Motherboard Questions

*My disclaimer, I could have sworn I posted this earlier, but I can not find my post ANYWHERE*

I am going to start building my own computer soon, which is going to be a fun task to complete over the next year. I figured I would start with the mother board, but I was curious which mother board would have the best longevity right now. Money is not a very big issue, as long as things don't become too ridiculous.

So what would be the top gamers choice of mother boards?

What else would I need to buy in addition to a good motherboard? (Chips etc.)

It should show my email on here, so if anyone can paste me some good links also. Thanks.

-rYAN
41 answers Last reply
More about motherboard questions
  1. 790i or wait for nahelem
  2. When is the nahelem releasing?
  3. Yes, nehalem is supposed to be coming out in a couple months (no set date yet) so it would be your best longevity board, however if you can't wait that long, then It depends. Do you want Crossfire, SLI, neither? Also, what is your price range? In order to make a good suggestion we need more info.
  4. Awesome awesome. Thanks for all the info guys. My price range is flexible. I have a decently loose budget for this project.

    Ok, still being new, you order a mother board, and a chipset for the motherboard?
  5. the motherboard includes the chipset. you order the motherboard based on the type of cpu you wish to use .
  6. Ok TruthUncommon

    You pick a mobo base on the processor you want (Intel or AMD, and which socket type), and also based on if you want to run dual graphics cards, now or in the future.

    At this time, Intel is a very good choice (especially for mid to higher end) in the processor market. You need to decide if you want a dual core or a quad core processor. (the current socket is LGA 775)

    If you want to run dual graphics cards, then you must decide ATI (crossfire) or nVidia (SLI).

    If you want to go crossfire (ATI), then you should get an X38 or X48 board (intel based).

    If you want to SLI (nVidia), then you should get a 780i or 790i.

    The only drawbacks of the 790i is that it requires DDR3 memory (which is expensive and hasn't shown considerable improvement over DDR2 memory.

    If you don't want to go with dual cards, then get the P35, mentioned earlier.

    Once you have decided those things, you can choose the board based on features you are looking for (eSATA, Firewire, USB, Ethernet, PCIE slots, PCI slots, etc).

    If you have that all figured out, then you go to the manufacturers site to determine what memory works with the board you've chosen and select some RAM (suggest 2x2GB DDR2 800 - dirt cheap and pretty fast).

    You can choose your GPU(s) - graphics card(s) - suggest waiting for the 4850x2 or 4870x2 if you want something pretty high end (both ati cards) or getting a 4850 or 4870 - great value and performance.

    If you plan on overclocking, then you'll need an aftermarket cooler - check out frostytech.com for their reviews and charts.

    You need a good hard drive. A good suggestion is the 640 GB from western digital.

    You obviously need a case for this. If you are pretty new and have some space, full towers are usually easier to build in.

    You'll need a good power supply. This will depend on what you want to do (dual cards and which cards you choose, etc).

    I think that's it for now. I know that's a lot of things to read, but it gives you an idea of how to decide.

    Usual suggestions are:

    Go with a Q6600 or Q9450 (quads) or the E8400 (dual).
    Get an X38 or X48 (potential crossfire in the future) or P35 (single GPU)
    Get 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 memory (Crucial, OCZ, Corsair, etc).
    Get a 4850, 4870 (or wait on the 4850x2 or 4870x2).
    Xigmatek cooler (if you are going to overclock)
    WD 640 GB hard drive
    DVD drive (all are about $30 - go with SATA drive)
    PC power and cooling power supply (great company for PSUs)

    I think that does it.

    Hope this doesn't confuse and helps you out.
  7. If your buying the parts gradually I would buy the mobo last. start with the parts less likely to become obsolete like case, power supply, HDD and ROM drives. CPU, MOBO and RAM should be purchased all at the same time. it would suck to get any of those parts DOA and not be able to test it till after the return period has expired.
  8. Thanks psykhiq, but I will most likely be buying a lot of this soon, so it won't just be laying around becoming obsolete. Again, thanks for the tip though for future reference.

    None of the ideas were confusing, thanks a lot Huron, now I can just do some research on all that, read some reviews, and go from there with what I'll need. Finding a nice looking case is taking some time too. Hopefully I'll have this up and running within the next few months and I'll have success pictures to post.
  9. Good deal TruthUncommon. Happy to be of assistance. Honestly, the research and choosing is part of the fun. I'm looking forward to seeing what you end up with.
  10. TruthUncommon, thanks for posting your future ambitious adventure. I, too, am looking to build a new computer for the first time. Huron & PsyKhiqZero, thanks for the intelligent insight.
    Huron, I will utilize your suggestions when purchasing. I was wondering what is the difference between the ATI Mobo and Navidia's SLI boards? Is one preferable to the other (disregard the drawback of the 790i). I want this desktop to be for gaming, so I want the best Mobo and corresponding Memory and Video card.
    Lastly, I recently purchased a Intel Dual Core Processor (2 GHZ). Should I return it for something higher? I want to be able to play the old Call of Duties (1,United Offensive, Cod2) and Cod Modern Warfare. I want speed but don't want to spend an arm and a leg for ridiculously priced Quad Processors or overly expensive mobo's. As I indicated above, I'm new to building and want to quickly learn. I appreciate any advice you or the forum can give.
  11. Alright, I now have a good list of the generals that I am planning on beginning to order piece by piece. The list is totaling a little under $2,500.00 haha.

    I was curious though, in order to possibly save some money on some components and then put a little more into others, if I used an older high performance intel processor that I already have, how do I check the compatibility of the processor with a newer mobo?
  12. I'll be back to answer more of your questions later afm813.

    TruthUncommon - as long as the processor socket (LGA 775, etc) fits the one the motherboard uses, it will fit.

    I wouldn't suggest skimping on a processor - you can get a solid one for a good price - but as long as the sockets match up, then you should be good to go.

    Why don't you post a parts list, and we can all take a look at it and help you save some $$$ if we see a way.

    Be back later today.
  13. AFM - The difference between SLI and crossfire is the companies that manufacture the GPUs that is supported.

    SLI - 2 (or 3) identical nVidia graphics cards working together to power one monitor.

    Crossfire - 2 identical ATI (similar works too, I believe) graphics cards working together to power one monitor

    The major difference is that ATI cards are real cheap and get great performance right now. The crossfire boards also run significantly cooler right now.

    I have a 780i (nvidia SLI board) and love it, but if I were to purchase again today, I think I would got with an X38 or X48 (crossfire).

    Let me know which processor you have and we'll give you an idea about if it'll be good for a new gaming build.

    Good luck to both of you building. TruthUncommon, look forward to seeing a list of components.
  14. huron said:
    AFM - The difference between SLI and crossfire is the companies that manufacture the GPUs that is supported.

    SLI - 2 (or 3) identical nVidia graphics cards working together to power one monitor.

    Crossfire - 2 identical ATI (similar works too, I believe) graphics cards working together to power one monitor

    The major difference is that ATI cards are real cheap and get great performance right now. The crossfire boards also run significantly cooler right now.

    I have a 780i (nvidia SLI board) and love it, but if I were to purchase again today, I think I would got with an X38 or X48 (crossfire).

    Let me know which processor you have and we'll give you an idea about if it'll be good for a new gaming build.

    Good luck to both of you building. TruthUncommon, look forward to seeing a list of components.


    Greetings Huron,

    I picked up an el cheapo 2.0 GHZ Intel Dual Core that, based on reviews, seems sufficient for gaming: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116052

    I'm looking at getting the following ASROCK motherboard that apparently is Crossfire enabled and is compatible with the above processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157131

    As you can see I am building a budget Gaming system. I already have the processor but haven't bought the MB, do you think it's an appropriate fit? I basically want a gaming system for some high-speed games like Cod 4, while playing less demanding games like Civilization and older Call of Duties (United Offensive, Cod 1 & 2). According to the specs, the MB above seems to be sufficient. If you have better suggestions, please advise. Of course keep in mind I don't want to go overboard in price (I picked the above board based on price and good reviews, and Crossfire compatibility).

    For the graphic card, I have a Ge Force 7800GT that I want to use for awhile and then eventually upgrade to a 8800GT or 9800GT. Will the 7800GT be fine with these newer boards? And I have 2 GB (1GBx2) of PNY memory that I plan to add to the new system, provided it's compatible. Should I look to add more memory? Can 2GB and 1GB be combined on the same board? Can different brands mix?
    Thanks in advance for bestowing your computer knowledge on me. :wahoo: I graduated with the wrong degree in school. :cry:
  15. I can not find my processor information but it's connected to a P4C800-E DELUXE mobo right now. It has the 875p chipset.

    II. Configuration

    Processor(s)


    Processor 1
    Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.40GHz

    Manufacturer: GenuineIntel

    Caption: x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9

    Version: Model 2, Stepping 9

    Processor Id: BFEBFBFF00000F29

    Current Clock Speed: 3398MHz

    Address Width: 32Bits

    Data Width: 32Bits

    Socket Designation: CPU 1

    Processor 2
    Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.40GHz

    Manufacturer: GenuineIntel

    Caption: x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9

    Version: Model 2, Stepping 9

    Processor Id: BFEBFBFF00000F29

    Current Clock Speed: 3398MHz

    Address Width: 32Bits

    Data Width: 32Bits

    Socket Designation: CPU 1


    That is the information off of the little document for my processor info, still kinda noob at this so. What does all this add up to?
  16. AFM - the P45 motherboard you chose is fine. If you are looking for similar performance (minus PCI-Express 2.0), you can get a P35 motherboard. If you are not planning on running multiple graphics cards, or don't mind they won't have the full bandwidth of x16 lanes, then the P35 or P45 are good boards. I have never used ASRock, but have had good luck with Gigabyte - they have some solid performers for relatively cheap.

    AFM - the E2180 is a good budget performer. If you want to, I hear it can be overclocked quite far (and the P35/P45 boards are good overclockers). If you overclock, get an aftermarket cooler. I have thought about getting an E2180 for another PC/server etc. Good choice for a cheap processor.

    TruthUncommon - I am not sure what processor that is. It should have a designation such as E2180 (like AFM listed), E8400, Q6600, etc.

    TruthUncommon - You already have the processor? What is the list of other parts that you are thinking of getting?
  17. Quick question: What kind of memory can I use on the P45, anyone with the DDR2 1066 type (as it indicates in the specs for the MB)? The ones I have from the old PC are DDR2 Dimm (PNY Technologies), are these compatible with the P45 MB? How can I tell? I need to make sure I select the best memory for it.
    As for overclocking, well, let's just say I need to learn how to assemble my first build first. hehe
  18. afm

    I am shopping for a cheap gamer also. But I am in the AMD scene.

    The 780G mobo has a single pcie2 - x16 slot for a big vidcard such as the much respected ATI HD-4850 - there are lots of reviews on these.
    Asus has a new line of mobos that support cpu's up to 140 watts IF you want to eventually (futureproof) upgrade to a quad Phenom cpu - but for now they will support the AMD 5000x2 BlackEdition (approx 2600Mhz) which is 'unlocked' for oclox. These board + cpu combo for about $200 ish.
    Read the reviews - they also support HiDef toys thru HDMI and DVI - include BluRay and multi monitor support. Some people use them for home theatre too - great value and performance - but I recommend the new Asus 140 watt models.
    Has onboard video but you want a real vidcard for game. (ATI HD-4850)

    There's a lot to learn - read up on it. These boards are targeted at people like you. Low cost, Hi perf. Many features.
  19. @ AFM - you can use any memory that is supported by your board.

    If it says DDR2, then you need to make sure it is DDR2. You also need to pay attention to how many pins the memory has (typical is 240 pin).

    You may want to check your motherboard manufacturer's site to make sure certain companies are compatible with your board.

    You do not need DDR2 1066 (unless you're doing some serious overclocking - plus most 1066 modules are overclocked DDR2 800 modules). 1066 is the supported memory - anything below is fine too.
  20. huron said:
    @ AFM - you can use any memory that is supported by your board.

    If it says DDR2, then you need to make sure it is DDR2. You also need to pay attention to how many pins the memory has (typical is 240 pin).

    You may want to check your motherboard manufacturer's site to make sure certain companies are compatible with your board.

    You do not need DDR2 1066 (unless you're doing some serious overclocking - plus most 1066 modules are overclocked DDR2 800 modules). 1066 is the supported memory - anything below is fine too.

    Thanks for the clarification! I just ordered some DDR2 800 memory last night (with a huge rebate) with some other essentials to complete my future system. Can't wait to get started when they arrive later this week. I thank you and all other forum members for helping me realize my first build! :bounce:
  21. It's our pleasure to help you out. Good luck with the build.
  22. The specs I posted are from my old computer, I am upgrading it a little bit while I buy parts for the new computer. Only thing pissing me off is my old computer refuses to overclock for me. Or if it does then it shuts down. I think the RAM I bought for it is too powerful. If BIOS and Windows register it, but the RAM is overheating some, do I need a better power supply for the ol' war bird or a better cooling system, or just cut back on the ram?

    I still have yet to order any new parts for the computer I'm going to build just because I am trying to research and make it perfect =)
  23. Also, good luck with your computer AFM. Best wishes, I would give advice for you, but all these guys are helping me so. Haha. Anyways, piece bro.
  24. Hi i am not sure if this is where I should post this but if anyone can help I would appreciate it. I have a Gateway 610xl all in one media center. The power supply is working fine as I tested it in my other 610xl. My problem on this system is the system gets no power, no fans running, no lights except ethernet light and IR light. When I unplug the ATX 12v 4 pin connector that goes from power supply to MOBO the power light comes on, and all fans spin, but no boot etc.

    What does the ATX 12v 4 pin connector power?? Is my motherboard shot??

    The motherboard is a VL93-L model

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Bill
  25. Billman - this is a strange place to put that question. You may want to start a new thread with this question and have better help (since your problem doesn't really relate to the thread that someone else started).
  26. The fix to your problem billman. $200 for a new mobo ^^;
  27. Next Question. If my motherboard will only support DDR memory, can I pop a DDR3 (GPU) in it and it work fine?

    1 forum post said the video card works independently, as long as it fits the PCI.
  28. TruthUncommon - you only need to worry about the DDR2 memory that you install in modules onto the board. The GPU has it's own memory and isn't related to those other specs. As long as you have a PCI-E x16 graphics card in one of those slots, it will work.
  29. Sweet deal man. Right now the old computer is using a Radeon X800 XT Platinum edition video card. Which was a powerful piece like... 4 years ago. I ordered a case the other day to start my new computer building process.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

    If you wanna check it out. I like the massive sized fans and all reviews were good. Looks sharp to me, and like 5 hours after I ordered it, I was in best buy and saw the EXACT case for $150 + tax. So I ordered it for $119.99 + free shipping + the $40 rebate. I felt accomplished.

    Hey Huron, what kind of system are you running?
  30. I have the same case!

    Nice job on saving $$$ - I always feel good when I save.

    I love my 900. I looked into upgrading to the antec twelve hundred (it's like the 900, but is a full tower - has 3 120mm fans on the front, the same 200mm on the top, and 2 120mm fans out the back, plus some better cable management), but I think I'm going to try to mod my case for a little for fun.

    Nice job with that case. It's a great case. It can get a little tight since it's a mid tower, but it's a nice one to build in. It does get a little dusty, but nothing a little maintenance can't work out.

    My system:

    Antec 900
    MSI P7N Diamond (780i)
    2x2GB Crucial Ballistix - DDR2 800 4-4-4-12
    EVGA 8800 GTS 512 (maybe SLI soon :))


    Truth Uncommon - you figure out what parts you're getting? I can't wait to see what you put in it. Let me know what you think you're getting and maybe we can save you some $$$ again :)
  31. Very nice setup you got. I just picked up a hard drive to begin with.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148140
    Didn't need to spend too much on a hard drive too much at first. Also, ordered a power supply.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371009
    Last new update is an S-Video cable because I'm going to use a 36" HD TV for my monitor mounted off the wall. Back to scheming my computer.
  32. Thanks. I just modded my 900 - put some holes in it for better cable management. It's really nice now.

    Good for you. Check out microcenter.com too because they have deals on processors too (E8400 is only $150 now, etc).

    36" TV as a monitor will be pretty cool.

    That PSU is pretty huge - hope you are planning on 2 graphics cards, or 1 to start, and another not too long off. With your PSU having that much output, watch out - it'll get hot in your room. My room is awfully hot when I'm playing CoD4 for a little while (I only have a 700w PSU).

    Good luck. I look forward to seeing what else you choose.
  33. TruthUncommon said:
    Also, good luck with your computer AFM. Best wishes, I would give advice for you, but all these guys are helping me so. Haha. Anyways, piece bro.


    Thanks man! Sorry for the delayed response- I have been busy stressing Huron out with helping me smooth out the kinks of my first build! :lol:
    Guess what?! I'm no longer typing from my factory-bought Dell labtop but with my first build! I want to thank the forum for its' great collection of computer minds. And especially Huron for his willingness to respond to my incessant emails for 1 on 1 troubleshooting. Saved me many man hours (plus the girlfriend is happier as I now have more time to tinker around with her as well.). Haha :kaola:

    Good to hear that your build is coming along quite well too!
    I, too, wanted to get the Antec 900, but it was a little too big for my Ikea computer desk. I ended up going with a cheaper, yet pretty air efficient Rosewill that fits perfectly (plus plenty of width for my huge thermolite Heatsinc. Besides, my goal was to build a budget PC, and that's what is now being accomplished. I spent about $600, and that was between the P-45 Asrock MB, E2180 Intel Dual Core processor, OCZ 2GB memory, Rosewell case, Thermolite Nirvana Heatsinc and an extra 160GB Seagate HDD.

    To save money I kept my modest 19" AOC monitor, GE-Force 7800GT Graphics card, 550W PSU, keyboard/mouse, and a WD 320GB HDD. Eventually I will upgrade the Graphics card and maybe get a 24" monitor. I do have a 37" Toshiba LCD that I could play COD on, so no need to get an overly huge monitor...

    I still have some more work to do though, need to find the installation cd for my old dvd/cd optical drive in order for it to recognize and install Call of Duty. Then, oh boy, watch out because it's Blitzkrieg time!!!! :pt1cable:
  34. Alright I ordered most of everything. Here goes:

    You know the antec 850w power supply. The 900 case. Also, the hard drive.

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor

    Pioneer Black Blu-Ray Combo SATA Drive

    Thermaltake CL-P0257 Blue orb II CPU Cooler for LGA775

    Tuniq Tower 120 Universal CPU Cooler 120mm Cooling Fan and Fan Controler/Heatsink

    SAPPHIRE 100242-1GL Radeon HD 4850 1GB

    ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard

    Killer NIC M1 Gaming Network Card

    OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066

    SAMSUNG 40" 1080p LCD HDTV (I went all out on a new TV/monitor) Plus the girlfriend is happy cuz she can play guitar hero and stuff on a bigger tv.

    Mostly that's it. Thanks a million Huron for the help. Would not have been possible without you bro. I'll start workin on this within the next week or two.
  35. It's my pleasure to help. Looks like you have some nice choices there.

    You won't need a network card, since it should be on your motherboard. I also think you have two CPU coolers on there. (The Tuniq and the Thermaltake). I have a Tuniq tower and really like it (mine is the blue LED version).

    Good choices. Have fun with the build. Continue to ask questions if you need any help.
  36. TruthUncommon said:


    ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard.


    Awesome! Glad you went with the Asrock P48 Motherboard. You wont be disappointed. And the extra Wi-Fi adapter is another great feature. I use it on my P45 to get internet on my labtop. :D
  37. Alright. I can't hook up the fans on my case to the power supply. They're both antec!!!! What connectors do I need, or why won't they plug in?
  38. TruthUncommon - what kind of connector do they have? Is it a 4-pin molex (looks like a plug with 4 pins in it) or is it a 3-pin (a rectangular connector that lets the connector slide past a little slot)?

    Let me know. Your PSU should have molex connectors. You can get fan to molex converters.
  39. Yeah the power supply has the 4 pin connectors, as does the fans. However, they each have a female end. No male ends. I'm gonna go down to the shop and check for conversion connectors.
  40. Yeah man, ignore the last posts about not knowing which way the power went. I was drinking for about 2 days straight. It never occured to me that the male end is one side, female on the reverse side. Haha. However. Sobered up, and I got this beast together! (First post on the brand new computer) Thanks again for all the help on my build. Hopefully I will be able to help someone in need sometime too.
  41. Good deal. I'm happy to hear. It's my pleasure to help. Hope you have fun with the new rig.
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