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Newbie builder... video card/motherboard compatability

By joder79 ยท 11 replies
Aug 4, 2010
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  1. This is my first time building a computer. All I knew before was you push a button and it comes. BUt I bought StarCraft 2 two weeks ago and found my ancient laptop doesn't even come close to plying the game on its lowest settings. So I'm crazy enough to drop several hundred bones to play it, but i can't afford a brand new pc. So here's my motherboard lineup: Intel Desktop DP55WB with an Intel i5 750 processor. Research has told me that Intel boards are ATI while others such as Nvidia are SLI, which is set up to run multiple video cards. However, my video card, recommended by a Blizzard tech, is a GeForce GTX 260 put out by BFG. It's a PCIe 2.0 while the motherboard is PCIe 1.0, yet with a single PCIe x16 card bus. Need I worry about SLI/ATI, or is it just jargon for the more hardcore folks? Both card and board are DDR3. Need I worry about memory speed compatability--card vs board, or is that important just for RAM? I'm not sure if it's enough to run the game on high, but the GTX 260 did beat the Blizzard-recommended GeForce 8800GT on most levels other than Core clock and Shader clock, which I still don't understand.

    So hook me with some info. I'm itching to play this thing.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,102   +419

    If you are going to use only one graphics card, then it doesn't matter whether or not the motherboard is SLI or crossfire compatible. You may use an ATI or Nvidia card whichever you prefer. My personal preference in motherboards is Gigabyte or MSI. You can still get an Intel chipset with those and other brands if that's what you prefer.

    It also doesn't matter if the board RAM and the card VRAM are different. It doesn't affect anything.

    The GTX 260 is a decent card. I have that installed in one of my own PCs (abeit an older one).
  3. joder79

    joder79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks. The whole goal is to cost efficient. I've priced out other cards, and they're out of my budget. So running two video cards had never been the goal, therefore SLIing them is not a concern, not until I find out I've had too much fun building this thing, which may be the case because learning these specs and data and whatnot has been all too interesting. And as for motherboards, this one is the only one in my budget and the supported i5 processor got great reviews during the StarCraft 2 beta tests, only slightly less than the i7. The other slightly out of budget choice was an Asus P5NT Deluxe with an Intel Core 2 Quad, but the board got horrible reviews, most of them concerning instability.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,505   +2,298

    Well first, IMO you made the better choice by choosing the socket 1156 board, rather than the older LGA775 Asus board. Intel's 775 series is at the end of life point. That said, it's still a potent platform, just a dead end.

    Intel's proprietary boards have been notorious for having "locked down" BIOSes. Which means that overclocking is off the table. This isn't a problem for many users, myself included. But, I haven't owned one since the 965 chipset, and there were a couple of 775 boards, code named "Bad Axe", that had provision for the big OC. Don't know about yours though.

    Ain't universal Plug n Play grand? What it means is that, (as mailpup stated), you have your choice of whatever video card you heart desires. With that said, you would be best advised to consider the Video card and an adequate power supply as a single purchase, due to wattage and 12 volt rail requirements of the card, and the slightly heavy wattage of the quad core CPU you've chosen..
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    A couple of points. All P55 boards feature PCI-E 2.0, the Whitesburg (DP55WB) is no exception. The BIOS will be limited but still offers a (very) little overclocking headroom-although the power delivery is as meek as it gets (also has electolytic capacitors I believe).

    nvidia recommend a 500w power supply for the GTX260 (216SP) -as per usual this is an overestimated requirement based on some consumers willing to play Russian roulette with their systems by hooking up "Proudly Made in the Third World" power supply...or Rosewill.
    A good quality 400 or 450w will do the job -remember you'll need two PCIe 6 pin connectors for the card.

    As for the other possible board choice, the dreaded P5NT Deluxe, of the ill fated 780i chipset, you made an excellent decision to avoid it like the plague.
  6. joder79

    joder79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ha. All of this new language! I love it! I've taken a 10 day crash course in this fantastic world and feel like I have learned a lot. It is a bummer that the board choice is a dead end, but it's 300 US, something my paycheck and my patience can handle. As for the card 190 US. Though, as I waited and hoped for replies, I went to tigerdirect, and the first thing on the video card screen was XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB PCIe DDR5 at 170 US. Sounds much nicer, and better than what my intended system can support. Is that true, given the specs you've seen? If not, that's an even better budget buy. Maybe. And what is a 6 pin PCIe connector. I thought PCI, PCIe, AGP were all bus card types. Plug and play right...what's up with the extras? Thanks, guy, by the way. You've all been the best help yet.
  7. joder79

    joder79 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    As for the PSU, I was looking at a Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500 watt. Just checked out their website and not sure of product origin.
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    The HD5770 is an excellent choice. It has excellent performance up to 1680x1050 resolution, and turning down the eye-candy a little, will still allow you to play at 1920x1080 (monitor or TV).
    The PCIe 6pin is the plug on the power supply that attaches to the card. The HD5770 only needs one (as opposed to the GTX260 that requires two).
    The Cooler Master unit is actually a 450w power supply -a bit of fudging on their part, and made by a company named AcBel who are well versed in this skill. It will power your system just fine, but is a budget power supply (what can you expect for $40).
    As luck would have it (if you live in the US) this Corsair 400w power supply is $54 (or $34 after rebate) including shipping and would be a better option.
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    It may use two cores, but nothing wrong with headroom for all your other programs in the back drop.
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    The GTX 460 is only about $30 more than the HD 5770 and will provide a much better performance.
  12. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    ^^^^^^^^^ +1

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