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[:plant:] CPU & Mobo Selection
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Never Forget

Member 7

Level 44.22

Feb 2006

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Old Sep 19, 2011, 07:12 PM Local time: Sep 19, 2011, 05:12 PM #1 of 5
CPU & Mobo Selection

Hey all,

I'm putting together a new computer for myself and having a hard time figuring out exactly what I want to get.

Microcenter right now has the i5-2500k for $180, though they've got a few snazzy mobo bundles with some nice discounts. Here they are.

$320 Micro Center - ASUS P8Z68-V LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard 505917
$270 Micro Center - ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard 809988

Alternatively, I could get a 2600k, which I initially had no interest in, with mobo for just a little more money (or about the same depending on my mobo of choice above) since they've got a deal where you get $80 off any Z68 mobo with the purchase of a 2600k for $280.

Combo prices below:

$300 Micro Center - Biostar TZ68A+RCH LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard 784694
$300 Micro Center - Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 mATX Intel Motherboard 484345
$315 Micro Center - ASRock Z68 Pro3-M Socket 1155 Z68 mATX Intel Motherboard 592881
$325 Micro Center - ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard 809988
$330 Micro Center - Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard 525238
$340 Micro Center - Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard 530998

(Yeah, I know, lots of choices, they all almost look identical to me.)

Right now I'm leaning towards the $290 kit with the 2500k, though since the normal price difference between a 2500k and 2600k is about $100, it seems like it might be worth it to upgrade to a slightly lower mobo for a "better" processor. I tend to stick with computers for a pretty long time (my current one at home was built in the fall of 2007 and will soon enter service in my office).

I do mostly gaming on it, though I can see in the future I'll be doing 3d modeling and some simulations, so having a little bit of extra CPU power might be worth it. My current plan is to sink around $200 or maybe a little more on the CPU, and get 2x4 GB of RAM since the stuff is just so darned cheap nowadays. Will be getting an upgraded CPU cooler so I can OC without as much worry about the thing overheating, too.

I'm hoping to have the ability to do SLI/Crossfire in the future, so I'm only looking at mobos with that capability. The SSD integration feature on the Z68 mobos looks pretty neat, so I'm temped to buy a smaller one of them and give it a shot instead of dropping a few hundred to get a SSD big enough for Windows and a few games.

Any thoughts on mobo to get?

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by RacinReaver; Sep 20, 2011 at 03:34 PM.
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Fookin' Prawns!

Member 56

Level 24.48

Mar 2006

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Old Sep 22, 2011, 10:05 PM Local time: Sep 23, 2011, 03:05 AM #2 of 5
If you're going to be doing 3D, you want more threads to run, even if they are half-assed virtual threads. You'd still get a fairly significant performance boost, so i'd go for the 2600K unless there's a good reason to avoid it (apart from price, obviously). You'll be able to overclock with the stock cooler, but it's frankly rubbish in terms of long-term performance (the Intel stock round cooler is poorly machined and loves to get clogged by dust). I'd get an Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2. It's dirt cheap and totally silent except under high loads (when it becomes audible, but not what i'd describe as loud). As for motherboards, intense competition in recent years has resulted in even "value" boards being really quite good and fit for most purposes. Personally i've only ever used ASUS or Gigabyte boards but nowadays that's more down to habit than any real quality concerns. I've seen certain Gigabyte boards that come with an SSD (using the mSATA connection) that plugs directly onto the board. I think it's the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD so you might want to look into that.

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Never Forget

Member 7

Level 44.22

Feb 2006

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Old Sep 24, 2011, 05:27 PM Local time: Sep 24, 2011, 03:27 PM #3 of 5
Ok, so, I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Biostar board with the 2600k or the Gigabyte board with the 2500k.

The only real add-ons I can see myself getting in the future are a wireless card or a dedicated sound card, and I just don't really know what I'd need all the extra ports for on the Gigabyte. They're within a few dollars of each other, so is there any reason to go with the Gigabyte board and the lower processor?

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.

Member 77

Level 22.22

Mar 2006

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Old Sep 26, 2011, 09:44 AM Local time: Sep 26, 2011, 06:44 AM #4 of 5
Extra slots are good 'just in case' something goes bad on-board and needs a replacement, such as the NIC, or the onboard sound. Other than that, no.

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Never Forget

Member 7

Level 44.22

Feb 2006

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Old Sep 26, 2011, 11:05 AM Local time: Sep 26, 2011, 09:05 AM #5 of 5
Wound up getting the 2500k. Gonna buy myself some RAM today and hopefully have this thing up and running by the end of the week.

Now to back up everything at home and work and figure out how I'm going to distribute all of my hard drives, so I don't have to buy any new ones.

I was speaking idiomatically.

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