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Can't decide on a motherboard for my new PC

 
 
Ikke
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      06-29-2010, 09:00 PM
Hi everybody,

For the past few hours I've been trying to piece together a new PC, but I
can't seem to decide on which motherboard I should use.

First and foremost this will be my new development machine (I'm a
software developer), but I'd also like to use this machine for gaming
from time to time, watching (HD) movies, and doing some sound-editing.

Here are the specifications I have so far:
- CPU: either the Core i7-930 (2.80GHz), or the Core i7-960 (3.20GHz),
I'm not yet sure.
- RAM: 4GB DDR3 1333MHz 240p
- SSD: 80GB, 2.5" SATA
- HD1/2 : 1TB F3 Spinpoint, SATAII
- DVD-Reader
- DVD-Writer (no Blue-Ray)
- GPU: either nVidia N9800TG-MD1G, N240GT-MD1G or N250GTX-TwinFrozr, not
yet sure

I've narrowed my search down to three motherboards:
- H55-G43
- H55M-E33
- H55M-P31
but as I said before, I can't seem to decide on which.

Does anybody have any recommendations, downsides, pros/cons for any of
these? Stuff that isn't compatible (or even possible)?

Other suggestions or remarks on the configuration are also very welcome!

Any info is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Ikke
 
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Paul
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      06-29-2010, 11:31 PM
Ikke wrote:
> Hi everybody,
>
> For the past few hours I've been trying to piece together a new PC, but I
> can't seem to decide on which motherboard I should use.
>
> First and foremost this will be my new development machine (I'm a
> software developer), but I'd also like to use this machine for gaming
> from time to time, watching (HD) movies, and doing some sound-editing.
>
> Here are the specifications I have so far:
> - CPU: either the Core i7-930 (2.80GHz), or the Core i7-960 (3.20GHz),
> I'm not yet sure.
> - RAM: 4GB DDR3 1333MHz 240p
> - SSD: 80GB, 2.5" SATA
> - HD1/2 : 1TB F3 Spinpoint, SATAII
> - DVD-Reader
> - DVD-Writer (no Blue-Ray)
> - GPU: either nVidia N9800TG-MD1G, N240GT-MD1G or N250GTX-TwinFrozr, not
> yet sure
>
> I've narrowed my search down to three motherboards:
> - H55-G43
> - H55M-E33
> - H55M-P31
> but as I said before, I can't seem to decide on which.
>
> Does anybody have any recommendations, downsides, pros/cons for any of
> these? Stuff that isn't compatible (or even possible)?
>
> Other suggestions or remarks on the configuration are also very welcome!
>
> Any info is greatly appreciated!
>
> Thanks,
>
> Ikke


I'd take the first one, of the three you've shown, as it is full
sized ATX and has more expansion slots. The thing is, you'll need
at least one decent slot, for usage with your combo USB3/SATA III card
that you'll be adding later :-)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130271

This is an example of a combo USB3/SATA III card. At least the
SATA III (600MB/sec), works better if it's part of the chipset. but
that isn't a widespread option yet. I think there is one AMD chipset
that has it. The reason for preferring that, is fewer bootup problems,
if a port like that is on the Southbridge. If you check the
reviews here, this is a bit rough around the edges.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813995004

The only reason I point out that card, is it has a PCI Express x4
revision 1 interface. That means a lot of motherboards can interface
to it, without a problem. There are also USB3-only cards floating
around - the first batches of these, may have been arranged by
NEC themselves, to get their USB3 chip in more widespread circulation.
The problem with this design, is it has a PCI Express x1 Rev.2 interface.
A number of motherboards have Rev.1 slots, and then the USB3 doesn't
go quite as fast. (A Rev.2 lane is 500MB/sec, while a Rev.1 lane is
250MB/sec. The slots are backward compatible, but then the slot
becomes a bottleneck for the USB3 if it's the slower one.)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815283031

The main benefit of SATA III, is for SSD drives. It doesn't
really help normal hard drives at all (only burst to cache is
faster). But in the future, there could be more SATA III rate
SSDs around. The current ones are still pretty expensive.

This is another reason to have a good PCI Express slot around. This
is an SSD on a PCI Express card. This particular one has two
SandForce controllers in RAID 0. Apparently, the design can be
expanded with a daughtercard, to a total of four controllers.
It's probably overkill, but is another way to add fast storage.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3788/o...dable-pcie-ssd

So in terms of choosing a motherboard, I like to look at the
slots a bit, and try to imagine what I'll need from the
motherboard in the future. Even though a full sized ATX looks
like a lot of slots, in some cases, one card will block some of
the other slots, and you don't typically get to use all the
slots, at the best of times. In the past, I've had
computers with all slots full, but that is because all
the cards were single slot width. I can't do that any more,
due to a lot of junk inside my computer case. On my current
system, I'm lucky if I can get to use three expansion slots,
on a full sized ATX. (One of those cards is a TV tuner, which
is kinda handy, and saves electricity on turning on a real
TV set).

Paul
 
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Ikke
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      07-03-2010, 06:12 PM
Paul <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:i0dvnv$3nb$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org:

<snip>

Thanks Paul for your information, you've been very helpful!

Ikke
 
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