so I have been planning to build a new system for a bit. From what I have gathered i'm stuck between two decisions. I don't know whether I should go with a EVGA 780i or Giga-byte DQ6-EX38 setup.
What won't be changing is:
Q6600 and OC to FSB of 333 or 400.
Crucial Ballistix DDR2 4gb (2x2gb) PC2-6400
PC Power and Cooling Quad 750W
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 32MB - 500 GB
22" monitor (1680x1050)
and videocard will be either:
My question is basically, I hear so many negative comments about the 780i chipset, so I am worried about getting it with my OC plans. I want to run either Sli or xfire since from the benchmarks i've seen, the price/performance ratio is more then ideal than the current single card solutions. I would prefer to go the Sli route since the 9600GT's out perform the 3870 (and also there is the possibility that I might even go Sli 8800GT depending on the prices). I would also like this system to last me a couple of years.
I'm in the same predicament as well. My build's almost identical, and I'm looking at the same two motherboards. I could use some help too.
I can tell you one thing though: The X38 chipset's FSB can only be pushed up to around 485 MHz. It's a limit Intel put on the chipset, but the 780i can apparently reach speeds of 725 MHz if needed. I've heard that both are pretty solid boards overall though, but the 780i uses an aging and power-hungry 90 nm manufacturing process.
I would prefer to stay with the 780i because of DDR2. I think the Q6600 OC to 3.6 (FSB of 400) will definitely be able to last me for a while. I'm actually more concerned with having a PCI-E 2.0 support incase I need to upgrade in a year or two.
One of my problems is that I heard that the 780i and 680i are basically the same thing, which means the even though the 780i supports PCI-E 2.0, the internal bus is still 1.1. Also, I heard that the 780i doesnt support the 45nm Penryn, which can be a problem in upgrading in the future.
With the X38, I have full PCI-E 2.0 and 45nm Support, which is a pretty good benefit. The only thing with the X38 is right now Nvidia has a better hold on AA/AF, however, I know that the HD3870 is a really good card.
Have you considered the GA-X38-DS4? It's a fair bit less than the DQ6 and has nearly the same features. Also if you are making the decision because you will definately have 2 GPU's... you gotta ask yourself, are you really going to get 3870's when the 8800GTS and 9600GT are cheaper and perform similar.
The only reason I haven't selected the DS4 was due to some posts that state it doesnt overclock as well as the DQ6 - specifically, that it has issues maintaining a consistant CPU voltage when overclocking a quad core.
As with the video cards from what I have read:
the 3870 is cheaper than the 8800GT but the 8800GT out performs the 3870.
The 3870 performs a little better then the 9600GT, except when AA/AF is turned on however, the 9600GT is a little cheaper than the 3870.
As you know, the X38 can't SLI and I would prefer a dual card solution. Whats why I was comparing the EX38-DQ6 vs the EVGA-780i since both mobos are about the same price. I am also considering the ASUS Maximus Formula.
Hope this clears things up. What I'm looking for is someone to speak from experience whether either setup has its benefits/problems.