For starters I wanted to thank everyone who has been helping me over the past week build up my new system - given the massive constant advice I have opted to go with a Asus DDR2 motherboard as opposed to my inital Rampage Extreme X48 DDR3 - for the lack of benifits (none - given that I won't OC) and insane price it just isn't worth it - thank you all for helping me come to that conclusion.
So now I must find a replacement board for a DDR2 system (note - I am an Asus fan so going to stick with them). Initially the obvious choice was the Rampage Formula (X48 DDR2 - winning awards left/right/center) - but today some of you mentioned the Asus P45 series instead - this opens up an entire new can of worms and I was hoping to - once again - get some advice...
First off - I was always under the impression that P45 was an older chipset, I thought intel released the P45 -> X38 -> X48 (making it 3 generations old), I mean why release the new Rampage Extreme with X48 if it isn't the latest & greatest - can someone confirm this point for me - I want to be sure I know what I am talking about (P45 better...)
Given my immediate love for the Rampage Extreme, and that it looks like P45 is better for me then X48 (Q9550 - no OC) - I automatically fell for the MAXIMUS II FORMULA.
I also did some reading and found a comparable P5Q-DELUXE which seemed good.
So - here it is - the last leg of my investigation - the final choice ...
X48 VS P45
Rampage Formula VS Maximus II Formula (or P5Q-Deluxe)
Doing the comparing of the specs it looks to me like the Maximus II Formula is the winner .... But as I've shown lately ... what do I know?
BTW - all 3 boards are pretty much the same price so....
Whats the general concencus?
X48 is better than X38 which in turn is better than P45. The main difference is in Crossfire with HD 4850 or better cards, where the P45 is bottlenecked but he X38 and X48 are fine. I'd avoid that Maximum II Formula P45 and get a P5E Deluxe X48 instead. Or get the Rampage Formula, sure, if you think it's worth the extra $50 over the P5E Deluxe.
Edit: the newer chipset is not always better, because some chipsets are aimed at low budgets or the mainstream. Not all are aimed at enthusiasts. Comparing apples to apples, you have P45 better and newer than P35 and both aimed at mainstream, and x48 better and newer than X38 and both aimed at the high end. That is, this year's Toyota is better than last year's Toyota but not better than last year's Ferrari.
Well - I plan to get a Q9550 with 4870 video card (single card)...
I've been told that - given that I;m not looking to OC past 3.0ghz (not much) and never plan to use more then one video card (come on ... 4870 ...) the general opinion was to get P45 and not X48 - why I don't know ....
You guys really think X48 is still a better choice?
I don't care paying $50 or $100 more if I can get a better board.
I'm voting for P5Q Pro. It's $70 cheaper than P5Q Deluxe at newegg right now after shipping. Also, I know that the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro works fine on P5Q Pro but won't fit on the P5Q Deluxe because of some heatpipes on the MB. That is, with the P5Q Deluxe you have to be VERY careful what cooler you buy.