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Choosing a P55 motherboard on budget

By myrmidonks
May 18, 2010
  1. Hi I my friend and I are building a computer from scratch, and we are looking for help forming the base of our build. We have a core i5-750 processor, socket LGA 1156, and we are looking for p55 motherboards compatible with it. We plan on using 4GB Gskill ripjaw (2x2gb) ddr3 1600 Mhz. We would also like 2 pci-e inputs that can operate at at least x8 and x8 when in crossfire/sli. Atx or matx does not matter for us. Our price range for the motherboard is around $180 max. We are in US, and were looking on Newegg, but cant seem to make a decision. We were thinking about the Gigabyte UD4, but on newegg it says it doesnt support 1600 mhz ram. The MSI p55-gd65 is another option we were considering. If anyone can recommend a motherboard/motherboard brand, we would be very grateful.

    Thanks!
     
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    The UD4 is a fine motherboard, and while it doesn't say DDR3 1600 (???), i'm sure it does support it.
     
  3. myrmidonks

    myrmidonks TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    Well many boards are cheaper than the UD4 at $140, that doesn't mean its a bad board.
    At the same time, the MSI board I think you're talking about is great too. Just depends on how much you want to spend. I personally don't think there is too much a point spending lots of money on a board as long as it is reliable and does what you want it to.
     
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    I think that there's some confusion with supported memory speeds due to the H55 / H57 chipset boards. Memory support is limited to 1333Mhz while using the integrated graphics CPUs. With an add in video card the speed goes up.

    Newegg sold integrated graphics boards (Gigabyte H-55) with i5-750 CPUs, and got most of them back due to the fact the 750 DOESN'T have integrated graphics and wouldn't boot without a graphics card installed. Needless to say, customers expecting pretty pictures out of this combo were deeply disappointed. Point being, I wouldn't take Newegg's blurb as the last word for memory support speed with any of these boards at the present time.
     
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    I'd personally look at a board with USB3/SATA6Gb functionality if your friend is planning to keep the core of his system for any great length of time. In order of my personal preference:
    ASRock P55 Deluxe3 ($173 inc shipping)
    Gigabyte P55A-UD4P ($178 inc shipping and rebate)
    Asus P7P55D-E Pro ($190 inc shipping)
    Most P55 chipset boards will offer similar performance, so increased cost comes down to feature set- some valid (better audio codec, PCIe based Gb LAN rather than PCI etc) and some debateable (number of power phases), and some fairly useless (OTT heatsinks).
    I wouldn't rule out a board that had x16, x4 bandwidth PCIe x16 slots. Unless your friend is planning on Crossfiring/SLI dual enthusiast grade cards then the performance drop between x8 and x4 is modest at best.
     
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    I though USB3 or UD3 or something supported USB3 and SATA3 at $120 or so, I can't find it though; probably a dream :(.
     
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    and disregard that first review about the x4 PCIE slot. the performance drop between 16x and 8x is nominal and around 8% for a x4 slot, even for the monster cards. an x4 slot is very useful for crossfire unless you only care about squeezing every last frame for benchmarking.
     
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    First, I wanna just confirm what red1776 said, and the difference between x4 and x16 isn't really much, and any difference is really noticeable only on benchmarking.

    That said, SATA 6GB is really only needed if you're thinking of going the way of SSD. I doubt HDDs will need much more than the SATA 3GB available now.USB3 however is something that will be more widely used given the widespread use of portable HDDs. However, flash mem speeds for USB/camera/mp3 players haven't really climbed as much as flash mem on SSDs, and is still a bottleneck as far as I'm concerned.

    Also, is overclocking part of your plan? Probably going to be a minor point, as most boards today will support it to some extent, but it'd just be nice to know.
     
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    mmm...thats true, but ssds are a pretty easy, very viable, and very attractive upgrade later on.
     
  12. b44g6

    b44g6 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    I think this motherboard is good ASUS P7P55D Deluxe LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
     
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Nice board...unfortunately the thread title reads "Choosing a P55 motherboard on a budget"
     
  14. b44g6

    b44g6 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Its 184$ at newegg.
     
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    My apologies b44g6, it is indeed (actually $165 after rebate if you believe in such things). I initially was looking at the USB3/SATA6Gb (P7P55D-E) version of the Deluxe ($250).
     
  16. myrmidonks

    myrmidonks TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 48

    We were actually planning to get a small SSD as a boot drive and to store a few programs on. We were looking at something around 64gb. Does SATA 6Gb speed reallly make a difference or is it negligible? We don't mind getting a USB 3 motherboard as long as it fits our budget. As for crossfiring, we are looking at 2 Radeon HD 5770's. Does thing change anything in terms of what we would need? DBZ said that unless we were planning on enthusiast grade cards, we wouldn't need x8 x8 lanes, do the 5770's classify as "enthusiast grade"? Also the GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 that DBZ mentioned doesn't have x8 x8 from what I can tell. Would this bottleneck the 5770's? Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    A SATA mechanical HDD has no chance of saturating a SATA 2 buss (@300Gbs) let alone 6 Gbs. SSDs flirt with the 300Gbs spec, but in read only.

    The only commonly available method of perhaps exceeding the 300Gbs would be a couple of SSDs in RAID 0 while reading.
     
  18. raraschek

    raraschek TS Rookie

    I would definitely choose
    Gigabyte
    or
    Asus, no MSI.
    the types are mentioned above, and you will choose looking at the price. Remeber to have SATA 6Gb and USB 3.0, then you will be satisfied with your i5
     
  19. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    Firstly, most ssds don't even have sata 6gb/s interface, so current generation drives won't be particularly effected. Correct me if i'm wrong, it was more a guess.
     
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    Well, that's the irony of the advertising business, you simply must have SATA 6Gbs, you're never really informed why it's a must. As ironies go, you can now buy a WD "Caviar Black" 1TB 6Gbs HDD. It's no faster than the old 3Gbs that it replaces, just more money.
     
  21. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    For the record, the HD 5770 isn't an "enthusiast" card- more "Mainstream", which was enthusiast 1-2 years ago. Similar performance to the HD 4870 1Gb/ GTX 260.
    Having said that, crossfired HD 5770's probably offer the best-bang-buck in graphics at the moment. Comparable performance to the HD 5870 up to 1920x1080 (or 1920x1200)- often with better minimum framerates, although the HD 5870 pulls better framerates at 2560x1600 or above.
    I'm in the process of converting my secondary rig to crossfired 5770's at the moment.

    As for the x16/x8/x4 debate, there are a few articles online to choose from- just make sure the article is dealing with the PCIe 2.0 specification which offers double the bandwidth of the previous 1.0 spec and has been standard on Intel chipsets since the P45/X38.
    Here's a fairly good article from Tom's Hardware (linked to the first results page but the whole article is well worth your time reading)

    Basically, unless the card is dual-GPU/enthusiast class, i.e. pushing a LOT of pixels at very high framerates, then for the most part, the difference is negligable. A lot depends (obviously)upon how much the the GPU and the CPU need to "talk" to each other to render the graphics. If the CPU-GPU traffic flow is very high (usually down to how games are coded) then this can impact on the lower bandwidth (4Gb/sec) offered by a x4 slot.


    EDIT
    @Captain
    mechanical drives must be nearing their limits- there's just so much you can do with moving parts.
    These on the other hand I think will become the norm once we get past the "new technology" phase (ie.high pricing, shotgun approach to standardization, beta testing/early adoption, volume production).The MTBF promises enough going forward for hard drive manufacturers to look at RMA/DOA's of conventional harddrives as potential millstones.
     
  22. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Usb pci- m-o-u-s-e

    well obviously you need it because PCIE 3.0 will out soon...geez...try and keep up! :rolleyes::p:wave:
     
  23. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I must say that it is true most SSDs today are on the SATA2 spec (3gbps). They mostly DO reach these speeds, and I can't say its not possible that they can easily go much faster when SATA 6gbps is more widespread.

    <rant> why can't they just call it SATA 3 and be done with it.
    </rant>

    As it is, current SSDs which do have SATA 6gbps do perform over the SATA 3gbps bandwidth, and I fully expect more to do so. If you are planning on using SSDs now or in the future, maybe its a good idea to go with a board which will support it.
     
  24. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    It might be painful but you may want to hold off that ssd for a couple months...maybe. I wish I had clairvoyance.
     
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,702   +1,886

    This statement does contain elements of truth, but it still isn't as true as it might be a couple of years from now.

    Even in RAID 0, SSDs that are affordable to most of us will not saturate SATA 2

    "Ehthusiast" SSDs are a different story, and might take advantage of SATA "3"
    Bottom line here is, $500.00 to $800.00 might enable you to break into SATA 6Gbs.
     
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