Only PCI Express port? Huh....guessing this is different to the PCI lanes it will support. Am I correct in thinking that even if I got an i5 760 it would only support SLI on 2 x8 bandwidth. Would be losing half my bandwidth. I want to be running 2 x GTX460 1gb both on 256 bit interface at x16 bandwidth
A cpu has nothing to do with SLI capability, it all has to do with the graphics card and the motherboard, if you only have one pci express slot, SLI or crossfire is impossible... Unless you do hybrid SLi or Crossfire
1156 socket mobos are limited to 20 PCI lanes due to them squeezing it all onto the CPU allowing more room on the board and lower latency.
This means the best you can get is 16x/4x or 8x/8x/4x.
There is a way around that by getting a board with nf200. However that will bring you to x58 board costs.
Don't worry though, a GTX 480 loses only 3% on an 8x slot, and 7% on a 4x. 3% is barely over a single frame@ 50 fps. This is a barely measurable difference.
So unless you plan on using tri sli (3 cards) you'll be fine with an 8x/8x board.
An overclocked i3 should be quick enough to keep up with those cards in most games, but an i5 would help for those CPU bound games. Quad Core is becoming the norm and game designers are slowly starting to optimize for it. If it's in budget the 760 is worth it.
p55 chipset is not, i repeat, is not both x16.
it's x8 x8.
x58 chipset is x16 x16.
unless that p55 chipset mobo has
nVidia NF200 chipset too, it'll run at x16 x16
here's the example
asus maximus iii extreme