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-   -   Core 2 Motherboard Complete List - With Hardware Recommendations for a HD HTPC (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-home-theater-computers/710828-core-2-motherboard-complete-list-hardware-recommendations-hd-htpc.html)

renethx 08-14-2006 08:53 AM

The post comprises three parts:
  • Part I. Hardware Recommendations for Building a High-Definition HTPC
  • Part II. Core 2 Motherboards  A Complete List of
  • Part III. AM2 Motherboards  A Complete List of (under construction)
Part I includes recommendations of CPU, memory, motherboard, video card, HDD, PSU and case. This part should be helpful to select right components quickly when building a HD HTPC. The rests are specialized in chips, chipsets and motherboards. Part II and Part III are based on the database (Excel worksheets) Perhaps it is much quicker to look at the worksheet itself if you are looking for a motherboard of particular features.

I also included several appendices for reference:
  • Appendix I. AMD Processor Ordering Part Number Description
  • Appendix II. Naming Rules of Motherboards
  • Appendix III. Calculating Memory Frequency when Overclocking
  • Appendix IV. List of Bandwidth
  • Appendix V. GeForce 8600 / 8500 Video Card List

Part I. Hardware Recommendations for Building a High-Definition HTPC

I wrote this part to help users to select a right motherboard quickly. Recommendations are restricted to Core 2 compatible Socket 775 motherboards and Socket AM2 motherboards.

Like most of you I have no hand-on experience with most of motherboards. Hence recommendations here are based on reviews by professionals and other users experience. I also included several others at my discretion. You can see the original sources in the reference part and the reviews section of each motherboard.

I also included recommendations of several other components for your convenience.

Needless to say, there is no guarantee that a recommended motherboard or component works right for you. Please take recommendations just for reference.

Prices cited here are based on the search at Newegg.com, PriceGrabber.com and Google Product Search.

Last Update: May 27, 2007

Table of Contents
  1. Hardware Leaderboard
  2. CPU and CPU Cooler
  3. Memory
  4. Motherboard  Intel Platform
  5. Motherboard  AMD Platform
  6. Video Card
  7. Sound Card
  8. HDD
  9. PSU
  10. Case
  11. References
1. Hardware Leaderboard

The purpose of this section is give a quick view of one of the best HTPC systems on various categories. Sound card is not included assuming you use the onboard S/PDIF. These are just core systems and you need to add a case, optical drive, keyboard/mouse, etc.

The price is the lowest one among those from reputable US resellers I could find using Google Product Search. Shipping is excluded ($0 to $10 per item).
  • Low-End System

    The following system has enough power to play back every kind of HD contents smoothly without overclocking. The processor can be overclocked very well if necessary.

    • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ ADO3600DDBOX 1.9GHz Socket AM2. $69
    • Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3 GeForce 6100/nForce 430 ATX. $73
    • Video Card: GIGABYTE GeForce 8500 GT GV-NX85T256H. $98
    • Memory: Corsair Value Select PC2-5300 2GB VS2GBKIT667D2. $65
    • Hard Drive: Samsung SpinPoint P120 250GB SATA SP2504C. $63
    • Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA 380. $41
    • Coaxial S/PDIF Bracket. $7 (DIY; Please read the section "About S/PDIF")
    • Total Cost: $416

  • Midrange System

    The following system has enough power to play back every kind of HD contents smoothly without overclocking. Once the processor is overclocked, the system will perform at the same level as a much more expensive system and will be an all-purpose machine. The motherboard is one of the best in this class (FSB 1333MHz, SLI, 3 PCI slots, RAID, two native IDE controllers, Gb LAN, ALC888, IEEE 1394, good overclocking).

    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8GHz Socket 775. $113
    • Motherboard: MSI P6N SLI-FI nForce 650i SLI. $108
    • Video Card: PNY Verto 8600 GT 256MB PCIe VCG8600GXPB. $150
    • Memory: A-DATA Vitesta DDR2-800 2GB Kit ADQVE1A16K. $81
    • Hard Drive: Samsung SpinPoint P120 250GB SATA SP2504C. $63
    • Power Supply: Antec NeoHE 430. $67
    • Total Cost: $582

  • High-End System

    The processor is powerful and overclocks very well. The motherboard comes with dual PCIe x16 graphics, dual Gb LAN, wireless LAN and supports DTS Connect.

    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Socket 775. $224
    • Motherboard: ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP Intel P965 Express. $193.
    • Video Card: eVGA GeForce 8600GTS Superclocked 256MB 256-P2-N765-AR. $200
    • Memory: G.SKILL DDR2-800 F2-6400PHU2-2GBHZ (1GB x 2). $115
    • Hard Drive: Samsung SpinPoint T166 500GB HD501LJ. $115
    • Power Supply: Corsair HX520W. $105
    • Total Cost: $952

    I am a bit hesitant to recommend a microATX system with IGP because none of the current IGPs is powerful enough for playing back high-bitrate H.264 Blu-ray Disc movies even with an expensive CPU. If you want a microATX board, you may choose a cheaper motherboard (e.g. BIOSTAR TF7025-M2, $70 or Foxconn G9657MA-8KS2H, $85) and add a GeForce 8500 GT card. But then the microATX is not a money saving solution any longer.

  • MicroATX System  AMD

    • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ ADO3600DDBOX 1.9GHz Socket AM2. $69
    • Motherboard: BIOSTAR TF7050-M2 GeForce 7050/nForce 630a mATX. $90
    • Memory: Corsair Value Select PC2-5300 2GB VS2GBKIT667D2. $65
    • Hard Drive: Samsung SpinPoint P120 250GB SATA SP2504C. $63
    • Case & Power Supply: Antec NSK2400 (Antec SU-380 PSU included). $86
    • Coaxial S/PDIF Bracket. $7 (DIY; Please read the section "About S/PDIF")
    • Total Cost: $380

  • MicroATX System  Intel

    • Processor: Intel Pentium E2160 1.8GHz Socket 775. $84
    • Motherboard: abit F-I90HD Radeon Xpress 1250 mATX. $115
    • Memory: Corsair Value Select PC2-5300 2GB VS2GBKIT667D2. $65
    • Hard Drive: Samsung SpinPoint P120 250GB SATA SP2504C. $63
    • Case & Power Supply: Antec NSK2400 (Antec SU-380 PSU included). $86
    • Total Cost: $413

  • Home Media Server (2TB Storage Space with RAID 5)

    The new ICH9R supports up to 6 drives in the RAID array (vs. only 4 drives with ICH8R). Since the case has only 5 internal 3.5" drive bays, you need one 3.5" to 5.25" mounting bracket.

    • Processor: Intel Pentium E2160 1.8GHz Socket 775. $84
    • Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-G33M-DS2R Intel G33 Express + ICH9R microATX. $135 (?).
    • Memory: Corsair Value Select PC2-5300 2GB VS2GBKIT667D2. $65
    • Hard Drive (OS): Samsung SpinPoint P120 250GB SATA SP2504C. $63
    • Hard Drive (RAID 5): Samsung SpinPoint T166 500GB HD501LJ. $115 x 5 = $575
    • Case & Power Supply: Antec NSK6500 (Antec SU-430 PSU included). $100
    • 3.5" to 5.1/4" drive bay mounting bracket for 3.5" hard drive: Addonics AAHDMK53: $6
    • Total Cost: $1028

2. CPU and CPU Cooler

The most demanding task for a high-definition HTPC is playing (i.e. decoding) H.264 encoded movies. H.264 contents playback experience depends on:
  • CPU processing power
  • GPU assist on the decode process
  • Playback software and the video card driver
So necessary CPU processing power and hence your CPU choice heavily depend on the video card you use.
3. Memory

There are three major memory specifications for the desktop PC: DDR-SDRAM (JESD79, June 2000), DDR2-SDRAM (JESD79-2, 2003), DDR3-SDRAM (JESD79-3?, to be released in mid-2007). All three adopt the DDR (double date rate) technology that enables two data transfers per clock cycle. Thus the memory (bus) clock can be expressed in two units
  • MHz (mega hertz)
  • MT/s (mega transfer per second)
with the simple conversion formula: MT/s = 2 x MHz. For example, DDR2-800 is 800 MT/s in effective frequency and 400 MHz in actual frequency.

The primary difference between DDR and DDR2 is that DDR2-SDRAM runs its I/O (input/output) bus at twice the speed of the memory cells thus enabling higher peak throughputs and runs at a lower operating voltage 1.8V compared to DDR's 2.5V due to an improved manufacturing process. Further DDR3-SDRAM runs its bus at four times the memory cell clock and runs at 1.5V thus consuming lower power. For exampel, memory clock / I/O bus clock / data transfer rates is
  • DDR-400: 200 MHz / 200 MHz / 400 MTps
  • DDR2-800: 200 MHz / 400 MHz / 800 MTps
  • DDR3-1600: 200 MHz / 800 MHz / 1600 MTps
As for actual performance, there is not much clock for clock difference between DDR and DDR2, and between DDR2 and DDR3 under the currently avaiable memory controller P35. If you are interested, please read for example Anandtech and iXBT's recent articles in references.

The majority of the current desktop motherboads support only DDR2-SDRAM, so you will buy DDR2-SDRAM modules. Intel's new Bearlake chipset supports both DDR2-SDRAM and DDR3-SDRAM and a few upcoming motherboards with this chipset support DDR3-SDRAM. However DDR3-SDRAM chips are still too expensive and they won't be the mainstream standard until 2009 according to HKEPC Hardware.

When choosing DDR2-SDARM memory modules, you need to consider three factors:
  1. Speed (DDR2-553, DDR2-667 or DDR2-800)

    In Core 2 Duo systems, memory is connected to the CPU via the front side bus (and the memory bus) whose maximal theoretical bandwidth is

    1066MT/s x 64bit/8bit = 8.533GB/s.

    (Pentium 4 and Core 2's FSB is 64-bit wide.) That only equals the bandwidth of dual-channel DDR2-533 or PC2-4200:

    533MT/s x 64bit/8bit x 2 (dual channel) = 8.533GB/s.

    (DIMMs have a 64-bit data path.) Therefore there is no big performance growth if you use memory faster than DDR2-533. This is confirmed by various benchmark tests in the AnandTech and X-bit labs articles. The story for Athlon 64 systems is slightly different. Because of the superior on-processor memory controller, AM2 has a wider memory bandwidth and its performance depends more on memory speed than Core 2 Duo. But playing movies is insensitive to memory subsystem and there won't be much performance difference even if the memory speed changes.

    However if you overclock your system, then your memory will run faster as the memory frequency is proportional to FSB (in the Intel platform) and you will need faster memory modules. Please read Appendix III. Calculating Memory Frequency when Overclocking to see what memory frequency is necessary when overclocking the system. In general DDR2-800 modules are recommended for mild overclocking.

  2. Size (1GB or 2GB)

    You won't see any system performance difference between 1GB and 2GB. If budget permits, choose 2GB. Otherwise 1GB is enough. You can add another 1GB later if necessary. You should buy two sticks of 512MB modules for 1GB or two sticks of 1GB modules for 2GB to enable the dual channel mode.

  3. Compatibility with the motherboard

    You should check the hardware compatibility list of each motherboard or ask the memory manufacturer about compatibility before shopping memory modules.

There are plenty of good memory kits. I picked up only a few DDR2-800 memory kits. High-performance memory kits (targeted for overclockers) usually require higher voltage than the JEDEC specification (1.8V) and hence are compatible with a smaller number of motherboards. So I avoided this type of memory (that means there is no high-end recommendation). The source of "Compatibility" is Newegg.com customer reviews. A-DATA and G.SKILL kits are available only at Newegg.com in US.
4. Motherboard  Intel Platform

The best chipset for Core 2 Duo is Intel P965/G965. So my first picks are from motherboards based on them. The NVIDIA nForce 600i Series chipsets are also very nice, but its main target is enthusiast SLI gamers. If you are going to use your HTPC also as a gaming machine, that could be your choice. The position of Intel 975X is subtle. It was released seven months earlier than 965, but it is still the only "performance" chipset for Core 2 Duo (P965/G965 is a "mainstream" chipset). As a consequence motherboard manufacturers tend to add rich features to 975X motherboards, that could be a plus for some. (High-end P965 motherboards also come with lots of features, however.) Intel 945P/945G motherboards fall in the low-end sector. Performance-wise, there isn't so big difference between 945 and 965.
5. Motherboard  AMD Platform

There are many chipsets for the AMD platform. Among them NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra (discrete graphics) and AMD 690G (integrated graphics), which supports HDMI/HDCP, are best suited for a HTPC. There are AMD CrossFire chipsets (480X/580X) and nForce SLI chipsets (570/590 SLI), but these are intended for gamers. Nevertheless I selected SLI/CrossFire boards instead of Ultra boards because these boards often come with better features. As for AMD chipsets, the southbridge (SB600) is still weaker than NVIDIA. Performance-wise, there is no difference between high-end boards and budget boards. High-end boards just offer better features.
6. Video Card

The most important criteria for choosing a video card for HTPC are:
  • Hardware assist for decoding HD contents (of all three formats MPEG-2, H.264, and VC-1)
  • HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support
  • Picture quality
How about HDMI? HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is an high-definition digital audio/video interface that is replacing analog audio/video and older digital standards such as DVI and has become the de facto standard interface in the consumer electronics market. HDMI 1.0/1.1/1.2 provides 4.9 Gb/s bandwidth and the current HDMI 1.3 provides 10.2 Gb/s that has enough headroom for 1080p at 60Hz and 8 channel/24 bits/192 kHz LPCM audio (e.g. sounds decoded from the new digital audio codecs Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) as the following simple calculation shows:
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels x 60 Hz / 0.95 (5% overhead) = 131 MHz (megapixel/s), 131 MHz x 24 bits = 3.14 Gb/s
  • 24 bits x 192 kHz x 8 channel = 36.9 Mb/s
HDMI video is compatible with the existing digital standard DVI and in fact one form can be converted to the other via a simple adapter. So there is nothing new. In contrast HDMI audio completely takes over the aged digital standard S/PDIF which supports only stereo PCM and 5.1 Dolby Digital/DTS with the maximum bandwidth around 12 Mb/s.

Unfortunately HDMI audio has not been realized yet in the PC world and we are still confined to S/PDIF. As a matter of facts, every HDMI video card simply passes S/PDIF signals from a sound card or onboard audio codec over the HDMI connector. Thus there is no real advantage of the current HDMI solution over the existing DVI + S/PDIF solution. Recent IGPs (ATI Radeon Xpress 1250 for Intel and AMD 690G) are no exception. Right now the only way to take the full-rate lossless multichannel sounds from the PC is use analog outputs.

The upcoming ATI HD 2000 series GPU has a built-in audio controller that makes it possbile to grab audio outputs directly through the PCI Express bus, but the audio quality is still at the level of S/PDIF.

Video card recommendations from these points of view are the following.
7. Sound Card

This section is still under construction.
8. HDD
Factors to consider when selecting a HDD, besides capacity, are performance, noise and heat dissipation, reliability and warranty period. I picked some of recent models in each drive capacity, in particular from the viewpoint of low noise and low heat dissipation. Currently a 250GB or 320GB drive is the sweet spot and good for the single drive setup (possibly with a partition for OS and the other partition for data). A 160GB drive is good for storing OS, along with separate large drives for storing data.
9. PSU

There are several important factors to consider when selecting a power supply unit: total power output, +12V line output (combined), quality and efficiency, quietness.

Total power output

First you should calculate the total power consumption of your system by using, for example, eXtreme PSU Calculator. A typical maximum power consumption of each component is:
  • CPU: 65W (TDP, thermal design power, of Athlon 64 X2 Brisbane core or Core 2 Duo)
  • DDR2 DIMM: 5W
  • Motherboard: 40W
  • GeForce 7600 GT: 36W (peak 3D), 23W (peak 2D), 15W (idle)
  • GeForce 8600 GTS: 47W (peak 3D), 31W (peak 2D), 21W (idle)
  • GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB: 103W (peak 3D), 69W (peak 2D), 56W (idle)
  • DVD drive: 30W
  • SATA drive: 12W
  • PCI TV tuner card: 30W (ATI Theater 550 Pro)
  • PCI TV tuner card: 44W (NVIDIA DualTV MCE)
  • PCI sound card: 10W
  • 80mm fan: 2W
For example, if the system consists of 1 x GeForce 8600 GTS card, 2 x DDR2 SDRAM, 1 x DVD drive, 2 x SATA drive, 1 x PCI TV tuner card and 2 x fan, the maximum power consumption is ~245W. This number is obtained simply by adding the maximum power rating for each components. However it is almost impossible for any application to draw, say, 80% of the maximum power from each component simultaneously. Therefore a typical power consumption of such a system when playing back movies are 100W~200W and a 430W PSU is enough if the PSU is rated honestly.

Total power output of an overclocked system

When you overclock the CPU, its power consumption is calculated by the following forumula:
  • Power Consumption = Cdynamic x V^2 x Frequency
where Cdynamic is a constant dynamic capacity that is determined by the CPU microarchitecture and depends on the number of transistors and their activity during CPU operation (source: Intel Developer Forum; cf. X-bit labs  Getting Ready to Meet Intel Core 2 Duo), V is the applied voltage, and Frequency is the operating frequency of the CPU. The factor V^2 is just Ohm's law. The factor "Frequency" is due to the so-called switching loss  the amount of heat emitted from a transistor when it goes from one state to the other (at the order of 10^(-16) joule). Each transistor in the CPU would emit 1 x 10^9 times that amount of heat per second if the CPU frequency were 1GHz and 2 x 10^9 times that amount if the CPU frequency were 2GHz. Thus the total amount of heat is proportional to the frequency.

For example, if you overclock Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4GHz, 1.25V, 65W) to 3.2GHz with vcore 1.45V, then the power consumption is calculated as follows:

65W x (1.45/1.25)^2 x (3.2/2.4) = 117W

Quietness and efficiency

Quietness is one of the essential factors in selecting PSU for a HTPC and higher efficiency is the key to cooler, quieter PSU operation. There are many "quiet" PSU's, but only a few of them are truly quiet. In the following recommendations, I cited efficiency and noise levels measured by Silent PC Review. Please read the SPCR articles in the reference section for their meanings.
10. Case

There are several factors in selecting a HTPC case: form factor, ventilation, noise control, functionality and appearance. But it is not easy to recommend a HTPC case based on these criteria partly because there are not enough review articles on each case and partly because everybody has his or her own requirements of functions and appearance. So I just list several HTPC cases by well-known manufacturers for your reference. I did not include tower cases except Thermaltake Mozart TX (simply because there are too many ones), cases currently not available in US, and slim cases that do not accept standard-height PCIe/PCI cards or an ATX PSU.

Personally I would choose Origen AE X11 V2, SilverStone Lascala LC20M, Grandia GD01MX, or Crown CW01 from the midrange, and SilverStone Lascala LC17 or Lian-Li PC-C30 from the low-end sector.
JuMz 08-14-2006 01:51 PM

You forgot my board!

Aopen i945Gtm-VHL

Mobile Core 2 Duo for Socket M (They just updated the bios to support the Core 2 Duo, I have running it with a Core Duo)

stylinlp 08-14-2006 04:42 PM

What does FFA stand for and mean? I think from looking over your list your talking about putting together an HTPC that has a builtin video card. Why would someone want to do that is beyond me. Unless (leap of intuition) thats the only way a HTPC will be able to play back HDDVD BlueRay movies?

renethx 08-14-2006 05:21 PM


I added the Aopen board. Thanks for the remark.


I don't know what FFA is. (SFF means "small form factor".) I don't care about integrated graphics, but it happens that every Conroe & Merom microATX motherboard comes with it.

flud 08-14-2006 07:38 PM

Per Anandtech, the ASRock 775i865G (Intel 865G) Rev. 2.0 supports Conroe processors and the dual channel DDR performance isn't bad. This board is a great option for folks who want to continue using DDR and AGP cards.

Anandtech link

JuMz 08-15-2006 09:20 AM

Perhaps you should mention that the board I stated above uses SO-DIMM DDR2...

renethx 08-15-2006 06:05 PM

flud, JuMz,

Thanks for the suggestion. I added it.

BTW the correct model number of 775i865G is 775i65G.

renethx 08-28-2006 06:33 PM

The original post was a list of microATX motherboards supporting Core 2 Duo chips, titled "Core 2 Duo (Conroe & Merom) MicroATX Motherboards - A List of". I added ATX motherboards to the list and wrote a short guide to chipsets too. I hope this helps you to choose a right motherboard.

Raviolissimo 08-31-2006 06:56 PM

Great List !

does anybody here have experience with the
Intel 965 micro-ATX motherboard ?

Newegg has it for about $120. my first post so it won't let
me put the URL.

thanks !

renethx 08-31-2006 07:27 PM

Welcome to AVS Forum and thanks for the information. You mean Intel DG965SS Shrewsbury, right? I added the link to NewEgg. GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 (ATX) is also in stock.

renethx 09-03-2006 07:22 PM

I attached the file Core_2_MB.pdf (a spreadsheet of motherboard specifications) to the first post.

Valnar 09-04-2006 06:39 AM

Quick question. So if I want to build a Core2Duo PC, is there any reason to choose the 975x chipset over the 965?


smoothtlk 09-04-2006 07:04 AM

renethx, would you mind posting the actual spreadsheet? Would like to sort and add my own notes to help shopping.
thanx many for putting this together!

jimwhite 09-04-2006 09:06 AM

the consensus is that the 965 will yield higher performance through more versatile overclocking...

renethx 09-04-2006 11:41 AM


IMO there is no reason to choose 975X over P965 unless you need ATI CrossFire support. Technologically speaking P965 + ICH8R is better than 975X + ICH7R. However 975X was aimed at enthusiasts and gamers and 975X motherboards come with bells and whistles and full overclocking options at higher prices. So they may appeal to some.

hotwater9 09-05-2006 09:00 PM

Thanks for the wealth of concise information!

The Aopen i945GTm-VHL does not show up on newegg anymore. Any idea why?

chavel 09-05-2006 11:04 PM

I'm thinking about building a system based on the P5B deluxe. I found this thread on a digital photography website http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=19561642 that looked to have some people who knew their way around this board.

maxleung 09-06-2006 01:25 PM

It IS possible to run SLI (not Crossfire) on the 965 chipsets - but it requires hacked NVIDIA drivers. One card will run at 8x and the other 4x on the PCIe slots, I think, but as long as you use the SLI bridge the performance is just as good as having 8x lanes on each slot.

I've seen benchmarks and photos of people running quad SLI (two 7950GX2) on 965 motherboards.

So, SLI can still be an option - unofficially! If you want to use the 2nd videocard without SLI it will run on 4 lanes unfortunately - and I doubt that is fast enough for HD playback.

I think the Asus P5B Deluxe is the best 965 board out there right now - with the Gigabyte DS3 a close second. The nice thing about the Asus P5B Deluxe is that it supports DTS Connect and DD Live (unofficially).

maxleung 09-06-2006 01:31 PM

chavel, that is a very good thread by the way. steve_ has done a really good job explaining the OC process, in relation to the Core 2 Duos. Excellent!

chavel 09-08-2006 09:40 PM

I'm just a couple of minutes away from buying Steve's system from dpreview.com, except that I'm not going to follow his advice and save a hundred bucks by going with the E6400. I decided that with the cost of the system appoaching a grand that I might as well try the E6600 2.4 CPU instead. This is going to be my first attempt at overclocking and I think that I will try and land in the sweet spot of 3.2 GHz (8X @ 400 GHz) for starters. Here is what I'm putting together:

E6600 CPU
P5B.dlx Asus MB
CORSAIR XMS2 5400C4 2GB memory
Scythe INFINITY CPU Cooler
ASUS EN7600GS video
Antec P150 w/Neo 430 HE PS

Wish me luck.

renethx 09-09-2006 08:59 AM

Originally Posted by hotwater9 View Post

The Aopen i945GTm-VHL does not show up on newegg anymore. Any idea why?

I don't know why it is out of stock and was removed from the Newegg.com site. The board is still available in many retailers. Check PriceGrabber.com.

FOXCONN 975X7AB-8EKRS2H (that features Digital PWM) was also removed from Newegg.com. It is available at a few retailers: PriceGrabber.com.

renethx 09-09-2006 09:02 AM

I added information of a few BIOS overclocking options of each motherboard and updated the spreadsheet accordingly.

Right now ASUS P5B Deluxe has the performance crown (according to this AnandTech article), then ABIT AW9D-MAX (read this AnandTech article), ASUS P5W DH Deluxe, GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3, DS3, DS4, DQ6 follow.

Besides Steve_'s posts, a few of overclocking guides are
include lots of useful information on overclocking (although they are mostly aimed at hardcore overclockers).
is another interesting post.

renethx 09-09-2006 10:19 AM

ASUS P5B-VM (G965, mATX) is available at ZipZoomfly.com and Intel DG965WH (G965, ATX, Intel Media Series Desktop Boards) is availabe at Newegg.com and ZipZoomfly.com.

AnandTech informed that they would have a microATX board roundup geared towards SFF and HTPC usage with Core 2 Duo and AM2 at the end of the month.

despat 09-10-2006 11:34 AM

I've upgraded my Dell XPS M1710 from T2400 to T7600 (merom). I would like to put the T2400 (yonah) in a good desktop board that supports SLI and/or Crossfire and also support 4G DDR2 Ram. Is Aopen i975Xa-YDG (though only supports 2G RAM) the only board supporting mobile chips or do I have any other choices?

renethx 09-10-2006 05:06 PM

Aopen i975Xa-YDG is the only mobile chip board that supports SLI and/or Crossfire.

chavel 09-10-2006 09:23 PM

Besides Steve_'s posts, a few of overclocking guides are
include lots of useful information on overclocking (although they are mostly aimed at hardcore overclockers).[/quote]
____________________________________________________________ ____
Thanks for the helpful links especially the Core2Duo OC Guide. Speaking of hardcore overclockers, did I go overboard by ordering the Scythe Infinity HSF for a "mild" 3-3.2 GHz OC with the E6600 on the P5B-dlx? I'm a little intimidated by the size of the thing and I'm scared that it might tear my nice new P5B-dlx in two.

renethx 09-11-2006 02:27 AM

Scythe Infinity ... 125 x 116 x 160mm, 960g ... Well, I feel this is a bit huge after seeing these pictures. IMO, a modest cooler such as Thermalright XP-90(C) is enough as 3.0-3.2GHz can be achieved with default voltage or with only slight increases in voltage. (Actually XP-90C removes heat very effectively.) Discretion is required when reading hardcore OC sites.

jrpavel 09-11-2006 03:56 PM

The other thing that it would be useful to add to this list of specs is the built-in sound capability, particularly as some codecs have better Vista support (Realtek) than others (SoundMax).

renethx 09-11-2006 05:42 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. Actually I included all the audio codec names other than Realtek because I thought they might cause problems when installing OS other than Windows 2000/XP. These codecs are from Analog Devices Inc. (its audio section is called SoundMax; AD1988A etc.; in many ASUS boards), SigmaTel (STAC9221D etc., in all the Intel boards) and C-Media (in an ASRock board). You can see a complete list of audio codecs in the attached spreadsheet. Maybe I will add all the codec names to the first post for the convenience of viewers. Anyway thanks for your opinion.


The same is true for LAN controller. I only mentioned Attansic LAN controllers in the first post (again in ASUS boards!; I have never heard of this company). The other controllers are from Intel, Marvell, Realtek and VIA and I thought they should be OK with Linux or Vista, but I am not sure. Please tell me if I am wrong.

As for Vista, a driver for every controller will be released once Vista is officially released.

jkaiser 09-11-2006 06:43 PM

I see Tomshardware has a pre-release review on the Core 2 Quadro supposedly to be released next month.


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