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Need help with deciding on motherboard for budget gaming rig.

post #1 of 3
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This will be my first time building a computer myself, its for my brother. I have to keep it on a low budget so here is everything I am getting besides the motherboard:

Processor: Intel Pentium e2200 Dual Core
Memory: OCZ Gold Series 2GB DDR-667 (maybe 800 depending on motherboard)
PSU: Thermaltake Pure Power 430W
Cheap CD/DVD burner combo drive
Video card: XFX 8600gt 256mb PCI-E
Hard Drive: 80GB IDE
Case: Rosewill R624-P BLK Black SGCC (would like a suggestion for a better case at around the same price point, possibly one comboed with a good PSU?)

Fry's Electronics currently has the CPU I plan on getting (e2200) bundled with a ECS 945GCT-M/1333 Motherboard for only $79.99. Now I know this motherboard isn't very good, but I am wondering how bad it really is (from what I heard it can't be overclocked?) Does anyone have any experience with this mobo and its overclocking abilities? Since it's basically free, and I am trying to stay as cheap as possible, I am leaning towards it over a $80+ gigabyte board. But I would like to be able to do atleast a small overclock on the processor.

[EDIT] After reading reviews on newegg I've determined the ECS has no overclocking features, so I guess I'll see how everything runs at stock and if an upgrade is needed I'll get one. Really is a shame considering the amazing OC potential of the CPU ]=[end EDIT]

If I were to buy this CPU+motherboard combo I could always upgrade to a better motherboard later on down the line correct? Or is it difficult to swap out a motherboard once you already have an OS installed, as I said this will be a first time build for me (and a learning experience). I heard awhile ago that windows has problems when the motherboard is changed, but perhaps that info is now outdated or I was mistaked/remembering it wrong.

The ECS board uses a memory standard of ddr2 667, does this mean it will not run any ddr2 800 or it just may not run it at full speeds?

As far as any of the other hardware I am using goes, I am open to any suggestions This computer won't be used for any hard core gaming, just half-life 2 games on highish settings (if possible) and maybe some others on low/medium settings on a 17" lcd @ 1280x1024.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, all comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated [= Sorry about the messy formatting =/
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500k @ 4.8ghz (1.36v) ASUS P8P67 PRO (B3) MSI GTX 670 G-Skill Sniper 8gb 1866mhz 1.5v 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Samsung F3 1tb, SAMSUNG F2 2tb Windows 7 Ultimate x64 ACER GD235HZ 23.5" 120hz Seasonic SS-850HT 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
NZXT Tempest EVO Razer Lachesis Razer Sphex 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500k @ 4.8ghz (1.36v) ASUS P8P67 PRO (B3) MSI GTX 670 G-Skill Sniper 8gb 1866mhz 1.5v 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Samsung F3 1tb, SAMSUNG F2 2tb Windows 7 Ultimate x64 ACER GD235HZ 23.5" 120hz Seasonic SS-850HT 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
NZXT Tempest EVO Razer Lachesis Razer Sphex 
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post #2 of 3
if you haven't bought the E2200 yet, I strongly recommend against it. The E2200s turned out to be poorer overclockers compared to the E2180 and E2160s despite the extra multiplier. If you didn't buy it yet, definitely try to get an E2180.

As for motherboard, you are right. Never get ECS. Ever. I think your best option would be the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L. Around $90 on newegg. Fantastic overclocker and it will pair up very nicely with a E2180/E2160. Other options you can consider:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R if you want onboard RAID
DFI Blood Iron: also very good, comes with onboard RAID and DFI's BIOS is always very extensive
DFI P35-T2RS (I saw this for $100 open box on newegg, which is a really nice deal)

btw, you will probably want to get an aftermarket CPU cooler if it fits your budget. The best bang for buck cooler would probably be the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro (~$25 + shipping). It will help your overclock immensely.

anyways, ddr2 is like dirt cheap right now. You should have no trouble finding 2GB of DDR2-800 that will fit your budget.
Edited by thenovices - 5/13/08 at 6:37pm
Monster.
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E2180 @ 3.0 GHz GA-P35-DS3L (rev 2.0) EVGA 8800GT OCZ Reaper HPC 2x1GB DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DrivePowerCase
WD Caviar SE16 500GB Lite-On 20x DVD Burner Corsair TX650 Coolermaster Elite 330 
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Monster.
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E2180 @ 3.0 GHz GA-P35-DS3L (rev 2.0) EVGA 8800GT OCZ Reaper HPC 2x1GB DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DrivePowerCase
WD Caviar SE16 500GB Lite-On 20x DVD Burner Corsair TX650 Coolermaster Elite 330 
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post #3 of 3
right, it will take 800, but only at 667 speeds.. MOST LIKELY, not always though.

I have a good board in mind for you... its an eVGA so you know its backed by quality. It OC's and is on a budget too.

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...nufacture=eVGA

its on sale right now, and added to the sale is also an MIR, so its a great time to grab up that board. Its not sli ready, so if you plan to sli later in life then plan it now so you dont have to buy another board. I did that ecs/cpu combo thingy and the cpu is great but the board is a wreck. Oh well, we all learn, apparantly you learned faster than me

GL
Apollo
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 D0 Asus P6T Sapphire 4870X2 3x2GB OCZ Gold DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 x 500gb RAID 0, 2 x 1TB Caviar Black Samsung 22x Sata DVD+-R/DL Vista x64 Acer x223w 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 gen2 Cooler Master 850w 6 Rail Antec Twelve Hundred OCZ Equilizer 
Mouse Pad
Fellowes Ergonomic Wrist Support 
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Apollo
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 D0 Asus P6T Sapphire 4870X2 3x2GB OCZ Gold DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 x 500gb RAID 0, 2 x 1TB Caviar Black Samsung 22x Sata DVD+-R/DL Vista x64 Acer x223w 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 gen2 Cooler Master 850w 6 Rail Antec Twelve Hundred OCZ Equilizer 
Mouse Pad
Fellowes Ergonomic Wrist Support 
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Reply
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