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Choosing a chipset/motherboard

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April 12, 2009 8:13:50 AM

Hi,
I'm a non-gamer looking to build a computer. I'm not really sure where to start when picking my motherboard/chipset.
I am looking to buy a core 2 Quad 2.33 GHz processor and so will need a motherboard/chipset which will work well with this.

As I said I don't play games, but will be getting a 24" LCD to watch movies with. I also use my computer for photo's (not editing just viewing and storing), downloaded HD video, internet, music and word processing.

I am looking to build a computer that will do all of these tasks very quickly and efficiency. I'm not sure how much all of this will cost so I guess as cheap as possible; keeping in mind I want it to be fast and last as long as possible.

When looking at the intel website, I can seee that they have lots of different chipsets but I have no idea what the difference between them is. if higher numbers means better or faster or what the different letters mean.

As you can see this means I'm having trouble picking a motherboard. Also because I dont play games, I'm assuming I dont need a good graphics card so if I could get a motherboard with a half decent one build in that would be ideal.

If anyone could help that would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
a b V Motherboard
April 12, 2009 10:23:30 AM

We have a new system forum for just these questions, but I'll help you here if you wish. My signature has links that will help, but here's a few suggestions:

Gigabyte 790GX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This board has a great onboard video chipset and is a good match for your needs.

AMD Phenom II 940
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a faster processor at a great price. If you needed to save a bit more here you could, with a 920 or X3 720.

G.Skill 4GB 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 case and EA500 PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
a b V Motherboard
April 12, 2009 11:17:44 AM

ngherardin said:
Hi,
I'm a non-gamer looking to build a computer. I'm not really sure where to start when picking my motherboard/chipset.
I am looking to buy a core 2 Quad 2.33 GHz processor and so will need a motherboard/chipset which will work well with this.

As I said I don't play games, but will be getting a 24" LCD to watch movies with. I also use my computer for photo's (not editing just viewing and storing), downloaded HD video, internet, music and word processing.

I am looking to build a computer that will do all of these tasks very quickly and efficiency. I'm not sure how much all of this will cost so I guess as cheap as possible; keeping in mind I want it to be fast and last as long as possible.

When looking at the intel website, I can seee that they have lots of different chipsets but I have no idea what the difference between them is. if higher numbers means better or faster or what the different letters mean.

As you can see this means I'm having trouble picking a motherboard. Also because I dont play games, I'm assuming I dont need a good graphics card so if I could get a motherboard with a half decent one build in that would be ideal.

If anyone could help that would be much appreciated.

Thanks!


G45 is Intel's top integrated-graphics chipset. Since you're not doing anything "special" with it, nearly any name-brand board will suffice. Check all the input and output connectors of each model to find the one that best suits any potential upgrades.
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April 12, 2009 11:52:52 AM

Hey Proximon,
Thanks for your quick reply, ur link was really useful!
The products you recommended to me sound good, only thing that stands out thought is the amount of power the cou uses. it seems like a lot compared with the intel cpu's. Do you know if this is actually a significant amount of extra power that it is using? A friend has recommended intel cpu's to me for this reason.

Also from following some of your links, i see you have recommended the Quad 6600 and the P5Q-Pro. These seem to be in a similar price range to the one's you recommended to me. Do you think they would suit my needs? Or did you specifically suggest the others because of the HDMI socket. Does this sound like something I should invest in?

Thanks again
a b V Motherboard
April 12, 2009 3:06:39 PM

The P5Q Pro does not come with onboard graphics, so you would have to buy a separate graphics card, thus raising the price and power consumption.

Power consumption can be deceiving. The AMD CPU has a memory controller built in, so it's using a bit extra there. However, if you were to compare the two systems you would find the AMD actually pulls less power at idle, but a bit more under load.

Since generally a system spends more time at idle or light loads than heavy loads, the AMD + 790GX is probably going to have the smaller footprint when compared to the C2Q + G45, and be more powerful as well.

The PII 940 is roughly equivalent in performance to the more expensive Q9550.

Here is part of an article that discusses power consumption, and has a chart:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=349...

I am about to remove the Q6600 from my list. I can't really advise using it now, as the price has risen to the point that Q9400 is now the better choice.

If you really wanted to go with Intel:

Gigabyte G45 motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's micro ATX as all G45 boards are, but has quite a few good features. Has good onboard video.

Q9400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Reasonably quick and affordable

G.Skill PI Black 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel has no need for faster RAM as it does not utilize it well, so this is about the best for the build.

So either of those builds will work well. The PII 940 would be just a bit more powerful and consume less power over all.

And you certainly could get by with less, given your usage. I like the idea of a more powerful quad for you though, because I suspect you are an average user who tends to accumulate a lot of background programs that eventually bog things down.

April 18, 2009 7:07:48 AM

Hey Proximon,
Again thanks for your help - just another quick query;

When I look up the RAM that you suggested to run with the Phenom II, (G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail)

Under specs at newegg.com, the features section says:

M/B Chipset
intel X38
intel P35
intel 965
intel 975

Does this mean that this RAM is only compatible with an intel motherboard?

Thanks for your help.
a b V Motherboard
April 18, 2009 7:18:12 AM

ngherardin said:
Hey Proximon,
Again thanks for your help - just another quick query;

When I look up the RAM that you suggested to run with the Phenom II, (G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail)

Under specs at newegg.com, the features section says:

M/B Chipset
intel X38
intel P35
intel 965
intel 975

Does this mean that this RAM is only compatible with an intel motherboard?

Thanks for your help.


That means it's only been tested with those chipsets. In reality it's standard DDR2-800 with an overclock rating of DDR2-1066, so it should at least work with "any" DDR2 chipset at its default speed.

For the factory-rated overclock, you'll have to increase voltage manually to keep it stable at the higher speed.
a b V Motherboard
April 18, 2009 11:02:43 AM

Yep. Does seems a bit strange that they would list that however. I don't recall seeing a list of chipsets like that before.

This OCZ is a buck more:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I have a preference for G.skill or Corsair over OCZ, but they are all good. The only company I completely shun is Crucial.
!