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Critique my build... is an H55 mobo ok for gaming?

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February 5, 2010 5:14:54 AM

Antec Mini P180 case ($65)

Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H Micro ATX Motherboard ($77)

Antec Earthwatts 430W power supply ($30)

Intel Core i5-750 ($170)

G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600 ($85)

EVGA GTS 250 512MB ($100)

Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 500GB ($48)

Samsung DVDRW drive ($25)

Trendnet Wireless G PCI adapter ($15)

Total: $615

I've been waiting and picking up items one by one when they're on sale so I'm happy with the prices I got, but I would like some input on my choices.

I read somewhere that for gaming, you want a P55 motherboard and not an H55... I'm not sure why though. What's the advantage? Was this H55 a mistake?

Should I have gone with a cheaper case and processor, and put more money into the video card?

Finally... is it silly of me to upgrade from a similar PC with an E8400 and 4GB DDR2 RAM, will I even notice any performance increase? (fyi, I am doing this upgrade because someone is buying my E8400 setup for nearly as much as this i5 PC cost)
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 7:16:15 AM

^ The H55s are more of a HTPC boards...The reason why people say for high-end LGA 1156 CPUs to be paired with the P55 boards is because the P55 boards have better power regulations and are more apt for overclocking the CPU...
And also you have the option of Crossfire/ SLI with those boards...

Cheaper case would be a good option and a case with better airflow would be very good...
And as for upgrading from the E8400 to i5, yes for gaming, its not much of an upgrade...but as you have said that someone is buying the E8400 setup for nearly as much as the i5, then its fine as at higher resolutions and with powerful graphics card, the i5 will better suit...

And definitely a better graphics card if you game at high resolutions...

Best solution

a c 216 V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 2:38:44 PM
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Your list of parts looks appropriate and good.

The difference in CPU will not be noticeable unless your games are multi core enabled and cpu intensive such as FSX. Otherwise, your games will be limited by the power of your graphics card. The GTX250 will give you decent gameplay at 1920 x 1200. A stronger card for that resolution might be the 5850.

The reason H55 motherboards are recommended is that they will usually have two pci-e x8 slots.
That is of value if you plan on using two graphics cards. If you want to use two high end cards the X58 with multiple x16 slots is better. Crazy.
Just use one good card if you can. Multi gpu systems may have scaling issues with some games, and you have to pay more for motherboards and psu's

The H55 chip has another advantage which you might want to consider. It supports the clarkdale cpu's with integrated graphics. They are very strong 2 core cpu's with hyperthreading that might do the job even better than the 750. At the same price point(about $200), you can get the i5-660 or 661. It's stock clock rate is 3.33 with turbo up to 3.6. Do not plan on using the integrated graphics for your gaming monitor. It will be adequate for civilization, but not fast action games. You can use the integrated graphics vor a static secondary monitor to good effect.

Get a case that you like. The mini P180 is a good one, and very quiet. If you find one with free shipping you can save about $20.

---good luck---
February 7, 2010 4:53:55 AM

Best answer selected by chocoboat.
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