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  1. #1
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    Question Best Gaming Motherboard for OCing an E8400 w/ Single GPU?

    Same as title, I plan on building the following:
    • E8400 cooled w/ a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme
    • 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1000
    • *Waiting on a 9-series nVidia card*
    • [Insert Motherboard Here]
    • 700Watt GameXStream PSU
    • Westinghouse 37" 1920X1080 LCD

    Should I wait and see what the x48 offerings are in February, or just buy now? If I buy now, which motherboard do you recommend, assuming the following constraints:

    1) The above hardware configuration
    2) Cost is not an object
    3) Single GPU (not planning on SLI)

  2. #2
    Im "in love" with corsair PSUs, so in my personal opinion I would have to say go with either the HX620W or the HX520W PSU. I know you didnt ask about PSUs but had to throw my 2 cents in there

    Even the 520watt one will MORE than suit your needs for any single GPU setup on air you can put together.

    Regarding the mobo, I would go with the P5K premium or the Foxconn Mars. Great mobos either one of them and both less than $200. If this is going to be a gaming rig, more or less ANY well known name brand P35 mobo will do just fine. You arnt going to clock the CPU far enough on 1 vs the other to notice any difference whatsoever in FPS or to noticably change your gaming experience.

    My 2 cents worth FWIW.....

    EDIT: I see you are bringing some components from your previous build to this new build? I guess a new PSU is likely not going to happen then.
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  3. #3
    Member th3's Avatar
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    Gigabyte X38-DS4 is reasonably priced and had good results here. $200 at the egg, link

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgdoc View Post
    Im "in love" with corsair PSUs, so in my personal opinion I would have to say go with either the HX620W or the HX520W PSU. I know you didnt ask about PSUs but had to throw my 2 cents in there

    Even the 520watt one will MORE than suit your needs for any single GPU setup on air you can put together.

    Regarding the mobo, I would go with the P5K premium or the Foxconn Mars. Great mobos either one of them and both less than $200. If this is going to be a gaming rig, more or less ANY well known name brand P35 mobo will do just fine. You arnt going to clock the CPU far enough on 1 vs the other to notice any difference whatsoever in FPS or to noticably change your gaming experience.

    My 2 cents worth FWIW.....

    EDIT: I see you are bringing some components from your previous build to this new build? I guess a new PSU is likely not going to happen then.
    +1

  5. #5
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    Regarding the mobo, I would go with the P5K premium or the Foxconn Mars.
    I'm a big fan of ASUS boards, so I have no problem getting the P5K premium.

    I guess my only concern is lack of pcie2 support for future video upgrades. Would I be better off with something like the Maximus Formula? I read that the X38 chipset doesn't OC as well as P35, does anyone know by how much the X38 underperforms?

  6. #6
    Member th3's Avatar
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    I havent heard that X38 doesnt OC as well, but even if they did it might not matter, check in the Intel CPU forum, there could be FSB wall problems with E8400.

    And how much OC do you need anyway? A 9x multiplier at 550 (and FSB 550 wasnt hard to get out of my X38 board) would give you 4.95GHz, better ready your cascade phase unit if thats your plan.

    And finally, to state the obvious, lots of ppl here on Ocforums seem to have some weird problem with PCIe2.0, reason unknown, the common opinion seems to be that mainstream chipsets are better than the high end ones in everything.

  7. #7
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by th3 View Post
    I havent heard that X38 doesnt OC as well, but even if they did it might not matter, check in the Intel CPU forum, there could be FSB wall problems with E8400.

    And how much OC do you need anyway? A 9x multiplier at 550 (and FSB 550 wasnt hard to get out of my X38 board) would give you 4.95GHz, better ready your cascade phase unit if thats your plan.

    And finally, to state the obvious, lots of ppl here on Ocforums seem to have some weird problem with PCIe2.0, reason unknown, the common opinion seems to be that mainstream chipsets are better than the high end ones in everything.
    OK, but there will come a time when PCIe 2.0 will matter. So when will we see the first video card to saturate the current PCIe 1.0 16x bus? A ballpark guess is fine (i.e. Q4 2008).

    I'm concerned that the P35 chipset (PCIe 1.0) will bottleneck the next gen GPUs. I'm not worried about the current gen GPUs, but I am worried about the next gens. Since this will be a gaming PC, I plan on doing at least two GPU upgrades during its lifetime.

    Will a P35 machine remain current over that period of time(2-3 years)?

  8. #8
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    video cards even now are not needing more then 8x bandwidth and thats still APG 8x bandwidth(one way of course). i find it hard to think that next gen will be saturating the 16x slot.. it more then likly gonna be the one after that... the only card i can see saturating the current 16x slot will be the 9600GX2 card due out in Feb. even then it might not be using all the bandwidth 16x has...

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  9. #9
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilsizer View Post
    video cards even now are not needing more then 8x bandwidth and thats still APG 8x bandwidth(one way of course). i find it hard to think that next gen will be saturating the 16x slot.. it more then likly gonna be the one after that... the only card i can see saturating the current 16x slot will be the 9600GX2 card due out in Feb. even then it might not be using all the bandwidth 16x has...
    If I understand you correctly, you're saying that a card coming out in just a few weeks could potentially saturate the 16x bus. So given my situation:
    • This is a gaming system
    • Gaming performance is mostly GPU based
    • I'll require at least two GPU upgrades to stay current (able to play new games) over a 2-3 year period
    • On average, GPUs double in performance at least every 16 months (moore's law).

    Assuming all of the above, then it's probably safe to assume that the generation after nVidia's 9xxx will almost certainly saturate the PCIe 1.0 16x bus and perform better with PCIe 2.0

    This would happen in about 1 year, and the new GPUs would be bottlenecked by my P35 board. From that standpoint, I can't see P35 making sense for a gaming build right now.

  10. #10
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    it wont really preform better but what im saying is that the 9600GX2 is 2 G92's per one slot. in that situation it might saturate the PCIE 16x slot, now a 9600GT wont. we prolly wont see a card get close to saturating a 16x till the EOY and i mean Single card setups... not the something like the 9600GX2.... im of the thought that PCIE 2.0 wont be come needed for cards for a while. as the main point for PCIE 2.0 was the added current that spec can supply vs pcie 1.0/1.1 spec..

    what im saying is that even right now or at the EOY no single video card may even come close to saturating the PCIE 1.0/1.1 16x spec.

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  11. #11
    Member nd4spdbh2's Avatar
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    for pcie 1.0 16x bandwidth lets put it this way...

    a HEAVILY ocd g80 8800gts 640mb put in a pcie 1.0 4x slot is only about 10% bottlenecked, so really even if you put say 2 new g92 8800GTS 512's on the same pcb and same pcie 16x 1.0 slot ur probably gonna use some where just above about 8x bandwidth. and thats saying that the 2 cores will give net 100% performance boost.
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  12. #12
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    Hmm, well I appreciate the info but I'm still on the fence...this is a difficult decision, especially since there don't appear to be any severe drawbacks to x38.

    Does anyone have an external link to a whitepaper, or some more in-depth info regarding the projected (estimated) timeline for PCIe 1.1 saturation?

  13. #13
    Member Shiggity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregz View Post
    Hmm, well I appreciate the info but I'm still on the fence...this is a difficult decision, especially since there don't appear to be any severe drawbacks to x38.

    Does anyone have an external link to a whitepaper, or some more in-depth info regarding the projected (estimated) timeline for PCIe 1.1 saturation?
    Only way to be sure is to wait, but from what people have said and previous trends I highly doubt even the best 9xxx card will saturate PCIe1.1. You could also buy an EVGA 8800GT or 8800GTS 512 and do the step up thing to a 9xxx card in a year or so. Waiting on a good 9xxx card might take awhile (I don't consider 2 8xxx cards put together and called a 9xxx good).
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  14. #14
    I would personally buy what is good RIGHT NOW. You can ALWAYS wait for the next best thing coming out, and there will ALWAYS be a "new best thing coming out in a few months".

    No matter WHAT you buy today, or 3 months from now within another 3-4 months after you purchase it there will be better stuff out there.

    Get a solid P35 enthusiast board. They are tried& true as well as WELL proven performers. Im not a fan of x38 personally as I see ZERO advantages at this time if you arnt going DDR3 which I also dont see any advantages too at this time, mostly due to the extreme price and nominal performance gains.

    With any of the systems discussed here allready, you will have an insanely fast machine for gaming even at stock. OC it, and you will have a BLAZING (and I mean BLAAAAAAAZING) gaming rig and will likely be maxing out your FPS on any game other than Crysis, and possibly even that :P

    What games are you looking to play on this new rig?
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  15. #15
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    What games are you looking to play on this new rig?
    Crysis, CoD4, The Witcher, Orange Box Games, etc.

    As far as Crysis, the first time I play it I don't want to experience chugging/caching/frame lag of any kind. I don't need the highest detail settings, but I would like High settings offering a good smooth quality gameplay experience (so I can focus on and enjoy the game). That's one of the reasons I decided to wait for the 45nm chips instead of getting a Q6600 or E6750.

    That being said, I want this machine to be able to deliver that same minimum standard of gameplay for any new game released over the next 3 years. I believe that's possible, but only if I can keep the newest graphics card in my machine at any given time.

    So, given my 3 year upgrade cycle...I can't see for the life of me why I would want to risk having a gaming machine that's functionally obsolete in 2 years. X38 isn't broken, it doesn't have any major drawbacks...and as I mentioned in my OP, cost isn't a factor as long as the mobo is < $350 or so. So at this point I'm thinking something like the Maximus Formula would be a lot safer. $50 more on a mobo doesn't make sense if you look at the 3dmark numbers, but it makes perfect sense if you consider that $50 as extending the life of today's build an extra year.
    Last edited by Gregz; 01-22-08 at 05:52 PM.

  16. #16
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    greg for what you want the P35 is a perfect board to go with for you... though nothing is wrong with X38 why go with it if your not going with crossfire? you have listed a single NV card and willing to spend $350 on a board that imo will do you no good. you could spend half that amount and have a great board that will last just as long...your not going to need a mobo with PCIE 2.0 till you upgrade in 1-2years anyway.. i cant see the logic in wasting $350 for a mobo with features you dont even want or plan to use... if you said you might go sli then i would have told you to get a 780I which is running about close to $300 unless the price has dropped more,now...

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  17. #17
    Some P35 mobos also have crossfire as well, like the Foxconn Mars

    Ross: "Never miss an opportunity to beat on someone else's hardware using their LN2"

  18. #18
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    your not going to need a mobo with PCIE 2.0 till you upgrade in 1-2years anyway.. i cant see the logic
    Believe me, all things being equal I'd rather get a p35 based on what I've read. It's proven, reliable, etc.

    But...as I was saying...for the 3rd time...I'm not going to make any upgrades or changes to this machine for 3 years, except for the graphics card.

    If a card comes out in 2 years (my guess is sooner) that can saturate the PCIe 1.1 16x bus, then that's at least a year of new games I can't play optimally with this machine.

    If the x38 can do everything p35 can, as well as keep my machine in business for at least a year longer than the p35, why wouldn't I go with x38?

  19. #19
    Member Gregz's Avatar
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    Also, please take a look at this thread:

    http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=544762

    Those graph results seem to differ a great deal from what you guys are saying.

  20. #20
    Member Shiggity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregz View Post
    Also, please take a look at this thread:

    http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=544762

    Those graph results seem to differ a great deal from what you guys are saying.
    That is highly unreliable data, I wouldn't put too much weight on that. The basic solution to your problem is to wait, but you just can't wait forever with computers, there will always be some new and better thing coming out etc etc etc.

    I would take the advice of buy what is good now.
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