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Can someone help me choose a m/b. I've no idea!!!

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October 16, 2007 2:49:08 PM


So I've been having a chat with some of the guys over in the graphics card forum as I’m looking to upgrade my aging 7600GT AGP GPU to a 8800GT when they come out. A problem that I found though is that installing that card in my current setup would badly bottleneck the card due to my m/b’s crappy 4x PCIe interface. So one of the options I’ve got is to buy a new m/b with a 16x PCIe interface to allow the card its full potential. The only problem is that I’ve been out of the m/b loop for so long that I’ve no idea whats out there so if someone could help me out that would be awesome.

I’m not really too bothered about having an uber-tech m/b with tons of overclocking potential as I just wouldn’t use it. Nor SLI for that matter. Just something that would run my current components stably and allow for a 8800GT to shine! I also don’t want to spend tons of cash on it either. Maybe something around £50 ($100) you think? Any ideas?

Thanks.

My current rig -

Viewsonic VX824 (1280 x 1024)
Asrock 775dual-VSTA
Core2Duo E6600
Enermax EG365AX 350W PSU (will upgrade this for the 8800GT!)
1.5Gb DDR RAM *(upgrading to Crucial Ballistix 2GB DDR2 PC2-5300/667)
WD Caviar SE 16 WD5000AAKS SATA HHD
Geforce 7600GT AGP


More about : choose idea

October 16, 2007 4:07:44 PM

Mmm...quite like the look of the GA P35-DS3L.
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 16, 2007 4:53:59 PM

Hey, I told you about the DS3L first in the other forum :) 

Look at the GA-P35-DS3R too. It's $30 more, and in exchange you get RAID, support for 8 SATA devices instead of 4, somewhat better quality components - i.e. theoretically it will last longer, and a newer onboard audio chip.
a c 135 V Motherboard
a c 169 U Graphics card
October 16, 2007 5:05:20 PM

agreed ^^^
October 17, 2007 12:54:46 PM

aevm said:
Hey, I told you about the DS3L first in the other forum :) 

Look at the GA-P35-DS3R too. It's $30 more, and in exchange you get RAID, support for 8 SATA devices instead of 4, somewhat better quality components - i.e. theoretically it will last longer, and a newer onboard audio chip.


Thanks aevm. Will take a look at this too. I just don't use RAID though. And have a 500Gb SATA drive so don't think I'll need anymore any time soon. But I like the idea of better quality components. Will bear it in mind.
October 24, 2007 9:01:29 AM

Just to ask, how come it's only Gigabyte that you're recommending. Are they the best with regards to price/performance/features etc?
a c 135 V Motherboard
a c 169 U Graphics card
October 24, 2007 10:17:09 AM

P35 DS3R and P35 DS3L are solid boards with good prices, thats why most users recommend them

other good P35 boards are : ASUS P5K-E , ABIT IP35PRO......
a b V Motherboard
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 24, 2007 4:34:36 PM

ghostwalker said:
Just to ask, how come it's only Gigabyte that you're recommending. Are they the best with regards to price/performance/features etc?


I guess I'm a Gigabyte fanboy :lol:  :lol: 

No, seriously, here are a few reasons:

1. I personally have a Gigabyte right now (GA-P35C-DS3R) and I'm happy with it.

2. As far as I can tell they do have a great price/performance ratio. Or at least it looks better to me than the same ratio for Asus, their main competitor. I may be wrong, of course. Can't really compare unless you look at models with exactly the same features. I do believe that Asus does not have a model similar to GA-P35-DS3R and cheaper than it (if I knew one I would've bought it).

3. Gigabyte gets great reviews. So do aBit and Asus, just not that often. I guess this is very subjective, maybe it's just my favorite sites that are Gigabyte fanboys and have brainwashed me. Here are some examples: anandtech, x-bit labs, extremetech.

4. I try to recommend motherboards that match the poster's budget and his intentions about SLI. That is, if the poster wants SLI (and it looks like SLI is an intelligent choice for him, for example he's got a 30" monitor) then I tend to recommend eVGA's 680i A1 motherboard or Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus. If the poster has an 8800 GTX planned then I assume he's got plenty of cash and I sometimes mention the aBIT IP35 Pro (a bit too expensive for lots of people who come here for advice, but a fabulous board).

The one board I really don't want to recommend is the Asus Striker Extreme. Way too expensive and way too complicated to configure for non-experts. Also, I don't like the reviews MSI gets for motherboards.

Just to prove I'm not 100% a Gigabyte fanboy, I did say a lot of times that Asus P35 motherboards overclock better than Gigabyte's :)  I might have told you about Asus, but you mentioned you wouldn't overclock.

Tell you what, look at all the 4 mobos in Maziar's reply, Google them for reviews, then pick one. Any of them would do just fine for your plans.

a c 216 V Motherboard
a c 236 U Graphics card
October 24, 2007 5:11:56 PM

If you want a solid stable mobo why not go to the source, and buy Intel? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
They do not get much talk here, because they mostly do not have any overclocking capabilities.

---good luck---
October 26, 2007 1:15:15 AM

aevm said:
I guess I'm a Gigabyte fanboy :lol:  :lol: 

No, seriously, here are a few reasons:

1. I personally have a Gigabyte right now (GA-P35C-DS3R) and I'm happy with it.

2. As far as I can tell they do have a great price/performance ratio. Or at least it looks better to me than the same ratio for Asus, their main competitor. I may be wrong, of course. Can't really compare unless you look at models with exactly the same features. I do believe that Asus does not have a model similar to GA-P35-DS3R and cheaper than it (if I knew one I would've bought it).

3. Gigabyte gets great reviews. So do aBit and Asus, just not that often. I guess this is very subjective, maybe it's just my favorite sites that are Gigabyte fanboys and have brainwashed me. Here are some examples: anandtech, x-bit labs, extremetech.


I am comparing the same boards! ;-) Do you think the DS3R is a good budget buy over paying $50 or $60 more for the Abit IP35 Pro? I'm concerned about the ethernet PCI difference in the Abit Pro board, too. I found a DS3R board with the rev. 2.0 version (or so I think) and I may get it soon. I just wanted to confirm first that the DS3R doesn't produce too much heat as I'll have a G0 stepping Q6600 cpu. However, I'll have a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme cpu cooler so it should be fine?

I'll be dual booting Windows XP Pro and a Linux distro (probably 3).

I'm also looking at the Corsair 520 psu and Nvidia 7900GS GPU. Comments on these potential hardware components?
a b V Motherboard
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 26, 2007 2:00:54 AM

Well, I got a GA-P35C-DS3R, but that's because I was stupid and had high hopes for DDR3. Today I'd get the GA-P35-DS3R and save the $30 difference.

Between GA-P35-DS3R and aBit IP35Pro: go to newegg and compare specifications. If the aBit has features you'd like and DS3R doesn't have them then spend the $50 for them, sure. If you're going to LAN parties you should probably prefer the Gigabyte, yeah, or a different aBit, or an Asus p5K.

The DS3R runs cool. A review showed it consuming 30W less than a comparable Asus P5K, and it said the North bridge simply didn't need any fancy cooling because it was not getting hot. (or was it South bridge, totally forgot)

It should be more than fine with the Ultra 120 Extreme. My GA-P35C-DS3R keeps the Q6600 at 31 or 35 Celsius when idle, depending on room temps. My CPU cooler is a Scythe Ninja, almost as good as the Thermalright but still weaker. I do have a great case though (TJ-09 with 5 fans inside, that should help)

The 520HX is a great PSU, excellent choice. The 7900gs is a waste of money IMO. Can you wait for the 8800 gt (some time next month)? It will probably cost twice as much as the 7900gs and be 10 times better, I don't know. Maybe I'm just too optimistic again :) 


October 26, 2007 4:05:57 AM

aevm said:
Well, I got a GA-P35C-DS3R, but that's because I was stupid and had high hopes for DDR3. Today I'd get the GA-P35-DS3R and save the $30 difference.

Between GA-P35-DS3R and aBit IP35Pro: go to newegg and compare specifications. If the aBit has features you'd like and DS3R doesn't have them then spend the $50 for them, sure. If you're going to LAN parties you should probably prefer the Gigabyte, yeah, or a different aBit, or an Asus p5K.

The DS3R runs cool. A review showed it consuming 30W less than a comparable Asus P5K, and it said the North bridge simply didn't need any fancy cooling because it was not getting hot. (or was it South bridge, totally forgot)

It should be more than fine with the Ultra 120 Extreme. My GA-P35C-DS3R keeps the Q6600 at 31 or 35 Celsius when idle, depending on room temps. My CPU cooler is a Scythe Ninja, almost as good as the Thermalright but still weaker. I do have a great case though (TJ-09 with 5 fans inside, that should help)

The 520HX is a great PSU, excellent choice. The 7900gs is a waste of money IMO. Can you wait for the 8800 gt (some time next month)? It will probably cost twice as much as the 7900gs and be 10 times better, I don't know. Maybe I'm just too optimistic again :) 

Hey, aevm, you are awesome! :)  Thanks for the quick reply! I considered the 'C' version long ago but then I figured I'd be building a new system by the time DDR3 memory became established (over DDR2). My main concerns with the DS3R was the heat/cooling and possible noise. I haven't read too many complaints about either so that is good. I would like firewire but that isn't a requirement. The IP35 Pro is a good board and I would probably go with it but it's at least $40 more but perhaps, that is worth it? I don't know. I found the DS3R rev. 2.0 version but it's around $15 more than rev. 1.0. I've only found one vendor in Ontario that has it (unconfirmed as of yet since it's based on a picture on their webpage).

I was thinking of the Nvidia 7900 GS GPU since I would have Linux distros on the HDD besides XP. It seems like the GPU of choice for less issues. I am not a big time gamer although any Nvidia card of 7600GT or better should be good enough for the games I'd have. The card would be mostly for graphics, google earth, HDTV/DVD video play, video encoding/decoding etc. The cpu, Q6600 G0 would mean I don't have to go with an 8600 or 2600 if another card would be better for Linux. I could wait for the newer cards as I have one current computer already. I would like to upgrade the GPU in it, though.

The case for the 2nd system is an Antec Solo. So, not Nvidia Ultras or GTX will fit. I'm not budgeting for that kind of money, anyway. ;-)
October 26, 2007 11:24:01 AM

just for variety you could try the ASUS P5K SE core 2 duo
or the ASUS P5B dulux or normal
October 26, 2007 1:06:17 PM

I don't know about the OP's assessment of the more recent Asus boards, but, I'm not considering them because of their heat/wattage output compared to the Abit/Gigabyte boards which run cooler (whether at idle or full load).
October 26, 2007 1:14:57 PM

I would always consider cooler running boards over those that weren't.
October 26, 2007 1:51:44 PM

I recomend Gigabyte because most of the ASUS mobo's with P35 are quite expensive. The P5K line is not cheap, because these boards have lots of little add on stuff. (RAID, 8+ SATA ports, extra eSATA etc.) Personally I liked what Gigabyte had with their board's, and that's why I brought them up first. Anyway good luck with you decision.
October 26, 2007 2:20:05 PM

What are the different Gigabyte naming conventions? As far as I can see, a C following the P35 shows its DDR3 compatable right? eg. GA-P35C-DS3R. What about the bit after that? eg. DS3R, S3, DS3L etc.
a c 135 V Motherboard
a c 169 U Graphics card
October 26, 2007 2:23:21 PM

P35C DS3R = DDR2 and DDR3 (DDR2 is limited to 8GB, but DDR3 is limited to 4GB)

P35 DS3R, P35 DS3L , P35 S3 = DDR2

well the differences isnt much ( cooling , more cables, ....)
a c 216 V Motherboard
a c 236 U Graphics card
October 26, 2007 2:46:43 PM

On the gigabyte web site, you can select several motherboards to do a feature by feature comparison.
a b V Motherboard
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 26, 2007 3:05:04 PM

Or go to newegg using two browsers, find the two motherboards to compare. click Specifications, put them side by side. For example between DS3L and DS3R the differences are $30 more for DS3R, newer onboard audio, 8 SATA ports instead of 4, RAID, better capacitors. I liked the DS3L but the limit of 4 SATA devices was a show-stopper for me. Besides, there are times when my hard disk is a bottleneck, so I might try RAID.

Right, the Q6600 can handle HD video while still leaving plenty of power for doing other things. I actually recommend the 7900gs for people with low budgets and small PSUs. It's perfect for Starcraft or Diablo 2 for example. Good choice for Linux too - apparently nVidia's drivers for LInux are much better than ATIs. Mind you, ATI's Linux drivers are now open source, so one day soon you might wish you had an ATI card instead.
October 28, 2007 10:31:53 PM

Ok I've narrowed it down to the GA-P35-S3 and the GA-P35-DSR3. What is the difference between these two boards? Also, what is the difference in the revisions of the boards as couldn't see any on the Gigabyte website.
a c 216 V Motherboard
a c 236 U Graphics card
October 28, 2007 10:41:39 PM

Some of the older revisions will not run penryn or the 1333fsb processors.
October 30, 2007 9:25:25 PM

I need help chosing a motherboard... i need to know what will work with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Black Edition Processor
3.20GHz, 2MB Cache, 1000Mhz (2000 MT/s) FSB, Windsor,
Dual-Core, Retail, Socket AM2 (940), ADX6400CZWOF, CPU Processor. The one that works for that processer and for gaming like roleplaying and very high tenision racing games. If someone could help.
October 31, 2007 6:48:28 AM

jen8627021 said:
I need help chosing a motherboard... i need to know what will work with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Black Edition Processor
3.20GHz, 2MB Cache, 1000Mhz (2000 MT/s) FSB, Windsor,
Dual-Core, Retail, Socket AM2 (940), ADX6400CZWOF, CPU Processor. The one that works for that processer and for gaming like roleplaying and very high tenision racing games. If someone could help.


I think any Am2 motherboard would work with that setup, I have a tforce 6100 that I want to sell for that will work for that.
October 31, 2007 11:49:45 PM

How much do Am2 normally cost and how much is yours?
a b V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
November 1, 2007 12:31:37 AM

jen8627021 said:
How much do Am2 normally cost and how much is yours?

Okay I'll answer you question, but most people don't hijack a thread. Most AM2 mobo's will be from $45-100. Most of the better ones are around $60-85. Look here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
I like the these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
or these ones:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
I also prefer to get the 4 DDR2 slots, so I can upgrade easily and don't have to re-buy new chips to fit into 2 slots. Find whichever mobo has the options you want and buy one of them.
!