Need a motherboard for crossfire, motherboards confuse me

I am in the process of buying a new computer and I feel pretty good about my abilities in choosing component. Except the motherboard, I'm terribly insecure about it and it's my first time building a computer.

The processor and graphics card I am buying are:

Intel i5-750
Radeon HD 5830

I plan on using crossfire in the future, which I assume means I will need 2x PCI-Express x16. Or something. As I said, motherboards confuse me to no end. How do I avoid that each card will only have 8x when i crossfire? Does it matter much?

I'm not on a very tight budget, but I'd rather not have to go too high in price. Also I'd like to get a board with some survivability, how do ensure that USB 3.0 will work for instance?

Thanks for any help in advance.
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  1. (1) Crossfire is available on nearly all motherboards, including the Intel based ones your i5 would run on. Basically, just read the box... :)

    (2) In an ideal world, 16x/16x is best. But the newer PCi2 standard doubled bandwidth, so newer x8 has the bandwidth of an older PCi1 16X. Not to mention you wouldn't saturate the buss anyhow.

    (3) If USB 3 is important, then you will need to buy a motherboard with that feature.
  2. The best all around mobo for your rig is this one ASUS P7P55D-E Pro. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131621
    Others like the Gigabyte offerings will limit usb3 ability to usb2 when crossfired.
    And x8 crossfire is fine but if you want x16 it comes at a premium price in 1156 mobo's.
  3. you won't feel a noticeable difference between x8 or x16 so save yourself the some money and get the a board with x8.
  4. davcon said:
    The best all around mobo for your rig is this one ASUS P7P55D-E Pro. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131621
    Others like the Gigabyte offerings will limit usb3 ability to usb2 when crossfired.
    And x8 crossfire is fine but if you want x16 it comes at a premium price in 1156 mobo's.

    Good mobo. Maybe also look for the ASUS P7P55D-E EVO. Has the same features and maybe a little lower price.

    Thing is however, most 1156 boards aren't meant for multi gpu setups. The price you'll pay for a 1156 mobo with x8/x8 will be significantly higher then for a 1366 mobo with true x16/x16 and garanteed support for both SLI and CF.
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