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Which Mobo for my i5 build

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January 20, 2010 10:56:17 PM

Im still very new to building my own PC so i was hoping i could get some advice on which mobo to go for with my build im planning.

Currently this is what i have for my build
[CPU] Intel Core i5-750 (OC - 160 MHz base clock with turbo mode)
[GPU] Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 5770 (one at the moment but decided will end up with 2 and crossfiring)
[RAM] 2x 2gb DDR3
[PSU] Probably looking at a 750watt unit as opposed to something smaller to both future proof and keep temps down
[HDD] 2x WD2500JS (from my old pc, will just be reusing them for now. probably upgrade down the track)
[OPT] Again just reusing my current dvd and dvdrw drives


So thats it so far. Im completely lost as to what mobo would be best suited. Ive done a bit of reading but theres so many i just get so lost. Any help appreciated. Thanks

More about : mobo build

a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2010 12:07:20 AM

It looks like you've determined SLI/CF is a requirement. That's a good first step. What else do you want? Is Sata 3, USB 3.0 important to you? That would limit further to Asus and Gigabyte selections, as far as I know.

Are there any peripheral connections you need? For example, Firewire, eSata, ...

Finally what is your budget?
a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2010 12:08:14 AM

an H55 chipset is said to work well

Related resources
a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2010 2:56:43 AM

The Gigabyte board in my sig works well and gives 8x/8x SLI/CF. That and the equivalent Asus board would probably be your best bets.
January 21, 2010 3:36:02 AM

I'm also in a similiar situation considering a new mobo.

I have heard Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P been mentioned a couple of times. I therefore got looking at the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD5.

Don't know how worthwhile the P55A versions are, USB3 & Dolby Home Theater?

The Asus P7P55D Deluxe has also caught my eye.

Currently I'm thinking of getting from overclock.co.uk:

Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz Lynnfield Quad Core 8Mb Cache LGA1156 Processor £127.65
G.SKill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz CL7 Dual Channel Memory Kit £75.45

[Graphics: 5770 vapor-x]

Just can't decide upon the mobo, asus or giga.
Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time


January 21, 2010 3:36:23 AM

edit: double post

a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2010 4:06:15 AM

I prefer Gigabyte boards for the overclocking and support provided and the UD – ultra durable – construction/

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabyte-ultra-dura...

Also note the Gigabyte ultradurable boards selected by THG in their recent $2,500 Performance and $1,300 Enthusiast Builds:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-new-pc,2497.h...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-own-pc,2503.h...

So I recommend this board:

GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail - $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can also get a more expensive version with that the new SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 incorporated:

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Although note there are some limitations on how it was incorporated into the P55 design:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/usb-3.0-performance...


January 21, 2010 6:11:11 AM

ekoostik said:
It looks like you've determined SLI/CF is a requirement. That's a good first step. What else do you want? Is Sata 3, USB 3.0 important to you? That would limit further to Asus and Gigabyte selections, as far as I know.

Are there any peripheral connections you need? For example, Firewire, eSata, ...

Finally what is your budget?


Hey thanks for the reply. Umm i didnt prioritise Sata 3 or USB 3.0 so theyre not too important. And no theres no unique peripheral connections i need. And budget, not a concern so much. Not looking at spending any more than 300. So room to move there

I fine myself constantly looking at that GA-P55A-UD4P. Seems to have everything i want/need. What do yas reckon?
January 21, 2010 6:14:22 AM

Oh and i know this is the mobo forum section, but i was wondering if anyone had any RAM suggestions. I dont know what to look for when it comes to RAM so yea. lookin for 2x2gb DDR3 ram sticks. I read somewhere that timing is a bit more important than the frequency (to an extent). Am i right here?
a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2010 10:53:14 AM

Trentzip & Eludere,
I wanted to warn you that with an i5 750 you cannot run RAM at 1600 MHz without affecting your CPU. If you are not interested in OCing your CPU there's no reason to get 1600 RAM. Look for 1333 RAM with the lowest timings you can afford in your budget. You must stay at or below 1.65V. I would recommend getting ram that runs at 1.5 V or less. Better quality RAM uses less Volts and runs cooler.

There's also very little performance difference between 1333 and 1600: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,24...

Finally, even if you are planning to OC your CPU, there's nothing to say that you can't get 1333 RAM and try to OC it. 1600 RAM is nothing more than 1333 RAM that the manufacture has certified for OCing. As Tom's said in a recent article "most builders don't pay extra for a CPU that has been validated by a third party to run at higher speeds, yet very few overclocking enthusiasts seek better value by risking the chance of a 'poor yield' in exchange for a lower price. We willingly take that small risk with processors, so why not apply the same principle to RAM?"
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,24... I meant to post this link: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ddr3-4gb-p55,2462.h...
a b V Motherboard
January 21, 2010 1:29:56 PM

GSkill ram has really impressed me recently. They have a good tech support forum, good timings and low voltage. I got the 1600MHz 1.65V ram (since I could get it really cheap) but ran it at 7-7-7-21, 1.5V, 1333MHz instead of the rated and it works great. And, if you ever want 1600MHz, it should not be hard to reach.
January 21, 2010 2:29:21 PM

Much thanks for the prompt responses. Very interesting articles about usb3 and ram speed.

I therefore went for:

Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz Lynnfield Quad Core 8Mb Cache LGA1156 Processor
G.SKill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666 1333MHz CL8 Dual Channel Memory Kit
Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4 Intel P55 Socket LGA1156 DDR3 Motherboard
a b V Motherboard
January 22, 2010 1:23:23 AM

Looks like some great components. Enjoy the build!
January 23, 2010 10:39:34 PM

sry to pester ekoostik. im still kinda fuzzy on the ram front.

so um. i plan to OC the cpu. and theres no real budget for my ram. so what would u recommend for my build?

again sorry to be so blunt its just wen it comes to choosing RAM im just so lost :( 
a b V Motherboard
January 23, 2010 11:21:16 PM

I just realized that in my previous post I included the same link twice earlier. I meant to include this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ddr3-4gb-p55,2462.h... (I'll update that post with this link). This article explains how it's possible to get good, OCable performance out of cheap RAM. But the price of RAM has changed so even the best of those, the Crucial 1333 CAS9s 1.5V is now $104.99, on sale for the time being for $96.99: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would compare 1333 CL7's and 1600 CL7's and see what the price difference is and how you feel about paying the extra premium for the 1600s.

If budget isn't a factor and you want the guaranteed higher frequency RAM then you might look at the 1600s. If you want my recommendation, I can really only recommend based on experience. The G.Skill 1600 CL9's that I have work very well. And they run at 1.5V. Looks like they're currently $93.99: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They're not the fastest, G.Skill has CL7's in that model of 1600s that require 1.65V (the max V you can run RAM on an 1156 board). They are currently $114.99: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They also have a low voltage CL7 1600 model which requires only 1.35V. It is currently $119.99 + shipping: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm very happy with mine running at 1.5V. If you want the best then you're probably looking at CL7s. Personally, I don't know if the CL9 to CL7 is worth $20 to me, but if you don't have a budget you can consider them. Once you get to that level, I would seriously consider the ECO 1.35V RAM. They came out after I built my rig so I haven't done any research on them. But the amount of problems I've seen people have with 1.65V RAM make me a little nervous about RAM that needs more than 1.5V. When at the same specs the lower the V, the better quality the RAM and the lower the heat.
a b V Motherboard
January 23, 2010 11:28:05 PM

Which motherboard did you decide on?
January 24, 2010 12:17:14 AM

ekoostik said:
Which motherboard did you decide on?

GA-P55A-UD4P is wat im 95% sure im gona get. I read the reviews on newegg about the ECO 1.35V RAM and someone was saying that it couldnt run in their p55 mobo. Is that gona be an issue for me? or should i be ok
a b V Motherboard
January 24, 2010 2:10:05 AM

Check on the GSkill site to see if they say they have tested the Ram in that or the non-A version of the board.
a b V Motherboard
January 24, 2010 3:58:36 AM

As I said, this RAM came out after I built my system so I haven't looked into it too much. I was a little curious though so I checked G.Skill's site, as ext64 suggested, and the GA-P55A-UD4P does show up on G.Skill's Qualified Motherboards List: http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=247

Gigabyte has been pretty good about updating their BIOS on a regular basis. And they introduced a new BIOS for what looks like every P55 board just this week. Their descriptions are always lite on what the BIOS update is for but this one does say "Enhanced memory compatibility." I only mention this because regardless of what RAM you select you should consider upgrading the BIOS as one of the first things you do to minimize any potential issues. Also, upgrade from within BIOS using the QFlash option, do not use Gigabyte's @BIOS software which can be run from within Windows but is known to cause serious problems from time to time.
!