Help me buy a motherboard

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by luxatile, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    So I'm an idiot moron

    Got a new CPU (Intel Core i5-2500K).
    Unscrewed the old one.
    Realized I have an AM3 socket while I need 1155.
    Screwed the old one back together, most likely broke it.

    So instead of buying a new AMD CPU (already opened my Intel, a full refund is unlikely), I'm buying a new motherboard.

    Having never done this before, I need some help. What motherboard can you recommend for me? All I know is that it needs a 1155 socket for my CPU. I want it to be as cheap as possible, as long as it does what it should do.

    If you need any other info from me, just ask.
     
  2. Vincent

    aa Vincent 🔨 Grandmaster Lizard Wizard Jedi 🔨

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    What type of RAM do you have, etc.

    Share with us your PC specs.
     
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  3. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti
    CPU: You know (previous: AMD Phenom II X4 945)
    RAM: 4 x Kingston 2GB, DDR3
    PSU (if necessary): Chieftec Smart Series 550W
    Current motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H (Socket AM3)
    Other: One wireless network card (I know, shut up) connected to a PCI port.
     
  4. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    This is the board I have, with the same processor and video card as you.

    I highly recommend it if you can swing it, it's an excellent board.

    edit: I OC'd to 4.2 by just pressing a button on the board, nothing else.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  5. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    Thanks Crash, I appreciate the suggestion, and I guess it's not the most expensive out there either, so that's good.

    However, if someone else has any ideas, I'd love to hear them as well, I never like to make big serious purchases with such a lack of input.
     
  6. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    Ok, so for a socket LGA 1155 you have 3 sub-options:
    H67 - Has decent (read: works for anything that isn't even slightly a game) integrated GPU, doesn't allow for any overclocking ever.
    P67 - No integrated GPU, can be overclocked.
    Z68 - Has integrated GPU, can be overlocked, and has a couple of other special features

    I would recommend a P67, As you bought a K-model CPU, it would be a complete waste to get a motherboard that can't be overclocked (or you would have gotten the plain i5-2500). The integrated GPU is not needed as you have a capable GFX card ready. And I personally don't think the features on Z68 are impressive enough to warrant the higher price.

    You will also notice that all the MBs are named B3, and they should be. It's just the release revision, early 2011 there was a issue with the B2 revision, and there was a mass recall. Since then everyone has been careful to label their stuff with B3 (which is fixed and works).

    You also didn't mention what speed your RAM was running at, which you have to make sure fits! (it's the only thing you need to worry about really, getting the right socket (1155) and making sure it can handle your RAM).

    Now. The hard part is picking one that has all the features (talking about # usb ports, # PCI-e slots, How many coaxial cable connections(geez) and so forth, not actual software features) you want, in a reasonable price range.
    Some popular ones: But I can't vouch for any of the personally.
    • Asus Sabertooth P67 B3
      This one is very popular but also somewhat costly (believe me, there are EXTREME models out there that cost a fortune). But from what I can see, it's a reliable and good performing MB.​
    • Asus P8P67 B3
      This model exist in so many various shapes, ATX, m-ATX, supermegahyper models, PRO and M and what have you. It's basically "the standard" product. It's the usual recommendation as it has a whole spectrum of models and prices from a known brand.​
      If it was me out shopping for my imaginary 2500K, I'd most likely look here first for a baseline of what's around, and then come back 6 hours later and pick a ASUS P8P67-M PRO B3 or similar.​
    • If you don't want a ASUS board, other competent manufacturers are: MSI, Gigabyte. And then there's those who aren't as mainstream, but still has some aces: Asrock and EVGA. I personally tend to stick with ASUS and MSI though.

    It's almost impossible for me to go and say: here buy THIS one. Because I don't know your budget and I don't know your needs. Generally though:
    The more expensive it is, the better you can overclock it, not strictly true, but it works as a guideline. You also tend to get a crapload of features you don't actually need!
    Cheap cards don't mean they are bad and will break, it just means many features get removed and you can't for example have 2 GFX cards in SLI/CF setup. But components may be less reliable and overclocking too much may cause it to crash more often.
    Don't dismiss micro-ATX right away if you feel like the ATX card just add a lot of junk (who needs 18 usb ports and 3-way SLI??). You should only pay for what you're going to use, in a perfect world. A micro-ATX (m-ATX) card is not worse quality just because it's smaller, they may seem worse, as the price is lower, but thats just because they ARE cheaper to make.
     
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  7. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

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    Another thing you should do is to often compare products, to see what you're actually paying for.

    A comparison between the one Crash suggested and a ASUS P8P67
    results in: This very long link
    They are SUPER similar, the only meaningful difference is the number of PCI slots and number of USB 2.0 slots.
    Then it's up to you to decide if the price difference reflects the features you pay for. Again, it's not all about features but component quality as well, but that is a million times harder/more work to compare. Sticking to known manufacturers (ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte) you are more or less guaranteed a certain level of good quality. But to know exactly you more or less have to rely on "people" and not data. Such as Crash's testimony that he overclocked his very easily without any issues.

    Compare a lot, compare often, compare multiple products at once. See what the actual difference is rather than just the pricetag and slogan.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  8. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

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    Whoa, thank you for for taking time to write that great explanation, Ravidge! :D

    Looks like I'm going to have to do a bit of work to find out what I should get... but that's ok, now I know what to look for!