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Building PC for the first time, Motherboard Suggestions?

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December 10, 2010 7:36:26 PM

Hi, Tom's Hardware forums! This is my first post here.

Since my XPS 700 of four years is acting up (and literally won't let me even reinstall Windows without a BSOD), I've been planning to build a new PC. I've never built a PC before, though, so I need some help with some hardware choices.

I plan on getting the i7-950, and I'm hoping to reuse my CD drives and sound card, which was a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi. I was wondering if reusing these would work and also what a good motherboard would be. I plan on installing two graphics cards, most likely, and I'd like it to have at least two USB 3.0 Ports.

I've heard that ASUS is the best brand. Is that true?

Thanks for all your help.

Sincerely,
Ethan
December 10, 2010 8:51:13 PM

The sound card will work fine with the new computer as long as it has the appropriate slot. (which could be either PCI or PCIe 1X)

The CD drive will also work fine as long as it has the appropriate connection. (IDE or SATA) Most motherboards have SATA but IDE is fading slowly.

As for brand, I don't really have a preferance. I don't care for ASROCK anymore though...
Just pick one of these: ASUS, Biostar, MSI, Gigabyte, Intel, EVGA

This one is pretty high end and has all the ports you will need for dual video cards and the CD Rom and sound card reguardless of what kinds of connections you have.

Here are some suggestions:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Avoid Micro ATX motherboard as they will not have the capability of dual video cards and your sound card. Also keep in mind that for that CPU you will need a motherboard that has a socket 1366 for that nice CPU you've chosen.

FYI,
Motherboards are a lot cheaper if you can pass on the dual video cards but since that's what you want all of the boards above are excellent. (Personally, would buy the first one.)
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a c 235 V Motherboard
December 10, 2010 8:51:18 PM

For Intel, EVGA is the best, but ASUS is the best all around maker.

As for boards, here is what I recommend...

Budget:
  • ASUS P6X58D-E
  • ASUS SABERTOOTH X58

    Mid:
  • EVGA X58 FTW
  • ASUS P6X58D Preimum

    Highend:
  • EVGA X58 Classified 3
  • Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9
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    December 10, 2010 10:45:52 PM

    I'm starting to look at the first one you posted, dark_lord69, the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R. (Thanks to tecmo34 for the input as well.) The only thing that stops me from choosing this is that I heard Gigabyte motherboards tend to have problems and that they're not great quality. If you think this one's good though (It got the Tom's Hardware 2010 Recommended Buy Award so it looks good), I'll trust you.
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    a c 235 V Motherboard
    December 10, 2010 10:51:51 PM

    The two budget ASUS boards are better than the UD3R. I would avoid it...
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    December 10, 2010 11:20:40 PM

    So you think the ASUS P6X58D Premium would support my old CD drives (assuming they're SATA), two video cards, my sound card, and...anything else that I may need to add? :p 

    By the way, I have a lot more questions about parts and compatibility in general and I don't want to be rude by posting them in the Motherboard forum. Is there somewhere else I should go to ask these other questions or can I just use this topic?
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    a c 235 V Motherboard
    December 10, 2010 11:50:35 PM

    1) Yes, it will support all you've listed to.

    2) If you are wanting a complete system build help, I would post in the System forum section & post a link to the thread, so we can add feedback there, if need be. :) 
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    December 11, 2010 12:36:49 AM

    Best answer selected by ethteck.
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