Please Help - Bad Nvidia build experience - need advice

After 5 months of patiently waiting and saving I bought the following parts for my build:

nvidia 790i
2 9800 gtx sli
soundblaster x-fi 150 buck card
expensive dd2 3 ram

After I put everything together and flashed to the newest bios what a stinkin nightmare it has been. When I start a game It randomly freezes about 5 minutes into the game. When I disable sli it freezes at about 15 minutes. I called EVGA "best technical support my bottom" told me to defrag my hardrive. Sad indeed - what a moron. Anyhow I have nothing overclocked and I just want a stinkin computer that works. I have come to a few conclusions. SLI is overated and buggy. I officially will never buy another soundblaster again. Crackles and pops are UNACCEPTABLE for a 150 buck card. Sucky drivers. Last but now NVIDIA cant make motherboards worth a poo. They should stick to graphic cards and do us all a favor.

Please help suggest a motherboard for me. I want it to be able to run my penryn q 9450 out of box use ddr2 ram and be an Intel Chipset. I had my eye on a couple of x38/x48 boards but they are made by ASUS. I have heard bad stuff about them and I think If I get another unstable motherboard I am gonna scream. I am also forgetting about a soundcard. If I want snap crackle and pop I will by rice crispies. And I do realize I will lose a 9800 gtx since intel doesnt support sli, but I think I will survive.

Has anyone had great luck with a board that is quality and good for noobs that don't care about overclocking? I just want to play my games :( Please help. Much thanks in advance
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  1. Consider this for x38:

    Nothing wrong with Asus, other than it's overpriced for the same performance.

    I can confirm no crackles on the first x38 board onboard sound. Didn't try any extra card.

    If you don't overclock, a cheaper p35 will do fine, minus the Crossfire and pcie2.0, of course.
  2. Tbh it sounds like an overheating or power supply problem, what power supply do you have? What are the temps of your video card(s) during games? It may not be necessary to buy another motherboard.
  3. I would send the soundblaster back for a refund or credit, and try the onboard sound. I agree with the previous post about the power supply. Even good ones can overheat.
  4. I have had good luck with Asus & Intel Chipsets MBs.

    I felt their MBs might have better manuf quality and the stackcool might be worthwhile.

    The X48 was the first one that I was concerned about. It has so many heatpipes and fins there can be clearance issues even if the cooler says it is compatible -- fins near the cpu and voltage regs should be at least 1-2mm shorter.

    The heat sinks seemed very hot (painful) hot at first. I noticed the CPU and NB and SB voltages read high so I lowered them to what I thought was a touch above normal. Weeks later, it seems cooler -- I dont know if lowering the voltages did it or if the heatsinks and thermal interface material settled in.

    Buy a cooler with a backplate -- it helps keep the stress off that multilayer fiberglass board.

    I know XFi worked well on older intel chipsets with Windows XP. Games can stutter when they dont feed/update status often enough -- normally this only occurs infrequently or with a new game in need of more development time. UT3 can have some problems in OpenAl mode -- this is unusual. Most games work.

    Usually for creative, I install the creative CD (after chipset update) with the stuff I want and then I update the driver (maybe/sometimes I uninstall only the driver first). Select game mode, turn off crystalizer but leave the 3d mode on (for games) on -- with EAX and EQ on but none/neutral. Sometimes it seems directx doesnt install fully before the soundcard and video drivers are installed, so I install directx, add drivers, and then install directx again. I go for the latest full redist for a build.
  5. Also make sure you dont turn up various volume settings too high in games or in the system. Clipping sounds worse on good speakers. Clipping can occur before the final amplification -- so this could be occuring even at low final volume.

    Also watch for OpenAl in game installers overwriting with older dlls -- but this doesnt cause never caused crackle.

    You might try moving a pci sound card to a pci slot with an assigned IRQ that is shared with the fewest active devices.

    It could be a bus useage issue -- thus the chipset is suspect -- turning on vsync might cause the video card to idle, freeing up the bus. Also set max frames to render ahead to 1 and no sli?

    I thought some tweaker utilities has some options that might help but I never had to use them. I suspect that they dont actually do that much.

    Disable Parallel (DMA device) and serial ports if the motherboard has them and you arent using them.

    Reseat hard drive and DVD drive cables. Try disabling the floppy device. Other non essential devices. Update device drivers Try disabling antivirus.

    Try physically removing the second video card. Use the device manager via command window:

    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
    echo Note: must select show hidden devices under view

    and delete the removed video card entry, and then uninstall and reinstall nvidia video card drivers?
  6. Interesting tool

    but use at own risk
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