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I5 gaming rig build 800-900

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September 8, 2009 7:29:09 PM

Hi everyone, my never-ending dilemma of finding the right build looks like it may come to an end. With the recent i5 processors coming out, it looks like it should beat amd's budget builds. What I want to make is an i5 build under 900.

Some general things you may need to know. I already have a monitor that can support 1080 gaming.

I plan to crossfire or sli.
I will overclock.
I am wondering how future proof the i5 is compared to old i7 and amd builds.

I don't know what other components I should get with this processor. Can someone help me with general build ideas. Usually I would look at reviews, but everything that goes with the i5 has no reviews. How do I know what are the right parts to get to go with the i5?

Which company ram and motherboard. How to pick these?
September 8, 2009 7:35:56 PM

An SLI/crossfire i5 build is going to stretch your budget a bit since the low-end motherboards don't support SLI and their second PCI-E slot runs at 4x link speed. You'll also need a pretty high-end PSU to power SLI/crossfire. This build blows the budget by $40, but is crossfire ready without making any compromises.

Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $364.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100279-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $234.98 (RAM + GPU combo)

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.95

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $30.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99

Total - $940.87
September 8, 2009 7:44:23 PM

Thanks! I forgot to mention I don't need the OS. How did you choose the motherboard and how do you know its sli/crossfire enabled? Why did you choose that ram?

I'm not disagreeing with you. I just want to know why you chose those parts. Why gigabyte and not asus or msi or whatever? What part on the spec sheet says it is crossfire/sli?
Related resources
September 8, 2009 7:50:12 PM

I chose that motherboard because it was the cheapest Gigabyte motherboard I could find that supported SLI and because it had extra cooling on the mosfets. The cheap P55 boards have a second PCI-E slot that only runs at 4x. You'll want a board that runs the slots at 8x for good SLI/crossfire performance. I did a google search on "GA-P55-UD4P SLI capable" or something to determine whether it was SLI capable.

I picked that RAM because it offers fast speed, low timings, and runs at the Intel recommended 1.65v.

Asus also makes great motherboards, but the comparable Asus motherboard I found cost $10 more and didn't have great combo deals.

I haven't had good long-term reliability success with MSI.
September 8, 2009 7:53:14 PM

Wow thanks! Awesome to hear. What do you think about i5 future proof?
September 8, 2009 7:54:06 PM

It's as future proof as it gets. It was just released today! :) 
September 8, 2009 7:58:50 PM

Can I expect the motherboard to be future proof. Is that even a good idea? Adding newer cpu to the lg1156?
September 8, 2009 8:17:12 PM

What Cpu cooler should I get for this cpu?
September 8, 2009 8:49:31 PM

elo820 said:
What Cpu cooler should I get for this cpu?


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.95 Free Shipping*
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $104.99 Free Shipping
PC Power and Cooling SILENCER 750W QUAD S75CF Power Supply Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P7P55LE Combo Price: $329.98 $15 off with P55 combo purchase w/code OMGi5COMBO $314.99 Free Shipping
Asus P7P55D LE Socket 1156/ Intel P55/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard
Part#:I5-750BOX | Intel Core i5 Processor i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1156 CPU, Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29.99
COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=FAN-MX2 $4.49
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $219.98 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
SAPPHIRE 100279-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $31.99 Free Shipping
SAMSUNG SH-S223B 22X SATA DVD Burner Black Drive Bulk

Total: $836.99
September 8, 2009 8:51:32 PM

That is true. Ok I'll have to wait for those then. Hmm I'm curious about the motherboard. Is better to have the motherboard that supports cross/sli then single gfx option motherboard? Are there any benefits of getting the sli/crossfire path? I am reading that the crossfire ability of the lg1156 is weak? I don't know if I am phrasing the question right, but hopefully I can get an answer.
September 8, 2009 8:55:24 PM

I really like the idea of leaving the option of SLI/crossfire open. The LGA 1156 crossfire performance will be just fine. PCI-E 2.0 @ 8x speed will not cause a bottleneck with anything but the very high-end GTX 295 and 4870x2.
September 8, 2009 8:55:26 PM

How does overclocking work on the i5 anyway? I can't really understand the benefits of the i5 vs i7 vs amd? Can someone explain? Maybe why i5 is better or worse at overclocking?
September 8, 2009 8:56:28 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I really like the idea of leaving the option of SLI/crossfire open. The LGA 1156 crossfire performance will be just fine. PCI-E 2.0 @ 8x speed will not cause a bottleneck with anything but the very high-end GTX 295 and 4870x2.


So you are saying it will bottleneck when you go to higher performance cards? Isn't the same as getting crossfire?
September 8, 2009 8:57:36 PM

elo820 said:
How does overclocking work on the i5 anyway? I can't really understand the benefits of the i5 vs i7 vs amd? Can someone explain? Maybe why i5 is better or worse at overclocking?

Why don't you read up on the subject. Any reputable tech site will have an i5 review posted today.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i7-87...

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

http://techreport.com/articles.x/17545

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5,2410....
September 9, 2009 1:14:45 AM

The i5 will bottleneck graphics much later than any AMD CPU/Motherboard will. Its a far better deal than the phenom IIx4 right now. Running two top end dual core GPUs (HD4870x2 or GTX295) is probably going to mean the i5 bottelnecks. If you stick to value GPUS like a GTX 260, HD4870, GTX275 or HD 4890, adding a second if you have a future need will work better on an I5 than anything else you can afford.

Also you should be able to overclock the i5 to 4GHz with that Coolermaster hyper 212 cooler they both recommended (which is on frostys top 10 intel list). You arent going to gain anything by replacing the CPU anytime soon.

The i7 920 is the next step up and will run you 1100-1300 for a comparable system right now.
September 9, 2009 7:14:11 PM

All I personally care about is gaming. What I am worried about is the two x8 channels for the PCI-E running crossfire or SLI with the i5 build.

With a P2 X4 build can have 2 x16 channels for running crossfire.

If ALL I care about is running games well, is the AMD solution not a better idea? Seeing as I can get the PS2 X4 955 BE with teh ASUS M4A79T Deluxe board for $352.99?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

In addition, why only 2x2GB with the RAM per the build listed above? Why not go with a 3x2GB kit and utilize triple channel memory? Or am I missing something.
September 9, 2009 7:15:46 PM

dndhatcher said:
The i5 will bottleneck graphics much later than any AMD CPU/Motherboard will. Its a far better deal than the phenom IIx4 right now. Running two top end dual core GPUs (HD4870x2 or GTX295) is probably going to mean the i5 bottelnecks. If you stick to value GPUS like a GTX 260, HD4870, GTX275 or HD 4890, adding a second if you have a future need will work better on an I5 than anything else you can afford.

Also you should be able to overclock the i5 to 4GHz with that Coolermaster hyper 212 cooler they both recommended (which is on frostys top 10 intel list). You arent going to gain anything by replacing the CPU anytime soon.

The i7 920 is the next step up and will run you 1100-1300 for a comparable system right now.


How can you say that the AMD build will bottleneck faster with full 2x 16x support for PCI-E? I am not disagreeing, just want to understand.
September 9, 2009 7:18:52 PM

The only chips that utilize a triple channel RAM controller are the LGA 1366 i7 chips (i7 920). All other chips use a dual channel RAM controller.

The difference between PCI-E 2.0 16x and 8x is very small. The i5 platform is much more powerful. The choice between a 95W 2.66GHz i5 chip that considerably outperforms a 3.2GHz 125w Phenom II x4 955 is a no-brainer to me.
September 9, 2009 7:47:18 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The only chips that utilize a triple channel RAM controller are the LGA 1366 i7 chips (i7 920). All other chips use a dual channel RAM controller.

The difference between PCI-E 2.0 16x and 8x is very small. The i5 platform is much more powerful. The choice between a 95W 2.66GHz i5 chip that considerably outperforms a 3.2GHz 125w Phenom II x4 955 is a no-brainer to me.


Thanks for the help on the RAM issue, I am more well versed with the AMD side of things, because as of two days ago i5 wasn't available yet, and i7 wasn't worth the cost to me personally over P2 X4.

So then... I guess regarding i5 vs. P2 X4 then, let me expand my question. You say that i5 will considerably out-perform P2 X4. Is this a general statement? Or just with regards to gaming? I personally couldn't care less how fast it can un-zip a file, or work with photoshop or iTunes. According to http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403... they appear to be on par with one another.

Again, I am not disagreeing, I just want to be sure I am getting the best system I can for my dollar. I feel like with the ASUS board/955 combo I listed above, I can get a higher quality board, and not spend much more money, for about the same results.

If you can show me some evidence that proves that the i5 will considerably outperform the 955, then please do.

**EDIT**

I realize that in the review I linked they use the new AMD P2 X4 965, but the 955 should easily overclock to stock 965 speeds. Other than the out of the box clock speeds on those two, they are the same processor.
September 9, 2009 7:54:31 PM

All you have to do is check the benchmarks on any reputable site to prove my point that the i5 outperforms the Phenom II x4. The i5/i7 chips are just plain faster for almost every task.

Here's one example. I'm at work, so I don't have a lot of time to dig up a bunch of benchmarks for you. You'll have to do that on your own.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/17545/6

I don't have any preference between AMD and Intel. I just build with and recommend whatever offers the best performance for the price. As of yesterday, that's i5/i7. I was recommending Phenom II x4 chips in the midrange until yesterday.
September 9, 2009 8:04:29 PM

seprintz said:
How can you say that the AMD build will bottleneck faster with full 2x 16x support for PCI-E? I am not disagreeing, just want to understand.

Thats what this testing indicates to me. The PhenomIIx4 (and old intel Q9550) got much less performance increase out of multiple GPUs than the i5.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...
September 9, 2009 8:18:56 PM

I did list a benchmark test up there, and I can do it again, it was actually from tomshardware:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

And the thing that gets me is that both of the review you listed, and the review I listed mention "affordability" with the i5, and yes the processors are similar in price, but both of those reviews used a motherboard that costs $250.

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD6
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 9, 2009 8:24:25 PM

dndhatcher said:
Thats what this testing indicates to me. The PhenomIIx4 (and old intel Q9550) got much less performance increase out of multiple GPUs than the i5.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...




Differences are like 1-3 FPS and this one just so happens to be in favor of the AMD.

Also, just to re-affirm. I have ~$1,000.00 right now for a new build, and I just want to be as sure as I can that I make the right decision.

**Edit**

So you don't think I am bias toward the AMD, I will list one where they Intel came out on top, but again, by a margin of only 1-4FPS:

September 9, 2009 8:31:25 PM

seprintz said:
Thanks for the help on the RAM issue, I am more well versed with the AMD side of things, because as of two days ago i5 wasn't available yet, and i7 wasn't worth the cost to me personally over P2 X4.

So then... I guess regarding i5 vs. P2 X4 then, let me expand my question. You say that i5 will considerably out-perform P2 X4. Is this a general statement? Or just with regards to gaming? I personally couldn't care less how fast it can un-zip a file, or work with photoshop or iTunes. According to http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403... they appear to be on par with one another.

Again, I am not disagreeing, I just want to be sure I am getting the best system I can for my dollar. I feel like with the ASUS board/955 combo I listed above, I can get a higher quality board, and not spend much more money, for about the same results.

If you can show me some evidence that proves that the i5 will considerably outperform the 955, then please do.

**EDIT**

I realize that in the review I linked they use the new AMD P2 X4 965, but the 955 should easily overclock to stock 965 speeds. Other than the out of the box clock speeds on those two, they are the same processor.


http://www.techspot.com/review/193-intel-core-i5-750/

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

http://www.xsreviews.co.uk/reviews/cpus/intel-core-i5-7...

http://www.tomshardware.com/us/ <--- new i5 benchmarks reviews on left side of page.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/09/08/intel-...

http://hothardware.com/Articles/Intel-Core-i5-and-i7-Pr...



September 9, 2009 8:56:26 PM

This is tough. Do you guys think its a good idea to buy amd because of the unreadability path it has with its motherboard so at anytime i can pop a new amd cpu at any time? Or will the motherboard be obsolete. I am just wondering if i should by a rig for that reason, so that i can put a new cpu in the motherboard at anytime.
September 9, 2009 9:45:27 PM



Thanks for the links with the reviews. I am now willing to say that OVERALL the i5 is better. However, the evidence still points to them being equals with regards to gaming. I say this, because it would appear that the Intel chips are better at multi-threaded processing, which will favor multi-tasking and picture/video editing. It would also appear as though they are about on par with each other with regards to single threaded processes, which encompass nearly all gaming.

Now lets also suggest that due to the overall superiority of the i5 I am interested in purchasing one. Two people have listed similar i5 builds in this thread. Both have the same mobo, I have yet to see this mobo reviewed in a review of the i5 processor. In most of the reviews, the reviewer's use both an upgraded heat sink, and a motherboard that costs at least + $100 from the one suggested in this thread. Now for my final question:

Is it reasonable to expect the ~ $150 motherboards listed above to perform as well as the ~ $250 motherboards used in all of the reviews? And if so why?

This is important to me primarily because most of the reviewers use an ~ $150 motherboard when reviewing the AMD processors, and an ~ $250 motherboard when reviewing the Intel processors. This means that I can afford the motherboard in the AMD reviews, and not the Intel reviews. This means that I will NOT be using the same mobo that was used to get the benchmark results you have referred me to in order to confirm that the i5 is better than the P2 X4.
September 9, 2009 9:49:37 PM

CPUs in the same socket are not substantially increasing in power right now. They cant just increase the MHz or increase the number of cores on a chip the same size (at least until a new material or manufacturing method is found). Intel had to change the architecture and socket to make a more powerful CPU. AMD is going to have to do the same thing quickly or the i5/1156 will put them out of business.


@seprintz - I have to backpedal a bit on what I said. I misread some of their testing. They did not SLI 285s on the Q9550 or PhenomII which unfortunately is the more important.

The ati 4870x2 (dual core one card crossfire) vs dual 4870x2s shows crossfires bad scaling more than anything else.
ATI's technology scales very poorly compared to SLI here said:
ATI's technology scales very poorly compared to SLI here


What I can say is that the i7 920 does have dual 16 pcie capability and the i5 matched or beat it most of the time. ITs teh architecture of the new chips that give them the advantage. Toms stats are for stock CPU speeds. The i5 and i7 can both be clocked from 2.66 to 3.8 or even 4Ghz pretty easily with air cooling. The PhenomIIx4 965 isnt likely to get as big a boost from overclocking on air, is it?

The bit tech reviews include both stock and overclock in a more common hardware environment.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2009/09/08/intel-...
Their conclusion is the same as I read everywhere:
All three Lynnfield CPUs were significantly faster in our Media Benchmarks than the three Core 2 CPUs and the two Phenom IIs, showing once again the superiority of the Nehalem architecture. said:
All three Lynnfield CPUs were significantly faster in our Media Benchmarks than the three Core 2 CPUs and the two Phenom IIs, showing once again the superiority of the Nehalem architecture.
September 9, 2009 10:17:21 PM

I would like to thank everybody that has responded so far for keeping this discussion civil, and helpful at that.

Also, thank you for your last post DND, it was most informative. But still kind of just reaffirmed what I already knew. I suppose my biggest problem is, that for the past month or so, while I have been saving money for my new build, I have been dead set on the P2 X4 955, and I am having trouble being convinced otherwise.

I think I now need to dig a little deeper into the motherboards to be sure that the cheaper i5 compatable boards recommended in this thread will perform as well as the ones used in the benchmark tests.

Not trying to derail this thread, but I am also anxious to see what will happen tomorrow with the DirectX 11 cards from AMD/ATI.

Lets throw this interesting question into the mix then, if 2x 16X support has little effect on SLI/Crossfire performance over 2x 8X, then would I perhaps be better off going with a P2 X4 with a 790GX based board(as opposed to a 790FX board), which would leave me with more $$ to put towards a better video card. Afterall, per this review:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

It is noted that putting a larger investment in your GPU will yield greater results than spending on a processor.
September 9, 2009 10:22:12 PM

Wow, this thread is helping me out a lot. So, you are saying that dx11 cards come out tomorrow? Tech goes fast!
September 9, 2009 10:28:39 PM

elo820 said:
Wow, this thread is helping me out a lot. So, you are saying that dx11 cards come out tomorrow? Tech goes fast!


It is helping me out a lot too. It is a hard decision for me to make, and so far everybody has been very polite and informative.

Regarding the DirectX 11 cards, it is speculated that they AMD/ATI will be unveiling some new cards tomorrow. Nothing confirmed, but they pretty much said that it would happen. While I am not in particularly interested in buying a DirectX 11 card, I am interested to see what their release will do to the current line of cards offered by both ATI and Nvidia.

This may be a little embarrassing, but I play primarily WoW, so to be at the ultra high end of graphics isn't my primary concern. However, I do want to get the most bang for my buck, and hope that the PC I build will last for a little while, and do well when the new Star Wars MMO comes out as well.
September 9, 2009 10:35:59 PM

Oh yeah, I totally agree. Say they do bump the 4xxx cards down. What would you buy? I am in your same boat. How often do you upgrade your rig or whole rig?
September 9, 2009 10:57:27 PM

I unfortunately rarely ever upgrade a single part(video card, processor, ram) I usually wait a couple of years then just start from scratch. I am currently looking at getting a Sapphire 1GB 4870 with the intention of getting a second eventually. If they knock the cards prices down, then that opens up the door for (my guess) at least a 1GB 4890. I haven't very much considered an nvidia card yet, but I will be looking into them as well before I pull the trigger. If we are really lucky, then I might be able to get two 1GB 4870s out of the gate, or maybe even a single 2GB 4870x2.

Everything I have read so far, suggests that ATI brings more to the table per dollar spent.
September 10, 2009 12:25:12 AM

Right now its a tough call of GTX260 vs HD4870 and GTX275 vs HD4890. ATI would be a more clear price/performance choice if I didnt know most of the games I play (and I think most games in general) favor nvidia drivers right now. With ATI beating nvidia to the DX11 market, that could shift within a year or two. Hard to choose. Have to see what happens after tomorrow.

I used to always look really hard at expandability. But now I realize that since the pentium 2, replacing video cards and adding RAM is all I have done and realistically is all I am likely to do for upgrades in the forseeable future (which in computers is only about 3 years ;) ).
September 10, 2009 3:39:28 PM

Apparently, according to :
http://www.techtree.com/India/News/AMDs_ATI_Cypress_Dir...

The new ATI cards will be "launched" tomorrow (9/11) and won't be available until late Oct. 2009. So... that kind of sucks. Wanting to do a build NOW and knowing that newer cards are coming out in a month and a half.

**Edit**

Not because I want one of the newer cards now, but because I want currently available cards to come down in price.

I think my strategy is going to be to build now, then get a second card once prices fall due to the new cards in late Oct.
Anonymous
September 10, 2009 5:09:43 PM

Hello everyone! I just stumbled onto this thread and love it! I am also in the market to redo my system. I currently have amd since I can never afford the high end tech thats out. I build my rigs for FPS games. I am going to switch to the new i5 mainly because of its ability to overclock. I've seen 4GHz on air. For this reason I am picking the intel over the AMD even though I have ran AMD for a long time. Not to mention you can upgrade to an i7 8xx later on if you would like. This is just my 2 cents on the matter.

As for ATI vs nVidia, I perfer either based on if I will SLI/Crossfire or not. If I plan on getting another video card then I choose nVidia in the beginning since nVidia scales better with multiple cards. If I am gonna just buy one card and stick it out there then I usually go with ATI.

And I don't really know what Mobo I am going with but I think the new line of Gigabyte P55's are looking good to me.

This is just what I think on all of this and it is truely hard to choose because the tech is so new. Good Luck with your amd or i5 builds!


~Fluffycakes~
September 10, 2009 6:22:46 PM

Fluffy, today ATI is hilding a press conference, supposedly to mark the release of the 5800 series of GPUs. Graphics cards are likely to see significant changes over the next couple weeks.
Anonymous
September 10, 2009 9:01:11 PM

Good to know DND. I won't upgrade my graphics card soon(my CPU is my bottleneck) seeing how my budget can only handle the CPU, MOBO, RAM so I will be able to see how ATI pans out. I did pop over to the evga site and noticed they have a slew of boards for the P55. Prices range from 160-350. The mid level P55 FTW for $230 is looking like a prime target for my build. Has everything a mid level gamer should need.

http://www.evga.com/products/moreinfo.asp?pn=132-LF-E657-KR&pwindow=specs&family=Motherboard%20Family

2 way SLI, up to 16GB of DDR3 2600+ and some other cool features for the OCer. Also would like to note that if you are near a microcenter you can grab a i5 for 180 but sadly the sale ends on the 13th. I hardly every run Dual cards anyhow. I usually get one robust card and use my old card as a phsyX card. So the x8 PCI-E won't affect me or others with similar builds. One other note about the i5 platform. I notice in other places about ppl talking about how the i5 doesn't support HT so they think it is crap but they over look the fact that the i7 860 has HT and is only $300 so from a upgraders perspective the i5 is a great way to get into "i" territory for not alot of money, IMHO.
September 10, 2009 10:28:20 PM

Read all the 5000 series links and threads. Forget a bigger monitor, run a cheaper grid of smaller monitors. The 5870 will be shipping Sept 22/23 at $399 for a card that is almost twice as fast as a 4890 and can handle at least 3 monitors (up to 6) monitors.
!