Hi all, on BF I thought I had purchased the parts for an i7 920 build I had been planning for over a month now. Unfotunately, my credit card company thought half my purchases that day were fraud, and rejected a number of them. Since I didn't realize it till a couple of days later, I lost out on the savings & rebates (around $200-300 when adding in the monitor) from Black Friday. Doh! Now I've reconsidered the i7, and am leaning toward building an i5 instead. These are the parts I succeeded in purchasing on Black Friday:
PSU - Corsair 650HX
Case - CM Storm Scout
OS - Win 7 64-bit
Optical - Lite-On DVD burner with Lightscribe
These orders went through, and I saved some decent coin. The Storm Scout was $49 in the end, and the PSU was something like $87 or so.
I was planning on the i7 at Microcenter for $199, but my combo order on the mobo and RAM was lost on BF. Since then people have recommended I go i5 since it's a lot cheaper, and I'm only a gamer. The i5 is $149 at Micro, but I'm unsure about what Mobo to buy. Moving from to an i5 build, from an i7, will be a couple of hundred cheaper. So my questions are:
1) What Motherboard should I buy?
-> I'd like the ability to crossfire, and/or SLI, since it would give my build some upgradability in the future. Adding a second GPU would extend the life of the parts/computer I'm building. If I'm reading things correctly, some ASUS boards support Crossfire, but not SLI, is this correct? If so then such a board would restrict me to purchasing Radeon cards right? Forgive my slight newbness, but asking stupid questions is the best way to get helpfull answers.
Most seem to point toward Gigabyte & ASUS mobo's, my question is which model.
2) What GPU do you recommend, with said Mobo you think I should buy in question 1?
->I was going to buy a single Radeon 5850 with my original 920 build. Those cards are hard to find, and more expensive than b4 @ $310+ apiece. Some have told me that I don't need the 5850 necessarily, and could simply go with a single 5770, with the ability to add a second 5770 down the road. Is this a good idea? Will the 5770 (x2 eventually) be good enough moving forward? It is D11 right?
It seems from the benchmark tests that two 5770's perform on par with a 5850. I mostly play shooters like BF2, Far Cry 2, etc. Will a single 5770 be able to run high setts on a 1920 x 1080 resolution monitor?
If there is a different GPU(s) I should consider, please let me know.
-> This is important, but more straight forward than the above. All recommendations are appreciated. I'm going with 4GB for now.
You better get those Spinpoint F3s fast. They are selling out like hot cakes.
Any ATI 5750 and up is considered high end and should be able run most games at 1920 X 1080 without any problems. The 5850 to 5970 for are people who need the extra power for higher res like the 30" monitors that run at 2560 X 1600 or game with 2 or 3 monitors.
I have the CoolerMaster Scout case. It looks nice, but is a difficult case to work with because of the limited space behind the motherboard. Be sure you put the 8-pin power through first before installing the motherboard if you plan on routing it behind the motherboard. Almost all the fans use molex connectors which suck for cable management. There's only cable management holes on the bottom and a small one on the top. There needs to be one in the middle so you can route the 24-pin power behind the motherboard effectively.
Tecmo34 has given you excellent advice. The ASUS motherboard he mentions is very good, and the Gigabyte equivalent is the P55-UD4P. Search for combo deals using either of these motherboards, and get whichever has the best deal that suits the rest of your build. They both sell for about $170. This just gives you a few more options to possible save some money.
Another option you might consider to save some money is to buy a less expensive motherboard that only supports a single graphics card, and use the savings toward the purchase of a 5850 graphics card. A single 5850 graphics card will perform as well as two 5770 graphics cards.
I'm going to see what's listed for combo's with the boards mentioned. I'll have to weigh the advantages & costs of going with a single GPU board for less, but going with a better 5850, versus going the Crossfire route, and a single 5770 with the ability to upgrade down the road. I'll post the direction I go in.
BTW, do those boards use the Foxconn pins? I've been reading that they burn out, should I be worried?
Another question I have is with respect ot GPU's. What's the difference between the manufacturers. For example, HIS versus Saphire or XFX, etc. I know X gives you a better warranty, but are there any other points to consider between makes?