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Which motherboard? (Low budget office computer: i3-3225 + H61 mobo)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, my mom's old Win XP, 2 GB RAM, 2.8 GHz P4 HT office computer is pretty slow, so I'm thinking of getting her a new build.


MC has an i3-3225 for $119.99, so I'm thinking of getting that since it's the cheapest processor with integrated graphics that qualifies for the processor+motherboard bundle discount.
I plan on installing pairing this processor with a 64 GB SSD with Windows 7, an ODD, and 4 GB of RAM.

This leads me to my next question.. which motherboard is better?

http://www.microcenter.com/product/377387/GA-H61M-DS2_LGA_1155_H61_mATX_Intel_Motherboard
^--39.99 after discount+rebates

http://www.microcenter.com/product/388089/H61M-HVS_H61_1155_mATX_Intel_Motherboard
^--49.99 after discount+rebates

I know both motherboards above don't have DVI inputs which is fine, her monitor is VGA only anyway. USB 3 isn't necessary, nor is overclocking potential; like I said, this is a low budget office build. I'm just not sure whether or not it's worth spending the extra $10 on the ASRock motherboard.
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingqi53 View Post

Hey everyone, my mom's old Win XP, 2 GB RAM, 2.8 GHz P4 HT office computer is pretty slow, so I'm thinking of getting her a new build.
MC has an i3-3225 for $119.99, so I'm thinking of getting that since it's the cheapest processor with integrated graphics that qualifies for the processor+motherboard bundle discount.
I plan on installing pairing this processor with a 64 GB SSD with Windows 7, an ODD, and 4 GB of RAM.
This leads me to my next question.. which motherboard is better?
http://www.microcenter.com/product/377387/GA-H61M-DS2_LGA_1155_H61_mATX_Intel_Motherboard
^--39.99 after discount+rebates
http://www.microcenter.com/product/388089/H61M-HVS_H61_1155_mATX_Intel_Motherboard
^--49.99 after discount+rebates
I know both motherboards above don't have DVI inputs which is fine, her monitor is VGA only anyway. USB 3 isn't necessary, nor is overclocking potential; like I said, this is a low budget office build. I'm just not sure whether or not it's worth spending the extra $10 on the ASRock motherboard.

I have personally used the ASRock board with an i3-2100 and it was fantastic. I'm sure the Gigabyte board would be sufficient (but I can't say for sure as I've only had experience with their video cards) tongue.gif

either way, I doubt you'll be disappointed - especially since rebates are.. less than fun. biggrin.gif
post #3 of 8
Be advised that though IB i3 3225 is compatible, H61 sandy Bridge motherboard will need updated BIOS to work with Ivy Bridge cpu's. or you can switch to SB i3 2100 or i3 2xxx series.
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnuw View Post

Be advised that though IB i3 3225 is compatible, H61 sandy Bridge motherboard will need updated BIOS to work with Ivy Bridge cpu's. or you can switch to SB i3 2100 or i3 2xxx series.

^^ This, most boards will need a bios update for Ivy bridge. IMO if you only need a CPU with integrated GPU, you should look into an ITX build. That way you can use this Case/PSU

Also, find out what programs they are running because they might utilize GPU acceleration, making an APU a better option than an i3.

Personally since they are using a P4, I would just grab a Pentium G850 or similar instead.
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnuw View Post

Be advised that though IB i3 3225 is compatible, H61 sandy Bridge motherboard will need updated BIOS to work with Ivy Bridge cpu's. or you can switch to SB i3 2100 or i3 2xxx series.

Yeah I know these boards have a BIOS update that support the Ivy chips, which leads me to another question:

If the BIOS on the motherboard isn't updated, how can I update the motherboard's BIOS without a supported CPU? e.g. will I need a Sandy chip just to get it to POST, then apply the BIOS update, then swap chips or something?


If that's the case, that is way too much hassle and I'll gladly spend a little bit extra for a board that works right out of the box with Ivy
Edited by mingqi53 - 11/9/12 at 11:43am
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingqi53 View Post

Yeah I know these boards have a BIOS update that support the Ivy chips, I'm just not sure if that BIOS update has been applied to the motherboard I plan on buying.
That leads me to another question.. if the BIOS on the motherboard isn't updated, how can I update the motherboard's BIOS without a supported CPU? e.g. will I need a Sandy chip just to get it to POST, then apply the BIOS update, then swap chips or something? (That's quite a hassle)

Yes you will need a Sandy chip to apply the bios update.
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Wifey Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500k @ 4.8GHz stable ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen 3 MSI GTX 980 Ti 32GB (4 x 8GB) 1866Mhz Ripjaws X 
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256GB Crucial M4 1.5 TB HDD XSPC Raystorm RS360 Windows 7 Professional 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
Acer 28" 4K Corsair AX750 Corsair 800D SWTOR Razer Naga 
AudioOtherOtherOther
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium XSPC RS120 8 x GT AP-15s White Sleeved Cables for Corsair AX750 
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Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3Ghz Asus P5G41T-M LX Plus EVGA GTX 680 2x4 GB 1333Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
500GB WD Black 64 GB Crucial M4 Sony CD/DVD burner H40 w/ GT AP-15s 
OSPowerCase
Windows 7 Home 64 bit Corsair CX430 APEVIA X-Plorer2 Pink 
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post #7 of 8
you could look at something like the Asrock B75 Pro3-M for example or whatever B75 chipset boards at MC then you can IB support right out of the box and cheap as well
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/B75%20Pro3-M/
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post #8 of 8

a Low-budget office computer such as this would provide far more performance at equivalent power efficiency with the far, far superior AMD A10-5700 APU, for the same price or less.

EDIT: Realized that you're taking advantage of a Microcenter bundle

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