Q6600/Vista 64/8 Gigs/Adobe CS3/COD4 Which mb?



Hi all.
Spent the past few nights trying to weigh up the best motherboard for my needs for another 3 years or so.
Originally I was set on waiting to save for an Extreme cpu, 2 gtx's in sli ...etc.
Now - I'm settling on just having a grateful, better and more productive experience than my P4 3.4Ghz (which shows as 2 processors in windows) 2Gigs of ram, P4C800E-deluxe, 2 x10,000rpm drives and ATI x800pro with XP.
(Any money saved will go on software, 2 new 22" LCD monitors and more important non-computer priorities for this year)

I'll be switching to Vista for the first time and figured I'd go with the q6600 (go stepping). Either way I would like the best Vista experience I can get for my needs. I want Vista 64 ultimate and will most importantly want it for Adobe CS3 applications (which I know are 32 bit), some Cakewalk music apps and a decent gaming experience with for example COD4. (Crysis I like - but can do without for now.)
As per many other people's posts at Tom's - I'm kind of torn between some of the following concepts or options:

Benefiting from 2 8800 gt's in sli for gaming. Maybe 1x 8800 gtx is better?
Wanting as much ram as possible to help out my production processes and making use of Vista 64. (Old ram is cheaper - but I'm happy to save for good ram like DDR3 if it benefits a good system)
X38 is newer right now. DDR3 is newer right now. I'll never need 3 way sli but like the look of the 2 way Gigabyte™ GA-750SLI-DS4 shown here http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_750i_sli.html but haven't seen a review of it.
Either way - reading Newegg, Tom's and other forum reviews - it seems difficult to get most of the above for my needs without complications one way or the other. (I'm not fussed about superseding technology coming out in another 12 months or so.)
I'll stick with Air cooling, am happy to overclock for the first time (to maybe 3.0Ghz and am happy to add better air cooling bits (if they fit).

Please give some sound advice. (Vista 64/probably q6600/must handle a few apps at a time, decent non-crysis gaming and a decent feel up from my current rig).
Much appreciated.
Happy New Year to you all :hello:
1. Benefit from SLI is negligible unless playing ar really high res on a 30"+ moniter. (Get a 8800GT for now)
2. 4GB RAM is fine for now.
3.Get a P35-DS3R or something smiler. (P35 supports 45nm Penryn)
4. Add a good CPU Cooler if OCing


Oct 19, 2006

From my reading experience, Shadow is right.

4GB is fine but get 2*2GB instead of 4*1GB. Leave a door openned in case.
Most of people will tell you that DDR3 does not worth it. Stick with good DDR2.

What are your 10K? Raptor? SCSI? They might be still good to be recycled.
For games, start with the desired vga card, the most critical factor. If a good single card will satisfy you, then that is te best way to go. SLI is bad option unless you are really high end. Right now, I suggest the 8800GTS-512(G92) preferably from EVGA. It performs slightly better than the 8800GT versions( near 8800GTX speeds), but it has a superior cooler that will keep the rest of your system cooler. It comes currently with Crysis, and you should be able to play it. Go EVGA to preserve your option to step-up to a stronger card which may or may not appear in the next 90 days.

A quad like the Q6600 is a good option for multitasking.

Multitasking needs enough memory to hold everything. Most people will get 4gb, but with DDR2 memory so cheap these day, 6 or 8gb is easy, and it can't hurt, particularly if you will have many tasks running concurrently. Today, DDR3 is a very bad buy. Not only is it 5 times as expensive, but with current C2D processors, it does not deliver any real improvement in application speeds. This is true regardless of memory speeds. When the nehalem processors arrive in a year or so, that might change.

I see no real benefit to get the X38 motherboards over the P35's which have been out for a while now. The glitches have been worked out by now. Only if you are an overclocking enthusiast would an X38 and DDR3 be of interest.

Look carefully at the list of features that each version of Vista gives you. You may find that the home premium version will suit you.

I like adding a good oem cpu cooler. Not only does it keep your cpu cooler, but it will be quieter because a large 120mm fan can turn more slowly.

Will you be reusing parts from your current system? I like the 10K rpm drives.

Dual monitors are great. Since you will keep these for a while, look at getting a pair of good quality 24" ones.

---good luck---


Thanks guys so far.
I'll read up on the P35-DS3R then (now)...
I have 3 drives - WD360GD for the OS, WD740GD for larger storage of stuff and an old 30 gig Maxtor 7200rpm drive for tutorials and bits.
(Yeah - I guess the first 2 are `raptors'.. built this rig about 4 years ago or whenever the x800 line of cards was top of the pile.)
If the ddr2 memory is cheap I'm happy to get as much as any board will take if there is the possibility of benefiting one way or another at anytime.
Unfortunately - I'm in Japan and was when I built my current rig. So I shop in Akihabara in Tokyo which is more expensive than newegg.com etc. The raptors - were bulk items - came in plastic bags without boxes etc. I always use newegg as a price and review place along with Tom's and then I'll try to find the same stuff over here but it's often more expensive.
Thanks so far and all the best.. I'll go review that P35..

Edit: geofelt - just noticed you posted too. Thanks - I'll read your post - review all the opinions and write again later - it's 3am here - and I'm nodding off just now. Cheers dudes - back later.


I edited the above post at the end.
Quick question..With 24" monitors - is it still a nice clear crisp detailed picture? I heard and assume that the larger the screen - the larger the pixels become if you know what I mean.
Obviously this isn't an issue at 24"?

I was planning to give this complete current system to my other half - but might keep the drives and get her some cheaper ones for her limited computer needs.
Cheers..back later
All the lcd monitors give a clear picture if you set them to their native resolution. Actually, the pixel pitch decreases as the screen gets larger. They still are about the same size. The opposite is true of tv sets.
22" 1680x1050 has a pitch of 0.282
24" 1920x1200 0.27
30" 2560x1600 0.25
One of the problems with the acer monitor is that it has a poor viewing angle, 160 degrees. That means that you have to hold your head at the proper vertical and horizontal position, or the display will look washed out. 178 degrees is much better. I don't know what the 6 bit + hifrc means on the color pallate; it could mean that it is not a true 8 bit color panel. Look at the samsung 245T http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/detail/spec.do?group=computersperipherals&type=monitors&subtype=lcd&model_cd=LS24HUCEFV/XAA&fullspec=F Yes, it is more expensive, but for a monitor, you don't want any distractions. You might find the 244T which is the previous version on sale somewhere.

For a large desk, look at the 305T. It is a single monitor, but it holds about the same amount of data as two 24" monitors. You can hold two full size web pages, side by side.

Also, look at dell; I think they may use the same samsung 24" and 30" panels.


Hmm. Thanks a lot. You are certainly opening up my thought process with all of this.
At the moment I use a 19" ImageQuest L90D - this one: http://www.hyundaiq.com/pro_l90d.asp
It has been ok for a few years but it's going over to my other half when
I rebuild. It also has a slow response time (something like 12 or 15 ms) for games I guess. (I've never tried the speakers to this day - probably never will). Cheers. I'll check out those monitors and see what's cooking..
Edit: I'll go for 2 monitors as opposed to one large one. I sometimes watch (and will need to watch) video tutorials. I like to have the tut on the left and my app on the right. Sliding the whole app accross for me might be nicer than resizing frames and things.
That 245t is well expensive over here at the one store I'm using as an online reference: http://www.sofmap.com/product_detail/exec/_/sku=10851343/-/gid=PM01200100 (Close to $900)
The 244 I see you have in your sig - looks nice too. Saw it on newegg but not here yet.

ps. I wonder if they bring out Vista with integrated SP1. That would be something I would hold off for if it was anytime soon.

I notice some of these monitors are nice. They sure sit higher than I'm used to. Maybe I should hit the gym to work out my neck or something..

Out of interest - when I sit straight in the chair (chin at 90 deg.) my eye level is just above the top of the monitor including the frame. (If I fired laser beams out of my eyes - my monitor would not be damaged at this point.) Is that normal? Looking at the 244t etc - they appear much higher. Could take a little time to adjust. Still - upgrading the size of the monitor requires adjustment anyway no doubt.


Apr 25, 2006
are u going to game at 1920x1200 or beyond, if not, one single 8800 gts will due, and sli will be a waste of money. so far, Vista is a pain in the ass, lots of compatibility issue, and unstable. In my opinion, I will wait for Windows Vienna on 2009. Theres only about 2 or 3 DX10 titles. Will take about one year to fully develop games Dx 10 optimize, by then Windows vienna will be out. in Vista, games fPSecond will drom from 15 - 20.


Yeah I guess 1920x1200 will be the new standard (once I choose a pair of monitors).
I'll forget SLI as I'll be using 2 monitors often for CS3 and whatever. I love gaming too but heard that SLI and dual monitors don't work or something. (not that I'd game with 2)
I expect Vista 64 to have some issues but hopefully will suffice and be adaptable for my needs. Spent all day again researching options trying to drop the price (to speed things up) but not the experience. I'm seriously considering an X38 board with DDR3 memory and get more memory when I find the cash.
Not totally sure. Want a good experience but don't want to feel like a lagger after a year or two. I've never owned Vista and with SP1 out or almost official - I'm keener to commit myself to it and looking forward to slightly different desktop visuals for a change. (A new build was in order for my needs as well as Vista's). Otherwise I've played with Linux quite a bit and therefore appreciate how pleasant fresh eye candy can be.
I know nothing about Vienna at this stage. I would like COD4 and hope to play multi-player Crysis to test it out - when I have an adequate system this time around or next.
Thanks for your advice. Maybe by the time I'm ready to buy - a new video card will be out that we all can't refuse. Crysis seems to be the bar to reach. Thanks


Apr 25, 2006
DDR3 are not worth buying. They are more expensive and almost no performance increase. Go with a good DDR2. Dont let 3 fool you. DDR3 do not outperform DDR2. most High End ddr2 are faster than ddr3.
A larger monitor will have a top edge that is higher than your current one. Those laser beams will impale it. My Samsung 244T has lots of adjustments. The whole thing can adjust up and down by several inches. It is also adjustable for tilt so that your normal gaze can hit it straight on. It can also rotate 90 degrees to a portrait orientation if that is of any interest. I would not entirely trust the response time specs from the manufacturer. They may measure it differently, and to their advantage. I am not even certain how important it is. LCD's refresh at 60hz. That is once every 16ms, so I don't see why anything much lower does much good. I am no expert on the subject, so do some research on your own; it CAN get confusing.

I have had no problems with Vista 64-bit. The only incompatibility I have found is that 16 bit DOS programs can't work. If you have no old legacy devices or programs, you should be ok. My perception is that it is snappier than the 32-bit version. The beta for SP1 is out, so you could use that, or simply apply the official update release later.

4GB of DDR3 memory costs $574.
4GB of DDR2 memory costs <$100.
DDR3 and DDR2 application performance(vs. synthetic benchmarks) is virtually identical(within 1-3%).
The fastest DDR3 and the slowest DDR2 will also perform about the same.
If the mobo only supports 8gb at 667, that's ok.
Until that changes, I think it is unwise to build a system around DDR3.
Do you need wi-fi? If you do, then you can expand your motherboard options by using a separate add-in wi-fi card which is cheap(<$20). If you don't, then there are some less expensive options. Buy a mobo on quality, price, and features. With the same cpu, the performance difference among all mobo's is miniscule. Gigabyte and Asus are good. Download the installation manual for the board you are considering. See how comfortable you feel with it. Do the same thing for a prospective case.
Quick question..With 24" monitors - is it still a nice clear crisp detailed picture? I heard and assume that the larger the screen - the larger the pixels become if you know what I mean.
Obviously this isn't an issue at 24"?

This is true. to a degree, going from a 20" to a 22" both run at 1680 x 1050 so the pixel size is a hair larger on the 22 - but at 24" the resolution goes up with the increased size and the pixel size goes back down.

24 is the way to go!


Thanks again geofelt.
I won't need WiFi no. I've spent the past something hours checking out monitors. So easy to fall in love with something and then stumble across a bad user opinion which makes you step back.
The HP 2408 is nice. So too the HP 2207's. Haven't seen them here online in Japan yet though but they look very stylish. Your 244 is nice yeah. I see a differently styled 245 online here but not the 244 so far. Also saw a nice Asus monitor too - also at newegg.
I'm too old to be a kid in a toy shop but it's always addictive trying to sort it all out. That's what hobbies are for I guess. I had forgotten just how effective a decent monitor change can be to this everyday addiction I've had for so long. (Currently got the week off - traditional Japanese New Year holidays - so no time like the present for research!). I expect because I can't read Japanese here well enough - I'll end up choosing the monitors at the stores, maybe going online from the shop to get some last minute reviews before paying.
I will probably settle for a good mb that takes tons of DDR2. I'm assuming 8gigs of 667 is still great for apps etc. like you said.

I have a very old crt here on my second and older pc which gives us all a headache. I'm not sure if it is to do with being higher than my usual LCD or closer to the user or brighter or what. (Looking forward to throwing it out) (Maybe I could also benefit from glasses who knows.)
I just measured with a tape measure the distance from my desktop straight up inline with the beginning of my LCD glass (so to speak).
It is exactly 12cm up from the desk to the edge of the glass/bottom of the taskbar/windows start button.
Because I'm used to this - I'm happy to get large monitors, but keep them fairly low if possible.

I read and absorb your comments so I appreciate your time and enthusiasm. Take Care and I'll keep on window shopping.. Talk soon..
By the way - if you want some games - let me know.
I know you probably don't need them but I've got a few older ones that just sit in my CD folder doing nothing. I threw tons of stuff out recently and am happy to lighten the load some more.
The best one is Joint Operations and Escalation (the expansion pack).
Great game - got tired of playing it.
Also got Delta Force Land Warrior, UT2003, Comanche 4, Half Life CS (the original one), Rainbow six 3 Raven Shield (never played it) and Soldier of Fortune 2 - Double Helix.

I like helping people and appreciate people who do the same.
Just give me an address or work or friend's address and I'll mail them out with serial numbers and online server login details.(all original cd's) Doesn't matter if you are a youngster or as old as me.. just say the word. Cheers.

Edit: cheers notherdude. Looking forward to a couple of big 24's. Who's your daddy..!


Trying to decide now ready for budgeting here in Tokyo.

MB: Asus Maximus Formula
CPU: Q6600 (Go stepping)
GPU: 8800 GTS G92 or Asus 8800GTX (not sure which)
PSU: Not sure yet.
OS: Vista 64 Ultimate
Memory: No idea - I wanted 8 gigs (DDR2). (Will probably need to go 667 to have 8 gigs - 2 gigs per slot)
HD: WD740ADFD x 2 (74 Gigs) | HDP725025GLA380 x 1 (250 Gigs)
Cooling (CPU): Scythe Mine Cooler Rev B
Monitors: 2 x 24" undecided (Have to go with one to start with! Must be good enough for some web design)
Sound: Something to plug an Axiom 61 midi keyboard into that doesn't lag and has good sound for music production, mp3's, games.
Headphones: Undecided. (No speakers at this stage until I change apartments in the future)
Case: Full-Size Tower but Undecided (The Stacker 832 seems ok). Already have an XaserIII which will go to my other half. Must be able to filter dust pretty well.
Prices are more expensive here in tokyo - but oh well..

Feel free to chime in with suggestions if you want. Cheers.
If your CRT gives you a headache, check the refresh rate. Under 75hz will cause a problem, anf 85hz is better.

Your PSU is a tier 3 unit in this list: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088

Onboard sound is very good these days. Try it first, you can always add a sound card later.

For a nice large case that is very quiet, ventilates well, and has washable filters look at the Antec P182. Here is a review: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article741-page1.html

For a really large case in the same style, look at the Antec P190. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129028
It includes 2! psu's.

---good luck---


I'll look into a PSU then. I need to give one to the other half anyway so I'll let her have this one.
Yeah onboard sound can be pretty good. I don't mind spending the cash for something worthwhile come the time. I intend to play around with Cakewalk Project 5 and maybe get Sonar 7 - so a decent sound card will be advisable come the time I expect.
Cheers again. 3am here - off to bed..