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Help with choosing MB

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October 27, 2011 6:29:34 PM

I'm going to be doing my first build with my nephew's help (has built two computers) but I wouldn't consider him as someone who keeps up on the latest computer ware. He's a college student and supposed to help me over Xmas so in the meantime I've been accumulating parts whenever something goes on sale.

I'm not a gamer but like to multitask including backing up my BD's so I need a little processing power. I'm not sure whether I will overclock or not but wouldn't want to rule it out in the future. Lastly I want this build to last me about 5 years so future proofing it as much as possible might be nice. For now I plan on using the built-in the HD Graphics 3000 but may later buy a dedicated video card.

My build: (some parts already bought)

Coolermaster 912 Advanced (bought but on back order until middle of Nov)
Intel i5-2500K (bought)
ASRock Z68 PRO3-M or ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Seasonic S12II 520 Bronze (bought)
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) (bought)
WD Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB or WD Caviar Black WD1501FASS 1.5TB
Card Reader
LG WH12LS30 BD (from my old computer)
CD/DVD Writer (just want another drive)

So my question is which MB should I get the ASRock Z68 PRO3-M http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or something different I was trying to keep the price under $150 and it needs to work with the above parts I've already purchased (or will purchase)?

I'm leaning toward getting the ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 over the ASRock Z68 PRO3-M because it seems to offer more features (another PCI Express 16 slot, more USB ports, etc.) but it is a full sized ATX board where the other one is a Micro ATX board. Is a regular sized ATX board going to cause me problems with my particular build considering my case, Ram, cooler?

Since the Haf 912 Advanced comes with two front-mounted USB 3.0 ports doesn't that mean I really need a USB 3.0 header on the MB? If so I don't believe the MB's I've selected have this so maybe the front-mounted USB 3.0 ports wouldn't be worth using since the Haf 912's also come with two front-mounted USB 2.0 ports what do you think?

More about : choosing

a c 435 V Motherboard
October 27, 2011 8:37:05 PM

Asus p8p67 pro version 3.1 $149.99. Newegg dropped this price today, but it could change again tomorrow.
October 28, 2011 1:37:27 AM

I want to stay with a Z68 board.
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a b V Motherboard
October 28, 2011 4:16:07 AM

Just a couple of things I noticed.

1. The HAF 912 case DOES NOT have any USB 3.0 ports on the front panel. It does have two USB 2.0 ports. As you mentioned the Mobo's don't have a USB 3.0 front panel header either. So you have a match there.

2. The HAF 912 case supports Micro ATX and ATX motherboards so either one of those you listed will work. Personally I prefer the ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 since it has two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots that will run at x8/x8 in dual graphics (SLI/Crossfire) mode. However, you may not need that since you said your not a serious gamer.

October 28, 2011 3:37:26 PM

JKatwyopc said:
Just a couple of things I noticed.

1. The HAF 912 case DOES NOT have any USB 3.0 ports on the front panel. It does have two USB 2.0 ports. As you mentioned the Mobo's don't have a USB 3.0 front panel header either. So you have a match there.

2. The HAF 912 case supports Micro ATX and ATX motherboards so either one of those you listed will work. Personally I prefer the ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 since it has two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots that will run at x8/x8 in dual graphics (SLI/Crossfire) mode. However, you may not need that since you said your not a serious gamer.


Actually the Haf 912 Advanced does have USB 3.0 ports on the front http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id... but the more I think about it it's not worth spending a lot more on a MB just to get a USB 3.0 header and it's not like I don't have USB 3.0 ports on the rear. I think I will just remove the front 3.0 ports and use that bay for a card reader.

So I wouldn't have any issues using the Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... with the ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3?

Are there any other differences between the two MBs besides micro vs full-sized board and one having two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots that maybe I'm not aware of that might be desireable?

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a b V Motherboard
October 28, 2011 4:33:50 PM
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OK, that's my mistake for looking at the HAF 912 on newegg instead of going to coolermaster to view the newer HAF 912 Advanced. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway the Corsair vengeance RAM should work fine. As far as the difference between the two motherboards, well here is a side by side comparison on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

The main differences are that the ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 is ATX, has dual PCIe x8/x8 capability and can support Future PCIe 3.0 cards (with Ivy Bridge). Otherwise, the differences are pretty much inconsequential. Personally, this is the card I'd get but ultimately either one will meet your needs so go with the one that is easier on your budget and maybe add more storage or spend a little more on something else.
October 28, 2011 9:10:09 PM

JKatwyopc said:
OK, that's my mistake for looking at the HAF 912 on newegg instead of going to coolermaster to view the newer HAF 912 Advanced. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway the Corsair vengeance RAM should work fine. As far as the difference between the two motherboards, well here is a side by side comparison on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

The main differences are that the ASRock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 is ATX, has dual PCIe x8/x8 capability and can support Future PCIe 3.0 cards (with Ivy Bridge). Otherwise, the differences are pretty much inconsequential. Personally, this is the card I'd get but ultimately either one will meet your needs so go with the one that is easier on your budget and maybe add more storage or spend a little more on something else.


Thanks I think I will go with the Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 since I may not do this build until Xmas would it be better to wait until closer to that time to buy, or buy it as soon as I see a great price on it? Was wondering about this because I wasn't sure how often you got a bad board and had to send it back.
a c 435 V Motherboard
October 28, 2011 11:10:43 PM

Boards usually go down in price, so wait until you have the cpu/board/ram and can test them together, because you only have 30 days to return them.
October 28, 2011 11:24:59 PM

Ok thanks!
November 5, 2011 12:56:16 AM

Best answer selected by mike2874.
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