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Help me pick RAM/MOBO for an i5-2500k

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
More specifically, help me understand mobo's and RAM specs better. I know I want an i5-2500k when they come out in Canada, but I am not sure what RAM or MOBO is good match for it.

For the RAM I actually found a 2x2gb kit of G.skill DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 laying in my house that I just need to RMA and I can use it, but is it any good? I understand the 1600MHz part, but I don't understand what timings mean at all. (even then, will 1600MHz be good for overclocking a 2500k?)

Also for the RAM, if I want to get a 2nd 2x2GB kit, do I have the get the exact same timings on the second set or do I have room to play with?

As for the mobo, I don't want to spend too much, I know I want SLI so I can get a second GTX 460 eventually. I am not all that fond of ASUS (2 mobo's of mine and my girlfriends ASUS mobo have all had bad sound cards on them), but if that is the best bang for my buck then I can get it.

I understand the mobo's aren't even released yet but do the cheaper SLI mobo's OC that well or do I have to get a higher end one if I want to be able to OC at all?

Thanks for all the help!
The Igloo
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The Igloo
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post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskimo Bob View Post
More specifically, help me understand mobo's and RAM specs better. I know I want an i5-2500k when they come out in Canada, but I am not sure what RAM or MOBO is good match for it.

For the RAM I actually found a 2x2gb kit of G.skill DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 laying in my house that I just need to RMA and I can use it, but is it any good? I understand the 1600MHz part, but I don't understand what timings mean at all. (even then, will 1600MHz be good for overclocking a 2500k?)

Also for the RAM, if I want to get a 2nd 2x2GB kit, do I have the get the exact same timings on the second set or do I have room to play with?

As for the mobo, I don't want to spend too much, I know I want SLI so I can get a second GTX 460 eventually. I am not all that fond of ASUS (2 mobo's of mine and my girlfriends ASUS mobo have all had bad sound cards on them), but if that is the best bang for my buck then I can get it.

I understand the mobo's aren't even released yet but do the cheaper SLI mobo's OC that well or do I have to get a higher end one if I want to be able to OC at all?

Thanks for all the help!
RAM timings are simply how long it takes for the RAM to react to a command. That is a very simplified. In essence, the lower the timings (aka latency) the faster the RAM. The thing is, speed is still king. Lower timings can give you some better performance, but minimal in compared to much higher clocks.

As for overclocking on Sandy Bridge, the clock timing base is pretty much locked in. So overclocking your processor is no longer linked to your RAM. You can do some (it's really minimal), but it's no longer a major part of overclocking. It's almost all done through the processor's multiplier, which has no correlation to RAM. In other words, don't worry about it.

I have never mixed RAM, but you should be able to run at the lesser timings of the 2 sets. You could actually run at the better timings, it depends. I don't see why not, someone correct me if I am wrong.

If you want SLI, you are looking at around $170-$200 entry. EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, etc. all have boards around that price with SLI capability. I have heard the best reviews from EVGA, Gigabyte, and yes, even Asus though you were not too happy. The Asus (P8P67 Pro) seems like the best feature wise. The MSI (I forget the model) the cheapest, but it's MSI.

Some will mention x8/x8 SLI. With GTX 460's, don't worry about it. In fact, unless you have GTX 580's in SLI, you won't really see a difference. Even then I am not so sure.

As for higher end boards and overclocking, there are some digital power things that can help with stability. Yet you pay a lot for a little. It's hard core stuff to get some extra clocks. Not sure you would want it. The lower end ones overclock fine. If you want that extra 10% kick, you want the enthusiast boards. Yet the lower ones will overclock almost as well. Plus, since you want SLI, you are already middle of the pack. NVidia charges for SLI compatibility, and therefore are on the mid range boards. Lower end ones will have XFire, but not SLI.
Edited by being that guy - 1/6/11 at 1:48pm
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Didn't undertsand your comment on 8x/8x SLI. Are you meaning that 8x/8x will be fine with dual GTX 460? As in I wouldn't notice a difference between 16x/16x and 8x/8x?

Also, noob questions, but looking at the picture of the Asus, if I were to SLI, all my PCI lanes would be blocked by the GPU's wouldn't they?

I will probably get the Asus if it is a good price. But dear god, if that sound card goes on it I will punch a baby.
The Igloo
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i5-2500K Asus P8P67 PRO Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II 2x4gb G.Skill DDR3-1600 
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1 TB Seagate 120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 Win7Pro 64bit Samsung 2053BW 
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Logitech G19 Corsair tx750w CM HAF 922 Logitech G9x 
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The Igloo
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1 TB Seagate 120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 Win7Pro 64bit Samsung 2053BW 
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskimo Bob View Post
Didn't undertsand your comment on 8x/8x SLI. Are you meaning that 8x/8x will be fine with dual GTX 460? As in I wouldn't notice a difference between 16x/16x and 8x/8x?

Also, noob questions, but looking at the picture of the Asus, if I were to SLI, all my PCI lanes would be blocked by the GPU's wouldn't they?

I will probably get the Asus if it is a good price. But dear god, if that sound card goes on it I will punch a baby.
Yes, I am stating x8/x8 should be fine. Many people freak out about that when going SLI. Hardocp did a review a few months ago. They used GTX 480's in x16/x16, x8/x8, and x4/x4. Compared to x16/x16, the x8/x8 was negligible and even x4/x4 was not a huge drop in performance.

As for the Asus board, if we are talking about the Pro, I see 1 PCIe x4 lane open (I think that is what it goes to if you are in SLI), 1 PCI lane open, and 1 PCIe x1 open. Your cards would take up 2 PCIe x16 (in x8 in SLI) while covering up 1 PCI and 1 PCIe x1.



Your cards would go in the blue and white PCIe slots, and cover up the ones next to it. Yet that would still leave some open.
post #5 of 8
first pci slot should be available unless you have a 3 slot gpu card, but even so, maybe moving that 3 slot gpu down to the white pcie slot may help.
    
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kick View Post
first pci slot should be available unless you have a 3 slot gpu card, but even so, maybe moving that 3 slot gpu down to the white pcie slot may help.
I think he is worried about SLI. In that case, I think that board would require the first and the second slot used for SLI in x8/x8 (I might need to check up on that one, but I think that is right). Unless he puts on a huge cooler, are there any GTX 460's that use 3 slots?
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Was just wondering how many available PCI slots I would have incase I need to put in an aftermarket sound card, which I probably would have to with my experiences with ASUS.

I would probably even need a new case. Antec Three Hundred right now, my GTX 460 just barely fits in. under an inch clearance to the HDD bays from my card and wiring from PSU to the CPU is a mess because of it.
The Igloo
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K Asus P8P67 PRO Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II 2x4gb G.Skill DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
1 TB Seagate 120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 Win7Pro 64bit Samsung 2053BW 
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Logitech G19 Corsair tx750w CM HAF 922 Logitech G9x 
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The Igloo
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K Asus P8P67 PRO Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II 2x4gb G.Skill DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
1 TB Seagate 120 GB OCZ Vertex 3 Win7Pro 64bit Samsung 2053BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G19 Corsair tx750w CM HAF 922 Logitech G9x 
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskimo Bob View Post
Was just wondering how many available PCI slots I would have incase I need to put in an aftermarket sound card, which I probably would have to with my experiences with ASUS.

I would probably even need a new case. Antec Three Hundred right now, my GTX 460 just barely fits in. under an inch clearance to the HDD bays from my card and wiring from PSU to the CPU is a mess because of it.
You will be able to put in a sound card no problem, and I don't see why you would need a new case (unless you want one). Your GPU will be in the same spot as it is now.
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