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Plaese Help New User Choose Motherboard

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August 31, 2008 3:18:19 AM

I want to replace my P4 2.6HGZ machine with either a quad or dual core processor. The Q6600 or Q6700 are looking promising.

As a photographer working with large files in Photoshop CS3, I need a machine that will keep up with me. The P4 is a bit slow when convering RAW files to .jpg and while processing filters within CS3.

Photoshop will take advantage of the multiple cores, that will speed things up.

I am overwhelmed with the motherboard choices and will appreciate help and guidance with making an intelligent decision without spending too much.

My motherboard requirements are simple, FireWire, ESata port(s), Gigabit LAN and onboard video would be nice. I don't need IDE any longer, the new hard drive & burner will be SATA ...

Also looking for suggestions on the dual vs. quad core CPU. Will the additional two cores really give me more raw processing power in Photoshop? Is it worth it?

August 31, 2008 4:18:15 AM

You should get quad. Photoshop is quad optimized, and the performance difference between quad and dual is fairly large. See benchmarks:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx...

A p45 motherboard delivers the best performance on market for Intel cpus, should be able to overclock that q6600/6700 to its limits. They start as low as $90, but models that support Firewire, gigabyte lan, esata tends to be a bit more expensive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P...

As for onboard graphics, there aren't any half decent Intel boards that have them. Just pick up whatever $20 video card you can get.
August 31, 2008 2:14:03 PM

WOW, the Photoshop tests are impressive. The onboard video would ne a 'nice to have' but not a requirement. I plan on dropping a tv tuner card in the machine also with a second monitor.

While were on the subject ...

Do you have recommendation for a budget graphics card? I'm not a gamer so super whiz-bang isn't necessary but I would like a quality card.
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August 31, 2008 4:44:32 PM

ultravista said:
WOW, the Photoshop tests are impressive. The onboard video would ne a 'nice to have' but not a requirement. I plan on dropping a tv tuner card in the machine also with a second monitor.

While were on the subject ...

Do you have recommendation for a budget graphics card? I'm not a gamer so super whiz-bang isn't necessary but I would like a quality card.


Something like this should be enough:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or this, if you don't mind the mail in rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 31, 2008 4:51:49 PM

Good stuff, thanks dagger.

I'm waiting to see if Fry's comes through with the Q6600 + ECS mobo for $150 (Labor day sale). I'll dump the board and go with an Asus.

If not, I'll take the plunge with NewEgg and the 3.0% cashback Microsoft Live offers.
August 31, 2008 9:52:20 PM

dirtmountain said:
You might try a G43/45 motherboard with integrated graphics
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


G43/45 is economy level microatx chipset, performance is not on par with p43/45. That board is also a lot more expensive too. It cost more than a cheap p43 board plus video card combined. There's no point.
September 1, 2008 2:40:54 AM

Yeah, I may skip the onboard video.
!