Asus p5v800 vs Asrock 775 dual 880

Discussion in 'ASRock' started by Eddie G, May 16, 2006.

  1. Eddie G

    Eddie G Guest

    Which of these 2 mobos is recommended? The Asrock has 4 PCI slots and
    the Asus has 2. But the Asus supports SATA 3 Gb/s where the Asrock is


    Any thoughts/suggestions? I just bought a new AGP video card so I do
    not want to buy a PCI Express card, and I still want to use my ATA 133
    (IDE) HD and these boards support both AGP and PCI Express (for when I
    upgrade). I have been pricing barebones systems with these 2 mobos
    with an Intel 820 CPU (along with heat sink and case fans...but no
    other hardware at this time). Memory I'll buy on Ebay, and to find a SATA hard drive when I need one.

    What web sites do you prefer for buying a barebones system? I do not
    feel comfortable putting a system together myself, and don't know how
    much I'd save anyway. I am comfortable installing hardware, though.

    I understand the Asrock supports dual channel memory, yet the Asus
    pci-e slot runs at 16x where the Asrock runs at 4x.

    Since I will someday upgrade to pci-e and use my machine for games,
    which is better...the memory or the pci-e slot?
    Eddie G, May 16, 2006
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  2. Eddie G

    Paul Guest

    I think you are still missing a point from our last discussion.
    The Asus P5V800-MX has an AGP slot and a PCI Express x1 slot. An
    x1 slot is not typically used for video. The Asrock board gives
    you an AGP slot and a PCI Express x16 physical slot, on which
    only x4 lanes are wired. The x16 physical size, is compatible
    with the standard PCI Express x16 video cards, and the fact
    that only x4 lanes are wired, reduces performance to the 80%
    level. In other words, the Asrock board has two video card slots,
    while the Asus board only has _one_ video card slot.

    Both boards don't run a x16 PCI Express video card, with a full x16
    PCI Express lanes. The Asus board, has an x1 PCI Express slot, which
    is good for add-in cards like a USB, Ethernet, or disk controller card.
    Matrox makes some x1 video cards, so they do exist, but they are not
    mainstream, and they are not really a good gamer solution. The
    Matrox x1 PCI Express video would be useful for a Photoshop user.

    Building a system from parts is not that hard. The motherboard
    has two power connectors, a 2x2 and a 20 or 24 pin main power
    connector. The PANEL header connects what few two wire devices
    that need to be connected. (Power switch, reset switch, speaker,
    IDE_activity LED). It is a pretty painless install into
    a computer case. Buying a barebones, you are basically giving
    some of your money to someone else, for 10 minutes work with
    a screwdriver.

    A barebones system can fail just as easily as a system constructed
    from individual components. You'll get the same (lack of) support
    from your barebones vendor, as from your individual parts vendor.
    So the same amount of pain there.

    You could go with a Dell, but with a Dell, you have to do a lot
    of research in advance (if it is even possible), to determine
    whether the system is expandable or not. Many pre-built customers
    buy "budget" versions of systems, only to find they won't even
    take an add-in video card. So, with the Dell/HP/Gateway etc type
    systems, you have to spend the extra bucks, to get a decent
    power supply, motherboard with proper video card slot and so on.
    Overall you save money, but have to suffer with whatever
    recovery CD/bundled crapware that comes with the pre-built
    machine. (The more closed a system, with weak documentation,
    that you buy, the less help you can expect from USENET. Buy a
    Dell, rely on Dell tech support.)

    Looking on the VIA site, the PT880 Ultra is the best of the bunch,
    offering a PCI Express x4 interface and an AGP 8X interface. I
    checked, and for Intel support, they don't have any dual
    interface solutions.

    ULI has dual interfaces for Athlon64 (M1695/M1567), and this is
    an example. This chipset gives a full x16 PCI Express slot and
    an AGP 8X slot. (Find some benchmarking articles about this
    board/chipset, before you buy.) The reason this is easier to do on
    the AMD side, is AMD embraced a standard interface (HyperTransport),
    which allows chips to be connected like Lego. The ULI design has
    one chip connected in "tunnel" mode, and you can connect a whole
    chain of chips together that way, if necessary. Expect to find more
    clever designs on the AMD side, because of HyperTransport.

    On the SIS web site (which I am having trouble reaching at the moment),
    the product comparison page doesn't show any chipsets with both
    AGP and PCI Express, for the P4. I had to use the IP address of SIS
    to get a response. Click four boxes at a time, from the P4 section,
    to see what true interfaces are on their chipsets.

    There will be companies offering motherboards for P4, with both
    AGP and PCI Express x16 slots, but the AGP will be faked. Thus, the
    AGP performance would suck. The following is an example of a
    motherboard with a real PCI Express video slot and a fake
    AGP slot. The AGP bandwidth on this solution is severely
    reduced. The Foxconn user manual lists AGP video cards that
    work, and some cards that are known not to work, with the
    bodged AGP slot.

    So, these are the kinds of motherboards you can get for Intel LGA775

    1) LGA775 with true AGP 8X (generally older chipsets, like 865PE)
    2) LGA775 with true PCI Express x16 slot (mainstream Intel, lots of them)
    3) LGA775 with true AGP 8X and substandard PCI Express (Asrock 775dual
    is the best of the bunch, or any other motherboard using PT880 Ultra).
    4) LGA775 with fake AGP and true PCI Express x16 slot (bottom feeding
    scum make these).

    For (3) and (4), expect a lot of dishonesty. You need to read the
    manuals, FAQ pages, compatibility pages, user forums etc., to find
    out the truth about (3) and (4) types.

    My advice:

    A) If you are a super cheap-skate, buy the Asrock 775dual. Live
    with the reduction in PCI Express performance, when you buy a
    fancy PCI Express video card in the future. Bad economy in my
    mind, to spend a lot of money on high performance video, then
    piss it away by using a weak slot for the card.
    B) Buy a motherboard with a proper AGP slot, which can be item (1)
    or item (3) in the list above. When the day comes that you buy
    that $200 PCI Express video card, spend an extra $50 on a new
    motherboard, like an item from (2) above.

    Paul, May 17, 2006
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  3. Eddie G

    Eddie G Guest

    Thanks, Paul...I think I'll wait and put together my own system using
    my current hardware. So I want the least expensive mobo with a true
    PCI Express x16 slot. Which do you recommend? Do all newer mobo's with
    SATA also support IDE? Since I don't have the money for a whole new
    system I wanted to buy a cheap PCI-E video card and use my current HD
    and optical drives for the time being.


    Eddie G, May 17, 2006
  4. Eddie G

    Paul Guest

    AFAIK, you will find at least one IDE cable (supporting two drives),
    on any motherboard with SATA connectors. You can stick an IDE hard
    drive and IDE CD/DVD drive on there, for a minimal system. If you
    are one of those guys with three optical drives, buy an IDE controller
    card and slap it in a PCI slot.

    The best way to shop, is to use the Newegg site to preview the
    options. The Newegg site can sort products by price, so the cheap
    ones are listed first. Many of the items have customer reviews,
    and you can get some idea from the reviews, whether the product
    is trouble free or not. Not all the buyers on Newegg are
    knowledgable, and some of the problems they have are self-inflicted,
    but you can still get an idea of how good or bad a product is
    by having a look at the reviews.

    In your previous postings, you don't mention the processor
    type you are putting in your new LGA775 socket. The motherboard
    makers have CPU support information, and you should check that the
    board you plan on buying, supports the processor you want to use.
    The very highest end Intel processors might not work with older
    motherboards, so that is something to check. Here is a typical
    CPU support web page (you can search using the motherboard model,
    in the upper left search box, or use the pulldown menu in the
    middle of the page, to search for all boards supporting a
    particular choice of CPU).

    For your Newegg search, start with this link, for Intel-processor
    motherboards. Select "Advanced Catagory Search". Set socket to
    LGA775 and "PCI Express x16" to "1 slot". Then search. When the
    list comes back, select "Sort by Lowest Price". You may also want
    to specify whether the motherboard uses DDR memory or DDR2 memory.
    DDR2 is the latest, and if you are trying to reuse some existing
    memory, it may be DDR type.

    You should end up here:

    Notice that the very first one in the list (ECS PT880 Pro), is just
    like the Asrock board we were discussing. A fake PCI Express x16
    slot. So that one is off the list, even though it is $51.

    I wouldn't touch an ATI chipset. (Sorry ATI :)) Too many bad
    product introductions, for me to even bother researching them
    any more. And the bad ATI naming schemes, means it is hard to
    tell which exact chipset chips you are getting. Their practice of
    renaming the chips at a later date, doesn't help their credibiity.
    (Naughty marketeers.)

    That makes the first board in the list, this one. A very basic

    ASUS P5GPL-X Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 915PL ATX Intel Motherboard $69

    Supported CPUs:

    Side-mounted single IDE cable plus four SATA. Dual channel DDR, so
    you can reuse some matched DDR sticks if you have them. (But only
    two DIMM slots.) True PCI Express x16 slot. (A fat video card will
    cover up the first PCI slot, so count on two PCI slots to be usable.)

    There are 90 motherboards in that Newegg page, so there are plenty
    of other choices.

    Paul, May 18, 2006
  5. Eddie G

    mickeddie Guest


    I will be getting an Intel dual core processor...don't know which
    yet...I might splurge for the 930. I currently have a 3.2ghz on a
    socket 478 mobo and 2 ghz RAM on a Dell 400sc. I don't know what kind
    of RAM I have, but according to Everest trial version my mobo supports
    dual channel RAM. It was a hand-me-down. Is it worth it to upgrade to
    a dual channel CPU and go down in ghz to 2.8 or 3? It seems like I
    have a good system.


    mickeddie, May 18, 2006
  6. Eddie G

    Paul Guest

    I'll use a silly analogy. Imagine I go to the car dealership,
    and there is a car there with two engines. The car still drives
    me to the grocery store, like my old car with one engine. The
    street still has a speed limit, so I cannot go faster. My car
    only occasionally shows its stuff on the highway.

    In a sense, right now that is what owning a dual is like.

    Some people will get better use from a dual than others.
    Traditionally, Photoshop has had the ability to split the
    computing load across multiple processors. There have even
    been little DSP coprocessor boards that have been used to
    make Photoshop run faster. That is an example of a
    specialized application that makes good use of computing

    As far as I am aware, games are still not making good use of
    two cores. Two cores makes the desktop experience a bit
    smoother, but unless the game splits the functions such that
    rendering is done on one core, and say AI is done on the
    other core, you shouldn't expect a big speedup.

    If you are contemplating buying a dual core system, make
    a list of all the programs you currently own, and a
    list of all the programs you plan to buy in the next
    year or two. Then, do the research to see if the
    programs benefit from dual cores.

    An example of a "power user", is someone who does DVDshrink
    on one core, while surfing the web with the other core. That
    user sees no slowdown while DVDshrink is running, as the two
    cores have segregated the load. If that user runs two copies
    of DVDshrink, and tries to surf, the web surfing and one
    copy of DVDshrink will be using the same core, and the
    result would feel like his old computer.

    So, you can get a benefit from dual cores, by using two programs,
    with one program running on each core.

    You can also benefit from dual cores, if a single program
    "splits itself in two" and runs on both cores at the same
    time. Photoshop would be an example of an application that
    can do that (I'm not up on all the details of each version
    of Photoshop, so you'll have to do more research on that

    At least for my usage pattern, of only gaming on the machine
    and not running anything else in the background, the current
    games are not going to benefit too much. I already have enough
    computing power for web surfing or email, with a single core,
    so a dual core doesn't really help me there. I'm not interested
    in stealing and shrinking DVDs, so no benefits there.

    You can make your own list like that, and figure out whether
    a dual core is going to do anything more for you, than
    make the room a bit warmer :) Sure, a dual is nice to have,
    but is it essential ? I'd sooner put the money into a
    better video card, to achieve a better balance in games.

    The situation will change in a couple of years. There will
    be incremental improvements in games, where the game can
    use more than one core at a time. But the speedup will never
    be 2X for two cores, like it could be for Photoshop. It is
    too hard to split games into useful pieces, in such a way
    that both cores are used to their full potential. When the
    quad cores come out, this fact will become even more evident.
    (Not even close to 4X faster.)

    So, if I had a choice between a $200 single core and a $300
    dual core, I'd buy the single core, and put the $100 towards
    a better video card. If I had a computer with a decent single
    core and an AGP video card slot, I might be tempted to just
    buy a better AGP video card. I'm the kind of guy that doesn't
    want to be "technology pushed" into something, unless there
    is a clear benefit. If an AGP video card, with enough
    core clock speed, pipes, and memory bandwidth is available,
    it might still be a more effective upgrade, than starting
    all over again, and buying everything from scratch. You
    do realize that the industry is trying to profit, by
    churning hardware standards, and I hate to see perfectly
    good hardware filling the landfill sites. When games come
    out that make good use of two cores, maybe then I'll be
    a little more interested in "starting all over again".

    On this web page, it is claimed the 400SC is 875 chipset
    based. That would be using DDR RAM and not DDR2. So
    if you are shopping, and decided to buy a motherboard
    with only DDR2 slots, you'll need some new RAM. (I
    think 915 based boards would give you the option of
    using DDR and also have a PCI Express slot.)

    You can see the same kind of info about your RAM, on the
    Crucial memory upgrade page. It is DDR type.

    As they say, it's your money, enjoy it :)
    300 Quarter-Pounders-With-Cheese, or a new computer :)

    Paul, May 19, 2006
  7. Eddie G

    Eddie G Guest

    Thank you, Paul.

    I guess I'll stick with the 300 Quarter-Pounders-With-Cheese.

    I just bought an nvidea 6600 gt (although it is only 128mb it is still
    very good with Oblivion) so I do not need to upgrade my GPU at this
    time. The only upgrade will be to a SATA drive and go through the
    hassle of a clean OS and re-install all of my software.

    Eddie G, May 19, 2006
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