Sandy Bridge Motherboard Battle

Hey guys. I am currently building a new system that I hope will last me around 2-3 years.

Right now I am running a x4 970 oc'd to 3850 mhz
4gb ddr2 dual channel
1 XFX 6970
40gb intel SSD

The performance is pretty nice, I can max out alot of games at 1920x1080 minus maybe a few features like AA and things oncrysis but basically it gets the job done.

HOWEVER, I am looking to upgrade to 3x 23' Acer p236h monitors for an eye infinity setup and would like a smoothe experience with games maxed out, maybe with or without AA, doesn't really make a difference to me.

I have decided on the 2600k over the 2500k, I do alot of video editing and things of that nature but I am also a hardcore gamer.

I already have 1 6970 so I figure I should just grab another one and do crossfire mode with them and maybe pick up a gtx 590 down the road if I need to.

I have all the pieces of my build picked out besides 1 thing, the motherboard. It's between these two,

and the

Honestly I am no master when it comes to know everything about pcs. But I do have enough knowledge on how to overclock and get the pc running how I want it. Basically the only thing I noticed is that the Asus runs 2 lanes of the pci express at 8x. and the gigabyte runs 2 lanes at 16x. I have heard this doesn't matter, is this true? I don't know the difference and can you see anything better about one or the other motherboard? Please don't tell me to go with a cheaper board inless you have another board that competes on the level of these 2 boards that I may have missed. Any thoughts? I am aiming for around a 5.2 ghz overclock.
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  1. First: You can aim high on the overclock all you want, but unless you have a top 1% CPU, you won't get 5GHz. About 50% do 4.4-4.5GHz, about 40% do 4.6-4.7GHz, about 10% do 4.8GHz or higher. Within that top 10% tier, only about 1% will see above 5GHz.

    Each individual Sandy Bridge CPU has a multiplier that it cannot go past, no matter how much voltage you give it or how low the temp is. That is its "multiplier wall." If you're unlucky it might be 42x, if you have average luck it might be 45x, and if you are very very lucky it might be 50x.

    For the mainboard, I'd go with either the Gigabyte UD7 or the ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution. With those monitors you'll want to do a multi-monitor resolution like 5760x1200, so you'll want x16/x16 CrossFire for best performance. With only one monitor there isn't any difference with x8/x8 versus x16/x16, but will multi-monitor resolutions there is a small difference.
  2. 5.2ghz is overkill...
  3. Quote:
    I am aiming for around a 5.2 ghz overclock.

    I'm aiming to be a zillionaire by the time I'm 40, ooops, time is running out.
  4. Both MOBOs are excellent so flip a coin, I prefer ASUS, and if you're looking for X52 then chances are you're going to be exchanging CPUs. Meaning anything above x50 {5GHz} is by chance of 'luck' of finding a diamond in the ruff i7-2600K that will remain stable -- surviving Prime95 for 10~12 hours. Yeah, no doubt you need a top-notch CPU FAN and I'd start looking at water if you game for hours that is unless you're deaf and/or you like loud fan noise.

    Here's a video of 5.2 GHz, trust me the ASUS guy TESTED the CPU and ALL Settings -

    The CM 212+ is dumb per the video for longterm -- sure it's fine for a 10 min vid ;)
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