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Looking for recommendations on a new build

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June 26, 2007 4:07:11 AM

I am looking for a good motherboard for my soon-to-be new comp. I haven't built for about 3 years (still rocking an AGP mobo) so I don't really know much about the chipsets more than what I've read in reviews.

Build Specs:
CPU: core 2 duo e6420
Memory: 4GB (2x2gb) Patriot 4-4-4-12 DDR800 (or some otherSolid timing gaming memory, ddr1066 if cheap enough).
Video card: (here is one of the big issues) I am still undecided between 2900 and 8800 gts. I get to wait a few months to make that decision so we'll see. I highly doubt I do SLI/Crossfire. I am concerned as to whether nforce 6 series chipsets support ATI cards well or if I should look at other chipsets.
PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700w~ (maybe 600 depending on vid card)
HD: (another thing I am not familiar with) RAID? Should I run a primary small HD in RAID with the OS installed..and then have a seperate 300+GB SATA II 3.0 HD for storage? I am just used to IDE capables with ATA 100.
Sound Card: I plan on spending at least $40-100 on a sound card as I have good speakers so onboard sound isn't necessary.

So I guess my real question is..what chipsets are best for this? I've done some research and thought the nforce 6 chipset is the "best" and the intel 965 is also a competitive overclockable mobo chipset. So I am not sure which would be best, especially if I am not sure of my Vid card choice yet. Feel free to link me some newegg recommendations.

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June 26, 2007 11:30:52 AM

I give a big thumbs up to the Gigabyte DS3 revision 3.3. I just finished my new build (last one being 3 years ago as well, darn that Far Cry and it's Ultra water settings at the time... :p  ) and I think it would work great for you too as well. It's Quad Core ready and a great overclocker. I also wrestled between the 680i, 650i, and P965 chipsets and ultimately ended up going with the Gigabyte DS3 with it's P965 chipset. If you're not going SLI/Crossfire, I think you can't go wrong with it.

So that's the short answer, if you'd like the long drawn out made for TV movie version of my system build (as I see similar component choice thought patterns) I'd be more than happy to let you know. I was rockin' a 9800 Pro AGP on my main system up until a week ago.

WH
a b V Motherboard
June 26, 2007 12:14:05 PM

Quote:
I am looking for a good motherboard for my soon-to-be new comp. I haven't built for about 3 years (still rocking an AGP mobo) so I don't really know much about the chipsets more than what I've read in reviews.

Build Specs:
CPU: core 2 duo e6420
Memory: 4GB (2x2gb) Patriot 4-4-4-12 DDR800 (or some otherSolid timing gaming memory, ddr1066 if cheap enough).
Video card: (here is one of the big issues) I am still undecided between 2900 and 8800 gts. I get to wait a few months to make that decision so we'll see. I highly doubt I do SLI/Crossfire. I am concerned as to whether nforce 6 series chipsets support ATI cards well or if I should look at other chipsets.
PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700w~ (maybe 600 depending on vid card)
HD: (another thing I am not familiar with) RAID? Should I run a primary small HD in RAID with the OS installed..and then have a seperate 300+GB SATA II 3.0 HD for storage? I am just used to IDE capables with ATA 100.
Sound Card: I plan on spending at least $40-100 on a sound card as I have good speakers so onboard sound isn't necessary.

So I guess my real question is..what chipsets are best for this? I've done some research and thought the nforce 6 chipset is the "best" and the intel 965 is also a competitive overclockable mobo chipset. So I am not sure which would be best, especially if I am not sure of my Vid card choice yet. Feel free to link me some newegg recommendations.


1) What is your budget?
2) If your using 4gb memory are you using at 64bit OS, if not than I would stick with 2gb of memory. It's been pretty well documented on several forums that XP, Vista 32bit only really recognize about 3 gig's of RAM.
3) Most people will recommend the 8800gts 320 or 640mb video card over the 2900 right now. Still unsure if 2900 will be any good at directx 10. New drivers have been released for 2900, so we'll see if that helps FPS.
4) Most onboard sound is quite good these days, but looks like you are preferring to stick with sound card.
5) Stick with the better PSU 700w one, so you can possibly have more room for future upgrades (video cards seem to need more each year).
6) The chipset issue is interesting. Some people will point you to the newer chipsets with P35's, because of the higher FSB's, but I'm not sure which way you should go. Alot of people have had good luck with the Gigabyte DS3 rev 3.3, so that could be a very good choice.

My 2cp
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June 26, 2007 2:17:12 PM

If you are not planning to run SLi then I suggest the P35 Chipset as well. Right now it is more future proof than the rest!
June 26, 2007 2:40:31 PM

I am trying to keep my budget as thrifty-yet-powerful as I can. Right now I am running right around $1300 on the build. I had it in my head that I should be getting a 680i board, so I had selected the evga (around $180). I'd be happy if I could get a P35 or similar chipset board for something more reasonable around ~$100 as long as I can get similar performance out of it. I am getting a 6420 so I assume I should at least try a little overclocking with it. Those cards are meant to go to 3 ghz without much effort aren't they?

I've been looking at the P35 chipsets tryin to figure out just which to get, the gigabyte ds3 series seems nice but the 4 tiers of them make me question just how good the ds3R ($130 and the cheapest of the bunch) performs.
June 26, 2007 2:46:12 PM

oh, also...I plan on running a 64bit system..I am running win xp pro 32 now but I might as well run 64 yes? and eventually...someday..I might want to put vista on, so I might as well run 4GB?
June 26, 2007 3:19:04 PM

I have the EVGA board and all I can say is that it is great

here it is
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Great customer service, at least from EVGA, GREAT for OCing, nice layout, and honestly, good price.

Regarding DDR3 Ram, just steer clear right now, it may be good later but go DDR2. Overall that makes your P35 boards a hard push unless they run both, and that may affect price....
June 26, 2007 5:03:59 PM

Quote:
that eVGA board isn't quite the same one I was lookin at, but yea, it is a nice board. Way more than I planned on spending on a mobo tho. I thought maybe I should go for the 650i ultra eVGA board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise the P35 board I was looking at was:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Let me know what you think.


Wish I could speak on the other EVGA board but I do not have the board, as for some other aspects though I still stand by the customer support they are awesome. Something I did notice, the board only has one 16X PCIE slot so if you were even remotely considering SLi it would be a no go with this board.

Anyway, that being said, I looked at the other board and my best recommendation is to realize you are not looking at the "C" version of this board and this board only supports DDR2, even though it is a P35 chipset. So if you were looking at the board from that perspective suggest you go with the C version, model number GA-P35C-DS3R. I understand it is 30.00 more but it supports both DDR2 and DDR3.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Anyway, I do hope this helps

Hope this helps
June 26, 2007 5:13:28 PM

I understand I moved away from the SLI setups..I am not sure if I am gonna end up purchasing 8800 or 2900. I can't imagine any reason I would really need to go SLI/Crossfire, but I guess at this point it's either SLI with a good chipset or Crossfire (do they make good chipsets for crossfire?? lol)

That board seems ok, it is kinda pricey for not being SLI and having similar features to even the eVGA board I suggested.
June 26, 2007 5:31:18 PM

Can't say on Crossfire. Never used it, ran SLi in the past and recorded a mark improvement, but honestly, I would get a good card before buying to marginal cards and running SLi. Basically, this time around, I bought the 8800GTX card for both of my two systems (Mine and my wife’s) and later I will upgrade her one GTX card, about a year or so, and I will take her old card and run SLi and she will have a new card. I have no doubts she will have the better set up of the two but at the same time I will still get a nice bump up in terms of performance and it won't cost me anything.

I know what you mean with the boards, for me, I have used MSI, Gigabyte, and ASUS in the past and thus far EVGA Customer support beats them all. From that perspective I really think they do a better job, now that will never make up for good engineering or a good quality board, but it does help when something goes wrong.

Good luck!
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