So I've got 8GB of Patriot Viper DDR3-1333 gaming memory, which requires 1.7V. My motherboard (Intel DP45SG) defaults to 1.5V, but that's pretty common, so I figured I'd just set the timings and voltage manually in the BIOS.
BIG mistake -- apparently, the DP45SG is the most retarded motherboard in the United States when it comes to tweaking memory settings. It looks almost universal that people can't get a stable system with anything other than 1.5V memory, and for the ones who can, the board either slows down the RAM clock speed, or only stays stable with 4GB and not 8GB, etc., etc... Bottom line, the board seems like a POS that everyone has problems with (note: I don't mean "point of sale").
I'm looking for a new LGA775 board that has been tried and proven to work with other than 1.5V memory -- one that I know I can just go into the BIOS, set it to the right voltage and forget about it, and it's not going to start crashing out of the blue two weeks later, and it's not going to randomly reset to 1.5V on its own, and it's not going to go haywire because it thinks I'm trying to overclock it, and it's not going to turn into a turkey, or anything weird. Just a plain fricking board that's good for adjusting the settings with no surprises. Only other requirement is it also needs to have at least one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot to support my Radeon HD4870.
The ones I'm looking at so far (hoping to keep it in the $150 or lower range):
GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3LR (top choice so far -- link)
ASRock P45X3 Deluxe (link)
DFI LANPARTY LT X48-T3RS (link)
Of course, I could always go to ASUS if I'm willing to shell out another $100 or so, but haven't decided if it's worth it. Any advice from someone with experience with this kind of thing?
I would go with the gigabyte or asrock. Either one should have some memory voltage adjustments. You can also download the board manual before ordering, which is always a good idea. The website may also tell you if your memory has been tested with the board.
Intel is working hard to enforce their rule against any i5/i7 memory running over 1.65V - that's why you won't see any new DDR3 RAM that uses more than that. They claim it's not good for the CPU.
Definitely read the manuals fully for any board you consider. Simply don't buy one that doesn't spell out the choices the DRAM Voltage setting will give you - you know now that being "able to adjust" the voltage isn't good enough. You want it to say something like "1.5V - 1.55V - .... 1.95V" in detail.
And if your RAM is speced at 1.7V for 1333 speed, with 4 sticks it'll need a bit more than that!
Yeah, I wasn't really thinking about higher-performance memory when I first built that system ... from what I've learned here and elsewhere in the intervening time, it seems like Intel makes good motherboards if you just want to use off-the-shelf parts and settings and leave it, but if you've got anything other than standard spec, you'd best go with something else.
Seems like no mobo manufacturer has tested my memory with its board -- probably just don't want to be on the hook if they make any guarantees. So that's no help.
I've also been looking at some ASUS boards -- talked to the memory mfr's tech support and that's what they recommended as one that consistently supports different voltages because they're built with overclocking in mind. Wish I could've gotten the Rampage Extreme but everyone is sold out (I think they discontinued it), so I'm looking at the P5Q3, which looks like it fits the bill...
I'd say most motherboard mfg'rs are going after the OC buyers the past few years. Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and the others. Intel doesn't go after the consumer market much that I see, and business users don't OC.
I don't know much about Intel MB's, sorry. Might try posting in the Asus and Gigabyte forums here. And both websites have very good MB selection pages - just pick the socket and they'll show you their product lines. Gigabyte has an excellent comparison setup also.