Help me choose MB!

Since I always end up on this site or forums for information I thought I might aswell ask here ;)
I need some advice on what mb to order- what way to go!

This is my current setup
Asus P5B-E (old..)
Intel E8500 (Zalman CNPS9700NT) (wont go higher than 3,6 stable)
4gb DDR2 PC6400 5-5-5-18
XFX GeForce GTX260 (~10% oc cant remember numbers)
550w PSU

Thing is, I have an old 8600GT not doing any good- and thought I'd use it as a physics card using latest ForceWare drivers- but I only have one PCI-E port :fou:
I was thinking of waiting for a while to get i7 stuff since you'd have to replace most stuff in the computer
So, should I buy some semi-cheap MB that will allow higher CPU OC and another pci-e port so I can use my second card?
Or should I get a nForce (780i or something) that would allow me to use my second card now and perhaps get another GTX260 when prices drop a little more?

Or does anyone have another option?

Another thing- does replacing the stock cooler on a GTX260 help much? I can get a Zalman VF700Cu for like < 25€ so would that be a wise investment? (less noise / higher MHz?)

Thanks A LOT in advance / Martin
12 answers Last reply
More about help choose
  1. Do you want to use the 8600 GT with the GTX 260 in SLI? That's not possible. You can only use two identical cards in sli.
    About the VGA cooler, I would not do that. First it will void your warranty and second the nvidia stock coolers are often running at about 35-40%. You can turn them up with an app like rivatuner when oc'ing and then they cool excellent. They make some extra noise however but i would only oc when gaming so you wont hear it because of the speakers/headphones.
    Actually i would not oc at all. I have done it and i didn't see any significant improvement. Oc'ing the cpu is much more promissing.
  2. Thanks for the reply!
    Ok yeah I noticed you could crank the fan speed up and it sounds horrible, but as you say- headphones ;)
    No, using the GTX260 as primary card and the 8600GT as a physX-card using forceware multi-gpu - its in the latest drivers!
    and then later on getting another 260 (216core probably) to run SLI
  3. Alright.
    Now, about the mobo. I've read some fantastic things about the new i7 cpu, so if i were you i would wait for a while and build a new system (cpu, ram mobo) with that technology. Also by that time the prices will have dropped because newer i7 cpu's and mobo's will be launched. Btw i also think these new cpu's are really worth their money, knowing they can run 8 threads at one time. It will last some time before there will be software and especially games available that use that tech.

    And one more question. I'm not an expert when it comes to gfx setups, so i've never heard of a setup with a primary card and a second card as a physx card. Could you explain that to me? I'd like to learn.

    about the gfx oc. Do you really want to oc?
  4. Yeah I'll definately get some i7 stuff sometime mid-next-yearish or so- but til then I'd like to be able to use my second card and also be able to utilize my cpu to the fullest ;)
    check out those links (only explains a little)
    so basically you can use a GeForce (8- 9- 200 series) as a dedicated physics card while utilizing your "main" card for 3d rendering
    This supposedly will lift some load from the cpu/gpu (whichever's doing the physx calculations)
    back to the main question, I think Im asking if I should buy some nForce mobo with SLI-support for once I get my second card (while waiting for i7) or just get some other motherboard that will allow me to use the 2nd videocard aswell as delivering some more cpu oc speed ;)
    I was running my card at 666mhz (original 576) and it did increase my fps but I got artifacts after a while :(
  5. If its only for a while go for the non-nforce mobo. Get an intel one. they are faster for the same price. What about one with a p35 or maybe p45 chipset. I don't think they cost that much and they have multiple pcie slots.
  6. And about physx rendering. I recently upgraded drivers to 180.43 beta and than i saw you could enable physx acceleration. That's probably what you're talking about.

    It brought me to an idea. Right now i have a 8800 gts 512 but i'm thinking of upgrading to gtx 280. Than i can use the gtx 280 a primary card and the 8800 as physx, not? Would that give a significant improvement? And the only thing i have to do to get it working is enabling physx acceleration in nv control panel?
  7. yeah that's it
    ok, I'll check for some P45 cards and see what I can find- will get some new stuff @ my work soon aswell, might be something interesting.

    Yeah, GTX280 as primary and 8800gts as a dedicated physx-card :)
    Pretty much just put it in and select it in the menu
    IF the card doesnt show up correctly in windows you might have to connect the second card to a monitor (you can just hook it up to the same one if you have multiple inputs on it)
  8. as for the performance boost, on physx-accelerated games/programs it should improve (pretty much I think)
    I've been searching a little but havent found any really good reviews/benchmark tests but I assume more should arrive shortly!
  9. I have Far Cry 2 and i think it has physx acceleration but i'm not sure. I've also read some things about a second monitor but is it true that you don't have that issue in XP? And if it still occurs, connecting the second card to the second video input on the same monitor should do the trick.

    Note: with an intel mobo i only meant a mobo with an intel chipset. It doesn't matter wich company build the mobo. Asus is what i would get but the choice is up to you.
  10. yeah I think it does (far cry 2)
    Think the problem is only in vista, but the work-around is simple enough :)
    Yeah I figured you meant that ;) my current one is P965, which barely supports E8500 (latest bios update fixed it) so I think I could get more out of it with a better mobo. Should I go for P45/x38/x45 ?
    I like the asus brand a lot too, will check for those boards.
  11. Sorry it took some time for me to reply again.

    I would definitely chose the p45. It have less processing power than the x48 but more than the x38. However it is cheaper and every dollar/euro/whatever you can save here, can be spent on your i7 build.
  12. hey!
    I bought a nForce 750i card for 1290 sek, ~130€ or something- saving for the good stuff ;)
    buut theres a problem..
    check it out :\
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