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I'm planning to build my own computer. I do not have enough cash to buy all components I need in one go. I want to ask, if I buy motherboard which is compatible with i7 processor (any) and compatible with graphic card Nvidia gtx 780, does it mean that this mother board will be compatible with processors (from intel) which will be released next year? Same for graphic cards? The point is that I'd like to avoid situation where I buy motherboard let's say now, and in couple of months there will be new graphic card/processor which will not be compatible with my mother board? Or maybe shall I start completely somewhere else?

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Wait for one year, accumulate the whole sum. It is stupid to buy a part just to store it at home for 1 year while it looses its price. –  Val Oct 28 '13 at 12:53
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From the headline I suspected you wanted to build your own computer, but it sounds like you want to assemble a computer instead. –  S Vilcans Oct 28 '13 at 15:38
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An anecdote: Back in the 90s, I had the same quandry you did. I bought a CPU+MB only to have it lose half of its value over the next month while my build still sat unfinished. It was several hundred dollars I could have used for, well, anything else really. Save up first and buy everything you need at once. Your comopnents are going to lose value anyway, but you might as well be able to use them while they do. –  afrazier Oct 28 '13 at 16:23
    
You could buy MB+CPU, use the integrated in the CPU GPU. Next month you buy GPU and lots of RAM. Next month you replace your old monitor with a hudge one. –  Vorac Oct 30 '13 at 10:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

does it mean that this mother board will be compatible with processors (from Intel) which will be released next year?

You should firstly decide on a processor, more specifically a socket. Intel's processors are well known in the LGA 1155 socket series. They bring out new generations every year based on that socket. Then your motherboard should obviously support processors based on socket LGA 1155. The same goes for AMD - different sockets respectively.

Same for graphic cards?

PCI Express controllers haven't changed significantly recently, thus reducing the chances of compatibility issues from a graphics card's point of view. I have a graphics card bought in 2006 which is still compatible with my Asus P8H67-V motherboard bought in Dec 2012.

Or maybe shall I start completely somewhere else?

If I were you, I would decide on the motherboard and processor together and then buy the graphics card later. Also, you need to keep in mind that some motherboards are optimized for ATi CrossFireX (if you combine 2 graphics cards together for extreme GPU performance) and then some motherboards are optimized for Nvidia SLI configurations. If you are a heavy gamer, that would be of importance.

Checkpoints:

  1. CPU Make & Socket type
  2. Motherboard CPU Make & socket support
  3. Motherboard AND CPU both - RAM type and MHz support
  4. Graphics Card planning - considering an optimized card for the use of your workstation
  5. Power Supply Unit - Keep in mind that a high performance graphics card sometimes has a specific PSU wattage requirement, this should be in the specifications section of that card.
  6. Make sure you have enough Sata 3 ports on your motherboard if you plan to use several Sata 3 hard drives.

Here is an example of my setup, which I bought over 6 months, knowing that any upgrades over the next 5 years would be possible:

  1. Intel Boxed Core i7 2600 Processor - 3.40GHz Quad Core Socket 1155 - CPU
  2. Asus P8H67-V - Socket 1155 Revision 3 Motherboard
  3. Corsair XMS3 - 8GB ( 2 x 4GB ) DDR3 1333MHz
  4. Gigabyte - GeForce Graphics Card GTX 560 - 1GB 256Bit GDDR5 - PCI-E 2.0
  5. Seagate Barracuda Green - 1TB HDD 32MB Cache - SATA 3 - 6.0Gb/s
  6. Gigabyte - Odin 585W 24-Pin Power Supply
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PCI Express are now at version 3.0, but graphic cards are backward compatible. –  StBlade Oct 28 '13 at 10:33
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LGA1155 was released in 2011, and has already been replaced by LGA1150 for the newest processors in 2013. No particular indication (and historically unlikely) that Intel will be releasing "old socket" versions of the newest processors, though they will crank out some more old processors that fit these as long as it's profitable. Sockets just don't last that long... –  Ecnerwal Oct 28 '13 at 13:06
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Intel's current generation of CPUs 4xxx series use the LGA1150 socket. Unless you're bargain hunting for very low end system, there's no good reason to build an LGA1155 system any longer. I suspect your part list is being recycled from a few years ago; but it's well past the point that is needs to updated. –  Dan Neely Oct 28 '13 at 13:07
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Hey guys, I want to thank everyone for your answers. Thanks a lot! –  There is nothing we can do Oct 28 '13 at 13:07
    
@DanNeely Very good point, forgot to mention the 4th generation is based on a different socket. Thanks for pointing that out. –  Rudolph Oct 28 '13 at 13:20

Graphics Cards nowadays all use the PCIe(x16) Extension Slot, which is present on all Mainboards, so there should be no problems there.
Another question is if you want to use SLI/Crossfire, then you should pay attention to which onboard graphics-controller the board uses and which configuration it supports.

Regarding the processors you should make your decision based on the "socket", the problem is, you are buying new components just at a time, when there's a change happening, the standard intel socket up to June/July was 1155, but they are switching to the new 1150 socket just about till the end of the year, so if you are going for sustainability, you should consider the new 1150, which will probably strain you financial ressources a little more, but you should be safe for the next few years.

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Be extra careful as intel do sometimes change their minds on sockets. I bought a 1366 board and processor a few years back, when the board died I was stuck with a really expensive but unusable processor because the discontinued that socket! –  ScouseChris Oct 28 '13 at 12:27
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As a "value sensitive" shopper, it hardly ever makes sense to upgrade a processor, and generally by the time you do, nothing is compatible with it anyway. While the lower-grade processor may be 1/3 the price, you'll have a hard time selling it, and the overall system price is not nearly as affected, so you are just raising the price of "the good one" by the price of "the cheap one." Better to save your money until you can buy the basic functional unit (using the internal graphics, say) in one go, rather than getting a piece now and a piece later. Dedicated graphics can be added later. –  Ecnerwal Oct 28 '13 at 12:47

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