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Sub-$1K I7 build, seeking mobo an other feedback

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June 27, 2009 6:18:38 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Mobo/mem within 24 hours. Other parts later.

BUDGET RANGE: <US$1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Linux Ubuntu 9.04 (80%) under KDE for:
photo editing, audio and visual media transcoding, C++ development w/ KDevelop, email, web, word processing
also as a MythTV backend
and using compiz for desktop awesomeness :) 
XP (20%) for games (simulations, RPGs, but no FPS)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I7 920, keyboard, mouse, monitor, gfx card, DVD, speakers, OS, case, power supply (reusing 500 watt supply, will upgrade in future)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com. amazon.com as a backup if needed.

PARTS PREFERENCES: none

OVERCLOCKING: Not immediately, but moderately in future. Would like 3.4-3.6.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, but would like 2X option open later

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Noise matters, but it's already mostly covered by my case

I'm considering this build and would appreciate any thoughts or feedback, most importantly on the mobos. This will be used with a I7 920, and I have case/PS/kbd/monitor. For now I'll use my old GF8800 GTX and will upgrade that later.

HD: Seagate Barracuda 1G 7200 RPM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mem: OCZ 6 GB (3x2) DDR3 1600: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's the tricky part: I'm torn on mobos. I'd like 6 mem slots, and future moderate OC potential:

EVGA 141-BL-E757-TR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or:
ASUS Rampage II GENE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or:
Foxconn Renaissance : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Rampage II is Micro ATX, and I'm not sure how well that'll work in a mid tower case or if I'll be limited on using the slots. Price is definitely a factor on the mobo. Having one PATA connector is a bonus, but not required - it just means I'd have to buy a new DVD drive if it doesn't have one (the EVGA doesn't). Any thoughts on the relative merits of those mobos, or the build in general? When it comes time to OC I will update my 500W power supply, but hope to skate by with it for a while.

Thanks a zillion...

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