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View Full Version : Budget & good board for 650i and 680i


Technoholic
02-25-07, 01:56 PM
I'm little limited on budget, but I really need help on choosing the board.

Intel based motherboard. I have Core2Duo E6400, OCZ Platinum Rev 2 2x1GB DDR2-800, thanks to Roadie for helping me to get the better RAM. I have OCZ Modstream 520W, I will upgrade til later, so gotta make sure if 8-pin CPU power based motherboard will work with 4-pin.

But now I desperately need help on choosing the motherboard for 650i and/or 680i.

First I decided on P5B Deluxe until I found out it only do Crossfire for the SLI mode. Is that correct?

And I was also looking at MSI P6N SLI Platinum, won't it hurt to go for it? How bout ASUS P5N-E SLI?

I'm very confused on what to choose too. I know you people here are very good at choosing something better and plus there's so many people here too. I'd appreciate it ALOT once y'all help me out to decide.

Xion X2
02-25-07, 02:25 PM
First I decided on P5B Deluxe until I found out it only do Crossfire for the SLI mode. Is that correct

Yeah, the P5B Deluxe can't do SLI. Nvidia doesn't support it.

The thing to keep a watch on is the PCI-E speed when supporting two cards. Some of the 650is only run at only 8x bandwidth, which is one of the reasons they're cheaper than the 680is. Like the MSI you mentioned (this wasn't the Platinum, not sure about that one). For example, from the newegg description for the regular MSI 650i:
The 2nd PCI Express X16 slot will operate at X8 mode when SLI
You want a board that will run 16x on both PCI-Es because right now it can make up to a 25% performance difference in certain cases and that # will most likely grow in the future when more complicated/demanding games come out. It especially makes a difference at high resolutions. Firingsquad ran a bench a while back showing the results.

Have you looked at this board?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131153

Notice the description:
2 x PCIe x16 support SLI @ x16, x16(blue)

So, that's something that you really need to consider when picking out a board for SLI. I tried finding out if the MSI platinum 650i newegg has for sale functions @ 16x in SLI mode, but it doesn't specify.

Zelda_fan
02-25-07, 02:44 PM
There is no such thing as "budget SLi." Any decent SLi board (680i chipset) is going to be $200+, and that's not even counting what it costs two buy two 8800 series video cards.

My advice, go with the P5B deluxe or the Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813128323

Intel 965P boards are more stable, and overclock better than the 680i. The only downside is that you can't use SLi, but you CAN use crossfire, and so just drop in a single 8800 card, and when the R600 is released you can sell the 8800 and buy 2xR600s.

stncttr908
02-25-07, 03:48 PM
There is no such thing as "budget SLi." Any decent SLi board (680i chipset) is going to be $200+, and that's not even counting what it costs two buy two 8800 series video cards.
No?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131142

Great board, 500MHz FSB overclock, etc. If you need a few extra features the plus model had dual 10/100/1000t, etc.

Zelda_fan
02-25-07, 04:31 PM
No?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131142

Great board, 500MHz FSB overclock, etc. If you need a few extra features the plus model had dual 10/100/1000t, etc.

[H]ardOCP was only able to get the board stable at 475MHz - and that was with watercooling. It also seems to require a lot of tweaking to get a good overclock. I also really don't trust the stability of nVidia chipsets under a lot of stress. The 965P chipset is cheaper, more stable, and overclocks better.

And if you are looking for a "budget motherboard" then you are going to have a hard time affording the $1000+ cost of SLi video cards.

Again, I strongly recommend going with a 965P board and running one 8800 until crossfire comes out, but if you absolutly must have SLi at the cheapest price, then go with the P5N-E SLi

Technoholic
02-25-07, 04:47 PM
I'm not going SLI just yet, but I have plan to. It won't be soon though, possibly mid-summer depending on how much I earn from summer job.

I'll need more time deciding.

Zelda, you say get one 8-series card, that I don't mind doing so until R600 comes out, but what will be the cost of it after released?

Zelda_fan
02-25-07, 05:24 PM
I'm not going SLI just yet, but I have plan to. It won't be soon though, possibly mid-summer depending on how much I earn from summer job.

I'll need more time deciding.

Zelda, you say get one 8-series card, that I don't mind doing so until R600 comes out, but what will be the cost of it after released?

Again, just sell the 8-series card when the R600 comes out. That's what I'm going to do. I imagine the R600 series will have similar price points that the 8-series has. ie the flagship will cost $600, the next one down will cost $450, and the third one down will cost around $300.

Xion X2
02-25-07, 06:10 PM
I guess I'm not getting the whole "budget" argument from Zelda. Why would spending money on two 8800-series cards be any worse than spending money on two R600s? Whenever they finally come out, that is, which none of us have any idea yet or what kind of power consumption will be required?

There are some good budget SLI boards available right now ~200$ which is pretty close to what you'd be spending for a P5B Deluxe. At least one of the 650i's that have been released run 16xPCI-E in SLI mode (Do not get the P5N-E; it only has 8x bandwidth on the PCI-E when in SLI mode. Get the Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus because it runs 16x when in SLI). There's no question that Intel chipsets are more stable, but SLI is more stable than Crossfire is, so it's pick your poison here. And since flashing my 680i to the latest BIOS, it has been very stable for me. And how high of an FSB do you really need, anyway? I have a 3.6gHz overclock on my Conroe with a 400FSB set on my board. You don't need any/much more than that, really.

So it really comes down to this, I think. If you want a single-card setup, go Intel chipset. If you want a two-card setup, go 650/680i. I can't really recommend a P5B Deluxe for Crossfire since Crossfire has been so unstable compared to SLI in the past. We have seen Nvidia's SLI offering for the 8800-series, and it's more than solid. We have no earthly idea how much ATi will improve on the disaster that was 1900-series Crossfire.

Zelda_fan
02-25-07, 06:39 PM
I guess that when it comes down to it, I'd choose a stable northbridge over a stable GPU. But then again, I use my computer more for workstation stuff rather than gaming, so I have a bias slanted in that direction. I'm really banking that the R600 is going to pull it's act together once it's released. And rumors say that XFire no longer needs a special "master" card, so there is hope that x-fire might be up to scratch with SLi.

Amuro
02-26-07, 01:49 AM
Don't forget that P965 supports 8x xFire only.

Mr_LoL
02-26-07, 02:09 AM
Don't forget that P965 supports 8x xFire only.
Is that a massive bottleneck?

Xion X2
02-26-07, 02:44 AM
At higher resolutions it can be.

MicroZ28
02-26-07, 04:48 AM
I just bought a P5N-SLI 650i MB.It is a very stable board for me.Running 500 FSB just like my P5B-Deluxe Wifi board.Here is a link for a article on the P5N-SLI.Looks like in gaming versus Striker Extreme 680i that dual 8x vs. 16x isnt much difference at all,In some benches the 650i is actually better.;)


http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2894&p=5


"We had heard rumors that the 8800 GTX cards would thrive on the dual x16 capable 680i chipset but in looking at the results in our two test games it appears there is very little difference in the scores between the two nForce 600i boards. We did not have any issues running our 8800 GTX SLI setup on the dual x8 capable 650i board and only in the synthetic 3DMark benchmarks did we see any true separation between the two setups. Those results favored the 680i over the 650i by 8% in 3DMark06, 6% in 3DMark05, and in 3DMark 2001 the 650i actually finished about 4% ahead of the 680i. At this time, the current games we have tested will perform almost equally on either board in 8800 GTX SLI operation at 1600x1200. We also tested at 1920x1200 resolutions with the same results between the two chipsets. We still need to complete testing at 2560x1600 with the 650i chipset but considering the very small increase in performance in SLI mode with our test setup, we highly recommend the purchase of a single 8800 GTX for today's games and to forgo 8800 GTX SLI operation at this time.

Technoholic
02-27-07, 01:27 AM
So all this discussion leaves me..

P5N-SLI 650i
P5N-E SLI 650i
P5N32-E SLI Plus 650i
P5B Deluxe
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DQ6 (p965)



To choose from..

Thank you for your inputs. I'll read the thread throughly and see the final decision from there.

One question, if the motherboard has SATA 3gbps, will it work with SATA 1.5 harddrives?

Technoholic
02-27-07, 06:44 PM
Hmm, okay, I'm going with P5N32-E SLI Plus. :)

john19055
02-28-07, 03:04 AM
I have the Asus P5N-E SLI 650i and it runs at 2040 fine,It is just the memory will not overclock past 1000mhz I wish my Evga 680i SLI would run that high ,it will only do 1650,but the memory will do over 1200mhz.