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Need help choosing a motherboard for setup

Last response: in Systems
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July 6, 2008 12:56:26 AM

Hi, I'd appreciate the help of some knowledgeable folks around here. I'm building a new system and have these parts, I've pretty much got everything except the mobo:


video card: BFG 9600GT
monitor: Samsung 22" 2243WM
HD: WD Caviar Green SATA 500GB
RAM: Mushkin 4 GB DDR2-800 Redline
CPU: AMD 5000+ Black
PSU: 500 W Silver

I'm trying to build a moderately priced "value" system which means that I wring out the most performance from the budget. Ideally, the mobo would have SLI and PCI-e 2.0 (for video card and possible extra for SLI)

I'm thinking around $100-$150 for the mobo. I've looked at the new ASUS boards like the M3N78 PRO but haven't found much info on them to know if they are good. Are they new? did they just come out?

I've got ASUS/ASRock mobo's before but am not disinclined from looking at other makers like Gigabyte, so if you know of a good motherboard that fits the bill and it isn't ASUS that's ok - although I kinda like the "splashtop" feature.


Anyway, that about does it, thanks very much for your help!

July 6, 2008 3:29:25 AM

Don't SLI 9600s. Complete waste of money.

Look at Intel cihpset motherboard (superior to NV chipsets in about everyway). Example would be the MSI Neo-3FR.
July 6, 2008 3:54:01 AM

I agree, look at an Intel board. P45 is likely the best buy right now. Gigabyte and ASUS both have good P45 boards.

Gigabyte GA-P45-DS3L
or
ASUS P5Q Pro
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July 6, 2008 4:12:28 AM

He's got an AMD 5000+. You guys shouldn't recommend Intel motherboards :pfff: 

Here's a pretty good AM2 motherboard for $85:
GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128014

It does have SLI. It doesn't have PCI-E 2.0 but you don't need that for 9600GT cards.
July 6, 2008 9:28:04 PM

Thanks very much aevm, I agree it is weird when you lay out your parts and people suggest you change the whole configuration!

Anyhow, re the 9600GT not needing PCI-e 2.0 could you please explain further? I know that PCI is backward compatible, is that what you mean? wouldn't it slow down the card to plug it into a PCI rather than a PCI-e 2.0?

I'd appreciate some schooling on this. Thanks again.

I was thinking of pushing my budget to get the Gigabyte GA-M750SLI-DS4 ATX, would it be worth it?

http://www.giga-byte.com/Products/Motherboard/Products_...
July 6, 2008 9:41:11 PM

There are two generations of PCI-E slots. They look the same, and a 9600GT would work in either at the same speed. The PCI-E 2 slots have twice the bandwidth of PCI-E 1 slots, but the 9600GT doesn't even need the bandwidth offered by PCI-E 1 so it won't be faster in a PCI-E 2 slot. The PCI-E 2 slots do matter for more powerful cards, like the HD 4850 or 9800GX2. Cards like that will still work in a PCI-E 1 slot, but losing something like 7% to 30% of their speed, depending on game, resolution, settings, etc.

And of course, we have PCI slots. You can't put a PCI-E card in a PCI slot, those are smaller and work differently. Nobody makes PCI cards anymore, except for a couple of $40 cards that are totally useless for gaming.

Yeah, that GA-M750SLI-DS4 would give you PCI-E 2. It won't make a difference with the 9600GT, but it will be better for your next video card. That is, if you buy a new $300 video card in 2010, you'll be happy you got PCI-E 2 and not 1. It also has better onboard audio. It also has AM2+ compatibility, which means it will let you stick a Phenom CPU there, some day when quads are supported by more games. I think it's a good idea.


July 6, 2008 11:58:50 PM

I missed the AMD processor :)  Sorry...

SLI is ok on AMD based systems.

No current card can even take full advantage of PCI-E 1.1 vs 2.0. There is zero speed difference.

July 7, 2008 7:10:11 PM

shadowduck, no problem :-)

aevm, again, thanks very much for the detailed explanation. I'm going to go with the Gigabyte M750SLI-DS4

Also, I noticed a recent review of video cards:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

I got my 9600GT for less than $100 so I feel good about that purchase - looks like I wrung a lot of value out of it!

Cheers
!