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New rig
show user profile  CogitoErgoSum
Hey y'all,

I've been referred to you guys and gals by Stevegek (you know the crazy bugger). He says you fine folks know everything there is to know about hardware. I'm planning on building my first computer. I do a little gaming (Skyrim at the moment), downloading, streaming, writing, movie-watching and the likes, preferably all at once. I'm not planning on doing any overclocking.
So here is what I have so far:

Videocard: SAPPHIRE HD6850
Processor: Intel i5-2500
Power: Cooler Master GX650
Hard disk: Hitachi HDS721010DLE630 1 TB
Memory: Corsair 8 GB DDR3-1333 Kit

First question: is this an OK and compatible set?

Second question: what motherboard do I get? Apparently the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 is great. But what is the difference with cheaper ones like the ASRock P67 PRO3 or GIGABYTE GA-Z68P-DS3? Which ones will suit my needs?

I hope you guys can help me out!

read 403 times
2/5/2012 2:56:47 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 2:56:47 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
the z68 extreme3 isnt that great really, in fact its kind of crappy. You probably mean the p67 extreme3 which had awesome vrm's for its price but from what i hear these are hard to find nowdays since they have been discontinued.

If you really want nothing to do with overclocking then you are 100% fine with the cheapest motherboard you can find. The things that more expensive motherboards hold over cheaper ones are
a) more and bigger PCIe slots - every single one of them come with at least 1 16x slot though and many low end ones have another 8x one somewhere which for gaming purposes is enough for dual card sli/crossfire if you ever feel like doing so.
b) sli compatibility - im not sure what nvidia is doing nowdays but used to be a time when they limited the sli capability from most low end boards, amd has always allowed crossfire on any board with physical capabilities to do so though.
c) dimm slots - some really low end boards come with 2x dimm slots instead of 4. If you're only ever looking to get 8gigs and maybe upgrade later to 16gigs its fine i guess, personally i'd still go for the 4 slot variety though since they only cost like 10 bucks more.
d) vrm count and quality - a 3+1 configuration which is the absolute low end will easily support a 95w cpu, the only reason to get a board with tougher vrm setup is if you want to overclock since they keep higher amounts of current stable.
e) connectivity - higher end boards have more sata ports, more usb ports, all kinds of weird other ports but lets be honest, how many people use them anyway? usb hubs that supply all these ports(aside from sata) dont cost much either... Unless you specifically know that you need to hook up 20 harddrives to you computer and due to 4way sli you only have 1 pcie port available for a sata controller or something like that these should have no bearing on your decision.

Rest of the set you posted is compatible and will run skyrim fine.. i do urge you to reconsider your stance on overclocking though, your missing out on a lot of free* performance :p
*by free i mean the costs of a stronger motherboard and cooling setup + the risk of destroying your computer.

read 391 times
2/5/2012 3:18:49 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 3:18:49 PM)
show user profile  CogitoErgoSum
Thanks for your fast and elaborate reply Mr Stabby,

OK so no Z68 extreme. Say I want 4 dimm slots and I do want to overclock moderately in the future, which motherboard would be recommended?
read 385 times
2/5/2012 3:43:05 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 3:43:05 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
asrock p67 pro3 is still for sale in some places http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157230&Tpk=p67%20pro3

pretty basic layout, kind of a let down in pcie connectivity since it has a single 16x slot and the rest are 1x which means it wont take sli or crossfire of any kind but 10 phase vrms @ $90 is pretty awesome. other 8+ phase vrm boards generally start from $160

read 352 times
2/5/2012 6:22:14 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 6:22:14 PM)
show user profile  CogitoErgoSum
ASRock P67 PRO3 looks like a good one. I've heard the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 is also good, albeit more expensive. Is it worth the price difference, considering what I need?

read 345 times
2/5/2012 6:44:53 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 6:44:53 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
well does have an extra 8x pcie slot for crossfire/sli but is 6 phase vrm design (which is not bad but not brilliant either) and costs $70 more. for that kind of pricetag i'd much rather get a P8Z68-V which is pretty much the same board but for $10 extra you get 12 phase vrm

read 331 times
2/5/2012 7:30:57 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 7:30:57 PM)
show user profile  CogitoErgoSum
I hate to be a noob, but I have no idea what a phase vrm design is. I'm looking at a different website (I'm Dutch) and here the P8Z68-V LE is around the same price as the GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3. Must be less good than the P8Z68-V. Anyhow I'm leaning towards the asrock p67 pro3 simply because I can't find any bad comments on it. If that one is basic but good, allowing for a bit of overclocking I think we have a winner.
read 325 times
2/5/2012 9:09:36 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 9:09:36 PM)
show user profile  StevegeK
Or... they didnt have a, working, computer to comment on it.

Just a thought.

Seriously tho, 12 is mostly for overclocking. 6 phase should be fine.

Oh how are we, on maxforums, thinking about SSD's? (And no that does not mean Sexually Super Deceases) Hehehe.



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read 322 times
2/5/2012 9:13:22 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 9:13:22 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
personally i find them useless since they dont really speed up anything i do, my photographer pal swears they are the best thing to ever happen to him though

as for vrms - these are the circuits that provide the motherboard (and most importantly the cpu) with power. Better quality and more vrm's means they keep the power more stable which is important for overclocking since more stable power = more stable overclock. Larger amounts of them also means that each individual unit gets stressed less due to either cycling or partial utilization so they can handle higher total energy draw and are less likely to go boom. For motherboards with 8+ phases vrm meltdown is pretty much unheard of, on the other hand not a day goes by that i dont see another fried 4 phase motherboard in ocn. 6 phase ones make an occasional appearance, gigabyte and asus ones more then others. Interestingly enough though a motherboard with melted vrms are eligible for warranty, its just that they really drag out the process as long as possible (im thinking on purpose), sometimes 3+ months and most people dont want to deal with it.

Finding out how great of a power circuit a motherboard has isnt too hard, just look up the board on the manufacturers homepage. If there is no mention of vrm's it usually means they are crap but if they have like a giant sign that says "5433 phase super vrm!" then that's what it is. Generally they find any setup higher than 4+1 worth bragging over.

read 310 times
2/5/2012 10:45:29 PM (last edit: 2/5/2012 11:00:33 PM)
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