Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

I7-870 or i7-950? Mobo? Want USB3,SATA3, 16Lane Gfx

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 17, 2010 5:22:01 AM

I am ready to build a new system now and I don't know what processor or motherboard to get. I am planning to purchase either a i7-870 or i7-950. I would really like to have the option to have USB3 and SATA3 and use 16 lanes of PCIx for video at the same time. It looks like the i7-870 architecture doesn't allow for that, but I'm not sure...?? I'm fine with adding a USB3 card at a later time if I have to as long as I don't lose the 16 lanes of PCIExpress for graphics. I would really like a fast SATA connection as well.

Here are my requirements:
Processor = i7-870 or i7-950
I want to start with one graphics card using 16 lanes and have the option to upgrade to two cards. (I could use a recommendation for the one graphics card as well as motherboard and processor)
I want a fast HDD controller so I can use a fast SSD. SATA3 is the fastest standard now right?
4 Gigs of fast RAM (I'm really not sure what fast means any more, but best bang for the buck)



APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Must have in hand before March 1st. (Win7 RC expires)
BUDGET RANGE: $1000-$1500
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (e.g.: gaming, ripping movies, surfing the internet, etc)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - I'm open do overclocking...
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not in this build, but motherboard must be upgradeable
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't care about bling. Quiet would be nice, but I understand that's difficult w/ high power.
February 17, 2010 6:05:44 AM

The Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield is a socket 1156 cpu.

The Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield is a socket 1366 cpu.

Since you stated you are a gamer and want to use multiple video cards that rules out socket 1156 cpu's. Intel designed the 1156 cpu's for use with commercial/professional applications. The socket 1156 motherboards do not come with multiple x16 PCI-e slots.

The Intel Core i7 950 socket 1366 cpu, an appropriate X58 motherboard with mutiple x16 PCI-e slots, and DDR3 triple channel memory alone will cost in excess of $1,000.00. The rest of the pc components and the monitor will put you over budget.




m
0
l
February 17, 2010 7:48:26 AM

I think Johnnylucky typo'd there a bit in the last line. In any case....

The Intel Core i7-8xx Lynnfield CPU is socket 1156 and P55 motherboards. If you want USB3 and SATA6 the Asus P7P55D-E series of boards are the way to go as they will allow for 1 x16 PCI-e slot. If you SLI or Crossfire it will go to x8/x8. The Gigabyte boards go to x8 even for one card if the USB3/SATA6 is used.

If you are certain you want x16/x16 and still have USB3 and SATA6 the only way to go is with socket 1366 and the Intel Core i7-9xx.

So in your case if you are certain you are going to use more than one card and want more than one lane of x16 PCI-e, I would recommend i7-950 of the two you selected. You will also then want a total of 6gb of ram (3x 2GB sticks).

SATA6 really is the fastest out now but in general that kind of bandwith isn't necessary yet.

I hate to break it to you but with a budget of $1500 I don't think you'll be able to get everything you want. A MOBO that has USB3/SATA6 able to do x16/x16 PCI-e lanes which would require an x58 board and hence i7-950. The Intel Core i7-950 will be $570. The cheapest MOBO that meets your requirements is Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $210. Combo'd those two are still $753 and half your max budget. Throw in at least a $310 GPU with the 5850, and one of the cheapest fast SSD Intel X25-V 40gb for $130 (which I really would only be good for your OS so you wouldn't see any benefit in gaming then), the cheapest Triple Channel DDR3 kit at around $150, the best bang for your buck cooler with the Hyper 212 at $30, and you'll need a PSU that will be able to run your system and Xfire so you are looking at probably at around $120. And that would be your budget. Now I guess you could just leave your components on your desk to run wihtout a case.

Unfortunately I think you will have to reconsider what you want out of your build because trying to get everything will leave with a great CPU but poor components which will not provide the gaming performance you are looking for.

If you are flexible about CPU I would recommend the i7-920, and holding off on SSD at this time. That way you'll be able to budget a better GPU like the 5870 and a computer case, optical drive, quality ram etc.
m
0
l
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
February 17, 2010 11:14:26 AM

YUP! That was a typo. Corrected.
m
0
l
February 17, 2010 5:36:13 PM

Thanks for the reply's. There are a few tricks I can play to get the cost down in the short term, I just want to make sure I get a quality motherboard, RAM and processor that will allow me to upgrade as time permits. Basically, my wife is going to freak out if I spend too much all at once. I'm stuck on the i7-870 or i7-950. I have a friend that I'm going to buy one from at a slight discount, $500 for either.

If I really have to, I can use an old PCIExpress2 graphics card from my old machine for a while (till my wife forgets how much I spent). If I do that, I may as well cannibalize my old case as well... I still need a new PSU though. Remember, I already have a nice display.

Knowing that my budget is a little too low, I'll change my requirements slightly...
I don't think x16/x16 is a requirement for me (I like gaming, but am not a HARDCORE gamer), I just don't want to go down to ONE x8 when I use USB3 or SATA6. I could probably be happy with one x16 as long as I could use it at the same time as USB3 and SATA6. From what I understand, another pretty good configuration is if it goes down to x8/x8 graphics. Is that correct?

So, I'm starting to think this suggestion from letsrahk is the best choice for me... What do you think?
"The Intel Core i7-8xx Lynnfield CPU is socket 1156 and P55 motherboards. If you want USB3 and SATA6 the Asus P7P55D-E series of boards are the way to go as they will allow for 1 x16 PCI-e slot. If you SLI or Crossfire it will go to x8/x8."

Thanks,
Brian



m
0
l

Best solution

February 17, 2010 6:06:19 PM

The PCI-e lanes depend on the socket/chipset. If you get the i7-870 I would definitely recommend one of the Asus P7P55D-E boards. The Pro version seems to be the best bang for the buck price point at around $190. I say the ASUS boards because they have another onboard chip that allows you to use USB3 and SATA 6 and still have an x16 PCI-e slot. Gigabyte the other main MOBO manufacturer right now that has USB3/SATA6 on board is set up so if you use it you won't have a x16 slot. The tradeoffs is the ASUS USB3 and SATA6 is actually slightly lower bandwith but no devices today need that much yet.

Now the x16/x16 vs x8/x8 issue is covered very well here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p55-pci-express-sca... goes into how x8/x8 is only slightly slower than x16/x16 with modern GPUs. So if you buy one GPU now and add a second one later, it shouldn't matter much ~4%.

The P55 (i7-870) vs X58 (i7-950) has been debated quite a bit. The main sticking points are that X58 has triple channel memory, but as of yet this does not yield any noticeable extra performance. X58 will have hex-core processors coming this year but those will be in the >$1000 range. X58 has more PCI-e lanes so are better suited for HARDCORE gamers running like triple or quad SLI/xfire. Once you start running 3 cards, the difference becomes huge. 2 cards not so much. Benefits of P55 include cheaper memory since you only need dual channel. The CPU's run cooler and are more efficient and overclock better.

Personally, I think P55 is the way to go right now. I wrote a lengthy, wordy article about this here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279646-31-futureproof... Not necessarily worth the read, but I felt like writing it!

So in short, if x16/x16 is not a requirement, I would tend to recommend the i7-870 on the Asus P7P55D-E Pro MOBO as that will give you USB3, SATA6 and if you use it you can still have on x16 lane or two x8/x8 lanes. But don't bother triple or quad GPUs.

I don't have time to do a complete build or costs now but some Parts I would recommend/for you to consider would be:

CPU: Core i7-870
MOBO: Asus P7P55D-E Pro
GPU: At least 5850, or more http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-graphic... has a quick overview
RAM: Cas 7 dual channel DDR3 like G.Skill Ripjaws 1600, should be about 115 on newegg
PSU: 750W+ brand name
Cooler: Cooler Master 212, best bang for the buck cooler around. If you want more overclocking ability there are betters though
HD: Best SSD right now is probably the Intel X25M G2, but SSD's are still at premium and I consider them still a luxury item.
Share
February 17, 2010 8:11:09 PM

Thanks a lot guys. You are extremely helpful. I'm going to put together full pricing, etc for the ASUS P7P55D-E solution and see how high-end a graphics card I can afford and see if I need to wait on an SSD.

I really appreciate all the help. It think having the option of x16 or x8/x8 will be perfect for me along with the ability to have USB3 and SATA6.

THANK YOU ALL
m
0
l
February 24, 2010 12:04:49 AM

Hi Guys,

Help me out!!!!
My budget is 2k (After the CPU, already got a new I7 950, 3.06)

So I have a brand new Intel Core i7 I7-950 3.06 CPU. Got it for $350.00 No BS!! I work for a hardware company.
So here is the deal, I want fast, love to game and also catch up on large data tables at home.
! I want to go with at least 6gb memory, 2-3 Vid cards SLI and 4 SSD's for RAID. (Undecided on RAID Config)
So, here are my questions from you guys!

Best/Fastest motherboard (SLI ready, supports memory up to 12-24GB)???
Whats the best low latency (fast, stable) memory (I like Corsair)???
Best/fastest SSD Sata drives 40GB?? ?


Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
m
0
l
February 24, 2010 12:07:30 AM

Best answer selected by brimante.
m
0
l
February 24, 2010 12:08:49 AM

surferjoee said:
Hi Guys,

Help me out!!!!
My budget is 2k (After the CPU, already got a new I7 950, 3.06)

So I have a brand new Intel Core i7 I7-950 3.06 CPU. Got it for $350.00 No BS!! I work for a hardware company.
So here is the deal, I want fast, love to game and also catch up on large data tables at home.
! I want to go with at least 6gb memory, 2-3 Vid cards SLI and 4 SSD's for RAID. (Undecided on RAID Config)
So, here are my questions from you guys!

Best/Fastest motherboard (SLI ready, supports memory up to 12-24GB)???
Whats the best low latency (fast, stable) memory (I like Corsair)???
Best/fastest SSD Sata drives 40GB?? ?


Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You should probably post this in a new thread so it gets more attention. This one has been answered.
m
0
l
!