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Help me decide on a motherboard/processor

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Asulc, 23 Jul 2008.

  1. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    I am still deciding between Intel and AMD, so here are my motherboard choices. As for the Processor, I would like to keep the price close to $100.

    Intel Motherboard
    Asus P5Q Pro
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R

    Intel Processor
    E6600 (already have)

    AMD Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4
    Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H

    AMD Processor
    Athlon X2 4850e

    My requirements for the motherboard are that I can install a ATI 4850 with a flexible PCI-e riser so that is can lay down on top of the motherboard. It needs to lay down so that the fan is facing away from the board. I would rather have the graphics card be no taller than the CPU heatsink, which will be something very low profile design (such as the Scythe Shruiken). The motherboard needs support for DDR2 800mhz ram, and be able to hold 4gb, either with 4x1gb or 2x2gb. I do not need a sound card. There needs to be at least two SATA connectors (one for the HDD and one for the DVD drive).

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    This might be a dumb question, but are you building an HTPC? If so, and you want to take the AMD route, why not go for an AMD780G mATX board? That way you could do that hybrid CrossFire thing combining the on-board graphics solution (which is quite capable for HTPC-purposes) with an ATI add-in board (e.g. a 4850).

    As for performance, I don't believe the A64 X2 4850e is faster than the C2D E6600, if even it is as fast. On the other hand that may not matter much to you.

    /az
     
  3. Blarte

    Blarte Moderate Modder

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    Q6600 they are a cracking CPU they might not be the newest of the new but they work as well as they ought to for the $/£'s ....
     
  4. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    It is not necessarily a HTPC, but it is definitely HTPC like... I want it to be really quiet, and take up a fairly small amount of space (the space issue is mainly vertical, not horizontal). As for the mATX board, I would, but I am worried that a graphics card layed on its side from the PCI-e slot would interfere with the CPU heatsink.
    The performance does not matter a whole lot...but just for fun, could you recommend a AMD processor that has similar performance as the Core 2 Duo E6600?

    A question: How does the Hybrid CrossFire work? Does the monitor get plugged into the discrete graphics card? Or into the onboard graphics? When does it switch back and forth?

    I have considered the Core 2 Quad Q6600, but it is well over $100, approaching $200 at many sellers. I would like to keep the price down...so for my purposes, the Q6600 is out.
     
  5. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    Why??

    Sure, the x2 4850e is lower power than the E6600, but the E6600 isn't much of a hog, and it's significantly faster than the AMD chip - plus he already has one!

    The E6600 will be fine in a 'quiet' PC - the HSF and case fans are more of an issue...
     
  6. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    Well, one additional reason for *not* choosing the Q6600 (apart from the price, which isn't really too bad) would be that it, being a quad core and all, gets quite hot. Which means better cooling and a case that isn't cramped. Which means additional noise. And the electrical bill gets a bit of a beating too... :)

    As for an AMD processor which is equal to or faster than an E6600, I'm not really sure what to recommend. I just remember the E6600 beating most of AMD's offering way back in 2006. The A64 4850e isn't particularly powerful (while not being a slouch either), but it's quite energy-efficient, which is its strong suit. It's certainly not a bad choice for a processor, but that depends on what you want to do.

    Perhaps one of the entry-level Phenom processors would fit the bill, even if they aren't as energy-efficient as e.g. the 4850e. Just make sure that the motherboard has more than 4 power phases. This is especially true for AMD 780G-based boards. The higher-clocked Phenoms draw more power than these boards (they usually have 4 power phases) can deliver.

    Last but not least: ATI Hybrid Graphics. That's what I was talking about before. Seems AMD only supports this with HD3400-based graphics cards and only in Vista at that. On the other hand, a HD4850 should give you all the grapics power you need, at a very competetive price.

    Hope this helps a bit... :)

    /az
     
  7. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    Well... he brought up AMD... :)

    Other than that, for HTPCs I still haven't seen a chipset for Intel C2Ds that compares to the AMD780G, which is a shame really.

    /az
     
  8. lamboman

    lamboman What's a Dremel?

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    QFT. But, you already have the E6600, why would you want to buy yet another chip? The E6600 will be faster, and will save you money.
     
  9. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    Ok, I think that I will keep my E6600 and go the Intel route. What motherboard would be good to work with it? I am thinking for a Graphics Card to lay down, there needs to be at least three slots before there is a PCI-e slot. Hopefully that makes sense...
     

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