Overclocking: Dual- vs. Quad-Core CPUs

Motherboard - Gigabyte Or MSI With P35 Chipset

Our price limit for the motherboards was $145. Also, we wanted it to work with Intel's 45-nm generation of processors, expected to be released next year. Thus, the boards need to support these CPUs out of the box. That narrowed down our choice to the P35 chipset, since these boards are quite affordable and also use the ICH9, which is currently Intel's fastest Southbridge. Additionally, the chipset works with DDR2 memory. Memory prices being as low as they are, this lets you build a very affordable system.

Retail boxes of the Gigabyte...

...and MSI motherboards

Gigabyte and MSI offer two very attractive lines of boards, namely the GA-P35-DS3 line and the P35 Neo2 family, respectively.

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Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L$119YesYes41
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3$125YesNo61
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R$136YesYes81
MSI P35 Neo2-FR$135NoYes71
MSI P35 Neo2-FIR$144YesYes71

These boards are available with different feature sets. We chose the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 and the MSI P35 Neo2-FIR. The feature set has no impact on performance or overclocking potential, so you can choose any board from these families depending on your needs.

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3

MSI P35 Neo2-FIR

Sadly, we weren't able to include an affordable board from motherboard maker Asus. Our request for a board was declined on the grounds that only expensive high-end models are sent out as review samples. Cheaper boards, on the other hand, are not included in the press portfolio. Apparently, Asus is not interested in having its less-expensive boards reviewed.

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