Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

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Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:23 pm

As title states, i'm in the market for a new motherboard. I'm sick of having the 6300 sitting there on the factory clock settings, and currently my intel mobo (dg965wh) wont let me overclock.

So i'm looking for some recommendations on motherboards. I've never actually bought one before for this purpose, so i have no idea what is a good company, but here's the only things i want (besides oc capabilities and lga 775 of course):

ATI Crossfire ready. i know SLI might be a better solution, but i get Awesome deal's on ATI cards, so i'm going to stick with them. Plus, i already have a 1950pro that i would like to just buy one more card and crossfire them.

Must have these ports built on, or include the expansion adapters for: eSATA, serial, and parallel. I know i could buy the cards, but i'd rather not.

Needs 2 IDE "ports". i want to be able to have 4 ide devices without a separate controller.

right now, about my only option seems to be The Ausus P5W DH Deluxe

From what i've read, Asus is a good company, and the reviews on the motherboard say it's great.
Also, i would like to stay on new egg. I will not look at tigerdirect. had to many problems with them in the past and would just prefer not to deal with them. But if it's significatently cheaper else where, i'll think about it.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by melancholy » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:32 pm

Asus is probably one of the best, if not the best, motherboard companies. You definitely won't go wrong with that board, though a $200 pricetag is quite high.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:07 pm

Yeah, the 200$ is kind of discouraging me, but the board has everything i want (well, only supports up to ddr2 800) plus built in wifi (probably won't use it at all) and the included ir remote. I know i could buy that separately and be just as happy, but there's something about an "all in one" type thing that makes me seem the extra money is worth it.

I also am hoping (maybe one of you could share some info) that if i buy this mobo, i'll be able to use it for a while, few years, without needing to buy another one. From what i've read, intel hasn't said anything about abandoning the lga775 format, the board supports the quad cores, so i can upgrade that.

The only thing i'm kind of worried about, which just hit me now, is PCIe v2 is supposed to be coming out by late 07/early 08. so right now that's the only thing making me want to just buy a cheap board, and wait it out.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by Disheveled DrFreeze » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:50 pm

my recommendation would be either that Asus P5W DH you found, or a Asus P5K (maybe deluxe)

P5K:
pros:
- Intel P35 chipset, much newer, will support future 45nm CPUs
- Will OC like mad, think 500+ FSB (deluxe does much better then the regular P5K)
- costs a lot less then the P5W DH
cons:
- crossfire works in 16x/4x mode, which is slightly slower then 8x/8x

P5W DH
pros:
- crossfire in 8x/8x mode
cons:
- no future cpu support, conroe/kentsfield will be as good as it gets
- overclock potential in quite limited, since these boards wont ramp their FSB as high as P35 boards, and with that 7x multi, you would want high FSB

the final remaining option would be to wait for intel to launch the X38 chipset, basically the succesor to the 975 (which powers the p5w), for i believe 16x/16x crossfire support, and good overclocks


my personal choice would probably be a P5K, since they are fenomenal boards, but you might lose somewhere around 5% performance from the non optimal crossfire
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:29 pm

Disheveled DrFreeze wrote:my recommendation would be either that Asus P5W DH you found, or a Asus P5K (maybe deluxe)

P5K:
pros:
- Intel P35 chipset, much newer, will support future 45nm CPUs
- Will OC like mad, think 500+ FSB (deluxe does much better then the regular P5K)
- costs a lot less then the P5W DH
cons:
- crossfire works in 16x/4x mode, which is slightly slower then 8x/8x

P5W DH
pros:
- crossfire in 8x/8x mode
cons:
- no future cpu support, conroe/kentsfield will be as good as it gets
- overclock potential in quite limited, since these boards wont ramp their FSB as high as P35 boards, and with that 7x multi, you would want high FSB

the final remaining option would be to wait for intel to launch the X38 chipset, basically the succesor to the 975 (which powers the p5w), for i believe 16x/16x crossfire support, and good overclocks


my personal choice would probably be a P5K, since they are fenomenal boards, but you might lose somewhere around 5% performance from the non optimal crossfire
You just answered my question!

I'll wait. Yeah, i need to re buy ddr3 ram, but since i know now i'm waiting, i can save up and get everyting at once. The X38 chipset also add's PCI-E v2 which is what i was mainly worried about, so i think i'll hold out.

In the meantime, i guess i'll just live with having the cpu @ stock. It's not slow, it's just the only reason my vista score is 5.0 instead of 5.7
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by melancholy » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:55 pm

I thought about updating my system too, but I'm not sure what's going to be coming out that would be worth waiting for. I'm already screwed because I want to buy another gig of RAM, but I'm running DDR, which doubles the price due to it's age. I thought about getting a new motherboard, but my processor is 939, which also is out of date. And I'm afraid that if I buy something now, 2 months later they will release something else new that makes my system hard to upgrade.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:10 pm

After reading up more, i don't think i'm going to wait after all. Even though the x38 chipset is right around the corner, it is only going to support ddr3 ram, which right now is about 200$ for 1 gig, and it actually loses performance. So i'll wait a while until they get proper ddr3 support.

But i'm still thinking about the p5 deluxe. I'm getting a grant for school, and i can use part of it for a computer. I just dont know when to get it, since i saw it, it' already dropped 15$...
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by Disheveled DrFreeze » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:47 am

MKE wrote:After reading up more, i don't think i'm going to wait after all. Even though the x38 chipset is right around the corner, it is only going to support ddr3 ram, which right now is about 200$ for 1 gig, and it actually loses performance. So i'll wait a while until they get proper ddr3 support.

But i'm still thinking about the p5 deluxe. I'm getting a grant for school, and i can use part of it for a computer. I just dont know when to get it, since i saw it, it' already dropped 15$...
you could also look into the regular P5K, it has less extras, and has less OCing potential (less stable CPU power regulation), but apparently people are ramping up the clock on the P5K regardless, it is still a good OCer, just not as good as a deluxe

also, if price is a concern, you could also look into the Asus P5B line, which is intel 965 powered, and also OCes well, but not as well as the P5Ks
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by neoak » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:39 pm

MKE wrote:After reading up more, i don't think i'm going to wait after all. Even though the x38 chipset is right around the corner, it is only going to support ddr3 ram, which right now is about 200$ for 1 gig, and it actually loses performance. So i'll wait a while until they get proper ddr3 support.
Apparently it also supports DDR2. The GA-X38-DQ6 by Gigabyte is a DDR2 only board, and its a X38 chipset.

More here: http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/vi ... =6&id=2315

Im glad, because compared to DDR3, 2GB DDR2-667 sticks are dirt cheap.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:08 pm

lol, i never thought buying a new motherboard would be this much of a challenge.

Knowing that the x38 chipset still supports ddr2 is nice. Plus i've seen some motherboards (p35) that support both ddr2 and ddr3. Hopefully there will be at least one x38 motherboard that will support that.

I've got it narrowed down to 2 boards though.

Both are 975x (crossfire) but from what i've read, there's more then just a price difference between the 2.

My top pick is still the Asus P5W Deluxe
it has all the features i want, and from what i've read it's great quality.

Then there's the MSI 975X Platinum
Again, from what i've read, the quality is not really there, but it's cheap enough that if i can run crossfire and overclock a little, and buy a quad core. Then when the x38 boards are atleast on the 2nd round, buy a higher quality board. I already know someone that will buy it (for ~30-50$ loss) so it's not something that i will be stuck with.

I dont know, if i buy the asus i wont be upgrading for a while (at least 2 years) but i will probably be happy enough with it not to care. But if i buy the MSI one, i may run into some problems and not OC it as much, but i would able to upgrade in early 08 with a higher quality motherboard.

I'm stuck.

Oh, i'm reading this article ( http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/07/16/ ... index.html ). It's very interesting and informative. A good read if you in a similar situation.


*edit*

after reading the review on Viperlair Im kind of inpressed with how it [MSI board] performs, actually outperforming the ASUS p5 deluxe more times then not.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by Disheveled DrFreeze » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:22 pm

MKE wrote:lol, i never thought buying a new motherboard would be this much of a challenge.

Knowing that the x38 chipset still supports ddr2 is nice. Plus i've seen some motherboards (p35) that support both ddr2 and ddr3. Hopefully there will be at least one x38 motherboard that will support that.

I've got it narrowed down to 2 boards though.

Both are 975x (crossfire) but from what i've read, there's more then just a price difference between the 2.

My top pick is still the Asus P5W Deluxe
it has all the features i want, and from what i've read it's great quality.

Then there's the MSI 975X Platinum
Again, from what i've read, the quality is not really there, but it's cheap enough that if i can run crossfire and overclock a little, and buy a quad core. Then when the x38 boards are atleast on the 2nd round, buy a higher quality board. I already know someone that will buy it (for ~30-50$ loss) so it's not something that i will be stuck with.

I dont know, if i buy the asus i wont be upgrading for a while (at least 2 years) but i will probably be happy enough with it not to care. But if i buy the MSI one, i may run into some problems and not OC it as much, but i would able to upgrade in early 08 with a higher quality motherboard.

I'm stuck.

Oh, i'm reading this article ( http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/07/16/ ... index.html ). It's very interesting and informative. A good read if you in a similar situation.


*edit*

after reading the review on Viperlair Im kind of inpressed with how it [MSI board] performs, actually outperforming the ASUS p5 deluxe more times then not.
hehe well, buying a mobo is easy, buying a mobo with all the features you want, doing all the research for every single possible problem or side effect, thats when things get hard :) but i wouldnt want it any other way myself, half the fun of new computer hardware to me is doing all the research and then totally baffling the guys in the hardware shop by turning down a 200 buck CPU after only taking a brief glance at the stepping code :D (i had to explain the whole stepping / different core thing to em :P)


as for the MSI vs Asus thing, if i read newegg correctly the price diff would be ~65 bucks in favor of the MSI, which is quite a lot TBH

currently my vibe would be to get the Asus though, im on my second MSI board (P6N-SLI, nvidia i650 SLI board socket 775, first one was nforce 2 pro 400 on socket A) and this one is a tad flakey as was the first one. the old skt A board was quite picket about ram, and didnt OC worth a damn. This new board is OK i guess, but hardly what i expect from a >100 buck mobo. I OCed my e4300 to 1066 mhz FSB (standard speed for the mobo, considering normal e6x00 cpus, it even supports 1333 mhz FSB), which the cpu is totally fine with. my system did end up crashing regularly in games though, which was swiftly remedied with a small kick in the pants to the chipset (increased its voltage)

also, northbridge cooling on the P6N-SLI is flimsy at best, with just one finger i can wiggle the heatsink from side to side against its springs

as you see, im not a big MSI fan (do love my laptop though, but MSI is the only one that makes an affordable 12"), and i would go with the Asus. However if you are just in it for a short time board, then the MSI might be fine after all

one small consideration if you do want to go x-fire and x38, im not entirely up to speed on the whole ati-amd thing, but i could imagine ati revoking intels x-fire license for its chipsets, so i would double check to see that x38 is confirmed for crossfire (there are some rumors about it doing SLI) just to be on the safe side
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:10 pm

if i got the msi, would probably get it open box from newegg, or off of ebay. I dont need the extras. But if i get the asus one, because of the wireless and ir controller, i would get it new. so the price difference then jumps up to ~100$.

As for the x38 supporting crossfire, from what i've been reading, it's replacing the 975x chipset, and is keeping the crossfire capability. What is in question i if the chipset will support both sli and crossfire. That would be f'ing awesome because then i'm not stuck to ati for dual gpu setup.

I'm going to get the msi..friday when i get paid, it should be ~600 and i only have my car payment (135) so i will probably get the motherboard, another hdd, larger psu, and a tv tuner.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:24 pm

well, i bought one on ebay. Cost 110$ with shipping for one new in box minus the ide cables. He said it was sent out this morning so i'll post back when i get it.


*edit*

1 more question. I've never upgraded a motherboard before without doing a fresh install, so i've been doing some reading. Will i have to do a reinstall of windows? I guess what mainly effects if it works or not is the HAL (multiprocessor pc in my case). But since i'm only upgrading chipsets, shouldn't i be able to install it in safe mode and just install the new drivers. I'm dual booting xp and vista, and only have enough hard drive space to back up one OS at a time.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:37 pm

Well, i got the motherboard yesterday and was setting it up today.

Right now i have a core 2 e6300 clocked at 2.62ghz (375 FSB) on stock cooling and it's running awesome. After reading some guides, it was recommended to change the clock timings to 5-5-5-15 initially and then tune them afterwards. But my RAM scores in vista didn't change (actually, it went up from 5.8-5.9) and the processor went from a 5.0 to a 5.5. I'll post pics later of CPU-Z's info later.

Can anyone offer some insight as to setting them? i've never had to mess around with this before, and am reading up on it now. Oh, the ram i'm using is kingston value ram 667.

Overall though, the board layout is better then the intel one, it runs cooler (and quieter?!), and the dual cell core chip is an awesome feature i didn't know was available. (if you mess up overclocking anything, hit the reset button twice and it resets just the clock, not the entire bios)

I'm also kind of surprised at how handy the MSI tools are they include. Mainly the dual core thing, which allows you to monitor and set fsb, clock's, fan speeds, temps, etc right from windows. And live update 3 is much better then intel's manual driver/bios update. After reading some bad stuff on MSI boards, i'm kind of glad i didn't spend the extra money on the Asus one.

*edit*

I'm also looking for some aftermarket cooling. I would like to eventually watercool, buti dont have the money right now for 2 ati waterblocks and i really dont want an external one. so if you have a preference please share.

Plus, if you want to buy a new non-oc'able mobo, i now have a complete in box Intel DG965WH Motherboard.
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by Disheveled DrFreeze » Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:19 am

MKE wrote:Well, i got the motherboard yesterday and was setting it up today.

Right now i have a core 2 e6300 clocked at 2.62ghz (375 FSB) on stock cooling and it's running awesome. After reading some guides, it was recommended to change the clock timings to 5-5-5-15 initially and then tune them afterwards. But my RAM scores in vista didn't change (actually, it went up from 5.8-5.9) and the processor went from a 5.0 to a 5.5. I'll post pics later of CPU-Z's info later.

Can anyone offer some insight as to setting them? i've never had to mess around with this before, and am reading up on it now. Oh, the ram i'm using is kingston value ram 667.

Overall though, the board layout is better then the intel one, it runs cooler (and quieter?!), and the dual cell core chip is an awesome feature i didn't know was available. (if you mess up overclocking anything, hit the reset button twice and it resets just the clock, not the entire bios)

I'm also kind of surprised at how handy the MSI tools are they include. Mainly the dual core thing, which allows you to monitor and set fsb, clock's, fan speeds, temps, etc right from windows. And live update 3 is much better then intel's manual driver/bios update. After reading some bad stuff on MSI boards, i'm kind of glad i didn't spend the extra money on the Asus one.
cool, nice OC so far on a budget chip (i got a e4300 running 2.4 myself)

as for the ram thing, you are already running your ram out of spec, at 750 MHz instead of 667, so i wouldnt advise trying to clamp down the timings too much, as this will result in instability quite fast. Besides, ram timings do very little for actual performance, especially on intel machines. On my old amd rig going from 3-4-4-8 to 2-3-2-5 (lowest latencies for my ram back then) bought me about 2% in synthetic benchies, and nothing noticable in real life, and intel machines are even less sensitive. My point is that you wont get any noticable increase in performance, and you are quite likely to run into instability, especially with value ram running above specced speeds

and on the vista performance rating, that tool isnt very accurate or anything, i wouldnt use that as any kind of benchmark for system performance, other then just seeing that everything is OK. if you want to accurately gauge performance, i suggest stuff like superpi, sisoft sandra, pcmark, 3dmark, or better yet, in game benchmarking

nice OC dude, and have fun with it!
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Re: Looking for new motherboard, 775 and crossfire ready.

Post by MKE » Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:01 am

I decided not to bother doing anything with ram timings and whatnot until i get better/faster ram. This kingston value ram has been good so far but i think it's the reason i can't hit the 400 mark (litterally, 399 works but damn hot, 400 won't boot)

Overall i'm still really impressed with how stable it is. I just reinstalled vista, just because after upgrading the motherboard, not everything went as smooth as i thought (lot of driver related blue screens) and stuff. But i'm back up and running great after an hour. If you on a budget but want to overclock a core 2, have crossfire, and want support for 3 ide devices then i would definitely recommend this board.

I'm also enjoying the 40MB/s transfer speed between hard drives. on the intel board i was seeing 20-25MB/s max.
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