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NEED Motherboard + PC CASE for Gaming RIG

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May 28, 2010 4:31:17 PM

Hello, I am interested in upgrading my current system, I want to upgrade the core modules such as Motherboard, CPU, Case first whilst using some of my older products.

Date: ASAP
Origin: UK/England
Sites: Ebuyer.co.uk or Scan.co.uk or any reputable UK/EU website
BUDGET: £200 for CASE and Motherboard, willing to work above and below.
Used Primarily for: GAMING, Watching Movies, Surfing the NET

More details below.

I have a PCI-E GPU (Saphire 3600 HD Series 512mb series)
I have a Intel Dual Core CPU
DDR2 RAM

I have all the other general components like HDD, Monitor (any resolution P&P Monitor, but looking to get 1600x1200 or higher eventually) OS is Vista Home Edition etc

I will upgrade the above to DDR3 Ram, Better CPU and Better GPU Eventually. But would like to do this over time.

I have read the guide and I think 1366 CPU chip would be ieal for me, the one that has 3 DDR3 channels and 3? PCI-E channels? I dont really care about SLI or Crossfire yet I am unsure how well they work. But if you can provide me with some information I would be thankful. For example woul it be cheaper for me to get 2 MID range GPU's into SLI/Crossfire rather than getting a single high end gpu and whatkind of effects will it have etc. SO in retrospect the motherboard can have a single or dual PCI-E channels but I want to keep costs down. My primary concern is geting the Case and Motherboard that will enable me to upgrade with proficiency in the future without having to worry about restrictions.
Please ADVICE on chipsets, I am unsure about this.


So I am not sure if I should get a FULL TOWER (EATX??) or a Midi Tower, but I dont want to deal with overheating in the future. Please advise as nessesary.

Regards

May 28, 2010 4:39:51 PM

EDIT:

Some ideas, I am not really sure if these are any good so I will throw them at you, tell me what you guys think:

Case + PSU bundle:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/177749

MODULAR PSU? Is that any good? is 700W enough?
a b V Motherboard
May 28, 2010 4:43:28 PM

Yea first thing you need to do is understand the different sockets.

Your Dual Core CPU now is a socket 775. The i7 CPUs use socket 1366, meaning you can't put that dual core CPU into a 1366 motherboard.

Since LGA775 is a dead end path, there is no point in putting money into a new socket 775 motherboard, to keep that CPU. You would need to ugrade both the CPU and motherboard, and RAM. The new 1366 socket uses DDR3 RAM.

Given your budget, I would suggest you look into an AMD alternative. Something along the lines of an Athlon II X3 CPU and AM3 motherboard with DDR3 dual-channel RAM. You may need to wait until your budget allows.
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May 28, 2010 4:54:42 PM

Thanks for the quick reply, I was actually expecting to upgrade my redundant CPU and DDR2 RAM. I just didnt know that they wouldnt be compatiable with the newer motherboards.

Interesting, I have looked at the pricelines, and looks like my biggest drawback is the i7 Processor. I can get a good, half decent motherboard for around £150, but I can not find an i7 processor for less than £100. WIll look for alternatives.
May 28, 2010 5:00:15 PM

In a NUTSHELL what is the difference betwene the Intel 1366 and AM3 motherboards? Also, please advise on what to look for on an AM3 motherboard, I am mainly interested in graphics performance and processing power.

Here are the AM3 MB's available to me by order of price:
http://www.ebuyer.com/search?store=2&cat=222&subcat=278...
a b V Motherboard
May 28, 2010 5:08:31 PM

For your needs, an i5 CPU would be best (if sticking with intel), because in gaming, there is no benefit to having i7 over i5. The only real differences are in the number of PCIe lanes that the X58 (i7) chipset can support over the P55 (i5). Because P55 supports less PCIe lanes, it means there is a performance decrease when using SLI or CrossFire, because the cards have to be scaled back.

In a nutshell, i5 is the most CPU you would need for gaming, your most demanding PC use.

Which motherboard are you looking at, a good i5 motherboard should run you about 120-140 USD.

AM3 motherboard obviously use AMD CPUs, but all other components are pretty much the same. AM3 motherboards do not have the PCIe lane restrictions that the P55 boards do, so they are more ideal for multiple GPU solutions. However, the i5 is a better performing CPU, so its a tradeoff.

I would recommend this motherboard, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173450 , and the i5-750 CPU, if your budget will allow.

For an AMD build, the AMD Phenom II X4 955 + http://www.ebuyer.com/product/197546

For both options, this RAM would be good: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490
May 28, 2010 5:54:07 PM

Hello, again, thank you for your quick reply. I am seriously considering getting the AMD Motherboard that you listed. However, having looked around I realise my biggest limitation will be the GPU itself.

So I have looked around for some cheaper alternatives, and would like to throw this at you see what you think.

For my processor:
I have the choice to either pick AMD Phenom II X2 or an AMD Athlon X3, both are within the same price range £70-80.
Phenom x2: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166518
Athlon x3: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

Both of which have a core speed of around 3k, what should I technically look for in processors? Whats important, I asume the Core Speed is the most important factor? How does this tie in with my motherboard? I wouldnt want to get a Motherboard thats OVERPOWERED for my CPU or a CPU tahts Overpowered for my Motherboard. Otherwise I will end up wasting money.

For My Motherboard:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/194682 £58 LIMITED to 2x DIMM's up to 8GB (DO I really need more though?)

OR

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/196403 which is like £70 the only difference I see for my cause is the extra memory channels.

The reason why I selected these over the original AM3 MB you proposed is because the 770 Chipset is better suited for gaming, and I do not really require HDMI features etc. Saving myself quite a few pennies. Please advice me on the maindifference between these motherboards, because there is another one thats 5£ more expencive but has a 770T chipset and USB3.
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/196300

For My CASE and PSU: UNKNOWN, unfortunately I had never built a PC before and would not have a clue as to what size case I should get for the above Motherboards, and I am unsure about the wattage supply, my current PSU is like 360Watts I believe. But the case is very small and little to none space for a good high end GPU.
But looking at a NEW PSU and a new Case: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/206403 what do you think?

So, in a Nutshell, do you think this will give me good performance? I am not talking about SUPER high end performance, but some decent upgade? At the same time I want to leave as much money for my GPU, as I wouldnt want to spend a lot on these items only to be stuck with an underperforming GPU. Infact the basis of my build is to be able to get a high end GPU. But as I said I do not know much about SLI/Crossfire, so I am interested in knowing if I should spend a little extra money on a 790X/790FX Chipset to get Crossfire MoBo, and 2 medium end graphics cards. Perhaps it would turn out cheaper?

a b V Motherboard
May 28, 2010 6:03:58 PM

Currently, according to the recent Tom's article, a triple core CPU is the most you need for gaming. I would recommend this CPU: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

This motherboard: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/174232 , the 785 northbridge is a bit newer, and therefore with a BIOS update would be more future proof. Also, its a little higher quality board, and offers everything you will need. It has integrated graphics, allowing you to do light gaming, or HD content without a discrete GPU.

This is a great budget case with good airflow: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/178287

And a PSU to go with it: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/131052
a b V Motherboard
May 28, 2010 6:06:18 PM

alexander0884 said:
So, in a Nutshell, do you think this will give me good performance? I am not talking about SUPER high end performance, but some decent upgade? At the same time I want to leave as much money for my GPU, as I wouldnt want to spend a lot on these items only to be stuck with an underperforming GPU. Infact the basis of my build is to be able to get a high end GPU. But as I said I do not know much about SLI/Crossfire, so I am interested in knowing if I should spend a little extra money on a 790X/790FX Chipset to get Crossfire MoBo, and 2 medium end graphics cards. Perhaps it would turn out cheaper?


I would stick with a single card solution. Unless you are gaming at high resolutions, SLI/Crossfire is not going to give you much of a performance boost. A good GPU to look at right now is the ATI HD5770. It will handle your current resolution fine, and still be appropriate for your current system.
May 28, 2010 6:22:31 PM

Interesting Proposal, I checked out the 785G Chipset its actualyl less suitable for gaming because it hasnt got the HyperTransport Technology 3.0, where as the 770 and 790X do. Also 790X is Crossfire compatiable. So I found a MoBo for £85 http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172846. I think I am going to tick with this one as the 790X chipset is specificaly designed for my purpose.

More Info: 790X
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/chipsets/7-serie...


Also what do they mean with Unlocking the Cores?

Anyway that MoBO seems cheapa nd affordable and I will probably go with it for now.

I will probably take the case that you recommended. Not sure about the PSU as 450W might be too little?
a b V Motherboard
May 28, 2010 6:29:17 PM

Fyi, the board I listed does have the Hyper transport 3.0, the chipsets in regards to gaming have little influence when a discrete GPU is being used. In this case, 790 > 785 > 770 , in terms of integrated graphics performance. The 790 board supports crossfire, so if you feel thats something you want, then get that board. Just remember crossfire means you will need a stronger PSU, and possibly a bigger case with better airflow. I think your better off buying a more powerful card, then two cheaper ones. The Hd5850 would max games at your resolution, and the HD5870 maxes most games at 1080P. Not to mention, single card solutions have better driver support.

Unlocked cores mean you can overclock the CPU by adjusting the CPU multiplier, instead of having to modify the FSB. Its much easier and allows for higher overclocks. 450watts would be fine for a single GPU (excluding nVidia and the better ATI cards) The 750TX is the minimum I would go with for a crossfire build, and the 650TX would let you run any single GPU you want.
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