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Help on Selection of CPU/Motherboard

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May 26, 2012 2:02:18 AM

I'm building my first gaming PC and I'm having a hard time deciding between the i5-2500K and the i5-3450. The i5-2500K costs $20 more, but is slightly faster and provides overclocking ability. If I go with the i5-2500K, however, I lose the ability to use PCIe 3.0.

Also, if I go with the i5-2500K, the motherboard PCIe 2.0 port is x16 (@x16). The i5-3540 motherboard PCIe 2.0 port is x16 (@x4). Is there a significant difference between @x16 and @x4?


Motherboard for the i5-2500K:
GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3(R2.0) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($79)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard for the i5-3450:
BIOSTAR TZ77B LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard ($79)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For reference, my GPU is:
Radeon HD 6950 ($208)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best solution

May 26, 2012 2:13:34 AM

You won't need PCIe v3. A PCIe v2x4 slot WILL be saturated by powerful cards. The 6950 will not saturate any x16 slot.

Moral of the story: Get the 2500k. The overclocking ability will come in handy, PCIe 3 will not. You will be upgrading your whole rig by the time you need PCIe 3 for cards.
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May 26, 2012 2:16:00 AM

PCIe ver3.0 is nothing that we have to worry about yet, it is only the fastest cards to date that have exceeded the ver 1.x std!
The X speed of the slots is only important if you are going to have dual/multi GPU setup then you need at minimum 2 slots that will run X8 X8 which a X4 slot can not do!
I would go with the 2500K!
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May 26, 2012 2:25:14 AM

look at mb spec again closely.. a lot of mb now in the z77 and x68 are doing one video slot at 16x and the other at 4x.
mb like the asus sabertooth have the slots running 16x for one card and 8x by 8x for two cards pci 2 or pci 3x mode.
if you have a micro center near you check out there combo prices...there sometimes better the new egg.
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May 26, 2012 3:05:13 AM

smorizio said:
look at mb spec again closely.. a lot of mb now in the z77 and x68 are doing one video slot at 16x and the other at 4x.


Yeah, I noticed that. Do you recommend spending $20 more to get a mb that can do 8x by 8x with 2 video cards? Or would it be better to just invest that money in a new GPU when the HD 6950 becomes outdated? (I don't plan on doing crossfire in the near future.)
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May 28, 2012 2:29:33 AM

if the 20 was a price killer then i would go with the cheaper mb and use the money for the cpu or gpu. the lower end h71 and other boards are also fine if your not going to over clock the cpu. just look at the ports and feature that are on those boards and what you need. just look at the warranty too of those mb some of them are 12 months some vendors give you three years.
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May 28, 2012 11:06:25 AM

sirius683 said:
Yeah, I noticed that. Do you recommend spending $20 more to get a mb that can do 8x by 8x with 2 video cards? Or would it be better to just invest that money in a new GPU when the HD 6950 becomes outdated? (I don't plan on doing crossfire in the near future.)

If you are not planning a dual card setup in the near future then saving $20 and getting a board with single X16 slot is just fine since you will most likely upgrade the GPU at that stage to something newer not yet released.
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June 4, 2012 3:41:22 PM

Best answer selected by sirius683.
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