What's the best Motherboard and CPU combo for around $400?

I'll be doing a new build and need the parts on Saturday. That means I will be ordering tonight!

I've had my mind stuck on getting an i5 2500k and a B3 SLI board but after looking at benchmarks I'm not so sure what to get.
The 1090t and the i7 920 perform very close the the 2500k. I like AM3 and X58 boards better than the B3 boards since there are more lanes. (I will be doing SLI GTX 470's and most likely a GT 240 for additional folding)

What would be the best purchase for the money? If I buy SB I refuse to put more than 1.38v into it so my overclocking will be cut down.

Any suggestions? I'm starting to switch my mind over to an i7 920 at the moment!
13 answers Last reply
More about what motherboard combo
  1. The lack of the P67 in having two each 16 lane PCIe lanes for SLI does not prevent the P67 from delivering outstanding gaming performance.

    The AM3 boards do not rate being even benchmarked against Intel boards, IMO....; perhaps if X4/X6 Phenoms overclocked to 5.5 GHz, they could then match stock clocked 2500k performance.
  2. $395 - ASUS P8P67 Pro w/ Intel Core i5-2500K

    If I buy SB I refuse to put more than 1.38v into it so my overclocking will be cut down.

    Quite doable at up to 4.6 Ghz (1.36 volts)

    You could invest a bit more .... The WS Revolution has full x16 x16 lanes thanks to the NF200 chip ... It adds $70 to the price of the P8P67 Pro

    $260 Asus P8P67 WS Revolution 1155 w/Twin x16 lanes

    $330 Asus P6T6 WS Revolution 1366 w/Tri x16 lanes
  3. What are you buying the computer for?

    Regardless of your answer, buying X58 is a terrible choice right now. Buying a Phenom II x6 is an even worse choice. I am actually having difficulty restraining myself from using stronger words to describe how poor of choices either of those is compared to a P67 w/ i5-2500K.

    If you're just SLI'ing GTX 470's the P67 8x/8x won't bottleneck you at all.

    There is no justification for buying any either of your suggestions over the P67. The better architecture will allow an i5-2500K to match the 1090T at the same clock speeds. But it is a fact that it will clock higher. I don't know why you insist on a 1.38 hard limit on voltage, but that should be adequate to get higher clocks than a 1090T so you handily blow it out of the water. The same is true for the i7-930, but to a lesser extent.
  4. I'm not sure what voltage has to do with anything. You don't need to add voltage to overclock 2500K.

    You need to do some research because the "facts" you posted are not even close to reallity.

    The 1090T and i7-920 don't even come close to the i5-2500K. Not sure what benchmarks your looking at, but you should look again.
  5. Well, x58 beats P67 in just about everything at the same clocks for gaming.
    The 1090T benchmarks I looked at weren't gaming, that was my mistake. It's still a good processor however but I wouldn't consider it anymore after seeing results of Intel's monstrosities.

    I do realize that 1155 processors can clock higher than 1366 but I'll be limited by the amount of lanes that 1155 has which makes 1366 a MUCH better choice for the money. x58 is the best choice for my budget. =]

    Thanks all for your posts!
  6. Im sorry that everyone told you the truth instead of what you wanted to hear. Enjoy your obsolete/overpriced socket and graphics cards!
  7. @jaguarmatt--What are you talking about? The PCI-e lanes won't limit SLI GTX 470's. They barely even limit SLI GTX 570's. What X58 benchmarks were you looking at??? Please post because most sites look like this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-gaming-3-way-sli-three-card-crossfire,2910-16.html

    Notice the 16x/16x of the X58 LOSES to 8x/8x on the P67 Overall? And they won't be at the same clocks! It is a solid fact that P67 clocks higher. You didn't even look at the benchmarks we posted.

    Hmmm...I'll sell you my i7-930 and X58 mobo if you want to waste money? I'll buy a P67 platform with it actually. $200 for the CPU, $120 for the mobo?
  8. I'll pass, thanks Dalauder.
    I just bought an Asrock Extreme X58 and 3x2GB of OCZ 1600 CL8 for 105 shipped.
    Buying a W3520 for the same price as your 930. =]

    If you look at the SLI section in Tomshardware you'll see that X58 is superior for price/performance ratio. (1920x1080 is my resolution)

    @ Genghiskron-
    I understand that P67 is better, but not for the money. I don't want to spend over $400. Purchasing an NF200 board is $275 alone. Please think about the original post before you want to thread crap.
  9. Wouldnt you rather spend another $100 and be more future proof than to build an already obsolete system? I just built a first gen i5 system and im kicking myself for it because SB blows it out of the water. X58 is even older and the benchmarks DO show that P67 will perform better. Bad move getting the X58 but we obviously can't convince you.
  10. I'd like to see that link Jaguarmatt (to the SLI section).

    The link I gave you said P67 had ~103% performance on 8x/8x versus 16x/16x on X58. I'd have picked a P67/i5-2500K combo for under $400. But you have some reason. You will have greater memory bandwidth though...maybe that will be useful.
  11. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-gaming-3-way-sli-three-card-crossfire,2910-3.html

    They exchange blows with each other at the same clocks. I went with X58 for the extra bandwidth. Now I can run my SLI GTX 470's, XiFi pci-e x1 sound card, and GT 240 at the same time without having to worry about my cards bottle-necking from lack of lane bandwidth.

    I'm upgrading from an Athlon II x4 @ 3.8ghz, so I'm pretty sure either way I went would have been just fine. I decided to go the X58 route since in the end the performance is similar to Sandy Bridge and I saved enough money to purchase an Accelero Xtreme Plus for my top GTX 470 and had enough money left over to invest in some case mods for my Phantom.
  12. Oh, same benchmark I saw. Yeah, give or take identical performance. If you use three cards (same setup as I'll have once I get my second 470), then it's understandable.
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