I will be making my first system sometime soon once i am done with my research and I was hoping you guys can help me with my mobo and ram questions:
I will be spending around 1500CAD (including OS and monitor) so something like 1200$ for the gaming system. Its a low budget but at the same time I want a system that is going to last 5+ years. Therefore, I think my best option is to cheap out a little on the graphic card and replace it with a new one in 2-3 years. I have decided on 2500k as I think it could last me a good 5 years.
1- What should I look for in a mobo when I plan on OCing but not SLIing (I plan on just selling the graphic card in 2 years and buying a new one, correct me if I am wrong but I think its a good idea as I will save money on the mobo and possibly PSU)
From what I undrestand,
-I should make sure it has SATA 6gb (1 enough?)
-USB 3 (if I want USB 3 infront of the case, is there anything special needed about the mobo?)
-PCIe x16 (1 enough for no dual card?)
-P67 is it for OCing?
2- I have read that the speed (1600) and timing (7) and voltage (1.5) are important when you plan to OC. (is this to OC the CPU or the RAM?) and if it is important for me, seeing as my budget is low, is this something I should cheap out on?
3- If I go ahead an go with 2x2G of ram, how will I know in the future if I need more? For example, if the computer is slow when I am playing a game and have 20 tabs on chrome open, how do I know if its ram or graphic card or something else? And can i just buy 2x2G more are install it or most mobos come with 2 slots?
Thank you guys for your time and help,
If you don't like the case or actually needed USB3 in front (HAF 912 has USB2 in front), you have ~155 CAD to spend and still be under 1500 CAD.
This system should be fast enough for five years, especially with overclocking. Might need a graphics card upgrade to keep up in games with highest detail in a couple of years, depending on whether you actually play the newest games or not.
I specifically priced out a system to show you that you didn't need to compromise. You don't need to cheap out on the graphics card. You don't need to settle for 4GB of memory. You can have a great gaming system that is also a great overclocker for 1500 CAD or less (including the monitor and OS). You still need to pick out a keyboard and mouse though.
If you really need your questions answered...
1. You should look for a board that costs 150 CAD or more. The less expensive ones usually are missing some features.
-Most good boards have several SATA3 6Gbps ports. The one I priced out for you has four SATA3 ports.
-Most good boards have several USB3 ports. You need an internal USB3 header for a USB3 front panel port -- again, the one I priced out for you has this.
-Yes, one PCIe x16 slot would be good enough.
-Yes, P67 is for overclocking as long as you get a good board. The one I priced out for you is a great board.
2. Speed and timing are important for overclocking other processors, but not Sandy Bridge. The price/performance sweet spot for Sandy Bridge systems is 1600 CL9. If you want to spend more money for a tiny bit more performance, get CL8 or CL7. I priced out 1600 CL7 for your system.
3. If your system is slow on memory-intensive tasks that don't involve intensive game-like graphics, then you need more RAM. For instance, the 20-tab Chrome session. And yes, most boards come with four slots for later upgrades. The system I priced out has 8GB of RAM so you wouldn't have to worry about this.
I understand, and thank you for your help.
Its just that I want to learn a little more about this as well as try to take advantage of combo/specials as I am in no rush (this summer) to buy this PC.
I really appreciate your help and for taking the time to answer my questions.