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  • WynX - Monday, August 21, 2006 - link

    Great article!!!

    Really waiting for the nforce 5 series (to be mature too).
    Reply
  • wheelconnector - Saturday, August 19, 2006 - link

    Hey
    on the review here it says that the 975xbx can support ddr2 800MHz memory speeds, but anywhere else that I've checked, claims that the board only supports speeds upto 667MHz. Can the board take 800MHz out of the box? or will I have to mess around with it to accept the RAM?
    thanks a lot
    Reply
  • LeeKay - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    I hope u still have your mushkin XP2-8000 (redline) and never sent it back.

    Here is my hardware.
    --------------------
    P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe / P5B Deluxe.
    Asus Silent tower CPU cooler.
    E6600 Processor.
    2x1GB Mushkin Redline DDR2 1000Mhz / 2x1GB OCZ Platnium 800MHZ
    2x 150GB Raptors,
    1x Seagate 300GB Drive,
    Powerstream 600Watt PSU
    2x EVGA 7950GX2
    Coolermaster Stacker.
    Plexter SATA 755 Drive
    Liteon IDE drive
    Mitsumi Floppy Drive
    Creative Labs X-Fi Extreme gamer.


    Here is my problem..

    P5N32 SLI SE DELUXE

    I put 2 sticks of ram in the system with the video card will not post. I have to remove one stick of ram and leave one stick in B1 or B2. It will not boot from a cleared bios with a stick in A1 or A2. I then have to go in the bios and set the memory below or at 800Mhz for it to post with 2 sticks of ram in it. Even then when I put the two sticks in and go to the bios it shows only 1024MB or system ram. But the post screen clearly shows 2048. There is nothing wrong with this memory. It ran fine with the P5B motherboard.

    When using the OCZ it posts no problem but again shows 2048MB at post and in bios and the OS only shows 1024MB Avalible.

    Asus Tech support is the worst in the world. They instantly tell you its a faulty board this and that. But its not its the bios I am 100% sure it is.

    Could you Anandtech please setup a test bed with the 0121 bios and try it. If it has no issue could you please try 0204 revision and then tell me. I have the same motherboard revision as you show in the picture.

    Thanks in advance.
    Reply
  • Bugs66 - Wednesday, August 02, 2006 - link

    I see more and more older boards with Core 2 Duo support. Such as the Asus P5PE-VM which is 865G, AGP, and DDR400. I am very curious how performance is hit using the older chipset. These boards are great for folks who do not want to toss their RAM, video card, etc unless there is a huge difference.

    Thanks for the great writeup.
    Reply
  • trajan - Saturday, July 29, 2006 - link

    The article mentions these will be coming out soon for socket 775/Conroe. Anyone know when? I've been surfing around for hours trying to find info on it. I know NVidia has made the NForce 500s for Intel but none of the board manufacturers lists any info at all.

    Just trying to decide if I should go ahead and get the ASUS P5N32-SLI Deluxe (I want to run SLI) or if it's only a short wait for something better.. !

    Thanks
    Reply
  • rallyhard - Monday, July 24, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the great review.
    I was going back and referencing some information from it today and noticed that in the P5W-DH Deluxe Basic Features table, you have the number of IDE ports listed incorrectly as one. There are actually two ports, one provided by the JMicron JMB363, and the other from the ICH7R southbridge. I got that info from the Asus website.

    Is that the other IDE port over below the last PCI port?! If so, that's rediculous.
    But this is one of very few Core 2 Duo supporting motherboards that I've seen that have 2 IDE ports, so I might just have to get it.

    Gary, I look forward to the upcoming review you mentioned earlier in these comments of the Biostar motherboard with the VIA VT6410 controller. IDE performance continues to be important to me, and will for quite some time with the investment I've already made in hard drives. NEVER AGAIN will I get burned by an under-reviewed, underperfoming chip like the IT8212F!

    Thanks again for your quality reviews.
    Reply
  • thedjvan - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    I am very impressed with this guide, looks like a lot of hard work went into it!

    I have a question though. I am using the release of Conroe as an excuse to build a whole new system. After reading your guide in addition to others, I've decided on the E6700 and the DFI board (as I don't plan on OCing much, if at all).

    However, the video card I had chosen is a X1900XTX, as I have read many bad reviews on the 7900 series having assorted problems with heat and other issues.

    Now, having read this, I see that Conroe isn't playing nice with my chosen vid card, possibly due to driver issues. My question: Have you guys received any word from ATI, or has a new driver been pushed out yet that brings its performance up to par where it should be? There's absolutely no reason the Nvidia card should be blowing it away, especially on HL2 and other typically ATI friendly games.

    If not, should I forget the ATI card and take a chance on one of the Nvidia cards, or simply go with the ATI card and hope they push out new drivers soon? The AMD/ATI aquisition further complicates the situation... I somehow doubt they'd do any favors for intel based systems.
    Reply
  • thedjvan - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    No edit button :(

    I meant a X1900XT, not the XTX version. I'll keep my $100, thanks :)
    Reply
  • thedjvan - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    Sorry, one more quick question. Is the Zalman CNPS9500 compatible with the Conroe? Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Sorry, one more quick question. Is the Zalman CNPS9500 compatible with the Conroe?


    Yes...works very well by the way. ;-)
    Reply
  • jonmcguffin - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    Actually, heck, I'm not much of an overclocker at all (I know that makes me the minority here). I'm looking at the Core 2 6600 at its native 2.4Ghz, 4Mb L2 Cache & 1066Mhz BUS Speed and figure that should be seriously fine for me.

    In regards to memory, I'd much rather purchase 2Gig's @ $180.00 than at $450.00 and since I'm not overclocking that shouldn't be a problem. But what I would have liked to have seen in this article were value sticks rated at DDR2 800Mhz as opposed to 667Mhz. So I anxiously await a "value-ram" roundup article of some sorts to not only show us what memory modules work well in the various mobo's but also which sticks can operate at those frequencies with low timing.

    Jon
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, July 22, 2006 - link

    The Buyers Guide shows all the Value Ram operating at DDR2-800 at 4-3-3-3 at around 2.2V. We also show the timings and voltage of the value Ram at 667, 533, and 400, in addition to 800. Reply
  • jonmcguffin - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    Correct, but the ratings from the manufacture don't have those memory module's spec'd at DDR2-800. You were overclocking them essentially. Check out the

    Corsair 2Gb TWIN2X2048-6400 DDR2-800Mhz set. These two sticks are rated at DDR2, sell for $160 - $170 and run at 5-5-5-12-T1 timings at 1.9V.

    I would consider these a good starting point. Again, I'm not necessarily into running anything beyond the manufacture's claims, but for this price, it would seem these memory modules would fit the bill for a lot of users out there.

    Jon
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    All,

    I received a new beta bios from Abit today. I will be testing it later and will provide a quick update before we publish our final review on the board. Abit has spent considerable time this week testing this bios before release to us and hopefully it will fully address the memory setting issue we first reported in our preview issue.
    Reply
  • perpetualdark - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    I dont know where you priced your motherboards for this review, but I purchased the DFI 975x/g on july 18th from zipzoomfly for $187. It shipped the next day and I should see it today or Monday.

    Given that the DFI board is available for $62 less than your article shows, I think I made a good choice, since I dont need to overclock or run any high end graphics.

    Now I just need to get my hands on a cpu. This is for a work computer, but after things settle out around octoberish I will upgrade my home gaming setup with the conroe. I am playing titan quest right now, and even with a geforce 7950 the game hitches quite a bit in certain areas at most resolutions.. I figure increasing the cpu power will help substantially, at least thats my excuse for upgrading.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    The price was taken at the time the article written (17th) based on pricing from three different suppliers that had the board in stock. Now that ZipZoomFly (would assume others shortly) has it in stock at a price point (slightly below) that we had discussed with DFI I will update our article. The 7950GTX has not been qualified on this board yet so performance issues could occur since the required bios optimizations between the board and card are not completed. We really like this motherboard and for the $187 price, it is a great value now and one that should be seriously considered for purchase by early Core 2 Duo buyers. Although, we expected more in the way of overclocking, a very solild 375FSB is nothing to sneeze at and stock performance is excellent. Thank you for the price update! :) Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    Where is the edit button?

    a very solid.....
    Reply
  • Roy2001 - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    I am looking for OC a E6600 with 4MB cache to 4Ghz with minimum budget and I never OC my system. So I don't know which value board/RAM would meet the target. I don't care about timing/latency. I would like to see anandtech to publish guides for high performance OCers and value OCers and help us to reach max speed.

    In addition, I can pickup DDR2-800 RAM priced similar to those 667 RAMs, I don't understand why they are not included in review?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    We will have additional guides in the near future. As for the DDR2-800 memory, we will be looking those modules in a mid-range section and a couple of the lower end that we have tested did not do any better than the high end DDR2-533/667 from a timing viewpoint or a high speed. Getting a E6600 to 4GHz is not that easy with a minimum budget but your suggestions are noted for the next guide. Thank you for the comments. :) Reply
  • Roy2001 - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    I know minimum budget system won't be easy to hit 4Ghz speed. I am not too sensitive to the money, but I just don't want to spend $450 for best RAM while I can hit 4Ghz with $150 RAM. Same thing happens to motherboard. I don't care 1394 port, optical port, as long as it is stable @4Ghz, I just pick the lowest priced although I can afford a $250 mother board. Hope that helps as I think I am not alone. Thanks for your hard work! Reply
  • Bochista - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    With the release of new Quad SLI beta drivers I would like to know what board is compatible with both the Conroe & Quad SLI. Being CPU bound in graphics I think it would very interesting to see. The ASUS P5N32-SLI SE is not on the Quad-SLI list. The Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe is not either.

    Bo
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    quote:

    The ASUS P5N32-SLI SE is not on the Quad-SLI list.


    It should be on the list shortly. This is the board that NVIDIA has been using to test and display Quad SLI on with Conroe. We also understand this board will probably make its way into several Quad SLI systems according to NVIDIA. It will be interesting to see how this board performs against the nF590 in a couple of weeks. ;-)
    Reply
  • jonmcguffin - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    If Core 2 Duo is sucking up so much less energy, why have I not heard anything about the need to NOT buy the 500-650 watt power supplies. It would seem to me that a processor and mainboard that consumers so little power would not need anything more than a good 350 or 400 watt power supply, even in an SLI configuration.

    It would be nice to see something written up in your review that stated...

    Hey, these processors are going to require X amount of power on the lower end and X amount on the higher end. Given power supplies are typically only 75-80% efficient and leaving another 10-15% left over in overhead, you should be using power supplies with a watt rating of X.

    Jon
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Jon,

    Anand went over the power requirements in the CPU review article. However, from a platform level the current 7900GTX and X1900XT cards in SLI or Crossfire will require a very good 500+ watt (on the edge with CrossFire) power supply with Conroe, AM2, or Netburst CPUs. In fact, we highly recommend and use 700+ watt machines in our systems to ensure proper power delivery when running SLI or CrossFire while overclocking. The power requirements of the next generation GPUs for SLI or CrossFire will require 700w power supplies and we generally will see 900+ watt supplies for those who expect to overclock both the CPU and GPU. While we have seen the CPUs reduce their power requirements over the last two years (except at the high end until Conroe, AM2 EE is great), the GPU requirements along with the platform chipsets (ATI RD580 is the exception currently) have sky rocketed. By the time you add a couple of large hard drives, optical drives, SLI or Crossfire, and a FX60 or 955XE, you are already limited by the typical 400~500 watt power supply. While Conroe will make a difference compared to most Netburst based CPUs and the upper end AM2 processor series, it is not enough to even think about dropping below 500w at this time. In my personal systems, the first item I budget for is a really good power supply, never skimp on proper rail voltages and quality, it is the basis for a trouble free system.

    Hope this helps....
    Reply
  • ninethirty - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    Would you guys mind doing some tests to back that up in Part 2? Reading SilentPCReview.com, there's some pretty convincing arguments that the need for higher wattage is overblown. And 900W+ is hard to believe...pretty soon you'll be talking about dedicated wall sockets.
    I think most folks are talking about one video card, not SLI. I'd like to issue a challenge: try a test with the Core 2 Duo, a Geforce 7600GT like in the "Building a Better Budget PC" article, and a 300W Seasonic PSU (or any 80% efficient, true-to-ratings). Then, see how it effects overclocking. That PSU can run an AMD64 x2 3800+ and a 7900GT, why couldn't it run the Core 2 Duo with voltage to spare?
    There, I've thrown in my gauntlet.
    Reply
  • jonmcguffin - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    #1) Paul - My point in bringing up the Digital Thermal Sensor capability of the Core 2 Duo chip and it's "possible" support on the P965 was mainly just to show that there may in fact be certain features the P965 has that are superior to the 975X. Certainly not planning any extreme overclocking and a good HSF is certainly a priority, but still utilizing the Core 2 Duo chip to its fullest abilities is important to me and that means a motherboard that supports this Core 2 Duo feature. If P965 boards support this feature out of the box and the 975X boards don’t, it’s a factor that could play into my purchasing decision.

    #2) Thanks Gary & Wesley for the explanation on why you didn't include the AB9 Pro motherboard. That makes perfect sense. It seems to me this is the board to target but to be at this point in the game and NOT have a mature enough BIOS to manipulate RAM settings is a little concerning to me. This coupled with Abit's financial issue's in the past almost have me fearful of taking a chance on this board.

    I hope in your roundup article you will provide some insight into all this business with 12-phase power and solid state capacitors. What does this mean to the over clocker or the serious workstation user?

    Lastly.......

    Slightly off-topic here but PERHAPS something you two could include in your more extensive roundup of the next Core 2 Duo motherboards or maybe in a separate article.

    On-Board Audio……….

    This may be old hat to many here, but this is an issue that I haven't seen addressed anywhere recently. On-Board audio solutions have "evidently" been creaping up on SB products for sometime now. A better explanation as to the feature benefits of some of these on-board solutions (RealTek 882D, 882, 883, 885, 888, ADI, etc) and how they are implemented would be helpful.

    #1) Top of this list is the confusion regarding digital audio & HD Audio. Seems every mobo now includes either Optical or Coax digital out on their back plates. What does tihs mean to the gamer, the audio professional, audiophile, or just the everyday computer user who wants to hook up an external amp and some higher end speakers and listen to very high quality stereo music. What the heck is HD Audio and what does that mean? How does it apply to the various groups I mentioned above?

    #2 – If I’m going to use the digital out on my board, what difference does it make what onboard or offboard sound solution I use. If the computer is spitting out bit-by-bit digital audio data, isn’t a RealTek ALC650 digital out everybit as good as a Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi Platinum Edition?

    #3 – What is the deal with all the new audio codec’s out and their supposed support for Dolby Digital. What does this mean to the consumer? I would imagine 90% of all computer users here and a similar vast majority elsewhere don’t use anything more than a simple 2.1 configuration or perhaps headphones. 7.1 or 7.2 sound is worthless. Does Dolby Digital provide any extra benefits to these 2.1 or headphone listeners? Does it play back my music from .MP3’s or iTunes sound any better?

    #4 – What really is EAX and is there that big of a difference between EAX 3.0 – EAX 5.0? And again, how does this relate to digital audio. If some external source is doing the audio conversion, do these technologies even matter?

    These may appear to be rather easy questions to answer, but the reality is that we’ve been bombarded so badly with marketing by Creative and others with audio that most of us really don’t know what the heck it is we’re buying.

    Personally, the quality of audio output is really important to me. I mostly listen to music and occasionally will play a few games. One BIG question for me is do I save $125 and go with on-board “digital” audio or not.

    Thanks!

    Jon
    Reply
  • Paladin165 - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    7.2 sound?? Reply
  • ic144 - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Just by looking at this article, you can see how much attention is on Intel's Core 2 Duo. I don't remember so much attention was invested for the AMD Athlon64 FXs when they were launched. LOL. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    We looked back at the launch review of A64 on Sept. 23, 2003. As you can see for yourself at http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?... the AMD won Business Winstone and the Intel 3.2 won the MMC Winstone. Gaming results were split, with A64 winning most and the Intel 3.2 winning Quake 3. A64 led in Workstation development and Intel in Encoding. In other words, A64 won by a small margin. The AMD lead grew over time and our coverage continued to grow.

    We can't remember the last time a new CPU was laucnched that was 20% to 30% faster than the competition in everything we tested. There are really no weaknesses we have found in Core 2 Duo performance. This is a once in a decade event. AMD has responded with massive price cuts that position their new CPUs much more in line with Core 2 Duo based on performance, but they really don't have an answer to conroe, since almost every Conroe chip is faster than the fastest A64. We wish AMD did have a quick fix, since competition is good for buyers.

    We are fans of performance at AT, and we have been very supportive of A64 as it took the performance lead and extended it over the past 2+ years. However, those who ignore the current Cnroe advantage are not looking at performance, they are speaking from emotion. Conroe performance can not be ignored or twisted with GPU-bound benchmarks to show show something that is simply not true. Things will likely shift again in the future - AMD has shown itself to be very resilient - and we will loudly proclaim AMD's lead if they regain the performance crown.
    Reply
  • MadBoris - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    I owe Anandtech much, you guys have consistently provided excellent quality info for years.
    Thx for another great article, I'm looking forward to part two.

    You guys have peaked my curiosity on the tuniq tower. I didn't see it reviewed here yet. Is it that much better than the competition, it's definitely beastly looking?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Thank you for the comments. Our focus on the first cooler roundup will be on units that cost under $25 but the Tuniq will be included as a reference point along with the retail Intel unit. Our follow up will include the high end air coolers and some water cooling units.

    The Tuniq is considered to be one of the best air coolers available at this time although we are starting to see this design being incorporated by other suppliers quickly.
    Reply
  • biggersteve - Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - link

    Hope you can get an Arctic Cooler Pro 7 into that cooler review. Quiet as a tomb and mighty cool. Reply
  • jonmcguffin - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    A feature built into the Core 2 Duo processors is this new Digital Thermal Sensor that supposedly has the ability to provide much quicker and more accurate thermal information about each processor. The key with this though is that it requires support from the motherboard. Why did you guys not mention this feature in any of the motherboards you tested?

    My guess is that since the P965 was "built" for Core 2 Duo, my guess would be that it supports this feature while the older 975 does not. In going back and forth between pro's and con's of the P965, if this feature is in fact built into the chipset/motherboard, it is worth pointing out. I'm not really an overclocker though I do want to buy a system that will be rock solid in stability for many years to come. Quite PC's that are very reliable and stable are critical and this is a good feature.

    Also, you reviewed the Abit AB9 Pro motherboard a few weeks back but somehow it was left out of this overview. At $160 on the street, despite it's layout issue's, this looks to me like perhaps the best board right now for the guy who isn't rich and just wants a very solid Core 2 Duo mobo.

    Hope you get a chance to review and respond.

    Jon
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Jon,

    The Gigabyte DQ6 actually has the ability to select readings from either sensor (Digital/Legacy) on the CPU in the power management settings. We will go over this in detail in our full review of the board or other Conroe capable boards in the future. These type of features along with audio and storage performance are not generally not reviewed in the guide articles but covered in the full product reviews.

    The Abit AB9-Pro is shaping up to be a very good mid-range board (prices around $142 already) once the bios is complete. We are due to receive bios B6 next week that is optimized for Conroe and allows full memory configuration from both a timing and ratio viewpoint. The board was not ready to be included in the buyers guide until Abit had a final bios to us. We will report the results as soon as we complete testing.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    We had planned to include the Abit AB9 in our roundup IF Abit got the memory issue fixed before the review. Unfortunately even the latest beta BIOS we received on Tuesday does not fix the issue. There is no means on the current Abit board to change memory speed or timings. It supposedly reads the SPD and boots at DDR2-533 5-5-5-15 with every dimm we tried. You can't run Value Ram at DDR2-800 for example or run DDR2-800 at rated speed. Or change timings to 3-2-3 at DDR-533 even if you know the ram can run at those timings. We did not think it fair to make a big deal of this in a review since Abit is supposedly working on it, but we see they are now also selling the board at some retailers and memory is still broken as far as we know.

    We consider this problem, if not fixed, to disqualify the Abit from consideration by any Enthusiast. We plan to do a full review of the Abit AB9 Pro if and when Abit fixes this major problem.
    Reply
  • supremelaw - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Jon,

    Why would more accurate thermal sensors
    have high priority, if the Conroe runs
    much cooler and more efficiently?

    Are you planning extreme O/C, perhaps?

    Wouldn't a superior HSF have higher priority?

    e.g.:
    http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/heatsinks/warnin...">http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/heatsinks/warnin...

    Just curious here.


    Sincerely yours,
    /s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell
    Webmaster, Supreme Law Library
    http://www.supremelaw.org/">http://www.supremelaw.org/
    Reply
  • falc0ne - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    The usual best from Anandtech..I was in a bit of fog if switching to conroe or not, but now I have a mutch more clearer picture. After the part2 of this suite, it will all be clear to me.
    P.S. Your articles on Nvidia's NForce 4 platform made me choose that platform and AMD64.

    My sincere thanks, I owe you a lot
    Reply
  • wackypete - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Thanks for putting this article together. Your effort has not gone unnoticed. Reply
  • Howard - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Anybody know what chips it uses? The 5-5-5-15 DDR2-667 variety, that is. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We still have additional memory selections from a variety of suppliers arriving for further memory reviews at this time. Reply
  • Vidmar - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    One thing that really bugs me about some of the MB manufactures is that some never state the exact number of PCIe lanes that are actually available on that second PCIe 16x slot. Some do some don’t. Some state it while in SLI/Crossfire mode but not when in non- SLI/Crossfire mode.

    Right now I’ve got an nForce 4 SLI board that has two PCIe 16x slots, but when in non-SLI mode they are at 16x and 2x respectively. When in SLI mode they are both at 8x respectively.

    The problem with this is that (at least on this board) you cannot install anything but a video card in the second PCIe 16x slot when in SLI mode.

    I’ve got an PCIe 8x SCSI raid card (LSI 320-2e) that I’m trying to use in the second PCIe slot at 8x, but this board won’t even acknowledge that its there while in SLI mode. And when running in non-SLI it only runs at 2x and becomes a bottleneck for this workstation.

    So if its possible to provide some details as to what exactly a board can do on the second PCIe 16x slot in both normal and SLI/Crossfire mode, that would be most helpful!

    For example on the ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe in your review it doesn’t state this information either way. But on the Intel 975XBX you do have that information.

    So what does the second PCIe slot run at in non-Crossfire mode on the ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe?

    Also do you happen to have a SCSI PCIe card you can test in the second slot (or any PCIe card for that matter) and see if the BIOS can recognize the card while in SLI/Crossfire mode? That too would be helpful for people who don’t care about multiple GPUs, but want to create large array workstations.

    Thanks!
    PS: nice article.
    Reply
  • supremelaw - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Excellent points! Constant change is here to stay :)

    On our ASUS P5WD2 Premium with i955X chipset,
    we are now faced with that very same problem:

    we don't need 2 video cards, because we do
    mostly database development. And, we want
    to dedicate the second "universal" x16 slot
    to a high-performance PCI-E RAID controller.

    (Santa Claus is going to bring me an x1900
    PCI-E video card anyway, and that should
    easily last me for another 20 years, min!)

    Our consultant highly recommends the Areca model,
    but it only performs best in x8 mode. On the
    other hand, our ASUS User Manual states that
    the second "universal" x16 slot can only run
    in x4 mode, maximum.

    That limitation was a single line of text
    in that User Manual, but it is not mentioned
    in any of the other specs for our motherboard.

    His recommendation: switch to a server motherboard,
    so we can use the Areca RAID 6 controller (not a bad
    idea, actually).

    So, I think we'll have to settle for the Promise
    PCI-E model EX8350, which is also limited to x4 mode,
    but it now supports RAID 6 too.

    It only took about 4 hours of research to confirm
    this limitation, however :)

    Such specs should be better documented, for sure!


    Sincerely yours,
    /s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell
    Webmaster, Supreme Law Library
    http://www.supremelaw.org/">http://www.supremelaw.org/
    Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I find it weird that the pcie card does not work in 8x mode. I see no reason why it wouldn't work...the sli pcb that you flip around only redirects the lanes AFAIK. Reply
  • vhx - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Too bad the motherboards cost more than a decent Conroe processor. Kind of sad to see the features lacking until you get into the $250 price ranges. You can spot an AMD AM2 motherboard with the same features for around $130ish, which makes this 975X chipset rediculously expensive compared to the newer AM2's. The TForce P965 looks like a great alternative for the price, although based on the 965P. Hmm upgrading to Conroe will be more expensive than I thought.... /sigh. What to do. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    What to do.


    Wait, that is right, wait until the motherboard suppliers are in full production in August. There will be a large variety of motherboards available by the end of August that will make up the $50~$150 range with chipsets from the 945P to nF570SLI being sold. We will also start seeing the G965 boards in late August for those that want a mATX form factor, decent graphics,and the ability to upgrade later. If you need a board now, it will cost you. ;-)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    If you need a board now, it will cost you.

    Not to mention getting the Core 2 CPUs. :) I would expect prices to drop significantly within a month or so.
    Reply
  • jonp - Saturday, July 22, 2006 - link

    Jarred,
    Please say more about your comment on pricing.
    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=3377">http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=3377
    says:
    quote:

    Recently released Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme products will not be receiving any price cuts in the near future.

    Thanks, Jon
    Reply
  • multiblitz2 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I was waiting for the 965 as HDMI/HDCP-support is a must have for my new HTPC. Does 975 support this in the same way as the 965 ? Reply
  • araczynski - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    great article!

    looking forward to additional mobo's appearing (and more importantly - prices dropping) beforei build my next rig.

    i personally refuse to pay over $150 for ANY mobo, no matter the features. but i do realize that the initial price gouging is to milk the early adopters. i figure by early october prices should be just right for all the nice toys.
    Reply
  • araczynski - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    i know this is a dead horse, by why in the world can't these manufacturers make models that throw out some of these legacy 'extras' they keep putting on the boards?

    onboard sound, parallel ports, floppy connectors, etc...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Erm... onboard sound isn't "legacy". As for the others, the instant you release something without floppy support, someone is going to want to install an OS that needs drivers on a floppy (XP). I still find BIOS updates to be far more successful when done from a floppy as well. Give it another year and the floppy might truly start to disappear; we just need better support for USB storage devices. Reply
  • Makaveli - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Could u elaborate little more on the painful part of going from the AMD system to the conroe. Reply
  • rjm55 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    What they said in the recommendations was pretty clear: "Most of our Reference systems have been based on AMD/AM2 for the last couple of years. To be honest, going back to some of those same systems after our Conroe testing, the differences are more obvious and painful than you might think. Conroe is clearly the faster platform - and not by small, barely measurable differences."

    They said it was painful going back to the slower AMD systems for some testing after working with all these Conroe boards.
    Reply
  • phusg - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    I think Makaveli's point is how is is slower? Gaming, switching apps, overall? I'm interested in some elaboration on this point too. Reply
  • mine - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    missed the abit ab 9 pro
    only 965 board so far that showed some improvements in real wotld apps. over the 975.

    but great review so far ...wait for more ..
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We really wanted to include the Abit AB9 Pro, however we did not have time to fully test the latest bios that unlocks the memory timings. We did not feel it would be fair to the readers or Abit to publish numbers until we had a shipping bios for review. I will not go through another a review of system with a bios that is not going to be released. ;-) We will post a follow up once we have concluded our testing. Reply
  • DeathSniper - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    On page 3:
    quote:

    However, the P5W-DH only extends to 2.4V compared to the 2.5V on the M2N32-SLI and granularity of the adjustments is a pretty course 0.5V compared to 0.2V on the M2N32-SLIl.


    I'm thinking you wanted to use 'coarse'? :D
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Our grammar checking software needs an education :D Fixed. Reply
  • archcommus - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Once again you guys continue to impress me. Can't think of another site that delivers this much (and this high quality) content.

    Thanks for keeping us informed!
    Reply
  • vmsein - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Hello gentlemen and thanks for the informative article. Could you let us know which BIOS version was used for testing on the P5W-DH? Thanks in advance! Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Hi,

    We used 0701. The bios versions used for each board are listed at the bottom of the features chart.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • vmsein - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I missed that! Thank you very much again:) Reply
  • Bochista - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Can we see some results for 1920 x 1200 for 23 & 24 inch monitors as well as some 2560 x 1600 results for 30 inch monitors? Also, can we see the 7950 GX2 in action where all MBs would be on an equal SLI footing? Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We will place this on our suggestion list for Roundup Two and discuss it with the Video editors this week. Reply
  • ivoloos - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    The article says "Users need to realize that the nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition will still use the C19 SPP that is on this board."
    I remember me that a while ago I've read somewhere NVIDIA is busy with a new SPP that will replace the C19 and should arrive somewhere around Q1 next year. Someone know whether this is this correct, or will the C19 not be replaced?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Yes, NVIDIA is readying a new Intel Chipset that is scheduled for release in the winter. The current C19 is now at a C1 revision, the original P5N32-SLI shipped with revision A3. Reply
  • ivoloos - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Ah, Thanks!!
    I plan to buy me a Core 2 Dou/Extreme system about a year from now, let's say somewhere around the release of Intels Bearlake chipset. The decision will be made then, after having a clear view at the features of that chipset and the new NVIDIA chipset.
    The article, which is very good by the way, made some doubts rise about whether that what I've read was correct or not.
    I'm curious about the period when we can expect the new NVIDIA chipset to appear on the motherboards. Any news about that (Q1/2007 perhaps?), or is too early to say something about this?
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I want to build a value SLI motherboard with conroe.

    Maybe compare 6 value SLI motherboards with conroe and 2 gigs of value ram in the future when boards are released?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • RogueSpear - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Am I the only one who thinks that the phrase "Value SLI" is a bit like "Military Intelligence" ? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Great statement!!! :) I guess value in the sense that the 570SLI boards will be about $50~$75 less than the 590SLI boards. However, unless you want to really overclock the FSB, even the 570SLI boards will be a value compared to the P965 boards. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We are looking forward to the value SLI boards in early August. Prices will range on average from $95 to $120. As soon as we can post a review up on these boards, it will be done. :) Reply
  • EODetroit - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Can Anandtech max out the memory and make sure these systems are stable in 64 bit Windows OS'? I'd really like to make sure that there's no time bombs if I buy 8GB of ram that will force me to RMA a lot of stuff. If you don't have 2GB sticks, at least test with 4x1GB. The motherboards advertise that they support 8GB, but no one ever seems to check them on it. If Anandtech could do that, it would be a great help.

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • Genx87 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Not bad for an older chipset to win the SLI benchmarks.
    I am curious what the new chipset can do!
    Reply
  • supremelaw - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Dear Gary and Wesley,

    I'm thinking back to about 8 months ago,
    when we first started assembling our
    ASUS P5WD2 Premium motherboard
    (which has recently become our primary
    production machine).

    We offered our assistance at the ASUS
    User Forum, because a LOT of users
    were stumbling over the IT8211F IDE
    controller, which requires a device driver
    to be extracted from the Support CD.

    I fear that P965 motherboards are headed
    for the same serious problems, particularly
    if motherboards add an on-board IDE
    controller that is NOT "native" e.g. JMicron.

    Here's the scenario: a less-than-expert
    user sees a PATA IDE port, and thinks
    he can use (or recycle) a PATA optical
    drive to run Windows Setup. And, he's
    probably read (or heard) the stories about
    SATA optical drives that just don't work
    with Windows Setup.

    Is this user headed for major problems?

    I think so.

    And here's why ...

    If the BIOS has not been modified to
    support native PATA / IDE optical devices,
    a Catch-22 results: you need the device
    driver from the Support CD, but you can't
    read the Support CD without the device
    driver -- not if the optical device is wired
    to that on-board IDE controller.

    If you want confirmation of this problem,
    check out the ASUS User Forum for the
    P5WD2 Premium, particularly the numerous
    complaints Users were posting about the
    ITE IT8211F on-board IDE controller.

    To make this problem even more exasperating,
    the User Manual failed to mention that the
    F6 sequence will load the ITE driver during
    Windows Setup, BUT one can STILL not
    run Windows Setup from an optical drive
    wired to that ITE controller. The device driver
    can be added AFTER Windows XP is
    successfully installed.

    Fortunately, the P5WD2 Premium has a
    BLUE native IDE port as well, and we
    avoided all of these problems by running
    Windows Setup from a PATA optical drive
    wired to that BLUE native IDE port.


    Thanks for all the great reviews!


    Sincerely yours,
    /s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell
    Webmaster, Supreme Law Library
    http://www.supremelaw.org/">http://www.supremelaw.org/
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Hi Paul,

    quote:

    Is this user headed for major problems?


    The scenario you listed is a very real possibility and as you have noted has existed in past boards. In fact, I was on the phone with Wes when our first P965 was fired up and the Optical Drive was not recognized. Of course, I had a few choice words to say about the situation. The only way to load the new OS image and Driver CD was through the Optical drive and that was not going to happen in this case. I ended up loading a new image on a drive in another system, installing the inf and network drivers in a folder, and then moving this drive to the new machine. The issue was a very early bios that did not support the hooks from the external IDE chipset into the ICH8. We received an updated bios a few days later and all was well from that point forward.

    Since Intel has basically left a "lane" open in the ICH8 to support IDE (much in the same way as the LAN controller logic, being real simple here to keep it short), then the only issue is to ensure the bios has support for the IDE link. We have not seen this issue at all in the latest boards that we have received and have been told it will not occur in shipping boards. While most suppliers are going with the JMicron solution, Biostar included the VIA VT6410 that turned out to offer excellent performance in our upcoming storage tests. I hope this helps and thank you for your comments today.
    :)
    Reply
  • Andy4504 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I was most surprized by the poor BadAxe (X975XBX) Overclocking. Because the memory controller isn't directly tied to the FSB speeds, the fact that you cannot incrase the memory voltage without hardware modification should make little / no difference in CPU overclocking.

    I personally own a X975XBX with an 805D. I've found that the best overclocking isn't done by selecting +30% OR + any percent for that matter, but rather choosing the higher bus speed, then selecting an underclock from that higher speed.

    With full access to the memory multiplier range, most any ratio could be set.

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Conroe runs at 1066 FSB speed. 1333 support has been in and out of the different BIOS revisions. So with Conroe you can select no higher bus speed at worst, or a modest 1333 at best. 805D runs at 533 (166 quad) so you have differnt options. It really isn't possible to select higher bus speeds and clock down with Conroe on the BadAxe. Reply
  • Paladin165 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    In the review you mention that the 7600GT would work with the cheap ASrock board, I was thinking about going with this setup (if another ultra-cheap board doesn't come out soon). I was wondering, how much impact would the 4x PCIex speed have on the 7600GT? Are there any situations where it would choke off performance? Does it provide enough power?

    This cheap board seems like a good buy because new motherboards are going to be coming out so rapidly over the next six months it doesn't make sense to drop $250 on a bleeding-edge board.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    The 7600GT works fine. I am trying to procure a 7600GS PCIe and AGP cards to directly compare the video performance on the board. Hopefully, I will have both cards before the full review goes up. We also have two other ASRock boards that are under $75 arriving shortly. I think the performance with the 7600GT will be fine unless you like to play Oblivion and even with the PCIe x4 interface you will not notice a real difference with this card. Reply
  • Paladin165 - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    "I think the performance with the 7600GT will be fine unless you like to play Oblivion"

    !!!

    Oblivion is exactly what I want to play! What is it about this setup that hurts Oblivion performance?
    Reply
  • Beaner - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Very well-written article guys!
    Thanks for taking the time to enlighten us all.

    Just wanted to point out that the Mushkin Redline sticks can be had right now for $355 AR. At that price, I may just have to grab 'em myself!
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    It was pretty much shown that the effect of using memory dividers for Athlon64's was rather minimal while most dividers were more adverse for Netburst.

    How large of an effect does using memory dividers have on the Conroe?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    The effect of memory dividers is much smaller on Conroe than we saw on Netburst. In fact memory dividers on Conroe behave more like AM2 - probably the result of the "apparent" reduction in latency with the intelligent look-ahead in memory. Core 2 Duo is not Hyper-Transport, so 1:1 (533) tis still theoretically the highest performing setting, but we were hard pressed to find any measurable advantage of 1:1 in most situations.

    We had tested a number of high-performance dimms on Conroe before we wrote the Buyers Guide, but there just wasn't the time - or room - to include full memory performance data in the Guide. We do have memory reviews in process that will provide specifics to your questions.

    We can summarize what we have learned about memory on Conroe so far. DDR2-667 is quite a bit higher in real perfomance than DDR2-400 or DDR2-533 (1:1). We would consider DDR2 to be the minimum memory that should be used with Conroe. Going up from DDR2-667 we found the following - from fastest to DDR2-667. DDR2-1067 4-4-4 is a bit faster than DDR2-800 3-3-3 is a bit faster than DDR2-667 3-2-3. Timings are very important above DDR2-667 and you can give up any performance advantage with slower timings. DDR2-667 is a good match to COnroe bandwidth, and is better perfoming than 533 or 400 by a wider marging than you find above DDR2-667. It also appears Conroe responds better (performs better with increases) to DDR2 bandwidth increases than either Netburst or AM2.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We would consider DDR2-667 the minimum memory to use with Conroe, and faster timings do generally improve performance. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I would like to know this as well. Reply
  • txt2000 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Just wondering, if your going to spend ~$400 on memory if you would be better off with 4GB value DDR or 2GB high performance. Reply
  • Patsoe - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I suppose that completely depends on your usage pattern. Almost all of my activities fit within 512MB, and probably anything I do fits within 768MB. So getting faster RAM would do more for me than more of it.

    If you could fill 3GB, then a setup with 2GB will see a lot hard-disk swapping... even a very slow 4GB of RAM will do better in that case.
    Reply
  • Andy4504 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Anything over 1GB results in the OS addressing your memory differently. Never did the reasearch on how that different addressing affected system performance however. Reply
  • supremelaw - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2797&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2797&am...

    Timing and content were perfect for this article.

    And, your earlier article on the nVidia 590 chipset
    for Intel also dovetails perfectly: nice photos too.

    August+ should be VERY interesting.

    Many thanks!


    Sincerely yours,
    /s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell
    Webmaster, Supreme Law Library
    http://www.supremelaw.org/">http://www.supremelaw.org/
    Reply
  • mobutu - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    "The board was very stable with our X6800 and X6600 Core 2 Duo processors ..."
    It should have been E6700 (or maybe E6700)
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    "The board was very stable with our X6800 and X6600 Core 2 Duo processors ..."


    I am surprised I did not see this posted on a news site somewhere announcing Intel has a X6600. ;-) The line was corrected this morning to (X6800, E6700, E6600) although late last night my mind was probably thinking unlocked E6600 equals X6600 for some reason. Thanks for the notice! :)
    Reply
  • drarant - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    In recent months the memory market has moved from a 1GB kit to a 2BG kit being the common memory configuration.

    2GB*

    Excellent article, I'm assuming the OCing results were default voltages on the chipsets and/or the cpu?
    Reply
  • drarant - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    page 11, 2nd to last sentence* Reply
  • Patsoe - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    If you compare the new board to the earlier P5WD2-E you will find the board is virtually the same.


    To be honest, I would say it's quite different!

    The storage controllers have been changed a lot... there is now a port-multiplier type of SiI chip that connects to one of the ICH7 ports, which provides driverless (!) RAID. Also, the previous board had a Marvell SATA/PATA controller instead of the JMicron controller.

    For another difference: the new board is missing the PCIe 4x slot, too.

    Anyway, thanks for the great overview! And it's amazing how fast after launch you got this up.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Thanks for your comment. We added information to the P5W-DH page with a little more info on the differences from the earlier board. Reply
  • nicolasb - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    ...is what is the actual impact on system performance of different memory speeds and timings? Possibly you guys actually derive a direct erotic thrill simply from knowing that your memory timings are 4-3-3-9 ;-) but what the rest of us care about is whether any given timings actually provide a tangible improvement to running applications. If I spend an extra £200 on memory, am I going to get an extra 10fs in a certain game, or just an extra 1fps if I'm lucky? That's what I want to know.

    Conroe is a new chip and it is by no means obvious (to me, anyway) whether the speed/latency of the memory will have a greater or lesser impact on the performance of the system than is the case for Netburst or A64 chips.

    So, how about re-running some of your benchmarks on one particular board and producing results for different memory speeds and latencies?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    The original plan was to publish a Conroe memory article prior to this huge motherboard and memory roundup. The move forward of the Conroe launch by two weeks shifted our schedule quite a bit, as we discussed in the Buying Guide. we have found the timings DDR2 memory can achieve give a rough idea of the performance hierarchy on Conroe. That is 1067 at 4-4-4 is a bit faster than 800 at 3-3-3 is faster than 667 3-2-3. 667 is generally faster than nything slower regardless of timings.

    With 13 DDR2 kits it was impossible to do proper and complete performance testing on all the memory on Conroe and still deliver an article when you want to read it. There will definitely be followup reviews of memory on Conroe anwsering your questions in detail. We knew there would be complaints from some, but we also hoped you could understnad the roundup is posting 4 days after an early Conroe launch - and you can't even buy Core 2 Duo until 7/27 or later.

    We wanted to provide solid info as soon as possible for those planning a Conroe purchase. We thought our finding that almost any Elpida value DDR2 will do DDR2-800 4-3-3 at about 2.2v was big news you would want to know, we will fill in the rest of the performance data as soon as we can.

    As it is the roundup is over 15,000 words and one of the largest articles ever published at AT - in word length - and we really tried to be brief in each review. We really like giving our readers exactly what they want, but sometimes the realities of time and volume shift our priorities.
    Reply
  • Tanclearas - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Although I can understand what you're saying, maybe the following should not have been included in the introductory page.

    quote:

    We have tested seven 2GB DDR2 kits priced at less than $200 to see how they really compare to high-priced DDR2 on Conroe. You may be surprised by the results.


    I guess the only surprise was that the comparison wasn't there. :P

    Honestly, I tried to jump right to that section only to find rather useless comparisons of ridiculously expensive memory (which I won't buy) and "value" (read cheap) memory (which I won't buy). Also, can you really tell me that it was much of a surprise that the expensive memory all topped out at roughly the same speed (~1100, 5-5/4-5-15)? Nor am I particularly surprised the value memory could overclock reasonably well, but how about tests of the memory that I think most of your readers are likely to buy? I've been looking at DDR2, and you can get memory rated at DDR2-800 for a little more than the DDR2-667/533 variety, and still a lot less than the DDR2-1000 modules.

    I know that you were pressed for time, especially with the launch being pushed forward. I just think (and it is only an opinion) that other tests should have been given priority over the ones you've completed.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Also, what motherboard was used for the DDR tests? Often, value RAM is paired with a "value" motherboard. Value RAM may not look so well when paired with a value motherboard. I'm wondering how cheap we can go for reasonable peformance :) Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    So, how about re-running some of your benchmarks on one particular board and producing results for different memory speeds and latencies?


    We stated at the end of page 18 that we will be publishing performance results of the value memory roundup shortly. The amount of time required to test these seven modules at four different settings in several different applications was incredible and warrants a separate article update.
    Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Im curious, can you go into some detail as to how you determine each memory's stable speeds at the various timings you reported?

    Did you test any of the value ram up to 1067 or would they not work at all?
    Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Too bad you guys didnt test the asrock conroexfire, its basically similar to the one you tested now but with a 16x pcie slot and only ddr2 support. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Too bad you guys didnt test the asrock conroexfire, its basically similar to the one you tested now but with a 16x pcie slot and only ddr2 support.


    We have more boards coming, the flood gates are getting ready to open from the motherboard suppliers over the course of the next four weeks. Although the press embargo release was moved up to last week, the motherboard suppliers were still targeting 7/27 for hardware releases into the market. We will review and post articles on Conroe capable boards as soon as we receive them. We still have some very good AM2 boards to review also. ;-)
    Reply
  • jones377 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Can you guys run a few benchmarks with DDR1 on this board? It doesn't have to be the full suite, just some to get an idea of DDR1 performance with Conroe. Thanks! Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Can you guys run a few benchmarks with DDR1 on this board? It doesn't have to be the full suite, just some to get an idea of DDR1 performance with Conroe. Thanks!


    We are testing another DDR1 board shortly and will have those results up in the near future. Bios version 1.3 on this board improved DDR1 performance and we are expecting another bios spin shortly.
    Reply
  • jones377 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    quote:

    We are testing another DDR1 board shortly and will have those results up in the near future. Bios version 1.3 on this board improved DDR1 performance and we are expecting another bios spin shortly.

    What board is that? Another ASROCK? They have quite a few Conroe compatible ones based on VIA, ATI and the i865G chipsets.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Yes, we will be testing the ASRock 775i65G, there might also be a i865 board coming from PC Chips. We should see some additional value based boards in the near future from other suppliers based on the 946PL and SIS662 chipsets. Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Lists chipset as: Chipset Intel 975X + ICH8R

    I thought it was 965?
    Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    And on the same page:

    "Despite the similarity of the ASUS 975X and 965 top boards, a closer look at options does tell you 965 is targeted a bit lower than 965. "
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Fixed - as you can imagine given the length, there will probably be a few more typos than normal. Our heads are all spinning a bit after putting this together. ;) Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I did not see any tpoys... :) Reply
  • R3MF - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    "The 965 has an X8 PCIe slot and an X4 PCIe slot and does not support CrossFire"

    the tech-diagram on the same page clearly says:
    16x PCIe on the northbridge
    6x1 PCIe on the southbridge

    which is it?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    I've edited the wording slightly. You are correct that the NB only supports an X16, and there is at most an X4 from the SB. It should read correctly now. Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    How about a pagedetailing who actually has them in stock and hasn't price-gouged them? ;)
    It could link to the RTPE.
    Hopefully by the time Part2 comes out, C2Ds will actually be available.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We are disappointed in the intial pricing structures but when demand exceeds supply you know what you get.... :) Reply
  • zsdersw - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    No GA-965P-DS3? Is there a reason it wasn't included in the roundup? Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We have one on its way for review in the near future for review. In fact, over the course of the next four weeks we will probably receive 20 or more Conroe boards so expect a lot of motherboard coverage in August. ;-) Reply
  • zsdersw - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Thanks. Looking forward to it. Reply
  • yacoub - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Thank you, guys! This is a huge help. Reply
  • danidentity - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    GREAT article!

    I wonder if the 965 chipset over time will become faster than 975 with BIOS revisions.
    Reply
  • Roy2001 - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    I am looking for OC a E6600 with 4MB cache to 4Ghz with minimum budget and I never OC my system. So I don't know which value board/RAM would meet the target. I don't care about timing/latency. I would like to see anandtech to publish guides for high performance OCers and value OCers and help us to reach max speed.

    In addition, I can pickup DDR2-800 RAM priced similar to those 667 RAMs, I don't understand why they are not included in review?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • SixFour - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Will Conroe work on any nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition motherboard or will it only work on a few of them. A friend offered me an Asus P5ND2-SLI and didn't accept because I didn't have a reason for it. But if Conroe works with it, I was planning on a light usage rig with a new E6300 and a 6600 GT I have lying around. Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    The only nF4 board that we know of at this time to support Conroe is the Asus P5N32-SLI SE. Based on all indications, this will be the only one as the nf570 for Intel will be the mainstream NVIDIA board with the nf590 falling at the high end ($165 to $205). Reply

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