Xeon X3220 + 2 CPU MB Recommend?


Mar 14, 2006
I am currently working on a configuration for a workstation/rendering box for 3D animation. I am interested in getting the Xeon X3220 $319.00 (cheaper than the QX6600 at $379.00) in a dual processor config ( 2 x Xeon X3220 = 8 cores )

I have been looking at ASUS boards but I am open to suggestions of other brands. I am not concerned about overclocking. It would be nice to get G0 CPUs but I don't want to have to spend time fidgeting an overlclock. I just want stable solid rendering. I have seen specs on the ASUS P5M2/SAS board. I also need RAM recommendations. I don't know if these boards will only accept registered memory. I will buy 4 x 1Gb sticks (if I can get a set of 1 x 1Gb RAM for under $100 I will probably get 8Gb total). Again...not concerned about low latencies. Just a good stable RAM...most likely DDR2 (cheap). I would also like to have at least one firewire port as well but an addon card will probably have to be bought. Here are the components that have to cross over:

ATI V7100 workstation PCI-E
Creative Audigy 2 ZS PCI ( not essential )

I haven't even looked at CPU coolers but I will probably just go with the latest Zalman (CNPS9500 LED CPU Cooler). I like the looks of the Thermaltake V1 as well. The V1 has heat pipes.

So...to itemize the questions:

2 x Xeon X3220 ( 2 CPU = 8 cores ) Motherboard recommendations.
4Gb or 8Gb RAM config recommendations.
CPU cooler recommendations (considering CPUs are right beside each other in most cases - mobo layout )

Thanks guys!!!

I have yet to find or see a dual Skt775 motherboard from any manufacturer. There are a plethora of dual Skt771 mobos for the 5xxx and 7xxx series Xeons, if you really need 8 cores.

If you decide on a dual Skt771 machine, Supermicro and Tyan make excellent dual socket workstation/server motherboards.

If dual Skt771 is not an option, AMD is releasing Barcelona this month and there are already a quantity of dual Skt1207 mobos available. According to all the news, existing dual Skt1207 mobos will only need a BIOS update to accept the new Barcelonas. Again, Supermicro and Tyan make excellent dual Skt1207 mobos!

Good luck!