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Quad Core mobo / RAM choice!

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July 27, 2007 3:59:46 PM

I’m about to purchase some new system components for around about £600 ($1,200), and I’ve got my heart set on a Quad Core Q6600 as at this moment in time; it seems unbeatable for price/performance, and will really start to shine when apps can fully utilise the 4 cores.

My first question would be about RAM, I was originally thinking about going for 4 sticks of this stuff:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory/DDR2/DDR2+800+%28PC6400%29/Patriot+2GB+PC2-6400+C4+Extreme+Performance+%282x1GB%29+?productId=26802
Only prob is, it runs at 800mhz, while the FSB on my CPU will be at 1066mhz right? I’m guessing this means that the CPU will have to drop its FSB to accommodate for the RAM, which worries me and I can see this having a detrimental effect on performance :(  (correct me if I’m wrong).

Of course I could purchase 4GB of this stuff, which runs at 1066mhz, but costs like twice as much: :/ 
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory/DDR2/DDR2+1100+%28PC8800%29/OCZ+2GB+PC2-8500+Reaper+HPC+%282x1GB%29+?productId=26597

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My last and final question is about the mobo. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction of something that is £100 or less ($200), high performance, and that will support my Q6600?

PC Build Spec:
CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Mobo ??
RAM ?? (4GB)
GFX GeForce 8800GTS (320mb) (PCI-E)
Audio Creative Audigy (PCI)
Cooling Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO

Assumptions:
The rest of my hardware is compatible (PSU, HDs, etc).

Requirements:
• Gaming, but nothing too hardcore, stuff like World Of Warcraft, Counter Strike 1.6
• Often using 3DSMax for semi-detailed rendering
• Considering upgrading to Vista (although I’m willing to bet it’ll be laggy as hell, even with this rig :p )
• General password / hash cracking (Will need 4GB of RAM as I often work with large Rainbow Tables)
• General PC usage (internet, word processing, etc) [This might seem like lightweight stuff, but I’m going to be multitasking a lot, and I’m very impatient when it comes to things like having to wait for my start menu / explorer to load!]

Firstly, I hope I’ve given you guys sufficient info to make a decision, and secondly; thank you VERY, very much for taking time to read this / post an answer :) ))

July 27, 2007 4:48:47 PM

Here is another ram brand you should check out.
2Gb G.Skill DDR2 PC2-8500 (5-5-5-15) HK Series Dual Channel kit £ 114.26 Inc.Vat
http://www.memoryc.com/products/description/2Gb_G_Skill_DDR2_PC2_8500-5_5_5_15-HK_Series_Dual_Channel_kit/index.html

Also you know you can OC ram. If you choose the right type of DDR800 that uses the Micron D9 memory chip modules. Like these below.

2Gb G.Skill DDR2 PC2-6400 HZ Series Dual Channel kit £ 90.29 Inc.Vat
http://www.memoryc.com/products/description/2Gb_G_Skill_DDR2_PC2_6400_HZ_Series_Dual_Channel_kit/index.html

Both of above ram uses the Micron D9 memory chip modules.

Hope this helps out.
July 27, 2007 4:53:21 PM

Hi,
i have just got myself the Q6600 (yes its the best price/performance CPU since Celeron 300A) upgrading from 6300.I have a P5B Dlx mb (its a 965 mb) and 2 Gb mushkin 1066 DDR2 and also 8800 GTS 640.It works fine for me , i tried a bit of OCing up to 3.2 GHz without any problems and i think it can go higher than that easy.If you want a somewhat futureproof mb you go with a P35 one.You can find some at 150 Euros or less.If you want a cheaper one you can always buy 965 mb.You can also use 800 MHz ram with no problems.Faster sticks will probably be better for extreme OCing but more expensive.Dont get Vista yet.You dont really nedd it at the moment.
Now , if i could find a program that uses 4 cores......
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July 27, 2007 5:01:11 PM

Well I don't really post to forums ever but I feel like doing it now. From what I have read, cpu and ram speeds are not connected in a 1:1 ratio. This ratio is easily changed in the bios and without over clocking, ddr2 800 should be just fine. I believe it runs at a 2:3 ratio which shows that it is not 1:1. You would have to run at ddr2 533 to get the 1:1 ratio you want. If overclocking you might want the ddr2 1066. It will allow you to overclock more than ddr2 800. I don't know what the ratios actually mean so if someone could tell me that would be great.

As for motherboards. I am looking at the Asus P5KC ($150 USD). It has a lot of connections on the back panel including firewire and esata. It also has support for ddr2 1066 and future ddr3. I haven't seen any review yet but Asus seems to make a good board. You can also look at the gigabyte P35C-DS3R. It is a bit cheaper ($130) but you lose some of the conections.

By the way I am about to build my own system
Q6600
Asus P5kC
2gb ddr2 800 or 1066?
8600gt
Samsung T166 500gb hard drive

If anybody can help us out with picking out memory that would be cool. I have been interested in 4gb of ram too.
July 27, 2007 7:45:20 PM

1066 DDR2 doesnt really give you much vs 800 MHz.If you can find a good price for 1066 go for it.If not , dont worry that much.Also as for FSB/RAM ratios , you can run at 400 FSB and still have 800 MHz ram.Higher than that its all up to DDR speed. BTW , a good PSU of around 600W would be nice.
July 27, 2007 8:13:16 PM

Woot, awesome, thanks guys :)  I'll definately stick with the 800mhz memory, as it doesn't sound like it's worth paying double the price.

I've never really been keen on OC'ing, as stock hardware tends to give me all the power I need :) 

Just got home from work so I'm gonna go take a look at some motherboards, and then I'll let you guys know what I find.

Thanks again!
July 27, 2007 9:32:46 PM

Q6600 is your best choice for you use when you include 3DSmax.

The FSB ratio is not locked to the CPU so 800mhz DDR2 will run more than happily alongside the 1066mhz Q6600. The rams speed on the Core2 makes only a marginal difference at their default settings. Even PC2-5300 (667mhz) will run fine. However when/if you want to overclock the 800mhz or 1066mhz DDR2 give you more room to configure your optimum FSB speed for the best performance.

Choose a motherboard before choosing your ram as some have compatability problems. You will have to check the MB manufacturers approved list and forums to be sure you buy safe.

You say you want to have 4gb of memory but not use Vista. So I guess you will be using WinXP (32bit). It will not be able to access all that ram.

WIKI
The primary benefit of moving to 64-bit is the increase in the maximum allocatable system memory (RAM). Windows XP 32-bit is limited to a total of 4 GB, which is, by default, equally divided between Kernel and application usage. Using the /3GB switch in the boot.ini file forces Windows to limit the kernel to the upper 1GB and provides up to 3GB for applications.

WinXP (64bit) will be able to use it all and so will Vista but Nvidia have poor drivers for Vista at the moment still. Plus I doubt your password cracking software would run well under Vista. You would have to check that out to.

The Q6600 with only 2gb of ram would run Vista beautifully and wouldn't lag. However I won't be running it until hardware is better supported and the inevitable service pack has been released.
July 28, 2007 2:27:52 PM

I've decided, to say "forget it" to the whole thing :) 

In the end I couldn't help myself, I only intended to spend around £600, but for the components I wanted the whole system was coming to around £900...

I'm going to stick with my AMD 64 3700+, 1GB RAM and 9800XT as it runs everything I want, without issue, and still boots up faster than any other computer I've ever used (about 5 seconds from xp logo to a usable kernel with everything loaded) :) 

I'm going to university soon, and I guess I just wanted the computer to show off with, but I guess it'd be more wise to save my money, and use it to buy a car or something.

Thanks for all your help guys :) 

Edit:

Another reason for not getting the Q6600, is the fear that my 3700+ would outperform it in a lot of scenarios where only the first core (effectively only 25% of the CPU) was being utilised.
July 28, 2007 11:13:11 PM

For a start RAM speed doesnt even match FSB Speed.

Your ram speed matches your BUS speed, which is your CPU\MULTI.


PC2-6400 runs at 800MHZ effective. but 400MHZ standard.

Bus Speed for a Q6600 is 266MHZ, so running it 1:1 would give you 266MHZ memory.
!