Mods! I am planning to change the title of this thread as time goes on, so do not fear multiple topics!
Part 1 -
So step one, I'm asking for help to decide a motherboard + CPU combo for around the £200 ($125) mark, the plan is a new Linux build, and as I've been struggling on with my G3258 for two almost three years now I would like a good upgrade, due to my soon starting of a audio mastering and sound design course, which will require a reasonable upgrade (for my enjoyment), VT-D would also be nice, as you know, games
Currently I have spied this deal on Ebay:
Sure its quite old, but dual X5550s will give me a real performance boost, the CPUs and motherboard support VT-D, it comes with 12GB of RAM, has a PCI-16x slot and best of all 'fits' in a standard ATX case. For £189 I feel you cant go wrong, as the ability to utilise both CPUs in VT-D usage would be great, as I mentioned I am soon starting said course, so having these extra threads would be a treat for audio synthesis, and of course just general use.
However, I am concerned that the age of the platform may result in some issues, for one the power consumption is huge near 200W for the CPUs alone, which despite not being a deal breaker, keeping the bills down would be nice, also my upgrade path is pretty limited, as this motherboard does not support the newer E**** series 1366 Xeons, I'm not too bothered by that however It would be nice to have a bit more freedom in that sense. So I ask for your help, good people of this forum, please bless me with anything which you think could be a suitable contender for this Ebay listing, and falls in or around the same price range whilst also still maintaining the features I would be after.
Any more info wanted? Just ask!
TLDR: Recommend £200 CPU + Motherboard combo