Frankly, I think that the nVidia chipsets are just fine, as long as you provide adequate cooling and use good drivers. I've been using the drivers and BIOS updates that came with the motherboard, and I'm not sure if I really want to upgrade.
The point of it is, the P35 performs a little bit above the nVidia chipsets; however, I love my Platinum. The only reason that most people go with nVidia is because of SLI, but that has so many problems within itself. Drivers are still iffy, and many people have problems with it.
Basically if you take the time to really learn about SLI and play around with it, you may be able to get it to work great.
Omen has been talking about the difference between SLIing two cards and just running one good card. In a lot of games, there is no difference, but for some of the newer games, there is. Most people just think that SLI is this great god-sent technology that will do wonders with every game they have - that's not the case.
In my personal opinion, if you really want to SLI and get it working right, then you should really go with a nVidia chipset, even if you aren't really planning on SLI, they still are pretty damn good. Unless you really want to go back to page one, I think that the Platinum will serve you well.
Shintsu;4127880Erm, so are you suggesting a non-Nvidia chipset motherboard?
To answer that I would have to know more about your past experiences and preferences. You say you don't want to OC so that may mean you aren't the type that likes timkering and/or risking premature failure and instability. Don't kid yourself, SLI is something you will have to fiddle with a bit. It's by no means a set it and forget it option. It will no doubt give you the performance you want on some games WITH the added expense of another card. However whether it will do so on enough games to be better than one card priced equally to those two on an Intel chipset is a guessing game. Epic stated that I refer to Intel vs Nvidia chipsets in terms of one high end card vs two lesser cards. True, but that's me. What it really boils down to is what you end up paying for the two cards YOU use, vs that same amount spent as best you can on one. As I've said before much of this has to do with timing. If it weren't for some pretty high tech games being released recently, namely Crysis, and waiting to see when the 9800GTX will be released, it would be a lot easier to make such decisions. It really comes down to how tolerant you are to inconsistencies in performance and often times willingness to wait for proper support when it comes to SLI. With an Intel chipset you know what you're getting. There's no muss or fuss, it will run cool and stable and reliable and because of it OC better. When it comes to OCing the numbers mean nothing if the stability isn't there. I know, you said you don't really want to OC, but were you to change your mind about that down the road it's nice to know. Bottom line I can't make the decision for you and I really don't want to influence you too much because you need to get what suits you best. I can only tell you what I would do and that's go P35, possibly with DDR2 and 3 support. That being said I am not building now as you are and I would prefer to use a 9800GTX as I said. There's always EVGA's trade up program where you could get something like a 8800GT then trade up to a 9000 series card in Feb. The problem with that is you're banking on the 9000s coming out before that 90 day trade up period ends and latest word is they're only talkking about mid-range 9000s, which may or may not be significantly better than the 8800GT. In fact from what I've read it's looking like the high end 9000s won't release until at least June. If your curiosity is giving you anxiety pangs you may want to just go with the P6N Platinum, get an affordable 512MB 8800GT, then another later like you said when the price drops, to see for yourself what SLI can do and whether it's right for you. You'll probably always be wondering if you should have if you don't at least try it. The 8800GTs will no don't be much lower by the time the 9000s release in Feb. Don't necessarily go by my personal preferences because again, I am being very patient to build my next rig after having just upgraded my current one. I will have choices that are not available now at that time. I am also one that does not like to have unpredictable problems with my PC despite being a bit of a tinkering gadget freak.
Well, I've never gotten into the OCing business. I don't want to touch my processor (It'd void that nice 3 year parts and labor warranty I get for buying a new processor) but I may consider other parts. I really just don't know how to OC anything. My MSI 6600GT has software it came with to easily overclock it via a window in Windows but when I tried it even with it's fail safe system it crashed. To SLI, does it have to be basically the exact same card? If there's a slight difference somewhere will that throw the whole thing off? I'll probably be buying a video card on down the road. For now I want the mobo, PSU, case, memory, and the basics on the machine to make it run. If it's got integrated graphics on the mobo I choose I'll use that until I buy my mobo (I can live with no PC gaming for awhile). However, I do NOT like worrying about my GPU or anything going out because I've OCed it too much or something of that effect. I like it to be fast the way I get it and it not needing anything else done to make it perform any better except newer drivers or other stuff that you're supposed to do. Basically, I don't mind a little bit of fiddling and tweaking but I don't want to be doing it forever and taking a long time to get it just right.
I was merely using not wanting to OC as a possible example of whether you are the type that would want to spend the extra time SLI adjusting may take, not recommending it or saying it's necessry at all. Truth is the easiest and least risk of the 3 main types of OCing (CPU, GPU, MB) is CPU, esp with a Core 2. In fact it can literally be done with the stock cooler and no voltage increase and no one would know it but you. Thus the warranty concerns are really nothing big unless you have a guilt concience and tell them you did. Here's the scoop on card matching requirements/recommendations for SLI: [COLOR=blue]http://www.slizone.com/page/slizone_faq#c3[/COLOR] I think you can rule out any of the type of MBs you're looking at with that CPU socket will have integrated graphics and even if it did it wouldn't be nearly enough for today's games. If I were you I would peruse through that info on the SLI Zone and learn some basic facts on it. Don't believe all the performance numbers they throw at you concerning SLI FPS vs single card though.
I would not be so hasty to buy your new computer. I would wait until the end of January. The new Intel Penryn's are due out this month. Google the Core 2 Quad Q9450. That is the best bang for its buck CPU.
I would not be concerned with the Phenom. Sadly, reviews that I have read compared them to the Core 2 Duo's that are out now hence the "great" prices. Dark times lay ahead for AMD...
I have not done to much searching for motherboards because Intel stated in a press release while the new Intel series is socket 775 and will fit older motherboards they might not be compatible so if I were you, I would do a little research, then wait for the new thing and get something 100% compatible and upgradeable. If you get a motherboard now, no telling if you will be able to upgrade according to Intel.
Then again the MBs you're talking about are going to cost twice as much now and drop to half that come time to upgrade, so what's the difference? As well I'm not sure if he has already bought the CPU. You're also talking a quad that costs about twice what an adequate Core 2 does (E6750) at a time when there is very little support for quads yet.
I'd only be interested in that newer technology if it's their new baseline of processors. If it's going to be their high end (Such as AMD's FX line or how their previous quad core lines were) then I would never be able to afford that. Just like the current Nvidia 7 series graphics bridge motherboards out there now. All of the ones I've seen have 3 PCI Express slots and support Triple SLI but they're like $330 or more. And what I meant about OCing the processor, if you burn it up they'll know when they look at it. When they see that it was burnt up for that reason they'll say "Oh, you over clocked it, we don't cover that in the warranty. Go buy a new one, we're not replacing this one." Also, I had no intention of hard gaming or even moderate gaming with an integrated graphics chip. My video card went out on me before and I had to use my integrated graphics (My board is an Intel with Intel Extreme Graphics 2 or something or other) and it actually ran WoW with no hangups and probably 30-45 FPS. It would merely be for being able to use the PC until I bought a video card.
I'm out for the night and now I'm gonna have to read for ages...
As long as you overclock correctly you should never burn your processor, they can actually take quite a beating and no have a problem, I think that the temperature limit for a Core 2 Duo is around like what?... 140 Celsius.
Stability on nVidia bridges is also a factor of knowing how to overclock and then running stability test to check that everything is alright. The real benefit to Intel bridges is the ability to overclock beyond the point that the nVidia can.
SLI restrictions are really limited to having the same GPU. I.E. the G92 (8800GT or New 8800GTS). That's really it, you can have different memory sizes, but I think that the cards get limited to only using the memory available to the smaller card. I.E. 512 and 256, the 512MB card will only use 256MB, but I'm not sure how much that will dilute performance.
Yeah the CPU, esp Core 2s, are very tough and a mild over clock, even say 2.4 up to 3.0, is never going to leave it toasted. The Nvidia chipses are less stable even without OCing them and hotter too. There's more than OCing better that is of value in an Intel chipset. He wouldn't likely OC either, but still the Intel would run cooler and more stable and reliable. Yeah it's mainly the GPUs that have to match in SLI, I linked to the site so he could read it all and keep it in his Favorites. You can run different VRAM amounts but it's more than just being a case of it using the lesser of the two. You actually have to set it up with Coolbits to use mismatched VRAM, so at that point it's not just plug n play.
So can I do SLI on a motherboard with an Intel chipset?