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Seeking an i5 motherboard with no SLI

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November 24, 2010 4:28:51 AM

Dear THers,

I'm putting together a system piecemeal as I find good deals over the holidays. My goal is a mid-range Win7 gaming system, and I need some help picking out a motherboard and some RAM. Some assumptions:

* I've settled on the i5-760 CPU, and I have a MicroCenter nearby.
* I don't expect to run SLI, so I don't care to pay more for a motherboard that will allow it.
* I may overclock if it's easy and stable but I'm not an extreme overclocker, and I don't intend to spend much on extra cooling.
* I value stability over a few extra FPS in performance, so I'd prefer a mature motherboard over the latest and greatest. (For this reason I will probably not wait for Sandy Bridge, although I'm not 100% on this decision yet.)
* I've budgeted about $400 for the CPU + motherboard + memory, but would be happy to pay less.
* For legacy reasons I would like a Firewire controller on-board the motherboard, but I can get an add-on card if necessary.

I'll be cannibalizing my old system for some parts, including a 500W PS and a 1TB data drive. Other than that, I have bought so far:

Video: one Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
Main drive: Corsair Force 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal SSD

I'm eyeing this deal for memory:

RAM: Kingston HyperX 6GB (3 X 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz, $70

Here are my questions:

1. What is a good motherboard/memory combo given my preferences above (no SLI needed, overclocking potential good but not overriding, Firewire would be nice)?
2. Should I be concerned with buying memory in a 3x configuration (as opposed to 2x) with a motherboard for the i5 core?


Thanks!
November 24, 2010 2:00:51 PM

Thanks! That ASUS P7P55D-E LX LGA may fit the bill, as it's cheaper than the Gigabyte and has only one PCIe slot. No firewire, unfortunately, but maybe I'll just have to get an expansion.

Both of the 4GB (2x2) memory modules you two have listed are more expensive than the 6GB (3x2) I noted above. Is there a reason I should prefer those to the Kingston if I don't plan to heavily overclock?
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November 24, 2010 7:23:56 PM

Good to know. So if I want more than 4GB it sounds like I'm better going to 8GB than 6GB.

Although I still might get the Kingston, since I get 3 2GB modules for less than the 2 2GB modules from the other links, and maybe just sell the other.
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December 1, 2010 2:53:48 PM

Best answer selected by RevBayes.
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December 1, 2010 2:56:59 PM

Thanks for the advice; I went with the Asus P57P55D-E LX motherboard. Here is my full loadout:

Mobo: ASUS P7P55D-E LX P55 SATA6/USB3 ATX Intel, $69 AR
CPU: Intel Core i5-760 2.8GHz Quad-Core, $175
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, $30 AR
RAM: 4GB (2 x 2GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB DDR3 1333, $30 AR
Video: Palit GeForce GTX 460 Sonic 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready, $155 AR
Storage: Corsair Force 120GB SATA II MLC SSD, $190 AR
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430, $15 AR
Case Fan: Cooler Master 120mm Case Fan, $11
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2, $50 AR
OS: Microsoft Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit for System Builders - OEM, $85
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May 3, 2011 7:21:20 PM

RevBayes said:
Thanks for the advice; I went with the Asus P57P55D-E LX motherboard. Here is my full loadout:

Mobo: ASUS P7P55D-E LX P55 SATA6/USB3 ATX Intel, $69 AR
CPU: Intel Core i5-760 2.8GHz Quad-Core, $175
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, $30 AR
RAM: 4GB (2 x 2GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB DDR3 1333, $30 AR
Video: Palit GeForce GTX 460 Sonic 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready, $155 AR
Storage: Corsair Force 120GB SATA II MLC SSD, $190 AR
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430, $15 AR
Case Fan: Cooler Master 120mm Case Fan, $11
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2, $50 AR
OS: Microsoft Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit for System Builders - OEM, $85



where did u get these prices from there amazing i cant find deals like that anywhere ????
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May 3, 2011 8:04:29 PM

All components were purchased from Newegg around Thanksgiving and the first week of the Christmas season, so the time of year probably explains the great deals.

It's been a good system for the most part. The SSD screams; I can boot and start using apps in 30 seconds or less. The only downside has been some occasional instability where the video driver will repeatedly crash even when there's no activity. I have to shut the computer down cold to make it stop, but I haven't isolated the problem.
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May 3, 2011 9:59:59 PM

are you over clocking the CPU? and would u suggest a better video card for that issue to not occur or do u think it happened from using it too much?
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May 3, 2011 10:31:43 PM

I'm not currently overclocking the CPU, but I have the cooling to spare if I choose to do so. That CPU fan is a monster.

I don't think the stability issue is related to GPU heat issues; it most often occurs while the GPU is practically idle. It might be defective memory on the video card, or it could be a driver issue. I can't be more specific yet, but if I discover the source I'll post an update.

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May 4, 2011 4:22:16 PM

thanks alot man im going to hold off a lil longer just to see how things go with ur pc now
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!