Which Chipset Motherboard to buy H67, P67 or Z68

Hi everyone,
I'm in need of serious help on this one. I'm building a new system based on the intel sandy bridge Core i5 2500. I'm really stuck on which chipset based motherboard to choose.

I just need a motherboard to run the i5 2500 on, be able to install at least 16 gb of ram, at least 4 sata ports, and have a gigabit LAN port.

I don't need lots of pci express slots, or SLI or Crossfire options, or firewire connection, or lots of usb ports, or usb 3.0, or any special features, or overclocking.

Also what is the difference in the power design that asus mentions in their special features for different motherboards [ie. 16+2 on some, 4+2 on others]. Is it something that is relevant in my case, or is it not. please explain if possible. What is that thing about "100% All High-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors" that Asus mentions.

Also how good is the graphics on the SB processors. Are they enough, or would you need another graphics card. Would using the on processor graphics take away some processing power from the cpu?

My other doubt is that if these were my only needs, would the performance of the processor be the same on an H67 based "P8H67-M" and an Z68 based "P8Z68M-Pro" motherboard?

Budget is a serious issue for me. So guys I don't want to simply spend money on any bells and whistles I don't need.

Plz help. Everyone thanks in advance.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. welcome to the forums, newcomer!

    1| if you are only looking into dropping a SB cpu into mobo then get the H67 mobo
    2| if you want to use onboard GPU and also OC then you get the Z68

    CPU performance would be affected in the case of H67/Z68 route because, you can actually Overclock the CPU and onboard GPU on the Z68 but only the onboard GPU is overclocking capable on the H67

    so the options are;
    1| you get the H67, you don't need an dedicated GPU(provided you don't play games)
    2| you get the Z68 and overclock the cpu to get a boost in cpu performance and also use the onboard GPU thas on the SB die
  2. If you are playing 3D graphics games - like World of Warcraft, Starcraft, etc - you need (or at least really really want) a graphics card. If your game play is limited to Angry Birds, the onboard graphics are perfect.

    Which then brings into question do you really need a 2500?

    So, please tell us how you plan to use the new PC, and on what screen size & resolution. We can help you spend as little as possible to achieve your goals.
  3. H67 is your best option since you are buying a non-k cpu.
    You can't overclock a 2500 anyways.
    H67 is also the cheapest and has onboard graphics.
  4. Hi, Twoboxer
    I'm building this system to work as an audio workstation, for programming music. That is what I do. From all the music programming related forums everyone seems to be recommending the core i 5 2500 or the core i 7 2600. Usage of some very cpu intensive, and ram hungry vst's should be considered. I'm planning to use cubase 6 on the system. There is still doubts about cubase's efficiency in using all the cores. But still if they perfect it in the future, I could be future proof with a 2600.
    I don't want to overclock anything in the system. I want it to be perfectly balanced and smoothly running under default conditions. My only concern is whether there is any difference in the quality of the components used in the motherboards having the same chipset ( eg. p8h67-m, p8ph67 and p8ph67 deluxe ). Whether the on-chip graphics is good enough for a resolution of 1600x900 and whether there will be any difference in the performance of the systems with h67 and p67 chipsets. Will using the on-chip graphics use some of the processing power of the cpu.
    Plz note again that I'm not overclocking anything.
  5. Onboard graphics will work fine for you as long as you aren't running 3D games. Don't worry about impact on the cpu for your cpu-intensive applications, it won't be a factor.

    I don't know how multi-threaded your applications are, but you seem to have that knowledge. The 2500 will run 4 threads on 4 cores; the 2600 8 threads on 4 cores. If you aren't going to overclock, you don't need the "k" variant.

    If your apps are cpu-bound, you *may* want to consider overclocking since its relatively easey for anyone to get a modest overclock and cut down on how long things take.

    To preserve that option, and use onboard graphics, you need the Z68. Otherwise the H67 is fine. You can't use onboard graphics with the P67 chipset.

    Once you know your chipset, you choose a mobo that has the features you want. As you go up in price, mobos generally claim to have better voltage regulation and control, and can better handle the power required to overclock. If you want to preserve the ability to overclock, you want a mid-price board. If you don't, you can buy the least expensive board that has the other features you want.

    Personally i stick with Asus, Gigabyte, and Asrock.

    If you don't need many expansion slots, you can also use mATX or even mini-ITX instead of the standard ATX mobo. These would allow smaller cases if that interests you.

    Asrock mATX H61 $70 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157236

    Asus mATX H67 $90 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131713

    Asrock ATX Z68 $105 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157251
  6. I'm for the multicore processor route - but when you mentioned that you'll be using rig for music production - than why don't you get a studio grade audio card like an ESI Juli@ ... ? or one from Maudio. I used to make music and was a dj as well. The dedicated soundcards are actually worth the extra green. But if it were you to to setup a media center pc than I'd have said stick with onboard audio.

    from the looks of things -
    H61/H67 mobo
    i3-2100 since your audio processing will be more than comfortably handled by a proc thas on par with a Q9550(of 12Mb cache)
    8+ GB's of ram cos of all the throughput you'll need
    lots of HDD space as you'll be creating and recreating lots of music with a different vibe each day...plus you'd need to backup.

    * don't consider doing any raid as this has no use except for data backup - go RAID 1

    ** that onboard HD gpu can handle res' of 1920x1080 - i know cos i setup an HTPC for a pal - and he's loving it!

    *** i picked up from where you mentioned VST's
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