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A motherboard that *doesn't* hiss or ring? P35/X38

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Jun 10, 2003
Eldersburg (Sykesville,) Maryland
Hey all, I'm back again after a short break from keeping up with the hardware & overclocking world...and starting to check out what is available now.

My main rig is built around an e6600 and an Abit QuadGT (965 chipset.) This motherboard has been fairly nice to me, but it has always had a few quirks which are annoying. The biggest thing is that it makes a constant hiss or static noise, which increases in volume when my cpu is under load, and even sometimes when I do something simple- like move the mouse around, or load a webpage. I've forced myself to ignore it (or at least grow used to it,) for the past year. It is still pretty annoying though!

The other thing my pc does that is strange, is it will "hiccup" every once in a while (maybe 5-10% of the time) after a cold boot. In task manager, I can see the cpu utilization jump to 20% for a moment, in which my computer will become non-responsive, and the motherboard hiss becomes louder. Then the utilization will go back to zero for another second or two, I can move my mouse, and the hiss quiets down. If the computer is playing a sound, it will also be interrupted during these short freezes. This cycles back and forth every few seconds, until I reboot the machine. A reboot always fixes this, and it is completely random when it will do this. Otherwise the computer is quite stable, can pass 24+ hours of stress testing, and only seldomly locks up in games.

The hiccuping I can probably attest to me running my cpu on the edge of stability (I did everything to max out my OC, and it took a long time to find a stable setting,) however it could be a motherboard quirk. The hissing is definitely the motherboard.

I am beginning to think about upgrading a few parts (cpu, motherboard, and ram,) but do NOT want to get another noisy board. I've had good experiences with Abit up until this board, and when I first encountered the problem, I did a lot of research and found it to be a common problem. Fast forwards to now, and I see that a lot of people are having good luck with the Abit IP35-Pro (and, the price is very nice now.) However, after a little research, I found that more than a few people are having the exact same hissing problem with these boards, as I am with my QuadGT!

So, what P35/X38 (preferably P35 for the nice pricing on them now, and the fact that I don't need dual 16x PCI-X lanes) boards out there now are 1) known for high quality, stability, and good OC's, and 2) don't make noise!

Just a FYI, I've used Abit (which have always been good for me,) and Asus (which have been a little quirkier, and I've had one cheapo Asus mobo fail after a few years) motherboards in all of my PC's. I also had a MSI board for a brief time, and did not like it. I know very little about the other brands, but would probably try something else if it had a lot of good reviews. Now, whether or not I'm actually going to upgrade soon is in the air...I may just wait for Nehalem, but having a quirk-free setup until then would be nice...

Thanks for you help- I'm trying to get back up to speed on everything!
3 brands come to mind in the P35 flavor:


Dozens of guyz with these mobos are happy with them and the results are really good.

I have the DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL. Awsome board, but DFI's tech support is in the crapper :-/
Foxconn Mars is excellent from what I hear, but almost impossible to find.

Asus, ABit, GB as stated above.

I love my Asus P5K-Premium!

What is your price range?
Abit, Asus, Gigabyte- pretty much what I expected to hear :)

My price range would max out in the low $200's, but lower (like low-mid $100's) would be preferable. Like I said before, the IP35-PRO is appealing to me for a few reasons (example, I'm familiar with Abit bios layout, I actually like uGuru and on-board fan control, heck, I even have a guru panel in my case,) except for the reports of the same board noise I'm experiencing now.

The Asus P5K line looks good as well. I've never had an Asus board in my main pc, but I have used them for htpc's/servers, and two desktops for my brother. Gigabyte, well I have a friend who loves their boards, but I have no idea what models I should be looking at as a possibility for them.

How is the fan control on Asus/Gigabyte boards? I've been using uGuru on my past few builds to control fan speeds, and have grown to like the functionality.

Otherwise, so long as it OC's, doesn't catch fire, and doesn't hiss...I think I'd be happy ;)
well i have had my ip35-pro since it came out, even after 24/7 for the past 6-8months. no hissing has started or even coming from the board. i also dont have that issue with the IP35-E.

i would suggest first a Abit IP35-PRO or Gigabyte P35-DS3L,Gigabyte P35-DS3R,Gigabyte P35-DS4.
Out of curiosity, have you tried using a different sound setup? is it onboard sound, or an addon? some peeps have claimed that onboard sound slows the system a little...not sure I agree.
If you have a spare sound card lying about, you might try it just to see.
I'm using a X-Fi Xtreme Gamer card (if I remember correctly.) Much better sound than all the on-board solutions I've used in the past. Just to be clear though, the hissing noise is coming from the motherboard itself (I can hear it coming from the case,) not my speakers. I've heard of hiss/feedback from onboard sound before though, not that I ever experienced it.
its coming from a choke on the board it self,yes. i had this issue with a 7900GT when they first came out, instant rma.
@ Evilsizer- you mean that your 7900GT hissed, or choked/stuttered some how?

Either way, I'm glad to hear that you've had two noise-free IP35's. I really should have RMA'ed my QuadGT right when I got it, but I've had to do that with brand new parts before, and didn't want to have to deal with all of the waiting and BS involved again (especially when I wanted to build it NOW!)

I'll check out those Gigabyte models you recommended, I'm interested in a few flavors of the P5K, heck maybe I'll just stick with trusty Abit and hope I get a quiet one like you! :)

The "Upgrade-itis" tells me that a new mobo, 4gb of ram (and 64-bit OS), and perhaps a quad and/or a 45nm processor would be nice. The practical side says wait for Nehalem, but waiting for all of the inevitable bugs to be ironed out after it's release (I've been burned on early hardware adoption)...that's a long wait :p
there is whats called a choke in the power supply of the card and on motherboards. the chokes if not made correct or just got a bad one will make a hissing noise. like you described as with my 7900GT it would lightly hiss when at desktop. then get really high pitched and loud when gaming.

the only thing i see wrong with your setup is that the board is hissing at you. as i would suggest sticking with that setup till neha hits the market.
Ah thanks, I had never heard that term before.

And yeah, my pc can do everything I need it too really, I'm just getting the yearly upgrade urge...doesn't mean I'm necessarily going to do it, but it's nice to know what's out there and available at any time :)
The fan control with uGuru on my old AI7 was a dream compared to the fan control on my Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R. I've also found the board layout to be pretty bad on the gigabyte board. (Stretching floppy and/or IDE cables quite a long way, graphics card covers the CMOS battery and reset.)

Tonight, I experienced a dead board after using their windows-based BIOS flash, so I'm not feeling very impressed with Gigabyte at the moment. *grumble* -- Paul