For a new system build I'm having trouble deciding between which mobo I should for the system I am building. I can't decide which of the two chipsets I should get for my new gaming rig; i will be using an Intel Quad core (probably Q6600) and it will be my first time I'm building a system to overclock
Here are the pros/cons of each chipset I've determined from my research:
* FSB Support: up to 1333MHz native, but 1600Mhz FSB by overclock
* RAM Support up to DDR2-1200 native, but DDR2-1200 by overclock
- Typically has issues with RAM over DDR2-800 (so people simply overclock the DDR2-800)
+ I already have a guide to overclocking it see: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/245679-29-guide-overc...
- is already over a year old
- Does not support PCIe 2.0
- runs slightly hotter (90nm Manufacturing process)
+ Slightly cheaper
* Native support for 1600MHz FSB (I will still have to overclock the CPU to avail of the speed)
+ Native support for DDR2-1200
+ Supports PCIe 2.0
+ just released
-- May be more difficult to overclock (see http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247170-29-will-overcl...)
+/- Just released/Issues not yet known
- Slightly more expensive
I'm trying to get the best bang for buck (as long as the price difference is around $40 it's no big deal - can even get a PCIe 2.0 8800 GT for $130).
What I'm most concerned about is not being able to overclock the CPU if I get the P45 (since it's my first try at OC'ing) - can anyone speak to this from experience? Should I get the MSI or will it totally prevent me from OC'ing (due to noobness)? Should I instead pay $150 for the Gigabyte P45 or will it not make a difference in terms overclocking difficulty?
Don't about the MSI P45, but ASUS's is def. a good overclocker. Google for reviews.
The FSB support means nothing to overclockers. We go BEYOND the official FSB. I had a P35, which as you say supports up to 1333mhz, overclocked to 1780Mhz. Heck, even P965 can do 1333Mhz & beyond. The whole point of overclocking is to go beyond specs.
Top quality P35 boards can reach 500 (2000) Front Side buss speeds with proper setup and attention. I have my own P35 board at 400(1600), which it did, and continues to do, effortlessly. So I wouldn't be too worried about that.
Memory speeds don't make all that much different in Front Side Buss designs, just so long as what you have is fast enough - i.e. DDR2 800 on a 1600 FSB.
My recommendation is to buy a solid (NOT budget) offering from a top brand, and call yourself satisfied.
What is your target overclock??
Are you cooling with air or liquid??
Is it a benchmarking effort???
Or are you after a much milder 24/7 working overclock??
Given your choice of processor, what does your Front Side Buss have to be set at to reach your goal????????
That FSB setting will dicate your RAM speeds - Buy RAM that's guaranteed to run that fast. Minumums: 400FSB = DDR2 800 500FSB = DDR2 1000 And I would advise that from a user's perspective, "fast enough" RAM with nice tight timings (small numbers) will feel more responsive than High Performance RAM whic is running faster than the front side at loose timings
Also - How Much Memory are you planning on running?? If you want to run 4 DIMMS, this is much more stressful on your Mobo. You may not be able to achieve rated speeds or rated timings at rated voltages at standard settings. But running 2 larger DIMMS may not get you to the timings you may want at the same speed... Always trade offs..
The 3rd thing (Unasked for) I'll add: Your Power Supply is far far more important than many seem to feel. When operating on a budget, this is often the component that suffers most - Some individuals opting for the free one that comes with a case, or reusing some old thing that's been around since DOS... Buy More/Better than you think you need for this part of your build.
* Ideally I'd like to be in the neighborhood of 3.4 to 3.6 GHz
* I'll be cooling with air with the Xigmatech (really good) cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
* I guess my ocerclocking goal is somewhere in between a Benchmarking effort and a working overclock; I basically just want to be able to play 3D intensive games (Crysis, etc) at very high settings
As for the FSB vs RAM - Thanks for touching on that as it is one of the points I'm most confused about!
I will have 4GB of RAM in the system and I want to be able to maximize the speed/responisiveness that the RAM + Mobo can provide. (note: Both mobo's I'm looking at can do DDR2-1200)
I mean, it seems like they all run at DDR2-800 unless tweaked so what's the difference really?? If I increase the FSB, then will the DDR2-1000 scale up to the same speed (1200+) that the as the DDR2-1200? Would there still be a constant 20% difference in speed or will I simply be able to take the DDR2-1200 modules further?
With that $99.99 price tag, go for p45. It's based on the same architecture as p35, but updated. Against p35, there's only pro, no con, not even in term of price. Also, keep in mind that p35 is going out of production soon, as they're forcing a turnover by aggressively pricing its replacement, the p45. If you want to get p35, get it now while they're still in stock. Can't imagine why though.