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New Build i5-mobo-gpu setup at around 500$

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November 9, 2010 8:16:39 PM


This will be my first post, hope it's clear.

I'm planning to replace my current system with something new. Hopefully within the next two weeks

I've made up my mind over a lot of things: the case,ram (corsair 4gb @1600) psu(750watt), cooler, hdd (no ssd) and the cpu. I've spend a lot of time searching for an adequate cpu and i have concluded that the i5-750 will be the best ( total picture) for me. Please try to convince me otherwise! New input is always welcome.

Well, the next thing is that I'm breaking my head ( and the keyboard) for two days now over the mobo and the gpu setup, along with an i5 750 cpu.

Price/performances of the gpu, must be around of the gtx 460 and hd6850/70. Those cards are also the cards I’m thinking about ( don’t know them in $). For the motherboard, i don’t want to spend extremely much. Not more than 140$

At first, i don’t mind a nvidia or ati. With both, i have good experiences.

Second, I would eventually like to do a sli or crossfire setup, because of easy and cheap gaming performances after a while. Again, new input is welcome on this matter

Third: I would like to see usb and sata III on the motherboard, as well as good performances for both sli and crossfire configs (so no 16x 4x)

Forth, I'm not sure about oc the cpu or gpu, because I’ve never done it before, so the oc must be easy to be done if it is recommended.

Maybe you guys can give suggestions for another cpu-mobo-gpu config that will be even better for gaming purposes and hopefully cheaper! So please give input, i want to learn as much as possible!

The prime goal of the build will be for gaming (the newest), and for school/homework, surfing the interwebs and watching movies


Parts I'll keep is my monitor: samsung 1680x1050 and other stuff like keyboard, mouse, headset.

Thanks in advance an I hope i can be helped!

Leander
November 9, 2010 9:19:56 PM

Welcome Leander,

I think you need to set a budget at least.

On the board and platform, consider this:
Anytime you add SATA 3 or USB 3 to a current Intel chipset/CPU, you are robbing crossfire/SLI of bandwidth. X8/X8 will become X8/X4 for instance. This has to do with the CPU and chipset. The more expensive X58 boards also suffer from this but because there is much more bandwidth to start the issue does not actually impact gaming, or only very slightly.

So depending on your budget I would say you need to do one of these things...

1) Upgrade to X58. (A nearby Microcenter might be able to save you some on the CPU, making the upgrade only about 100 bucks total).

2) Switch to AMD. You will take a small CPU performance hit doing this, BUT you will have a black edition CPU that is easier to overclock and no PCI-E bandwidth issue.

3) Wait until the next generation of Intel CPUs and chipsets arrive in a few months, codenamed Sandy Bridge.
November 10, 2010 6:14:20 AM

thanks for your reaction

if i understand right, almost eevery p55/x58 chipset mobo's suffer from decreased bandwith for a sli or crossfire config when stock usb 3.0 and sata 3 are on the mobo. Does 870 boards suffer from the same issue? And 8x 4x or 8x8x doesn't impact the gaming performcaces of my ruig, even with for exmaple a hd6850?

You are suggesting an amd setup. Actually, at t first i was thinking of amd x6 1055t on a asrock 870extreme 3 mobo and with a hd6850 graphics card. But after investigation, the x6 seemed completly useless for sole gaming purposes. then i looked in a x4, clocked at 3.4 ghz. Eventually i choose the better perfomace of the i5-750. the amd cores in benchmarks are being killed by that one. That why i choose for the i5 core.

Which amd setup are you recommending? or will an x58 with i5 core be better for a futur perspective, despite the higher price of the mobo
Related resources
November 10, 2010 9:03:09 AM

AMD architecture is different and does not have the bandwidth issue.

You cannot use an i5 processor on an X58 board. Different socket.

If you are the type that likes to hang on to a system for 4 years, putting out the extra money now for the X58 and i7-950 might make sense. I'll break it down for you:

X58 board: $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor: $300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $600


Unlocked AMD CPU: $153
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

870 board with all the needed features $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $318

The rest of the parts would be the same, so there is the price difference. You could add quite a few upgrades to the AMD platform such as an Asus board, lower latency RAM, even a higher stock clock on the CPU, and still be under $450.

The other thread I'm working on tonight had all that, complete system with monitor, for $1250. I'll cut and paste:

----------------------------------------
AMD Black Edition X4 970 3.5Ghz and a 5850 -386
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Asus 890GX board (with SATA 3 and USB 3) and Win 7 64-bit -220
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

G.skill DDR3 1333 CL8 4GB -70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec TP-650 PSU -90 (note the promo code)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master HAF 932 -160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Caviar Black 500GB -60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HP DVD burner -20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CM Hyper 212+ CPU cooler -32
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 24" 2ms monitor -210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

----------------------
November 10, 2010 10:23:47 AM

Note cheaper does not equal better

Spending 60 bucks on a 500GB Caviar? You can get the a 1 TB Spinpoint F3 which is the drive ANYONE here would recommend to you, you'd be foolish to get a caviar

and yes you are correct, a 6-core is absolutely useless for gaming, don't be fooled by all of the cores for a cheap price, unless you do a lot of 3D rendering which not many people do, then it's useless, games are getting optimized for quad-cores, not six-cores

Id go with Intel personally, but that's my preference. AMD is cheaper, and believe me I'm on a budget, but I'd always take Intel over AMD

For RAM definitely get G.Skill, and since you wanna game, maybe try RAM with a CAS Latency of 7, no higher

and thank you for not buying an SSD, wise choice my friend
November 10, 2010 2:04:59 PM

according to this benchmark test, the amd x4 970 performs almost equal to an i5-760. At the local store, the price of 970 BE and the i5 760 are almost equal. And again the difference to the i7-950 is about 95$. I wonder if the difference in price equals the better peformance, assuming there is a better peformance on gaming.

It isnt yet clear to me, if an x58 or p55 mobo bottlenecks a sli or crossfire config during gaming so bad, that you can see, or expiernece, the difference

I'm wondering if a i5 clocked at 2.6 does the same as an x4 at 3.5, what will the diffrence be if both are being overclocked? Will the i5 get more peformace for every mhz more in comparision to the x4 970?

What about futureperspective of the motherboards? how long will amd keep an am3, or am3+ socket, and how long will intel keep an 1366 or 1156 socket?
November 10, 2010 2:16:15 PM

Is there an other option for a x58 sabertooth? because this one is almost sold out.
November 10, 2010 2:32:36 PM

You could easily OC the 750 to 3.5 if not higher with a Hyper 212+ I believe
November 10, 2010 7:13:12 PM


On the HDD, Western Digital has long been the leader in customer satisfaction and durability. Samsung Spinpoint F3 and F4 are faster at sustained reads, as well as the Seagate model. If you want a fast drive though, get an SSD.

The AMD Phenom II X4s, 955 through 970 are the same CPU basically. To say they are identical might be a mistake. Any particular CPU (or lot) will have it's own characteristics when it comes to heat and overclocking capability. AMD is going to use the CPUs with the better characteristics for the higher rated CPU, at least where they can.
Would it make any difference to the casual overclocker? Probably not in performance but possibly in heat generated.

If you run crossfire with SATA 3 and USB 3 on a P55 board you would have noticeable performance degradation. On an X58 board it's not likely. This is because there is very little difference with crossfire/SLI between the platforms... you only NEED X8/X8, so the rest of the bandwidth on the X58 board can be used by SATA and USB safely. At least in theory. Not a lot of tests yet, as the technology is new.

RAM latency is more important than frequency, but you should not pay a lot for it. Gains in gaming are very minimal. For example, take CL9 Kingston vs. CL7 Corsair:
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/3548/corsair_dominator...

The people I really stress low latency RAM to are NOT gamers. They are professionals that are rendering large scenes or batch converting hundreds of large images. These people can actually see a benefit.

This Gigabyte board is OK as a second choice, but try to get the Asus.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

November 10, 2010 7:19:52 PM

i'm focusing on a bloomfiel i7-950 now for my rig, but aren't there any, maybe lynnfield based cpu, that a have a good future perspective and maybe even better peformaces during gaming?
November 10, 2010 7:51:34 PM

As I think I mentioned originally, if you live near a Microcenter you can pick an i7-950 up for about $245 (If in stock).

Not all i7 processors work in an LGA 1366 board. Here is the list:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Lynnfield processors are all LGA 1156 (P55 chipset or H55, H57, etc.)

If you were to scrap the whole crossfire/SLI thing and go with a single GPU, it gets easier :) 
November 10, 2010 8:50:20 PM

To me, a dual gpu config after one year or so, seems a good way to almost dubble performances for the price of an older gpu. Instead of buying the top of the line in the year to come.

To make a short summary: i7 (-950) will be a good choose because the motherboard with usb 3.0 and sata will not interfere with crossfire or sli performance.

So that makes it stupid to say: get an i5 with a p55 mobo and invest the money right away in a second gpu.

But on the other hand, we still have the amd phenom II x4 with e.g. the asrock 870 extreme 3 mobo that will go for less than the price of an i5-p55 config, with slightly better performances, only with the benefits of an i7-x58 config ( Not to mention you need triple channel ram because of the x58 to get the most best out of your ram) That may be enough to sway to the green side. At most, i believe both cpu are chooses to be proud of.

But I hereby def. dismiss the i5 option, because I want crossfire ( see argumentation above) and usb 3.0. and that goes obvious not together on a socket 1156 mobo.

For me, the end battle will be between and i7-950 and and the phenom II x4 970BE. From budget eye of view, still a student ^^, i'll go for the amd. Cooling wont be a problem with the mugen rev. B and the coolermaster hx 750 psu will do a goob job either. Power consumption doesn't matter, parents pay though :p . I believe this setup even gives some room for oc the x4. I just need to live with performance loss, although i doubt it to be much in gaming. dual gpu or not. Maybe there are last suggestions or seconds opinion about this discussion of mine?

At last i want to say thanks for the help and sorry for mocking arround with the i7-950 and eventually just leave it. I've certainly learned A LOT more about cpu and the difference they can maken for the total picture with building an own system. Now i see how much i slacked building my old athlon x64 x2.

btw, i'm from the Netherlands, so prices in dollar-euros can veary some. the i7 goes for 238 euros, instead of the same ammount in dollars.

November 11, 2010 5:26:17 AM

Just keep in mind that with AMD you are limited to crossfire. AMD chipsets do not support SLI, so no Nvidia dual GPU setups.

If you had mentioned the Netherlands thing up front we could have shopped an EU site ;)  Komplett is fairly easy to use, for instance.

I don't do as many of these threads as I used to and always appreciate the discussions, keeps me on top of things.

November 11, 2010 5:12:54 PM

this is what it has become:
ArtNr Omschrijving Aantal Prijs ps Totaal
260731 AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE | HDZ970FBGMBOX 1 € 170.20 € 170.20
216374 Asrock 870 EXTREME3 | 870 EXTREME3 1 € 73.50 € 73.50
128295 Corsair XMS3 TW3X4G1333C9 | TW3X4G1333C9A 1 € 60.50 € 60.50
209596 NZXT Lexa S Crafted Series | LEXS-001BK 1 € 80.20 € 80.20
179010 Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ. 1TB | HD103SJ 1 € 48.50 € 48.50
263505 Sapphire HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 PCIE | 11180-00-20R 1 € 169.50 € 169.50
213896 Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7260S | AD-7260S-0B 1 € 18.00 € 18.00
201545 Spire TherMax Eclipse II | SP984B1-V2 1 € 41.10 € 41.10

Totaal (excl. btw) € 555.88
BTW € 105.62
Totaal (incl. btw) € 661.50

so, thanks again!

are there any threads where i can post building pics etc.? Would be nice
November 11, 2010 7:30:32 PM

We always appreciate it if you'll simply post a new thread in this section with pics. We like to see an internal shot especially, so we can see the CPU cooler, GPU, case... how they all fit together.

Amazing CPU cooler BTW. Good find.
November 12, 2010 10:00:52 AM

think this thread can be locked? shall i vote you as best answer? ^^
November 12, 2010 6:54:59 PM

Vote as you like :)  These threads don't get locked but you can just let it die. Only takes a couple days to hit page 4 :p 
!