I am currently building my first SB build and need a little bit of help. I'll be sure to list my system specs and components for you guys. First off I am a photographer with gaming on the side. I use cpu heavy applications and so the more ghz i can push out of processors the better. Though after doing some testing I am finding that the i5-2500k runs every thing I need when clocked at 4ghz. I know it can go beyond this, but my biggest thing is stability. I will be keeping the processor at this speed (or higher) till the end of its days. So I want to find a mobo that will support the heat and speed of such oc's.
Now that thats out of the way here are my system specs.
heat sink: own both the H70 and the mugen scythe
gpu: msi 560 ti twin frozr
SSD: 2x intel 64 Gb
HD: I am in the process of creating a 10 tb RAID system, I have never built one before and so I am trying not to cut corners.
Thats about every thing I believe.
Now for motherboard choices. I want to for sure keep the price of the board below 300$. I know that leaves out some prime boards, m4, ud7, etc.
I was actually only planning on spending around 200$ but after talking to some people decided to expand my range a little. So far the boards that I have sited are as followed. (not in any specific order)
The ASUS sabertooth was my top choice until I saw what gigabyte had to offer and I began to think more about expandability. Having 2x16 pci slots for instance for sli configuration instead of running at x8 x8. I know they say you can not even tell the difference, but i guess I am just a skeptic Or how well the boards heat sinks dissipate heat and there for handle the over-clock long term. Again I want to spend the least possible like most people and get the best bang for my buck basically. I am not one of those people that needs the best of the best. I just prefer to buy quality over quantity.
I guess what I am asking is if you guys could be a bit like real estate agents for me helping me broker a deal that benifets me less. Giving you a range but trying to actually keep it as low as possible
Only one of the boards you list will actually do x16/x16 SLI. If that is a main criterion, then you have no other choice:
The ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution is it.
Any and all of those boards would be good for overclocking, as the board doesn't actually do much of anything. As long as your system cooling is good, none of them will have any overheating or longevity problems.
From what I have been hearing though the ASUS evo/revolution boards are far better oc options then the sabertooth (sabertooth overclosk average of 4.4 ghz, other two approximately 4.8-5 depending on your silicone lottery ticket) I would rather refrain from having to put some extra voltage in for a decent overclock. I know you cant possibly hit 5 ghz without adding some voltage but I have heard of people getting 4 or so off of stock volts. Any more thoughts on mobos?
The mainboard really has almost nothing to do with overclocking the Sandy Bridge chips. There are some Intel-brand boards that used to have problems overclocking well, but the other main brands have no problems.
My ASRock P67 Pro3 mainboard overclocks my 2500K to 4.8GHz with no issues, and it was only $124 (bought before the recall came through -- it's more expensive now).
Each individual Sandy Bridge chip has a certain multiplier that it cannot pass, no matter how much voltage or super-cooling you apply. This is its "multiplier wall" and all major-brand boards are capable of getting the chips there.
And as long as you keep the chip below 1.4v and 75ºC for an everyday overclock, it should last for years at the overclocked speed.
Like I said before, the Revolution is the only one with x16/x16 SLI. If you can accept x8/x8 SLI, then many ASUS, ASRock, Gigabyte, and MSI boards will do just fine for overclocking to your chip's multiplier wall.
Out of the motherboards you are choosing i'd go with the Asus Revolution. But from what i heard and seen in videos x16/x16 vs x8/x8 in sli or crossfire doesn't really make a difference in performance. If it does it's not noticeable. Also i think you should go with the i7 2600k especially for photo editing and video editing.
Gaming @ x16 on this platform isn't feasible unless you pick up one of the more expensive boards (WS revolution, M4E, UD7)..and you don't need it! Stop talking to everybody else and make up your own mind based on your own needs and stick with your initial budget..
You don't need to spend beyond 250...hell, beyond 200 on this platform... If you grab yourself a P8P67 Pro you'll have access to sli and crossfire..gaming @ x16 is non-sense on the mainstream socket...if you want that...wait for X79 or go with X58...
But, do you really need that bandwidth? No..i dont think so...your eyes wont differentiate it from x8...probably not even x4..as for overclocking..I've seen people hit 4.5 Ghz on a vanilla P8P67 board ($150 motherboard)...so, don't waste your money on an expensive mobo because everyone else wants to..half of the people that request particular features either don't know how it functions, or don't utilize it at all