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Worried about getting right speed ram and right motherboard for i5-760

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August 21, 2010 5:01:44 AM

Hello! I have questions on various topics at the bottom, please. And any help with my build is appreciated.

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CPU
Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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MOTHERBOARD, which?
$120 GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$140 GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$160 GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$185 GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s
$210 GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD6 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s
newegg link with gigabyte 1156 ATX boards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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RAM. want to OC. don't know which speed to get. please see "Which RAM?" question below.
$103 G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO
1333, 1.35V, 7-7-7-21-2T, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$103 G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO
1600, 1.35V, 7-8-7-24-2T http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$140 G.SKILL PI 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL6D-4GBPI
1600, 1.6V, 6-8-6-24, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$103 G.SKILL PIS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9D-4GBPIS
2000, 1.65V, 9-9-9-24, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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HARD DRIVE, PRIMARY, which?
$220 Intel X25-M SSDSA2M080G2XX (“OUT OF STOCK”, item N82E16820167027)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$230 Intel X25-M SSDSA2M080G2XXX (newegg says: “Discontinued, replaced by N82E16820167027”)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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HARD DRIVE, SECONDARY
$110 Western Digital 1.5TB Caviar Black Model:WD1501FASS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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VIDEO CARD. I'm thinking GTX 460. but which?
so many models on newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...(Fermi)
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POWER SUPPLY
$110 Corsair 750W PSU Model:CMPSU-750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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CASE:
$60 Cooler Master 690 Mid Tower ATX case Model:RC-690-KKN1-GP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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OPERATING SYSTEM
XP 32 bit (already own)
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HEATSINK/FAN:
?????
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Questions:
1. Which motherboard? Gigabyte suggestions only, please. I am interested in overclocking.
Do the more expensive motherboards offer my build any advantage, overclocking or otherwise? OTherwise I'll just go with the cheapest, considering combo deals.
Will the USB 3.0 or Sata 3.0 matter at all for my build?

2. Which RAM? G.skill only, please. I'd like to OC. With an i5/nehalem system, does a faster CPU mean worse RAM timings, and if so, does it make up for worse RAM timings?
If so, I would like as much OC as possible on air cooling. How fast speed should I get? How will I know if the RAM is plug and play? I don't really wanna pay more than about $130 for RAM.
Can I still get a fast CPU speed with 1333 or 1600 RAM? Even if all these RAMs recommend 2t command rate, will they all, especially the more expensive ones, be able to get a 1t command rate?

3. Will I have any problems trying to install windows Xp 32 bit with my build? For example, I do not think these mobos have a connection for a floppy drive.
Will I need a floppy with SATA drivers to install XP onto a SATA drive? Would I have to use an external floppy?

4. Are RAM sticks like this with slightly names manufactured exactly the same, except the higher model ones tested better?
e.g. F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO, F3-10666CL8D-4GBECO, F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO. What does the first F in g.skill's ram models stand for?

5. Is the newer SSD worth waiting like a week+ for? Does anyone know any specific differences between SSDSA2MH080G2C1 / SSDSA2MH080G2R5 and the newer SSDSA2M080G2GC / SSDSA2M080G2GN?

6. Which video card and heatsink/fan should I get?

7. To any overclockers out there, how often does your computer crash? Does firefox crash more with an unstable OC? And is it possible to get a high OC and never fail prime95?

8. If I want to upgrade an LGA 775 build to 1156, could I just format x25m SSD HD(after plugging it into another computer),
swap in a mobo and cpu, and reinstall Windows? Would I run into any problems?

9. Has anyone here ever used a RAMdisk to make use of more than 4 gigs of RAM on a 32 bit OS?
Anyone know a good place to look for info about that?

10. Does anyone have any links to sites that show windows xp significantly beating windows 7 in benchmarks?

11. Is 1 stick of 4 gigs more likely to fail than 2 sticks of 2gb?

12. I'm thinking about a getting a laptop for word processing. Is a $400 new laptop off newegg worth spending more on than a $100-200 dollar one off of ebay?

13. Should I look into getting parts from any other website besides newegg? I live in the US.

14. Anyone here ever gotten recertified or open box stuff off newegg? Anyone ever gotten new PC parts off ebay?

15. I heard Intel makes makes all the CPUs the same, then makes them worse for lower models. Why do they do that?

16. If you got a gigabyte board, and RAM slots 1 and 3 didnt work, and a lot of people were complaining about that problem, but RAM slots 2 and 4 did, and it overclocked stable, would you return/refund the board or just keep it?
August 21, 2010 5:43:55 PM

Thanks for the reply.
You picked the MB because they're all the same and that was the cheapest?
Why the RAM? Just cause its fastest?

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a b V Motherboard
August 21, 2010 6:53:33 PM

all the mainboards r gr8, i chose the cheapest, the ram i chose because eco series should not be used for overclocking, the gskill PI has some nice low latencies so i chose that, with higher latencies you should be able to clock quite high
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August 21, 2010 8:10:46 PM

Thanks for replying again. Why should the eco series not be used for OCing?
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a b V Motherboard
August 22, 2010 12:39:49 AM

It depends on how much of an OC you want to do. And you could always lower the RAM multiplier if you get to a point where it is OCed too much. With an i5 you will have to OC to get the RAM to run faster than 1333 MHz anyway. Since the 1333 and 1600 ecos are the same price, I'd personally opt for the $103 1600 CL7 eco sticks. It's rated up to 1600 which means you'll get to at least a bclk of 160, for an OC'ed CPU speed of 3.36 GHz, before you hit the RAM's rated limit. Once you go past that you can lower your RAM multiplier as needed for stability.

Do you plan on running 2 video cards in CF or SLI? If so pick a board that runs in x8, x8. The USB3 runs in x16, x4 and as a result does not support SLI, but if you're only using 1 card it should be fine. If you have a lot of expansion cards make sure the mobo has enough slots for you. I opted for the cheap but well built GA-P55M-UD2 and have not had any issues.

According to Gigabyte's site the GA-P55-USB3 has a floppy connector on the board so if you go that route you're set if you have a cable and a drive. Many of their other boards do too but if you opt for another board double-check to make sure its there if you're going to do ACHI with XP.

If you live near a MicroCenter or Fry's they often have great discounts on items bought in the store. If not you could still price check their web pricing with NewEgg. I have also had success with some components from Buy.com. TigerDirect or Amazon occasionally will fit the bill too. Any chance you're taking at least 1 college class somewhere? Your school may have software discounts and check this out for cheap Windows 7 ($30) & Microsoft Office ($80): http://www.microsoft.com/student/office/en-us/default.a...

To your last comment about slots 1 & 3 not working but slots 2 & 4 working just fine - I wouldn't put much stock in those comments unless you are sure that the posters knew what they were talking about. In Gigabyte's P55 boards they named the slot closest to the CPU as 2, then 1, then 4, and finally 3 is the furthest from the CPU. The RAM has to go in slots named 1 & 3 - which are the 2nd and 4th physical slots on the board. So a lot of people have misunderstood this and tried placing the RAM in the 1st and 3rd physical slots which is not how they are intended to work. I'm not saying some people haven't run into legitimate issues, but a lot of people have been confused by this.
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