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Motherboard Recommendations for First Gaming Build

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July 21, 2010 5:57:23 PM

This will be my first build and would appreciate some motherboard recommendations (under $200) based on the rest of the components I've compiled below. I've been researching components for a few days and the motherboard is the only thing left that I'm banging my head over. I'd also appreciate any comments/suggestions/advice regarding the build. If you can suggest even better alternatives (in a similar price range), please feel free to do so. Thanks for the help.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Will purchase by Thursday, July 22.
BUDGET RANGE: under $900 (after rebates/before shipping)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (hoping to go for ultra settings for World of Warcraft and high settings for more graphically intense games)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, Cables, Sound Card (I'll be using integrated sound temporarily), Operating System (I'll be using Windows XP)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com and Tigerdirect.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel and nVidia
OVERCLOCKING: Any
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: at least SLI
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Since I'm primarily just playing WoW currently, I don't need any fancy sound yet - but I still need the versatility to add a nice sound card in the near future. I'm hoping that this is a build that won't break the bank yet has very reliable components - something that balances budget with power/quality.


Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower
CPU: Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
Power Supply: XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC
Memory: G.SKILL Trident 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
CD/DVD Drive: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
Motherboard: Recommendations are appreciated!
July 21, 2010 6:06:10 PM

EXPAND YOUR BUDGET AND GET AN ASUS RAMPAGE II
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July 21, 2010 6:10:49 PM

What are you currently at? $750ish?

The ASUS P7P55D-E Pro at $180 is generally considered the most feature-filled (USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s) SLI-capable motherboard available.

The MSI P55A-G55 LGA ($125) also has USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s and does 8x/8x, but I haven't heard a lot about it.

As a note, I'm not sure I'd worry about using integrated sound. Onboard sound has improved a lot over the years, and most people don't really need a sound card unless they're extremely exacting about the sound quality.
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a b V Motherboard
July 21, 2010 6:11:21 PM

It would have to be the Asus P7P55D-E Pro $180.

Plus I think you will find that you won't need a soundcard as onboard provides good quality sound these days.

Hopefully you're checking around for combos.

If you're OCing the CPU then you might want to consider getting a heatsink, as it will be a step up over the stock in both temps, noise and probably max OC that can be achieved.
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July 21, 2010 7:02:32 PM

What about if I don't need SLI? Would you still suggest the same board? I always thought that Gigabyte had great boards, but no one seems to recommend any. Makes me wonder why.
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July 21, 2010 7:08:01 PM

well not that it matter to you since its the wrong socket but the gigabyte GA-X58A UD3R is a Tom's Recomended Buy and I am very happy with it, I can't speak for other gigabyte boards but I have a couple of friends that are very happy with their gigabyte boards as well
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July 21, 2010 7:20:10 PM

Gigabyte boards are not recommended for SLI/Crossfire gaming builds, as with the 1156 socket, the architecture is such that if you use USB 3.0 or SATA 6 Gb/s, the 2nd PCI-E drops from 8x to 4x or 1x, which pretty much cripples multi-GPU.

If you don't need SLI, you don't need the ASUS board linked. It's just usually recommended, as it's one of the few that can SLI and has USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s.
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a b V Motherboard
July 21, 2010 7:56:15 PM

If you decide to go with a motherboard that can't SLI, then you won't be needing a 750W PSU.

If you don't want/need SLI or USB3/SATA6G then you could probably get a motherboard around the $100-150 mark, altho these ones might not have as many OCing features as the more expensive motherboards. How about this one: MSI P55-GD55? This gigabyte one comes out the same price after rebate: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 also no SLI.
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July 21, 2010 9:36:11 PM

From this thread and other reviews, I get the impression that I should definitely get a board with SATA6 and USB3. I like the versatility of having SLI so I think I'll stick with the general consensus and go with the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro. Can someone confirm that all the other components are compatible with this board? I don't plan on overclocking myself (at least not now), so I wanna make sure I don't have to overclock anything manually to get things working immediately out-of-the-box? Thanks to everyone for the excellent feedback so far. Let me know if there are any components that you think I should upgrade.
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July 21, 2010 9:40:44 PM

Everything looks fine.

You should set the timings on your RAM manually in the BIOS, but that's standard procedure, whether you're overclocking or not.
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