Motherboard Selection

Hello, I plan on upgrading my system and I need suggestions on a new mobo to get as I'm still using the crappy proprietary one that I got with my old dell.   :P

I would like to get a new one that will fit my Intel core i3 1156 socket, or if you know of anything better that won't break the bank. 

 

Well, the ASRock H55M-LE is better than most... but it is only has one slot for your graphics cards. I would probably go with this or a low cost P55 board. They are still pretty good. Their features are not up to current standards but you will be able to get some more life out of that 1156 CPU. 

There are some more full featured options out there but that would all depend on how much you want to spend and what you really need. Let me know. 

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What are you using your computer for?  Did your old motherboard in your dell die and you need to replace it?  Why are you upgrading?

These are the only two good 1156 boards I could find at the electronic stores I shop at. 1156 is becoming extinct now, and it's really hard to find new motherboards at stores. You might have better luck finding a used board on amazon or ebay.

ASUS P7P55 LX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131604R

EVGA P55 Classified 200

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5083737&CatId=4720

Keep in mind that the ASUS is an open box, which means it's the motherboard only and might not come with the sata cables and stuff like that. I think open boxes are generally only the motherboard itself. I could be wrong though. Open boxes are usually motherboards that have been returned but supposedly still work, so keep that in mind too.

If the motherboard in your dell still works, I would just suggest using that until you can save up money for a new motherboard, processor, and ram at least, so that you could upgrade to a more up-to-date system. I would suggest going Sandy Bridge, because the processors are amazing, overclock extremely well, and are pretty cheap compared to most intel processors.

I have the classified 200... It is a really awesome board and I am using it currently. However, for the money you could almost upgrade to a new chipset (and get a new CPU).

That ASUS you linked from Newegg is also good. It's probably a little better than the ASRock that I mentioned... however, it is refurbished. This keeps the price low... but I wouldn't put a refurbished motherboard into my main rig... secondary rig? sure. 

Yeah, I wouldn't either. I just can't find any other P55 boards from good brands anywhere.

At this point in time, it'd probably be better to upgrade to Sandy Bridge, imo. That also depends on his budget though.

Yeah, Protist... what's your budget? 

Well I'm still in high school so I really don't want to spend more than about 200 bucks or so. 

I mainly use my PC for gaming, I can run BF3 and Skyrim and such without a problem. I would just like to upgrade because like Vortex said, 1156 is becoming extinct. I might save up the extra coin and get a new motherboard and CPU altogether. 

       I would suggest getting a sandy bridge i5 2500k. it's great for overclocking and the prices are going to be dropping even more now that ivybridge is out. but if you want the latest and greatest, go for the ivybridge but you will pay a bit more. 1156 isn't outdated at all. it's still a viable gaming rig, but the ease of the 1155 platform, and not to mention the performance increase drives a hard bargain imho :)

Yeah, 1156 is still a viable platform, but it is starting to show its age, and it's becoming harder and harder to find parts for it. I'm not sure how far the prices are going to drop for sandy bridge, but I am hoping they do drop. I'm a little skeptical about the price drops though because the 3770K right now is around $40-$50 more expensive than the 2600K already, and the 3570K is already $30 more expensive than the 2500K.

If you have to get something now then I would get this for a little more than $200:

Intel Core i3 2120

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115077

and one of these boards:

ASRock P67 Pro3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157230

MSI Z68A-G43

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130621

ASRock Z77 Pro3

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157297

I really don't like any of those motherboards or the processor though. It's nice to have at least a quad core these days, and those boards are all pretty basic. They can't even handle more than one video card, and they probably don't overclock very well either. I'm sure they'll still work if you want to run everything at stock speeds and only want one video card, but I prefer a motherboard with more expansion and options for the future.

Ideally, you would probably want something more along the lines of this:

Intel Core i5 2500K

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

ASUS P8Z77-V Pro

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131819

You could always get a P67 chipset instead of the Z77, and that would be a lot cheaper. If you want to do that, though, just make sure that you're not going to want to upgrade to Ivy Bridge in the future and that you're not going to use features like SSD caching. You could also get a Z68 board which would probably be cheaper too, and you would be able to upgrade to Ivy and have features like SSD caching, but the Z77 platform generally seems to be more expansive with support for quad SLI or CFX on some of the boards.

I found a package deal on Newegg 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.875482

It's an i5 2500K and an Asus P67 board. Would you recommend something like that?

Yeah, that's nice, but it would only be $28 more to get the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro instead of that P67 board. That combo deal would work nicely, but I personally would rather have the Z77 chipset just because it has more expansion options and more room to upgrade if you ever want to in the future.

And actually, now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure you could upgrade to Ivy Bridge with a P67 board, but you wouldn't get SSD caching, PCI-Express 3.0, the Virtu suite, or any onboard video. Those things aren't really a must have right now, but it might just be nice to have them for the future. It's really up to you though.

IF you put it that way, I might as well get a Z77 board. If it's only $28 more expensive but I get PCI-Express 3.0 and SSD caching? I guess that might be worth it...

Yeah, you get two PCI-E 3.0 slots with the P8Z77-V Pro. There is a caveat to it though, because the i5 2500K doesn't have a PCI-E 3.0 controller, which means they're going to operate at PCI-E 2.0 bandwidth with the 2500K. In order to get the PCI-E 3.0 functionality, you sould need to get an Ivy Bridge CPU. If you went Ivy, you would probably want an i5 3570K, which is pretty much the older brother to the 2500K. Of course the i5 3570K is $30 more expensive than the i5 2500K, and Ivy Bridge CPUs run about 10C hotter when overclocked than Sandy Bridge CPUs, so if you're overclocking you would have to make sure to get a really nice cooler.

SSD caching would still work just fine either way though.

Here's the i5 3570K if you're interested:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

If you decided to go with the Z77 board and the 3570K, you would be spending about $60 more than that bundle you posted.