Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Discussion about Intel CPU Motherboards
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seungklee
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Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by seungklee »

Hi guys,

I'm new to the forum and I just signed up today. I'm trying to build my first computer and I been doing research on motherboards and CPU's for 4 months now. I'm trying to build a computer for not-so-hardcore gaming, but sufficient enough to play all the current games and high-end games. So, far I've purchased a case, 2GB Corsair Memory DDR2 PC6400 800MHz, and XFX 8800 GTS 512 Mb xxx Alpha dog edition that is factory OCed. I was only able to purchase these for now because I don't have a lot of money right now, haha. Anyways, can you guys help me choose a decent gaming motherboard that is not too expensive, but at the same time reliable and has SLI support. I'll be using DDR2 memory.
Here are some motherboards I'm trying to decide on:

Intel D975XBX2 or Bad Axe 2
XFX Nforce 680i LT SLI (highly considering this motherboard)
EVGA Nforce 750i FTW (hesitating because of video corruption bug issues)
XFX Nforce 780i (hesitating because of video corruption bug issues)

As far as CPU goes, I heard that for gaming purposes, E8400 is way better than Q6600, because most games out there do not utilize all 4 cores. I'm pretty sure that I won't be doing much video editing, but maybe a little, once in a while. Help me choose a CPU as well:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz or Q6700 2.66GHz?
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz or
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz

And for the rest of the specs, I want RAID support, SATA's and etc. Do you guys know about the NVIDIA Nforce 700's chipsets video corruption bug issues? Do any of you have that? Is it bad time to get a 700 series boards right now? And my video card supports PCI Express 2.0, but if I put it in PCI Express x16 1.1, does it sacrifice performance? or is it the same? Also, do you think it's worth getting DDR3?

thanks.
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by Zertz »

E8400 is a great choice, it's much cheaper than the E8500 and only about 100Mhz slower.

For the board, if you only looking into single card configuration, one based on the P35 or soon to come P45 chipset would be good! I wouldn't suggest any 680i board simply because the chipset is getting old now.
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by Resnik »

No matter what, I'd say you came to the correct place for some input.

Im actually in the same boat you are, in reguards to the $$$.

That being said.
I'll give you my 2 Cent.

I just built a system Identical to what your looking at.

I went with this:

Evga nforce 780i Motherboard.
Intel E8400
XFX 8800GTS (G92) XXX Alpha Dog.
mushkin 2x2G PC8500
2x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 H/S

I already have:

Antec 900 Case
Cosair 520hx PSU

I've still yet to recieve my GPU and Ram, Due to the fact that they were shipped from Cali, and the other parts to my build were shipped from Nashville, TN.
I Live in Kentucky, so naturally the parts shipped from Nashville arrived at my door 2 days before the rest.

Which is fine, Gave me plenty of time to do some Wire-management, Which is now Clean, just waiting on the rest of the Pwnware.

Anyway, I'll let you know how this set-up Performs.

I'll say this before hand however.

From what i've read the X45 Motherboards Seem to be more OCable, in comparison to the 780i chipset.

I wouldnt say that the 780i is a bad choice however, Im not looking for Max OCability..

Of your looking to push your CPU to the edge, and running some form of H2O cooling, maybe the 780i would be a poor choice.

I however looked at it from the perspective of.
Hey, I don't need a 5ghz CPU to run Crysis, AoC or any game for that matter.

Not to mention in the fact that the 780i is one of the select few boards that allows for 3x SLI, pretty pro, if you ask me.

On the same note, SLI doesnt seem to scale worth a **** in comparison to Xfire..
Just for reference http://www.legitreviews.com/article/681/6/

ATI's Xfire scaled to 40%, where as SLI scaled to 3%? wtf Nvidia. *the 9800gx2 still spanks the SLI'd 3870x2, which is sad, but. *shrug* Who knows what the soon to be released 4870 will do.

Back to the topic.

I think if you choose any one of the high end Motherboards to match your E8400, your going to be well pleased, and hell you may even be suprised at what your "budget" system will be able to do.

At lower Resolutions the 8800GTS Is actually an extremely powerful card.

I personally selected the 8800GTS over the 9800GX2, simply because my LCD is a 22" KDS, that runs at a Native 1680 X 1050.

Heres a link that will some you some comparisons between to top end 8800's, at 1680x1050.
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=710&p=2

Keep in mind, those benchies are run in DX9.
However, i'll be using XP 32bit, until I see a Need to pay $170+ on Vista Ultimate 64-bit

Just to answer a few of your questions with my personal opinion.

Why not buy a motherboard with PCI-X 2.0? Your GPU supports it, might aswell.
In response to your 700's chipset question, I honsetly dont know how to reply.. I've yet to boot my Motherboard, and load the GPU drivers.
I will say however, That your never going to get a fail-safe computer product.. I'd almost bet that for every 1 negative post your going to encounter 100x positive reviews for the 780i chipset.
Its been out for a while now, therefor its Drivers have had some time to mature.. *shrug* I'll have a more concrete response to that question tomorrow.
And, Since you already have 2GB's of Corsair DDR2 PC6400, I cant recommend Forking over $$$ for DDR3.
Your ram is pretty Choice, I'd say stick with it, hell even OC it.

Forgot to mention, What case do you have?

I have an Antec 900, that i've.. Modded.. *no cutting mind you*
For better Cable Management, One thing i will say about my build is.. It wouldnt have been very aesthetically pleasing, if i hadnt spent 7 hours tweeking wires and what not
The Evga 780i is.. well sort of laided out funny..that being said, the Antec 900 has a bottom mounted PSU.. So.. some of the cable routed problems I faced.. someone with a top mounted PSU case, would'nt see.

Anyway, this is an extremely long reponse, lol hope you found it.. helpful. :partyman:

Good Luck mang!
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by pwcmed »

The E8400 is a great CPU I had mine at 4.0 Ghz on air cooling.

The gigabyte P35-DS3L has always been a crowd favorite. I think MSI has a good P35 board as well
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by sulpherdragon »

seungklee wrote:Intel D975XBX2 or Bad Axe 2
I dont think the Bad Axe 2 does SLi, (I think only crossfire).
When 2 of the PCIE (x16) slots become occupied they both drop to 8x.

You should get confirmation on this though.
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by DaddyRabbit »

seungklee wrote:Hi guys,

... I'm trying to build a computer for not-so-hardcore gaming, but sufficient enough to play all the current games and high-end games. So, far I've purchased a case, 2GB Corsair Memory DDR2 PC6400 800MHz, and XFX 8800 GTS 512 Mb xxx Alpha dog edition that is factory OCed. I was only able to purchase these for now because I don't have a lot of money right now, haha. Anyways, can you guys help me choose a decent gaming motherboard that is not too expensive, but at the same time reliable and has SLI support. I'll be using DDR2 memory.
Welcome, you came to the right place!
seungklee wrote:Here are some motherboards I'm trying to decide on:

Intel D975XBX2 or Bad Axe 2
XFX Nforce 680i LT SLI (highly considering this motherboard)
EVGA Nforce 750i FTW (hesitating because of video corruption bug issues)
XFX Nforce 780i (hesitating because of video corruption bug issues)
BX2 (or any Intel chipset) doesn't support Nvidia SLI only ATI/AMD Crossfire, since you already have the GPU that narrows it down a bit if you NEED SLI. If you are only doing "non-hardcore" gaming you should be fine with a single card solution. I would also be wary of 975x and 680i support for Wolfdale processors (E8400).
seungklee wrote:As far as CPU goes, I heard that for gaming purposes, E8400 is way better than Q6600, because most games out there do not utilize all 4 cores. I'm pretty sure that I won't be doing much video editing, but maybe a little, once in a while. Help me choose a CPU as well:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz or Q6700 2.66GHz?
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz or
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz
IMHO the 8400 will be better than the Q6600 and the price difference between the 8400 and 8500 will not be worth the slight performance gain.
seungklee wrote:And for the rest of the specs, I want RAID support, SATA's and etc. Do you guys know about the NVIDIA Nforce 700's chipsets video corruption bug issues? Do any of you have that? Is it bad time to get a 700 series boards right now?
Can't answer that one as I have no direct experience with the Nforce 7 series boards.
seungklee wrote:And my video card supports PCI Express 2.0, but if I put it in PCI Express x16 1.1, does it sacrifice performance? or is it the same?


PCIE 2.0 cards are fully backwards compatible so you lose nothing. Actually, at the moment, you don't really gain anything with PCIE 2.0 performance wise but as another poster stated "why not?". PCIE 2.0 isn't a "deal breaker" but could be a "deal maker" IMHO.
seungklee wrote:Also, do you think it's worth getting DDR3?
Once again IMHO, no. You have decent DDR2 now. DDR3 is too expensive and isn't showing huge enough performance gains to justify the price difference. By the time DDR3 replaces DDR2 fully it will probably be time to upgrade anyway.

One question, are you running a 24" or 30" display? If not and you aren't a "hard-core, need those extra 5 frames" gamer I would stick with a good P35 mobo and the 8400. Use the GTS as a single slot solution for now and if it's not good enough go with a 9800GX2 later (my plan).

I can say (haven't tried Crysis yet) that on my 24" at native resolution I get good gameplay with the rig in my sig (CoD2 and 4, Bioshock, World in conflict, Hellgate London, Witcher, HL2 etc.) and what you are building is a bit faster.

Once again IMHO :)
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seungklee
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by seungklee »

Hey guys, thanks for the inputs, I really really appreciate it. ^^
So, sticking with E8400 is better than Q6600 huh? I'll look more into that and make up my mind later. Oh, by the way, some of you asked me if I'm running this in 24' or 30' monitor or what not, well I haven't really bought whole lot of parts yet, so no I don't have my monitor yet, but I will have one soon! haha. I think I'll stick with 22's for now.

As for the motherboards, 780i chipset is I think nice quality boards, but that nvidia video corruption bug issue on 7 series boards is like keeping me from making decisions. But, every motherboard is going to have at least one problems right? So, I can't be too hesitant, haha. I'll check to see if 680i board support 45nm (E8400), and if they DO support, I probably and highly consider getting that because from what I've seen in comparison between 680i vs. 780i, their performance is identical to each other, maybe few frames difference. However, I will continue my homework and research.

Oh yes, I think I should get a motherboard that has PCI Express 2.0 support, after all, my video card supports it, so why not right? thanks guys. I can't give you any detail as of right now on what setup I'm going to go with, but I'll keep you guys updated. ^^

Another question, (sorry if it's a dumb question or something), How much wattage is recommended if you're going to have SLI (two nvidia cards)? I heard that you need around 700W? Something like that, but not too sure, and I would like you guys' inputs on this too, thanks.
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by seungklee »

Thanks resnik for giving me inputs too as well as rest of you guys here!
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by seungklee »

Haha, sorry for multiple posts, I keep forgetting what to write on single reply...

Anyways, resnik you asked about my case right? Well, my case is one of the cheap ones from cooler master, but it has a superior airflow, it has two 120mm fan, so it's good enough for cooling I guess. I got the model number and the name of it, COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by ibleet »

seungklee wrote:Haha, sorry for multiple posts, I keep forgetting what to write on single reply...
You can always "edit" your post and as long as no one posts under it, it won't even show up as edited. I do it all the time when I forget something. Otherwise it just looks like you're trying to get your post count up. :-k

BTW, this was edited at least 2x. :mrgreen:
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by seungklee »

I think I made a decision on which processor/CPU to get, the winner is Intel Core 2 Duo E8400. Ta-ta! lol.
As for the motherboard, I think I will stick with NVIDIA boards, clearly 780i. Preferably, EVGA nforce 780i or XFX nforce 780i.

Oh, yea Resnik, can you give me some insights on your EVGA nforce 780i board? Like is it hard to setup? What are the pluses/minuses?, performance, and etc. It will be either EVGA one or XFX one that I'll be choosing. Which one do you guys prefer? EVGA or XFX? I know that they are both the same, but still which one? lol.

Also, I think I might buy 1 more 2gb rams, of same type (corsair xms, to get a 4gb. (do you think I need around 4gb for decent gameplay?)
For the powersupply, I think I will stick around 600W, and maybe think about SLI... get a two 8800 GTS's.
Can you guys give me some advice on selecting a cheap but reliable and good cooling CPU cooler? My budget for this will be between $20 to $30.

Roughly, my planned setup:
EVGA or XFX nForce 780i 3-way SLI motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
4gb of corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 pc6400 memory
XFX 8800 GTS Alpha Dog Edition xxx 512 Mb GDDR3
OCZ Stealth something power supply 600 Watts
Cooler Master Centurion Black case with two 120mm fans

As for the hard drives and other things, I dunno yet. Main ones I'm concerned is listed above. As for RAID setup, is it hard to setup?
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by Methious »

If you go with 4 Gig of ram you'll need to use a 64 bit operating system. You can use 4 gig in Vista or XP 32 bit but you won't be able to use all of it.

It's better to have 2 sticks of 2 gig each than 4 sticks of 1 gig each. 4 sticks makes it harder on the memory controller and doesn't OC as well.
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Re: Need help choosing CPU and Motherboard for decent gaming rig

Post by KnightRid »

positivewei wrote: Wed Mar 09, 2022 4:01 pm If you're only interested in a single card configuration, a board based on the P35 or the soon-to-be-released P45 chipset would be ideal! Simply because the chipset is getting old, I wouldn't recommend any 680i boards.

The E8400 is an excellent choice because it is significantly less expensive than the E8500 and only runs at about 100 Mhz slower.
Ummm, this thread is 14 years old.......
Remember, I am opinionated and nothing I say or do reflects on anyone or anything else but me :finga:
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