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Best MOBO for i5 build

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January 21, 2010 12:49:40 PM

Newbie here seeking advice.

I've been looking at the:

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
SATA 3.0, USB 3.0, 3x USB power $134.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Which seem to my ignorant eyes to be a good choice or a new i5 build with usb 3 and sata 3 support.

I'm worried about a few things though:

It appears that usb 3 is compromised if two GPUs are used, not a big deal for me. I like to game but I'm not a fanatic, one nice GPU should be fine for me. But it's bothersome, seems like some sort of workaround.

Someone pointed out that some p55 boards might not be good for overclocking. I plan to mildly overclock the i5 (I'll leave Turbo Boost on and leave the voltage alone) by bumping the base clock to 160 MHz BCLK with a 3.2 GHz nominal speed and a Turbo Boost speed of 3.36 GHz for three or four cores and 3.8 GHz for one or two cores (as per the "Efficiency Explored" article here at Toms.)

Lastly, the MOBO has good comments at Newegg, but not a lot of them, not sure if this is because the board is new or if there is some other reason people are not using it.

PSU wise, I'm looking at the:

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if someone can suggest a better fit, please do.

So I guess the basic question is - is there a better board I should be looking at? I like the idea of usb 3 and sata 3, but not so much as to pick a bad board.

And if a different MOBO is in order, what would be a good PSU for it.

I'd love to keep the MOBO under $150, but I'll go up to $200 for a clearly better board. PSU under $75 is preferred, but up to $100 if necessary ( the OCZ above seems a great deal at $39 after rebates and instant savings)

Thanks

More about : mobo build

January 21, 2010 1:00:53 PM

The USB 3/SATA III support during Crossfire is a workaround. The best board to have both Crossfire and the new ports is the Asus P7P55D-E Pro for $190.

The old P55 boards weren't good for overclocking because of the Foxconn socket. And that was only for massive overclocks (like 4.0 GHz and above). That has since been fixed. It's designated by the "A" after the P55 on the Gigabyte boards.

You shouldn't follow Newegg comments. Most are written by half-wits who shouldn't be allowed near any kind of technology. To them, "high understanding" of tech is being able to use an iPod. So ignore them.

That's a good PSU. The only issue is that you won't be able to Crossfire with it (not enough power), but that doesn't seem to be an issue. If you want the option, there is a great deal on the OCZ StealthXStream 700W ($55 after rebate). Modular shouldn't be an issue, assuming you have a case with a bottom mounted PSU.

If you change the board, you don't need to change the PSU. The one you picked is a good one, as is the one I pointed.
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January 21, 2010 6:18:24 PM


I'm beginning to think that maybe the new usb and sata stuff are not worth it at this point.

If I forget about that stuff, what boards would you recommend for the i5 (one assuming Crossfire and one assuming no Crossfire needed?)

Also, I'm not sure I understand your comment about modular and mounting. Again, I'm new at this, but I understand that most people want modular PSUs because you only need to run the wires you require. But is modular a problem depending on where the PSU is mounted? The case I'm looking at is a bottom mount.

Sorry for the basic questions, but I'm still coming up the curve on this stuff.


Thanks
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January 21, 2010 6:26:27 PM

Crossfire: Asus P7P55D-E Pro
No Crossfire: Asus P7P55D-E or Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3P. They're the same price.

The benfit of modular PSUs is not about only running the cables you need, it's eliminating extra cables. Traditionally, cases have had PSU mounted at the top of the case, so extra cables would hang down and block the air coming into the case. However, the more recent case designs have had PSU mounts at the bottom of the case. That way the cables are sitting at the bottom of the case below all of the components and already out of the way. Therefore, by getting a bottom mounted case AND a modular PSU, you are paying twice for essentially the same feature.

It's not so much that being a modular unit is a problem, it's just an unnecessary expense with a bottom mounted case.
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