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New build time, need advice

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November 13, 2011 4:57:38 PM

It's time to upgrade my aging Core2Quad. I already have most of what I need from my current build (DDR3, 5770, HD, ODD, etc.)

I need some advice on mobo and CPU combos. Firstly, we're looking at about $450-500 tops. I use my computer for DVD ripping, web, Office, some occasional gaming (Fear, Bioshock, CoD), DVD authoring (family videos). Overclocking might be a plus, but not top of the priority list. It HAS to have 2x Crossfire so I don't have to replace my 5770's right now, I don't think I'll need any more than 2 GPUs. Also, my wireless card and WinTV are PCI, so if I can save them, I'd like to. But if it makes me have to sacrifice, I'll just replace them as needed (my WinTV is currently not being used).

I think I'm pretty set on either a i5-2500K or i7-2600K in case I want to OC. I know the Z68 is the OCing way to go, and P67 for on-board graphics (right?). I currently have an ASUS P5Q3 and loved it UNTIL I tried to put a second 5770 in and it wouldn't recognize it! Nor would my son's P5N-D, though my other son's Gigabyte board did so I'm a little disappointed in ASUS right now.

I'm thinking either ASUS or Gigabyte. I haven't heard much for MSI or Biostar or ??, so I'm looking for some models and pros and cons for ANY brand. I'm hoping for cost vs. 'future' features (USB3, RAID, SATA 6) without sacrificing.

Also, what are thoughts for the i7 vs the i5? Besides more cores and the obvious stuff. Would it be better to go with the i5 to have more cash at my disposal for a mobo or can I find a hidden gem of a mobo in the $150 range?

More about : build time advice

November 13, 2011 5:44:10 PM

1) The Z68 is the chip with both OC and integrated graphics capability. The P67 has oc, but NO integrated graphics. Either is compatible with ivy bridge, come March.
I think I would look at Z68, just because it is the most recent chip. Look into the "quick sync" capability of Z68 to see if it applies to you.

2) Most current motherboards will have what you want, cf. usb3.0, 6gb sata. A good value brand is ASROCK , they are a value oriented spinoff from ASUS, but appears that they have gone their own way, offering top features at a good price. Look for a motherboard with separated pci-e x16 slots to help with your top card cooling.
I have no problem with Asus or gigabyte either. EVGA could be good too. I do not see much value in the very high priced enthusiast variants. If you are seeking record overclocks, then maybe.
Here is an asrock for $125:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) If $100 is important to you, get the 2500K. It will oc just as high as the 2600K, and be just as good for gaming. If you will be running apps that can use many cores, then the hyperthreads on the 2600K might be worth it.
!