MSI vs Gigabyte... Z68 mobo... which one?

OK, I have it narrowed down. I am using the Z68 for the SSD usage ability.
I will be using the computer for photo editing, internet, and maybe, some light gaming.
Using a GTS 450 video card... but will probably look to use dual monitors, so the Virtu ability in the MSI may not be usable anyway.

These two cards, when combos and rebates are taken into consideration, are about the same price, and similar features.
The MSI will cost me $12 more up front (there is a combo with the i5 2500K processor)... but $8 less after the rebate comes in... so the cost is a wash.

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3-B3


I will take advantage of USB 3 onboard... don't foresee using Firewire (on the Gig) or eSata (on the MSI)... but I could be wrong.
Featurewise, they are very similar... any preferences, experience with these boards?
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  1. Q - Did you ever look at the 'SSD Caching' and do you understand in your case it will do little? 40GB = $90, 20GB is useless even in Caching, and a 120GB = $160. The 120GB will accelerate everything on it TWICE as fast+.

    Between those (2) the MSI would be my choice, and IF you can swing it the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 with no Virtu.
  2. Thank you. But, I am not sure that I understand your response. I intend to use at least a 64GB SSD or larger for programs/OS/caching... benchmarks and other conversations on this forum seem to indicate that photoshop gets a pretty decent boost from the Z68 chip combined with Solid State Drive... through the Smart Response Technology...
    I may be mistaken, but don't both of those mobo's take advantage of the SRT?

    And, unfortunately, no... I cannot swing the UD5... or the UD3H... the only reason i can consider this MSI GD65 is that newegg is doing a combo deal, and the rebate...
  3. Then for a few bucks more ditch the 64GB and get a 120GB+ {OS + Apps + Photoshop Scratch + Working Data + (some data)}. As I recall 64GB is the largest cache SSD.

    Photoshop gets NO boost from Z68, it gets accelerated from: CPU, RAM, Hyper-Threading, speed of the Scratch Drive R/W.

    In your case, you are loosing (2) items that will actually 'slow-down' Photoshop: 1. Hyper-Threading the i5-2500K is 4-core vs the i7-2600K 4-core + 4-Hyper-Threads, 2. Photoshop Scratch is reduced to HDD speeds.

    You have to understand that ONLY REPEATED 1-3+ tasks are cached to SSD ans to the SSD size limits. I guess you could partition the 64GB SSD into 2 pieces 40GB (3GB usable**) and 24GB (22 usable**); ** approximates after formatting.

    ALL current Intel MOBO include Intel SRT {System Recovery Technology}, Intel RST {Rapid Storage Technology} has been around since XP, SSC {Smart Storage Caching} has been used on some RAID setups for a period of time and recently added to the Z68. Nice Article ->,2888-3.html
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