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Best motherboard for 45nm Quad Core and SLI?

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February 26, 2008 4:19:54 PM

OK let's assume you have a Supreme Commander/Crysis junky, he wants Quad Core for the slight FPS increase in SupCom, and good graphics for Crysis. Now let's assume he also watches a bunch of movies/shows with his girlfriend from a reasonable distance away. Because of this he is also dropping some cash-money on a 30" monitor.

So he basically needs SLI for the SupCom/Crysis at a very high native resolution. Space on the mobo may be an issue too, where it must support two nVidia cards which take up two slots for the extra cooling.

What motherboard would support this best? Probably something 780i as those have better support for 45nm Quad Cores in general?
February 26, 2008 7:19:39 PM

dont think the 680i's support the 45nm quads at all... so 780i is really the only option, although they have been known to not overclock to well and because they are new you will more than likely get some issues herre and there until the BIOS is updated.

I think you may get better results with a x38 mobo and say a HD3870x2 with a HD3870 gives you 3 GPU's stability of an Intel chipset for the quad core. This is still pending drivers from ATI for CrossfireX but initial testing looks awesome.
February 28, 2008 12:04:59 PM

Let me guess. He's you?

The 680i supports only 45nm dual cores. 780i does 45nm x2 & x4 out of the box. I think "he" needs at least dual SLI to do very high res on Crysis. Or even tri SLI. 780i does single gpu, & dual & tri sli.
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February 28, 2008 12:42:15 PM

does ASRock Penryn 1600SLI-110dB : support quad 45? tx
February 28, 2008 12:58:41 PM

spotless said:
does ASRock Penryn 1600SLI-110dB : support quad 45? tx

That's what they say on the official ASrock page.

There is a preview of that board on anandtech.
a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2008 1:52:25 PM

Waspy said:
OK let's assume you have a Supreme Commander/Crysis junky, he wants Quad Core for the slight FPS increase in SupCom, and good graphics for Crysis. Now let's assume he also watches a bunch of movies/shows with his girlfriend from a reasonable distance away. Because of this he is also dropping some cash-money on a 30" monitor.

So he basically needs SLI for the SupCom/Crysis at a very high native resolution. Space on the mobo may be an issue too, where it must support two nVidia cards which take up two slots for the extra cooling.

What motherboard would support this best? Probably something 780i as those have better support for 45nm Quad Cores in general?


Let me get this straight, you want Crysis, with good graphics, at 2560x1600, and I assume at 30 fps or more, and all that in 2008? I doubt it's possible, it depends on what you mean by "good graphics". Your best bet is a 780i motherboard and 3 overclocked 8800GTX cards. Note that only the 8800GTX and 8800Ultra work in Triple-SLI. Alternatively, an X38 motherboard with two HD 3870X2s is also a good option. Nobody can tell yet which option is actually better because the CrossfireX drivers aren't out yet. I suspect that each will win in some games.
February 28, 2008 4:46:11 PM

Naw aevm, I know that's pretty much impossible without spending in excess of like 7Gs easy...which is way too much.

Basically what I'm saying is a 30" monitor is an awesome upgrade...I will basically never need a new monitor!

All other components are not such great upgrades...because in 5 years it's going to be nothing compared to the newest and greatest. So I'm wondering what I need to utilize a 30" monitor now for gaming now until the new good stuff comes around.

Basically...I want to play all OTHER games at 2560x1600, and will consider reducing my resolution to play Crysis...cry~!

Plus I've pretty much decided that I would really like to stick with a G92 or greater GPU...the price/performance on these is great...run cooler, cheaper, more reliable, etc....

Kind of a nVidia fan, since games which don't use SLI at all, especially older ones, will run better on a single 8800GT or 8800GTS (G92) than a single 3870HD.
a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2008 6:18:47 PM

I know the feeling, about the big monitor. I'm waiting for the 305T to go on sale, can't afford the full $1600 price :( 

Can you wait for the 9800GTX? So far we don't really know what it will do, but it should appear soon AFAIK.
February 29, 2008 6:40:48 AM

Waspy said:
OK let's assume you have a Supreme Commander/Crysis junky, he wants Quad Core for the slight FPS increase in SupCom, and good graphics for Crysis. Now let's assume he also watches a bunch of movies/shows with his girlfriend from a reasonable distance away. Because of this he is also dropping some cash-money on a 30" monitor.

So he basically needs SLI for the SupCom/Crysis at a very high native resolution. Space on the mobo may be an issue too, where it must support two nVidia cards which take up two slots for the extra cooling.

What motherboard would support this best? Probably something 780i as those have better support for 45nm Quad Cores in general?


Get a 20" LCD for gaming They have better response times, most of the 30" units seem to have quite sluggish response rates the lower number of pixels on the screen means you will get better performance for less money spent on graphics cards. Spend the cash difference between the 20" and the 30" on a good dlp projector the 30" monitor will feel tiny in comparison! My movie screen is 8 feet wide (horizontal not diagonal)! Its surprising just how quickly you get used to big displays for movies. 50" screens seem small to me :D 

Personally I dont feel the need to have overly large displays for gaming, and a 2560x1600 will have next to no image quality benefits over a 1680x1050 display! The higher resolutions on LCD's are not truelly higher resolution (as in pixels per inch) they are just more pixels for a larger display area the pixel size remains much the same (hideously huge to my eyes)

Personally I still like old CRT's scaleability is great. I have a monitor that can run 640x480-2048x1536, with a pixel pitch of 0.21 you just dont get LCDs with pixels that small. I can maintain my image size and change the resolution to get the performance I want in games. The problem is CRT's are getting hard to find and the second hand market is none to reliable :( . One of my CRT's died recently and I tried a 21" Trinitron replacement, great for brightness, contrast and refresh rate but the pixel pitch is 0.24 I can really tell the difference between this and the monitors with the lower DPI :(  I can also tell the difference in a big way between this and my brothers Samsung 206 BW with a 0.258 pixel pitch...

Unfortunately despite being advetised as first class condition one corner of the new screen has a slight purple tint. Not happy at all. To my mind CRT is the best technology for image quality, but unfortunately old CRT's are hit and miss as to whether or not you get a good one :( .

I would consider the projector, and smaller screen combo, you can also then run your games through the projector from time to time, imagine playing crysis life sized :D  Personally I use my projector for playing Gran turismo 4 on the PS2 from time to time, got a bucket seat and steering wheel and an 8' wide image in front of you. great stuff :D  Of course you do need space for a projector.
March 1, 2008 4:15:23 PM

Aevm, yes I could wait for the 9800GTX probably...I'm getting pretty itchy with this old machine though. There is so much buzz on here about the eVGA step-up program that I'm thinking maybe I will get 2x 8800 GTS G92s from eVGA and then use step-up when the 9800GTXs come out. There would be no issues with this right, as long as it's within 90 days which is will pretty much be within, for sure?

Dtq, damn you bring up some excellent points. My only problem is the logistics of it...I don't have the room to run a badass projector! =( ...Barely really have room for a 30" monitor hehe...but that is a lot easier to squeeze in than an 8' across display!

Your setup for Gran Turismo 4 sounds awesome!! Hehe.

The response rate is donkey on all the big monitors, but I still read lots of posts and reviews about people saying that you can't beat gaming on a nice 30" monitor, such as the Dell 3007WFP-HC. Where are the 30" CRTs? Hehe.
March 1, 2008 4:40:50 PM

Same thing I have, EVGA 780 SLI.

I'm running mid-range resolution with all settings on high in Crysis, with one 8800GT and DX9, so I'll just "upgrade" to Vista in 6 months when the switch is forced and grab another 8800GT. Don't buy triple-SLI, it requires GTX or Ultra, so you're bound to spend in the range of $1000+ at the very least, and if you get the most expensive cards, you'll be running up costs of $2700+. And since the Crysis drivers suck, there's parts of the game where even the triple-SLI will only get you 10 frames per second. Oh yeah, totally worth the $1000+ if you ask me. :|
March 3, 2008 12:44:59 PM

Resonance, yes that is rediculous...I'm pretty much going to restrict myself to G9X stuff anyways...GTX and Ultra are just too much money to SLI...so what I'm thinking is I'll go 2x eVGA 8800 GTS G92 and try out this "step up" from eVGA that there is so much buzz about to some nice 9800GTs or GTXs when those puppies come out, depending on reviews/performance etc.

Now I just need to find a good mobo to put all this together, which seems like the hard part! Not sure which mobo will do this for me, and has good reviews!
a b V Motherboard
March 3, 2008 2:39:36 PM

I suggest you read the fine print carefully and then decide if you want to try the step-up. The release of the new cards is close, so why bother with the step-up. AFAIK you need to mail the old card and wait (possibly reading books, since you won't have a working PC) until you get the new card. You pay shipping too. Also, the price you are paying for the 9800GTX will be the official price. With newegg you usually get rebates or sales or various bundled games. I'd wait a bit and get the new card directly from newegg.

Motherboard: I assume you've already decided you want two cards and they must be nVidia. You've already decided you want a 45nm Intel CPU. This limits your choices to the 780i chipset. There are 3 such things at newegg right now:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=780i+motherboard&x=0&y=0
The eVGA is the cheapest, has the best reputation among these three, and has 202 ratings (as opposed to 29 for Asus and 12 for MSI).
March 3, 2008 3:07:08 PM

Thanks Aevm, some very sound and sobering advice there.

There really are only a few 780i mobos, and I guess I should just suck it up and buy one now, or even better wait for the mid-high end 9800 series stuff to start coming out and buy then.

It's just H Enthusiast did a review on the eVGA board, and said it donkies on a few benchmarks and they don't know why. But basically, you are right, there just is no perfect final mobo. Also, on the H Enthusiast forums there are a few people who have had major problems with that board.
March 3, 2008 3:59:37 PM

I would have to agree with Chookman about going with an X38 board.
You seem to be concerned about making sure your computer will be good in the future. I have a maximus extreme and it has been running great. Really good at overclocking, and supports ddr3. Both are solid attributes for future proofing. I only have one 3870 running, and my computer has been running Crysis very well.
a b V Motherboard
March 3, 2008 4:04:46 PM

Hmmm, DDR3 is not a smart investment now, and by the time it is you'll have to throw out the mobo anyway because it won't work with Nehalem CPUs (different socket type). Personally I'd rather get an X38 than a 780i, true, but one with DDR2.

With X38 you need ATI cards (say, HD 3870 or HD 3870X2). The X38 doesn't support SLI (as in, two 8800GTS G92 cards). If Waspy doesn't mind going with ATI cards then he can use an X38 mobo in Crossfire. I like the GA-X38-DS4 most of these, but Asus and aBit have very good stuff too.
March 3, 2008 4:42:14 PM

Hi Waspy
I just got a new system last week with evga 780i motherboard and evga 8800 ultras and that plays crysis on high res 1920 x 1200 on a 24 inch dell really well on all high settings.I plan to upgrade to a couple of 9800gtx when available if you've got time on your hands i would hang on for some of those badboys if your planning a 30incher even they might struggle on crysis.
March 5, 2008 10:11:50 PM

Aevm I'm basically a nVidia fan boy, plus seeing things like this month's best graphics cards, nVidia 8800GT G92s are still top of the pack, and for some of the Newegg prices, I'd just pick up 8800GTS G92s for the extra kick at ~$60.00 USD.

Point is, nVidia is on top right now, according to basically the last, what, 4-5 months of video cards? And I mean on top, at the top...not on some momo boy's cheesey Dell laptop LOL.

Dude Fergie that system is badass...nasty-ass expensive. I'm going to step it down a notch from that...that's just too much! 8800 Ultras are a discontinued card and generate so much heat, not the G92 core, it's like, yea, ehhhh! Just too much money is the real reason.

I'm really glad to hear the good news about your 780i eVGA mobo because I am definitely leaning that direction regardless of some of the negative feedback I've seen and gotten regarding that mobo.
March 6, 2008 2:33:58 AM

Late to the party I know but here's my take on things screen wise.

Instead of a 30" monitor, go for a 40-42" HDTV (LCD) I'm running a Sony KDL-V3000 and games are great at 1920x1080. You will need a decent graphics card to run it but still it's possible with a single GPU solution
AND you can use it for other things like DVD's, Console Games etc
March 6, 2008 3:45:00 AM

resonance451 said:
Same thing I have, EVGA 780 SLI.

I'm running mid-range resolution with all settings on high in Crysis, with one 8800GT and DX9, so I'll just "upgrade" to Vista in 6 months when the switch is forced and grab another 8800GT. Don't buy triple-SLI, it requires GTX or Ultra, so you're bound to spend in the range of $1000+ at the very least, and if you get the most expensive cards, you'll be running up costs of $2700+. And since the Crysis drivers suck, there's parts of the game where even the triple-SLI will only get you 10 frames per second. Oh yeah, totally worth the $1000+ if you ask me. :|


How do you like your board? I have the P5N32-E SLI and I'm sick of dealing with it plus I wanted to pick up a Yorkfield (non-extreme) when they become available and my board doesn't support it. I was looking at the Evga 780i but I was wondering about the clearance for my Ultra 120 Extreme, the NB cooler looks pretty big. How is your stability since it's really just a 680i.
March 8, 2008 10:42:25 AM

immagikman said:
Late to the party I know but here's my take on things screen wise.

Instead of a 30" monitor, go for a 40-42" HDTV (LCD) I'm running a Sony KDL-V3000 and games are great at 1920x1080. You will need a decent graphics card to run it but still it's possible with a single GPU solution
AND you can use it for other things like DVD's, Console Games etc



Have to dissagree on that one i went down the large lcd road and while yes it would play games well the the blacks on the screen used to pixelate like crazy and the resolution was crap to look at for extended periods, i just got an apple 30" monitor and have to say it's awsome ...... the colors and resolution are unbeleivable i can run crysis at med with res @ 2560 x 1600 it looks sooo real in runin a asus p5n32-e plus (680i) and q6600 + 2x 8800gtx's, must admit tho not happy with the board tho very unstable i think i'll change to a 780........ imho...
March 8, 2008 1:43:38 PM

spiralz said:
real in runin a asus p5n32-e plus (680i)


just so you know the plus is a 650i with the southbridge from the 680i.
March 8, 2008 7:36:14 PM

Spiralz 780is aren't great either, maybe better than the 680is but have their problems too. I can see you are running 2x 8800 GTXes though, so no real options there.

Damn I hope I don't need 2x 8800 GTXes to run my 30"...can't blow that kind of cash, especially with 9800 high-end stuff coming soon!
!