I'm building a new rig largely for gaming (primarily for the newer games coming down the road like Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3 and so on). I'm planning to build around an i5-2500k for a lot of obvious reasons.
My main question is what motherboard in the 150-200 dollar range (roughly) would users recommend? I don't plan to SLI/Crossfire but I would like the option in the future, so 2 PCI-e 2.0 capable of running at 8x/8x (16x single gpu) is preferable unless there is just an outrageous quality board with only single-PCI-e 2.0 support. Will be running 8gb DDR3 @ 1600 as well.
I would have thought that Asus mobos would be a no-brainer but that doesn't seem to be the case. Asus I have read a lot of issues particularly revolving around cold-boot issues.
I looked at some Gigabyte boards but I have an annoying previous experience with a gigabyte board where instead of simply failing to boot with overclock settings it didn't agree with, it would force system defaults and boot into windows, forcing me to restart and making troubleshooting painful.
I have never used an MSI or ASRock board but I have been looking at them also. I'm perfectly fine spending on the high end of that 150-200 dollar range to a board that is unlikely to give me fits. I plan on always using a discrete GPU so that aspect of the Z68 chipset isn't necessarily important to me. The only reason I would favor Z68 specifically is if it had more bugs worked out than the P67 chipset.
I do not use a SSD. I might get one in the future but I simply have no need for it at present.
So with all of that said, recommend me a motherboard that will overclock well and without too much aggravation. I'm open to whatever the best answer may be, whether it's Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI, Biostar, or whatever. Thanks for taking some time to provide me with ideas.
In response to your suggestion, I was kind of looking at the ASRock p67 extreme4 gen3 because there was a little more positive feedback on it. Was reading some people having issues with the extreme3's, not sure if this is common at all.
The heatsink on the extreme3 z68's chipset looks noticeably smaller in surface area and exposure than every other z68/p67 chipset's heatsink. Not sure if this has caused any actual heat issues however. If you have any insight into those issues I am curious to hear more about the z68 extreme3 gen3 vs. the p67 extreme4 gen3. Not sure the iGPU ability of the z68 has any relevance since I am a gamer and always play on discrete graphics.
The ability to use on-cpu graphics is a definite plus if your graphics card fails and have to send it in, at least you can still use your computer. Also it's useful in troubleshooting a bad video card.
It also has several features that P67 does not have that can be very useful, not to mention it's PCI-E 3.0 ready, P67 is NOT.
PCI-E 3.0 has 2x the bandwidth of 2.0, so a 8x slot will have the same bandwidth of a 16x slot on a 2.0 slot.
Take mobo reviews from Newegg users with a grain of salt. You have to consider a lot people just don't know what they are doing. Period. You can tell by reading some of the reviews.
About the z68 and p67 ivybridge/pcie-3.0 future support, I believe both the asrock p67 extreme(X) GEN3 as well as the asrock z68 extreme(X) GEN3 will be able to support pcie-3.0 and ivy bridge. That is how I interpreted it at least. Admittedly I'm not a longtime Intel user so I don't know a lot about what was likely from the next hierarchy that might make it z68 exclusive.
In other words thought the GEN3 monicker they applied to both their new p67 and z68 boards indicated future compatibility. Thanks for the replies by the way appreciate any info you have on the subject.