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Help please...mobo memory etc.

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September 26, 2011 5:23:03 PM

Hi, I am a littler overwhelmed with the information out on all the computer hardware, and I have not built a PC since 2007...
That said I am looking for some help understanding some of the basics in the new systems, like What a z68 board is, or is that some new socket?
Is it anything like an AM3? or is it just the letters describing a particular intel board that I dont need to worry about? Do quad cores like the Phenom II x4 965 require 4 separate pieces of ram? ((like My old Dual core AM2 requires 2xram GB.)) I am looking at creating a Gaming PC, I will not be overclocking, I need to focus my research though on understanding the new ram and mother boards that will actualy pertain to the CPU combo I want.. I will be using a Nvidia new gen card but that isnt important for this discussion. I wish only for selected reading on the correct DDR and speed type, what numbers need to match up with the CPU MOBO i pick? anyways some and direction would be appreciated. Ill check back and answer any questions you guys have for me. thanks

what I have in mind from past experience on hand..
Phenom II x4 965
Asus socket AM3
4x2gb DDR3?? this is what i need help on the most..

More about : mobo memory

a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2011 5:29:42 PM

not all four memory slots need to be filled. MOBOs run 2, or 4 memory sticks

get 2x4GB DDR3-1600
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September 26, 2011 5:32:07 PM

okay DD3 1600.. why are some people talkig about DDR 12600 or some huge number..? should I ignore this all together.?
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2011 5:42:33 PM

In short, Z68 is Intel's most recent chipset that supports both overclocking and integrated graphics in the newest i3/i5/i7 (sandy bridge) CPUs. The sandy bridge CPUs use the LGA1155 socket.

The number of cores in a CPU has nothing to do with the number of sticks of ram. You can have 1 stick of ram in a quad core PC. This is also true for your old dual core AM2. As for ram type, whatever is the fastest natively supported by the motherboard you choose would be a good selection.

Also, as a note, even if you are building now you should consider an AM3+ socket since it will support both current and future chips (bulldozer CPUs are supposed to be coming out end of 2011)

If you only care about gaming and you are on a budget, then an AMD build would be a good idea. If you provided a budget and target gaming resolution and quality then it would be easier to recommend parts.
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2011 5:44:39 PM

Cale245 said:
okay DD3 1600.. why are some people talkig about DDR 12600 or some huge number..? should I ignore this all together.?


Ram has two numbers associated with each speed rating. I believe one is the clock speed and the other is the effective memory bandwidth.

DDR3-1600 is the same as PC3 12800.
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September 26, 2011 5:53:04 PM

helpful thanks nordlead....
Well my budget is in the unknown.. its set to Biggest bang for my buck.. meaning I dont want to get the very ultimate but I want it pretty dang powerful for gaming.
I know the Card I am looking at is the Nvidia GTX 570 maybe.. i have not gone as far to look at what the good manufacturer's are for this chipset yet. Mainly the mobo cpu ram combo is what I need to put together on paper. They are always the most difficult for me to catch up on with the times. I dont want to just assume that the brands that were good before are now cause that isnt always the case.
in the past i have gone with ASUS or ABIT
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September 26, 2011 6:35:49 PM

Okay 1500$ limit Is what I can do
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a c 137 V Motherboard
September 26, 2011 6:59:06 PM

Hi,
I'm a retired Radar technician who has built several systems. I erred on the side of explaining a few things in detail so don't flame me people!

In addition to these parts I recommend:
1) the Antec 100 case
2) a suitable Antec power supply (inexpensive Antec High Power 620W)
3) a compatible Heatsink/Fan for that CPU (*CPU fan must plug into proper slot on motherboard and the BIOS must be correct. For example I needed "Voltage" and it was set to "Auto" which caused my fan to spin at 100%.)

NCIX is a great online store. Even if you don't purchase from them, the motherboards and CPU's are organized by motherboard socket type so it's easy to make sure things match.

I recommend one of the Intel i5's or i7 unlocked CPU's. I'm not up to date on exact models ("K" means unlocked so you can overclock if needed). You won't need to overclock if you get a 2500K or similar CPU as the GTX570 wouldn't stress it enough (did extensive tests on this) but I do it temporarily for converting videos and I'll need it in the future with a better graphics card.

There's nothing super special about a lot of the latest motherboards. It's nice to have USB3 and SATA3.

I know that PCIe version 3 is either here or coming soon so you may wish to investigate this. However, if they want to much for a new product you may wish to forget it. The only real advantage of PCIe v3 is higher bandwidth on the PCIe bus which means it won't bottleneck future graphics cards. It's unclear it the CPU would be the first bottleneck, or even the RAM.

(Potential bottlenecks are: RAM, CPU, PCIe bus, and Graphics card)

Usually right now the graphics card is the weakest link. CPU would probably be next, then RAM.

The "1156" motherboards don't necessarily have HDMI outputs. However the new "1155" seem to because the CPU has an integrated graphics chip. If you buy an addon card why would you want this? On the other hand, the 1155 is newer so will it see future CPU upgrades?

"VIRTU"
I looked into this and I'm frankly baffled. Apparently you can "switch" between integrated (the CPU) and addon graphics. But at the Intel site it said "reduced performance of the addon graphics card.." So if I do NOT have an addon card I don't even need the Virtu feature. If I DO have an addon card, and enable this feature (it can be off) then my addon card operates in reduced performance? W.T.F.?

I'm just trying to make you aware of some of the issues. Basically ignore Virtu. You can buy a Virtu motherboard but you won't want to use the feature.

EXAMPLE OF CPU + MOTHERBOARD:
(Canadian NCIX link given:) 
Motherboard:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=62197&vpn=GA-Z68XP-UD...

CPU:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57962&vpn=BX80623I525...

The 1155 boards tend to be newer designs than 1156. There were several 1156 boards that had HALF the PCIe v2 bandwidth if you used a SATA3 connector which shared the PCIe bus so you had to be careful. 1155 has no such worries.

RAM:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=57953&vpn=F3-12800CL9...

*Note that the NCIX site actually changed the way memory is named. For example, the 1600MHz DDR3 is named "DDR3-1600" now because of the confusion caused by using numbers higher than the actually frequency.

about Power Supplies:
Most people talk about WATTAGE: "you need a 1200W PSU with 2 cards" etc
However, for gamers usually it's the Amperage for the graphics cards which is the most important detail. Often people get way more Wattage then they need.

Amps:
You should get at least 1.25x the Amps required for the graphics card. I believe the GTX570 needs 38Amps so I was recommending the Antec 48A High Power 620W PSU partially because it had enough Amps, Wattage, was reasonably priced and good quality. There may be a better deal around.
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a c 137 V Motherboard
September 26, 2011 7:17:41 PM

Heatsinks:

A half-decent, non-stock HSF (heatsink + fan) will make your computer quieter when IDLE and much quieter when gaming as well as enable a higher, more stable overclock if needed.

Here is an example of an inexpensive HSF (Canadian NCIX link) on sale:
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=19079&vpn=CNPS9500AT&...

I bought an $80 Noctua which I found OVERKILL for my needs. It had two fans and I could run the CPU at 100% at stock speeds without a single fan and it was under 50degC! O-VER-KILL! So $30 to $50 is plenty. I prefer the fan's facing 90deg from the CPU because of the case fans and air flow. With my Antec 100 I have both fans (top-rear and top-top) on the lowest speed (came with case) so the CPU fans blow air towards them rather than to the SIDE of the case like the CPU heatsinks that have the fan facing directly away from the motherboard (to the left side of the case).

92mm seems to be the ideal fan size for this CPU. The 120mm CPU's are on really large heatsinks, which again are overkill IMO.
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a c 137 V Motherboard
September 26, 2011 7:30:13 PM

Update:
This isn't a big deal, but I noticed that the motherboard I mention has a "Turbo-USB3" option (10% boost in ideal conditions). But notice the comment:

"Note: Turbo USB 3.0 utilizes 8 PCIe VGA lanes, so it is only possible to enable it with a single graphics card running at PCIe x8"

Just be aware of things like that. It still looks look a good motherboard, but the GTX570 might be enough to be bottlenecked at only x8 on PCIe v2.
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October 6, 2011 7:22:17 PM

thanks for all your info... I put together a pretty good pile and made it a computer :) 
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October 6, 2011 7:23:10 PM

Best answer selected by Cale245.
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