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Cannot find a motherboard that supports everything I want

Last response: in Motherboards
November 17, 2007 3:50:50 AM

I am planning on building a PC in around 3-6 months and I want it to be "future proof" as well as being good for overclocking. I have been doing some research on the new chipsets, processors, ram, and graphics cards coming out and wanted to build with that in mind. The problem is that I am having trouble finding a MB/chipset that supports everything I want.

I wanted to go with the new Penryn processors. This is the one I had in mind.

Core 2 Quad Q9450
2,67 GHz
L2 Cache: 12 MB
FSB: 1333 MHz
Multiplier: 8x
95 W
Jan. 2008
$ 316

The graphics card setup I probably want to go with is e-GeForce 8800GT SSC 512MB in SLI. It has to be 2 x16 lanes, I do not want anything less. No x4 x16 or x8 x8 please.

I also wanted to use DDR3 in a attempt to try and future proof a bit

Now here is my major problem I haven't been able to find a solution to. The eVGA nForce 680i SLI mainboard supports the new processors or is going to, and SLI, but not DDR3. Same thing with the Asus Striker Extreme. So I check out the X38 chipset and noticed that while it does support DDR3 and the new processors it does not support SLI, and being that I want to go with Nvidia that does not work for me.

So anyway, that brings me here to ask if anyone has any information on release dates or maybe motherboards already out that will support everything I am looking for. I prefer eVGA and Asus but I am willing to take a look at Gigabyte or other reputable quality brands as well. If anyone has any information I greatly appreciate it.

November 17, 2007 4:07:47 AM

I am planning on building a PC in around 3-6 months and I want it to be "future proof"

No such thing as future proof... In 3 to 6 months might be other options lol...
November 17, 2007 4:22:39 AM

i 2nd that,

at least go for the 790x chipset and the phenom cpu
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November 17, 2007 4:53:12 AM

Well, obviously not completely future proof, but being highly upgradeable and overclockable will extend the duration of its use to me. It will mostly be used for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning but I also play a lot of FPS.
November 17, 2007 5:09:39 AM

I 3rd that.

It's fine to get some ideas this far out, but really finalizing your build should to be within a month of building it. Things like a case and DVD burner you can choose now if you want, but new products come out too quickly and there are price fluctuations as well. Take your idea of the 8800GT in SLI for example; What if they do come out with a GTS model, or even a new GTX by that time? Just one aspect, but you get the point...
November 17, 2007 8:12:11 AM

at least go for the 790x chipset and the phenom cpu

why.... core 2 is way faster.... (penryn)45nm should allow for some really nice clock speeds...

dont get me wrong - i got 2 AMD based pc's, this is only the second intel CPU i had, but it steams over any AMD....
November 17, 2007 8:48:15 AM

NVIDIA should release the 790i (new chipset with ddr3) around new year.

DDR3 is (for now at least) a waste of money. In 6 months that could change but don't count on it.

With graphics cards 18 months old is basicly obsolete.
November 17, 2007 9:09:21 AM

benjaminm580 said:
Well, obviously not completely future proof, but being highly upgradeable

Stop there. You get a Q9450 (or any Penryn chip), and you will be upgrading your mobo again when Nehalem comes out. Not sure if AMD is changing sockets again this year. I haven't been keeping up with them, it's hard when they never say anything.
November 17, 2007 11:38:57 AM

I guess I should look into Nehalem. I have heard of it but know nothing about it currently.

Thanks for the info. (for the above and about the 790i chipset)
November 17, 2007 12:56:28 PM

Intel is going to implement 2 new sockets for the next generation Nehalem architecture in 2008 and they are Socket B and Socket H. As we know, Nehalem is 45nm based and we are going to see some exciting changes such as IMC (Integrated Memory Controller) and CSI. Socket B will be LGA1366 and Socket H will be LGA715. The reason why Socket B has so many more contact pads is pretty obvious. It is due to the IMC on the Nehalem CPU. Since there is a Socket H version as well, we can expect there will be another Nehalem based CPUs without IMC.

So basically my best bet is to wait for boards to be released with these socket types? Think they will be released by Q2 08? Do they plan to have multiple price range Nehalem from the start or are they doing it like the Penryn where the high end expensive version is released and then a bit later they release a few lower end versions?

Is Nahalem really going to be that much better than Penryn? If so I guess it might be worth the wait before building new. If not I could probably go with a Penryn system for a few years and then eventually build a new system in 2010-11 with the Sandy Bridge processors.
November 17, 2007 1:25:56 PM

From what I've read the new sockets and the Nehalem chips won't be released until Q3-Q4 2008. Intel is just starting to release the Dual-core Wolfdale and Quad-core Yorkfield 45nm CPU's and will roll them out over the first and second quarter of 2008.

Everyone wishes they could in some way "future proof" their system but the reality is that it's really just not possible because the technology changes too much and too quickly. Take for instance the socket 775 which was first released for the P4 and although it physically remains the same most older boards with it don't support newer CPU's. It's just like how the 975 and 965 chipset boards, which really aren't that old, don't officially support 1333FSB CPU's (although I think it's really just a ploy to get people to buy P35 or X38 boards).
a c 156 V Motherboard
November 17, 2007 2:54:01 PM

There is ALWAYS something newer, better, faster coming. You have two choices - keep waiting, or at some point, decide to build.

I like my eVGA 680i motherboard, and next year, I plan on dropping a Yorkfield C2Q CPU into it. I checked for Penryn compatibility when I bought it last December. On the other hand, I most certainly will not be able to push the CPU as far as it will go because the FSB won't run much above 450 MHz without the MCP getting really hot.

I would not, now or in the near future, base a buying decision on whether a mothboard supports DDR3. The potential is there, but right now fast DDR3 memory is really expensive.

November 17, 2007 3:20:28 PM

Ya, I guess that is true.

I think I may go with the eVGA 680i A1, the 2 8800 GT, and 4 GB of DDR2. Maybe I will just build it sooner and throw a cheapy dual core in it until the Q9450 is released. I guess if I keep putting it off for newer technology I will end up waiting a while. lol
November 17, 2007 3:33:51 PM

that's because these boards don't exist yet
November 28, 2007 3:04:49 PM

He needs it to support Sli for his dual 8800's....all the x38 borads support ATI's crossfire for dual video cards instead of nvidia.

Essentially, you want something similar to what I'm after, except I'd rather had DDR2.

So I want an nVidia chipset
future support for 45nm CPU
SLi compatible (hense the nvidia chipset) because I like 8800Gt instead of HD 3750 by ATI
2 x 16 PCI-E 2.0

Doesn't exist yet, and my concern when nVidia 780i comes out is that no one will make a DDR2 board, and force my memory costs through the roof just to get DDR3.

The Gigabyte P35 board does dual DDR2 and DDR3...that would be perfect if the new 789i boards did that.
November 30, 2007 2:01:52 AM

But you'll an additional full year for Nehalem chips, or more for releases and availability.
December 23, 2007 11:13:04 PM

Be very wary of the integrated memory controller coming next year. It has worked for AMD (although with bizarre effects on the memory speeds shown in a old THG article) but many Intel employees have left due to Intel's new strategy and the design is by no means liked by everyone.

Also if you look at what is happening at the moment with Intel's CPU releases, they are holding off for a while because AMD just isn't providing any competition - hence you could be looking at August 2008 until the Nehalem comes out. At least if you buy a decently priced CPU now, you can always stick in an old Extreme edition one 1 or 2 years down the line for a juicy speed boost.

Also watch out for PCI Express 2.0 if you want to future proof.
a b V Motherboard
December 24, 2007 12:23:48 AM

I've read plenty of scary stuff about 680i boards not working with Penryn/Yorkfield CPUs. Does anybody know if they've fixed that? I'd wait until the 780i boards are out and proven to work with the Q9450.

X38 will support Penryn, but it only supports Crossfire. AFAIK HD 3870 Crossfire beats 8800GT SLI despite the fact that one 8800GT beats one HD 3870. Maybe you should look at that option too. However, I'm not sure ATI's drivers are mature enough yet. They tend to release the cards first and optimize the drivers later, which stinks IMO...

December 24, 2007 12:30:54 AM

So you want them to delay the cards longer? :heink: 
a b V Motherboard
December 24, 2007 12:48:38 AM

I want them to hire more programmers and make perfect drivers available earlier. It's a shame to have good hardware handicapped by poor software for the first few months. OK, I'm too picky, I know :lol: 

I did a bit more research on the HD3870 CF vs 8800GT SLI. It looks like the Crossfire wins in Call of Juarez and Quake Wars, while the SLI wins in Lost Planet and Half-Life, and a lot of other tests are too close to be meaningful. I'm starting to like X38 :D  :D
December 24, 2007 1:04:51 AM

I don't like the price. P965 ftw!
a b V Motherboard
December 24, 2007 1:28:10 AM

This may be the wrong time to be building for long term future-proofing. The Nehalem is scheduled to come out in about a year and will make the 775 socket obsolete for high end boards. But with Intel slipping other launches now - who knows when Nehalem will actually come. And then you might want to wait 3 to 6 month for prices to improve, especially if there is still little competition from AMD and little price pressure on Intel.

However, when it does it might be a much better chip. Intel usually only makes minor modifications in architecture with the first chip on a smaller die, with the major changes coming with a later chip.

Might be a good time to wait - or plan an interim upgrade. Maybe a year from now DDR3 and PCIe2 will also be more impressive options.

Or not.