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Help choosing a new motherboard

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September 6, 2009 2:31:35 AM

I am about to upgrade to a new core 2 duo and need to find a motherboard that will support it. I have found one or to i like but i wanted to see what motherboards people recommended. It needs to have 2 PCI- E x16 slots, a LGA 775 CPU socket with 1333FSB or over and at least 2 DDR2 ram banks. If you know of a really good/reliable motherboard with these or better specs please let me know. I was looking to spend around 100-200 dollars. Thanks in advance :) 

P.s i will be using the computer for gaming, if you need any additional information let me know.

More about : choosing motherboard

a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2009 3:53:32 AM

Do the 2 PCI-E x16 slots both need to be full x16 bandwith or can one of the m be x8? What is the max video card you expect to have on it - in terms of todays cards? It makes a signficant difference in what boards cost and which you can consider.

Another key question is if you want to graphics cards - do you know if it will be nVidia or AMD or do you need one that supports both? That can make a huge difference in which board to go with.

At this point DDR3 prices have dropped enought that I think you should try to stick with it for its advantages and future proofing - althought I did include some DDR2 mobos below. Also I strongly encourgage getting at least 4 memory slots to make it easier to add another two sticks in a couple of years as more memory will be needed then.

You might find these reviews of groups of boards informative - if nothing else they will help you understand that different boards have different feature sets so what is the best board depends in part on your preferences:

[Also note that some of these articles are very long- but you can shorten the time considerably by going to the conclusion first and then using that to suggest which boards to look at in more detail]

11-Way P45 Motherboard Shootout (not full 2 slot x16 on P45)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-p45-motherboa...

X48 Motherboard Comparison [these are true double x16 boards]
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/x48-motherboard-com...

X48 Motherboard Comparison, Part 2
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/x48-motherboard,194...

X38 Comparison Part 1: DDR2 Motherboards
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/x38-comparison-part...

X38 Comparison Part 2: DDR3 Motherboards
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/x38-comparison-part...
September 6, 2009 3:58:45 AM

thanks so much for all of that, i am hoping to get a ati 4890 or the nividia equivalent i don't mind either ddr2 or ddr3 thanks again
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September 6, 2009 8:25:51 AM

The above mentioned board will run Crossfire but not at full speeds.. However, with a 4890, I don't think you're going to need to crossfire.. that board should suit you fine..

If you are looking to add another graphics card in the future, maybe you should get a board with a x48 northbridge instead.. however, you wanted a lga775 board so i'm guessing it's not gonna be doing anything crazy..

if you want max performance, you should go i7 with x58 nb.. that way you wont have to worry about which video cards to get or if they can run sli/crossfire or not..
September 6, 2009 8:35:09 AM

i would go core i7 with a x58 but my budget wont allow it even though they are very cool
a c 264 V Motherboard
September 6, 2009 5:02:05 PM

Why do you think you need two pci-e slots?
Why do you think you want them to be both X16?

For a single 4890, you only need one pci-e slot.
Same for a single GTX275 which has similar performance.
Either will give you outstanding performance at 1920 x 1200. Only if you will be gaming at 2560 x 1600 might dual cards be appropriate.

If you plan on dual 4890 in crossfire, two X8 slots will be sufficient. X16 slots will make a marginal difference in FPS with dual 4890 cards, perhaps 1-2%.


If this is a new build, wait for a few days to see what the P55 and i5 announcements bring.
September 6, 2009 5:19:12 PM

Before that, are you upgrading the motherboard? Or the processor and the motherboard? If you intend to upgrade both, I suggest to go i5 path or AMD path. LGA775 is dead.
a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2009 5:32:15 PM

I agree with alikum, why get last generation hardware as an upgrade? Doesn't make sense to me.
I would wait one week, as the new tech coming out will also have the effect of driving down prices on current hardware. I think you'd be kicking yourself 6 months down the road. Or maybe even two weeks.
September 6, 2009 9:23:53 PM

thanks for the advice, I was actually choosing the lga775 because the cpu,s are cheaper lol. I am upgrading the mobo and cpu at the same time so it opens up alot of options, what new tech is coming out? i havent heard about it.
September 6, 2009 9:27:20 PM

Sorry just saw that you said it was the i5 my bad lol is the i5 cheaper than the i7's?
a c 264 V Motherboard
September 6, 2009 9:39:41 PM

smithinator101 said:
Sorry just saw that you said it was the i5 my bad lol is the i5 cheaper than the i7's?

I5 will be cheaper than i7, and the motherboards wil be cheaper also. Look to sept 8 launch.
September 7, 2009 5:40:25 AM

I was wondering what would be better a core 2 duo 3.16GHZ or a core i7 2.8GHZ? i know the answer is probably really obvious but i just want to make sure.
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