Help me choose a H55/H67 motherboard
I would like to get a good Mobo for my PC. My CPU if choice is an i7 860. What would you recommend?
Good question! I didn't realise that a P55 based Mobo would work or be a good choice. There are so many options so it's a bit confusing.
I initially thought I'd go with the Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 because it had all the features I want and this Mobo also supports Clarkendale CPUs so I could potentially upgrade it at a later time without changing the motherboard. It also supports rapid storage which is an advantage. But the Gigabyte GA-H57M-USB3 is mATX board and I kinda prefer an ATX MoBo...
Could you please tell me why you think a P55 Mobo is better and which particular model you would recommend?
I'm not sure that I would consider the move from an i5 750 to a Clarkdale CPU an "upgrade". And in general any 1156 CPU (i.e. a Clarkdale or Lynnfield CPU) will work in any 1156 motherboard (i.e. chipset P55, H55, H57 or Q57). Of course you'll want to double check before making a purchase and some boards may require a BIOS update to support a particular CPU.
So which chipset to choose? Well, I always figured if you're getting a Lynnfield CPU then you'd want a P55 motherboard because the Lynnfield CPU's (i5 750, i7 860 and i7 870) don't have integrated graphics. Likewise if you got a Clarkdale CPU (any i3 or i5 6xx) you'd want a H55/H57/Q57 because the Clarkdale CPU's have integrated graphics and the H55/H57/Q57 boards support the graphics and give you on-board graphics capabilities. But using this one criteria as a determining factor may not be good for everyone. With an i5 750, you are going to have to get a graphics card, you cannot use the display-out options on the H55/H57/Q57 motherboards. But if you think in the future you are going use a Clarkdale CPU and not use a discrete graphics card then that might make sense.
The P55 boards also give more multi-card options. That is, you can find P55 boards with two GPU slots that will run in x8, x8 mode and are certified for SLI and CF. I have to date seen 1 H57 motherboard certified to run in x8, x8 but it can not run in that mode with a Clarkdale CPU, only a Lynnfield CPU and it was around $200. You can get a P55 that supports SLI and CF for less than that.
I googled around and came up with one article that tried to answer the question of what board to get. Their conclusion was similar to my assumption. http://ixbtlabs.com/articles3/mainboard/i55h-57h-chipsets-p2.htmlQuote:Now we'll try to answer a question which we asked four months ago: which chipset should you choose for a Socket 1156 processor? First of all, you must understand that incompatibilities between different chipsets and processors for this socket are not radical. Any of these processors will work in a motherboard with any of these chipsets. The question is whether you lose the integrated graphics which you have to pay for anyway. This seems simple: if you want to use Clarkdale's integrated graphics, take the H57. If you want a regular SLI/CrossFire, go with the P55 (note that by regular we don't mean "full-fledged dual x16"). However, you cannot have both. Now what about the most likely case, when you plan to use a single graphics card? In this case, there is absolutely no difference between the P55 and H57. Even chipset prices do not matter, since you will buy a ready motherboard, not a chipset alone. An H55-based motherboard may be a little cheaper though, but there may be no truly attractive motherboards with this chipset, I'm afraid. So you do have a choice, but there are no definite options worth paying more. On the whole, Socket 1156 processors seem to have decent chipset support.
If you want to read some good reviews of H55/H57 motherboards check here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/h55-h57-motherboard,2555.html
Or of P55/H55/H57 motherboards check the selection available here: http://www.anandtech.com/tag/mb
Here's another article, it is largely a review of the Clarkdale CPUs, but on the first couple pages and again at the end it offers some analysis on the chipsets: http://www.anandtech.com/show/2901