Saturday, October 13, 2007

Choice of Motherboard

This computer (which I call Stirling) will require a motherboard, like any other computer, which will be host to the CPU, memory, graphics, audio, disk controller, and much more. There are many motherboards, by several manufacturers, which support the E6750 CPU that I have selected, and which will fit perfectly in the full-size ATX cabinet that I have ordered. For better or for worse, however, I have not made a search for the "perfect" motherboard and have decided to just order one by Intel, for these reasons:
  • I like Intel,
  • They are an Amercan company (at least headquartered here), and
  • They make the CPU as well, so I expect to get support, if needed, without finger pointing.
Boxed Intel DP35DPM Motherboard Do let me know if I am dreaming.

From what I have read about the Intel motherboards, they are reliable, utilitarian, and straightforward. They are not for gamers and other overclockers, because they do not allow most of the voltage and clock adjustments that those folks seek. The Intel boards are not simple, however. They all include such features as:
  • Slots for 8 Gb of 800 MHz main memory,
  • Lots of serial ATA (SATA) disk interfaces,
  • One back-compatible Parallel IDE interface,
  • Audio system,
  • LAN 10/100/1000,
  • Legacy I/O including a serial port, consumer infrared, PS/2 mouse & keyboard,
Some include a diskette controller, and some contain an internal graphics controller. All support Windows Vista, 1333 Mz FSB, 12 USB ports, and more. Here is a table comparing the four Intel motherboards that support the E6750 and similar CPUs.

I've chosen the Intel DP35DP motherboard, distinguished from the others by the following set of features:
  • Full ATX form factor, for maximum on-board real estate,
  • Six SATA interfaces, as much as any board
  • Three standard PCI slots,
  • Three PCI 1 slots,
  • RAID support, but
  • No graphics accelerator, and
  • No legacy diskette I/O.
Those last two are a trade-off so that the card can have the maximum number of SATA interfaces and PCI slots, as well as the maximum real estate for cooling and component fit. Graphics will be provided by a separate graphics accelerator card, and diskette support will be provided through an internal USB connection.

If it sounds like I know what I'm doing here, don't be fooled. These are the musings of a complete novice, and any comments will be appreciated and valued.

1 comment:

Sunshine said...

I continue to be impressed!
Your Sunshine