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Motherboard selectiuon help needed -- new gaming rig

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  • Motherboards
  • Gaming
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September 11, 2007 11:14:27 AM

Hello people,

This is something of a "cry for help" :)  I'm not a "n00b" by any means, but am somewhat out of touch with the latest developments.

It would appear that the time I have chosen to build a new gaming rig for my g/f for her birthday is also the time at which technology has taken another fork in the road and I'm left a little bewildered by all the choices out there.

Specifically, I was planning on building a Core Duo-based machine (an E6700) with a brace of 320MB 8800GTS's for her, but with the arrival of 1333MHz FSB processors and "matching" DDR3 RAM, the choice seems less clear.

Correct me if I'm wrong (the real reason I'm posting!) but there seems not currently to be a dual-PCI-E x16 mobo with support for 1333MHz FSB and DDR3...?

If there is, then I've missed it. Please direct me to it :D 

If, on the other hand, there isn't, then please can someone give me a compelling reason to go for a P35-based mobo instead of an SLI'd rig :heink: 

In fact, am I barking up completely the wrong tree with my (possibly unfounded) notion that a dual-card, SLI'd rig running at 1066MHz FSB with matching RAM, etc. is going to (graphically) outperform a single gfx card-ed (e.g. an 8800GTX) rig running higher bus speeds?

Save my sanity (but be gentle!) :) 

Cheers.

More about : motherboard selectiuon needed gaming rig

a b V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
September 11, 2007 12:04:00 PM

What resolution do you game at? If your below 1600x1200 than a 320mb 8800gts would be fine on most games now. Only a select few right now (GRAW, I believe) require at least 512mb of Vram to allow you to MAX out the settings. I don't see why you would get DDR3 right now, it's WAY overpriced and doesn't really give enough performance difference to warrant the extra cost (at least in my opinion).
I would get the 8800gtx, if you can afford it, instead of 2 lesser GPU's. The 8800gtx will rock! Also I would get the e6750 instead of the 6700, unless you already own the 6700.
The memory, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't need to be over 800mHz (400mHz doubled) to get a good OC. Only in extreme OC'ing would 1066mHz RAM really make much of a difference.
P35 mobo's are great right now, I'd only hold off for the x38 mobo's if you think that it would be better suited for your needs. I think all of the P35 mobo's will support the newer 45nm chips that are due out later this year (Nov. 11th, I think is the day?).
a c 148 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
September 11, 2007 12:39:49 PM

I agree with lunyone, especially about getting one 8800GTX instead of two 8800GTS. This opens up the option of all the nice Gigabyte P35 boards.
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September 11, 2007 4:45:12 PM

& abits :) 

Also remember that 1333fsb on Intel CPUs is really 333 quad-pumped so any DDR over 667 is OK (obviously higher if you will be overclocking).
September 11, 2007 4:54:29 PM

lunyone said:
What resolution do you game at? If your below 1600x1200 than a 320mb 8800gts would be fine on most games now. Only a select few right now (GRAW, I believe) require at least 512mb of Vram to allow you to MAX out the settings. I don't see why you would get DDR3 right now, it's WAY overpriced and doesn't really give enough performance difference to warrant the extra cost (at least in my opinion).
I would get the 8800gtx, if you can afford it, instead of 2 lesser GPU's. The 8800gtx will rock! Also I would get the e6750 instead of the 6700, unless you already own the 6700.
The memory, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't need to be over 800mHz (400mHz doubled) to get a good OC. Only in extreme OC'ing would 1066mHz RAM really make much of a difference.
P35 mobo's are great right now, I'd only hold off for the x38 mobo's if you think that it would be better suited for your needs. I think all of the P35 mobo's will support the newer 45nm chips that are due out later this year (Nov. 11th, I think is the day?).


Onus said:
I agree with lunyone, especially about getting one 8800GTX instead of two 8800GTS. This opens up the option of all the nice Gigabyte P35 boards.


Thanks for the quick feedback, peeps.

I'm not looking to overclock, at least not immediately; that can wait until it's been used for a few months and the first time we notice it struggling (as the 3.6GHz P4 is now...).

To answer the query posed by Lunyone, we don't game at res's higher than 1280x1024 ("how quaint", I hear people cry) but we do like to max-out the detail whenever we can.

I play BF2142 a fair bit, plus a little FSX and she mainly plays WoW with a little BF and some CSS, also. GRAW2 is on the cards...

From the advice proffered, I'm now leaning towards an E6850 and a single 8800GTX -- the price of this CPU seems quite keen right now and good (non-Ultra) 8800GTX's seem similarly competitive (I have one in my own rig :) )

I still have a (possibly stupid) query regarding the P35-based mobos, e.g. Gigabyte's GA-P35T-DQ6. This is a DDR3 board; would I be able to utilise DDR2 RAM in it? Corsair's memory configurator doo-dad only gives DDR3 options when queried and Gigabyte's own QVL list has only DDR3 listed... ?

Cheers,
September 11, 2007 5:10:25 PM

1333 FSB CPUs and DDR3 RAM don't really have many price/performance benefits atm in my opinion. A Q6600 and DDR2-800 memory appears to be a trend at the current moment.
a c 266 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
September 11, 2007 6:47:03 PM

I would endorse the E6850 and 8800GTX combo.
The GA-P35T-DQ6 Has slots for either DDR2 or DDR3. The GA-P35-DQ6(no "T") is ddr2 only. DDR3 is not price effective today, and will not be so for some time, I think. Save a few $ and get a ddr2 only board. With just a single vga card you could get the GA-P35-DS3L for $100. (4 sata, no raid)

---good luck---
September 11, 2007 7:28:06 PM

The e6850 and 8800GTX is a wonderful combination...
September 11, 2007 8:37:45 PM

deuce271 said:
1333 FSB CPUs and DDR3 RAM don't really have many price/performance benefits atm in my opinion. A Q6600 and DDR2-800 memory appears to be a trend at the current moment.


Interesting feedback, deuce271, thanks.

A little research from my favourite supplier (I'm in the UK, btw) shows:
Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600, S775, 2.40 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache @ £170.01

or, for £6.23 more :D  ...

Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600 G0 SLACR, 95W, S775, 2.40 GHz,
1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache @ £176.24

versus

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850, S775, 3.0 GHz, 1333MHz FSB, Conroe Core, 4MB Cache @ £171.19

Not a lot in it, price-wise and the SLACR would o'clock a fair bit, even running on air...

Dang... Decisions, decisions...



!