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Which motherboard should I get?

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August 15, 2011 7:11:27 AM

Hi, I am planning on building a new pc, but atm I want to get the first 2 pieces. The case and the motherboard. So I am looking on a suggestion on a motherboard, that will be up to date that can support 2 graphics cards, 8gb ddr3 memory and an i5 or i7 sandy bridge processor. I was considerin these 2, but am up for suggestions.

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-H61M-D2P-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also I was gonna tempararly hook up some old parts from my previous computers just to be able to use the internet and what not. if there was any virus's on the oldp parts would they infect the motherboard?

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a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2011 7:14:14 AM

MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) good for overclocking SB K series
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a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2011 8:25:35 AM

H61 chipsets aren't ideal for sandy bridge. It will fit/work but P67 and Z68 are better. Also, if you want to use two graphics cards you'll want a mobo that supports two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots in x8/x8 configuration. Some of the cheaper ones only support x16/x4 mode which is not ideal for sli/crossfire. I can't tell if the msi board you chose supports x8/x8 or not.
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August 15, 2011 6:26:33 PM

why z68 over p67?
on the msi site it says both p67-gd65 and the z68-gd65 pci slots are gen2 1x16, 1x8. is that ok?
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a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2011 7:01:00 PM

I think you will find that on either of thoes two areds (As with other p67/z68s) the 2 slots will be x8 and x8 when a gpu is in both slots. And Yes 8x,8x is fine.

As to Reason for Z68 over P67. (1) For the small cost differential: (A) I love the Idea that I can assemble the new system WITOUT the graphics card. Everything works, then install the Graphics card. Basically it simplifies troubleshooting in the "small" event that there is a problem, You can eiliminate, or say it is the GPU. If downstream you have a graphics problem, easier to TS and if you need a new GPU - you can still use the computer untill a new one is obtained and installed. (2) Not a lover of SRT, but it is available should a person change there mind and (3) then there is the possiblity of much better Video encoding performance should a person so desire. If Gaming is the sole usage, sorry no improvement in gaming performance. BUT to me Nr. one is worth the little extra cost all by itself.
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a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2011 7:37:52 PM

One advantage of the Z68 is that you can have your computer use the onboard graphics (iGPU) during tasks that aren't graphically demanding like web browsing and office tasks and only use the discrete GPU for extremely demanding things like gaming. The advantage is that the iGPU saves a lot of power. Not a big deal, but still kind of nice.

P67 will be fine, but Z68 is a little nicer. If you can afford the extra $30 or so it's probably worth the money but if you can't then the P67 will be just fine - especially for gaming.
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a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2011 7:56:28 PM

@ danraies - They sure made it sound that way. I think it does work that way on a SB laptop with a Dedicated GPU, But not so sure it works well on desktop. If Monitor is hooked to the Dedicated GPU, How is the Output of the IGP getting to the Monitor, unless you hook both outputs up and then when the "computer" switches Outputs, the Monitor also has to switch. BUT still standby my Recommendation of Z68.
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August 15, 2011 8:15:01 PM

will buying memory for a p67 be cheaper than for a z68? i keep seeing "designed fo p67 chipset" on a lot of sticks on newegg? so would they actually work better on a p67 than a z68 if the only difference in a iGPU? any suggestions on a cheap memory solution? is it better to use less sticks of memory with higher GB's besides the fact that there will be more expansion slots?
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August 15, 2011 8:27:32 PM

also is pci gen 3 backwards compatible? for maybe a 460 gtx or 560 gtx?
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a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2011 10:06:46 PM

P67 and Z68 use the exact same memory.
Sweetspot for SB is DDR3-1600 CL9 @ 1.5 V, HOWEVER Very little difference between that and DDR3-1333 CL9 @ 1.5 V. If only $10 ->$ 15 get the DDR-1600, if Higher then get the DDR3-1333.

AS to Pci-e 2.1 and 3.0, should not be a problem. ie a 2.1 card should be fine in a 3.0 slot - the performance will be the same as if in a 2.1 slot.
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a b V Motherboard
August 16, 2011 5:57:17 AM

Even if your monitor is plugged into the discrete gpu, there is still a program...virtu I think it's called...that runs in the backgrond and will have your machine automatically use the igpu for graphics when the discrete graphics are unnecessary in order to save power. You don't have to have a cable plugged into both ports or anything like that.
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a b V Motherboard
August 16, 2011 6:04:00 AM

Z68 boards have newer technology and make use of onboard IGPU, for safer bets the Z68 is a good upgrade path. On the OP's original choices, the P67 board all the way.
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August 16, 2011 6:12:51 AM

Best answer selected by alltheicons.
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a b V Motherboard
August 16, 2011 1:07:14 PM

@ danraies - Yes virtu is the software; However it requires that the monitor be plugged in to the Motherboard Video output connector, not the Dedicated GPU, (From SB CPU GP). This means that on the Z68 MBs that do not provide a Video out connector from the intel SB IGP you can not use it. Reason I went with an Asrock Z68 Extreme4 as intially Gigabyte did not off a Z68 MB with hdmi out from motherboard - Their idea was that ANYONE how would go Z68 and Ix-xxxxk would ALL install a dedicated GPU - Subsequently they found the errors of there way and now have some with MB hdmi out.
Ref: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4199/lucids-virtu-enables...

Added: Using this feature will result in a "small" performance hit (Quotes are for there words, not mine, have no idea of real Hit) when in 3D mode. as the GPU output has to be routed thru a additional layer- The Frame buffer for the Internal CPU IGP.
My quess, Most advent Gamers are not going to take a hit, no made how small.
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a b V Motherboard
August 16, 2011 2:24:40 PM

^ Old Computer ???
Might want to start a new thread on TS your system.
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a b V Motherboard
August 16, 2011 6:23:16 PM

@RetiredChief that's interesting, thanks.
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