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Author Topic: Which motherboard  (Read 19623 times)
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Graham
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« on: March 28, 2007, 02:09:46 AM »

Sometime between now and August I intend to update the three main computers with Pentium Duo processors.  The probable operating system will be SUSE 10.2 with VMWare running windows XP.  Three essentials are; compatible with SUSE and XP, reliable and relatively quiet.  Likable options would be, but not essential (so long as I have enough ports to add them); decent onboard graphics with TV output, good to excellent onboard sound with an option to move the inputs to the front of the case, gigabit networking, Serial Raid and a decent amount of USB2 ports.....I don't ask much out of a motherboard do I  Smiley

Which motherboard do you recommend?
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shoarthing
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007, 10:52:44 AM »

Quote from: Graham
Sometime between now and August . . ..

 . . . erm, this timescale makes a hard recommendation a bit tricky. FWIW here's a snapshot of my current thoughts/plans:

At the moment, the best C2D motherboard(s) for use by adults are probably based on the i975 chipset (reasons below); but within your timescale Intel are replacing their current i965/i975 family of chipsets with the Bearlake (http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1062/intel_p35_bearlake_chipset_performance_preview/index.htm) jobbies.

This upcoming family of chipsets will support DDR3, as well as DDR2 [implementation, specifically any dual-format/crossover (http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=8133) implementation, is up to individual manufacturers], is made with the 65mnm process [90nm for the i965/110nm for the i975], & will include the 'Bearlake-G' aka G33 version with onboard graphics - certainly adequate for Vista Aero/DX10 on middling-resolution display devices.

DDR3 is a better design than DDR2 [better latency characteristics/lower power consumption]; but is unlikely to be affordable (ie 'cheap') until Q1 2008.

The 'Bearlake' family of chipsets also have native support for the upcoming 45nm 'Penryn' process-shrink developments of the current 65nm Core2Duo family [likely available surprisingly soon - perhaps mid-Q3 2007], together with up-to-40lane PCIe support for those dolphin-unfriendly folks keen on playing games on their PCs using the current SLI/Crossfire silliness (ie those who are prepared to fund, power, cool, & quieten dual-vidcards drawing upwards of 300W)

  . . .  BUT . . . .

Quote from: Graham
The probable operating system will be SUSE 10.2 with VMWare running windows XP

 . . I am surprised more hasn't been said (http://www.digitimes.com/mobos/a20060818A7034.html) about the near-certainty that any onboard-graphics, 'Bearlake' family motherboard will have a seamless toe-to-top hardware-level implementation of the entire 'Content Protection' (http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html) mess that drives present-day MS [& alas probably Apple] OS development.

If you read [or re-read] the last link you'll see this is a real issue even for those sane folks not planning on funding poor Mr Gates' retirement fund through purchase of the ghasty 'Vista' thingie: the hassle lies in the hardware malarkey - essentially copy-locking - to be built in to the interfaces between source (video AND audio), computation, & display devices.

IMHO it is sensible for those evading Vista & all it entails to interrupt/ignore/leave holes in this sequence of hardware locks -  I certainly intend to avoid any vidcard with a 'working' ie DRM'd [HDMI or HDCP] interface; which means afaik sticking at the 7xxx series of NVIDIA vidcards.

 . .  so: like you I am seriously considering following Rob's lead & going C2D (& I have similar OS requirements & upgrade schedule to yours) . .

Quote from: Graham
. . Three essentials are; compatible with SUSE and XP, reliable and relatively quiet

. . a little while ago Rob & I chatted on the previous forum on similar topics: he ended up with a system centered around (I think) an E6600 C2D & the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H (http://www.foxconnchannel.com/Product/motherboard_detail.aspx?ID=en-us0000184) (review1) (http://www.lostcircuits.com/motherboard/foxconn_975x7ab/)(review2) (http://www.virtual-hideout.net/reviews/Foxconn_975X7AB/index.shtml) motherboard.

This last has just now been superceded by a Version 2 (http://www.foxconnchannel.com/Product/motherboard_detail.aspx?ID=en-us0000292) of the same thing: this supports all 65nm C2Ds, & has a rather better physical layout, while sharing the major technical advantages of Rob's Foxconn i975X board:

These are:

a) use of digital VRMs - markedly better reliability/stability compared to capacitor-based VRMs
b) excellent layout round the S775 for today's huge (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article251-page5.html) & quiet CPU coolers - please note the layout linked to, where the thing uses only the flow from 2x sloooow 120mm enclosure-extraction fans [or 1x of these plus the similar fan cooling, say, a Seasonic S12 Energy (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article656-page1.html) ultra-quiet PSU.
c) 2x decent-quality Gbit onboard NICs (Marvell 88E8056 & Realtek 8110SC) - this use of two different makes of Gbit NIC is a practical advantage when configuring Linux
d) an onboard JMicron IDE/SATA controller - this gives the mobo 2x PATA channels [there's only one available from the i975/i965 chipset] plus a jolly useful eSATA [external SATA] expansion port for tomorrow's affordable external storage.
e) 3x [physical] 16-lane PCIe slots - in fact these share the i975's available 18 or 19 PCIe lanes [the NICs will take at least one lane, probably two] in what is probably a 8+8+2 configuration - as you know, each PCIe lane gives 250MB/s to the attached card/device. These 3x 16-lane physical slots are nicely laid out for a quiet system.
f) very decent 7+1 onboard sound, 2x - one port, one header - onboard Firewire400 from a TI chip,
g) 8x USB2 [4 ports, 4 headers], 1x PATA, 4x SATA with firmware 'RAID' from the excellent ICH-7R (http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/03/the_southbridge_battle/page18.html) Southbridge [not alas the even better ICH8]

 . . . this list seems to meet or exceed your requirements:

Quote from: Graham
. . Likable options would be, but not essential (so long as I have enough ports to add them); decent onboard graphics with TV output, good to excellent onboard sound with an option to move the inputs to the front of the case, gigabit networking, Serial Raid and a decent amount of USB2 ports.....I don't ask much out of a motherboard do I  Smiley

 . .  except for the onboard graphics; but I personally use & recommend a NVIDIA-based Asus 'Reversecool' (http://uk.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=2&l2=6&l3=271&model=1174&modelmenu=1) (review) (http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?cid=3&id=1997) solution for those aiming for very quiet systems: the unique advantage of these vidcards with the GPU on the 'wrong' side is that the large passive heatsink neatly shares the area just below the CPU heatsink, where all the extractive flow is [in the ideal system] from nice quiet slooow Nexus 120mm casefans.

Rob also (just) managed to fit a large passive Northbridge cooler in place of the annoyingly whiny active cooler on the Foxconn i975 - I would strongly recommend doing this.

 . .  I hope he'll provide some firsthand feedback on/images of his system plus his thoughts on moving to a C2D.

From my point of view, the compelling reason is the sheer performance that can be easily extracted from a C2D for [say] video-encoding tasks: please have a look at this table (http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p=970400#post970400) of results using various encoders.

I know from experience that to get better-than-2x [realtime] encoding from Procoder2 at 'Mastering' quality is stunningly fast: I see around 1.3x [realtime] from a rather expensive workstation with 2x 2.6GHz S940 Opterons & 3GB of low-latency memory . . .  so I know from experience that at 3GHz (a fairly easy overclock for a 2.4GHz jobbie) a single C2D would be about 3x as fast as 2x Athlon MPs at 2.4Ghz.

Personally I probably won't be unbearably tempted to switch till an affordable C2D box is 2x as fast as my current dual Opteron box for my day-to-day tasks - this will take a while, probably until the C2D can be made to run at 4GHz or so.

Basic reasons for preferring the Intel i975 chipset to all others are that it uses very little power [so can be cooled passively], has an excellent Southbridge, & is both reliable & compatible with just about any OS.

The cooling issue is a big deal - my NFORCE4 Pro chipset draws [no shit] 40W+ & has to be actively cooled . .  you'll see ludicrously complex & noisy NB/SB cooling solutions on many NFORCE-chipset C2D motherboards. The theoretically desirable AMD/ATI 600 chipset is I think available on only one motherboard [from DFI] & would probably have driver-hassles in Linux.

Oh, one last thing: you'll need at least 2GB [I use Win 32bit's practical max of 3GB] of memory fitted if doing anything serious inside a Win32 vm (an encode using 2 instances of Procoder2 at Mastering quality uses about 1.2GB - yes, you can run DVDRebuilder inside a Win32 vm guest on a Linux host) - the current 'best buy' is probably the 2GB kit of OCZ's Rev2 version of their 'Platinum' series PC6400 DDR2.

Hope the above helps your planning  Wink
« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 06:22:41 PM by shoarthing » Logged
Graham
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 01:25:32 AM »

Hi S

Thanks for your input, sorry it has taken so long to reply but I actually read your post on the day that you posted it...and several times after  Cheesy.

I am pretty sure that I will be going for 3 of the Foxconn boards, they seem to offer more or less everything I wanted.  I would like Rob's input before I make a final decision.  I won't be going for the Bearlake boards because of the apparent hassles that I am likely to come across.  It's interesting to note that according to one of the articles you referred to no video card is HDTV ready despite their claims.........Too be honest with the quality of my eyesight I tend to think that HDTV will be a waste of time for me  Grin

Well I have finally found the time to get my Dad's MPX2 up and running with SuSe 10.2.  I can't believe the improvements since the last time I played with SuSe some 4 or 5 years ago.  Samba is a breeze to set up in Yast so long as you remember to use the console to add the usernames..comand = rcsmbpasswd -a username (where username is the name you want to add) which is something that I had forgot for a few hours and was beginning to think that Samba was still the pain it always was.  Setting up a printer was a complete surprise, I used to have trouble setting it up as a local printer and to be able to access it through the network used to be a nightmare....not anymore I had it set up locally within minutes and within 10 mins I had it accessible through the network.  Oh now I was getting excited but I still had to set the file permissions of the home directories so that, through a windows system, only certain people could read/write to a users documents folder.  I don't think this used to be possible but it is now simplicity itself.

The kitchen is coming along nicely though, due to work pressures, it is taking longer than I thought but I think the next project will be getting the computer room in good working order.....If it hadn't been for KVM switches being able to switch between 3 computers we would have had serious problems but it is not easy sharing at one KVM.

I tried to resolve this situation at the back end of last year by using a couple of laptops and an Asus WL-500G Premium wireless router with networked USB storage and print server but it is so slow that it just didn't work out on top of that the security of it is so poor that within an hour of setting it up I had to disconnect the WAN connection and connect it through another router.
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Rob
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2007, 10:08:50 PM »

Hello Guys,
Nice to see someone else buying some new shite too! Smiley  Regarding the Foxconn mobo, I am by far happier with this setup than any other setup I have ever used!!!!!!!  It is a freakin' workhorse and definitely the quietest comp I have used since the passive PII days!!! No Shit!!!  I wish we still had the old forum data [still hoping for an explanation on that] because everything S pointed me to, was the bomb diggity!!!!  From the Seasonic power supply to the biggest freakin' cpu cooler I have ever seen to it's little brother northbridge cooler.  And I can not say enough about not having all the capacitors to deal with around the cpu socket.  Couple of concerns.....If you are buying the thing to clock,  Do some more research.  If you are buying it to run at stock speed, look no farther.  The only other concern is to run the cpu cooler I run [can't remember the name] you must have a case that is a little wider than the norm!!  I got lucky by a quarter of an inch. 

Other notes:

I am using a passively cooled asus en7600GS [nvidia based] video card with no tv functions [except for video out].  It is a DX9 card and runs aero just fine [insert boos here].  As for TV, I Have an Old ATI all-in-Wonder installed in a hacked up Server2k3 box [domain controller].  With that I have a Hauppuage hardware encoder and it is all controlled by a program called BeyondTV from Snapstream.com.  I have been running it for years.  Along with Beyondtv [which is also a server program] I install a client to Beyondtv called beyondtv link on my Vista box [and other xp boxes].  I can then access Beyond tv [live tv] and all recoreded programs that reside on the 2k3 box from any other computer I have on the network.  It works just fine wirelessly [?] also. 

One more note.......This gigabit network kicks ass!!!!  I am soon going to get all other comps in my house wired so I can transfer files so much more quickly.

I have been looking for the pics I took of my comp, but can't seem to find them right now.....damn it.

ah ha .... they are here......   http://www.robbieday.com/photo_gallery/vista_pics_sm/
If you want better pics or more input G, let me know......

Rob
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shoarthing
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 11:38:30 PM »

Rob - Hi - can you really not 'clock the thing? . .  my impression from the reviews was that you could run this Foxconn at up to 350~ish MHz FSB; but not at the 400+ rates balls-out 'clockers look for. NeoSeeker (http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/foxconn_975x7ab/13.html) (review) appeared to get the thing up to 385MHz FSB OK - looks like the key is hard-setting (http://img.neoseeker.com/v_image.php?articleid=1974&image=39) memory rates/timings.

 . .  w/ an E6600, this looks like 3.1~ish GHz should be available at 350~ish FSB - your mobo has working vcore & VDIMM adjust, yes?

Unless you are certain that you cannot 'clock 'em I am getting one of these [version 2] mobos the moment they are available in Blighty; but will as ever be watercooling the thing, including the NB & digital VRMs.

 . .  oh, re: the above [the digital VRMs] I would *much* appreciate it if you could make some really accurate measurements of the size of the VRM heatsink on your mobo - preferably dimensioned in mm. I need to know the gross width, gross length, & where the two holes are.

 . .  I ask this because I have a more-or-less suitable mosfet waterblock tucked away which *should* be hackable to fit; but need to check the exact dimensions in case I need to fabricate or [wail from wallet] buy some custom widget.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 11:16:09 AM by shoarthing » Logged
Rob
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 07:49:13 PM »

Yo S,
Forgive me for questioning the overclocking of the Foxconn mobo and the C2D's.  I had the thing clocked to 3Ghz if I remember correctly, but I just don't have the heart or the time anymore to play with all the everything needed to keep a clocked box healthy.  stock is just fine for me, or if it clocks out of the box [like my old P4], otherwise, I don't want to play with it anymore......

RE:  VRM heatsink, er,   I don't remember seeing a vrm heatsink, but I will check it out.

Rob
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shoarthing
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2007, 11:34:20 PM »

It's the vertically finned black thing adjacent the printer port. I need to know (only  Grin) the gross width & length, so as to prepare a suitable waterblock to replace it.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2007, 12:27:53 PM by shoarthing » Logged
shoarthing
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 01:31:19 PM »

 . .  hokay [as in: second thoughts].

Had a looong trawl through the interweb to check out on Linux support for i975x C2D motherboards.

The main hassle is that many/most including the foxconn jobbies use a jmicron controller for 2nd PATA & some form of SATA - usually eSATA. This borks the install on many distros - specifically those with relatively old kernels or with kernels without the jmicron module: setting the ICH7-R & JMircon controllers to 'ACHI' in the BIOS *may* help.

OpenSUSE 10.2 is relatively OK, if often/usually requiring installation of a couple of kernel modules. Distros with a 2.6.20x Kernel *may* work outta the box.

Have checked out the Asus P5W DH Deluxe [expensive], since this is a very popular & pretty well-made mobo (it 'clocks like billy-o, (http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/asus_p5wdh/14.html)) & has at least two useful Linux resources 1 (http://www.hentges.net/misc/howtos/p5wdh/index.shtml) & 2 (http://gentoo-wiki.com/ASUS_P5WDH). . .  plus an interesting 'superquiet, superclocked' review at silentPCreview (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article672-page1.html).

Specification is similar to the Foxconns, tho' with less space around the socket775 & a greatly inferior layout [to the Version 2 Foxconn] of the PCI & PCIe slots.

NB cooling is fundamentally passive, with a heatpipe linking the NB sink to a VRM/mosfet cooler, which can be fitted with a fan supplied in the box.

"Needs" to be prepped (http://209.58.227.163/forums/showthread.php?t=106563) a bit for overclocking, tho' a thermal IR scan (http://209.58.227.163/forums/showpost.php?p=1613205&postcount=143) of a running board appears to show little real concern over temperatures bar, perhaps, the SouthBridge - apparently the above prepping reduces temps here mebbe 1.5C.

From a watercooling point of view, one could perhaps saw off the fins on the (alloy - copper-plated) NB, then sandwich the remaining (approx 8~10mm) flattened-off plate under a waterblock - this would simultaneously cool the NB & VRMs w/ a single waterblock, & save tubing/joints/hassle.

 . .  but I suspect the supplied blower fan may well be of OK quality & tolerably quiet at, say, 9v or so.

Hmmm . . . .





« Last Edit: April 10, 2007, 01:59:06 PM by shoarthing » Logged
Graham
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2007, 12:55:00 AM »

Hi S

From my experience with ASUS their quality control is poor and their customer service even worse therefore I would be very wary of spending large amounts of money on Asus equipment, though I am seriously looking at the ASUS EN7600GS Silencer vid card.

When running Windows from linux using VMware does windows require a NTFS or fat32 partition or will it run on a native Linux partition?  If it requires NTFS or Fat32 would I be able to write to the Linux partition using Samba (as I can from a winxp to Suse comp at the moment) and if I could would I have to assign one network card to Linux and one to Windows?

Hi Rob

Thanks for your input.  Have you tried running SUse 10.2 on your computer?

I have been thinking of going onto Gigabit networking for sometime but in the first instance it was just too expensive but like everthing else in the computer world......Those who wait get things a lot cheaper.  I think I will be getting the  ZyXEL GS-108A 8 Port Gigabit 10/100/1000 Switch (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=56836Cool and for those computers that don't have gigabit network cards I will be getting the DLink DGE-530T PCI 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=168296).  I currently have An Asus WL-500G premium wireless network router but it definetly does not do what it says on the tin so I am thinking of moving onto the NETGEAR RangeMax NEXT Wireless Router, 270 Mbps draft-802.11n (http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.asp?sku=320235&utm_source=komplett&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=wof)
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shoarthing
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 09:58:55 AM »

From my experience with ASUS their quality control is poor and their customer service even worse therefore I would be very wary of spending large amounts of money on Asus equipment, though I am seriously looking at the ASUS EN7600GS Silencer vid card.

 - sort-of agree about Asus support/quality nowadays [hence preference for Foxconn]; but their support for popular products is pretty good - the above mobo has had something like 20 BIOS revisions over its short life. It also uses v good quality/high-efficiency 8-phase power circuitry & has a good reputation for tolerating abuse. My preference for the Foxconn [v2] is almost entirely based on its much better arrangement of the PCIe slots - the Asus is a better board for overclocking.

When running Windows from linux using VMware does windows require a NTFS or fat32 partition or will it run on a native Linux partition?  If it requires NTFS or Fat32 would I be able to write to the Linux partition using Samba (as I can from a winxp to Suse comp at the moment) and if I could would I have to assign one network card to Linux and one to Windows?

 - not entirely simple to answer: by default vmware makes its own virtual HD [in the HDD you install the host OS to] in a form unavailable to the host OS, this is then formatted to whatever by the guest OS.

You can network the guest OS to the host [& any workstations it is networked to] via an internal network, using one or more virtual NICs & Samba.

The guest normally accesses the interweb through a bridged connection using the same NIC as the host OS, with a different address.

You can also - tho' this is non-trivial - install the guest OS to a 'raw' or 'physical' disk [ie not to the same partition(s) as the host is installed to). I/O performance of the guest is quite a bit higher if you do this.

The hassle here is permissions - vmware needs to have full read/write access not only to the partitions; but their full HDD(s). This can be done OK; but requires faffing about with ownership of disks & their partitions [usually in 'storage_persistent_rules'] & careful attention to which group is specified in fstab, having given such group ownership of the HDDs. 

Using ntfs-3g & FUSE, you *can* give both the host & vmware & its guest OS' full (safe) read/write access to any NTFS volumes you have attached to a Linux host, with the permissions provisos above.

I have done these things OK; but they are not well documented.

Tho' you can nowadays install a driver to Win32 giving [safe] read/write access to ext2/3 volumes, I have not as yet tried installing this into a guest OS on a Linux host to which it is [virtually] networked - but I have used it in a dual-boot system & works fine. You *must* make sure your formatting of the Linux install avoids LVMs [logical volumes] of any partition you want this driver to have access to - I make sure that /boot, /, & /home are forced as primary ext3 partitons.

 . .  on the bright side, you can copy 'n paste from guest to host & vice versa, can give a USB stick 'focus' & mount it in the guest, safely remove, then mount it in the host; can write CDs & DVDs from the guest, & so on.

At the moment, vmware-server 1.x [free] & workstation 5.5x [non-free] provide USB1 only - workstation 6.x [I have been beta-testing the thing] provides USB2.

Personally I keep life simple/safe & sandbox a Win guest OS, just giving it a bridged connection to the interweb, mainly using a USB stick for file transfers.

Lastly, you can have 32bit guests in 64bit host OS' - this is useful since of course only 64bit OS' can use more than 4GB of memory.



« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 10:16:34 AM by shoarthing » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 12:20:13 PM »

 . .  also changed my mind about ideal [for me] DDR2.

Timings are relatively unimportant for Intel CPUs, & synchronous operation an advantage - this makes OCZ's 'System Elite' PC6400 (http://www.sysopt.com/features/memory/article.php/12028_3655961_1) (review) desirable if intending/hoping to 'clock an 8x E6400 C2D to 3.2GHz ie to run it at 400MHz FSB. It is a big deal that this stuff runs at the JEDEC default 1.8~1.9VDIMM - will be very much less heat to deal with.

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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2007, 02:08:05 AM »

Hi S

I have found a supplier for the Asus P5W DH Deluxe, who happen to be one of my favourite suppliers, Scan.co.uk.  Something that worries me is the warning Scan are putting out at the bottom of their product overview...."Please note this Motherboard will NOT support Intel Core 2 Duo Conroe without a Bios update." now this will be a bugger if you don't have another CPU to do the BIOS Flash, assuming there is one!  Hmm I am getting even more convinced to give this motherboard a wide birth, though on the surface it looks a decent motherboard.  BTW the price at Scan at the moment is £126.30, which aint too bad, when you said expensive I thought we were looking at £200+

Now to the memory, I have come across a 2g set called OCUK, (named after the site I found it on) (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-010-OK&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=813) and is sourced from Elixer.  The cost of 2g of this stuff is just short of £80 which, if suitable, is a hell of a saving on most memory and when you multiply the savings by 3 (possibly 4), as is the case with me, it would pay for one of the CPUs.  I just need to get more info on the stuff to check that it is suitable.

Jeez, ( now come on lad, he won't help, he had a busy weekend last weekend),  I can't believe how much I missed this stuff and how much stuff has changed.  Since the Iwill MPX2 project and the death of my father (who's Iwill MPX2 computer has just been brought out of the attic and is now running an OS that the poor thing only dreamt of (SuSe Linux) and will eventually serve data all over the house, inc the TV's throughout the house and the audio systems) I have not had that much interest in computers, they have simply been a tool of my trade.  Suddenly I am buzzing, I have problems to solve and have ideas that I will see through....sadly this has, yet again, turned me into a vampire.

I remember the good old days when the forum we were attached to was vibrant and I came across some good friends.  We eventually had to leave for security reasons and we set up BI.  Eventually we got recognised by the search engines and things became vibrant again but sadly, due to security, we had to update the forum and things died off again.  We have recently changed servers but more importantly we have had a serious look at the various forums that are available.  Security was and always will be the number 1 priority but the second priority was the peoples awareness of the forum.  Considering that this forum was only started at the end of Feb I think we are doing a pretty good job of attracting new people.  S, do you remember attracting a newbie called RobbieD, I do........Should I say anything else about him?..........Oh to hell with it, I will......What a complete newbie he was (I could have said pain in the ass but I won't because I think he was more stubborn than that and as a consequence he learnt).  I now find myself asking his advice and value the answers he gives me.  BTW those who are new to the forum will get to know Robbie as a valued administrator.

Sorry I digress, anyone wishing to respond to the last paragraph please start a new topic quoting the last paragraph.  Let's keep this topic to the best Intel core 2 duo motherboard question.


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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2007, 08:48:41 AM »

Hi - the P5WDH-Deluxe has been shipping with a Conroe/C2D BIOS for some months now. Current webpage shows (http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=248&model=1198&modelmenu=2) it may need to be flashed to give Kentsfield/quad-core support.

Even if you managed to find some very old stock (not, obv, at scan; & anyway this wildly popular mobo was on continuous backorder for the first 4 months on sale) all you needed was to borrow a s775 PIV to flash the thing.

 . .  but the Foxconn has a nicer layout, provides extra [molex] power to the PCIe slots, & so on . .  but there is the snag that Version1 simply doesn't seem to be able to run at 400MHz . . . . or if so, (recent review with latest BIOS) (http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1043&pageID=3041), shows odd behaviour at POST - behaviour noted in other reviews at lower 'clocks with earlier firmware.

 . .  but then again, the Asus family of P5W i975x boards - there are tons of 'em, including ones w/ PCI-X slots & PCIe port-multipliers to give 4x 16x (physical) slots - are very well proven, share the same high~end 8-phase power arrangements, share a very well thought-out [esp for watercooling] arrangement - called "Stack Cool 2" - of a large heat-sharing metal layer under the mobo around the CPU socket, & so on . . .

It's not an easy decision; but it is so desirable to run the main memory syncronous to the CPU, ideally at 400MHz or more, that overall the P5W family looks the real deal to me, even (mebbe especially) because it must be very near end-of-life . .  as you noticed, the price of the P5WDH has now fallen by about one third from the £200 region it was at.

Above all, for those using - rather than endlessly faffing about with - Linux, you want your platform to be tested, proven, & in common use.

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shoarthing
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2007, 10:07:46 AM »

 . .  the 1.8v JEDEC-compliant Elixir PC6400 CAS5 stuff (part# M2Y1G64TU8HB0B/25C) you mentioned looks quite interesting: Microdirect do it for £34 (inc VAT) (http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(16578)ELIXIR-1024MB-DDR2-800-PC6400-memory-M2Y1G64TU8HB0.aspx) per GB - & the specification (*.pdf) is here (http://www.elixir-memory.com/products/file/Elixir-UDIMM-512Mb-Bdie-1.0-08162006.pdf).

Timings are OK [less important with C2Ds anyway] - the real deal is to calculate beforehand what FSB you reckon/hope you can run your CPU at stably, then try to match this to the coolest-running memory possible at 1:1 [ie at the same bus speed]  . .  a decent gamble, this, with an 8x/2.13GHz C2D & a mobo happy at 400MHz FSB.

I doubt it'll have much headroom for 'clocking, unless carefully cooled . . . . very tempting to install 4GB for only £140~ish.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 10:20:38 AM by shoarthing » Logged
Graham
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2007, 11:09:16 AM »

Hi S

Obviosly Scan added the comment in the early days and forgot to remove it.  I am slowly warming to the Asus P5WDH Deluxe.

To be honest I doubt that I will be overclocking the boards and if I do it won't be by much.  I found that the Iwill MPX2 was slightly more stable if it was overclocked slightly which may be the case for the new board.

I must say that I am tempted with the 1.8v JEDEC-compliant Elixir PC6400 memory, purely because of the price.
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