Please Recommend a MoBo for Intel Q6600!

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by BoySCouT, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    Hello All,

    I am in the process of upgrading 5 components in my computer, CPU, RAM, CPU cooler, power supply, and video card. I'd like to upgrade and be good for another 3 years or longer. I am considering going SLI but may be OK with a high end system with one card (thoughts on that?)

    I have been reading and reading, trying to select a mother board for an Intel C2 Q6600. I can't decide! I want to work with overclocking (I have been reading that a lot of people are getting OC @ 3.6 Ghz, I'd like to do that) and am upgrading for the new games, primarily Crysis. I am looking at the eVGA 8800GT or GTS for a video card. I think that I'll get the Zalman 9700 LED for a cpu cooler. RAM depends on the mother board, so I'll pick that out after I decide which one to get (leaning towards some flavor of OCZ). I may need to get a new power supply. I currently have an Antec TrueBlue 480, not sure if that will be enough? I have a Seagate 7200.10 500GB HD and am running Windows Vista Ultimate.

    I have built two systems so far. One has an ECS board in it and the other has an ASUS board in it. I wouldn't mind trying other boards, but would have no hesitation to go with ASUS again if that is a strong choice.

    Anyone running an Intel Q6600 and have a mobo that they REALLY love and overclocks well with the Intel Q6600? Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    Hi BoySCouT and welcome to the forums :)

    It's quite a challenge you have ahead of yourself. Preparing a computer for a three-year lifespan is difficult unless you really don't mind feeling really outdated after two of those years. Luckily, the Quad-Core should treat you well during that time.

    As for hitting 3.6GHz on a Q6600, that is a good goal if you want to have some fun, but I wouldn't plan on running it fulltime at that speed. In all honesty, 2.8GHz, to me, is the perfect clockspeed. It should be a simple overclock to achieve and still be completely stable and not run that hot. Plus, who needs more than 2.8GHz, really?

    As for the heatsink, I'd recommend the same cooler that I was recommended in another thread: Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme.

    For motherboards, what's your price-range? There are SO many possibilities, so it really all depends on how much you wish to spend.
     
  3. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    Rob, thanks for the post. You make some good points, and I'll check out the cooler. This is my first Intel processor and I have noticed that the boards I'm looking at are a little higher dollar-wise than I have had in the past. But, thats progress, right? I would be willing to spend around $200 on a motherboard. That should give me quite a few choices, right? Is there a chipset that you favor over others for gaming or in general? Trying to avoid any bottlenecks with my components, video card, cpu, RAM, etc. Is it mainly the video card and cpu where bottlenecks occur or does the RAM play a part in that as well?
     
  4. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    680i is just behind the times because it's older, but NVIDIA should be releasing their newer chipsets before the end of the year (could be next week, I don't know), so if you want to wait a little bit, you might be able to get a new board that still supports SLI.

    For non-SLI boards, I've enjoyed P35 quite a bit.. feature-set is good. X38 is good as well, but a little pricey. For bottlenecks, I'd find a hard time believing that RAM could be one. Running at DDR2-1066 should be fine. Some hugely memory-intensive applications might be a bit slower, but I doubt it will be noticeable.

    GPUs will be your largest bottleneck, especially with new games such as Crysis. After two years, that's when most computers really need a GPU upgrade, no matter how high-end you went when you built it.
     
  5. madmat

    madmat Soup Nazi

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    Jun 16, 2005
    No soup for you!
    First, what resolution will you be gaming at? 1600X1200? 1680X1050? Higher? Lower? If it's higher then get a second card and run SLI so you can turn on all the eye candy. If it's 16XX X 1XXX or lower a single 8800GT (don't waste money on a GTS, it's lower performance than a GT) will do you peachy.

    as to a PSU, yes, please buy a new PSU. The 480 TB is designed for PC's that don't pull a lot of 12V current and PC's now are running heavy on the 12V rail. Not only that but you don't have PCI-e connectors, most likely don't have SATA connectors nor an 8-pin EPS connector. Plus those old Antecs are CWT builds with caps that like to fail if they're rode hard and put away wet. If you want a good quality unit that won't break the bank look into the Corsair VX550W. It's a very stout PSU that can handle SLI GT's and won't break your budget. Look around and you'll find one for around $90, about what your 480W ran you, I know since I bought one back then myself.
     
  6. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    This is why I love the forums... such good information!

    Rob, if you had your choice would you go SLI or Single Card set up? Perhaps it depends on what you're willing to spend? I'll check out the P35 and X38 boards. Any particular manufacturer that you prefer?

    I'll be running at 1680x1050 on my 20 inch monitor. I thought that I read the 8800 GTS which has 96 pixel pipelines is going to be bumped up to 112 like the GT. Have you heard that?

    At any rate, the idea of running two cards in SLI sounds interesting to me, but in reality, I will probably only run one video card (my eyes are bigger than my stomach sort of thing). Thanks for the psu recommendation, I will surely check it out.
     
  7. madmat

    madmat Soup Nazi

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    Jun 16, 2005
    No soup for you!
    They're bumping up some of the GTS's with 112 stream processors but they're bumping up the price to boot so why bother buying one? The GT has more stream processors, a faster core and a lower price tag right out of the gate, it's a win-win situation.
     
  8. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

    12,080
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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    The upgraded 8800GTS also includes a better memory bus (320-bit vs. 256-bit). Whether or not this makes a huge difference, I am unsure. I'd like to get one of each in the lab though and give it a test. I am curious.

    As for SLI vs. Single, at 1680x1050 you have little to worry about. A single -large- GPU should last a while. I have an 8800GTX for example and am only just finding a reason to go SLI... but I am running 2560x1600, a resolution that has around 2.5x the pixels to render of 1680x1050.

    For SLI, I'd get an 8800GT and then upgrade to a dual card setup later on, if you have the motherboard. If you don't want to upgrade for a while, then a bigger card might be warranted. But as Matt said, the 8800GT should suffice just fine at that resolution, as long as you are not worried about turning down the eye candy on a few titles come next year.
     
  9. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    Another thought comes to mind. Madmat recommended the 550w psu and I guess I was under the impression that for today's systems I would have to run more like 700 or 800 watts? Your thoughts on this. Thanks.
     
  10. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    Any ideas when the 8800GT's will be available? That's the card I figured I'd get but every site seems to be sold out. I read that they are very popular.
     
  11. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    You think you need a large PSU because that's what the PSU companies want you to think. Realistically, 550W will prove more than enough. For a test, I threw in the QX6850 (3.0GHz Quad-Core) and maxed out it's usage while running a full 3D Mark 06 test at 2560x1600. Not once did the total system wattage go above 380W. That's even with a Corsair Nautilus water-cooling setup milking power from the same PSU.

    So... 550W is going to be more than enough. Stability > More Power. As for the 8800GT's, you will just need to stalk NewEgg or whoever you purchase from. There should be some in stock within the next week. Hopefully.
     
  12. madmat

    madmat Soup Nazi

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    Jun 16, 2005
    No soup for you!
    The 8800GT only requires a 450W PSU for SLI, the GTX and Ultra's are the ones that chew up the power. The GTS 320Mb uses more power than the 8800GT 512Mb.
     
  13. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

    12,080
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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    Matt's posts chew up about 100W.

    (no clue what that is supposed to mean. take it for what you will)
     
  14. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    Thanks guys for the great info. You have been very helpful, especially with the power supply. I may be back with a few more questions on RAM after I get a mother board.

    Love the web site, keep up the good work! Ka-Plah!
    Thanks again.
     
  15. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    Of course, it's no problem. Glad to have you around here. Don't hesitate to come back with any questions, or just to join in the active conversation ;-)
     
  16. Merlin

    Merlin The Tech Wizard

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Lakeland, Fl

    What MoBo are you looking for?....or rather what design with northbridge?
    I was looking at the X38 northbridge, but the X 48 is comig out soon ( Jan. - Feb. )
    DDR3 boards were having a latency problem and DDR2 seemed to be faster recycle, but the new boards are suppose to address that.
    So, Now I'm all confused....lol

    Merlin
     
  17. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    I am looking at the Asus Maximus Formula and Extreme, as well as the Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6. Any thoughts?
     
  18. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    Merlin,

    I was thinking about an evga 8800GT KO, but now I am going to do some reading about ATI because the boards I'm looking at are Crossfire. More research ahead!:eek:
     
  19. Merlin

    Merlin The Tech Wizard

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Lakeland, Fl
    That's the key to a good system, Plenty of Research


    Merlin the Coastermaker
     
  20. BoySCouT

    BoySCouT E.M.I.

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Iowa
    FYI... I have decided to go with the Asus Maximus Formula MB. What do you think?
     

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