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Motherboard with best built-in graphics

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May 23, 2008 6:52:57 PM

I'm looking for a motherboard with the best built-in graphics. I need to fit the board in a 1U rackmount enclosure, so an add-in card is not an option.

From my research so far, it looks like the GMA x3000 (G965) or GMA x3500 (G35) are basically equivalent, and substantially better than the GeForce 7150.

Sadly, none of the boards that support these also support DDR3 or even anything higher than DDR2 800.

Are there any boards out there with better on-board graphics?
May 23, 2008 8:56:45 PM

To get better onboard graphics you will have to go with an AMD board using the 780G northbridge, ATI Radeon HD 3200 onboard video...there is no need for DDR 3 or DDR2 over 800mhz....to get the full bandwidth out of DDR2 at 800MHz you will need your FSB to run at 1600Mhz on an Intel system...G35 will be your best bet for now since I assume you will be going Intel with the CPU
May 23, 2008 9:16:43 PM

This is the easiest question in a long time, 780G hands-down.

If you're restricting yourself to an Intel-based computer, you sadly have a choice between terrible and more terrible. Hopefully nVidia steps up and offers GeForce 8200 for Intel processors soon. Otherwise, there's no good choice, just a lesser-of-two-evils. I think I'd have to side with G35, even if they are overpriced.

A couple questions:
1) Why do you want DDR2 800+ ram? Or DDR3?
2) What is this computer being used for (games, programs, server, etc)?
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May 24, 2008 12:03:08 AM

I do have a predilection toward Intel processors, but I'm afraid I have no good reason for that. Given the very helpful feedback here, I'll have to start researching AMD processors.

The machine is for an audio workstation which will do realtime low-latency audio I/O with massive signal processing. It will have a professional PCI sound card with 128 channels of digital I/O. It will also need to do real-time video (potentially 3D) rendering of some of the audio information. The OS is strictly Windows XP.

I built a prior machine for testing - an E6750 on an Asus P5E3 Deluxe, DDR3-1333, and it's proven to be a VERY capable machine - more so than my E6750-based P5K-E machine, so I generally attributed that to the memory performance. The final machine may have a quad-core processor because for what we're doing, it does precisely double the signal processing capacity.

Thanks for the constructive feedback!
May 24, 2008 12:30:17 AM

Your best bet is to wait for G45 or GeForce 8200 on Intel or do AMD 780G with a Phenom processor. Given that Intel quads have a much higher IPC you'll have more processing power with a Intel. But since you will be unable to put a discrete video card with the system in a 1U, you'll have a much more powerful graphics solution by going for Phenom+780G (just not the 125W ones, especially in a 1U enclosure). The 780G GPU can completely offload any video decoding from the processor, that should be another consideration. Tough choice, hopefully others can pipe in with other opinions/experiences.
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