Motherboard selection

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Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 6:48 pm

Well here it goes... first thread. So I have finally sworn against OEM computers. They are very limiting and cheap. I've been continually upgrading my hp a6000n since I got it. I am now ready to get rid of all the OEM parts. Now comes the part where I need help. I'm on a tight budget ($<250) so I want to put a new mobo in... but which one? I have a AM2 4200+ which I hear can OC ok, but that would limit me to AMD (who don't sound like they are coming out with anything really good soon), So should I get a really good mobo and keep my processor, or buy a half decent intel processor with a so-so motherboard? Heres the ol'specs: AM2 4200+, corsair PC2-6400 (2g), 8600GT (OCed, a bit), some crappy asus OEM mobo, enermax 465w PSU, CM 690RC case.
And just to complicate things, SLI is a must, (for future, my brother is going to handle the funding on that end) I want to hook it up to a 51" 1080p TV and game on it (unless you think I don't need SLi for that).

Thanks in advance,
Patrick
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 6:59 pm

If you are sticking with AMD you can get GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128090 - 89.99

You don't really need an expensive Mobo to get good performance, especially for your setup.
DFI LANPARTY DK 790FX-M2RS AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813136044 is a lot better, and a bit more expensive... and you'll probably get better overclocking with the 790FX chipset.

If you want to go with Intel you can get GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128059 ($89.99-99.99) as your mobo and get Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819115037 ($190) as your CPU.
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 7:08 pm

Hey thanks! But what about SLi? I'm not going ATI, Or should I just use a single GPU and go P35 with E8400?
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 7:16 pm

You can get an EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813188026 which is an entry level SLI board for intel chips.

I can't really recommend you a AMD mobo that support SLI, as all of them are expensive and over priced... and there are only a couple of them... none of them all that great.

I recommend you to stick with a single GPU unless you have a huge monitor and run games at very high resolutions. The P35 northbridge is a very good platform and there are tons of mobos to pick from that are very good. Nvidia chipsets in comparison have compatibility issues and several stability problems.

I'd go with intel if you have the money... but the DFI AMD mobo is a good solution too if your budget is tight
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 7:25 pm

Does gaming on an HDTV count as "large monitor"? So your saying go E8400 and P35 or 750i ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131232 )
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 7:54 pm

henfactor wrote:Does gaming on an HDTV count as "large monitor"? So your saying go E8400 and P35 or 750i ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131232 )


depends... is it 720p or 1080p? If you are going to go SLI you should SLI with something more worth your while like the 9600GT or 8800gt rather than the 8600gt.

if it's 720p then don't go SLI if it's 1080p the go SLI or just upgrade your video card.
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 8:00 pm

1080p and yeah, 8600GT is out the door anyway. E8400 + 750 SLi + 2 9600GT or E8400 + P35 + 9800GTX? I'm kind of leaning toward the first setup. Again, my brother will pay for the video cards. Thanks
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 10:14 pm

henfactor wrote:1080p and yeah, 8600GT is out the door anyway. E8400 + 750 SLi + 2 9600GT or E8400 + P35 + 9800GTX? I'm kind of leaning toward the first setup. Again, my brother will pay for the video cards. Thanks


Either is fine. The first setup will give you faster frame rates and tolerance at high resolution, while the second one will give you better stability and less headaches... Your pick. :)
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 10:30 pm

I like the GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard ($90). I have not used it in SLI, nor will I ever use SLI for anything; I got it because it seemed to be the best AM2 motherboard a couple months ago, regardless of SLI. It supports Phenom CPUs but you may need to flash the BIOS first (with your older 4200+), depending on the BIOS revision loaded, if you ever decide to upgrade to a Phenom.

If you go Intel,
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard ($90) (no SLI).
Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 - Dual Core, 3GHz, 65W ($190)


I do not generally suggest SLI, nor is it needed for a 1920x1080 screen, though gaming on a 51" 1080p TV is certainly the ideal application for it. If you must have it, you can use a $500 9800 GX2 (with 2 GPUs on a single card), which will fit into a single slot and thus work on any PCIe x16 motherboard.

If I were in that situation I would choose between the $300 9800 GTX, $500 9800 GX2, or (ideally) wait for the new generation of cards in late May / June from both ATI and nVidia. And if you wait, well, different motherboard chipsets will be out, too, like the P45 (ICH10) and AMD's SB750. But if you upgrade tomorrow...

If you get a 9800 GTX or lower ($180 8800GT or $130 9600GT both look quite nice), just buy a quality new motherboard for your AMD processor for around $100, keep your current CPU and RAM, and possibly upgrade it in a year once AMD comes out with newer, faster chips. With a 9600GT, by the way, you would still have the option of getting a second 9600GT in the AMD motherboard.

If you are going to spend $500 on a GX2, then you should really get a new CPU and 4GB of RAM. And in that case I would suggest an Intel motherboard and Intel CPU (either 8400 or 9300), since Intel is a bit faster in games right now (though their quad-cores are far too expensive for my taste). But unless you get a 9800GX2 or similarly powerful video setup, I don't think you will ever find yourself CPU-limited at 1920x1080 with antialiasing and other goodies enabled.


By the way - nVidia's nForce 570 for AMD is very good. But a lot of other nForce chipsets - especially Intel ones, like the 6xxi series - have problems like data corruption and I would personally not choose one over a P35. I'm not sure about the 750i.
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 10:42 pm

Is that <$250 is for motherboard only or for the whole upgrade? If it is the latter you can't really do much.
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2008 11:06 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Is that <$250 is for motherboard only or for the whole upgrade? If it is the latter you can't really do much.


I think it is for everything except the video card(s). And Flying Fox is right - you could buy a GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4, Athlon X2 5000+ Black Edition, and 2x2GB of 800MHz DDR2 for almost exactly $250... and maybe you could overclock the CPU to 3.0 GHz... but that is probably the absolute most performance you could wring out of $250.
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2008 4:55 am

Saber Cherry wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Is that <$250 is for motherboard only or for the whole upgrade? If it is the latter you can't really do much.


I think it is for everything except the video card(s). And Flying Fox is right - you could buy a GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4, Athlon X2 5000+ Black Edition, and 2x2GB of 800MHz DDR2 for almost exactly $250... and maybe you could overclock the CPU to 3.0 GHz... but that is probably the absolute most performance you could wring out of $250.


I think I like that setup, it will provide pretty good performance and if you think the 570 Sli is still kicking (no PCIe 2.0, etc), than that should do the trick.
Thanks for the great help! :D

-Patrick
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2008 5:52 am

If you are thinking about getting a 2nd 8600GT for that SLI I would say don't bother. :-?

Go read up on the SLI-bashing thread. ;)
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2008 6:12 am

Flying Fox wrote:If you are thinking about getting a 2nd 8600GT for that SLI I would say don't bother. :-? Go read up on the SLI-bashing thread. ;)
Why should he buy just two cards for SLI when four would be so much better?
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Re: Motherboard selection

Postposted on Thu May 08, 2008 1:01 pm

henfactor wrote:I think I like that setup, it will provide pretty good performance and if you think the 570 Sli is still kicking (no PCIe 2.0, etc), than that should do the trick.
Thanks for the great help! :D

-Patrick


You're welcome. And PCIe 2.0 is totally unnecessary. PCIe 1.0 1x and PCIe 2.0 1x can each run gigabit ethernet; neither can run 10-gigabit ethernet; and nothing else needs anywhere near that much bandwidth (aside from supercomputer clusters / massive RAID data servers), so the 1x links are pretty much identical to the consumer. As for the 16x links...

For quite a while now, video card interfaces have been about 10 years ahead of actual video card bandwidth requirements. When PCIe 1.0 16x becomes a limiting factor, PCIe video cards will no longer be made. In fact, I have never seen a single benchmark since PCI where the video card bus made even a 2% performance difference, going from PCI -> AGP, AGP -> AGP2x, AGP2x -> 4x, 4x -> 8x, 8x -> PCIe 16x, and even skipping generations and comparing PCIe 16x to AGP 4x. Basically, graphics card makers stopped supporting PCI years before it became limiting to graphics cards (though of course it is a shared bus rather than point-to-point, so there were other reasons to abandon it), and they stopped supporting AGP years before it became limiting.

In other words: I expect PCIe 1.0 and PCIe 2.0 to both become obsolete at exactly the same time, and both to have virtually identical performance and capabilities until then.
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