Motherboard Upgrade advice

High everyone.
Current set up is with an e4300 with a GA-965P-DS3P gigabyte motherboard. Was thinking of upgrading to a Q6600 processor and was looking for a motherboard to upgrade to as well. Please can someone reccomend me one? My criteria are BEST VALUE FOR MONEY! as im a student. But I'd like it to be as fast as possible. I know this is a catch 22 so Im looking for a balance between two. My price range is about £60MAX (120$) but would prefer less if possible.

Thanks in advance
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  1. If I go for a P35 chipset do I need DDR3? I dont really want to buy new RAM and was planning on using my DDR2 800 2GB.
  2. Gigabyte EP35-DS3L is cheap and DDR2 supported
  3. Its about £65. For an extra £10 I could get the Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3.
    Is it worth it I woud like to overclock as well I guess.
  4. yep it has 2 (1x16 or 2x8) EP45-DS3 PCI-Express X16 (X16)
    PCI-Express (2.0)
    with go for it... its a step up from a EP35-DS3L but i was only referring to your budget of 60.00

    it costs a little more but surely has more SATA ports too, higher memory type, etc.
  5. I always do this....Find Something that would be fine...and then fine one just a bit better and then find one a bit better untill Im way over budget....But does look better.

    Can you explain what you mean by (1x16 or 2x8)? I thought 16x was the gfx card slot and 1x was for expansion cards (e.g TV tuners) But then I see 8x and etc. and hence confused.

    Also my gfx card is a ATI 1950 Pro (about 1year old). Is this PCI-E 2.0 compatible? Thanks
  6. PCI-E 2.0 is backward compatible. Your ATI 1950 will work ok. What "goonting" was explaining is that the video card slot is 16x but if you fill both video card slots the two will run at 8x each on that motherboard.
  7. Will the GA-EP45-DS3 run faster than the EP35-DS3L? I dont want to run SLI and more SATA isnt such an advantage as I dont need that many HD's/drives.
  8. +1 for the GA-EP45-DS3. Your x1950 Pro will work in a PCI-E 2.0 slot, no worries.

    "16x" PCI-E slots are the longest PCI-E slots on the motherboard, the ones normally used for video cards. You have two of them on the GA-EP45-DS3. If one is empty, the other one runs at full 16x speed. If both are filled (two video cards in Crossfire) each slot gets 8x i.e. half the bandwidth. That is perfectly fine for two x1950Pro cards. It does bottleneck more recent cards like HD 4850 or HD 4870, but not that much (it's mostly visible on 24" monitors or larger).

    If you want lots of details:
  9. ohwoojin said:
    Will the GA-EP45-DS3 run faster than the EP35-DS3L? I dont want to run SLI and more SATA isnt such an advantage as I dont need that many HD's/drives.

    No. Your Q6600 and x1950Pro will run at the same speed on either of those two. If you're absolutely sure you will never need 2 video cards or more than 3 hard disks+1 burner then OK, the DS3L is enough.
  10. Surely buying a better GFX card is better than buying another 1950pro to Run in crossfire. Also I was under the impression the card had to be pretty much identical to my gfx card i.e exact same manufacturer etc.

    Think at the moment Im swaying to the EP45-DS3 atm...Hope it will be worth the money
  11. Absolutely, a HD 4850 would be better than x1950 Pro Crossfire.

    Yeah, if you can get the DS3 go for it. It's more future-proof.

    In the DS3L's defense - I forgot to mention you can use 2 IDE hard disks with it too, so it's not that badly limited after all.
  12. Thanks for the help everyone. :) Think I will go for the DS3.
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