Choosing motherboard for new computer

KevSC1

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Jun 24, 2007
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I am going to be building a new computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600. I’m not sure which motherboard to get.

I would like:
eSATA
external firewire
Quad Core support
Possible three PCI express x16 slots
SLI Ready
Gigabit Lan
2 Lan Ports
heatpipe cooling

I will most likely put in 2-4 gigs of ram, and use a fairly decent graphics card, 2 optical drives, and 2 hard drives, RAID not important.

First of all, I’m not sure which chipset to go with. I like the nvidia 680i, or possibly the Intel P35, P975X, or P965. But I was also looking at the upcoming X38 from Intel which would support their new 45nm processors, and PCI express 2.0. I would like to build this computer fairly soon, so I don’t want to wait really. But from what’s out there, which would be better, the 680i or the P35?

What would be a good brand or model to go with?

Thanks,
Kevan
 

bigblack

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Jan 16, 2007
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If you really need SLI you can only go Nvidia. Forget of course 3 16x PCI-E slots!!!!
On the other hand if you don't really need SLI (i don't see why you should) the P35 chipset is excellent and it supports 45nm cpus. I would say that Gigabyte P35-DS4 is the way to go...
 

EricLegge

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May 19, 2006
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Eight P35-DDR2 Motherboards Compared -

"With DDR3 platform testing behind us, we look forward to boards that support current-generation DDR2 performance RAM and next-generation FSB1333 processors. How do these stack up to older solutions?... Intel's mainstream P35 chipset is designed to bridge the gap between DDR2 and DDR3 technologies, supporting its upcoming FSB1333 processors with either memory type, depending on which slots the motherboard manufacturer provides. Most brands carry nearly-identical DDR2 and DDR3 boards, and some even have a model or two with both slot types..." -

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/2007/06/19/eight_p35-ddr2_motherboards_compared_uk/

Pipe Dreams: Six P35-DDR3 Motherboards Compared -

"Intel's P35 Express chipset represents next-generation processor and memory compatibility. While other media outlets consider the 'DDR2 v DDR3' debate, we instead analyze six motherboards that support the newest memory 'standard'..." -

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/2007/06/05/pipe_dreams_six_p35-ddr3_motherboards_compared_uk/

Seven 650i SLI Motherboards Compared -

"The 650i SLI chipset is Nvidia's solution for buyers who want SLI on the cheap. We benchmark a bunch of 650i boards against the high-priced 680i SLI reference mobo..."

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/2007/05/25/...650i_sli_motherboards_compared_uk/
 

xjustice09x

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Mar 1, 2007
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If you need SLI the 680i would probably be the best choice. I don't know of any P35 boards that support SLI right now, there are a few that support crossfire.

The P35 boards will support the 45 nm chips. Some of the Nvidia 600 series boards will as well. They already support 1333 bus speeds. They just need an updated bios and CPLD code. On another board someone was told by EVGA customer support that the current EVGA 680i boards will support the 45nm processors. I'm not sure about other boards like the 650 or other manufacturers.
 

mfarlow

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Mar 15, 2007
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Personally I would go with the p35, and get the best 8800 card you can afford. SLI is a waste (IMHO) unless you have to have the absolute best of everything. You could sell the 8800 when the next big deal card comes down the road, and still outperform SLI at 1/2 the price.