SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Documents, surfing, watching movies, video editing, some VM, no gaming.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OSes
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: See list below for what I prefer so far
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x720 (It's a 27" TV)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want to run Ubuntu 64bit. This makes me particularly unsure about the GPU (nvidia vs. ati). Also, gaming is really not important but video editing is. I just want a very fast system. I'm going to install a Win7 for dual boot but don't anticipate using this OS often. Computer will be in a location that is not well ventilated so a lot of fans is good (not too worried about noise.)
I run ubuntu at work, and while ATI's drivers have historically been not that great, they have improved a lot recently and are relatively plug & play. I'd say that right now, at least until nVidia releases low-end Fermi-based cards, ATI is probably the way to go.
The build looks pretty good overall.
Other options to consider:
If you do a lot of video editing, you would probably see a performance advantage to switching to AMD and going with one of the new hex-core processors, for not much difference in price.
If you just edit casually, then you could stick with the i5 or you might consider going with an AMD 4-core.
If you are doing zero gaming, a 5670 or 5450 is probably more appropriate for your uses.
If you may do some light gaming, the 5770 is fine.
Generally, I don't think there's a lot of difference between the various 5670s yet, I'd just buy based on price/warranty, with manufacturer being a secondary concern. Sapphire is pretty well-regarded, and their 1 GB 5670 is one of the two cheapest on newegg at the moment.
By switching from the 5770 to a 5670 and saving almost $50 on the motherboard, you could think about going with the $310 1090T Black Edition and still ending up in the same price range.
Note that on the really highly-multithreaded apps, the AMD chip performs close to the i7-975/980X at a fraction of the price. However, it falls behind on the mixed-load stuff and on gaming. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you do a lot of video editing, it might be worthwhile. If you don't, you could also just go with a Phenom II X4 955 BE and the above Gigabyte mobo or stick with the Intel build. Just presenting various options.
I would suggest a X6 AMD processor as well as a 5770.
Ubuntu actually should get Steam support soon if it hasnt already (I forgot the date this was happening) so at least it enables some gaming potential. I understand you probably arent interested in that but a better card will at least enable the possibility.
Is there something I should be looking for to discern the better board or if the extra $45 ($55 w/rebate) is worth it? It doesn't have a nicer intergrated gpu, but that won't matter much to me since I'm going with a card, right?
Also, will the memory I listed originally be fine for this board and the 1090T? I assume this takes a 2 stick pairing rather than 3 like the i7s? Is the 1600 speed okay?
Thanks again. I'm narrowing it down and getting excited.
The 890 has the latest chipset from AMD. Its probably a better option since it has more longevity and also is already designed to work with a X6 without a BIOS update. I am not totally sure that that particula 770 wont work out of the box with an X6 but it may not so to be sure go with a 890.
Yeah, that's exactly the reason I picked the one with the 890 chipset, X6 chips are drop-in.
To get the 770 to work will likely require updating the BIOS, which is certainly doable, but kind of annoying to do right out of the box. Since you're not gaming, you don't need the CrossFire available on the 890GX, but I was having trouble finding a board that had USB3, SATA6, and no CrossFire.
Otherwise, the 770TA-UD3 is an excellent motherboard. And yes, you don't need integrated graphics, but the non-enthusiast 890 chipset doesn't offer a choice.
EDIT: Looking at the Gigabyte (www.gigabyte.com.tw) support page, it appears that with the latest BIOS, the 770TA-UD3 does support X6 chips. So you could absolutely go with it if you don't mind flashing the BIOS if it comes with an older version. The board could also arrive at your door with the most recent BIOS, there's no way to know for certain ahead of time, though.
Memory looks fine. The Ripjaws are frequently recommended around here for being good quality & relatively low-cost.
Unfortunately, I have no idea on the HSF/case dilemma, since I haven't worked with that case (or really, any recent coolers). You might check reviews and/or newegg comments on the 300 Illusion to see if you can find out how much room is left for a HSF.
I would check with Gigabyte support and see if they can tell you anything more. The chart does say that "-" means that it's under testing. Since they've already approved the lower rated chip(s), you would hope that they'll be able to support the higher-end ones.
Thanks for all your help. As you can tell, I'm a noob when it comes to distinguishing between mobos. I found this one that seems to have all I want (SATA 6GB, USB 3, 1090T support) and less of what I don't (onboard video, etc):
I just don't understand or know that much about north/south bridge and all of the other specs. I don't want to go cheap; but I also don't want to spend more on things I don't need, when I could put the $ elsewhere.
And to be perfectly honest, I'm still learning about the various chipsets myself. I had been focusing on Intel builds for a while and just recently started paying more attention to AMD builds.
That board does have 2x PCI-E 2.0 slots, which would indicate it's more of a gaming board, but I think it suits you in all other respects. I wouldn't burn too much more time trying to save $10 or so, especially with that rebate.