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DAW Build: P67 or Z68 with 2600K

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April 10, 2011 5:36:56 PM

Hello Folks,
I am looking into building a computer to use as a Digital Audio Workstation. I've built two others in the past, and these both went well (the days of learning curve frustration notwithstanding...), and it's time for an update. I will use solely as a DAW, nothing more. I intend to use the i7 2600K. All other details regarding configuration aside, I have questions about a motherboard.

I believe the 2600K onboard graphics would be fine for my needs which are a dual monitor config. Using only for a DAW, I see no reason for anything more powerful for graphics. Does this make sense?

With ever more cpu-hungry audio plugins, I want the ability to overclock. I understand that a P67 board allows overclocking but it does not allow for taking advantage of enabled integrated graphics with a discrete graphics card.

I know the Z68 allows both overclocking and enables integrated graphics. I think I will have no need for this. If I decide at some point to upgrade to a discrete graphics card, I simply won't have a need for integration of the cpu graphics for the work I do. This makes sense, right?

BUT--Am missing anything? Is there a reason I might hold out for a motherboard with the z68 chipset? Regardless, I will wait until these z68 boards are released based on the assumption that the p67 boards will drop in price. Make sense? Am I missing anything?

Thanks for any input. :) 

Perry


April 11, 2011 2:55:20 PM

Z68 is nothing tooooo special..it has ssd caching, and the ability to oc the cpu...but, I stll think a dedicated vga would make sense..it doesn't even have to be a powerful one..I am not sure if it's even feasible to use 2 monitors with that setup..but, with a dedicated vga you can achieve something great without breaking the bank... p67 is out, and available..why wait for z68? Intel is downright stupid for doing what they did...z68 should have been what they launched to begin with

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April 11, 2011 3:32:22 PM
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perple said:
Hello Folks,
I am looking into building a computer to use as a Digital Audio Workstation. I've built two others in the past, and these both went well (the days of learning curve frustration notwithstanding...), and it's time for an update. I will use solely as a DAW, nothing more. I intend to use the i7 2600K. All other details regarding configuration aside, I have questions about a motherboard.

I believe the 2600K onboard graphics would be fine for my needs which are a dual monitor config. Using only for a DAW, I see no reason for anything more powerful for graphics. Does this make sense?

With ever more cpu-hungry audio plugins, I want the ability to overclock. I understand that a P67 board allows overclocking but it does not allow for taking advantage of enabled integrated graphics with a discrete graphics card.

I know the Z68 allows both overclocking and enables integrated graphics. I think I will have no need for this. If I decide at some point to upgrade to a discrete graphics card, I simply won't have a need for integration of the cpu graphics for the work I do. This makes sense, right?

BUT--Am missing anything? Is there a reason I might hold out for a motherboard with the z68 chipset? Regardless, I will wait until these z68 boards are released based on the assumption that the p67 boards will drop in price. Make sense? Am I missing anything?

Thanks for any input. :) 

Perry


Perry,

If you can wait a month, and you're set on 2600k as your processor, from what you describe as your purpose for the build, waiting for the z68 has its advantages.

1.) Dual monitor- and reasonably-capable on-chip HD 3000 video means you don't have to spend an extra $75+ for a dedicated video card (better than the HD 3000) NOW, but have the option if you want to take advantage of it in the future. You can even overclock the on-chip GPU first if that somehow is a bottleneck in the future for you.

2.) You can overclock the CPU with Z68, and now rumors are going around that overclocking may be improved from the P67 chipset, but that remains to be seen for now. I'm curious what kind of power phases the Z68 will have. They're also rumored to be geared toward the enthusiast market with more full ATX than mini-ATX, but who knows.

3.) SSD caching can be a neat tool to load your audio/processing programs faster for less money.

4.) P67 prices may drop appreciably when Z68 comes out so even if you wait and still get the P67, you may be able to put the extra money towards audio (or a dedicated video card as now you'd need one).

5.) You may not take advantage of Quick Sync right now for your purposes, but I've come across things like CUDA-accelerated audio encoding and maybe Quick Sync can be used for similar goals in the future. This is probably a bad reason to be getting Z68, but worth a quick consideration, especially if you program yourself.

6.) Yet unrevealed improvements? Not the best reason, but it's only 4 weeks, and I can't wait to see what's in store.

Probably reasons 1-3 are most worthy of consideration right now.
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April 11, 2011 8:46:37 PM

asantesoul said:
Z68 is nothing tooooo special..it has ssd caching, and the ability to oc the cpu...but, I stll think a dedicated vga would make sense..it doesn't even have to be a powerful one..I am not sure if it's even feasible to use 2 monitors with that setup..but, with a dedicated vga you can achieve something great without breaking the bank... p67 is out, and available..why wait for z68? Intel is downright stupid for doing what they did...z68 should have been what they launched to begin with

Thanks for the response. The info I've gathered is that dual monitors are definitely doable no problem with the onboard GPU. I'm leaning toward the p67 anywhichway because the only advantage I see to the z68 (besides ssd caching) is the enabling of some kind of integration of the onboard GPU with another graphics card. (I don't fully understand what it is, just pretty certain I don't need it.) The other reason to wait (and correct me, anyone, if you disagree) is I figger that when the z68 boards come out in early May, the p67 boards will drop in price over the next few days or weeks? And the other reason: this gives me time to convince my wife that I neeeeeed a new computer and she can have my older old one. :D 
April 11, 2011 8:57:16 PM

markmywords said:
Perry,

If you can wait a month, and you're set on 2600k as your processor, from what you describe as your purpose for the build, waiting for the z68 has its advantages.

1.) Dual monitor- and reasonably-capable on-chip HD 3000 video means you don't have to spend an extra $75+ for a dedicated video card (better than the HD 3000) NOW, but have the option if you want to take advantage of it in the future. You can even overclock the on-chip GPU first if that somehow is a bottleneck in the future for you.

2.) You can overclock the CPU with Z68, and now rumors are going around that overclocking may be improved from the P67 chipset, but that remains to be seen for now. I'm curious what kind of power phases the Z68 will have. They're also rumored to be geared toward the enthusiast market with more full ATX than mini-ATX, but who knows.

3.) SSD caching can be a neat tool to load your audio/processing programs faster for less money.

4.) P67 prices may drop appreciably when Z68 comes out so even if you wait and still get the P67, you may be able to put the extra money towards audio (or a dedicated video card as now you'd need one).

5.) You may not take advantage of Quick Sync right now for your purposes, but I've come across things like CUDA-accelerated audio encoding and maybe Quick Sync can be used for similar goals in the future. This is probably a bad reason to be getting Z68, but worth a quick consideration, especially if you program yourself.

6.) Yet unrevealed improvements? Not the best reason, but it's only 4 weeks, and I can't wait to see what's in store.

Probably reasons 1-3 are most worthy of consideration right now.

Thanks for the response markmywords,
1) Is this not entirely true of the p67 board now? My understanding is that it is.

2) OC with p67. All things weighed, I'd save the money rather than go with Z68 for improved oc'ing.

3) Yes, true. Something to consider.

4) Just what I'm thinking!

5) Something to investigate further, no doubt. Thanks!

6) Or...wait months, or years... The neverending dilemma, no? Just in NOW, or wait until...

Great info for consideration. :pt1cable: 
April 11, 2011 9:43:29 PM

Yeah indeed your right..I actually wasn't aware of the dual monitor setup..now, I'm all for it...funny thing is I'm usually on top of these things lol..But, yeah, the boards will be out next month...the 8th I believe...so, prices will drop...and these boards will launch with some nice features...Heck, maybe EVGA will finally release some of their stuff...

I say you do it! The fact that you get all those features..I mean, why not? I haven't heard anything as far as prices are concerned..but, it shouldn't be too much
May 18, 2011 1:14:40 AM

I was looking at the same thing and saw the DPC tests between Z68, H67 and P67. The results on this evaluation ( http://www.anandtech.com/print/4330) shower that the P67 chipset of different manufacturers showed better results than the H67 and the z68. The results chart are about 3/4 down the review.

JJGR
May 28, 2011 12:31:13 PM

Best answer selected by perple.
!