I am trying to put a build together for a buddy of mine that is trying to do it on the cheap. I read the last article about the $500 build they did and I was inspired. So I got on the old Egg and slapped some things together. The only problem that I am having is picking a motherboard.
What my friend wants to do is play Skyrim/SC2/D3/LoL at 1080p at a budget of (about) $500. Now when I say he wants to play at 1080p, it's not like he wants it maxed with AA and all the candy on. Think of it as like an entry level, first timer with HD. Anything is an extreme leap in tech, he has been using an old laptop for everything.
This is a list of things that I have picked:
Pentium G850 $88 - upgrade to like a quad i5/i7 later, what ever i chip they have at the time
HIS 7770 $130 - up for debate
Corsair builder CX430 $45
G.Skill Value 8GB 1333 $40
HDD 320GB $70
Cheap case/disc drive $40/$18
Total $430 without motherbard (no bundles/promo either)
Now my build was on the 1156 socket and that's were I stopped paying attention. I don't know much about the 1155 socket motherboards, mainly the north bridge. What I'm looking for would need to support the G850 chip, with the ability to upgrade to a higher Sandy later.
well, there's the H61 boards which'll fit in your budget nicely. not a whole lot of features compared to an H67, though you're looking to spend a bit more if the h67 catches your fancy, ignoring Asrock of course. i trust their z68, h77 and z77 boards, but the h61/h67, however, not quite sure. i hear mix reactions of them.
now, there's an Asrock H77 board for $75 at newegg, which your friend can upgrade to an Ivy Bridge i5 in the future.... buuuut the SATA ports are placed at a rather awkward location, for me anyway.
Yeah got the Corsair builder CX430 listed and cable management don't scare this OCD SOB with zip ties!
Can anyone point me in the right direction for an explanation of the different north bridge chips? Should I just be looking at the Z 77/75/68 or H 61/67/77.
If/when my friend decides to put a quad i5/i7 I don't want to replace the motherboard or have a cheapy that just don't preform.
H61 - cheap basic motherboard with cheap basic features. usually used for simple basic PCs for work, though that doesn't stop anyone from slapping a non-overclockable quad core i5 with a gaming GPU of your choice. fine for those on an extreme budget for gaming, though i can't promise you the build quality. some requires a BIOS update to be compatible with Ivy Bridge
H67 - an H61 + more features (more usb 2.0, more PCI/PCIe slots, etc.). commonly used for an HTPC build using SB's/IB's integrated graphics, but again, if it has a PCIe 2.0 x16, why stop at integrated graphics? for the price, slightly better build quality.... i guess. some requires a BIOS update to be compatible with Ivy Bridge
H77 - updated version of the H67 for ivy bridge, with IB's features (pcie 3.0, usb 3.0, DDR-1600, etc). backwards compatible with sandy bridge CPU, though you'll need to check first whether or not you need a BIOS update. even then, you won't have access to IB board feature's using a SB CPU.
in all cases, they either don't allow you to OC your CPU, or severely limit it. so no point in getting a 2500K/3570K CPU
in some H77 boards , some of newly released SB & IB CPU's would naturally need a BIOS update. in this case, there is no support for an i5-2380P, which they either forgot to list it in or have no BIOS update for it yet.
in an H67, you may or may not need to update to be able to install an IB CPU, depending on the version of the BIOS already installed in the packaged motherboard, as it may be from an older stock.