I bought a pre-built pc about a year ago, and since then I have upgraded the graphics card (now have 7900gs 256mb), added more storage, and now I want to upgrade my processor and motherboard (AMD Athlon 3500 and Alive NF4G-DVI).
I know which processor I want (Intel Core 2 Duo E6600), so the question is which mobo to go with it. My requirements:
Budget of £150 ($295 US) maybe less depending on July processor price cuts
Not SLI (not thinking of upgrading graphics - quick question: would a 7900 board run with a 8800 series?)
Not P35 (I would only get that for the DDR3 and that is sooooooooo expensive
Overclockable - I am interested in doing that
Lots of configurability + expansion
This PC is for uni - so I will be using it for alot of basic applications e.g word processing etc, but also for audio/media/gaming (I'm big on audio, am prepared to buy a sound card seperate).
Not sure what else to put, like I say I'm new to this kinda stuff, I will also need to buy a new psu and ram soon, but the main priority is motherboard and cpu for now.
Gigabyte 965P-DS3 will fit your requirements very nicely. Great overclocker, stable, mature BIOS, not picky about RAM, good layout, very affordable compared to other mobos, a proven winner. Definitely one of the Top 3 in everyone's book I imagine. Northbridge runs a bit hot, so if you end up going for high overclocks, then either get a northbridge heatsink or else ghetto-rig a fan to blow on it.
Great board, can't go wrong with it. Highly recommended.
if thats borderline across the pond, you can nick £20 off with an E6420 that will get you up to 2.8-3.0. Not the max but a 2nd good choice. E6600 can get you to 3.4 Some are reporting 3.6 with good cooling flow-logic, and chipset fans, etc.
What do you make of the Asus P5B Deluxe WiFi-AP? 965P chipset seems to be the best for overclocking at the moment, and this motherboard seems to fit my requirements.
Also, whats the general consensus on GeIL PC6400 (2x1GB) ram? It looks exactly the same as more expensive ram like the Corsair stuff (XMS2 Dominator DHX PC6400). Don't want to upset anyone here but is it just the name Corsair that is the £35 (nearly $70) difference?
I've also been reading some very good reviews for the G.Skill PC6400 2x1Gb chips on this side of the pond. They are rated 4-4-4-12 at 1.9V, but clock 5-5-5-15 if your sysops boots it to 1.8V. Just a small tweak needed. Might look-see what they fetch over there, but here they are $90US.
Yea my bro has that ram (the G.Skill stuff) and has a Gigabyte 965P DS3 mobo, which I was going to get, but I want something different (bit strange I know) and think the Asus PB5 would compete well with his mobo.
We got price cuts coming around the corner here, this AMD build you see here might very well go E6600/DS3. Also keeping a very close eye on Compact Flash, looking for price drops for 16Gb and up (SSHDD) some of that stuff is running 40Mb/s... almost there.