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680i < 780i < 780i Ultra or X38 < X48 = Massive Headache

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April 4, 2008 4:39:13 PM

I need a bit of help as I’m stuck in the perpetual decision-making process. I’ve spent the past few days reading, as you know, the tremendous amount of threads that are available regarding the latest technology (AnandTech, HardOCP, and of course, TomsHardware). Conflicting reports abound. It’s good. It’s bad. You know the drill. As many of us usually are, I’m in a bit of a purchasing dilemma, and your input would be greatly appreciated. Here’s what I’m considering:
680i, or do I spend the money for the 780i (eVGA or XFX)? If I spend the money for the 780i, should I just spend a bit more for the 780i Ultra? Problems abound with the 680i and 780i, is that the case now? Should I skip the latest technology and purchase the P35 (ABIT)? Should I drop kill the whole SLI think and head over to the Intel side of things. I don’t know much about the CrossFire setup, but it would take a bit of convincing to utilize it as I’ve steered away from ATI. Should I stick to one GPU if I purchase an Intel Chipset when I’ve grown accustomed to SLI over the past 2 years? And if I can’t make up my mind, I can always drop down to the AMD/ASUS combination I’ve grown accustomed to. I’m really trying my best to stick to Intel’s Q6600 with G0 stepping. Also, I’ve been known to do a little mild to wild overclocking. With this setup, a little overclocking is in order. Stability becomes a concern. I would like to utilize the 64bit version of Vista as well, so I’d like to purchase 8 gigs worth of memory as well. This is what happens when you don’t pay attention. I’m looking at spending up to $300.00 for the motherboard. Thank again for your assistance! Have a wonderful weekend!
April 4, 2008 5:26:34 PM

P35 is a great chipset, I'd take P35 and a single 8800GTX or 9800GX2 over any of the nForce chipsets, since P35 has more CPU support then 680i and is a hell of a lot cheaper then 780i/790i. If you want SLI I'd get something based on the 750i SLI chipset which allows for x16/x8 SLI at PCI-E 2.0 speeds. The higher end chipsets don't add much of actual use over the mid-range parts these days.
April 4, 2008 5:49:58 PM

Thank you for pointing me in a direction with regard to the Intel chipset (P35) Gravemind123. What Gigabyte board would you suggest as I want to compare it to the ABIT IP35 Pro. I think my days of running SLI may soon come to an end. However, if they didn't, what boards would you suggest that house the 750i chipset? Thank you very much for your timely response. I appreciate it.
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April 4, 2008 6:10:56 PM

I'm aching to get away from nVidia chipsets due to several issues (burn-outs, low FSB OC, weird RAM compatibility and RAID errors) on 680i and 780i. My next chipset will be x38.

That said, I would choose the following chipsets in these senarios:

You want a single GPU and good OC head room = p35

You want Crossfire and good OC head room = x38

You want SLI (i.e. the top GPU-solution with the most options at the moment) and marginal OC head room = i780

I've excluded i790 and x48 since the price/perfomance relative to the other chipsets is borderline absurd at this point. Also, it's worth noting that i680 boards will probably never support Penryn quad cores, so I've left this one out of the running.

In my xp, all the intel chipsets seem to OC a tad better than nV.
April 4, 2008 6:26:31 PM

Good p35 gigabyte motherboards are DS3L or DS3R if you want raid.
a c 216 V Motherboard
April 4, 2008 6:55:58 PM

If I was building a box to last 1-2 years, it would be X35/38/680i with DDR2...tho the 680i was disappointing.

If I was building for 3-4 years it would be X48 (using Sauron's MoBo - see link below) or the 790i

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3229
April 4, 2008 7:00:09 PM

Thank you for your input harmattan and San Pedro! I'll research the Gigabyte boards as I would like to compare the ABIT IP35 Pro to one of them in like performance/value. I do like eVGA's 780i, but I don't particularly care for the issues that are taking place with it on their site. I guess I need to do a bit of research on ATI's CrossFire to see if it's worthy or not. Again, thank you everyone for your input.
April 4, 2008 10:52:05 PM

Why has no-one asked the key question? What processor will you be running? the X48 makes sense for a highly overclocked Q9450 running a P35 would run into walls with OCing.
April 5, 2008 1:33:07 AM

1764791,1,319940 said:
I’m really trying my best to stick to Intel’s Q6600 with G0 stepping. Also, I’ve been known to do a little mild to wild overclocking. With this setup, a little overclocking is in order. Stability becomes a concern. I would like to utilize the 64bit version of Vista as well, so I’d like to purchase 8 gigs worth of memory as well.
April 7, 2008 2:36:05 AM

acidpython said:
Why has no-one asked the key question? What processor will you be running? the X48 makes sense for a highly overclocked Q9450 running a P35 would run into walls with OCing.


Hardly, P35 still has the record for FSB overclock, one guy has broken 700MHz with it(source: http://valid.x86-secret.com/records.php). Although to be fair, overclocking relies a lot on luck and those high scores were with LN2 anyway. The point I was making though is that P35 is a great overclocking platform for any of the current Intel CPUs.

As far as P35 boards go, the Abit IP35 series is good, and the GigaByte P35 boards are recommended by many.
April 7, 2008 3:31:03 AM

Gravemind123 said:
Hardly, P35 still has the record for FSB overclock, one guy has broken 700MHz with it(source: http://valid.x86-secret.com/records.php). Although to be fair, overclocking relies a lot on luck and those high scores were with LN2 anyway. The point I was making though is that P35 is a great overclocking platform for any of the current Intel CPUs.

As far as P35 boards go, the Abit IP35 series is good, and the GigaByte P35 boards are recommended by many.



Those high oc on p35 are done by teh 1337 d0rks. You will not duplicate 700x4=2800mhz no matter what. Some people, under realistic conditions have pushed p35 to 450x4=1800, but it's shaky, and only on a few higher costing p35 boards. It's not something to count on. Basically, the assumption is that you can get stable 1600mhz out of p35, and stable 2000+mhz on x38. 1600mhz = 9x400 = 3.6ghz in Q6600, and 8x400 = 3.2ghz in Q9450.

Besides, $207 for a x38 isn't that much if you spent a lot on an expensive quad processor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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