Help choosing the right Intel mobo

I would appreciate any help you can provide me. I plan to buy this month a new build and I need to decide which motherboard I will use. This is the new build:

Intel i3 2100
G-Skill 4Gb DDR3 1333Mhz
Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev2
Novatech PowerStation BE 750W Silent ATX2 PSU
BitFenix Outlaw Case
HANNS.G HL195ABB WLED 18.5" VGA Monitor (1366x768)

About the Graphics Card, I actually own a 8800GTS 512mb but I plan to buy a GTX460 or 6850 in a short term and buy a 2nd one (SLI/CF) if I need it in 3-4 months. The PSU is chosen to be future proof for SLI/CF (4x 6+2 PCIe connectors).

I plan to play with this PC: Starcraft 2, BF3, MW3, Guild wars 2 and Diablo III

So, about the Motherboard, the main requirements are to be prepared for good SLI/CF and be ready for Ivy Bridge (That would be the next upgrade of my rig, after the i3 2100, because now i can't afford a 2500K). That's why I think it's better to buy a PCIe 3.0 motherboard (I am not sure if it's really necessary). With a max budget of 120-125£, my options are:

Asus P8Z68-V

Asrock Extreme3 Gen3

MSI Z68A-GD55-G3

Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3

In my humble opinion I think Asrock and MSI are the best options because of their PCI 3.0 ports, but it's been more than 5 years since I don't buy a new computer and I'm very noob. I am also open to P67 suggestions or comments of the whole build

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  1. Haha same problem as me, had a hard time choosing a Z68 Mobo. I be going for the MSI one because it has 5 Year Warranty is Military Class II certified.

    As far as i know, there is a G3 of the ASUS P8Z68-V. You might want to check that out as it has PCI 3.0 like the MSI. Or you can simply wait for Ivy Bridge. It has been confirmed that it will perform 10-20% better than Sandy Bridge. But i can't wait planning to get Sandy first. All are good boards but they have their flaws too.

    ASUS P8Z68 G3:
  2. Thanks for your advices guys. My main concern is becuase Ivy bridge will work with PCIe 3.0, is it necessary to buy a mobo with PCIe 3.0 or a mobo with PCIe 2.0 becomes automatically 3.0 when a Ivy CPU is inserted?

  3. Ivy Bridge has more pins - different mobo.
  4. werner123 said:
    Read this

    Maybe high end p67/z68 chipset based motherboards will support ivy bridge with just a bios update, but not sure.

    So maybe getting a cheap h61 based motherboard for now will be better, it will offer the same gaming performance than these listed high end boards at stock speeds. Because chances are that ivy bridge won't be compatible with the motherboard listed you want to buy, a lot of money wasted then?

    Then when native ivy bridge compatible motherboards boards gets released get 1 of those instead. You'll thank yourself later believe me.

    Helpful advice. Actually I don't have money enough for buying a i5-2500k and its right mobo (because I would like to OC it). So, considering that my monitor has 1366x768 res, my main concern is if the i3-2100 will be enough for running the incoming games BF3, MW3 and GW2. In 2 years I could afford to get a good unlocked Ivy CPU.

    So my two options are:

    - i3 2100 and cheaper H61 mobo?. Will a H61 mobo will work similarly for a non-OC i3 2100 as a z68/p67 board?. In this case which one would you recommend me? later on I would buy a unlocked Ivy CPU + right mobo. Is it worth it instead of the second option?
    - i3 2100 and a future-proof Z68 (PCIe 3.0 and Ivy support).

    What would you do. BTW thank so much for your advices until now :)
  5. werner123 said:
    Get the i3 2100, for not that much more I'd go for the i5 2400 and a H61 mobo, really even at that resolution these games would run much better with a quad core, but it's your choice.

    Like i said wait for ivy bridge compatible motherboards, and get one of those instead

    It's a waste getting a z68/p67 board for the i3 2100

    - i3 2100 and a future-proof Z68 (PCIe 3.0 and Ivy support) POSSIBLE IVY SUPPORT, not definitely. Not worth the gamble

    Thanks for your advice again werner. I think with the money I save avoiding z68 motherboard and a SLI-PSU I can afford to buy a H61 motherboard + decent PSU + GTX 460 1GB.
    Any H61 mobo could be fine enough? even if it's mATX (cheapest ones are only mATX). GTX 460 1gb should give me enough power at this res?
    This is the new PSU I would buy is:

  6. werner123 said:
    Yes, any gigabyte, msi or asus h61 board will do just fine, it depends on the features you'll need. Don't forget to look at the HD6850 as well, same performance, sometimes better and it uses less power, only 1 PCIe power cable needed. But seeing that you are used to nvidia stick with them, just giving you another option.

    At that res. the 460 will run everything maxed out, and it will be a good match for the 2100/2400 cpu

    I don't know about the quality of the PSU you want to get, never skimp on a PSU, it's the most important component in your PC, buy cheap and you will suffer the consequences. And never buy a PSU that's just enough for your system, always go a bit bigger to allow for some breathing room for future upgrades. So that for example when you decide to get a more powerful graphics card down the line your you won't have to buy a new PSU. Remember the 460 uses 2 6-pin PCIe power cables.I would recommend either one of these.

    Here is a review on one the 430

    Yes the 600w seems a bit overkill for your system, but you know what i said.

    I've got a 650w PSU way overkill for my current system, but i know when the time comes for a new powerful graphics card it will fine.

    Thanks werner for your advice! I think I'll buy a h61 motherboard and invest a bit in a good PSU :)
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