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Can't decide on a Motherboard

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August 21, 2008 4:05:21 PM

Hey.

I'm having trouble settling down on a motherboard I like. I was originally going to go with an EVGA nForce 750i FTW, but then I heard that there are some issues involving the chipset and video corruption. My initial thought was to go to the 780i FTW, but I read from one poster (dif forum) that the issue exists on the 780i as well. Then I felt like going with an ASUS + Intel chipset. The price was higher, but I'm having some doubts about that because I'm beginning to wonder if the EVGA would be better suited for an GeForce graphics card.

So, in addition to any comments/advice on the above, I have three questions:
1. Will an ASUS + Intel mobo work as well with GeForce cards as an EVGA + Nvidia mobo will?

2. Does the EVGA nForce 780i FTW indeed have the same issues with video corruption as the 750i?

3. Is the problem with the EVGA mobo still existent with a GTX 280 card? I've heard of the problem happening with lots of different cards, but I don't think anyone mentioned a 200 series card.

Please and thank you! :) 

More about : decide motherboard

August 21, 2008 4:16:39 PM

Do you plan SLI?

EDIT: It doesn't matter at all to have a Geforce card on a Nforce/Intel chipset (or ATI chipset for that matter).
August 21, 2008 4:30:50 PM

what is your budget? i assume if you are considering a gtx280 you have some moeny for your mobo??

+1 to bruce as far as it not mattering if you have Asus + Intel. non issue.
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August 21, 2008 4:32:39 PM

I'm only getting one card at the moment, but eventually I'd like to take advantage of SLI.

But so you're saying that the chipset you use has no bearing on the performance of the cards? If so, I'll prob stick with ASUS. I could check to see if 780i doesn't have the video issue (because it's a bit cheaper than the Asus i picked), but I hear asus + intel is better anyway, so I'll probably stick with that.

I heard from someone that nForce chipsets are better with SLI, but is that even true, and if so, how much of a benefit would I get if ever do decide to use SLI? Or does the "chipset makes no difference statement" apply here too?

EDIT: I have no precise budget limit, but I don't want to spend money on something if the benefit isn't worth it.
August 21, 2008 4:41:45 PM

You need a nforce chipset to do SLI, that's why I ask. But if your buying a GTX 280 now and don't plan on SLI'ing for a while than you'll probably wait just long enough to where it won't be feasable to get SLI and it'll be cheaper and less power to get that performance with the new single card at that time.

EDIT: The age old question, what monitor are you going to be using?
August 21, 2008 4:42:28 PM

I personally have the EVGA nForce 780i FTW. I tried a few Asus 780i products, but they each had multiple problems. After I got my board from eVGA, I have had no problems with it at all. I am running a gt280 and a Q9550. The Dummy OC feature in the Evga BIOS allows an OC of up to 25%...without fault. From my experience, I'll be sticking with eVGA for a looong time to come. They seem to be one step above the rest.
August 21, 2008 4:54:11 PM

pbrigido said:
I personally have the EVGA nForce 780i FTW. I tried a few Asus 780i products, but they each had multiple problems. After I got my board from eVGA, I have had no problems with it at all. I am running a gt280 and a Q9550. The Dummy OC feature in the Evga BIOS allows an OC of up to 25%...without fault. From my experience, I'll be sticking with eVGA for a looong time to come. They seem to be one step above the rest.

Have you ever heard of any video corruption issues with that board? Most of the complaints I read were about the 750i, but like I said, one guy said it was the same thing with the 780i.

The fact that you're using a gtx280 slightly supports my guess that the problem might not occur with 200 series cards. What do you with your PC? (i.e., gaming, video editing, to what degree?) and how long have you had it?

Also, ignoring my idea about the problem not occurring with a 200 series, would you recommend the gtx280 over the 9800 gx2 (as far as the improvement in performance compared to the extra cost)?

@bruce: Oh, so you absolutely need an nForce chip to use SLI? I'm not sure exactly what monitor I'll be using, but why is it important? As far as size I'd judge around 20".
August 21, 2008 5:00:06 PM

the reason he asks is resolution will determine what video card you need and if sli will make any difference. if you are using a 20" screen then you don't need to sli. the 280 will be plenty. in fact you could save $ with the 4870 or even the gtx 260 or 4850 for that matter and get great performance on that screen. where the beefier (read more $$) cards shine and where crossfire or sl is of greater need is when you are 1920x1200 or higher. so you are looking typically at 24" monitor or so.
August 21, 2008 5:05:36 PM

Unless you want to use a cracked bios with no support to get the Intel Chipset do SLI its just worth it so you should get the nforce board.

Why I ask about the monitor is for the resolution sake. Taking Crysis out of the equation there's allot of cheaper cards that the GTX 280 that will run all the games maxed out at your monitors highest resolution. So if you get a single 280 with no need to get SLI at all you can happily get a Intel chipset if thats what you want.

EDIT: Thanks bdollar, you beat me while I was replying. What he said.
August 21, 2008 5:06:05 PM

Hmm... ok. Well, I could imagine myself getting a 24 inch. Honestly I'm not too sure because I haven't been into PC gaming (due to my uber fail graphics cards). I'd still feel safer going with a config that could support SLI. Then again, I'm almost certainly not planning on getting 2 cards at the moment, so I guess I could upgrade my mobo along with a 2nd video card if the time comes that I want to use SLI.
August 21, 2008 5:07:34 PM

I have heard of issues, but I haven't seen any personally. I went from eVGA's 780i board to the 780i FTW. In both boards I never had any problem. The only reason that I did the change was for the ease of OCing my CPU. I have a few friends that do some gaming. Two of them have the 780i FTW board and they love it as well. I have personally had the 780i FTW for almost a month and a half now.

The only games I play are Crysis, Bioshock, WoW, UT3...and a few other random games. I also do some very basic video editing with Sony Vegas and Adobe.

One of my friends has a 9800gx2, but as far as I know, he has never had any video corruption issues. I personally would have a hard time buying a slightly older card like the 9800 series over the newer 200 series...but that is just me. It is also very easy to OC the GT280 using the software from Nvidia's website. Never hurts to get a little more juice out of the system. :) 
August 21, 2008 5:17:03 PM

CoolGamer48 said:
I'd still feel safer going with a config that could support SLI. Then again, I'm almost certainly not planning on getting 2 cards at the moment, so I guess I could upgrade my mobo along with a 2nd video card if the time comes that I want to use SLI.



Back to what I said before, don't plan on SLI then. By the time you want more horsepower it would be smarter to beef up your computer with the latest graphics card out there rather than trying to find another GTX 280 to sli (Nvidia's going to stop making these ASAP).

You don't need that horsepower now and by the time you do all the mainstream cards will be as fast as your single card now and its really easy/ cheaper and less power to get that SLI performance out of your machine by buying some of the new products that are out there.

But if you want, get a nforce chipset, just don't make the decicion upon it just to SLI in the future. Hell it could very well be (like it is right now) a better idea to get a good Intel Chipset so you can Crossfire in the future.
a b V Motherboard
August 21, 2008 5:17:59 PM

I've got a 790i with a GX2, and don't have any (non Creative) problems with the mobo. They tend to oveclock well after the 780i model as well.
August 21, 2008 5:19:09 PM

And just so you know, its funner to buy more components more often than blowing your wad all at once and having to live with it for a long time.
August 21, 2008 5:19:09 PM

bruce555 said:
Unless you want to use a cracked bios with no support to get the Intel Chipset do SLI its just worth it so you should get the nforce board.

Um, wait, so you think I should get nForce? Little confused there...

pbrigido said:
I have heard of issues, but I haven't seen any personally. I went from eVGA's 780i board to the 780i FTW. In both boards I never had any problem. The only reason that I did the change was for the ease of OCing my CPU. I have a few friends that do some gaming. Two of them have the 780i FTW board and they love it as well. I have personally had the 780i FTW for almost a month and a half now.

The only games I play are Crysis, Bioshock, WoW, UT3...and a few other random games. I also do some very basic video editing with Sony Vegas and Adobe.

One of my friends has a 9800gx2, but as far as I know, he has never had any video corruption issues. I personally would have a hard time buying a slightly older card like the 9800 series over the newer 200 series...but that is just me. It is also very easy to OC the GT280 using the software from Nvidia's website. Never hurts to get a little more juice out of the system. :) 

Well, if you have played Crysis I don't think your board' bad. I've heard people who just watch a video and get all messed up.

I think I'm leaning for the nForce right now. I haven't heard of the problems for the 780, and even less so for 200 series boards. Even if I'm not going to use SLI right now, I feel weird getting a board that doesn't support it. As I said, this is my entry into PC gaming, so I may find that I do want higher res monitors in the future.
August 21, 2008 5:23:03 PM

Interesting. I do use my computer to play back some blu-rays, divx files, dvds, etc with a 26" monitor...no problems on that front either :) 
August 21, 2008 5:23:51 PM

Quote:
Back to what I said before, don't plan on SLI then. By the time you want more horsepower it would be smarter to beef up your computer with the latest graphics card out there rather than trying to find another GTX 280 to sli (Nvidia's going to stop making these ASAP).

You don't need that horsepower now and by the time you do all the mainstream cards will be as fast as your single card now and its really easy/ cheaper and less power to get that SLI performance out of your machine by buying some of the new products that are out there.

But if you want, get a nforce chipset, just don't make the decicion upon it just to SLI in the future. Hell it could very well be (like it is right now) a better idea to get a good Intel Chipset so you can Crossfire in the future.

Arg.... that makes sense too.... *sigh* I keep running around in circles with this. Well, if you think getting SLI just to future-proof is a bad move, then I guess i might stick with the ASUS. God, this is confusing at first. Sometimes I feel like I should just toss a coin....
August 21, 2008 5:28:54 PM

money can be a factor. right now that single card is more than enough for your res. lets say a year down the road you want a better monitor. are you going to have your hands tied by money? meaning at that point is it more likely you would get another 280 (much cheaper at this point) that will give some improvement (sli shows improvement but it isn't like 2 cards are double the performance) or you would get a new better card (whatever is out then)? if it will be like 2 or 3 years before you can afford a "new" card then you may as well be prepared to sli. if you can afford to get a "new" card every couple of years then sli probably isn't as important. and by new i mean whatever is the leading card. hope that makes sense.
August 21, 2008 5:30:23 PM

also keep in mind that even with a 1920x1200 res monitor you can do a good job with the 280.
August 21, 2008 5:40:15 PM

Money isn't going to be too abundant after this. This desktop is a gift. My dad was originally going to just buy a Dell for me, but then we saw that it made much more sense just to build one (cheaper, get exactly what we want). So if I can spend more now and less later, that's a good thing. Then again, my assumption that I won't have money later is based on the fact that I'm too young to get a job right now, though in a few years when I feel like upgrading I probably will be able to get a job somewhere if I wanted to. (more circles, yay...).

But you're saying that with the gtx280 Ill do good even on better monitors, and I won't need SLI. I honestly don't think I'm going to be able to accurately predict whether or not I'll need SLI, and because of that, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable not getting SLI, and trying to get whatever I'll need later on.

But if getting SLI won't hurt, then why not? Has anyone here heard of issues with the EVGA boards? And are ASUS + Intel boards going to provide a notable improvement in performance?
August 21, 2008 5:56:01 PM

Crap, made a nice long post then the interntet crapped out as I hit post.

If you want to get SLI than you should get 2x 260's right now. I've seen them for 250-270 all the time and it won't be too much more than a single 280.

The point I was trying to make about SLI is don't plan for SLI if all you're doing is buying a card now than a year down the line buying a second to SLI. It's always better after that year just to buy the best single card at the time and wait for another year and do it all over again if thats what you want.

There is no need for SLI of 280 at the resolution of 1920 x 1200 and when it is needed there will be a better single card out there for the same price as a second 280 to SLI.
August 21, 2008 5:59:33 PM

Ya, ok, I'm starting to accept that mentality. But I'm just curious, forgetting about SLI or even just graphics cards in general, would an ASUS + intel board be better than the EVGA + nForce?
August 21, 2008 6:03:25 PM

For a single card there will be no difference between any of the chipsets.

With single card, Intel=Nvidia as for performance.

The performance out of two GTX 260's is allot more than a single 280. If you really want sli than justify getting it now. Don't plan on it for later, caust you never know. ATI could have another 9700 pro and Nvidia won't even be an option at that time.
August 21, 2008 6:06:08 PM

Side note:Everyones always a post ahead of me. :p 

Depends on what actual chipset/Money you're thinking of. Personally I'd pick the Intel board 4/5 times.
August 21, 2008 6:26:52 PM

Okay. Well, like I said, I'm not planning on getting two cards at the moment. The complaints about EVGA boards (despite that fact that it may only be with the 750i on non-200 series cards), coupled with the advice to not get SLI unless I'm planning on using right now, coupled again with the fact that Intel chipsets seem to be more well-liked leads me to the ASUS + Intel. I think I'm going to settle on ASUS for now... hopefully I won't change my mind on this again...
August 21, 2008 6:32:45 PM

you may want to post your full build for opinions as well. can't hurt.
August 21, 2008 6:40:11 PM

Um, ok. I haven't totally decided on everything - namely, memory, PSU, and whether to go for a GTX 280 or stay with a 9800 GX2, but here's what I'm thinking about:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz

Heatsink: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
(wondering if it'll fit on the ASUS, ppl say it's big)

Mobo (prob): ASUS Maximus II Formula LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1200 (PC2 9600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
(didnt have any reviews on New Egg which makes me worry...)

Power Supply: SILVERSTONE DA800 800W ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V - Retail
(wondering if I should go for 1000W)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card - 1GB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDMI
(like I said, don't know if should go for the GTX 280 or not)

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black ATX Full Tower Computer Case

DVD Drive:LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail

August 21, 2008 6:53:24 PM

hdd - wd 640gb is only $5 more and 140 more gb, better deal

ram - you are spending $300 on that. way too much $. You can get dd2 -800 with a cl of 4 for $80. that will work great and you can OC if necessary.

cpu - take $20 more and get the e8500, you can afford it with ram savings

case - that case is around $200. you can get the 900 for $120 plenty of room for everything. great case and looks sharp.
August 21, 2008 6:55:42 PM

to clarify on the ram. i really don't think you are going to see the benefit of going with the 1200. the reason there isn't any reviews on it is that most people who are going to spend $300 are getting ddr3 which quite honestly isn't worth it until price comes down a lot.

also what OS are you going to be running. recommend vista 64 bit. take advantage of all your ram and has directx10 support.
August 21, 2008 6:59:10 PM

sorry for 3 in a row. forgot powersupply.

corsair 750w is a great psu for $120 . I think the silverstone is about $190. so you could save there as well. 750w is plenty for your set up.
August 21, 2008 7:00:33 PM

I've seen that case for $180 and for the room (WC) I'd get it.

I think you missed the boat on the 9800 GX2's. About a week and a half ago you could pick them up for under $300 now I see them all back up in price.

Question, what kind of OC are you looking to get?

I also still don't trust western digital. I'd spend the extra $5 on top to get a Seagate.


Edit: SORRY! Nevermind about the price about the GX2! Newegg's still got it.
August 21, 2008 7:18:38 PM

case - I was originally going to go with the 900 (cheaper, looked cooler, didn't think I needed the space), but a friend of mine said the 9800 GX2 might not fit. Was he wrong?

processor - I'll upgrade to the E8500.

hdd - I'll def go for the 640 for $5. As far as WD/Seagate, what was wrong with WD? I'm just a bit hesitant because New Egg reviews seem to favor WD.

memory - So I won't notice a difference btwn 800 and 1200? I should just stick with 800 and mayb OC? Also, would I have any reason to go over 4GB, or is it enough?

psu: ill prob go down to 750 for the crosair, friend also recommended it.

OS: ya, im getting Vista 64bit

video card: um, on new egg the 9800 is like $285, but I think you were talking about a bigger dip. So for an extra like $160 I should go for the GTX 280?

edit: o, so you were talking about that $15? Or am I not looking at the right deal?
August 21, 2008 7:24:14 PM

i can't answer the first question. that may be an issue. don't decide on the case until you decide on the card.

memory - 4gb is plenty and 800 is fine. with the e8500 you don't even have to OC but you can if you decide to.

wd vs. seagate. i haven't had issues with either. i know 1 person that had issues with the wd 500gb and had to return it. haven't heard anything bad about the 640gb. reviews seem to be good.

as far as the card. with these other changes it seems like the gtx280 should fit in your budget. if that is the case go with it.
August 21, 2008 7:40:50 PM

I have the Antec 900 and there is plenty of room.

I agree with bdollar's suggestions. One thing I might change is the heatsink and fan. I had the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm and it does fit in the case. I was somewhat disappointed with it and decided to change. I then got the Zalman 9700 and could not be more happy! It lowered my CPU temp by 10C. I know THG did a review on these not too long ago and the Xigmatek got the "Best Buy" award, but my experience has been the Zalman performs better...at least in the ANtec 900.
August 21, 2008 7:47:17 PM

power supply: just wondering, on the new egg specs for the Crosair it says:
PCI-E Connectors: 4 x 6+2Pin

What does that mean exactly? Both the 9800 and the GTX 280 need one 6-pin and one 8-pin power connector. Will this PSU support them?

ram: just wondering, would there be any benefits of going over 4GB of RAM, no matter how minor? I'm just curious as to how the 64-bit OS can use it, while perhaps still running 32-bit apps.

case/video card: does anyone know where I can find the size of the 9800 GX2? I couldn't find it on nvidia.com. for the GTX 280, I think it'll fit in the 900, though I've gotten myself a bit confused with the dimensions. The 280 is 4.37"(H) x 10.5"(L) x Dual slot (W). The 900 case is 19.4"(L) x 8.1"(W) x 18.4"(H). Now, I'm assuming as long as 4.37 is less than 8.1 (which it is), it'll fit, but I'm not so confident, as I don't know exactly how everything will be oriented.
August 21, 2008 7:50:40 PM

I guess I'll go with the Zalman.

btw, I was wondering if it fit on the mobo.
August 21, 2008 7:51:44 PM

if you have pimped out the rest of your rig and want more than 4gbs you could go to 8gb and then turn off the windows page file cache so that it doesn't access your harddrive and uses your ram. this will speed some stuff up. that and if you are big into CAD are reasons for more ram. But typically it isn't necessary and there are plenty of other areas to spend $ if you want. for example getting the gtx280 over the gx2. and yes it will fit.

as far as the power supply. yes the psu will support them.
August 21, 2008 7:53:09 PM

Yeah, the 9800 gx2 and both the GT260, 280 will fit inside quite comfortably.

Also, the power supply will have everything you will need for either of the video cards you chose. Nice choice with that one.
August 21, 2008 7:55:45 PM

curious. how much $ is your budget on this build? that might help with suggestions.
August 21, 2008 7:56:19 PM

Yeah, the Zalman 9700 fits very nicely. It actually has a mounting bracked that fits on the back side of the motherboard, unlike the Xigmatek that uses the unreliable push pins.

Here is the 9700 on Newegg. I believe it was on sale for 54.00...not a bad price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 21, 2008 8:02:29 PM

Like I said (I think), this computer's a gift from my dad. He didn't give me a numerical limit as far as budget. He said that he'd get something better (for any given component) but only if the increase in cost to something better was worth the benefit. So if there's something better out there that you guys/I/him think is worth the extra price, then recommend it. But for example, someone said that DDR3 wasn't worth the extra price because the increase in performance wasn't good enough. Well, I wouldn't get that then. I don't want to waste money, but I don't want to get something that's not as good as it could be to adhere to a budget.
August 21, 2008 8:22:13 PM

memory: ok, so maybe $300 is a lot for the 1200, but is $110 a lot for 1066? It's over half-way between 800 and 1200, but it's only like $30 more than the 800. I mean, if you really think I won't notice a performance difference and should just stick to the 800, fine, but I mean, for $30 it seems like a good deal.

video card: I'm still battling in mind between the 9800 and GTX 280. It's not matter of staying within a budget. I'm just not sure if the extra $160 is worth the performance boost? Is it? In test and specs I haven't seen too much of a difference, but if you really are getting a substantial amount of improvement, I'll go for it I guess.

Oh, and one other thing with the GTX is that some customers have complained about it's power consumption. One guy said you'll need a 800W, but you guys think I'll be fine with the 750?
August 21, 2008 8:26:51 PM

memory - i really don't think you are gong to noice ANY difference at all. not even $30 difference. Unless you are doing major ocing which you said you aren't.

gpu - 750w (using a good PSU like corsair) is fine. you would have issue if sli which you aren't.
August 21, 2008 8:33:35 PM

Um, when you say OCing, do you mean OCing the processor, or OCing the speed of the RAM?

Also, just curious - what would you say would have more of a benefit, faster RAM, or getting 8GB?
August 21, 2008 8:58:10 PM

When I asked about Overclocking I was talking about your processor. For higher OC's you need a higher spec'd ram.

As for a benifit on 8Gb of ram there is no benifit. The only really benifit for getting faster RAM is to OC.
August 21, 2008 9:34:39 PM

Ok, so I think I decided on everything. Any comments/warnings/go - aheads welcome. And thanks everybody for all your advice, you've been a real help.

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

Heatsink: ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Motherboard: ASUS Maximus II Formula LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Memory: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory (it was $30, and I might decide to OC more than I anticipated)

Hard Drive:Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC

Video Card: EVGA GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card - 1GB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDMI (settled on the 9800)

CD/DVD drive:LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail

OS: Vista 64bit
August 21, 2008 9:43:05 PM

I'd might look at a x48 based board if you're willing to spend that much (Maximus lable). Maximus boards are meant more for high 24/7 overclocked machines.
August 21, 2008 9:56:41 PM

not to confuse the issue, but why are you not looking at ATI graphics solutions? the HD4870 gives similar performance to the 280 for significantly less, and for pure performance, the HD4870x2 is the fastest single card on the market. might be worth looking into, especially since crossfire is supported on intel mobos
August 21, 2008 9:59:32 PM

The GX2 easily beats a single HD4870 for only $20 more.
August 21, 2008 10:59:45 PM

I settled early on (perhaps foolishly, but i don't know) to go with NVIDIA. I'm only planning on getting one card at the moment. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and believe bruce about the GX2 out-performing the HD4870.
!