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Old 02-25-07, 02:56 PM   #1
Technoholic
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Default Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

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.
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Old 02-25-07, 03:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

Quote:
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:
Quote:
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/Produc...82E16813131153

Notice the description:
Quote:
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.
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Old 02-25-07, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

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/Produc...82E16813128323

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.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda_fan
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/Produc...82E16813131142

Great board, 500MHz FSB overclock, etc. If you need a few extra features the plus model had dual 10/100/1000t, etc.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

Quote:
Originally Posted by stncttr908
No?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131142

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
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Old 02-25-07, 05:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

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?
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Old 02-25-07, 06:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technoholic
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.
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Old 02-25-07, 07:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

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.
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Old 02-25-07, 07:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

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.
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Old 02-26-07, 02:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

Don't forget that P965 supports 8x xFire only.
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Old 02-26-07, 03:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amuro
Don't forget that P965 supports 8x xFire only.
Is that a massive bottleneck?
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Old 02-26-07, 03:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: Budget & good board for 650i and 680i

At higher resolutions it can be.
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