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650i vs 680i vs 780i motherboards

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March 19, 2008 5:58:50 PM

Hi everyone,
Can someone tell me the REAL world differences between these chipsets? I want to build a computer around a e8400 for gaming only, the price diffs in these boards are unbelievable here in Toronto.

650i - $120ish
680i - 180$ + more around $200
780i - $220 +

Now I am planning to OC my chip from stock 3.0 to 4.0 with some good ddr-2 800 memory (that should OC to 900) and a good cooler (Thermal right 120 seems popular).

I've been looking at some reviews online and performance wise (ie gaming FPS) seems to have a very minor improvement 3-4 fps while the price diff is gigantic!

The vid card I'll be using is the 8800 GT. I haven't built this system yet, but this is the plan. I'm on a budget here so if someone can please recommend a board/chipset that won't break my bank but will let me do what I need it to do?

Thanks a million, you guys are the experts.

More about : 650i 680i 780i motherboards

March 19, 2008 6:51:45 PM

What CPU?
March 19, 2008 7:01:09 PM

Maybe I wasn't clear, here is the system I want to build:

Intel Core 2 Dual e8400 cpu (3.0 Ghz)
Nvidia 8800 GT graphics card
2 gigs ddr-2 800 Mhz ram (that can OC to 900 at least)
500 gig sata HD

So I am missing my Motherboard and my PSU still and I'm set!

Thanks!
March 19, 2008 7:04:31 PM

The 650i can handle the e8400 cpu with the latest bios update to the motherboard. However, it can only use the PCI-e 1.1. With the 780i or 790i you have the PCI-e 2.0 for future video cards. It doesn't make a big difference right now but it likely will if you ever want to upgrade your video card to the next generation or two and see it's full potential.

March 19, 2008 7:07:06 PM

Hey,
Ok fair enough, but realistically won't my cpu be a bottle neck as well?

Also, how does one go about updating a bios when the CPU isn't recognized by the board? Can my local computer store update the bios for me with a spare cpu? Kinda wondering about that as well.
March 19, 2008 7:44:42 PM

eh i would go with the nforce 700 series.if its your budget your worried in get the 750i (going to get the msi 750i board myself since the asus one has alot of heat problems.) costs around $150. the nforce 700 series supports the wolfdale chipsets out of the box and is pci-e 2.0. as for ram and overclocking, i dont know, i havent overclocked seriously since the athlon 1500+ XP several years ago. but from what i hear get ram that operates at higher voltage like the corsair xms2 ddr2 800 2.1V. thats what i have, will test overclocking once i get it built. (im using the E3110 xeon, same exact cpu as the e8400)
March 19, 2008 8:11:23 PM

Go 750i. As a 680i owner I planned on getting an E8200 when it came out (or E8400), but even though the BIOS update supposably fixes the issue, too many people have had problems with it.
March 19, 2008 8:18:15 PM

why do you need to choose between these? you never once mentioned anything about SLI only that your budget was small...

You will get better stablility out of a x38 or p35 intel baised board. Although this wont give you an SLI option but SLI is overatted anyways and by the time you want to add another GPU youll be better off buy a single next gen card.
March 19, 2008 8:21:19 PM

SLI maybe overrated, but $150 for 2 pcie 2.0 is about the minimum you would pay if you went x38 with pcie 2.0 why not get an sli mobo so that you have the option to go sli anyway?
March 19, 2008 8:56:30 PM

I'd go for a 790i. If you really want to OC like mad, ultra, if not, get the N790i, it boosts SLI performance and has lower power consumption.

In any case, don't get a 780i, they were just a quick band aid to fill the gap before the 790i hit the markets (Today).
March 19, 2008 10:12:51 PM

Thorbaden said:
eh i would go with the nforce 700 series.if its your budget your worried in get the 750i (going to get the msi 750i board myself since the asus one has alot of heat problems.) costs around $150. the nforce 700 series supports the wolfdale chipsets out of the box and is pci-e 2.0. as for ram and overclocking, i dont know, i havent overclocked seriously since the athlon 1500+ XP several years ago. but from what i hear get ram that operates at higher voltage like the corsair xms2 ddr2 800 2.1V. thats what i have, will test overclocking once i get it built. (im using the E3110 xeon, same exact cpu as the e8400)


*** My budget was around $800 give or take, but it looks like I have to go up to 1k.....I didn't consider the 750i, but given that the processor works immediately, that's also a good option. How is the xeon? I've heard it has higher voltage thresholds and is a better quality chip than the e8400. Given that I haven't bought anything yet, I could pick that up instead if its better than the e8400. I haven't overclocked ever, but I have read up on it for years so I don't think it should be too hard. :) 

themyrmidon said:
Go 750i. As a 680i owner I planned on getting an E8200 when it came out (or E8400), but even though the BIOS update supposably fixes the issue, too many people have had problems with it.


*** Hey, now there is something I had no idea about. Thanks for the tip, I would be extremely upset if off the bat i had spend hrs upgrading the bios to make it work.


chookman said:
why do you need to choose between these? you never once mentioned anything about SLI only that your budget was small...

You will get better stablility out of a x38 or p35 intel baised board. Although this wont give you an SLI option but SLI is overatted anyways and by the time you want to add another GPU youll be better off buy a single next gen card.


***Easy there man, why are you making it personal? Yes I have a budget b/c I'm a real person with a mortgage and not a kid in highschool with $ to burn. My budget is 800 up to 1k, but the lower the better for me right now. As for SLI, ideally I'd like to be able to add the same card later on and run in SLI. You might be right though in 2 years, the next gen card will probably be way better than the 8800 GT. I'll think more about this, if you're right, I can get a p35 board without a problem, that would solve my $ issue as well. Thanks.

Thorbaden said:
SLI maybe overrated, but $150 for 2 pcie 2.0 is about the minimum you would pay if you went x38 with pcie 2.0 why not get an sli mobo so that you have the option to go sli anyway?


Another good point here (i'm going through these messages in order, sorry). Having pci-e 2.0 would be nice, I am hoping to be able to upgrade my cpu in 2 years to a quad (when $$$ come down) and they are much faster so I do want to be able to keep this same board and just upgrade the vid card as well. Having SLI although doesn't truly double performance, it is a nice thing to have....Haha, even more confused now, let's see the next post....

Synh said:
I'd go for a 790i. If you really want to OC like mad, ultra, if not, get the N790i, it boosts SLI performance and has lower power consumption.

In any case, don't get a 780i, they were just a quick band aid to fill the gap before the 790i hit the markets (Today).


The 780i is way out of my budget, $250+, I can only imagine what the 790i is.

***** From what I've gathered so far, the 700 series is the way to go. There is only 1 retailer near me that is selling the 750i and it's only $150 (good price) ASUS P5N-D

http://www.infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=3...

The specs look good, both pci-e 2.0 both at 16x unlike the 650i where in sli they are 8x.... This board should be preloaded with the Penryn bios, so that solves another dilemma since I'm moving from a p4 2.8c to this chip.

Can someone please look at that board and tell me what you think? I'm definately not an expert at MBs.

Thanks everyone, this is extremely helpful for me.
a b V Motherboard
March 19, 2008 11:15:32 PM

i have a 780i by evga. personally i had wanted to wait for the 790i but a couple of reasons pushed forward the time line of my build. all in all the 780i is a very solid board. it overclocks better than the 600 series uses higher epp rated ddr2 ram (1250mhz for 2 sticks, 1066mhz for four). running a qx9650 i can achieve a 4ghz over clock with little effort and with 3 8800 gtx's it pushes my 3dmark score over 20k at default settings. running at 1920x1080 i do indeed find sli benefical. i can''t speak for the 750i's but if there anything close to the 780i, though yes a bandaid solution for for 45nm quads, its well worth the money if ur not yet ready to make the ddr3 leap and wish to have an sli capable board.
March 19, 2008 11:23:34 PM

From what I read, the 750is are an upgraded 650i (not 100% on this), they added 2.0 pci-e and 1 extra x16 pci-e slot, but again I'm no MB expert here.

User reviews are good, except some ppl say it runs hot/ while others say on the e8400 it won't OC more the 3.6, not sure about what those neweggers are saying.

Atomic: You're definately more hard core than myself, I can't spend 2500$ on a rig, I'm looking more towards 800-1000$ :) 
March 20, 2008 1:06:42 AM

ive been looking at that asus board along with the msi 750i board. ive decided to go with the MSI only becuase i hear MANY MANY MANY unhappy people with the the northbridge on teh asus p5n-d getting too hot and causing instabillity. the only way to combat that is to have a well circulated case with airflow right over it and an expensive cpu cooler. other than that it seems ok.
as for the msi the only downside is it doesnt have any pcie 1x (i plan on using regular pci anyway for a tv tuner and possibly a sound card). and the second and 3rd pci-e 2.0 are 8x (granted i dont think theres graphics cards out that will use the full 16x and 8x bandwidth in sli)


heres link to the msi http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and to the asus if you want to read the reviews.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

as for the xeon E3110 its more than likely tested more than an E8400 and ive seen lots of people overclock slightly past the E8400's (saw some guy get 4.3ghz on E8400 and 4.5ghz+ on the Xeon E3110, same mobo and everything)

as for overclocking on the MSI people have posted how to be able to oc more in the newegg reviews (according to them it gets stuck at some point in OC but you have to disable something in teh bios to get it to go past)


basically if you have a well ventilated case and plan on getting a premium cpu cooler like the Zalman or that thermaltake V1 i think it is, go ahead with the asus. if not go with the msi.

edit: ack i forgot to mention lot of people complain about the space needed to mount cpu HSF on the asus, couplel of the top of the line coolers dont fit. so check reviews and check asus forums.
http://vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx?board_id=1&model=P...
March 20, 2008 2:34:59 AM

get a evga 680i it will handle a mega fsb and i have had no problems with it +you get sli support not a big deal to me but it could come in handy down the line. and if you invest in better cooling you could always overclock higher. and you get tri sli
a b V Motherboard
March 20, 2008 2:44:08 AM

yeah the 700 series is a refresh of the 600. with a 780i i have zero problem reaching 1600 fsb and have heard of speeds much faster.
March 20, 2008 7:39:51 AM

@ atomicWAR : The 780i isn't a bad board, no question. But concensus still suggests that it was a 790i beta sort of thing. Although having bought one you've not necessarily been hard done, but from today on I think buying a 780i would be a foolish move.

The Links in the link below give good reviews on the 790i, often comparing it to the 780i.

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inqu [...] -18mar2008
a b V Motherboard
March 20, 2008 8:49:08 AM

i do not agree with you entirely at this point. the performance of a 780i is near that of a 790i. you can see that if u check anandtech.com they have two articles up right now. the short of it is a 790i is a bit faster, but its not better by to horribly much. besides the obvious bandwidth you gain with ddr3 (though ur hurting on latenacy) the 790i only improves sli effiencancy by a small yet notable margin. officially it supports the 1600mhz fsb (which my 780i reaches with ease though it is over clocked) and the fact it run's 2 pci-e 2.0 16x slots and one pci-e 1.0 16x slot like the 780i. there's not a ton of improvements...just a few refinements. so i agree that the 790i is a better board and had it been out two months and some change ago i would have most likely bought one. all i am saying is the 780i is not a bad choice for the money, especially for those not ready for ddr3 prices. not to mention the price premuim cause of low availbity of the 790i. so i am not sure i agree with you. ask me again two months from now and i'd surely agree with you a hundred percent. tell than i think there is a niche for just such a board among price consious enthusist still looking for a tri-sli capable board.
March 20, 2008 11:49:35 AM

Well you make fair points. And I think we kind of do agree -

The 780i is a good board, and the 790i usually averages only about a 5-10% performance gain, which is partially due to DDR3 latencies. And therein lies the glitch: DDR3 is indeed a fair bit too expensive these days.
So really the main difference is a marginal performance gain in power consumption & SLI, and the DDR3 support.

To be fair, the differences here are minimal, but I do think that if your going to buy a 780i Today your better off going for a 790i, and investing in say a 2G DDR3 barret. You could then add another one when prices go down and 4G's become streamline.
March 20, 2008 1:49:38 PM

Thor:
Do you have any case recommendations (under $100)? I kinda like that the ASUS has 2 16x pci- 2.0 slots but having a bad layout / over heating problems would make my life hell. Plus people can't seem to OC on that board which defeats the purpose.

Maybe the MSI is the way to go, what have you reached on it? What are your specs?

As for the 780i boards, I'm sorry but NO Mb is worth $250 + to me. A good board can be bought for far less and it's better to put in the extra $100 into my gpu or even CPU for that matter. Unless you're someone who's really hard core, which most ppl aren't a good mid range board should do the trick.

Everyone else:
Also, can we please stay on topic here? It seems like we're going off track a bit...

Thanks for the continued help, this is very useful for me to make my decision. It's good to have this kind of resource.

I simply want a board that will reach 4.0 Ghz that will cost around $150 using the Intel e8400. If someone has done this, I'm all ears (or eyes)! :) 
March 20, 2008 5:10:08 PM

im actually going ultra budget for my pc. using same case, dvdrw, hdds, floppy drive. my case is the Antec lanboy i think only has 2 120mm fans 1 front 1 back.

as far as a case under $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cant go wrong with the antec 900. wish i saw that deal with the psu earlier. $169 for the case and the 650w antec psu combined ($40 mir too)

my build is going to be around the following:

MSI P7N plat. -$165 with $20 mir
E3110 Xeon - $219 +$10 shipping (might cost more now)
Crosair 2x 1gb xms2 ddr 800 -$69 with $40 mir (damn good deal imo)
OCZ 700W psu - $135 with $35 mir
8800GTS 320 (not complaining, i got it for free :D )

if i had the extra money i would buy that antec 900 case but as i see it my case atm is decent, ill jsut move my current items im replacing into one of my el cheapo cases i have sitting around.
a b V Motherboard
March 20, 2008 9:27:19 PM

sorry if it seamed i was getting off topic. the point i was not making clear is the 750i is a the equivelent improvement over the 650i as was the 780i was to the 680i. the short of it. a 750i is a fairly cheap board and more solid than its predessor. the 700 series as a whole. i understand the 780i are out of your range most certainly the 790i as it runs near a hundred dollars more. 750i's are a great choice for those wanting sli and improved overclocking over the previous models in its class.
March 20, 2008 10:18:16 PM

Thor:

Cool, The MSI sounds like a plan. I'll look into that case as well as you're mentioning.

Atomic: no worries, I think the 750i is good enough for me man, as long as it doesn't hold me back (too much) I can live with it.
a b V Motherboard
March 21, 2008 5:19:57 PM

anytime brother. ever need my help feel free to send me an email. you can find that through my website link under my information tab. i just don't want to post it outright here. have a great build brother!
March 23, 2008 5:02:21 AM

Hey,
I didn't know you responded...still figuring out how to use this forum.

I've actually decided to go with the q6600 aiming to hit 3.6 (many ppl say this is possible), with a TRUE fan, antec 900 case and either the a) gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P or b) this MSI you're mentioning... Although the e8400 can hit 4+, I think the diff b/w 3.6 vs 4 is minimal at best, while having a quad will definately last longer... I just hope i can hit my target speed on that thing, thats a 50% OC !!!

What do you think? Any exp with the quads?
March 23, 2008 8:11:26 AM

As I said before in another post
Motherboard is the most important and essntial part of PC
Do not economize when buying
If you are on tight budget you can get cheaper processor, ram, graphic card and later on upgrade
But never Motherboard
A time will come after one year when you'll say to yourself what the f***k I did ? for 100$ or 200$ more I could have purchased that mobo and upgrade to what I see in market now .
March 23, 2008 9:09:30 AM

kad said:
As I said before in another post
Motherboard is the most important and essntial part of PC
Do not economize when buying
If you are on tight budget you can get cheaper processor, ram, graphic card and later on upgrade
But never Motherboard
A time will come after one year when you'll say to yourself what the f***k I did ? for 100$ or 200$ more I could have purchased that mobo and upgrade to what I see in market now .
Exactly. When I did my build I got an ECS 570 SLIT-A as part of a CPU combo, in order to keep costs low. After several failures I RMA'ed to my EVGA 680i SE.
The mobo is the core of the system, make sure it is loaded with features and quality. If I had to do it over I would have gotten a 680i LT or 650i SLI, but even though the 7-series is just a 6-series refresh it is better, just not worth $250 for a 780i. MSI is a good brand, and that is the best deal on a 750i that I could find. It would be my pick today.
March 23, 2008 2:14:48 PM

dignatec-
depends what you plan on doing with your system. the quad cores are good for alot of things but when it comes to gaming the E8400 will be better.

also read http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/19/wolfdale_on_ster...

the overclocked wolfdale 8500 at 4.2ghz was outperforming the 45nm quads. 4ghz is low too, people have been overclocking the E8400 to 4.5ghz. the E8500 is 3.16ghz stock vs E8400 3ghz stock

the q6600 overclocked will probably beat the E8400 on anything that utilizes all 4 cores. but if you look at the game benchmarks in the above link the E8400 and E8500 excel.
March 23, 2008 3:19:47 PM

Hey Thor:

Check out this link: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1138241

I see a bunch of people on Air hitting 3.6 with the q6600 and on 4.3 ghz on the e8400 (e8500 is still way too expensive right now).

That link you gave me shows the q6600 at stock speeds only. I totally agree that a 4+ Ghz machine will destroy the q6600 at stock. However, From the link i gave you , it looks very possible to hit 3.6 on the q6600. I think 3.6 vs 4.0 or 4.2 even won't make much impact on gaming at all. I'm going to be more GPU dependant at that point.

What do you think about my logic? I figure if I can hit stable 3.6 on the quad, this setup will last me a lot longer since eventually everything will go quad... If I can't get past 3.0 though, then I'll be kicking myself...

My setup I'm planning:

q6600 g0
ds3-r or p5k-e mb
8800 gt
TRUE HS
antec 900

What do u think?
March 23, 2008 3:21:45 PM

Themy:

The MSI 750i is a good option as well. I'm just seeing many ppl using the ds3-r and p5k-e boards, p35 chipset is very popular these days.

March 23, 2008 5:00:52 PM

well im not gonna try to argue against you buying the q6600, it will last longer as it is a quad and perform better in other cpu intensive tasks especially tasks using all 4 cores. but stock E8400 performs better than stock q6600 in games. hence why i bought that type. i only plan to use it for games.
March 23, 2008 9:24:06 PM

Thor:

I totally agree with you. e8400 at stock is way better. I'm just hoping (key word here, Hoping) to hit 3.6 on the q6600. If I can, the cpu should be fast enough for any games...

Do you OC at all? If so, what are your speeds?
March 23, 2008 10:54:22 PM

i havent got my computer set up, still waiting on mobo and psu. i dont plan on overclocking yet, but i will buy an aftermarket cooler and see how high i can go.
March 24, 2008 2:07:23 AM

Cool man,
I want to keep this computer for about 3-4 years at least so this is why I am leaning towards the quads. I'll upgrade the gpu in 2 years.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
January 1, 2009 6:49:12 PM

anyone thinking a e8400 or e8500 is a better bet than the quad is foolishly mistaken, most new game software will be written for 4 to 8 cores from now on bearing in mind that i7 is 4 cored but can run 2 processes a core, you may have the upper hand at the moment but the tide is turning towards a quad core processor, mine by the way is aq6600 @3.4 on a msi 780i and i am very happy with it.
!