AND you still can overclock over 1:1 ratio. using. those 6420 can get up to 3.7ghz on air cooling. ( aftermarket, huge coolings... ) and have 4mb cache.

don't even compare it with less than 4mb cache... they're all the same... the 4mb cache WILL perform better...

is there any fsb wall comming from the CPU ???
6420 limit OC is 3.7ghz... ( heat dissipation becomes the bottleneck )
Quads can be overclocked up to 3.4ghz with HUGE watercooling.
on air, it can maybe get up to 3.0ghz with colossal air cooling
i think 2.8ghz is the max overclock with stock cooling... but... you better have a good airflow in your case cause this chip gets hot. though hard to full load... cpu tester would fry it while using apps wouldn't be able to use half of it's power... once quad-core ready apps will be out. the small. non-overclocked version with stock air cooler will run ... 80 degrees ... which is the temps you'll get using cpu tester software

440x8 = 3.5ghz
which is far from 3.2ghz