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Motherboard Advice: Q6600 System

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September 19, 2008 11:47:04 PM

So basically, I'm long overdue for a new build. I've put off upgrading for quite a while now; college is expensive ya know ;3.

Long.

Overdue.

I'm talking AMD XP Barton core.

Ancient.

I've been looking at parts on and off for 2 years. But as soon as I'd work up the courage to order some parts, something shinier would come out.

Vicious.

Cycle.

But I've got the money now, and I have the will to upgrade, or rather, the need, because quite frankly, that Barton core went the way of the buffalo a long time ago.

I'm on the precipice of something big here.

Just.

One.

Click.

Away.

But I cannot seem to decided on which motherboard I want. I've narrowed it down to an X48 board in the $200.00-250.00 range.

And I'm liking a couple of DFI and ASUS boards.

The other parts I am buying
WD 640GB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) 200GB IDE = Cramped.
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB PC2 8500 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) Nifty Fan ;3
XFX GTX 260 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) From a 6800 nu.
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)Bundle with Q6600 = $30.00 Saved.
Q6600 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) Sort've like running 4 Bartons, except faster. Much faster...
Asus DVD Burner (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
ZEROtherm ZEN FZ120 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) Or the Xigmatech HDT-S128x

And the motherboards I've been looking at are:
DFI LP DK X48-T2RSB PLUS (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
DFI LANPARTY DK X48-T2RS (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
ASUS P5E Deluxe (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

So basically, I'm liking the Asus P5e, but I'd like to know whether or not it can be flashed with the Rampage Formula bios. Also, the two DFI boards are nice, I just cannot decide whether two more Sata ports and a couple more shiny solid-state capacitors is really worth the extra $20.00. I looked the Gigabyte offering, but from what I've heard and seen in forums and reviews, the DS4 is a little flaky.

So um, that's about it. I'd like to go ahead and order this stuff at some point over the weekend.

Thanks in advance.

-SnuffleKitty
September 20, 2008 12:01:27 AM

Use the DS4 instead, solid caps, slightly higher specs (higher native ram support, more use/firewire/ps2 ports, higher onboard audio chipset... etc.). Nothing too significant, but it cost the same. It runs cooler and have dual bios. Which means you don't have to worry about flash corruption since the 2nd is there for backup. You can even try on different bios without risk. Gigabyte is generally regarded as having better quality than Asus and DFI, and has lower rma rates in major retailers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2008 12:03:02 AM

^beat me to it ;) 

I too recommend the ASUS (from the 3 choices) BUT that's an X48 board so you can CrossFire on it. But your GTX260 requires a SLI board (if you plan to SLI). Imo, get a 4870/4850 if getting any of those X48 boards so you can CrossFire later.

Good HDD, CPU, PSU. Imo, swap the cooler to a XIGMATEK S1283 (+ bolt in kit) or a Sunbeam CoreContact.

Also not sure on what you herd about the DS4 I use them and they are fine as long as you don't use DES software they give you or OC through Windowz.
Related resources
September 20, 2008 12:35:21 AM

Shadow703793 said:
^beat me to it ;) 

I too recommend the ASUS (from the 3 choices) BUT that's an X48 board so you can CrossFire on it. But your GTX260 requires a SLI board (if you plan to SLI). Imo, get a 4870/4850 if getting any of those X48 boards so you can CrossFire later.

Good HDD, CPU, PSU. Imo, swap the cooler to a XIGMATEK S1283 (+ bolt in kit) or a Sunbeam CoreContact.

Also not sure on what you herd about the DS4 I use them and they are fine as long as you don't use DES software they give you or OC through Windowz.


The DES has software front end, but is based on hard ware power regulation. It should still be turned off when overclocking, but does not cause errors and instability like the Asus EPU, which is software based.
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1348/4/gigabyte_des_a...

Another thing I forgot to mention is DFI, surprisingly enough, has the most bios options. Not for amateurs though. Asus next, and Gigabyte has least options. It does have all the vital ones, like the all important Loadline Calibration. It lacks profiles and extensive auto oc features.
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2008 1:45:55 AM

Wait a sec.. I thought ASUS had the hardware based solution?
September 20, 2008 2:40:00 AM

@Shadow703793

Like I said, I looked at the Xigmatech, but the Zerotherm has comparable numbers, a lower price(After MIR), and it comes with the bolt in kit. I'm basing this mainly off the charts they have over at Frostytech.

You can see how often I upgrade; pretty funny when you consider how often I build for other people. I get the best parts I can afford at the time, and I replace them when their performance (or lack there of) really starts to bug me.

SLI/Crossfire is great, that it's come into the mainstream is very cool. But I really don't see myself going that direction any time soon. Plus, the 780i is based on (slightly) older tech, runs way too hot, and the better 790i is a little outside of my price range.

I settled on either an AMD 4870, or a Geforce GTX 260. At this point, I can get the GTX 260 for less.

@dagger

I've never really understood DFI, but come on now, it's no surprise that they have the most bios options. Don't you remember their Nf2 boards? An overclocker's wet dream.

Now I don't want to doubt you; I mean really, "Which motherboard should I buy," is sort've a loaded question. Basically it amounts to me asking what you would buy; it's not that I don't value your opinions (cough). But we all see idiots on these forums trying to pass off their opinions as fact. I do appreciate the input though.

If it makes you fellows feel any better; you guys were the quickest to reply. Those prats over at Hardocp don't seem to care for me and my problems ;3.

-SnuffleKitty
September 20, 2008 2:51:51 AM

EPU is software based power regulation, DES is hardware. Gigabyte even made a big stink about it in the past, accusing Asus of cutting corners and delivering inferior products to save cost. Asus threatened to sue them, but backed down after third party reviewers confirmed Gigabyte's accusations. Ah, the drama... :sarcastic: 

As for gtx260 on crossfire board, it makes no sense. With 4870, you can add another one later for better performance. With gtx260, you're limited to a single card. If you're running single card anyway, get 9800gx2 instead. It blows away both gtx260 and 4870 for $270.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19
September 20, 2008 5:27:57 PM

I suppose you have a point.

I'd considered throwing a couple 4850s into this rig, but honestly, the amount of heat those little single slot cards would be throwing into the case? Scary stuff.

The 4870 is sitting at basically the same price as the GTX 260. Still runs a little hot though, but it does have a nice little dual slot cooling solution. Probably still runs hot... Blah.

I don't suppose anyone could be so kind as to link a good review for this board?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-SnuffleKitty

September 20, 2008 9:04:38 PM

Does anyone know if the Zerotherm Zen FZ120 will clear the Northbridge hsf on the Gigabyte X48 DS5 ?

-Snuffles
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2008 11:59:04 PM

@OP: Cool I understand why you got the ZEROtherm. But why a X48 and a GTX260? Imo, get a 4850.

@dagger: I stand corrected. I know a bout the whole suing thing, I just had DES and EPU confused. lol.
September 21, 2008 12:02:34 AM

snufflekitty said:
Does anyone know if the Zerotherm Zen FZ120 will clear the Northbridge hsf on the Gigabyte X48 DS5 ?

-Snuffles


It will clear DS4's slightly bulkier heatsinks. DS5's heatsinks come with one more heatpipe, but is smaller. So it should clear.
September 21, 2008 12:24:30 AM

@Shadow703793

Well I'd dismissed the 4850 on the grounds that it's a hot little bastard.

But I do rather like the idea of crossfire on this board. The X48 chipset supports the newest Intel 45nm processors, DDR2 (Affordable) and 16x16 crossfire. The P45 supports all of the above except the crossfire, which it runs at 8x8 (or is it 4x16?).

Basically I was looking at a single card solution that would work in the semi-long-term. I'd looked at the GTX 260 and the R4870, and considering how closely they perform 'against one another, I'd just assumed that whichever I could get cheaper would be the best buy.

What do you fellows think of this MSI R4850?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I really hate the stock cooling on those reference based 4850s.

@Dagger

Yeah thanks mate; I was really sweating over that. One of the Z120 reviews I dug up tested on a Gigabyte P35 board with an even larger Heatsink/Heatpipe setup, so I think that I'll be fine. Worst case scenario I have to install the Hsf "sideways," not exactly my favorite setup but it'll get the job done.

-SnuffleKitty


September 21, 2008 12:29:02 AM

snufflekitty said:
@Shadow703793

Well I'd dismissed the 4850 on the grounds that it's a hot little bastard.

But I do rather like the idea of crossfire on this board. The X48 chipset supports the newest Intel 45nm processors, DDR2 (Affordable) and 16x16 crossfire. The P45 supports all of the above except the crossfire, which it runs at 8x8 (or is it 4x16?).

So what do you fellows think of this MSI R4850?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I really hate the stock cooling on those reference based 4850s.

@Dagger

Yeah thanks mate; I was really sweating over that. One of the Z120 reviews I dug up tested on a Gigabyte P35 board with an even larger Heatsink/Heatpipe setup, so I think that I'll be fine. Worst case scenario I have to install the Hsf "sideways," not exactly my favorite setup but it'll get the job done.

-SnuffleKitty


P45 is x8 in cf. x4 + x16 (p35) would be worse, as both would essentially be limited to x4.

The aftermarket heatsink on that card will definitely help gpu cool, although still venting hot air into the case.
September 21, 2008 1:25:27 AM

ASUS P5E Deluxe - is $219 at NewEgg
If a person is not going to overclock,
and wants a stable MB to fit into an ATX Case.
there are so many choices.
Becomming confused reading all the articles.
Any suggestions as to a good, stable, MB
for the Q6600 Chipset that won't break the bank ?
Thanks.
September 21, 2008 2:49:24 AM

dagger said:
P45 is x8 in cf. x4 + x16 (p35) would be worse, as both would essentially be limited to x4.

The aftermarket heatsink on that card will definitely help gpu cool, although still venting hot air into the case.


Yep.

They've used that cooler on a number of their Radeon cards. I think it's a zalman.

Personally I need a board with a decent amount bios, because I am going to OC eventually, to prolong the life of this system.

@punch_card_comp

If you want a stable inexpensive board, there are a lot of options. First you need to determine what you're willing to spend. You're going to want to get a board based on a chipset that supports um, future tech, so basically the X38, X48, and P45 chipsets are all a good place to start. I wouldn't look at the Nvidia chipsets unless you're really set on running Sli. Also, If I were you, I'd stick to reputable manufacturers.

-SnuffleKitty
September 21, 2008 6:14:59 AM

Interesting: For the Chipsets you suggest
I did an intensive Motherboard Search.
However, it is often difficult to make a choice, when
one has been out of the game for a while.
Has anyone used any of the following boards ?

And if so, which ones would be a stable board
that would support the Q6600 and last me
a few years or more.
Previous MB is an ASUS and old AMD 1600XP
So, myself and my machine have a bit of dust
on us. lol

Here are some of the boards I am looking at.
I don't plan to overclock, use is mostly graphical
and some gaming.


MOTHERBOARD SEARCH

ASUS P5K PRO ATX Intel Motherboard (?)

Asus P5Q Deluxe Motherboard $ HIGH ALMOST $200
Overall a nice motherboard.
The copper heatspreaders look cool on the board
(Asus calls that fanless cooling).

GigaByte GA-EP45-DS3L Motherboard $
MIDRAGE PRICE RATHERFRUITY

GigaByte GA-EP45-DS3R Motherboard $
HIGH PRICE VISTA TROUBLES

GigaByte GA-EP43-DS3L Motherboard
$ LOWER PRICE

a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2008 12:48:06 PM

^All of those boards will OC and support Q6600. The question is do you want RAID,etc?
September 21, 2008 3:12:14 PM

I do not need RAID.

I have multiple HD, but don't use RAID
that I am aware of.
They are separted out.
September 21, 2008 6:49:48 PM

It is worth noting that with:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Newegg is offering a couple of nice bundles, namely with a Gigabyte R4850, if you're look for a solid inexpensive video card. I'm assuming that you are, if you're coming from an Athlon AMD.

Basically it would end up being 159.99 before MIR, and 139.99 after, with the 20.00 deducted by the combo. The card ships free, no worries there. The 4850 is the midrange king. But if you don't really play video games all that often, you might be better off with a less expensive card.

Regardless that is a decent board. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles, but it would run your Q6600 just fine.

-SnuffleKitty
September 22, 2008 4:26:22 AM

Ahh, right so here's a thought. Forget the Bundle and the MIR.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8894057&t...

That's 149.99 no strings attached. I'm not 100% on their shipping charges though; if you have a Best Buy nearby you might just save a buck and pick it up in store.

Id jump on this myself, except I'm a complete nut when it comes to heat. At stock they're fine, but if you ever want to OC them (Which you probably don't), you'll have to increase the fan speed through rivatuner. You'd probably want to do that either way really, if only a little.

-SnuffleKitty
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2008 11:07:06 AM

^Just get an aftermarket cooler :p . ~$30 for a good one.
September 22, 2008 11:05:09 PM

@Shadow703793

You must be a crazy person.

1. Installing an Aftermarket Cooler is serious business; I don't know that I'd have the stomach for it.

3. Compatibility?

4. A comparable Aftermarket Cooler would run closer to ~$40.00.

While yes, a whole lot is riding on that MIR, even were MSI to feck me over, I'd still have a R4850 that barely ticks over 50C on Load with a 5 year and a neat sticker (The sticker makes it go faster).

http://www.zalman.co.kr/ENG/product/Product_Read.asp?id...

I'll have to read into it later, but I'm almost certain that the HSF on that MSI card is a Zalman based on the one I linked (roughly).

Plus I'll be getting Rainbow Six Vegas 2. ;3 Which I will in turn trade to some prat for a game that I actually want to play.

-SnuffleKitty
September 26, 2008 10:42:02 PM

OK You all talked me into it.
I have switched my Motherboard to the Gigabite.
For $149 - I'll go with the stable Graphic Card of the 8800GT
Power Supply - is listed, but I think it is too big and expensive so far.
I am right under $650
I don't believe I need a 500 Gig hard drive.
Do I need any of the cooling gunk that comes in the tube ?
I've never used in any of my past builds.
but that was over six years ago.


PROCESSOR: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 : 189.99
MB: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775: $99.99
MEMORY: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800: $69.99
PSU: hec ZEPHYR HEC-750DR-AT 750W : $109.99
GRAPHIC CARD: EVGA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB : $149.99
HARD DRIVE: Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 7200 RPM SATA:

I look forward to reading your input on this list.
and if I can cut my cost someplace or find a great deal
I've even thought of getting an open box thing from
Newegg, but it states I'll be taking a chance.

Thanks Guys and Gals, your help in creating this
mid-range - graphic, gaming, and general budget computer.
September 26, 2008 11:36:25 PM

@Punchcard

Sounds like a pretty solid build mate.

@Everyone

Ups Shipped My Um...Shipment in Record Breaking Time.

Ordered Monday Night; Shipped Tuesday Morning; Arrived Thursday Evening.

It was sort've like Christmas(Miserable Holiday), and Hanukkah(Not Even a High Holiday), and Quakecon(I Hate Quakecon), all rolled up into one; only better(Aim Low).

The Q6600 is SCARtastic, oh so G0 and I'd love to know how high it will go. My first experience with the LGA775 cpu retention bar? Unsettling. It's a good think that Zerotherm decided to man up and ship the FZ120 with a LGA775 retention bracket (Pushpins are sort've like Tighty-Whities; for HSFs).

I've decided to give my RAM a break for the time being; 4.4.4.12 at 4:5 fsb 266 (Woof). It's PC8500 so I have plenty of headroom; but higher clocks hardly translate into +performance in anything but synthetics.

That MSI R4850 is idling at 41C, and I cannot even hear the fan. $5 says it barely ticks over 50C on load.

Speaking of temps, I'm pretty certain that my Zerotherm is doing alrighty, but I'm not 100% on whether or not it's seated optimally. I went with the line method, cleaned both surfaces beforehand, lowered it straight down, and give it a little twist (1-2 degrees). Then I tightened those spring loaded screws, with scared the feck out of me, because I couldn't tell how tight they should be, whether it was too tight, or not tight enough. So I kept tightening them until the springs started giving me a bit of good resistance, and prayed that it would be enough.

I've undervolted my Q6600 to 1.15 volts, and set the multi to 9 (For some reason it was set to 8 by default). Ran stable in Prime95 for an hour, and speedfan never registered a core going over 49C. I'm curious though; why is Speedfan only registering 3 cores (Broken Sensor or Lack there of)? Regardless, 2.4 GHZ is perfectly fine for me. I tend to OC out of necessity; a burnt out component can really take the game when you have limited funds (I want my Diploma to be gold plated).

So anyway, here is a screenshot of the Prime95 Burn several seconds in after I'd stopped it once and then remembered that I was going to take a screenshot. Rest assured, Cores 0, and 2, never hit 50, and core 1 never got past 43 (Must be on the north end of the die).


a b V Motherboard
September 29, 2008 6:17:35 PM

Download RealTemp. That will report your real temp for the cores (no pun intended)
September 30, 2008 12:08:11 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Download RealTemp. That will report your real temp for the cores (no pun intended)


Doesn't Realtemp underestimate? :p 
a b V Motherboard
September 30, 2008 12:30:42 AM

^Naahh... everything else Over estimates. Didn't you listen to CompuTronix? :kaola: 
!