So I am a complete noob at building PCs. My buddy just gave me a IPIBL-LB Mobo still in package because he has no use for it and I told him about my recent ambition to start building computers. Instantly I noticed that its pretty old and VERY limited, but my roomate could use a computer to mess around on and maybe play some basic games.
Whats the best Processor I can run in this thing?
How much money would it take with CPU and GPU to make this into a medium-high performing game machine?
Whats the very best I can do with this(performance wise)?
The best theoretical processor would be a Core 2 Quad Q9XXX series CPU, which is still quite high up in terms of computing power (a bit less than the first gen Core i5 (750), but still a very decent processor).
Graphic card wise, you can literally stick any modern (as in PCI-E) graphics card and it should work.
In terms of pricing, the problem here is that the LGA 775 platform is probably around 5 years old, that even the newer CPUs that have come out for it (C2Q Q9XXX) are no longer sold, or just expensive relative to other options.
For example the Core 2 Quad Q9550 on newegg costs $299.99, which is 70 dollars more expensive than the Core i5 2500K, a much newer and a faster processor.
That, and the fact that you literally have no upgrade options, would be my main concern for using this motherboard. DDR2 RAM that is used in this board cannot be used in future builds, for example.
I wouldn't know how much it would cost to make a build with an LGA 775 platform in 2012, but assuming you can get some cheap used CPUs (from a trusted seller, of course) off eBay could work (I'd still be a bit careful though, eBay being eBay). In terms of graphics, there really are no limitations as far as I'm concerned (you pay as much as you want for graphics, and I'm a bit rusty on current graphic card affairs)
The very best performance you could get is probably something like a Q9550 paired with the fastest GPU available, and assuming that the Q9550 doesn't serve too much as a bottleneck to the latest graphic card, then you'd have a comparable build to high-range (graphics wise) today. CPU wise, it'd be average. The motherboard supports up to 8 GB of RAM, and that should be plenty for a gaming build.
Well, I'm myself just looking to build a system based on that socket, so I'll share my thoughts!
A very good performance/price ration you could go for are the core 2 duo e8*00, especially the E8400, they're still relatively easy to find, go for around 50$(at least in europe) (compared to 150-200 for the Q9***), overclock relatively well (however this being a branded pc motherboard, it could be not that easy) and are still decent performers. The E7*00 are not too bad either and cheaper.
Getting too recent a graphic card is probably not a good idea, especially since this board I think does not support pcie 2.0 ? I'd rather go with, ideally, a HD4870, which is a great card from the same era and sells for (once again in europe) around 40-50 second-hand. Other cheaper decent-ish option are HD 3870 or geforce 8800/9600/9800 gt or gtx (the gt and gtx suffixes are important).
For performances I can't tell for sure but my brother back home precisely got a system from that era (e7200, hd4870, on p5qpro motherboard) and he plays all the latest games without trouble (probably not on highest settings).
For the ram, get 3 or 4 gigaoctets of ddr2 at 667 or 800, or more if you got a 64-bits OS, once again second hand.
It's definitively not worth buying anything new for that motherboard, except if you should stumble upon something really,really dirt cheap.