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Intel Mobo Recommendations Needed

Last response: in Motherboards
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September 8, 2008 2:34:24 AM

So I posted a thread yesterday about some PC problems. Essentially, I ordered a new case & PSU and swapped my mobo and everything into new case. In the process, it appears I may have shorted my motherboard. :o  Not really sure, but it basically no longer works. If you're interested in trouble shooting, you can go read my other thread. I think I've tried everything there is to try.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/252670-30-680i-mobo-p...

So, I've got a support ticket in with XFX as it's one of their motherboards. We'll see if they'll let me send it in, and if so, whether they'll warranty it.

However, should XFX decide not to warranty my motherboard, I intend to dump the nForce bit. Ever since I got my 680i LT SLI board I've read nothing but problems about them. They don't OC well (especially with quads, like my Q6600), and it seems like there's no shortage of folks having issues with the 680i boards.

If I'm forced to buy a new motherboard, it's going to be an Intel based unit. So here's where I'm at. I'm not looking to purchase 'high end' as money is an object. I'm a gamer however, and I'm the kind of guy who upgrades his system all the time. I'm typically replacing at least 1 part every 6 months or so (video cards and CPUs mostly). So I'm looking for input as to what Intel based chip is best for me (price/peformance/upgradability/etc).

Here's what I have now:

Intel Q6600
GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB
4GB (1GBx4) Corsair DDR2 (PC6400)
Antec TPQ-850 PSU (850W)
Thermaltake Armor 8003BWS Case
WD 400GB SATA Hard Drive
Maxtor 120GB IDE Hard Drive
Lite-On 16x DVD/CD Writer


Any input would be much appreciated. :) 
September 8, 2008 2:53:56 AM

I've never gone SLI before, nor have I gone Crossfire. I think mostly due to finances. ($$) My wife hates me spending cash on the computer anyhow. I typically just buy one of the best video card I can afford. By the time I can spare the money to buy another one, it's simply time for an upgrade! lol

So though I like the option of having SLI or Crossfire available, it's not necessary.

I like the price of that GA-EP35-DS3L you linked to though. What's with the old school parallel port on it though? Good Lord.
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September 8, 2008 3:01:55 AM

Actually, if you want to install a good battery back up surge protector or a gaming device this port will serve you well and be very handy.

This seems to be the only thing that makes this board seem outdated but its a convenience factor when you need to connect a device that requires that port.

Good price for a board like that imo.
September 8, 2008 3:24:17 AM

Hmm, that last mobo you listed, the EP45-DS3R has quite a few folks having issues with it. At least on NewEgg's reviews. Looks like everyone had to immediately update the BIOS on that board to gain stability. And a few folks say it's pick with RAM, one person saying it doesn't like Corsair (which I have). I was looking at another motherboard a few minutes ago, that lots of folks were getting DOA boards recently.

LOL Kind of scares me. ;) 

Generally though, from what I've seen in these forums, P35 and P45 boards are the way to go if you wanna OC quads. You just don't get SLI abilities.
September 8, 2008 3:30:53 AM

There are probably other options aside from those boards listed. I have had great luck with ASUS and Gigabyte so I believe either is a good option.

You are on the right track so just search for ones that have the best reviews and the best price and get to ordering... :p 
September 8, 2008 5:01:53 PM

Here's a curiosity question. My current 680i mobo has an 8-pin CPU power connector. Most of these motherboards I'm seeing (Intel based P35 & P45) only have a 4-pin connector. It had once been suggested to me by XFX that an 8-pin power connector was important for a Quad Core. (Granted I've been running 4-pin since my old PSU was only 4-pin)

Anyone have any experience with OC abilities/stability in regards to 4pin vs 8pin?
September 8, 2008 8:08:41 PM

So this motherboard looks good, although it's $150 (but that seems low end for a P45). Asus P5QE

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

Asus' website says this board is CrossFireX capable. There's only one PCI-E Graphics port on the picture for it, so I'm assuming that's not the same as CrossFire ready. ;) 

For some reason I'm drawn to the P45 boards more than the P35's. Though I have always read on these forums that the P35's and P45's both OC well and perform well with Quads.
September 9, 2008 4:05:21 AM

I have only had dealings with an 8 pin connector with my current quad core cpu so I cant say from experience about testing with a 4 pin connector. It would appear that you would need an 8 pin but if those boards have a 4 pin and says they support a quad core then it should be fine.

I think the crossfireX is for the 4870x2 card that operates a dual gpu on the same video card that fits in one slot. This would be a very nice option...
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