I recently bought an Intel E2140 Pentium Dual Core Socket 775 2x1.60GHz 1MB Cache 800FSB Retail Boxed Processor, with the intention of over-clocking it.
I thought I'd researched enough (mistake) and bought a Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2 iG33 Socket 775 onboard video 8 channel audio mATX Motherboard and OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 4-4-4-15 PLATINUM XTC. I soon discovered that the memory timings for 800Mhz processors on this board are very limited and the memory wasn't suitable as it's essentially PC2-5300 that's been pre-overclocked by OCZ leaving little room to push it further. Also read reports that OCZ memory can have problems with some boards so decided it was best to start fresh on the RAM.
I RMA'd these to the supplier but now I need a motherboard (ATX or mATX) that supports 1:1 memory timings and a lockable PCI bus so I can start over-clocking my E2140. I have limited knowledge of overclocking but tend to pick things up very quickly.
I also need decent over-clockable RAM (probably PC2-6400, but willing to use 5300 if it will be up to the job) that will be compatible with whatever new board I pick.
If any of you could assist with suggestions as to what a good combo would be then I'd really appreciate your help on this.
Other considerations for the mobo are:
I can spend between £40-£70 and would really prefer not to hit the upper limit if possible.
I'm looking for an upgrade path so the board should support 1333FSB and preferably be ready for the new 45nm Intel cores.
A P35 or P33 chipset would be fine but I'm leaning towards going for a board with integrated graphics so maybe a G33 or G31 or some alternate onboard graphics solution would be better. Depending on the price differences in the mobos with and without integrated graphics I might just go for a Pxx board and buy a graphics card. I'm thinking of the ASUS 2600XT 256MB GDDR3 Dual DVI HDCP HDTV out, which is just about affordable for my budget.
EPP support for adjusting memory timings, and good overclocking options in general.
Would like 4 SATA (plus floppy and IDE) but RAID support is not necessary.
Would prefer three fan connectors on the mobo for two system and a cpu fan. Ideally there should be ability to control the speed via temperature regulation.
I really do like speedstep, and the idea of the PC using less power depending what I'm doing. Don't know if chipsets other than the Intel variants support this, but I'd fore-go it if the board was right in other ways.
MicroATX would mean I could migrate to SFF in the future, but as I currently have a Coolermaster Elite 330 Black Case With CM eXtreme Power 460W PSU I'm not really averse to a full sized board. I'm very flexible on that idea.
Essentially I'm looking to make the best compromise between price and performance available to me, with a focus on the cost really. That's why I bought a budget processor after all.
I'm just not entirely sure what my options are (especially regarding what boards have 1:1 memory timings available and other "techy" overclocking stuff) and have limited knowledge beyond my recent reading of this and other forums. Seeking advice from the experts here, so please help me out if you can.
The EVGA nVidia 650i Ultra looks like a good board and would save me a few quid versus the ASUS P5K AiLifestyle Series iP35 or the ASUS P5K-VM AiLifestyle Socket 775 iG33 (though the onboard graphics on this are marginally passable for older games). Although I like the idea of onboard graphics as a back-up solution if the graphics card packs in at any time. All boards should probably include minimal backup graphics really, but they don't, so...
So if I went with one of the ASUS boards, does the P35 chipset really offer that much more performance over the G33 assuming that onboard graphics are disabled. I guess that would make it a P33?
I'm a bit put off Gigabyte after the restricted memory timings for 800MHz FSB processors on the GA-G33M-S2 iG33 I originally bought. Is the P35-DS3L a good choice for overclocking my particular processor?
Thanks for the input, and hoping for more info and suggestions.