I'm looking at building a new system in the next few days, and I am absolutely stuck on the mobo. I will be using an i5 2500k with a Hyper 212+ (w/ 2 sickleflow fans). I do plan on going CF in the future, but right now I will be supporting only one 6950. And, naturally, I will be OC'ing.
What I am looking for is a quality motherboard that has the most bang for the buck. I would prefer to keep it under $200, but I am willing to spend that extra $34 if this board is truly worth it. I am not totally stuck on any brand, but when I've read recent reviews, this one keeps popping up.
first I'd make a list of what you need including possible future upgrades.
How many Sata II and SATA III ports will you need for example 1 or two DVD or Blu-ray recorders, Nr of HDDs and Nr of SSDs (Me 1 DVD recorder, 1 Blu-ray recorder (can get by with 1 blu-ray RW, 2 HDDs and 2 SSDs (Which means I have to use the UGH marvel controller).
Pci-e slots (for Xfire and SLI) the best your going to get is normally 2 @ x8 (only support one @ x16).
USB2 and USB 3 ports (Look at what 3rd party USB 3 controller is used, not yet supported by INTEL and some have problems with the USB controller on the ASrock line).
Internet 1 or two intrenal controllers.
My preference in order: Gigabyte, and tie between ASRock (slight favor as lower $$$s less than Asus) and Asus. I have 4 Gigabyte MBs, No problems with any of them, and latest is the ASRock Extreme 4 (short on SATA ports for me) works fine. Any of these 3 at the mid price point ($160 -> $200) are fine for a OC upto 4.6, some may get you higher. BUT the diff between 4.6 and 5.0 is only 8.6% - NO BIGGY!
Look at reviews (& user reviews @ newegg) to insure your not getting a lemon - all brands seems to have them at one time or another.