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How Much Power For a Intel i5 Build?

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March 14, 2011 12:14:29 PM

  • Intel i5 2500K CPU (Is this good enough to play modern games on max on a 1440x900?)
  • Sapphire HD6950 2GB or 6850 1GB (Not sure if I'll use the card to it's fullest potential on a 1440x900 display with max, so if I could save some money, would 6850 be fine?
  • GIGABYTE GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 Motherboard (Why is this so expensive? ... Are there any cheaper options?)
  • Kingston 4GB 1333Mhz RAM
  • WD Scorpio Blue/Black 320GB
  • NZXT Lexa-S

    How much watts do I need for the PSU for this build and how much overhead should I keep for a computer build?
  • More about : power intel build

    March 14, 2011 12:57:19 PM

    The 2500K is about the best gaming CPU you can get.
    At that resolution a 6850 is fine and a 6950 is major overkill.
    Get a P67 motherboard not a H67 one.
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    a c 90 B Homebuilt system
    March 14, 2011 1:11:06 PM

    Hello silentmemories;

    A HD 6850 would be a very good match for that 1440x900 display.
    See THG: Best Graphics Cards For the Money: March 2011

    For a single HD 6850 in a system you'd want a good 500W PSU. Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W 80+ BRONZE Power Supply $60
    (green = no AC power cord - recycle if you already have one)

    You have a mis-matched CPU and MB. That 2500K is unlocked CPU for overclocking and the H67 motherboard is not able to overclock those CPUs.
    You want to match the K model CPUs with P67 boards. GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3-B3 P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard $135
    Most of the less expensive P67 boards are out of stock. MSI P67A-C43 (B3) P67 Motherboard $125 Even less expensive boards are on the way but it would be quite a while before they show up.

    And you probably want a CPU cooler as well.
    Core i5 2500K and CM Hyper 212+ cooler combo deal $242
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    March 14, 2011 2:13:38 PM

    simon12 said:
    The 2500K is about the best gaming CPU you can get.
    At that resolution a 6850 is fine and a 6950 is major overkill.
    Get a P67 motherboard not a H67 one.


    ... What is the difference between a P67 motherboard and a H67 one...? Someone on the forums chose it for me so I wasn't exactly sure if it would work.

    WR2 said:
    Hello silentmemories;

    A HD 6850 would be a very good match for that 1440x900 display.
    See THG: Best Graphics Cards For the Money: March 2011

    For a single HD 6850 in a system you'd want a good 500W PSU. Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W 80+ BRONZE Power Supply $60
    (green = no AC power cord - recycle if you already have one)

    You have a mis-matched CPU and MB. That 2500K is unlocked CPU for overclocking and the H67 motherboard is not able to overclock those CPUs.
    You want to match the K model CPUs with P67 boards. GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3-B3 P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard $135
    Most of the less expensive P67 boards are out of stock. MSI P67A-C43 (B3) P67 Motherboard $125 Even less expensive boards are on the way but it would be quite a while before they show up.

    And you probably want a CPU cooler as well.
    Core i5 2500K and CM Hyper 212+ cooler combo deal $242


    PSU: Would a SilverStone 500W PSU be fine?
    Motherboard: I wasn't exactly sure that the CPU was mismatched. I don't intend overclocking though.
    CPU Cooler: Would this be really necessary? I'm a first-time builder and I don't want to ruin my warranty. (I don't intend to overclock, so heat won't be an issue... would it?)
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    a c 90 B Homebuilt system
    March 14, 2011 2:25:58 PM

    The price difference between the i5 2500 and i5 2500K is only $10. $32 with the CPU cooler in the bundle.


    P67 and K model CPUs can make use of the unlocked CPU multiplier for some nice overclocking - like 4.2Ghz with no voltage increase. The CPU cooler keeps the temps under control if you do that, or just helps the CPU run cooler at stock speeds.

    -> You don't have to overclock. But the idea of a mid-life upgrade without having to buy a new CPU? That should appeal to just about anyone. When you're ready for a more powerful graphics card for the games of 2013 you'll be able to boost your CPU power as well. And all for just $32 extra in the 2500K and cooler bundle.

    The H67 and i5 2500 combo is idea for anyone wanting to use the onboard graphics, Intel HD 3000, built into the i5 2500 CPU.
    But if you add a CPU (HD 6850 for example) you no longer have access to the HD 3000 graphics.


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    a c 90 B Homebuilt system
    March 14, 2011 2:27:21 PM

    SILVERSTONE ST50EF-Plus 500W is the model? That would be a good choice of PSU.
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    March 14, 2011 2:42:39 PM

    Well, for the PSU, either:
    Antec EA650GB 650W
    or
    SilverStone SST-ST50F 500w (Not sure why the one that I have found has the 'E' missing from the ST50EF)
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    March 14, 2011 2:45:42 PM

    (Also, thanks for the lovely link to the Guide to Building Your PC. :D )

    I've heard about some Sandy Bridge problems with Intel, and that some SATA3 or 6 parts have been failing. Is this part of the CPU or the motherboard? I don't want to have to replace either parts because I have bought a bad part.
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    March 14, 2011 3:29:17 PM

    The big difference between the Intel® H67 and P67 chipsets is that the P67 doesn’t allow you to use the GPU on the processor. Also the P67 chipset allows overclocking of the processor while the H67 only allows overclocking of the graphics GPU.
    Also here is a great tool to help you find out the minimum power supply for your system http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp.

    Chrstian Wood
    Intel Enthusiast Team
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    March 15, 2011 2:28:45 AM

    WR2 said:
    They've fixed the problems the motherboard. Look for the B3 revision.

    Can you find the Antec EA 500D? Or maybe the Antec Neo Eco 520 or Seasonic S12II 520w?

    SilverStone Strider ST50F 500 W Power Supply Review was a good PSU in it's day. About 3 years ago.
    SilverStone Element ST50EF-Plus 500 W Power Supply Review from two years ago.


    Would the age of the PSU make it a bad PSU to use in a recent Sandy Bridge build?

    Yep - the online retailers here have the Antec Neo Eco 520. Judging from its name 'Eco', would it mean that this is a bad PSU to use for a gaming build?

    Also for the motherboard, how could I tell if it's the B3 revision?

    IntelEnthusiast said:
    The big difference between the Intel® H67 and P67 chipsets is that the P67 doesn’t allow you to use the GPU on the processor. Also the P67 chipset allows overclocking of the processor while the H67 only allows overclocking of the graphics GPU.
    Also here is a great tool to help you find out the minimum power supply for your system http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp.

    Thanks for the link. :) 

    Also, why are the H67 motherboards more expensive than the P67 boards? The GA-H67A-UD3H-B3 board that I picked out before was $212, but the P67 boards that you have mentioned are $134 for the Gigabyte and $124 for the MSI.

    (Actually never mind - the GA-P67A-UD3-B3 LGA board that they sell here is insanely expensive... $285... The MSI P67A-C43 board though is much more affordable, at $142. What are the main differences between the Gigabyte board and the MSI board?)
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    a c 90 B Homebuilt system
    March 15, 2011 2:48:02 AM

    Eco just means it comes without an AC power cord. They want you to recycle an old one.

    The age of the design is not an indicator it's a 'bad' PSU. Just that there have been big changes in efficiency and increased competition has made a lot of the MFGRs build better, higher spec PSUs and at lower prices.

    A B3 revision board will be marked - B3. If the store listing doesn't specify you need to ask.
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    a c 90 B Homebuilt system
    March 15, 2011 2:50:24 AM

    Find the MFGR's websites for those boards. Read the features and specifications.
    Find some online review articles if you can.
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    March 15, 2011 6:23:19 AM

    WR2 said:
    Eco just means it comes without an AC power cord. They want you to recycle an old one.

    The age of the design is not an indicator it's a 'bad' PSU. Just that there have been big changes in efficiency and increased competition has made a lot of the MFGRs build better, higher spec PSUs and at lower prices.

    A B3 revision board will be marked - B3. If the store listing doesn't specify you need to ask.


    Should both these boards be safe? -
  • Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3-B3
  • MSI P67A-C43

    I don't have an old PSU so I have to purchase a new one. What type of power cord is required for this? Are there any specific brands that I should use for the AC power cord, or is it any AC power cord?
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    a c 90 B Homebuilt system
    March 15, 2011 8:00:53 AM

    As far as I can tell that GA-P67A-UD3-B3 @ $285 is just price gouging. We're seeing the normal $135/$125 prices for the UD3 & C43 MBs.
    If you look at the features side by side you can see the UD3 has 2 PCI-e x16 video card slots and the C43 just 1.
    The UD3 2 video cards slots work at x16/x4 and on the UD4 model they work in the preferred x8/x8 mode which is why the UD4 is more expensive and more desirable for the enthusiast/hard core gamer.
    For a system with just 1 video card either choice would be safe. The C43 is not a good choice for a system where a 2nd video card would be a possibility.
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    a c 90 B Homebuilt system
    March 15, 2011 8:05:51 AM

    The AC power cord is just a generic PC power supply AC cord. I saw some listed @ $5 and I know they can be found in some places for less. You might want to factor in the cost of the AC power cord for a eco/green PSU like Antec EA 500D or Eco 520 vs a 'standard' PSU with an AC power cord included.
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    March 15, 2011 11:22:21 AM

    WR2 said:
    As far as I can tell that GA-P67A-UD3-B3 @ $285 is just price gouging. We're seeing the normal $135/$125 prices for the UD3 & C43 MBs.
    If you look at the features side by side you can see the UD3 has 2 PCI-e x16 video card slots and the C43 just 1.
    The UD3 2 video cards slots work at x16/x4 and on the UD4 model they work in the preferred x8/x8 mode which is why the UD4 is more expensive and more desirable for the enthusiast/hard core gamer.
    For a system with just 1 video card either choice would be safe. The C43 is not a good choice for a system where a 2nd video card would be a possibility.


    Thanks for the link to the NewEgg comparison. Looking from the there, it seems that the only difference between the two boards are the extra graphics card slots. If I plan to upgrade (It's quite unlikely), I will be only upgrading one graphics card, so that should be fine. I'm afraid over here the online retailers have some sort of monopoly over the online market so it'd be better for me to get a MSI board and save $143.

    WR2 said:
    The AC power cord is just a generic PC power supply AC cord. I saw some listed @ $5 and I know they can be found in some places for less. You might want to factor in the cost of the AC power cord for a eco/green PSU like Antec EA 500D or Eco 520 vs a 'standard' PSU with an AC power cord included.


    I think it'd be better for me to purchase a PSU that comes with a power supply cord... This is the first time building and I'd like to have as little headaches as possible.

    Are there any good Antec 500W PSUs that come with the AC power cords?
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