Asus Rampage Formula, GA-EP35C-DS3R?

By Classic Rock
Jun 28, 2008
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  1. Hi everyone,

    I am still trying to build my computer, and I have almost everything, but I am still undecided about the motherboard.

    Up until now I was going to use the GA-EP35C-DS3R, even though the fact it only has 1 PCIe x16 slot really annoy me. But then I read Techspot's new guide and learned about the "ASUS Rampage Formula". That motherboard however uses the new X48 type of CPU, and I have the Q6600.

    So, my question is:
    Does anyone know of another motherboard like the ASUS Rampage that uses the older LGA775 design?
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,020   +83 Staff Member

    You're confusing the CPU sockets and chipsets. The Rampage Formula has the LGA775 CPU socket and has an Intel's x48 chipset.
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    Both motherboards use the same socket. The Rampage Formula uses the newer X48 chipset as opposed to the Gigabyte mobo's P35 chipset. I'd recommend a newer P45 chipset motherboard as the best option, something like this one.
  4. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Thanks guys,

    I didn't think I would still do things like that, confusing chipsets and socket types. So these new chipsets, do they go in in this order (oldest to newest) P35, X48, and P45? or P35, P45, and X48?

    That motherboard Rage found is really impressive, especially at that price. Unfortunately Newegg.com doesn't ship to Australia. Does anyone know of another website that does? I will be looking for it in the shops around Adelaide in the mean time.

    Thanks again.
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,020   +83 Staff Member

    The order in which they were released (from what I can recall) is P35 > x38 > P45 > x48, however, don't concern yourself with it too much. They all basically perform on a similar level based on the benchmarks I remember, so just take a look at each board individually and see what they offer.

    The Rampage Formula is an awesome board, however, you can get similar performance with less overall features and extras. It's all a matter of what you really want/need and how much you have to spend.
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    This is an excellent motherboard for its price and has the same chipset as the Biostar board I linked to before.
  7. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    I was looking at the Biostar motherboard and next to the PCIe 2.0 slots it said
    "(CFX x8)". What does that mean?
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    It means that the slots will only run at 8x speeds in Crossfire, which is basically ATI's version of SLI.
  9. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    So if I was going to get a motherboard with two PCIe slots, I would want to get one where both slots are running at x16 speeds, right? Do you know of any motherboards that have this and can take the Q6600?

    Also, the newer PCIe 2.0 slots, same question.
  10. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Please ignore my previous post. I keep trying to edit it but I can't.



    So if I was going to get a motherboard with two PCIe (or two PCIe 2.0 slots), I would want to get one where both slots are running at x16 speeds, right? Do you know of any motherboards that have this and the LGA775 socket?

    I had a look at the GA-EP45-DQ6, but the two PCIe 2.0 slots are not true ones. Ther are PCIe 1.0 slots that convert to 2.0 with ATI's crossfire. To quote gigabyte's overview page:

    "The PCIEx16 and PCIEx8 slots support ATI CrossFireX technology and conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard."

    Even the GA-EP45-EXTREME has the same thing. The only motherboard that I can find that doesn't have this problem is the
    GA-X48-DS5. What do you guys think about this board?
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,280   +180

    How are you drawing that conclusion? The passage you quoted clearly says it conforms to the PCI Express 2.0 standard.
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    Conform does not mean convert FYI. Also, x16 SLI\Crossfire is marketing hype, not much else. You would probably get only about a 5-10% performance increase at best with an x16 SLI\Crossfire motherboard over a standard one, even with two 8800GTX cards. To put it simply, no card is able to max out the PCI-E x16 bandwidth, so for now, x16 SLI\Crossfire platforms are nothing but a marketing gimmick.

    As for a dual-GPU configuration, it's best avoided unless you have a monitor capable of resolutions beyond 1600x1200, since you can then hope to run games at such high resolutions with very high levels of AA and AF and with good performance. Otherwise, the extra heat generated, the increased power consumption and the fact that the extra card will only be able to give you a 50% performance increase for paying the full price for it, make SLI\Crossfire a useless option. Also, new games usually need a patch or two before they work properly with SLI\Crossfire. Thus, it's best to go with a single, very powerful card rather than two lesser cards, unless you can't stand the thought of gaming below 1920x1200.
  13. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Sorry about that, I'm still a bit new to computers. I thought that 'conforms' and 'convert' meant pretty much the same thing. Again, sorry. Six weeks ago I didn't even know what a VGA, heastsink or CPU was, can you believe that?

    Anyway, after doing some more looking around, I found three motherboards that have everything I want.

    1.) GA-X48-DS5 - $325
    2.) GA-X48-DS4 - $225 -newegg
    3.) GA-X48-DQ6 -$285 - newegg

    From Gigabyte's motherboard overview page they all have:

    The LGA775 socket
    2x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots
    12 USB slots (8 @ rear)
    Support for up to 8GB of DDR2 667/800/1066/1200
    Support for RAID 0 and 1

    Is there anything horribly wrong with any of these? From what I could find out, the DS5 is almost identical to the DS4, but it costs about $100 more, also it is very hard to find aything to do with the DS5.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    Again, the X48 chipset isn't necessary to get, since the P45 performs identically and is available for cheaper. I'd recommend getting the GA-EP45-Extreme instead. If you want to get an X48 motherboard though, the best option would be the GA-X48-DS4. It's cheap and has the same features as all the other boards.
    Also, in case you're wondering, the only difference between the three boards you've posted about is that the DQ6 has four eSATA ports compared to two on each of the other boards. Also, the DS4 and DS5 are identical as far as specs go, so the price increase is puzzling. Maybe someone else can shed some light on this?
  15. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Thankyou Rage,

    I don't really mind which chipset the board has unless a lot of people have had problems with it. Then I would keep looking. The main things that I want are

    The LGA775 socket
    Dual PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots
    Lots of USB 2.0 slots, as many as posible.
    Support for up to 8 or more GB of DDR2 667/800/1066/1200
    Support for RAID 0 and a floppy drive.

    This computer is going to be with me for a very long time (hopefully), so even if something isn't going to be used to it's full potential today, like the dual PCI-e 2.0 x16 slots, hopefully they'll be worth it in five or more years.

    I don't know as much as I'd like to about computers, so the fact that the PCI-e slots on the GA-EP45-EXTREME are not true 2.0 slots makes me worry about buying that motherboard. Perusing through gigabyte.com's motherboards, the
    GA-X38-DS4 caught my eye. It looks almost exactly the same as the X48 version, just with an older chipset.

    I mention this board because it is very hard to find the GA-X48-DS4 at a reasonable price where I live, I was quoted near $400. However I can get the X38 version for $218.

    So, have you heard of any problems concerning this motherboard?

    As always, I appreciate your input.
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    What gives you that idea?! The slots are true PCI-E 2.0 slots! You are getting confused again between conform and convert. Conform means the slots adhere to the PCI-E 2.0 conventions, making them in effect "proper" PCI-E 2.0 slots.

    Anyways, the X38-DS4 is also a good mobo. The final choice is upto you. I'd still go with the P45 board though.
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