Help Choosing The Right Motherboard


Hello, :bounce:

I am new to this website, and forums. I need help on which motherboard to choose, I am building my own gaming pc, with a lot of features and I don’t know if my motherboard will support all of them. I will not be overclocking.

I am looking for a motherboard with the nForce 680i chipset. Price is not an issue, and I have many components that I need my mobo to support.

Motherboards that I am interested in:
Asus Striker Extreme
EVGA 680i A1 or T1
Gigabyte GA-N680SLI-DQ6
Any others you suggest?

I’ve heard many bad reviews on the Asus Striker Extreme with problems on the BIOS, could someone tell me what the BIOS is bcuz I have no idea. They said they had problems with the BIOS when they overclocked, and since I am not going to overclock will I still have the same problem? :??:


(Interface card) $250 []
- Bigfoot Networks Killer Gaming NIC Card - Model M1 Gigabit LAN

(Video Card) $730 []
- BFG GeForce 8800 Ultra OC / 768MB GDDR3 / SLI Ready / PCI Express / Dual Link Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card

(Sound Card) $180 [www.tiger]
- Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Fatality Platinum

(Power Supply) $370 []
- Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W ATX 12V and EPS 12V Computer Power Supply W0156RU, Active PFC, CrossFire and Quad GPU Ready, w/ 140mm Fan

(Processors) $1150 []
- Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Processor EU80569XJ080NL - 45nm, 3.0GHz, 12MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB, Yorkfield XE, Quad-Core, OEM, Socket 775, Processor

(Case) $200 []
- Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003SWA Silver ATX Full Tower Computer Case w/ 25CM Fan - Retail

(Hard Drive) $190($380) []
- 2x Western Digital Raptor 150GB SATA Hard Drive WD1500ADFD, 10000RPM, Super Fast 16MB Cache. OEM

(Motherboard) $300 []
- GIGABYTE GA-X38T-DQ6 LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard

(Memory/ Ram) $574 []
- CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

(Optical Drive) $35 []
- Lite-On LH-20A1P SuperAllwrite DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R Burn, 16x DVD±R Read, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 48x32x CD-R/RW, Black

(Operating System) $140 []
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition 64-Bit Operation System Software, Model: ZAT-00094. 1 Pack. OEM


Dual SLI BFG 8800 GTS OC2 320MB
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty pro
Thermaltake Toughpower 1200w
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.0ghz
Western Digital Raptor 150GB SATA 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache
Corsair Dominator 1066mhz 2GB (2 x 1GB)
Asus PhysX P1 Accelerator Card
Bigfoot Killer M1 NIC
Windows XP Pro 64bit

As you can see I am putting alot into my system and I need a mobo that will support all of this, mainly in the pci slots, which mobo have enough pci slots to allow to install of these on it, suggestion? :(

13 answers Last reply
More about help choosing motherboard
  1. No one can help me?
  2. The BIOS is basically the software that links the mobo to the hardware. From most of what I've read the Extreme really isn't worth the money. Right now most people with recommend the P35 rather than the 680
    Either of these would be good That PSU is seriously overkill. A good 650w at most 700w would be fine. Regardless of what mobo you get you won't get more than 3 PCI slots.
  3. oh ok ty, if i wana put dual graphic cards, can is till fit i nthe bigfoot killer nic, sound blaster, and physx?
  4. Dude that power supply?
    8800 Ultras sli
    physx card
    sound blast
    get the point... handles anything stuck together in a box
  5. anyone got any other suggestions?
  6. Hi NeoxBlu1

    BIOS = Basic input output system

    I'm in the same place as you, about to do my 1st high end build and have been looking at mobos.

    I looked at Asus 1st, they are great solid mobos, the striker Ex is very good indeed. NOTE I HAVE NOT OWNED ONE, only based on 2nd hand feedback I have been given.

    The BIOS is complex with lots of settings and new users do have some problems here (that could be said about most high end mobos to some point)

    I have spoken with 2 "independant" outlets, both advised me Asus have a higher % of DOA then say EVGA or Gigabyte (I'm not saying HIGH DOA just higher). Note there was no hard sale on these calls and I dont think the outlet would have made much if any advantage in selling me an EVGA over an Asus.

    EVGA 680i A1 is often showen as best SLi mobo, it does not have as much OC options as Asus but as you mentioned your not looking for that. The other common issue is BIOS needs flashing out of the box.

    EVGA A1 is IMO the better option for you and the one i went with. Its a more simple build and you wont need the complex settings without OCing also wont fault the board on peformance. Go Asus if your wanting to do a lot more learning and playing with BIOS setting to get the most out of it.

    Note - I cant comment on gigabyte as didnt look at them.

    PSU is well over the top, Thermaltake Toughpower 750w would be fine but maybe the 850w just incase

    I wouldnt pic your RAM until after you have the mobo down. Pic your mobo and then check up on supported/recomended RAM. I went for 2x2GB as both cards will take 8GB over 4 slots, XP shouldnt give you any problems with 4GB and if you want high end gaming, its worth looking at.

    Is the 6850 really worth all the extra money? what will you be playing on it? maybe go with a 6600 and put the extra money saved from the PSU and CPU into better 8800 GPUs or/and extra HD and put them in RAID for better performace. After all you can always upgrade it later as better c2q chips come out and the 6600 in your rig will still thrash the pants off any "gaming PC" highstreet sellers offer.

    Hope that helps some

  7. Vide,

    Thank You for your post, lots of details helping me out. I will agree with you that I am going to be upgrating my ram, But I think I am going to stick with the Extreme 6850. If I am going to be doing any overclocking I would get the Extreme 6950.

    I also decided not to get the Agiea Physx Accelerater Card, seems that I wont need it any time soon, looks cool but I'd like to save room on my mobo.

    But my main question still stands; I would like these for sure on my mobo: Dual BFG 8800GTS OC2e, Creative X-FI Fata1ity, and Bigfoot Killer NIC M1. My question is can I fit all these components onto my mobo? Since the Dual BFG's can wide can I still fit on the other cards?

    Please answer,

  8. Oh I see,

    Well your 8800 GTS OC2 is not the most fat card out there, a good image of the board can be seen here

    depending on the case and how it mounts the mobo you should be ok mounting the bigfoot in the 1st slot as it has no downward parts and the X-FI in the last slot, so long as case does not get in the way.

    To be on the safe side, order it all from one place if possible and get them to confirm it fits, that way you have a "condition of sale" and a fall back if all goes wrong.

  9. On the picture of the mobo, the black slots x16 are for the graphic cards, and the white cards are pci slots. The blue slot x8 is for graphic expansion slot, and small black ones are pci express x1.

    your saying i can put bigfoot on the 1st white slot and X-FI on last white slot?

    Because I need two x16 slots for graphic cards, and 2 pci.

    I cant mount the bigfoot on x16 slot
  10. It looks like two dual slot cards will cover up one of the PCI slots. What you could do is get a sound card that goes in a PCIe x1 slot. It's not the Fatal1ty series, but you can get a Creative X-Fi Extreme Audio card that will go in one of these slots. It's got 7.1 channel surround as well.
  11. jwlangs thanks for the tip, and i have wondering what i could use the PCIe slots for, lol.

  12. One last thing, this X-Fi PCIe card will not work on the Striker Extreme mobo with 2 dual slot video cards. If you look at this picture, you can see that the top PCIe x1 slot is not aligned with the 2nd one on the mobo. That's b/c it's not a PCIe x1 slot, it's a slot specifically for the SupremeFX Audio card that comes with the board. The only PCIe x1 slot on this board will be covered by your graphics card. The SupremeFX card provides 8 channel surround, but the reviews I've read on it have been mixed, some people think it's pretty good while some think the sound out of it kind of sucks. So, if you are planning on going the X-Fi Extreme PCIe x1 route, pick another mobo besides the Striker Extreme.
  13. Looks like almost like a list of "most expensive things in their respective categories" :)

    I have built about 65 boxes since 1993, much less now than I used to as a lot of the machines I "put together" these days are laptops. I don't actually assemble the laptops, I spec out a parts list from a list of choices and buy them from an OEM vendor who supplies many of the vendors whose names you would recognize. But all of my desktops builds since 2001 have been on Asus MoBos and the main reason is telephone tech support, my familiarity, stability and easy BIOS upgrades....and no dead mobos yet. Since 2002 or so, I have been matching them with Asus video cards as it eliminates the finger pointing and provides sole source support for most problems.

    To my mind the Raptors are overpriced for what ya get and it's long (well in PC terms anyway) lost the king of the hill status, especially in the gaming arena.

    Haven't spent time examining sound options but ABS for example sells an Asus Striker system with X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series Part#:70SB046A00000

    I use the Deskstar 7k1000's in gaming applications and the Seagate 7200's in CAD workstations for the balance of speed and that precious 5 year warranty. The 7200's are also what comes with the Infrant / Netgear NAS's we use.

    Memory is a "pick of the month" thing for me....whomever has the fastest, stable modules at any given month from the top brands is plenty good for me.

    I'd drop the accelerator card and find that the super expensive NIC's don't come close to earning their premiums. You don't have a case listed but I consider that to be one of the most important decisions.

    I haven't been playing with 64 bit windows as too many things I still use require a bit too much tweaking at this point to make it worth my T & E.
Ask a new question

Read More

Motherboards Product