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Question about basic i5 sandybridge motherboard

Last response: in Motherboards
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May 1, 2011 10:52:11 PM

I want to buy a board for an i5 2500 chip, I don't plan on overclocking,
and I plan on only using one graphics card, gtx 460 1gig, or 6950 1 gig.

It will be for average gaming, photoshop and all-around pc.

Also, I have a case that has 2 front-port USB 3.0 inputs, so I would want
to utilize those.

I'm not going to use more than 4 hard-drives, and probably 2, one large storage,
and a solid state for operating system.

Any suggestions on what would be adequate?


-Larry
a c 243 V Motherboard
May 1, 2011 11:06:24 PM

What case do you have?

If it is a full ATX case, you can use any size motherboard.
The smaller micro-ATX(4 slots) and mini-ITX( one pcie-x16) motherboards will be a bit cheaper if you do not need many expansion slots.

Some cases have native usb3.0 header cables. Unfortunately, few motherboards have a place for those headers.
Other cases manage by routing the case out the back into a rear panel usb 3.0 socket.

If you do not have a K cpu, you can't overclock, so either a H67 or P67 based motherboard will be fine.
A H61 board would meet you requirements, but often will not have 6gb sata, which you might want for a SSD.

Most vendors have good quality and will perform about the same. How about the

GIGABYTE GA-P67A-D3-B3 $110?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For what it is worth, I keep my external backup plugged into into the rear usb3.0 port. It has an on/off switch which I activate whenever I need a backup. I think that is easier than plugging and unplugging USB cables and power cables all the time
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May 2, 2011 8:10:25 AM

1982024,2,120121 said:
What case do you have?

I have a Lian-Li PC-7FNW

http://www.lian-li.com.tw/v2/en/product/product06.php?p...

So, yeah it would be ATX, but, possibly I could use a mini ATX, I didn't really think about that. The airflow would be
the same inside the case.

I may get the unlocked I5-2500K, and then, I'd have to get a P67, but, doesn't the i5-2500 have a minimal overclock, just
a little bit with boost or something?

That motherboard could possibly work.

I like the look of this one better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I guess it has twice as many USB ports? But, it's $170.

My case has a side window, and I do like the new look of the mostly all-black Gigabyte motherboards.

Originally I had an i7-950, and planned on an ATX, 1366 board, so i got the case for that reason.
I've sold the 950 since.
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a c 243 V Motherboard
May 2, 2011 1:22:46 PM

I love the quality of the lian li cases.

If your price range is about $200, then definitely get the 2500K. The price premium is minimal.
A standard 2500 runs at 3.3, and one core can turbo up to 3.7 under load.
A 2500K can run all day long at 4.0 on all 4 cores with a conservative OC.

Just get a decent cpu aftermarket cooler. Most any with a 120mm fan will be good. You can get a good one for $35, the best will be $75, and are probably not worth the price premium.

As far as I can tell, all of the P67 motherboards are good, and capable of a good OC.
I use an Asus P8P67-M PRO micro-ATX in a lian li V351 case. I have no problems with it @4.0.

USB 3.0 internal header standards are not yet finalized, so you may have a problem finding a motherboard with one that is compatible with the lian li header. If routing the lead out the back to the rear ports is not good for you, you could look into an add-in usb3.0 card. That would expand your options in finding a suitable motherboard. If you want an interesting looking motherboard, albeit expensive, look at the Asus sabretooth:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has a better than usual 5 year warranty.

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May 2, 2011 2:45:35 PM

Thanks for the advice, I might just get the 2500K, since it seems to be able to overclock that easily, and even if I'm a newbie to overclocking,
I'm guessing it's not difficult with the new chips. Even if I don't at first, I can later.

I'll probably list my parts for a build in a separate thread, but I do have
a Zalman Quiet cooler, which I had planned to use with the i7-950.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The sabertooth is interesting, and I was planning on using the 1366 version with the 950, the only thing is, I'm not sure
about the opening over the CPU, in that it suggests at downward fan, and I'm planning on using this Zalman. Downward, as in pushing air under
that plastic guard.

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May 2, 2011 2:45:46 PM

Best answer selected by Larry_75.
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a c 243 V Motherboard
May 2, 2011 2:59:01 PM

Larry_75 said:
Thanks for the advice, I might just get the 2500K, since it seems to be able to overclock that easily, and even if I'm a newbie to overclocking,
I'm guessing it's not difficult with the new chips. Even if I don't at first, I can later.

I'll probably list my parts for a build in a separate thread, but I do have
a Zalman Quiet cooler, which I had planned to use with the i7-950.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The sabertooth is interesting, and I was planning on using the 1366 version with the 950, the only thing is, I'm not sure
about the opening over the CPU, in that it suggests at downward fan, and I'm planning on using this Zalman. Downward, as in pushing air under
that plastic guard.

My understanding is that you can install a 50mm fan to help with motherboard cooling. I like the rear facing tower coolers better because they get heat out of the case better.
Download and read the motherboard manual to verify this. Read it cover to cover anyway, many questions will be answered.
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