Recommendation for Intel MB

jamesro

Distinguished
Mar 2, 2007
134
0
18,680
Want a recommendation for a motherboard to get.

I'll be using an E2160 Dual Core in the meantime, then getting a quad Penryn 45nm
I'll also be going most likely with a Gigabyte/Leadtek/XFX 8800GT graphics Card
will decide on DDR2 RAM after I'm set on a motherboard.
Ill be going with a RAID0 most likely two Seagate Barracuda 320GB SATA drives and 3Gb/s interface
Its going to be a rig for gaming.
using on board sound as i know most good motherboards include good surround options

Mmmm don't think I'll be considering SLI either.
I doubt I'll be interested in DDR3 support as by the time this is feasible ill be looking at the
new Nehalem socket (LGA 715).

Aside from recommending a motherboard u can include opinions and perhaps some
changes u think i should consider to the other hardware of the thought out rig.

I want it to be a solid foundation as it will be supporting my future 45nm Quad Penryn

So factors im not sure to be considering is FSB1600? PCI-E 2.0 etc

thanks
 

prolfe

Distinguished
Jan 9, 2005
252
0
18,780
Hey James! I'm looking at the abit IP35-pro myself, for a Penryn build. You didn't mention your price points, but at ~180 it's middle of the road priced, with a lot of features. There is a cheaper abit IP35-e, but I have heard that the BIOS may need updated, apparently the first few BIOS revisions had some issues.
 

jamesro

Distinguished
Mar 2, 2007
134
0
18,680
well i guess im willing to spend a bit more on the motherboard considering i want it to last well into the penryn CPUs.
I guess 300AUD wouldn't be out of the question. the Asus Striker Extreme has hit the 400AUD mark here for reference.
 
IP35-e and DS3L DON'T support RAID, so thus wouldn't be considered, since you said you want RAID. The IP35 vanilla or the DS3R or Abit p5k would fit the bill. Didn't you just have another link about a few days ago?
 
If you are building a gaming PC, then build it around the strongest VGA card you feel comfortable buying. It is much more important than the CPU. The new 8800GT looks great. There may be something stronger by the end of the year. If the price of the 8800GTX drops, that could be good also. I agree with avoiding SLI. It has a place only if a single 8800GTX-OC is not good enough.

Right now, there don't seem to be any games(excepting flight simulator-x) that make use of more than two cores. I suspect that that will remain true for the next year, when nehalem should launch. To that end, I would suggest looking toward a higher clocked penryn such as the E3850(3.16) due in 1Q08. Realistically, just using a current E6850 would be just as good. If you are willing to overclock the E2160, then the E6850 should go even higher. If your target build time is 1Q08, then wait for the E3850. If you are going to build now, just use the E6850 and keep it until nehalem arrives. The penryns look to be only 10% faster and perhaps 10% cheaper. That is not a difference worth waiting for if you are gaming.

If you look at all the mobo reviews, there is very little difference in gaming performance(vs. synthetic benchmarks) among them. Any difference in performance is directly related to the clock speed of the CPU. The chipset(x38, P35, P965) and mobo vendor do not matter. To that end, I suggest a P35 based board from your favorite major mobo vendor. They have been well debugged, and most will run the forthcoming penryn processors. I agree with planning on onboard sound. It is easy to add a sound card later if you feel the need. Pick the lowest cost mobo that has the features you need such as firewire, ide, raid, etc.

Raid-0 has not shown to be effective in the single user desktop environment as a rule. For gaming, you will perform better with a single 750gb drive. If you are doing file editing, you will run better if the source file is on one drive, and the target file is on a separate drive. Not using raid is simpler, and cheaper, letting you use some extra $ on something else.

Plan on 4gb of DDR2. Prices are so good, these days that you might as well do it initially. Upgrading later can be troublesome if you do not get exactly matching dimms.
DDR3 has not been shown to be any faster in application performance than DDR2, and it is still MUCH more expensive. There is less than a 2% difference between the slowest and fastest memory. For synthetic benchmarks, and high overclocking, that is another matter. I would suggest 4gb of DDR2-800 memory from a good vendor.

Don't worry about pci-e-2.0. All current video cards are forward and backwards compatible. No current cards can saturate even the slower pci1.0 bus. VGA card vendors would not sell many cards if they performed poorly in either environment.

Do plan on tier 2 or better PSU from this list: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088

If you have extra money, spend it on the best monitor that you can pay for. You see and use it every day, and it is the best future-proof purchase that I know of.

---good luck---