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sith005

New Budget Build - Need Mobo Advice

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Hi All,

 

First, I'd like to say that the OCC forums have been a great resource and have provided a wealth of information to me over the past few months. I've been reading a lot, but this is my first post. I've recently started planning a new system build. The goal is a budget system I can use for gaming as well as home video/picture editing and such. I have a 20" LCD right now that I don't plan on replacing and run most games at 1600x1200 and 1280x1024. My budget is a soft $700 or so (slightly flexible given shipping, tax, and price fluctations). I'm focusing on the Intel e2160 or e2180 and planining on OC'ing to 3-3.4 GHz if possible. My question is which mobo do you all think would be best considering budget (~$100 for the mobo) and my desire to OC? I don't know if I'll be able to hit those numbers without raisint the vcore, so that's something I'll need to consider. I was set on the Gigabyte P35-DS3L as of 2 weeks ago, but it has gone up in price and looks like it will be replaced by the EP35-DS3L. I've read some accounts of people having problems oc'ing on this mobo.

My current planned builds looks like this:

 

 

CPU - Intel e2160

Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper TX2

RAM - Wintec Ampo DDR2 PC2-6400 2GB x2 (4GB)

HDD - Seagate Barracuda SATA 500GB

Video - Asus Geforce 8800GT 512MB

Case - Antec Sonata III w/500W Earthwatts PSU

PSU - Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU (Incl. w/case)

ODD - Philips Multi DVD-R/RW

OS - Windows Vista Ultimate 64 (Already Have)

 

I've seen that the e2180 is now only about 2 or 3 bucks more than the 2160, so I may go that route, but my biggest indecision still has to do with the mobo. As I mentioned, I was originally set on getting the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L a couple weeks back. I found it for ~$70 and it had really good reviews. It is now over $100 on the egg and it appears it is being replaced by the new GA-EP35-DS3L. I've read some accounts of voltages resetting after restart, etc. Does anyone know if this appears to be widespread or maybe just isolated cases. For now, I've narrowed my mobo options to the following:

 

GA-EP35-DS3L

DFI ICFX3200-T2R/G

DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL

 

I'm definitely open to other options. My goal is a cheap system that I can OC an e2160 or e2180 safely to 3.0-3.4 GHz. RAID isn't a necessity, but a nice-to-have I guess for the future, although for a ~$100 mobo, I can always upgrade that in the future if necessary.

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Just based on my most recent experience with a Gigabyte board, I'd highly recommend going that route. I haven't played around with either of the DFI boards you are considering, so I can't give you an objective recommendation one way or another.

 

But I know for sure that the Gigabyte P35 boards ROCK for the most part.

 

Gigabyte recently deactivated many of their P35 and X38 boards and replaced them with the "E" versions of each. The "E" versions include GB's new Dynamic Energy Saver(DES) system that supposedly reduces power consumption (call it green motherboards if you will). That in and of itself might be some of the problems with the voltage resetting issue. If it is still occurring I'll bet it will be cleaned up with a future BIOS release.

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If you have never ran a DFI board before then take into consideration they can be quite "daunting" to a "noob", im not saying you are or anything just that if "tweaking" and lots of patience is not your thing ie just plug and play and away then maybe the Gigabyte board is for you, on the other hand both DFI boards clock really well, with time and patience a lot can be got from those boards. If going DFI i would also reconsider the psu 500w is close to the very minimum i would run on a DFI board, lots would dispute that but its a fact DFI boards are real picky about the psu's they use. Also reconsider the Memory as well if going DFI.

 

Just throwing some stuff out there for you ;)

 

Logan

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I own the DS3R and a LOT of Street members have the DS3L and R and speak very highly of it. I love Gigabyte boards and used them even while I worked for DFI (just couldn't ever talk about them haha). I am on a P965-S3 still while waiting for my DS3R to come back from Giga (I hosed it during a test, board was kicking . until I got my stupid hamfingers around it...). I highly recommed the DS3L or R. Kind of odd about the prices because I was helping customer at Street pick one out just a week or two ago and they were $79.99 I think =/.

 

Still, worth every penny really. Easy to use, good tech support, lots of us (members at this and many other forums) have one and can help, and they are great overclockers. I've always been pretty darn good at overclocking with DFI boards but I've surprised myself by some of the clocks I've been able to get on various Giga boards with various Core2 cpu's (haven't tried a Wolfdale yet). There's no complexity with the bios unlike some other performance boards, and if you still want some advanced options that will fine tune your overclocking even better, you generally only have to hit Ctrl + F1 and POW you unlocked all of the "juicy" settings that are normally hidden.

 

Even with those unlocked, you are still going to find them very easy to use and tune. DFI boards are great overclockers, no doubt, but the bios is so complex that you have to read guides like that giant overclocking guide we had to compile for everyone =/. Take a gander through that guide and ask yourself if that's how much time you want to devote to max out your overclock when the Giga boards will get you within a few percentage points (100-ish Mhz generally) with a lot less hassle, and no having to study a bios on multiple sites/forums and still be sorta confused.

 

Overclocking for "normal use" (ie, not doing it for competition or e-penis contests) should at least a little fun to make the journey, it should be rewarding by getting you a decent clock (assuming you chose your hardware wisely for the task of overclocking), and it should have a relatively short time period to achieve it in. DFI boards can have you tweaking them for 3 weeks as it taunts you with 3997Mhz but won't boot no matter what to 4000Mhz, but you got it to boot four times by fiddling with some setting buried deep in the bios but when you changed that setting two others should have been changed but you are only human and can't possibly remember an entire tech manual just to get 3 more mhz... lol

 

Not always that bad, but with Giga and even other boards I've found that I can clock the same with a lot less hassle and a lot less studying some overclocking guide and a lot more gaming and porno...er schoolwork and forum yapping.

 

And if you aren't into overclocking, or just very minor overclocking to "check it out", a complex board designed for overclocking wet dreams isn't something you want to even consider. Gigas are perfect for that. There's a good reason it has as many user reviews at the Egg as it does as well ;)

 

Just my opinion however ;)

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Thanks all for the info, it is greatly appreciated. I think you've helped confirm the Gigabyte as my likely candidate. My only final concern is the new "e" version, but it sounds like Gigabyte is pretty good with tye bios updates that hopefully that will be taken care of in short order. I've read tons of great reviews regarding the P35 series, but unfortunately the EP35-DS3L doesn't have much in the way of reviews, but for $90 I guess based on it's history it's worth a roll of the dice.

 

I am a bit of a noob when it comes to OC'ing. I used to build computers for living a hundred years ago :) (ok 10-12) but never did much in the realm of overclocking. So all of this advice is really a huge help! It sounds also like OC'ing is warranty-friendly, at least that Giga (and other mfg's) assume this will be happening with these mobo's. Thanks again!

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The E usually means Enhanced or something who knows what. Maybe it's their way of saying "revision 2" or such, or maybe it has a truly enhanced feature (hopefully OCC will get one for review and then we can read about it as the P35-DS3L and R are extremely popular motherboards).

 

I would never assuming overclocking is covered under warranty, and especially not just because the bios has options built-in to do it (and do it easily these days). In fact, almost every motherboard manual will tell you that it isn't covered under warranty...but as long as you don't abuse it, you won't have need to use that warranty ;)

 

Overclocking is a bit of a process, but it isn't impossible. My most-said saying for the last year has been "there is absolutely ZERO reason why you can't get ANY Core2 cpu to 3Ghz...NONE" and to this day, I have never been proven wrong. That's how simple it can be (again, assuming you bought decent parts, and from the looks of your list, you did). However, simple for you might not be simple for me, and vice-versa. Knowing what you are doing is always the most important precaution. There's some excellent OC Guide threads floating around here, and a really really good one that is Intel Core2/Quad specific. At some point we'll move the DIY-Street Overclocking Database over to here, and then you'll have an entire section/thread to search that is specific to one particular cpu socket, with complete list of bios settings, benchmark screens, etc.

 

Just remember, while it's ok to copy someone else's work (and sometimes necessary when it comes to overclocking), it's always better to understand what it is that you are copying so if something doesn't quite work out, you can fiddle with things yourself without having to go searching for a new set of settings to copy/input =/

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The DS3R i have has been quite easy to OC with, I came from a old DFI board (settings glore). The OC'ing on this board has been going pretty good, still can't get 3.0ghz stable, but i'm getting close. Your probably going to have to up the vcore a bit to get those 3.0ghz / 3.4ghz OC's on that chip though. But not too much.

 

2.9ghz is stress testing as we speak...

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I have yet to run across a Core2 that can't do 3Ghz with default/stock vcore. Generally the only thing you need to fiddle with to get 3Ghz on a Core2 is some increased NB/VTT voltage (but not much). Not saying there never was nor never will be a Core2 that won't hit 3Ghz on stock, just saying I've never heard of one yet and never had it happen on my end. Like I said, almost always needs a bit of NB voltage but nothing else (then again, depends on your cpu...I'm very unfamiliar with the E21xx and E4xxx stuff...I should be more forthcoming and say I'm talking about the E6x and Q6x series of Core2's)

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Guest KrankyOldLady

And im one that is trying to prove angry wrong when it commes to overclocking a gigabite to 3 Ghz.

Trust me when you look for a noob, look my way:)

Anyway after a weird rma with this mobo, the batteryholder was loose on the mobo, i got it back, repaired and all to start at it again.

And without much hassle , i didnt even up the vcore, i got it stable to 3 Ghz.

Still running stable as we speak btw.

And that is with an wolfsdale, gna, gna, gna...

Anyway i would strongly suggest a gigabite, intell if possible ofc.

My system oc-ed and all is listed in my sig and if you need help just let me know:)

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Hmm, I think once i return my new Mushkin XP2, and get a pair with out errors, I'll try dropping my Vcore and pushing for 3ghz again. What program monitors NB temp? And is the NB voltage on a P35-DS3R the FSB voltage or the MCH(i'm thinking MCH right?)

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