Help deciding on m/b for Q6600 overclocking!

gwolfman

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Hi, I currently have an Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard and have having some trouble overclocking past ~380 bus speed, so I'm deciding to get a new motherboard. I want one that'll be decent for overclocking the Q6600 to about 3.5GHz or higher and runs decent with a CPU only watercooling setup. I only know of ASUS to provide fans for the MOSFETs/heatpipes to keep them cool using a watercooling setup. Also, I don't care much for bundled games/software, so that won't make a difference. Also, I don't care much about the onboard sound, since I have a Creative X-Fi.

My requirements:
-P35 or X38 chipset (w/ support for Penryn CPUs)
-DDR2
-RAID support
-Overclocks Q6600 well (runs cool enough) with CPU watercooler
-Hopefully (not a requirment, but would be nice!) has FireWire and eSATA

So far I've been looking at the following ( with comments added [+]pro & [-]cons [~]not sure ):

-ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP
■+ one of the cheaper boards
■+ FireWire
■+ eSATA
■+ Voltage damper for quad-cores
■~ NB heatsink looks ok, could add a 40mm fan
■? Could I attach the ASUS fan from my P5W-DH on the MOSFETs heatsink?
■? Not sure on it's overclocking abilities with Q6600
-ASUS P5K PREMIUM/WIFI-AP
■~ price seems ok
■+ FireWire
■+ eSATA
■+ Voltage damper for quad-cores
■+ NB heatsink looks good, could add a 40mm fan
■+ Comes with 2 fans for the MOSFETs heatsinks
■+ Q6600 overclocking (from what I read) is pretty decent
■- I read this board had problems with HDDs and RAID, can anyone confirm!?!
-ASUS P5E
■+ Good price for X38
■+ FireWire
■- No eSATA
■? No voltage damper for quad-cores
■+ NB heatsink looks good
■- X38 runs hotter than P35
■+ Comes with a fan for the MOSFETs heatsink
■? Q6600 overclocking
-ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA
■- Price is starting to get high
■+ FireWire
■- No eSATA
■? Voltage damper for quad-cores (is there one?)
■+ NB heatsink looks good
■- X38 runs hotter than P35
■+ Comes with a fan for the MOSFETs heatsink
■+ Q6600 overclocking (from what I read) is pretty decent
-GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3P
■+ Price is nice
■+ FireWire
■~ No eSATA, but has SATA-to-eSATA bracket
■? NB heatsink looks ok, maybe add a 40mm fan
■- No fans for watercooling setup
■? Q6600 overclocking
-GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4
■+ Nice price
■+ FireWire
■~ No eSATA, but has SATA-to-eSATA bracket
■+ NB heatsink looks good
■- No fan for watercooling setup
■+ Q6600 overclocking (from what I read) is pretty decent
-GIGABYTE GA-X38-DQ6
■- Price is high
■+ FireWire
■~ No eSATA, but has SATA-to-eSATA bracket
■+ NB heatsink looks good
■- X38 runs hotter than P35
■- No fan for watercooling setup
■+ Q6600 overclocking (from what I read) is about the best

So basically here are my questions and thoughts:
-Will the chipset remain cool enough with no added fan using a watercooling setup?
-Is is necessary/worth it to have an X38 chipset?
-Would the NB cooling be sufficient on the P5K-E & Gigabyte boards?
-I'm leaning towards the P5K Premium if it doesn't have RAID/HDD problems. Plus I'm an ASUS supporter/fan.
-To have hot swap eSATA capabilities on the Gigabyte boards, doesn't the onboard SATA controller have to be set to AHCI sine it uses the onboard connectors? But if I have it configured for RAID, would I not have hot swap capabilites on the eSATA ports?

Any help, advice, or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
-GWolfman
 

Mintcondition

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Nov 25, 2007
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I have heard the Gigabyte DS3 series is good for overclocking the Q6600. If you have not seen it, there is a good article linked here that references overclocking the Q6600 and the E6750 on the MSI P35 and the Giga P35. I'm actually looking at a similar situation right now. I have settled on a gigabyte mobo, but now i'm unsure if I want the E6750 or the Q6600.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/08/dual_vs_quad/
 

gwolfman

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True, but my next motherboard might need DDR3, and then I'd buy DDR3 for that board, and keep my old DDR2 with the board I'm going to buy now. Instead of just throwing the RAM away.
 

Mintcondition

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I think that board actually has two slots for DDR3 and four slots for DDR2, and it will hold 8GB of the DDR2 (only 4GB of the DDR3). I have been looking at some of the combo boards too. I beleive the MSI is limited to two sticks of each.

 

tricky trees

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Yeah your right about the slots. Even better then! Mixed reviews on it, but hey that's like all of them.
Worth concidering i'd say.
 

gwolfman

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Yeah, I also read that the combo boards with DDR2 & DDR3 can't overclock the memory as much as a board that only supports a single type. Anyone have experience with this?
 
G

Guest

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i got a ga-p35-ds4 and was able to oc my q6600 to 3.4 very easily. heats up to about 63 under load with a zalman 9700 =/. im positive i could get higher with a better cooler and better ram =( Make sure you get something with a dual bios btw, its just so much easier.
 

gwolfman

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i got a ga-p35-ds4 and was able to oc my q6600 to 3.4 very easily. heats up to about 63 under load with a zalman 9700 =/. im positive i could get higher with a better cooler and better ram =( Make sure you get something with a dual bios btw, its just so much easier.
What's this dual BIOS for? How's it work? It's a gigabyte thing, right?
 

Pharaun

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http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/08/dual_vs_quad/

In this review they choose MSI p35 over GIGA p35

So why buy a giga?
 

Mintcondition

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I'm leaning towards the Giga over the MSI for my build, simply because the reviews on Newegg lead me to believe there are less problems with the Giga. They both seem to be great boards though.
 

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