What to look for in motherbroads


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Message 1048616 - Posted: 15 Nov 2010, 16:27:00 UTC

What to look for in motherbroads. I am going to build a pc intel i7 980 but cannot find info on good motherboards, it will have 2 ati graphics cards and main use games,cruching,and a little home work.
It will be my first build i am very new to computers.
Motherboards are the only thing that i can not lots of info on, but i have a feeling that its an important decision.

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Message 1048647 - Posted: 15 Nov 2010, 18:43:17 UTC - in response to Message 1048616.

What is actually most important is finding a chipset that supports your needs (primarily processor and RAM). Once you get that part down, it's a matter of finding a manufacturer that has the right components you're looking for utilizing that chipset. E.g., the right amount of PCI-e slots, the right size motherboard to fit a particular case (ATX vs mATX vs ITX vs BTX), the right amount of memory slots (more slots make for cheaper upgrades in the future), etc.

The current popular enthusiast grade Intel chipset supporting the i7 processor is the Intel X58 for Socket 1366 processors and supporting triple-channel memory (using 3 memory sticks combined to get faster performance).

The other enthusiast grade Intel chipset is the H55 or P55 chipsets for Socket 1156 processors which only supports dual-channel memory (using 2 memory sticks combined to get faster performance).

There are cheaper Intel chipsets such as the Q55 series, and chipsets from other vendors such as VIA or nVidia (yes, the make computer chipsets like graphics chips). AMD makes chipsets but only for AMD processors, so that's out if you want the Intel i7 processor.

After you settle on which chipset you want, it's a matter of finding a motherboard manufacturer that has the features in a motherboard you desire or require. I've personally used Supermicro for high end server-class machines, and Tyan, Asus, ASRock, Giga-byte, MSI, Abit, PC Chips and DFI motherboards for regular PCs. Of those, I can only currently recommend the Tyan, Asus and ASRock motherboards personally. I've heard some good things about EVGA, but I haven't used them previously.

If you have any questions on any of this, feel free to ask.

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Message 1048822 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 6:24:00 UTC

i7's are not capable of running on 1156 motherboard. Hence all i7 motherboards are triple channel.

I always looks for the obvious things first. Main consideration right now is how fast of ram I want to run and how many video cards? If you can spend extra cash and want to overclock? Etc. Etc.

I personally, like just about everything from ASUS right now. I usually go with the ROG motherboards like Rampage or Maximus, but I'm primarily a gamer. The Sabre's are REALLY nice boards too, but they are all a good amount of cash.

So I guess before anyone could really answer your question, whats the main purpose for your machine? Is it a seti only machine? etc etc.
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Message 1048831 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 7:22:36 UTC - in response to Message 1048822.

i7's are not capable of running on 1156 motherboard. Hence all i7 motherboards are triple channel.

I always looks for the obvious things first. Main consideration right now is how fast of ram I want to run and how many video cards? If you can spend extra cash and want to overclock? Etc. Etc.

I personally, like just about everything from ASUS right now. I usually go with the ROG motherboards like Rampage or Maximus, but I'm primarily a gamer. The Sabre's are REALLY nice boards too, but they are all a good amount of cash.

So I guess before anyone could really answer your question, whats the main purpose for your machine? Is it a seti only machine? etc etc.


-BeNt-:
I suggest you read:

http://www.intel.com/products/processor/corei7/specifications.htm

There are i7's that are 1156 AND 1366.


platinum:

Depending on what your pocket book will deal with might limit what you would want to get. Can you give us an idea of what budget you have for a motherboard? Do you plan on using more then just the 2 graphics cards in the future? Do you have a good case for heat dissipation? (some of the motherboards bridges run very warm).

The other questions people are asking are also valid. I would suggest Asus motherboards. I am using an Asus Rampage III Extreme on my big system. I have an i7 920 at 4.2G and it gets rated at 12220/3900 in Seti. The i7 980 should give you a bit more performance then that.
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Message 1048840 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 8:46:03 UTC

my next system will most likely be twin Xeons. the I7-980 is pertty top end for a "normal" computer. twin graphics is "cutting edge" for a gamer.

That said.. make sure you have a good case with lots of air flow or liquid cooling, plenty in the power supply for anything you might want to add later, and the mother board... well others probably have better advice than I can offer. Have fun!
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Message 1048856 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 12:32:39 UTC - in response to Message 1048840.
Last modified: 16 Nov 2010, 12:40:07 UTC

yes this was the right place for advice. i have about £2000 for the project, games are the main thing but landscape design crunching for seti and a little home work.
Thank to all of you it will have
anus x58 rammage 2 because of the triple ram
water cooled as i7 can heat up quick if push
12 mb kingston ram 1600mzh
2 ati cards as my boys games play best on them
and a 1200w as it may need at high rate processing.
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Message 1048880 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 15:57:33 UTC - in response to Message 1048822.
Last modified: 16 Nov 2010, 16:17:40 UTC

i7's are not capable of running on 1156 motherboard. Hence all i7 motherboards are triple channel.

I always looks for the obvious things first. Main consideration right now is how fast of ram I want to run and how many video cards? If you can spend extra cash and want to overclock? Etc. Etc.

I personally, like just about everything from ASUS right now. I usually go with the ROG motherboards like Rampage or Maximus, but I'm primarily a gamer. The Sabre's are REALLY nice boards too, but they are all a good amount of cash.

So I guess before anyone could really answer your question, whats the main purpose for your machine? Is it a seti only machine? etc etc.

That's not true, There are i7 cpus that will run on a socket 1156 motherboard, Like the i7 860, i7 870 and the i7 875K(unlocked). Click on the link that I made, You'll see all 3 that I mentioned there.
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Message 1048883 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 16:04:00 UTC

Now I have an Asus P7P55 Pro motherboard with an i5 750 cpu, i7 cpus add some faster speed, greater bandwidth support, 4 virtual cpu cores and of course a bigger price, An i7 on X58 is no better than on 1156. If You like having the latest stuff, Try Gigabyte, Otherwise stick with Asus. Asus may not have the worlds best interactive support online, But their software support is nothing to sneeze at.
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Message 1048896 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 16:54:10 UTC - in response to Message 1048883.

Now I have an Asus P7P55 Pro motherboard with an i5 750 cpu, i7 cpus add some faster speed, greater bandwidth support, 4 virtual cpu cores and of course a bigger price, An i7 on X58 is no better than on 1156. If You like having the latest stuff, Try Gigabyte, Otherwise stick with Asus. Asus may not have the worlds best interactive support online, But their software support is nothing to sneeze at.



Say what? How do you come by this conclusion?
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Message 1048897 - Posted: 16 Nov 2010, 16:59:23 UTC

When building a new PC, buying the motherboard is one the most important things to consider, since this is where everything will come together.

About two months a go I started on a new build based on to chrunch/play/work.

I bought the MSI NF980-G65 is an AMD/SLI board, very rare to find these days.. I currently have a Phenom II x6 1055t @ 3.3GHz just playing it safe for now... and 4GB's of GSKILL RipJaws @ 1600 and a pair of PNY GTX 470's.

I am an Nvidia fan, and I love AMD so this board works very well for me. I heard good things about the Intel boards as well especially X58 chipset.

Good luck with your motherboard choice :)
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Message 1048912 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 0:28:12 UTC - in response to Message 1048896.

Now I have an Asus P7P55 Pro motherboard with an i5 750 cpu, i7 cpus add some faster speed, greater bandwidth support, 4 virtual cpu cores and of course a bigger price, An i7 on X58 is no better than on 1156. If You like having the latest stuff, Try Gigabyte, Otherwise stick with Asus. Asus may not have the worlds best interactive support online, But their software support is nothing to sneeze at.



Say what? How do you come by this conclusion?

X58 does have more memory bandwidth than 1156, But a Quad Core cpu still only uses and does so much and I have one of the oldest Quad Core cpus in My current PC, A QX6700 B1(ES) cpu. I think the limit is about 4.0-4.3GHz for both cpu types(X58 and 1156).
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Message 1048927 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 2:03:24 UTC - in response to Message 1048912.

Now I have an Asus P7P55 Pro motherboard with an i5 750 cpu, i7 cpus add some faster speed, greater bandwidth support, 4 virtual cpu cores and of course a bigger price, An i7 on X58 is no better than on 1156. If You like having the latest stuff, Try Gigabyte, Otherwise stick with Asus. Asus may not have the worlds best interactive support online, But their software support is nothing to sneeze at.



Say what? How do you come by this conclusion?

X58 does have more memory bandwidth than 1156, But a Quad Core cpu still only uses and does so much and I have one of the oldest Quad Core cpus in My current PC, A QX6700 B1(ES) cpu. I think the limit is about 4.0-4.3GHz for both cpu types(X58 and 1156).


You're mixing up two different technologies. The X58 chipset is found on both Socket 1366 and Socket 1156 motherboards. Stating that a X58 has more memory bandwidth than a 1156 is therefore inaccurate and misleading. If you were to rephrase that and say that the X58 on S1366 has more memory bandwidth than X58 on S1156, then that would make more sense, since X58 on S1366 supports triple-channel memory.

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Message 1048930 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 2:14:58 UTC - in response to Message 1048927.

Now I have an Asus P7P55 Pro motherboard with an i5 750 cpu, i7 cpus add some faster speed, greater bandwidth support, 4 virtual cpu cores and of course a bigger price, An i7 on X58 is no better than on 1156. If You like having the latest stuff, Try Gigabyte, Otherwise stick with Asus. Asus may not have the worlds best interactive support online, But their software support is nothing to sneeze at.



Say what? How do you come by this conclusion?

X58 does have more memory bandwidth than 1156, But a Quad Core cpu still only uses and does so much and I have one of the oldest Quad Core cpus in My current PC, A QX6700 B1(ES) cpu. I think the limit is about 4.0-4.3GHz for both cpu types(X58 and 1156).


You're mixing up two different technologies. The X58 chipset is found on both Socket 1366 and Socket 1156 motherboards. Stating that a X58 has more memory bandwidth than a 1156 is therefore inaccurate and misleading. If you were to rephrase that and say that the X58 on S1366 has more memory bandwidth than X58 on S1156, then that would make more sense, since X58 on S1366 supports triple-channel memory.

I've never heard of X58 on an 1156 motherboard, As the chipset there on all of the 1156 ATX motherboards that I know of are of the P55 chipset.
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Message 1048943 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 3:20:29 UTC - in response to Message 1048930.

Now I have an Asus P7P55 Pro motherboard with an i5 750 cpu, i7 cpus add some faster speed, greater bandwidth support, 4 virtual cpu cores and of course a bigger price, An i7 on X58 is no better than on 1156. If You like having the latest stuff, Try Gigabyte, Otherwise stick with Asus. Asus may not have the worlds best interactive support online, But their software support is nothing to sneeze at.



Say what? How do you come by this conclusion?

X58 does have more memory bandwidth than 1156, But a Quad Core cpu still only uses and does so much and I have one of the oldest Quad Core cpus in My current PC, A QX6700 B1(ES) cpu. I think the limit is about 4.0-4.3GHz for both cpu types(X58 and 1156).


You're mixing up two different technologies. The X58 chipset is found on both Socket 1366 and Socket 1156 motherboards. Stating that a X58 has more memory bandwidth than a 1156 is therefore inaccurate and misleading. If you were to rephrase that and say that the X58 on S1366 has more memory bandwidth than X58 on S1156, then that would make more sense, since X58 on S1366 supports triple-channel memory.

I've never heard of X58 on an 1156 motherboard, As the chipset there on all of the 1156 ATX motherboards that I know of are of the P55 chipset.


Actually, you're right about that. They needed a new chipset for S1156 because they moved the PCI-e controller into the CPU die on the 1156's, whereas the X58 has the PCI-e controller built into the northbridge instead of the CPU.

You're right on a technicality, but it still sounds funny to say that a chipset is faster than a socket, e.g. an X58 is faster than a Socket 1156.

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Message 1049008 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 9:42:24 UTC

Does more mean faster? I was thinking of getting 4x gtx 480s but then they brought out the 580s. But i heard that the 580 is slower at seti then the 480.. so my question is what should I go with?
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Message 1049009 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 10:11:13 UTC

Learn something new everyday! Thanks for educating me on the 1156 800 series I7's. I have only looked at the 900 series processors which explains my understanding of the chipsets. I assumed (I know you should never assume!) that the 1156's were reserved for the i5's. So thanks again for the link Brkovip.
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Message 1049038 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 16:51:44 UTC - in response to Message 1049008.
Last modified: 17 Nov 2010, 16:58:01 UTC

Does more mean faster? I was thinking of getting 4x gtx 480s but then they brought out the 580s. But i heard that the 580 is slower at seti then the 480.. so my question is what should I go with?


someguyincanada:

There is a review of the 480's vs 580's here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-580-gf110-geforce-gtx-480,2781.html

and another:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvidias-geforce-gtx-580/

And here is a graph of something us crunchers will like, look at the Folding graph:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvidias-geforce-gtx-580/16

The 580's run cooler and faster it seems. They are priced a bit higher then the 480's are currently. I know when I ran 2 X 480's in the top 2 slots the top 480 would hit 101C (thermal limit temp with stock cooling) pretty easy doing Furmark. When I put them in the 1st and 4th slot and used the new GPU cooler and have them clocked at 850/2000 (700/3696 stock) I hit 82C max in Furmark. If you are going to do 4 X 480's I would highly suggest water cooling or you will have a major temperature issue to contend with.
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Message 1049054 - Posted: 17 Nov 2010, 17:49:48 UTC

Water cooling has some definite advantages. My two 480's are water cooled, and running at 860 MHz, with stock being 700 MHz. After 20 minutes of Furmark, I can barely hit 50°C. There is the downside of the extra up front cost of establishing a water cooled system. As a neat side effect, I can play any game out there with the graphics sliders up as high as they will go, without a single problem.

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Message 1049180 - Posted: 18 Nov 2010, 1:42:17 UTC - in response to Message 1048856.

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2 ati cards as my boys games play best on them
and a 1200w as it may need at high rate processing.
o/s window 7 home premium


I think that 1200 watt power supply is a bit overkill..
As I have 2 GTX-260's and a 650 watt, is plenty.
It also powers 3 hard drives, 2 DVD burners and multiple fans.
And yes I am a gamer as well.

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Message 1049187 - Posted: 18 Nov 2010, 2:00:25 UTC - in response to Message 1049180.

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2 ati cards as my boys games play best on them
and a 1200w as it may need at high rate processing.
o/s window 7 home premium


I think that 1200 watt power supply is a bit overkill..
As I have 2 GTX-260's and a 650 watt, is plenty.
It also powers 3 hard drives, 2 DVD burners and multiple fans.
And yes I am a gamer as well.


Well if he is thinking of expanding to 4 video cards then 1200 watts might not be enough. They proved with 4 X GTX480's that you need almost 1600 watts to run them. My 2 in Furmark have hit 905 watts so his estimates are not bad. I don't like running my power supplies at 100%, 75% is much easier on them and then you don't have to worry about loud fans as a nice side benefit.
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