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New i5 760 based build. Advice needed on MoBo.

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August 24, 2010 1:37:40 PM

Hi there.

I am building a new machine.

Main purpose: Games and Media-Center.
To be connected to an HDTV.

So far what I've got in my shopping cart is:

CPU: Intel Core i5 760
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Memory: Kingston HyperX 2 x 2GB CL8
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

SSD drive: OCZ Vertex 2 60GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Graphics: GIGABYTE GV-N470SO-13I GeForce GTX 470
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...


On the CPU I am going to be installing a Scythe Mugen 2 cooler following my intent to overclock the machine.
I will be adding a large data HDD, of course.


Can you give me advice as to what motherboards I should be looking at?
Are there motherboards out there with integrated WiFi?
Also, I know nothing about PSUs and cases. What brands/models should I be looking for?


Thanks,
Onn

Best solution

August 24, 2010 2:00:27 PM

There are boards with wireless capabilities, but they're few and far between. They're also not usually from the standard, quality brands. I'd just buy a wireless add on card. They run about $30.

A quick note before we get to the questions. First, I'm not a fan of the 470. I think it's overpriced and underpowered. That one especially. You can get the vastly superior (both in power consumption, overclocking, and raw power) HD 5870 for the same price, possible lower with combos. That makes the 470 a horrible buy. You'd have an argument (not a good one, mind you) if you'd picked the cheaper ones.

Second, that RAM isn't the best. Here's faster, better quality and cheaper ones: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $93 after promo code.

We really need to know what you're planning on doing in the future. Do you want to SLI? What size case are you looking at (I highly recommend a full sized one)?

My go to suggestion for the i5 is the Asus P7P55D-E Pro. It's fairly cheap at $160, and it's loaded with great features.

For the PSU, if you stick with the 470, you'll want an 850W unit from a good brand. That means sticking to XFX, Corsair, Silverstone, Antec or SeaSonic. You can't go wrong with any of them, so check some prices and combos. If you switch to the 5870 (highly recommended), you'll only need a 750W. I know an XFX 5870 (XFX is one of the best brands, and happens to be one of the cheapest right now with an amazing "double lifetime" warranty) comes with a really good combo with an XFX 750W PSU.

For the case, some good brands are Antec, Coolermaster and Lian Li. I've also thought Lian Li was a tad overpriced, but that XFX 750W PSU I mentioned above comes in a good combo with their PC-K62 case. That could free up the 5870 for another combo. Some other cases to look at are the Antec 300 Illusion, Coolermaster 690, Antec 900 (or 902) and HAF 922.

I should also bring to your attention the fact that Intel is replacing the LGA 1156 socket by the end of the year. That makes the current sockets a dead end. You won't have an upgrade path. For that reason, it's generally advised that you strongly consider an AMD build with the X4 955 (and some good boards are the Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 or GA-890GPA-UD3H or ASRock 870 Extreme3). Basically nothing else would need to change, except that AMD builds don't natively support SLI, which I think I've already made my point about the nVidia card.

So here's a couple of full builds that I tend to recommend that are likely around what you're looking to spend (I left out the SSD, but you get the idea):

The links/prices might not be exact, but it paints a good picture. There are also going to be better combos. When I get some more time, I may try to find them.

Intel:

CPU/Mobo: i5-750 and Asus P7P55D-E Pro $340. I'm fairly certain the same combo exists with the 760, but if not, there's a good combo with the board and the RAM too.
GPU/PSU: HD 5870 and XFX 750W $460
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $93 after promo code
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $73

Total: $1,041

AMD:

CPU: X4 955 $153
Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme3 $90
GPU/PSU: HD 5870 and XFX 750W $460
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $93 after promo code
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $73

Total: $933
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August 25, 2010 2:01:24 AM

Hi there MadAdmiral, thanks for your thorough response.

I chose this particular 470 because of this (from On The Bench: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 470 Super Overclock):
Quote:
But when you consider performance, power usage, overclockability, and reasonable noise output, the Gigabyte card isn’t easily dismissed. Further overclocking brings it close to GeForce GTX 480-class speed, but with a price tag that is at least $80 less. This makes the Gigabyte GV-N470SO-13I Super Overclock edition card easier to recommend than the flagship variant. When you compare the noise levels of GeForce GTX 470 and 480 boards, this solution is a lot easier to live with, too.


Regarding the memory. Is CL7 the lowest latency you can get on DDR3s?
Interesting product from G.Skill. Don't I want a module that supports XMP? I am a beginner overclocker that doesn't know much about it and got the impression that XMP makes things easier.

I'll look further into the PSUs and the cases you recommended. Thanks a lot for those.

I'm not worried about the future death of 1156. I am not one that tends to upgrade CPUs too often. I usually survive with GPU upgrades until I move to the new dominant architecture of CPU. The prices on 1366 mobos here are ridiculous and I'm not positive about spending so much more money on a mobo and (the tempting) triple module DDR3 kits. The performance in gaming is not going to be higher with a 930 for example.

I was considering getting an i7 870 but for extra 100 bucks I get tiny improvement in games, and I don't do any video rendering or stuff like that so the 100 bucks don't seem to be justified. Do I gain anything else (OC wise, for example, I guess) from getting a 870 over the 760?

I might get a second card for SLI in the future, thoug not mandatory at all. I don't know if the 1156 can handle that much PCIe bandwidth. Don't I need a 1366 for that? Could you advise?



Thanks alot,
Onn
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August 25, 2010 2:29:48 AM

You can get lower. Most important thing is to avoid voltages above 1.5 if you're on Intel. XMP applies to all 1600 speed rams, not just certified ones. IMO the G.skill ECO series is the kit to get for Intel builds. 1600 speed, CAS of 7 (not super relevant), and 1.35 voltage. The speed+voltage makes for excellent overclocking, but at only 102$ for 4GB, which is just a bit over value ram for something much better.

Latency has minimal impact on performance, but if you're not paying more than a few dollars (less than 3) for a step up it can be worth it.

The 10$ deal on that 1.65 ram looks good too, but IMO if you're overclocking I'd avoid it.

If you don't render the 760 is a better buy than the 870.

X8/X8 PCIe isn't a huge issue, ~3% performance loss with a 5970.

I like the 470, but you have to get it for 270$ or less for it to beat a 255$ 5850 in terms of price/performance, including energy. IMO if you're spending that much on a 470 I would just get two GTX 460s.

XFX is interesting in that they typically make very high quality, enthusiast parts as well as occasional stinkers, just make sure you read up on any of their products. I know the silver efficiency 750/850 watt PSUs are Seasonic OEMs and excellent buys.
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August 25, 2010 12:31:04 PM

It's 1.65V max for Intel builds, not 1.5V, which is pretty much everything except OCZ sticks. The G.Skill Ripjaws are excellent.

CL 7 isn't the lowest you can get. There are CL 6 sticks, but it's not really worth it to spend more to get it.

I'm not too sure about the XMP.

Everything else was pretty much covered by sp.
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August 25, 2010 1:16:29 PM

The mobo suggestion E-PRO with the Ripjaws CL7 are excellent suggestions.
I own that ram kit and it's very good.
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August 25, 2010 1:36:49 PM

CAS ratings are merely what the manufacturer recommends. Set it to CL1 if you want but don't expect it to last too long.

CL7 is very respectable for DDR3, most tend to stick around at 8 for conservatism.
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August 26, 2010 4:29:50 PM

If you are going to go with single GPU with no intent to crossfire then you may as well get the non PRO p7p55d-e or the p7p55d-e LX. These cards have pci slots which are less suited for dual GPU than the PRO version and are cheaper.

Keep in mind that even with the p7p55d-e PRO you will be only getting x8 x8 spliting on your PCI x16's opposed to ASUS's p6x58d-e for lga1336 which splits in x16 x16. The effect of this is that if you do decide to crossfire on the 1156 you will end up with ~%5 decrase in performance.

And as stated in above statements, I would suggest you going with reliable PSU and RAM like corsair :D !

best of luck,
xiang
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August 26, 2010 4:36:44 PM

While the SLI performance for 8x/8x speeds is less than 16x/16x, it's really only about 2-3% less, not 5%. Even then, it isn't noticeable unless you're using the 5970 in Crossfire. It's a complete non issue, especially considering getting 16x/16x is going to cost you a good $50-100 more.
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August 26, 2010 4:41:44 PM

MadAdmiral said:
While the SLI performance for 8x/8x speeds is less than 16x/16x, it's really only about 2-3% less, not 5%. Even then, it isn't noticeable unless you're using the 5970 in Crossfire. It's a complete non issue, especially considering getting 16x/16x is going to cost you a good $50-100 more.


Sorry for being unclear. By ~%5 I meant up to 5% (depending on what cards you use).
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August 28, 2010 12:22:37 AM

Best answer selected by onn_e.
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August 28, 2010 12:29:37 AM

Thanks for all the help here guys.


The parts have been ordered:

CPU:
Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760

SSD Drive:
OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Memory:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

Motherboard:
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Video Card:
SAPPHIRE 100281-3SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity


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


I will update regarding my choice of PSU and Case.


Cheers
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