Originally Posted by Mikecdm
My take on things is that 775 is a great place to start. There are tons of different chips to bench and most if not all can be had for cheap. If you are going to be using DICE, 775 is also good because most chips scale really well with just DICE. Ln2 will take them higher, but one can still be pretty competitive with just DICE. Finding a good board is kind of the hard part, but a nice EP45-UD3P will get you through all of the core 2 chips and related Pentium models. P4 and celeron don't work well in most P45. One would need to mod the chip in order to get it to work. P35 and P965 along with X48 work well with P4 and celeron. Something like a P5B deluxe with mods will be a great board for P4 and celerons and the EP45 would be good for quads and c2d.
Now the thing with AMD. If you don't have Ln2, it's a waste of time IMO. Max clocks will be miles away from what can be achieved on Ln2 if you are only using DICE. For unlocked chips, AM3 boards are great. If you want to run chips with locked multi's, the AM3 boards don't take them very high and you're back to looking for a good DDR2 board. Other than that, I find the AMD stuff pretty boring for most of the 2d benches since AMD is so slow. But thats just personal preference. For AMD, the CHV is my favorite board. The ROG connect is miles better than anything giga can come up with. The board is also rock solid.
Originally Posted by CL3P20
what mike said..
**my 2cents to add - P5B-DLX and a handful of 775skt CPU's is less than 200$ and loads of HWBot points.. as well as fun. You can clock Celeron up to Qxxx and Exxxx cpu's... by far the cheapest board to get 775 experience on..as well as being +600mhz FSB capable and more than robust enough for Quad CPU clocking.
also - 775skt rarely has issues with cold and scales really well on DICE alone, so max clocks and good submissions are possible without LN.
Originally Posted by Rasparthe
Well, for what its worth, I'll jump in and third what the two guys above me have said. I've had plenty of chipsets and platforms subzero and I still comeback to my favourite being 775. As stated, the processors are cheap as hell to get started and you can definitely be competitive with a great set of DDR2 memory ($30 or $40) and a good x48 or P45 motherboard. DDR3 boards really only provide advantage for Super Pi or other benchmarks where memory speed is important, which is nice to have but the boards are usually very expensive. Personally I started with a Rampage Formula and Pentium 4 641 Cedar Mill, and now I own way, way, way too many 775 boards because I just can't bear to get rid of them.
Listen to these three guys. They are all very experienced sub-zero overclockers, so they know exactly what they're talking about.