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 Post subject: Q: Asus P5N-D, or P5K, or...?
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 9:05 am 
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Greetings,

I'm looking for a Socket 775 motherboard with dual PCIe 16 slots, 4 RAM slots, a 4-pin (PWM) CPU fan header (and hopefully at least a second controllable fan header), passive cooling -- and the Asus P5N-D seems to fit the bill:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131232

Can somebody confirm all these features are included on this board, and/or suggest a better one, please?

Or, would this one be better, the same? (I can't see the CPU fan header in the pictures...)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131180

How important is the PCI x16 v2.0 (on the P5N-D)?

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 1:55 pm 
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The only issue I see with the P5N-D is that the PCI-E slots are only 1 PCI slot apart. Make sure your cooler will fit. Also know that there will be little ventilation in between the cards.

I'd also suggest looking at 650i and 680i motherboards. Because they have been "replaced" by Nvidia's 7xx series, they are often very cheap for the features they offer. 680i boards that used to be considered high end can now be had for around 150 or less. The 750i chipset is identical to the 650i except for having PCI-E 2.0 support.

Speaking of PCI-E 16 2.0, I consider it the same as Sata 3GBs. No GPU/HDD can respectively saturate PCI-E 1.0 or Sata 150. Both buses were made bigger just because they could be. Unless some new GPU can actually saturate PCI-E 1.0, PCI-E 2.0 is pure marketing.

Also note that in most cases, when using the PCI-E 16x slots with the P35 chipset, the second slot will only operate at 4x. I'm pretty sure that the upcomming P45 has native 8x, 8x Crossfire.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 5:37 pm 
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Neil are you considering Crossfire or SLI?

If you are not going not going to run dual GPU's, I would only go Intel for the motherboard chipset.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Hi,

I may run two video cards, but not necessarily in a "linked" mode.

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 7:15 pm 
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I would also recommend an Intel chipset over any nVidia product. I'm running an X38 based motherboard now, with two video cards (8800GT and 8600GT) to power three monitors.

Depending on what other cards you may use, the P5K-E might be a better choice. If you have any PCI-e 1x cards, they won't be in the way of any dual-slot VGA coolers you might use (the Accelero S1 and S2 are the best way to go these days).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:03 am 
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Hello,

We ended up going with the Asus P5K -- it is fine except for two issues: the one IDE connector is located in the worst possible place; along the bottom edge. If you are using an IDE optical drive, then you'll have to locate it in the lowest bay.

The second is that while QFan2 can be used on both the CPU fan (4-pin) and one (or both?) of the case fan headers (3-pin) -- there are no manual settings. :( You have to choose between "Optimal", "Performance", and "Silent". And "Silent" still will not stop the fan, even though the E8400 is running at ~34C while running Folding@Home SMP. :twisted:

Oh, and I guess the third issue is there was no options to undervolt AFAICS.

I used the Xigmatek HDT-1283 with the Thermalright S775 bolt-through kit -- talk about a piece 'o cake installation! It clears the Solo's cross bar by a whole 1/16th of and inch...whew!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:22 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hello,Oh, and I guess the third issue is there was no options to undervolt AFAICS.

You're just not looking hard enough then. ;)

In AI Tweaker, you'll have to set things to Manual in order to reach the CPU voltage settings.

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