Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

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Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:14 pm

I'm looking to build a new computer. It'll be strictly for gaming so I'm designing it around the E8500 (going to overclock it as much as I can, and wait for Nehalem to drive down quadcore prices before I get quadcore which doesn't help much in games anyhow). So with the processor in mind for an upgrade to quadcore in about 12 months, I want to get a decent motherboard. Price is a limit, so I don't want an X48. I do want PCI-E 2.0 though, and the capability of DDR3. That leaves me with the X38 chipset (I think).

However, DDR3 isn't a good investment for me right now. It looks like the nVidia motherboards have cheap PCI-E 2.0 support and, whilst I don't see myself wanting to use Radeon cards in Crossfire instead of nVidia cards in SLI, I can't find a motherboard that is X38, SLI and takes DDR2 and DDR3.

I've been looking at the Asus Maximus Extreme as the motherboard solution. It's apparently good for overclocking, stable, and the X48 boards have lowered the price. Here's where I'm confused: the Asus site lists it as DDR3 complaint (link). However under the Intel X38 Chipset heading it says it can support DDR2 800/667. I wanted to get OCZ 2x2gb RAM which looked good for overclocking, but it's 1066.

So, the question is ... will the motherboard support that RAM? If not will it support other DDR2 RAM or am I misinterpreting the X38 chipset blurb?

Are there any X38 proper PCI-E 2.0 SLI motherboards out there that overclock well, support DDR2 and DDR3, and that won't break the bank?
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:20 pm

how much you want to spend, x38 is a good choice since it can accept 45nm but nehalem requires a new socket so a mobo to future proof to nehalem is outta the question as the socket change, unless they change that which i highly doubt.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131219
Last edited by 2_tyma on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:25 pm

2_tyma wrote:how much you want to spend, x38 is a good choice since it can accept 45nm but nehalem requires a new socket so a mobo to future proof to nehalem is outta the question as the socket change, unless they change that which i highly doubt.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131219 seems like a good choice


I meant that'd I'd get a quadcore chip (Xeon) when Nehalem arrived and the quadcores would get cheaper.
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:01 pm

It will probably be after Nehalem's time when PCIe 2.0 matters. I would say forget about that little bullet point.
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:20 pm

No Intel chipset is going to support SLI, sorry.
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:35 pm

So ... anyone know the answer to the ram question?
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:22 pm

Modern RAM sticks are designed to be backward compatible if they are the same type (DDR1, DDR2). DDR2-1066 RAM can be run at "slower speeds". It basically will give you more room overclocking since for stock operation you need only DDR2-667 (dual channel makes that matched up well with the "effective" 1333 FSB).
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:45 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Modern RAM sticks are designed to be backward compatible if they are the same type (DDR1, DDR2). DDR2-1066 RAM can be run at "slower speeds". It basically will give you more room overclocking since for stock operation you need only DDR2-667 (dual channel makes that matched up well with the "effective" 1333 FSB).


Not forgetting that the extra bandwidth available there, if the RAM were to run at it's stock speed of 800, can be used by the rest of the system, and as well reduces latencies. Also, that board as most may be able to run the RAM at it's rated speed of 1066mhz while the CPU bus is at stock- you'll have to play with dividers if you overclock. Also, with regard to physical latency, DDR2-800 at CAS4 has the same latency as DDR2-1000 at CAS5- therefore, if you can get higher than 800 with CAS4 or 1000 with CAS5, which is more likely, you will be increasing performance by increasing latency, which can help as much or more than increasing the RAM speed (if you could run DDR2-800 at CAS3, which some modules have been sold to do, that would be ideal).
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:55 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Modern RAM sticks are designed to be backward compatible if they are the same type (DDR1, DDR2). DDR2-1066 RAM can be run at "slower speeds". It basically will give you more room overclocking since for stock operation you need only DDR2-667 (dual channel makes that matched up well with the "effective" 1333 FSB).


Reading between the lines, then, the Asus Maximus can't run DDR2 since it states it has memory support for DDR3 (despite it saying on the chipset description it is DDR2 compatible), since DDR2 and DDR3 are different types?
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:07 pm

Hqjrt wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Modern RAM sticks are designed to be backward compatible if they are the same type (DDR1, DDR2). DDR2-1066 RAM can be run at "slower speeds". It basically will give you more room overclocking since for stock operation you need only DDR2-667 (dual channel makes that matched up well with the "effective" 1333 FSB).


Reading between the lines, then, the Asus Maximus can't run DDR2 since it states it has memory support for DDR3 (despite it saying on the chipset description it is DDR2 compatible), since DDR2 and DDR3 are different types?


You'd be better off looking up the board itself- P35, X38 and X48 can all use either DDR2 or DDR3- it's up to the board maker, they can all even use both at the same time, as some manufacturers have done. In this case, DDR2, and it will run practically any DDR2 you put in it, being mindful on what you want it to do.

To the OP: you need not X38, or X48, unless you are heavily invested in overclocking. Better than decent overclocking can be done with P35, and there are P35 boards that support BOTH DDR2 and DDR3.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128082

Also, you can ONLY get SLi on an Nvidia board- the 780i series http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000280&Description=780i&name=Intel+Motherboards supports DDR2 and the 790i series http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000280&Description=790i&name=Intel+Motherboards supports DDR3; you cannot get both at the same time. You need either 780i or 790i (possibly 750i?) in order to support the newer 45nm quads, those with 6 or 12MB of cache and 1333mhz buses.

Also, there are very few circumstances that benefit from an SLi board choice- generally, you are better getting a single GPU solution instead of an SLi solution and simply buying a new GPU when the time comes to upgrade.
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:29 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
Hqjrt wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Modern RAM sticks are designed to be backward compatible if they are the same type (DDR1, DDR2). DDR2-1066 RAM can be run at "slower speeds". It basically will give you more room overclocking since for stock operation you need only DDR2-667 (dual channel makes that matched up well with the "effective" 1333 FSB).


Reading between the lines, then, the Asus Maximus can't run DDR2 since it states it has memory support for DDR3 (despite it saying on the chipset description it is DDR2 compatible), since DDR2 and DDR3 are different types?

AFAIK even boards feature both DDR2 and DDR3 slots, you can only use one type at a time?
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Re: Asus Maximus Extreme ... DDR2? Also general mobo question

Postposted on Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:50 pm

Flying Fox wrote:AFAIK even boards feature both DDR2 and DDR3 slots, you can only use one type at a time?


No doubt. The MSI (brand I tend to avoid, Gigabyte, Asus and maybe Abit for me) in this review uses a double sided termination card that allows either DDR2 or DDR3 to be used, but not at the same time.

http://hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQ2OCwsLGhlbnRodXNpYXN0
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