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Advice on specs

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 10:59:34 AM

I am in the process of doing an upgrade and need advice on the following componants;

Motherboard
RAM
CPU

I am looking to get into basic overclocking, nothing that really exceeds the need for going beyond air cooling but will nevertheless give a little play here.

In the Motherboard catagory and based on stockists list (bare in mind I reside in South Africa) the prominant Motherboards of choice was between;

Gigabyte P67A UD3R and;

ASUS P8P67 M-pro

I would like to buy a Motherboard that OC's, has expansion capabilities and when the prices on the 2600k drops to managable levels I will be able to upgrade to that processor.

In regards to RAM, I have read a lot of posts on this site that recommends GSkill RipJaw DDR3 1600, the only sources in this country for GSkill overprice their RAM to levels that almost cost more than a respectable CPU or GPU so not worth it, I was told that using Mushkin Silverline 1.5v (DDR31333) or the equivilant in DDR31600 at 1.55v is the better of the options available over all the 1.6 and 1.65v equivilants.

On the CPU's considering monatary restraints;

I 3 2100 or 2120

I5 2300 possibly the I5 2400 are within the remaining budget.


Any advice forthcoming will be greatly appreciated.





More about : advice specs

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a c 261 V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 2:05:56 PM

1) Any P67 or Z68 based motherboard will havegood OC capabilities with a 2500K or 2600K. You cannot OC any other cpu.

2) The Gigabyte P67A UD3R is a full sized ATX motherboard and the P8P67-M PRO is a micro-ATX motherboard.
An ATX mobo will have 7 expansion slots, and a M-ATX will have 4. For most, only the pci-e X16 graphics slot ever needs to get used.
I have the P8P67-M pro and is works well, and OC's well.

3) If budget is an issue, the 2500K will be a better option than the 2600K. It costs 2/3 the price. It will OC to the same levels. The value of hyperthreading will be there only if you run highly threaded apps.

4) Using a P67 based motherboard will require a discrete graphics card. If you are not into heavy fast action gaming, the integrated graphics of any sandy bridge cpu is sufficient.
To allow both OC and integrated graphics, you will need a Z68 based motherboard. Fortunately, the price premium is not that much more.

5) If your upgrade plans are more than 6 months out, you will want to look at the 22nm ivy bridge cpu's. Ther are supposed to be compatible with the P67/H67 and Z68 motherboards, requiring only a bios/firmware flash.

6) The current Intel nehalem and sandy bridge cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller.
It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.
The difference in real application performance or FPS between the fastest and slowest ram is on the order of 1-3%.
Synthetic benchmark differences will be impressive, but are largely irrelevant in the real world.
Fancy heat spreaders are mostly marketing too.
Only if you are seeking record level overclocks should you consider faster ram or better latencies.
The ram suggested should be fine. Take the time to verify that they are supported on your selected motherboard.

7) For most users, the 2100 or 2120 will be good. Look at the 2300/2400 if you know you can make use of the additional cores.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 2:49:50 PM

geofelt said:
1) Any P67 or Z68 based motherboard will havegood OC capabilities with a 2500K or 2600K. You cannot OC any other cpu.

2) The Gigabyte P67A UD3R is a full sized ATX motherboard and the P8P67-M PRO is a micro-ATX motherboard.
An ATX mobo will have 7 expansion slots, and a M-ATX will have 4. For most, only the pci-e X16 graphics slot ever needs to get used.
I have the P8P67-M pro and is works well, and OC's well.

3) If budget is an issue, the 2500K will be a better option than the 2600K. It costs 2/3 the price. It will OC to the same levels. The value of hyperthreading will be there only if you run highly threaded apps.

4) Using a P67 based motherboard will require a discrete graphics card. If you are not into heavy fast action gaming, the integrated graphics of any sandy bridge cpu is sufficient.
To allow both OC and integrated graphics, you will need a Z68 based motherboard. Fortunately, the price premium is not that much more.

5) If your upgrade plans are more than 6 months out, you will want to look at the 22nm ivy bridge cpu's. Ther are supposed to be compatible with the P67/H67 and Z68 motherboards, requiring only a bios/firmware flash.

6) The current Intel nehalem and sandy bridge cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller.
It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.
The difference in real application performance or FPS between the fastest and slowest ram is on the order of 1-3%.
Synthetic benchmark differences will be impressive, but are largely irrelevant in the real world.
Fancy heat spreaders are mostly marketing too.
Only if you are seeking record level overclocks should you consider faster ram or better latencies.
The ram suggested should be fine. Take the time to verify that they are supported on your selected motherboard.

7) For most users, the 2100 or 2120 will be good. Look at the 2300/2400 if you know you can make use of the additional cores.


Sorry about the M-Atx post, similar model just not the Micro ATX motherboard nevertheless a P67 chipset from ASUS.

SLI/Xfire: unlikely possibility maybe (65% for and 35 against)

Processor Preference: Is it more worthwhile waiting for ivybridge CPU's and prices to go down then change in 12-18 months time, but in the interim save bucks and settle on a I3 2120 which is similarly priced to the I5 2300 and only marginally more is the I5 2400,...... Sadly as of now the I5 2500 and I5 2500k are a bit hefty on the price tag and considerably in my country.

My usages in terms of CPU would predominantly be for gaming or working, and other multimedia based activities such as movies or music, I also use the web but that is irrelevent in this regard, my conundrum is chosing between the highest end I3 sandybridge or at this point settling on the lesser i5 sandybridges or settle on i3 and wait knowing that the motherboard has some future proofing for better processors an in the interim save processor money on a better GPU.

to put it in perspective; I3 2120 and I5 2300 go for R 1200 (1 USD = 6.8 Rand) while the I5 2500k costs R2300 sometimes as low as R1800 on special or at lowest R2000, the I7 2600k goes for R 2500-2700.

A question for turbo boost 2.0 listed on all the I5's, what is the point if they cannot be overclocked. And when they benchmarked CPU's on this site with Metro2033 the I3 2120 had on average between 8-15FPS less than the I5 2500k, does that mean that at this point the I5's are redundant?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 3:01:43 PM

I'd suggest that you settle for the i3 2100 processor if you can't get the i5 2500K. BTW if you are on a budget the 2500K does 3.3 GHz out of the box while the 2600K does 3.4 GHz. For $100 all you get is a lousy 100 MHz and hyperthreading. And the OCing tracks too: 2500K 4.8 GHz, 2600K 4.9 GHz.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a c 261 V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 3:10:07 PM

Your most demanding use is for gaming. That requires more gpu power than cpu power.
Very few games use more than two cores, so a strong dual core is a good budget pick for gaming.
Read this article on <$200 cpu's for gaming. The 2100 turns out very well.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...

Turbo boost allows one core to speed up if the other cores are under used. It is a good thing. It does not help if all cores are heavily utilized.

If your use includes gaming, plan on budgeting more for the gpu than the cpu.

There are all sorts of upgrade possibilities if you use a P67 or Z68 based motherboard, and I would do that.

Do not count on prices dropping. In the past what happens is that newer chips show up with better performance for the same price.
The older chips retain their new retail value for the replacement market. In the used market, older chips will get cheaper to get to a price/performance equilibrium.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 3:15:12 PM

Thanks guys for the responses;

I was pretty much going the way of the 2100 over the 2120 and I3 over I5 and upgrade the CPU in time when the 2500k becomes a real bargain knock down or subsequently the 2600k.


I was looking at rather spending R900 (USD * 6.8) on the 2100 and have R2000+ available to spend on a 6950 or 560 GPU in a few months time where I still think the gains will be better noticed......I am quite happy spending the money required on the motherboards though.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
a c 261 V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 3:23:04 PM

sarinaide said:
Thanks guys for the responses;

I was pretty much going the way of the 2100 over the 2120 and I3 over I5 and upgrade the CPU in time when the 2500k becomes a real bargain knock down or subsequently the 2600k.


I was looking at rather spending R900 (USD * 6.8) on the 2100 and have R2000+ available to spend on a 6950 or 560 GPU in a few months time where I still think the gains will be better noticed......I am quite happy spending the money required on the motherboards though.


Looks like a good plan to me. If you will be using ingegrated graphics(about as strong as a $50 discrete card), then get a Z68 motherboard.
That will allow both integrated graphics for now, and allow OC later.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2011 3:38:53 PM

geofelt said:
Looks like a good plan to me. If you will be using ingegrated graphics(about as strong as a $50 discrete card), then get a Z68 motherboard.
That will allow both integrated graphics for now, and allow OC later.



I will carry over my XFX 8800 GTX for a shortwhile in interim, considering Skyrim and F12011 are yet to be released. I did see that benchmark article and it seems like an I3 with good card is as good as a i5 with good card, sure the multitasking is less but in terms of games it seems like it is a decent sacrifice for a bad boy GPU.
!