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Old 2008-10-07, 16:42   #1
stars10250
 
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Default Value of expensive chipsets

Is there much value to purchasing an expensive motherboard with the latest chipset (eg x48) over a cheaper/older one (eg G35) if one runs only prime95 and doesn't OC? Both MOBOs can run a processor with a 1333 MHz FSB, and both support ram with bandwidth that exceeds that of the FSB (both DDR3 and DDR2). The cost difference is sizeable (~$150), and it's not clear to me there is much value. I want to build a system around a Q9550, but I don't know that I really need an expensive MOBO. Suggestions?
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Old 2008-10-07, 18:41   #2
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Default FOr what it's worth....

I just got a quote in Canada on a Q9550 with a Gigabye motherboard:GA-EP45DS4P. I am no hardware expert but I did get feedback from a few people I trust saying it was a good choice.
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Old 2008-10-07, 19:18   #3
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That looks like a fine MOBO, but it is more in the expensive category. I have no doubt that a $200+ MOBO is great, but if an $89 MOBO can run the FSB at 1333 MHz, and support ram with bandwidth that can match or even outperform the FSB, then what advantage does the more expensive MOBO and chipset have? Again, I'm not into OC, I don't need dozens of USB ports, fancy graphics card slots, etc. If the goal is to connect the processor to the ram, and the FSB speed is the same on both MOBOs, and if the ram has more bandwidth than the FSB (not to mention lower latencies with DDR2), then is the $89 option as good as the $200+?
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Old 2008-10-07, 23:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stars10250 View Post
then is the $89 option as good as the $200+?
If it has an Nvidia chipset then shy away.
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Old 2008-10-08, 01:04   #5
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Yeah, I've seen some of the comments about Nvidia chipsets not giving as good of performance as that by Intel and I have no problem sticking with Intel. I guess its kind of funny, though, that FSB speed and memory speed aren't true indicators of performance and yet those are the specs everyone quotes. It takes something like prime95 to see these subtle differences...subtle for casual computing but huge when running 100% for 7 years or so. There's clearly more going on than I understand. I just hate to buy a top of the line MOBO and not use many of the features it was designed for (OC, video, etc).
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Old 2008-10-08, 01:42   #6
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I can't comment intelligently on the differences among the Intel chipsets. If you are building a dual core machine, then you may not run into the bandwidth problems that quad core users have encountered.
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Old 2008-10-08, 04:24   #7
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The new x58 will make a big difference - pin out is different for the Nehalem. But between a premium x48 and a cheaper x48, I see no difference. For Gigabyte for example, the GA-EP45DS3 is fine. No need to get DS4P - not going to crunch primes any faster. Or even the P43 series if you're not intending to run Crossfire/SLI and RAID.

Last fiddled with by db597 on 2008-10-08 at 04:28
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Old 2008-10-09, 16:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
I just got a quote in Canada on a Q9550 with a Gigabye motherboard:GA-EP45DS4P. I am no hardware expert but I did get feedback from a few people I trust saying it was a good choice.
I'd tend to agree. Of all the mobo problems I've had in the past 18 months, I've had trouble with aBit, ASUS, and eVGA. I've had a Gigabyte EP35-DS4 and an EP45-DS4P, and both have been flawless thus far.

The only very minor problem I had was in RAM overheating in the EP45 if I kept the case closed. I couldn't survive an overnight torture test without a roundoff error because ambient temps inside the case got too hot, and I could not attach the Corsair fan module due to close proximity to the video card.

I solved that problem by adding a standard 120 MM fan inside the case to improve direct airflow over the RAM, and was then able to torture test overnight.

Interestingly, it was only one of the four cores that suffered the problem in torture testing.

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Old 2008-10-09, 21:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db597 View Post
The new x58 will make a big difference - pin out is different for the Nehalem. But between a premium x48 and a cheaper x48, I see no difference. For Gigabyte for example, the GA-EP45DS3 is fine. No need to get DS4P - not going to crunch primes any faster. Or even the P43 series if you're not intending to run Crossfire/SLI and RAID.
My dealer (computer, that is ... not that I have any other kind) tells me that the DS4 has better cooling with cooling pipes and 3 PCI-E ports all for only $40 more than the DS3.
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Old 2008-10-10, 04:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
My dealer (computer, that is ... not that I have any other kind) tells me that the DS4 has better cooling with cooling pipes and 3 PCI-E ports all for only $40 more than the DS3.
Haha.. well, computer hardware can also be quite addictive!

The $40 surely does buy you more features. But in terms of performance, it's not going to be any difference. Question is what value the extra features bring to the table. I'm running a P35-DS3 in sunny Singapore where day time ambient temperature is around 35 celcius all year round - no problems with cooling. It's a quad and even overclocked! Everyone's needs are different though - some might want to run tri-SLI graphics cards, so there may be value for them there.
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Old 2008-10-10, 06:56   #11
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My experience involves a Gigabyte p35 DS3 which would not OC well with a Q6600. Apparently the CPU power conversion on anything less than DS4 is not adequate to provide sufficient current to the CPU. It may work well with dual core and P4 CPUs. An alternate that worked well is the MSI P35 Neo2-FR which I am using now. The platinum model of the same board has a few more features (1394, dual GBit Lan and SPDIF) but also even better power conversion and cooling which can be of benefit for OCing. I cannot say whether a Q9550 95W will use sufficiently less power than a Q6600(B3) 105W my guess is there will not be a considerable difference. A board with P45 or P35 chipset will have about the same memory bandwidth which is a consequence of how DRAM functions. So a P45 will probably not give any advantage over a p35 board.

The main point is that depending on the CPU and Ram being used the power supplies on Board can have a significant effect on operation. Especially when running Prime95 which is well known for it's power requirements.;-)

nelson

Last fiddled with by Nelson on 2008-10-10 at 07:04 Reason: additonal comment
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