Noobie to making computers

My main question is how do you determine which motherboard will work best for you.

All of them seem quite similar: take a certain processor + memory with x number of PCI-e slots.

What I want is a computer that will not break my bank but be upgradable for the next few years.

I was looking at getting this motherboard:
ASUS P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Reasons: Brand seems to be good, highly recommended.
High ram capacity
i5/i7/i9 intel processors (read that their performance was higher than AMD at the moment)
PCI Express 2.0 x16 (for video card)
PCI Express x1 ~ 4 of them
PCI Slots 2 slots
Not too sure about the hard drives but it looks like i can put 2/3 in there.

Any opinions?

Any help is good help :)
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  1. ye thats a fine board you just wont be able to sli if you ever want too
  2. There are two major categories to determine what motherboard, or any other part for that matter, will work best for you.

    1. You must first determine what your primary usage will be (I.E. Gaming, word processing, video encoding, etc.)
    2. What is your budget? Is your budget firm, or can you go over, and if so how much?

    Once you know this, you start tailoring your build to those needs.
  3. I honestly use my computer for an entertainment center.

    I have it hooked to my TV, i watched movies/tv shows, play video games and browse the net quite often.

    My budget would hopefully be around 500 dollars at the moment... but the "upgrades" in the future would be to better video card and additional ram.
  4. I would recommend going the AMD route for three reasons...

    1) Cheaper CPU and allows for better upgrades else where.
    2) The LGA 1156 socket is being replace later this year or early next, so upgrade path is limited. Also, it only supports the i3, i5 & i7 and not the i7/i9 on the LGA 1366 socket.

    3) AMD has a better upgrade path as they tend to make CPU's backwards compatible on their newer platforms (I.e; AM3's work on AM2+ boards).
  5. Tecmo34, can you suggest a good board that would support amd? I don't need anything too fancy, I never overclock and just use the computer for videos and games.

    At the moment, the most I can get together is about 500 dollars. I have an old video card, hard drives and a dvd drive that will work for the time being.

    I have a medium case with a 450W power supply that i would be tossing all of this into (and old computer a friend made for me).
  6. As a starting point for your build... I would go with these three items as your heart of your system...

    CPU/MOBO Combo:

  7. tecmo34 said:
    As a starting point for your build... I would go with these three items as your heart of your system...

    CPU/MOBO Combo:


    It is in my price range for sure but my only worries about the mother board is the PCI slots,

    It has PCI-E 2 ( x16 or x8 + x8 ) - For video cards usually it seems

    PCI Express x4 - what would this one be used for honestly? I'm not totally sure the point of all these different speeds of ports. I would probably just use the onboard sound and then put in a wireless card... and thats about it.

    PCI Express x1

    PCI 2
  8. Are you saying the motherboard has more than you would need (I.e; No plans to ever overclock so don't need two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots...)? You could look to go with an mATX motherboard with fewer unused slots and just room for 1 graphics card. They are typically cheaper two :)
  9. No, thats not it.

    When I have looked around for PCI cards and such, I have not seen any specified for a x4 slot. As much of a dunce as I am, I was just curious what was the point of these. I don't believe a normal PCI card fits (maybe i'm mistaken). All I will throw in there is the wireless LAN card then possibly a sound card - but i have never ever used one so i dont know what I am missing.
  10. There is a difference between PCI and PCI-E; you probably figured that out on your own. But the difference between the PCI-E slots is the number of lanes the slot can use. For example, smaller PCIe cards will fit into larger PCI-E slots. The computer simply ignores the extra connections. For example, a x4 card can plug into a x16 slot. A x16 card, however, would be too big for a x4 slot.

    Wireless LAN cards and sound cards are installed into PCI slots, whereas video cards are installed into PCI-E slots.
  11. I figured that much out but I was looking for cards that used the PCIex4 slot and only seemed to find raid controllers... was curious what else there was.
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