Picking a Motherboard? please help

By LeeLuck · 21 replies
Dec 8, 2009
  1. Hi All,

    This is my first post to the forums so i would like to take this chance to say hello and thanks for any help/advice offered.(posted in welcome forum too)

    Right, firstly i dont know much about PC's, just self taught so please be patient with me if i dont quite follow you in the begining, i want to learn but need to pick it up as i go.

    I own a Packard Bell iXtreme 2613
    Core2 Quad Q6600 2,4GHz
    500Gig HD
    4Gig DDr2
    Nvida card of some sort.

    Now then, i have read much in the way that the Q6600 chip set can be overclocked to a reasonable speed without too much cash being thrown at it but the MB in this "bought" system wont allow me to OC it so i need to buy a new MB.

    I talked to a guy at PC World and although he couldnt help me (job conflicts) he did suggest getting a new MB which are around the £70 mark.

    I have no idea where to start with any of this hense joining this forum.

    I dont doubt that there will be loads more bits of info needed from me but i will do my upmost to tell you what you want if there is any chance of helping me.

    Reason i want to OC my PC is simple really, i use 3D character building programs and i want to upgrade to Windows 7 64bit to aid rendering time etc, my system at the moment is Vista 32 and my MB only has 2 slots so i cant up the ram any further either for a 64bit OS

    Phew, hope all this makes a little sence, i better read it back lol

    Thanks again for any help offered,

    Kindest regards,

  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    If you're bent on keeping the Q6600, which is an older 65nm chip, then I would look for a board with an Intel P45 or P35 chipset in order to spend as little as possible. There are plenty of good choices from ASUS and Gigabyte, just browse P45 boards. If you're looking to get better 3D power, I would look at upgrading the video card as well. You may also just want to wait and buy a newer CPU, since the Q6600 is showing it's age now.
  3. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Wow Thanks for the info, so i will check out said MB's, how can i tell if a MB is locked so to speak, like the one in my PC now, how do i check that a new MB will allow me to OC my chip set ?

    I only bought this PC about 8 months ago, quite cheap so i cant afford another CPU just yet. I have to work with what i got lol, also what about RAM for a new board ? do i go DDr2 OR DDr3 ? now sure of the difference.

    Thanks again for the reply ;)
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Just a thought. I think there's a software called clockgen that allows overclocking even if the motherboard does not. I'm not 100% sure (as I've not used it) but it may be worth a try.
  5. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Thanks Ritwik7 i will look into that,

    Is this the type of board i need considering the CPU i have ?

    asus P5Q-E Intel LGA775 Platform
    Intel® P45 chipset
    ASUS 8-phase Power Design
    Dual-channel DDR2 1200/1066/800/667 MHz
    100% High-quality Japan-made Conductive Polymer Capacitors!
    VRM 5000hrs lifespan @105°C, 500,000hrs @65°C
    ASUS EPU-6 Engine
    ASUS Express Gate
    ASUS Drive Xpert
    VRD11.1 CPU support (backward support VRD10.X CPU)

    I am pulling at straws at the mo cos i aint got a clue what else to look for, the board above was the first thing i saw with a P45 label on it as recommended by EXCellR8

    ? ;)
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    You'll be able to get a lot of boards that support the processor you have. Read up reviews and determine the chipset that overclocks best. Try and find a good balance between price and performance as it seems you're getting a board for the sole purpose of OCing only.
  7. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Yer, OC firstly, then uping the RAM as i am going to 64bit.

    Does this Asus P5Q-E look like a good one for me, its about the right price and as far as i can read it ticks the boxes of :-

    1. I can put my Q6600 CPU onto it
    2. it has more then 2 Ram Slots that use Dual channel, as mine dosent at the mo
    3. gets some good reviews
    4. quite cheap !

  8. XOR

    XOR TS Rookie Posts: 25

    I've owned my P5Q-E for over a year now (I think) and i love it. I got my q6600 g0 running at 3.4 no issues since the day i got it.
  9. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Thanks XOR ;p

    So, considering i only want to put my Q6600 chip set and some more ram onto a new board, which should i go for as the P5Q range is about half a dozen lol

    Will the P5Q-E be everything i need ?

    Also, is it just a case of de-staticizing and swaping everything over or is it a bit more advanced then that ?

    Thanks for all the help thus far ;)
  10. XOR

    XOR TS Rookie Posts: 25

    It all depends what you need / want, some of the P5Q series boards support Crossfire while others don't.

    A list of all the P5Q boards and features.

    I choose the P5Q-E because it didn't break the bank at the time and preforms well plus crossfire support and got some good reviews.

    As far as just swapping out your hardware you should be fine. I do recommend reinstalling windows to avoid driver issues and Microsofts product reactivation which will come if more than a set amount of hardware changes.

    Hope this Helps

    P.S. If you plan on reusing that HP PSU make sure it is a standard ATX PSU or you'll get some nice fireworks followed by an RMA. The P5Q series boards are a bit sensitive to certain types of RAM (I use two sets of the THIS in my board for a total of 8GB)
  11. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Wow... PSU. ATX PSU, RMA lol i am lost there mate;p

    Also, what is crossfire ?

    I did say i am learning as i go lol

    Really apreciate the help XOR ;)
  12. XOR

    XOR TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Sorry for the long delay.

    PSU= Power supply Unit
    RMA=Request manufacturer authorization (To return dead parts that are cover under warranty)
    ATX=Is a standard put in place to ensure all the components in a PC work together without issues (I hope thats understandable I tried to dumb it down a bit)

    As far as your Power supply goes I would replace it anyways since your going to be overclocking and many others will tell you the same thing (The PSU HP put in your machine is usually the bare minimum to run whats inside of it)

    CrossFire is ATI's version of SLI where more than 1 GPU is used in tandem to gaming increase performance (see attached image)

    If anyone see's any mistakes or has a better explaination than me please don't hesitate to share / correct me.
  13. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    XOR thank you so much for your assitance, most of that makes sence lol and i am totally up for a bit of dumbing down ;p

    OK, so here are the things i need thus far.

    1, Asus P5Q-E
    2, A new PSU wattage ?
    3, New Ram as per your type.
    4, New graphics card....

    I do tend to sway towards Nvidia but i dont do any gaming, yet it would be a waste not to put a desent card in, any ideas on this, a generally good card for 3D rendering rather then gaming ?

    I also want to get a second HD, another 500gig, is there any preference on type or make ?

    Sorry for all the question but this seems to be turning into a project rather then a quick fix, but i am excited about this and really want to do it.

    One last question, cos i will be OC my CPU from 2.4GHz to 3.4GHz-ish, will i need a new cooling system and if so, is it just a bigger fan ?

    Thanks again XOR, i really appreciate your input here ;)


  14. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    First decide on a budget for your graphics card and PSU. Then we'll be able to provide suggestions.

    Get a good aftermarket HSF like a Xigmatek or OCZ.
  15. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Ritwik7, please dumb it down lol HSF ? lol

    I guess the graphics card budget would be around £80 and maybe same for the PSU ?

    I havent researched these items yet but if i could keep them under a £150 for the both it would be great.
  16. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Damb, just looked up the two makes you suggested for the ,i assume HSF stuff.....why does there have to be so much choice lol

    Just give me a one..one is all i ask lol i cant get that wrong then;p
  17. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    HSF stands for heat sink and fan. If you're looking to OC it's important that you keep temperatures as low as possible. A good CPU cooler is the Xigmatek S1283 or the OCZ Vendetta 2. They are very competitively priced.

    GPU - ATI Radeon HD 4850
    PSU - Corsair 650TX
  18. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Wow thanks for that, that graphics card look the dogs ;p

    What about a competative Nvidia version ? or do you think the ATI one is a better make ?

    Like i said, i am a total noob when it comes to PC stuff, i can render you a great animation or still but talk PC jargon and i am lost ;)

    Thank you so much , i do really appreciate this help / guidance
  19. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Another daft question but that Xigmatek S1283 HSF, will it fit onto my Q6600 or does it fit over it ?

    Jeezz i am totally noobless :p
  20. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    I think that at that price point the HD 4850 is the best buy.

    About the CPU cooler, it's always put on top of the CPU like your current CPU fan. But you'll have to first do a little research online to see if it fits your case and whether the RAM slots on your motherboard (or anything else for that matter) are covered by it.
  21. vale46

    vale46 TS Rookie Posts: 160

    This thread looks like something i need to reaserch too ;) i am looking at doing the exact same thing
  22. LeeLuck

    LeeLuck TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 61

    Cheers, so some research is needed, guess i could mail Xigmatek and see if they could tell me the compatability of my Q6600 and the Asus P5Q-E ?

    Also, that HD 4850 is a pretty awesome GC for the money, guess it wouldnt hurt to change camp and go ATI, i just been an Nvidia type of guy for a few years i guess lol

    There are pros and cons with everything i bet.

    So the project thus far. things i need to buy and research a little.

    1. Asus P5Q-E MB
    2. Xigmatek S1283 HSF
    3. Corsair 650TX PSU
    4. Corsair 8GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
    5. New 500 gig HD ?

    Think thats it lol, will the AsusP5Q-E board take a new CPU at some ponit ? what i mean is, i have the Q6600 which i know is oldish, but what is the newest Chip set this MB will take for future upgrading ?

    This thread has really proven its worth in gold to me peeps, i have a good set of starting blocks to work from here.

    Thanks again, i really do appreciate your time
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