I'm thinking of building my own PC for the second time in my life. I know I can find good deals on pre-built computers out there but I really want to build my own just so I can have the satisfaction to say I did it myself. I think I've settled on the i7-3770 for my CPU choice. Now I need to figure out what other components to go with.
I guess the next thing to think about would be motherboards. There are so many out there and I feel lost. I'm not very knowledgable about computer components. Someone told me that motherboards don't have much effect on stock performance of CPUs. If that is correct then I guess I am looking for a board which is relatively inexpensive, reliable and will last a long time and which has a decent number of connectors of right types to expand on when I want to.
I plan on buying a SSD for my operating system. I'll probably be using the computer for gaming and some 3D modeling. I use some of the lower end 3D apps like Poser, Bryce, Wings3D etc. and when I'm running the 3D programs I do tend to do a bit of multi-tasking.
Would anyone out there be willing to recommend a good motherboard, say for under $150 at least? Or if you think I need to go with a board more expensive than $150 let me know. I don't want to skimp too much on performance and want to avoid any obvious bottlenecks. But if it is true that motherboards don't have that much effect on the stock performance of CPUs then it sounds like I should be able to work with some relatively cheaper boards so long as they are reliable and have the right connectors I'll be needing.
Oh yes, one other important piece of info, I don't plan on overclocking, so that probably shouldn't be a factor in component choices.
I plan to go with only one GPU. I don't know what SLI and Crossfire are so if you would be kind to explain I would much appreciate it.
Not sure how many SATA ports I will need. I plan to hook up a DVD writer, SSD and HDD to the machine at the very least. Should I look for SATA III or is any SATA ok to go with?
PCI ports not sure how many I will need. I will be hooking up a single GPU and maybe need a couple PCI ports for any other toys I may add on. I'm thinking 2 additional PCI slots would be enough so long as the GPU doesn't block any of them.
I'm also guessing I would want to take advantage of dual channel RAM for the board?
SLI and Crossfire are technologies used by NVidia and AMD for using two or more similar graphics cards on the same motherboard for increasing performance (mostly used in games). Depending on the graphics cards and their number, you should choose the power supply accordingly.
For SSDs, it does matter if SATA 3 - better transfer speed.
Most of the boards feature dual channel.
I'd suggest 3 boards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Thanks for the recommendations. Now are those boards SATA III or SATA I? It looks like it just says SATA next to them. Also are Gigabyte boards pretty decent quality? If so then it looks like the three boards are about the same save for the price.
One other thing. The board results filter says SATA 3gbs, shouldn't it be 6gbs?
And...what about "open box" mother boards? I take it those are boards on sale because they were opened and returned? If so are they a good deal? Or should I stay away from them?