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Windows 7: What motherboard should I go for?

25 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
What motherboard should I go for?

(I guess this is kindof the right section to put this in)
I'm looking for an awesome motherboard. And by 'awesome', Ii mean one that makes the Rampage III Extreme quiver.

The background:
The computer I have had since 2001 died a few days ago (see my album for the funeral photos). It was a critical death, as it seems that the motherboard shorted (I swapped most of the parts for slightly newer (2005) parts a year ago).

Currently, I am having to get by with my HP Pavilion ZV5000, which as you can see from my system specs sheet, isn't very good (let's face it, the coolest thing about it is its processor being codenamed 'ClawHammer'). Unfortunately, that laptop has more or less the same specs for any machine i've recently owned. The best machine I've ever had was the dead one that I got 2GB RAM into with the new, shorted, mobo.

I am fed up with low end computers. I plan on building the best machine I could possibly dream of (that is possible with todays technology ). The Rampage III Extreme doesn't hold enough RAM for my likings.
Yes, I realise I would need a SSD to fully justify that much RAM, and please don't try to talk me out of it saying that's an insane amount. It's meant to be an insane machine

So, the sort of mobo i'm looking for needs:
- More than 24GB RAM max. (i'm thinking more along the lines of the latest Mac Pro's 64GB)
- Standard size. I don't want a cute little HTPC mobo, I want a standard size one.
- At least 2 PCI-E slots, preferably three. I would like to be able to have the option as well for at least one PCI card to be used if I want.
- Must support an i7 extreme. I hope that all the sandy bridge mess-up has gone by the time I get round to buying all this stuff, and yes, I realise an i7 extreme costs about 995. I'm planning on saving up
- At least one IDE connector. Call me old fashined, but I like IDE.

I think I've covered every 'base' on requirements...
Yes, I realise this rig is going to cost a lot (my rough estimate is 2000). I'm saving up and want to go 'all out' this time.
Thankyou very much for reading all of this :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

More than 24 GB of RAM means either 8 slots or more than 4 gb per stick.

I can't find a board with 8 slots or 8 GB sticks of RAM.

Maybe a workstation or XEON board of some type. Don't know if it will fit your budget.

The Rampage III Black edition supposedly supports more than 24 gigs of RAM, but it has only 6 slots. That's only 24 gigs unless you can find sticks with more than 4 gb each.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #3

Windows 8.1 - 64 Bit

No offense but why spend so much on something which will be obsolete in less than six months. Buy something decent and use rest of money to upgrade with time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

ignatzatsonic, thank you for your research into it. After a bit of fishing around, I stumbled across the EVGA Classified SR-2, which seems to be huge in every sense (price, size...) and takes a mind staggering 48GB of RAM and two processors. This would seem to be future proof, but with a price of just over 500, I can see Devilz' point about spending more on other parts later
How great would 24GB be? as yes, I was intending on having a high budget, but I think I ought to be slightly sensible with choices
I guess 24GB could be fine, so thanks again ignatzatsonic for the research
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #5


Well there is no Sandy Bridge extreme CPU. Don't think they're doing them for Sandy Bridge as they have the K edition ones, which are essentially what an extreme edition did.

For RAM, a few high end P67 motherboards support 32GBs, but there's no 8GB RAM sticks available yet (4GB sticks have only just really become widely available), so for now you're stuck with 16GB max on a P67 mobo. If you want more than that, then you're gonna have to go to x58, which as pointed out, the Rampage III can have up to 48GB, but again you're not gonna get this without 8GB sticks of RAM. To go higher than that, then you're gonna have to drop this whole build and go to a dual Xeon 1366 board that has 12 RAM slots and use buffered RAM, which will get you 96GB max, but that is completely pointless for a desktop, or the SR-2 which is still 48GB and uses Xeon.

I don't think you should build a comp based around how much RAM you want. The amount of money you'd be spending on RAM filling that RAM limit would cost more than your PC.

You also say the Rampage III doesn't have enough RAM for you, yet that's an x58 motherboard and you seem to be wanting a Sandy Bridge, which is P67 and a different socket, so you're stuck with 32GB max on Sandy Bridge.

Most Sandy Bridge ATX motherboards come with 2 PCI-E slots. Only a few have more than 2, and just about all have a PCI slot as well as IDE.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

96GB does sound pretty sweet , but I guess I should draw the 'sensible line', as yeah, for a high grade server, maybe, but for my word processing machine it could be a bit over the top
(no, it wont be just for word processing, but I suppose 96GB does sound rather insane even for a gaming machine).
Thankyou Everlong for the further research and explanation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

You do realize that adding tons of ram won't make your machine faster, right? Your system is only really going to use what it needs. Do you run heavy ram intensive applications that are really going to benefit from this? I'd be just about willing to bet that 4GB would be more than you would use/need.

You asked, "how great would 24GB be" and said, "96GB does sound pretty sweet"....but that sounds like typical, more most be better thinking. I've got servers at work with more than 32GB of RAM in them, but they run dozens of production virtual servers which run applications for hundreds and thousands of users. All of my other servers are usually 4GB or more RAM is often wasted RAM. My home desktop runs 8GB of RAM as I do run lots of VM's. Without my VM's, I don't use more than about 2-3GB of RAM ever.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

There will be a Sandy Bridge Extreme edition.

Due out before year end. Cost unknown, but I would expect it to be around $1000.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

My machine with 8GB only exceeds 3-4GB with certain x64 applications.
Even then, it doesnt use all 8GB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

(firstly apologies for no quoting, but my phone doesn't seem to like multi-quoting)

pparks1, yeah, I guess so. It's just i've never used a machine with more than 2GB of RAM. actually, I just realized, I never ever ever have :/
I thought i may have had briefly used somebody's slightly better machine, but no, 2GB is all i've ever experienced. I guess I should get the Rampage III Black edition for slight 'future proofing', but only get 8GB of RAM to start with to see how I cope. I plan on getting (in the far far future, even further away than this rig) a MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM, which when comparing it to my 'dreams' of RAM levels looks pathetic, but when compared to reality (I guess running parallels would be quite 'smooth') is ample. Considering both pparks1 and Wishmaster's real life 8GB examples, I guess it should be fine for me.
ignatzatsonic, ooh, can't wait! I suppose that is a pretty high price tag compared to my (dead) 15 Celeron D , but I'm guessing it will be an awesome processor :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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