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Want to Upgrade my 775 Motherboard-Which/Where?

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September 6, 2010 2:47:14 AM

Hello I am in the process of upgrading my current system and here is the basic situation:

Bought a Gateway DX4822-01 PC about 8 months ago. It came with an E5300 CPU (2.6GHZ) a very basic ACER motherboard (EG43M) and 6GB of DDR2 800MHZ ram set up in dual channel (2x2;1x1) I believe. This computer was not intended for gaming or intense applications I just needed something quick and cheap b/c my laptop died the week of final exams in my senior year of college (not fun... haha). But that has since changed....

I have hopes of getting more deeply involved in PC gaming mostly due to the upcoming release of Final Fantasy 14. (Was a huge FF11 fan)

So about 2months ago I upgraded my dual core E5300 to a Q9550 quad core. I was thinking of building a new I7 system but it was just out of my budget. I paired this upgrade with a new graphics card as well; I picked up a Palit Geforce GTX460 Sonic Platinum 1GB DDR5 card and have been running games really well including the FF14 beta!

However I am always hungry for better performance and I really want to upgrade this seemingly low end motherboard for something more high-performance and game oriented with potential over-clocking capabilities. Also I hope to grab another Palit card and run an SLI setup down the line so whatever motherboard I get I want to have SLI potential.

So here is the question I have and any advice/help is appreciated:
-Do I try and find a cheaper 775 board that I can use to over-clock my q9550?
-The bigger question is; can I FIND a board like this because in the research I have done most good SLI 775 boards seem to be gone-obviously due to the intel-i series release-but maybe I am not looking hard enough for one.
-Secondly; Is it a waste of money to invest more hardware around this q9550 and the potential overclock I could get out of it? I don't really want to spend the cash on an I7, but if the I7 is really worth it I can probably wait. I did some reading and in most cases it seems you can get a stable overclock on a q9550 and meet the performance of some stock i7's.
-My Last question; my current system was one of those Best Buy Deals and I was just wondering if anyone knew any way to keep my copy of windows from this system? Or is it tied to the motherboard bios making a windows transfer impossible?

Well thanks for any help-this is my first post so I apologize if anyone of my wording/explanations are poor/mis-informed. Again, If I knew I would be getting so into computer building and upgrades I would have never bought this Gateway DX4822 in the first place but at the time it made sense so I am trying to work with what I've got. Any help is appreciated!

P.S. I know this is a prebuilt system but I figured since I was upgrading myself I should post it under "Homebuilt".
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 3:28:33 AM

- You will need an OS disk (not a Recovery Disk) if you replace the mobo. If you replace the mobo with a socket 775 mobo, Microsoft will allow you to activate the OS. If you replace it with an 1156 and new cpu, they would certainly have grounds to deny your request for re-activation. But this is likely a moot point since you are unlikely to have an actual Windows disk.

- This mobo should allow you to SLI 2x460s and keep your current DDR2 memory:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131232

I don't know how well it will OC. Perhaps you can find some review somewhere via Google. However, since it is an ATX mobo, it may not fit in your case.

- Your Q9550 is a pretty fair gamer, and IMO its not worth upgrading. Check the table and read the text here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-core-i5-760-core-i7-970,2698-7.html

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September 6, 2010 3:58:18 AM

Hey thanks for the help.

-You are exactly right I do not have a Windows 7 Disk. I will just go ahead and buy it straight up off new-egg or tiger-direct when I purchase a motherboard and hopefully I can get one of those sweet deals on the software.

-I did forget to mention in the earlier post I just purchased a cooler master mid-tower case (COOLER MASTER HAF 922) so motherboard size is not a big concern. (sorry about that)

-I did read some mixed reviews on the Asus P5N-D but it seemed like a pretty stable board for the most part; I am looking to spend between $100-$150 on the new motherboard so this would definitely be a great way to save some money since I'll need to buy Windows 7.

-I also noticed a similar board on tiger direct - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... -This board seems to get worse reviews than the 750i board but I don't know much about the nforce chipsets-does a 780i board like this one outperform a 750i like the ones pointed out above? My major concerns are windows 7 compatibility, overclock-ability, and keeping my current RAM.


Thanks for all the help, very much appreciated!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 4:23:54 AM

This review of the P5N-T may help you:

http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cpu_mainboard/asus_p5n-t_deluxe_780i_motherboard/5

Either board supports your RAM. Both will allow overclocking, and in the real world are probably close enough you wouldn't notice the difference gaming.

You're putting a fair amount of money into old technology, which is usually not a good idea. Of course, if you gain the ability to SLI 2x460s you will see significantly higher frame rates.

But what will higher frame rates do for you? Are you gaming at 1920x1200/1080 ? If so, 2x460 will give you playable minimum frame rates in a couple of games, while the improvement is wasted in all others. If you are gaming at 1680 or lower, the higher frame rates are wasted and you'd be better served by 1x460 and saving the money for next year's platform changes.
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September 6, 2010 4:26:40 AM

-Yeah I have done some reading and a lot people seemed to have better overclocking luck with the intel chipsets over the nvidia sets.

-I feel like for my gaming interest I am probably more concerned with having the SLI compatibility on my board as priority over pounding out overclocks. If I do overclock it will be something pretty conservative (hopefully) and only if I end up in the situation that a second GTX460 starts to strain my processor (but I really don't know enough to say if that will even be an issue with this CPU).

-I did find that EVGA made some pretty nice boards for overclocking that are also SLI ready- 750I, 780I, 790I boards (i think they did some that were a "FTW" deluxe sort of model) but I have yet to come across any way of buying one other than getting it used on ebay which does not sound like a smart idea.

Thank you all for the feedback and help by the way, very much appreciated.
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a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 4:34:27 AM

don't buy your mobo on ebay. Anddon't worry about upgrading an old platform
you have a great CPU for gaming lots of very usable ram.. just don't go spending 200 dollars is all.
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September 6, 2010 4:36:43 AM

That is a very good point. I am actually only playing games at 1360x768 (native) using VGA right now. I am outputting the 460 to my 26inch VIZIO HDTV and I had originally planned to play everything at 1280x720HD but a combination of the TV's lack of overscan correction on the HDMI inputs and the way my nvidia drivers are working I get this overscan issue in games and few games offer the 1176x668(i think) resolution which was is still an HD format but slightly smaller than 1280x720 to correct this HDTV overscan issue. Apparently nvidia added this resolution to fix the overscan but games like starcraft II that have uncostumizable resolutions always overscan at 1280x720 regardless of what i do. But that is all that i gathered from Nvidia customer support/forums but I could be wrong about all of that-I dunno.

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 4:47:37 AM

At those resolutions, with a 460, you do not need SLI.
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September 6, 2010 5:03:26 AM

Well I was thinking of the SLI as a simply upgrade once newer games launch in the next 1-2years. But do you think by the time any game exists that fully utilizes two 460's there will be a better one card solution over buying another 460? Given that I will probably go for a board more suited for overclocking stability and eliminate need for SLI; which certainly opens up more options.
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a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 5:24:43 AM

@ 1360x768 and below even in the next year I doubt very much you would require SLI
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 5:32:36 AM

Can you identify a game that doesn't play at greater than 30 FPS minimum? I doubt it. Which leads to the question why upgrade at all?

Not being critical, just trying to point out that it's hard to advise which upgrade is best when you have a great gaming cpu, a great vid card, and both are overkill for the resolutions you are using.

If you are going to upgrade the mobo, you should get SLI capability. It will likely be more important than OCing. But only if you get a new screen lol.
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September 6, 2010 5:34:01 AM

Well ideally I was hoping to pick up a new display at some point and start running most things at 1920x1080 so given that as my max resolution-does SLI become worth it?
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a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 7:55:21 AM

absolutely
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 1:56:05 PM

spentshells said:
if you are looking to go SLI later I must agree

with treefrog07

or if you want to spend a few more dollars

you might get better results overclocking with this

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
This board has P45 northbridge and will not support SLI, only 1 nvidia card.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 2:02:04 PM

I looked around for a 775 board with nvidia northbridge and the only one I could find (not ebay) was the one in my earlier post. If you are upgrading your monitor to the higher resolution and want to SLI, you will still save some bucks by upgrading to the P5N-D vice replacing your system with a 1366 or 1156-based system because for those you will have to replace everything except the video card, and you will still be buying another one!
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September 6, 2010 4:25:06 PM

Well there is a lot to think about with all of this advice. Thanks for all of the input I appreciate the heads up about the resolution. I will have to do some more thinking/researching about displays before I start going after a new motherboard setup. The P5N-D will be a great option for me it is very affordable and is under budget.

-Thanks again for all the help!
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 6:34:40 PM

You're welcome.
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September 6, 2010 7:41:04 PM

Just one last quick question:

Did some more searching on the Asus P5N-D, turns out clearances are extremely tight on SLI setups with 2 double slot cards like my 460.

I came across this board as another option http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=MB-750I-72P9-R&... -I have never purchased an item from this site but it looked pretty decent and at this price it seems like a fairly nice board and reviews seem pretty solid.

It is a lot older than the Asus board but for the price I wouldn't care if I had to send it back if its junk. My biggest concern is it does not include anything about windows 7 support in the listing but I dunno if the listing was written before windows 7 was out and maybe newer bios' support 7-no clue.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2010 7:48:05 PM

Refurbished board that may or may not hold up as well as factory-fresh.
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September 6, 2010 8:04:56 PM

Twoboxer said:
Refurbished board that may or may not hold up as well as factory-fresh.



Yeah i was concerned about that as well. I figure for the money I will give it a try and if it lasts a year I'll be happy because I've only spent 50bucks and chances are I will upgrade my CPU to an I-series before this board dies.
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a b V Motherboard
September 7, 2010 1:02:12 AM

treefrog07 said:
This board has P45 northbridge and will not support SLI, only 1 nvidia card.



I realise this and also mentioned SLI is not needed with a 460 @ 720P for any game right now
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 78 V Motherboard
September 7, 2010 2:28:38 AM

spentshells said:
I realise this and also mentioned SLI is not needed with a 460 @ 720P for any game right now
Not trying to offend you. :)  The posters here range from absolute newbies to those with years of experience; I just didn't want Hayden202 to get a non-SLI board an be disappointed. :??: 
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