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The Best Board for a Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450?

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May 5, 2008 2:32:31 PM

Hi peeps,

In line with my other thread where I'm trying to puzzle together the configuration for my new system, I'm trying to find a good motherboard for this:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz 'Yorkfield' 12MB Cache LGA775 (1333 Mhz) - OEM w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro.

I'm not planning on overclocking straight away.

Thanks, looking forward to some expert response! ;) 
May 5, 2008 2:56:47 PM

Price range?
What is the rest of your system going to look like?
Do you need specific inputs/outputs?
What type of video do you need?
etc
etc
etc

May 5, 2008 3:07:59 PM

Hi Jay :) 

I'm pretty much in LaLa land at the moment when I started I had my mind pretty dead set but with people's advice things become more and more confusing :( 

Alas this is the spec that needs expert opinion:

Thermaltake Xaser VI VG4000SWA Case - Silver & Red w/ Window

ThermalTake PSU 750W ToughPower Modular PSU W0117RB

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 2.66GHz 'Yorkfield' 12MB Cache LGA775 (1333 Mhz) - OEM w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

Corsair TwinX 2GB Kit (2x1GB) 240Pin PC2-8500 Dominator 1066MHz Dual Channel (Considering other memory)

XFX GeForce 9800GTX 512MB DDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI ((Considering other videocard)

My budget is around 1,000 pounds. I have around 200 pounds for the motherboard subject to the changes of expert opinion ;) 

Thanks!

Related resources
May 5, 2008 3:15:26 PM

Questions:
1)What are you going to use this system for? that is the big question

2) What do you need a quad core for? They are expensive and the $ can be better used elsewhere in the system.

3) That is a huge expensive case, do you really need a FULL tower?

4) Do you really need 750W?

5) Dominator memory is over rated and over priced.

6) The 9800GTX is a nice card but only performs slightly better than a 8800GTS/512, The price difference is significant. The 8800GTS is a much better buy.
May 5, 2008 3:15:52 PM

If you don't plan to overclock any P35 board will do (ASUS P5K-E, PRO, Premium, GA-EP35-DS3R, DS4, ...) ($130-$200).
For heavy overclocking and/or ati dual graphics X38/X48 is the way to go (GA-EX38-DS4, ASUS P5E, ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA) ($200-$300 pricerange).
If you want SLI forget overclocking (at least for now) and get a 780i/790i board. I'd get a non-reference design board (ASUS Striker II, P5N-xxx) in any case.

EDIT: memory : Get 4GB of Corsair DHX C4 memory (2x2GB) or more. This memory overclocks to about 450MHz without much fuss. Note also that 1066MHz offers no real world benefit over 800MHz DDR2.
May 5, 2008 3:21:39 PM

jay2tall said:
6) The 9800GTX is a nice card but only performs slightly better than a 8800GTS/512, The price difference is significant. The 8800GTS is a much better buy.
Very true! However with the release of HD 4870 less than 3 weeks away I'd say both are a bit shaky in value. In any case 8800GTS over 9800GTX any day of the week.
a b å Intel
May 5, 2008 3:23:19 PM

If you get a P35 board, do not use DDR2-1066 RAM, use DDR2-800. There seems to be a compatibility issue. I've read about it, and experienced it myself on my Abit IP35 Pro with Crucial Ballistix. I ordered some DDR2-800 just last night for it.
May 5, 2008 3:26:11 PM

Oh God I'm starting to get depressed :) 

I was just selecting components to build a nice Power House Machine ;)  Oh and I'm planning the upgrade esspecially for Age of Conan and other demanding games.

I've been obsessed with the Thermaltake cases and had a Shark about 3 years ago (which I loved) but I kinda missed out on the Xasers because they were out of stock all the time. Now the new Xaser is like a little boy's dream so I'd like to put it on my desk and stare madly in love at it for the rest of the year ;) 

Regarding the processor. I don't mind any core as long as it kicks serious speedy ass. I wanted to go for a Q6700 but it was said that the Q9450 would be better so I went along with that.

Let's start with a clean sheet. Budget is around 850 pounds (the case has been paid for then ;)  Ofcourse value for money components is good but if quality costs a little extra then please don't hold back :) 

I also like the look of the XFX stuff... any chance of a good XFX motherboard that will fit nicely with a XFX video card?

Thanks for the support you guys are great :) 
May 5, 2008 4:21:04 PM

XFX only does NVIDIA chipsets. You should also know that pairing a motherboard and graphics card from the same manufacturer offers no advantage.
That being said on to the choices:
780i (DDR2) would be the way to go as DDR3 is still way overpriced and offers no real advantage. Overclocking is going to be a NO-NO topic until NVIDIA figures out what causes data corruption (when overclocking RAM).
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...
You should make sure you buy RAM that is on it's supported modules list.


790i offers similar features but needs DDR3 and costs alot more. From a performance point of view it offers no real world advantage.
May 5, 2008 4:36:41 PM

I've read about 5 reviews on the XFX 780i motherboard and it seems pretty positive. I'm aware that graphics and motherboard of the same brand does not really matter, but it adds to the atmosphere of the machine if you get what I mean ;)  So thats about 160 pounds for the motherboard...

The Crucial Website recognizes:

4GB kit (2GBx2), 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-6400 memory module

as being compatible with the mainboard... around 70 pounds...

So what processor are we going to stick on this ? :p 
May 5, 2008 4:56:06 PM

My thoughts:

1 - P35/X38/X48 over nforce for Overclocking. (no SLI though) preferably 8-phase regulator (again, for OC)

2 - Most important part of my builds is the GFX. I'd neglect any of the others over the VGA. I don't go multi though, but a nice 8800GTS would be good. Any premium should be on the VGA.

3 - Ram should be just decent. (I have a pair of DOMINATOR 1066 that DOES work on a p5k-E, but it doesn't make much difference)

Also, we certainly have different aesthetic preferences. I find the XFX boards to be quite ugly. I'd rather have an ASUS (with a mine's worth of copper), gigabyte or DFI.
May 5, 2008 5:09:22 PM

I'm still in creative mode but yeah taste over a motherboard can vary :)  I'm a great Asus fan but also like to experiment with new brands from time to time. Hence an XFX build sounds sexy at the moment ;) 

Regarding the graphics. Having a SLI board and not using SLI would be a waste... Therefore... I could stick two of these babies in right?

XFX GeForce 9600GT 680Mhz 512MB XT Edition

Would be 230 pounds in total... good or bad idea?
May 5, 2008 6:29:09 PM

1.) X38/X48 has another (very) interesting feature over CrossFire and that is 1600MHz FSB stock. That aside I don't think you can buy an X38 without 8-phase CPU power regulation.

2.) I think a SLI board is only viable if you really intend to do SLI, so yes this is a better choice to go with 2 9600GTs (it still provides less value but than say 1 8800GTS it's a step in the right direction). If gaming is indeed your primary purpose for this rig it's worth it.

3.) RAM is a strange mix of benefits and cost lately. With Vista 64bit it's a better choice to go for 8GB of cheap 800MHz DDR2 (low latency is good so you can reduce timings when overclocking if needed). 1066 or even 1200MHz DDR2 is a waste (2x more money for 1-3% improvements).

From a coloring base I wish ASUS made all their boards like this black/white/blue http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=640&l4=...
beauty.
May 5, 2008 6:45:07 PM

just make sure the board you choose has the 8pin cpu power connector.
May 5, 2008 7:10:05 PM

Andrius said:

From a coloring base I wish ASUS made all their boards like this black/white/blue http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=640&l4=...
beauty.


Damn, that is beautiful. I have a Rampage Formula, it works well, I really really like it, but that board there looks really, really nice. Hmmm...perhaps my 8yr. old daughter could use my Rampgage Formula and I could upgrade.... :pt1cable: 
May 5, 2008 7:32:54 PM

All this info very inspiring thanks so much :) 

I also like that black/white/blue beauty :D  decisions...decisions...

Any ideas on the CPU yet?
May 5, 2008 9:06:10 PM

halcyon said:
Damn, that is beautiful. I have a Rampage Formula, it works well, I really really like it, but that board there looks really, really nice. Hmmm...perhaps my 8yr. old daughter could use my Rampgage Formula and I could upgrade.... :pt1cable: 
:D  I wouldn't call that an upgrade in any real way. It's got PCI-X and DDR3. The RAMPAGE is a good looking board. They should have nickelplatted the copper coolers and it'd be perfect.
May 5, 2008 10:00:06 PM

^Indeed they are. So is the price of 350 EUR.
A Rampage Formula costs 245 EUR here.

If it was a women it'd be Jessica Biel. :D 
May 5, 2008 10:00:18 PM

I'm quite happy with the Rampage though I keep reading in these forums that it wasn't worth the ~$20 delta between the Maximus.

I just miss the Q-Fan controller that my Striker Extreme had. ...but the Rampage overclocks silly, I guess the Maximus Formula does just as well.
May 5, 2008 10:04:34 PM

If I was going for a Q9450 (and I wouldn't care about price) based system I'd buy Rampage Formula too. ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe cost close to 200 EUR when I got it 3.5 years ago and most boards were 50 EUR cheaper back then.
May 5, 2008 10:13:15 PM

Andrius said:
^Indeed they are. So is the price of 350 EUR.
A Rampage Formula costs 245 EUR here.

If it was a women it'd be Jessica Biel. :D 


I like that.
May 6, 2008 11:46:39 AM

It definately gives a new meaning to 'Motherboard' ;) 

I'm still having trouble with the CPU's... what should I go for? what is compatible and what isn't? Assuming I would go for the XFX 780i and two videocards... what#s the best CPU and what would be the best videocards to dual?

These decisions aren't as easy as I thought they would be! :( 
May 10, 2008 8:17:50 AM

Does anyone know when that new asus board goes on sale?
May 18, 2008 4:29:56 PM

Go with the Q9450, its worth it.

As for gfx, i would go with dual 8800 GTS (G92) if anything. It would be expensive, (about 420 USD), but i think it would be worth it. However, i suppose that dual 9600 GT 's would be fine aswell

However, personally i think a intel chipset board (X48) would be much better, you really don't need SLI, a single 8800 GTS (G92) will do the trick no problem, your processor will probably cause a bottleneck for it unless you overclock it, which now that you would have an intel board, you can do.

Also, whatever you do, its better to go with the 8xxx gfx cards than the 9xxx cards, the price/power ratio isn't worth it.
!