Advice for an i3 530 build.

Hi guys, been lurking around these boards for ages, absolutely love the place. So many great discussions; now to hopefully start my own :P

Okay, here goes.

Currently looking to create a new PC from scratch for the LAN's that my immediate friends are often hosting. However, PC's present are imbalanced ATM. i5 750's versus P4's...etc.

No real budget, however would prefer not having to save for another three months. Probably looking at around...$700 -$850?

So far, I've only decided on the actual CPU; the i3 530 gives me everything I need, and is a good starting point for me to learn to be a confident overclocker (lots of headroom).

GPU; lowest im looking at is probably a 5770...running on 1920 x 1080.

Monitor is not required, nor any peripherals, nor OS.

Real problem ATM is motherboard selection :S

SLI/Crossfire or both is preferable if I plan any upgrades in the future.

Any advice on RAM kits and PSU's would also be greatly appreciated!
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  1. For 1920x1080 resolution you are going to want at least a Nvidia gtx 460 or ATI hd5830. (both run just over $200)

    For a Mbo if you are looking to save some money go with an AsRock ($50-$100) or if you want something a little more high end go with a ASUS or an EVGA board.($125-$200)

    RAM i would go with one of the G Skill 1333mhz 4GB sets. About $75

    PSU try an Antec Earthwats 650w. About $75
  2. Shall look into earthwatts..heard from friend that they were fairly good.
    Any specific stand out Mobo's? Budget can extend for motherboard; upgrades in future are very likely.

    Any good ones with SLI & Crossfire? I've had very little luck looking right now, and in AUS the prices on GPU's is crazy locally :P
  3. For SLI i would recomend the EVGA P55 SLI motherboard. (2-way SLI) About $150 after rebate.

    For Crossfire i would say the ASUS P7P55D-E LGA. (2-way) About $140

    For support with both go with MSI P55-GD65 LGA. About $160
  4. Okay great, all those boards are available at my retailer :)

    In light of the 6000 cards coming out...what am I better to go for?

    2 460 768's in SLI? A 470, and dump another one in later?.

    Or go CF and get 6850's or 6870's? :O
  5. 2450's will almost match a 470.
    2 460's will almost match a 480.
    2 470's will blow a 480 out of the water.

    If you are looking for room to upgrade in a few years then i would go with the 470 and add a second one down the road.

    For the best immediate performance Go with the 2 460's.
  6. I have never used a crossfire setup before so im not sure about the scaling for two 6850 or 6870. Nvidias 400 series cards have incredible SLI scaling. They can get up in to the %90 + range.
  7. So why is the i5 not an option??

    Core i5-760 and Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 Mobo Combo $317.99 + $10 rebate +$1.99 Shipping

    CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler $29.99 + $7.56 Shipping

    Antec 300 Case and Antec Earthwatts 750W Combo $134.98 + $15 rebate + $5.98 Shipping

    G.Skill Eco 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600 $89.99 + $2.99 Shipping

    Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB $179.99 + $6.98 Shipping

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $69.99

    LG 22x DVD Burner $16.99

    Parts: $839.92
    Shipping: $20.36
    Rebates: $25

    Price before rebates: $860.28
    Price after rebates: $835.28

    If you want to CF/SLI later get the Asus P7P55D-E Pro mobo for + ~$60.
  8. Get the i5-750, NOT 760, save yourself 15 bucks

    DONT get an i3...
  9. The 760 has a higher multiplier so it can theoretically get higher clock speeds or at least the same speed at lower voltage than the 750. I think it's worth the $15. Only reason not to get the "newer version" is if they have unlocked multipliers, like the Phenom II x4 BE series, or if the price is much higher than the other one like i7 950 vs i7 960.

    If you want to save $17, dont get the dvd burner. If you think about it, how often do you really use it? Share one on another computer through the network if you need it or use a usb one. Only time I've ever used my DVD drive was installing drivers.
  10. AUS prices are far different than what is available on newegg, and as I understand they don't ship to australia.

    Why not the i3? This is entirely gaming based PC, and from the stats i've looked at; the only difference between an overclocked i3 and a stock i5 750 is a couple of frames, which as its already 30+ does not bother me.

    Any other advice :O
  11. In general, a i3-530 @3.0 can drive any game at 1920 x 1200 well.
    Yes, the i3 is dual core plus hyperthreading vs. the i5-750 4 cores. But, very few games need three or more cores.
    Here is an article that addresses the issue exactly:,2588.html

    Spend your money on the best graphics card you feel comfortable paying for.
    At your resolution, I would plan on a single very good card. Something like the GTX470 or 6870. If you ever need to upgrade, there will be much stronger single cards available, like the 6970 or GTX580. Your upgrade path would be to sell the current card and replace it with the next best thing.
    The advantage of avoiding sli/crossfire is a reduction in up front preparation costs. You will not need a more expensive motherboard with dual pci-e slots, let alone dual x16 slots. You can use a smaller psu of 650w or so, instead of getting a 750 or 850w unit. You will also need less cooling in your case.

    Go ahead and get a P55 based motherboard. Consider the merits of a mini-itx board. It will only have a single pci-e x16 slot, but it is tiny, allowing you to install it in a truly portable case. There are many out there. Here is a lian li aluminum pc-q08b case which can hold graphics cards up to 11.8" long. It has great ventilation, and takes a standard ATX psu.

    A mini itx motherboard will also be cheaper. Here is one from ECS:

    For gaming only, and little multitasking, 4gb is all you need. Get the cheapest 4gb ram kit you can find that is supported by your motherboard. The i3-series is insensitive to ram speeds or timings. At issue is perhaps 1-3fps. Not worth spending much extra on.

    --good luck---
  12. While the i3 works fine for many single/dual threaded games, if you play RTS/non-FPS games or plan to keep this system for more than a year or two I would say the quad is a better choice.

    That Toms article tested without a single quad+ threaded game, so I'm not surprised the conclusion is heavily in favor of the dually.
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