Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best motherboard and cpu for 2D graphics

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
May 19, 2011 5:51:27 PM

Hello, everyone.

I am trying to build a workstation for my creative projects (Adobe suite). I will definitely go with an i7 processor, but I am not sure which motherboard and CPU will be the right choice:

a. Motherboard

Asus Rampage III Formula vs EVGA X58 FTW 3?

I won't be using:
– more than 1 video card;
– more than 2 internal HDDs;
– more than 8 Gb RAM.

I am looking for a board which:
– can receive a Noctua DH-14 cooler;
– can run with the memory constantly set at 2000 MHz or even more (in the near future) without any problem;
– is good enough and won't need to be replaced in the next 5 years.

If there is any better choice than the two boards I mentioned, please let me know.

Approximative budget: around 300 USD.

b. CPU

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K
(which costs about 315 USD)

I am currently doing all the projects on an Intel 2.2 GHz Core2Duo (Apple) machine and I've had no problems with regards to speed / running the graphic software whatsoever.

I won't do:
– overclock the CPU
– 3D or gaming (I know it sounds crazy...) :) .

Is this SandyBridge i7 the right choice? The other option would be an intel Core i7-970 Gulftown 3.2GHz 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80613I7970 but I really do not want to spend about 600USD for this if the first choice is good.

Approximative budget: around 300 USD. Any other ideas for this value or the SandyBridge choice is right?

Well, I am looking forward to hearing your opinions / ideas.

Thank you very much.

a b V Motherboard
May 19, 2011 11:39:15 PM

Welcome to Tomshardware!
I believe you may be mixing your sockets; neither the Rampage III Formula nor the EVGA X58 will accept the Sandy Bridge 2600K.
That said; the 2600k is an outstanding choice for your application, but I must admit I can't rationalize your reasoning for OCing the crap out of your memory - from which you will (maybe) derive all of 2-3% gain. but you won't OC the CPU, from which You could easily gain 30% more performance. You're getting one of the finest CPU coolers made today, in the Noctua NH-D14....so you can run the processor at stock??
Since you are not going to SLI, and are sticking with one card, you can get a sturdy, vanilla motherboard, like this: (your choices above are ATX so I stuck with that)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $180

And no, it does not sound crazy to avoid 3D games - they are in their infancy.

May 20, 2011 6:13:22 AM

Hello and thank you!

Yes, I read more and discovered that the new LGA1155 socket motherboards (with P67) are designed for SandyBridge and I am going to get one of those mobos.

At the beginning, I don't see any reason to overclock the CPU, taking into consideration that for the past 4 years I've been running fine with a Core2Duo at 2.2 GHz. I heard that overclocking the CPU will shorten its life, the same way as tuning a car's engine will bring its end sooner than as if it was used in normal conditions. I am not sure I will need to increase the CPU power with 30%, but who knows for sure? :) 

I saw the Gigabyte motherboard and I understand it's a pretty good and cheap board.

But how about the Asus P8P67 Deluxe?
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131701&Tpk=p8p67%20deluxe]

I read it's an outstanding board and it got Bluetooth and EFI Bios for 55 USD more.

Besides the $ difference, the only doubt I have with regards to this (ASUS) board is that, from what I understand (but I might be wrong!), it needs overclocked memories to reach more than 1800MHz? I see that Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3P-B3 runs with default memory at up to 2133 MHz, so no overclocking is necessary. Is there any problem / speed difference when using overclocked memory at 2133 vs. normal 2133 modules?

Some people say that 1600MHz memories on P8P67 are fine and fast, am I gonna see / feel, practically, any difference with the 2133MHz overclocked module?


Noworldorder said:
Welcome to Tomshardware!
I believe you may be mixing your sockets; neither the Rampage III Formula nor the EVGA X58 will accept the Sandy Bridge 2600K.
That said; the 2600k is an outstanding choice for your application, but I must admit I can't rationalize your reasoning for OCing the crap out of your memory - from which you will (maybe) derive all of 2-3% gain. but you won't OC the CPU, from which You could easily gain 30% more performance. You're getting one of the finest CPU coolers made today, in the Noctua NH-D14....so you can run the processor at stock??
Since you are not going to SLI, and are sticking with one card, you can get a sturdy, vanilla motherboard, like this: (your choices above are ATX so I stuck with that)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3P-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $180

And no, it does not sound crazy to avoid 3D games - they are in their infancy.

Related resources
a b V Motherboard
May 20, 2011 11:12:57 AM

maya871136 said:
I heard that overclocking the CPU will shorten its life, the same way as tuning a car's engine will bring its end sooner than as if it was used in normal conditions.
That old-wives tale originated before overclocking was understood and proper cooling methods developed. CPUs are now universally designed to be overclocked and have a host of safeguards built in. To prove this, note that Intel and AMD even provide the motherboard makers the tools needed to do the OC properly.
The enemies of any electrical component are overvoltage and heat. The aim of OCing is to run the frequency as high as possible on the lowest voltage. On Sandy Bridge, you raise the multiplier until the system crashes or refuses to boot. Guess what - you need a little more voltage. So you raise that until the system is stable. Then maybe you try for some more speed. And so on.
None of this can hurt anything. Modern boards are MADE for it; makers know we are going to do it anyway, so they now include the tools for us to do it safely (saves them a fortune in warranty :)  ), get it?
So put that monster of a cooler on there and have some fun!
BTW, almost any LGA1155 board will handle the NH-D14 (but always check Noctua's site to make sure), will it fit in the CASE is the question! Almost any Mid-Tower case on up will hold it. Remember that big coolers stick out over the RAM slots, so pick low-profile RAM.

maya871136 said:
I saw the Gigabyte motherboard and I understand it's a pretty good and cheap board.
But how about the Asus P8P67 Deluxe?
]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131701&Tpk=p8p67%20deluxe]
I read it's an outstanding board and it got Bluetooth and EFI Bios for 55 USD more.
The Asus board is a beauty. Feature-packed, well-made, and tested. Highly recommended.

maya871136 said:
Besides the $ difference, the only doubt I have with regards to this (ASUS) board is that, from what I understand (but I might be wrong!), it needs overclocked memories to reach more than 1800MHz? I see that Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3P-B3 runs with default memory at up to 2133 MHz, so no overclocking is necessary. Is there any problem / speed difference when using overclocked memory at 2133 vs. normal 2133 modules?
Some people say that 1600MHz memories on P8P67 are fine and fast, am I gonna see / feel, practically, any difference with the 2133MHz overclocked module?
During boot the memory is pre-programmed to set itself (SPD). Most of the time it settles in at 1333. Some boards allow it to use a higher profile at boot - not many. I don't know what the above Asus does, but I know this; OCing the RAM nets you very little performance gain, and, based on your application, it can LOWER your performance. I tell people to just get average RAM and leave it alone.
May 20, 2011 1:09:15 PM

That was great info, thank you very much.

Given the CPU cooler and the computer case I decided for (which can also probably cool my room during the hot summer days, if I add an extra 200mm fan on the top of the case) :)  and all the info below, yes, I think I'll try to get more from the CPU and raise the speed.

Here's the result:

– Coolermaster HAF X
– Asus P8P67 Deluxe
– Intel i7-2600K 3.4GHz
– Noctua NH-D14
– 8 GB of G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600MHz (F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL*)
– Sapphire Radeon HD6850 1GB DDR5 256bit
– Antec TruePower Quattro 1000W
– Corsair SSD Force 40Gb**.
– and a 64-bit operating system. :) 

* specially designed for the P67 motherboard, recommended by G.Skill for this Asus board; there's no conflict between the memory and the Noctua NH-D14 cooler, according to Noctua's website.
** for the file system and applications launch only.

Wish me luck. :) 

Noworldorder said:
That old-wives tale originated before overclocking was understood and proper cooling methods developed. CPUs are now universally designed to be overclocked and have a host of safeguards built in. To prove this, note that Intel and AMD even provide the motherboard makers the tools needed to do the OC properly.
The enemies of any electrical component are overvoltage and heat. The aim of OCing is to run the frequency as high as possible on the lowest voltage. On Sandy Bridge, you raise the multiplier until the system crashes or refuses to boot. Guess what - you need a little more voltage. So you raise that until the system is stable. Then maybe you try for some more speed. And so on.
None of this can hurt anything. Modern boards are MADE for it; makers know we are going to do it anyway, so they now include the tools for us to do it safely (saves them a fortune in warranty :)  ), get it?
So put that monster of a cooler on there and have some fun!
BTW, almost any LGA1155 board will handle the NH-D14 (but always check Noctua's site to make sure), will it fit in the CASE is the question! Almost any Mid-Tower case on up will hold it. Remember that big coolers stick out over the RAM slots, so pick low-profile RAM.

The Asus board is a beauty. Feature-packed, well-made, and tested. Highly recommended.

During boot the memory is pre-programmed to set itself (SPD). Most of the time it settles in at 1333. Some boards allow it to use a higher profile at boot - not many. I don't know what the above Asus does, but I know this; OCing the RAM nets you very little performance gain, and, based on your application, it can LOWER your performance. I tell people to just get average RAM and leave it alone.

a b V Motherboard
May 20, 2011 2:40:26 PM

Great choices - if Noctua says the RAM will fit then it should; that would have been my only concern there.
On the PSU - are you planning to SLI later on with 3 cards? Otherwise, 1000w is WAY too much. During idle efficiency will be off the bottom of the charts. Even 750 would be too much for a single GPU.

If you're stuck on Antec, which is good stuff, consider this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $105 after rebate. A good deal!

Although, this would be my first choice for a new system like yours. It's the best!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$140
May 20, 2011 3:48:29 PM

I am not going to use multiple graphic cards, just what's on the list plus a secondary SSD.

I like very much the SeaSonic PSU, it looks great and is truly modular, it's great to run a PSU and use only the cables that you need. I will switch to this one from Antec, it's even cheaper. :) 

Many thanks!

Noworldorder said:
Great choices - if Noctua says the RAM will fit then it should; that would have been my only concern there.
On the PSU - are you planning to SLI later on with 3 cards? Otherwise, 1000w is WAY too much. During idle efficiency will be off the bottom of the charts. Even 750 would be too much for a single GPU.

If you're stuck on Antec, which is good stuff, consider this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $105 after rebate. A good deal!

Although, this would be my first choice for a new system like yours. It's the best!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
$140
a b V Motherboard
May 20, 2011 10:52:44 PM

Wow, you are going to have a nice system! Please let us know how it works out. :) 
Cheers.
a c 221 V Motherboard
May 21, 2011 12:20:55 AM

Case / PSU - That PSU is way way oversized. A good 650 is all you need for any single GPU system. Since this is a "work system", I'm thinking you will specifically want something quiet. The HAF-X is a great gaming case (personally I prefer the DF-85) but your not gaming and you don't have 2 huge GFX cards so why the huge space hog and all the fans and the noise that goes with. To fit your intended use and provide a system that is dead silent, I'd suggest the Antec P183 V3 paired with the CP-850 (OEM'd by Delta).....yes, 850 watts is more than you need but the CP-850 is unbelievably quiet and outperforms everything in its class in its price range. And lets not forget, PSU's hit their peak efficiency at 50% load.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Jonnyguru writes:

Quote:
[The CP-850] is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise.


Other good reads:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

RAM - If you're buying DDR3-1600, your applications will benefit greatly form lower CAS RAM but you have chosen a CAS 9 set ? CAS 7 will certainly speed up work in CS5.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another option for CS5 enthusiasts is DDR3-2133 which your MoBo supports

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler - I didn't quite understand why you started out with a big ass cooler when you were saying no overclock. The NH-14 is one of the best LGA 775 coolers made (hence it's position on frostytech's list as their test system is LGA 775) ..... on the 1155 / 1366 socket however, not so much. Here you see the DH-14 running a full degree hotter than the Scythe Mugen 2 which is half the price.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Scythe Mugen-2 SCMG-2000 29.00°C over ambient
Zalman CNPS10X-Performa 29.71°C over ambient
Noctual NH-D14 (2x 140) 30.09°C over ambient

The Thermalright Archon and Silver Arrow are the top dogs now, but even the reviewer states it's way too much cooler for Sandy Bridge.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Quote:
I think the Silver Arrow represents the ultimate air cooler than can be built and still fit within the constraints of an ATX motherboard and a standard computer case...... It's almost ironic that coolers like this are becoming available just as processors transition to designs that may ultimately render them unnecessary; even overclocked to 5GHz, an Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K doesn't need anywhere near this level of cooling. Still, it wouldn't hurt, and as I noted earlier, there are still CPUs out there that can benefit from it.


Given your intentions for a moderate overclock, I'd use the Scythe Mugen 2 although I have to say I am very impressed with the Silver Arrow's temps on the machine I am typing from (50's AT 4.4 GHz .... low 70's at 4.8 GHz). The V6 GT may beat it by half a degree w/ stock fans but the V6 GT makes a whole lotta noise and th Silver Arrow is dead silent

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Corsair H50 73.1
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. (extreme) 73.0
Prolimatech Super Mega 67.2
Antec Kühler H2O 620 65.9
Corsair H70 (high) 65.3
Thermalright Venomous X 63.0
Thermalright Silver Arrow 61.8
Cooler Master V6 GT 61.2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11676/cpu-tri-77/Ther...

Don't forget a TIM ... SHin Etsu

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX Card - An ATI card on CS5 ????? Check the Adobe forums and you'll see that CUDA and CS5 are, literally, made for each other. Grab a 560 Ti (900 Mhz) for the best bang for the buck) and unlock it for Adobe / CUDA using instructions here:

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5....

I have build a lot of machines for video and gaming enthusiasts ..... they all come back or call within 3 months looking for help to free room on their SSD's .... their 120 GB SSD's. The Corsair Force series (285 MBps) is "last generation". Building a box with an SSD and not using latest generation tech, would to my mind be a mistake. The Vertex 3 has owned the market last 2 months with the 550 MBps 120 GB selling $60 above MSRP. But now that the Corsair Force 3 series is out, I'd hold out for one of those .... or wait a few days till they drive down the price of Vertex 3's

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Corsair-Force-Series-S...
May 21, 2011 10:50:26 AM

Hello and thank you for your answer.

Regarding the case, I know HAF X is big, but there are a few reasons for which I made that choice:

– it can fit any motherboard, cooler, graphic card, PSU it's on the market now or will be after three, five years or seven years. If I want to upgrade the motherboard after three years, I'm sure I won't have to worry about another case.
– if it's too noisy, I can take out of some fans; but neither my actual MB Pro notebook isn't very quiet, I have increase the fans' rpm to 4500-5000 because it really gets hot. So, the only moments it's quiet it when I write emails or stays idle. I don't mind the noise too much, I got used to it.
– Not least, I like the design. :) 

Regarding the memory, I don't know too much about latency, I don't know how much different is 7-9-8-24 vs. 9-9-9-24 in terms of working with Indd and Ps? What would be the best latency I should look for? However, I don't want to overclock the memory, that's why I didn't want to go for >1600MHz, which is the maximum standard for the mainboard without O.C.

Regarding the cooler, it seems that Scythe Mugen 2 rev. B is a fine cooler
(http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lga-1156-heatsink,2...), but it's not (fully) compatible with P8P67 Deluxe (http://www.scythe-eu.com/forum/mainboard-compatibility/...). There'd be a backplate which - afaik - must be purchased directly from the producer, which makes simple things complicated.

Regarding the video card, your link suggests video cards for Adobe Premiere, which I am not using. I am not doing any video (motion) editing. From what I read on Adobe's site and also here on Tom's hardware, Photoshop and InDesign CS5 don't care too much about the graphic card, because they rely on the CPU:

Quote:
"You should not have any problems with any decent card as long as it isn't from the 10 bucks "budget" tray at WalMart." (Adobe Forums)


Quote:
"Photoshop doesn't rely heavily on the video card so you'll be fine with any discrete card made by Ati or Nvidia in the last ~5 years" (Adobe Forums)


Quote:
Photoshop alone won't get much use of the GPU, a passive HD4650 or passive GF9600 would be fine, and if they bring out a passive HD57xx series that would be nice. For video it would be more important than for photos. (Tom's hardware)


Even the Radeon HD6850 is a little bit too much foam what I'm doing. I've been working for the last 4 years with a GeForce 8600M GT (128Mb VRAM, 1680x1050 maxim resolution), running the OS, graphic suite and a 22 inch Cinema Display at 1680x1050, why wouldn't a HD6850 be enough on the new system, which has also faster CPU/bus/memory/hdd?

Regarding the SSD, the Corsair Force 3 looks good on numbers. I have to wait and see the prices, but I'll keep it in mind. If it costs too much here in Europe, I go for it later. We are not so lucky to have that low prices you got there. :) 
!