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Motherboards and Z68 Chipsets advice please

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November 28, 2011 12:11:16 PM

Hey everyone
Looking for some expert advice from the user-community
My motherboard recently died, and since the CPU was a AM2+ phenom 9650, that puts me in the market to replace the mobo, cpu and ram at a minimum.
Ive been an AMD fan for a long time, but with the huge performance gap now between AMD and Intel I'm looking at an intel i5 2500K.
Ive done a fair amount of reading up (my how things have changed!) and this is what I am looking at:

Intel core i5 2500K (because I want the ability to over-clock it - if not immediately, maybe in the future when it starts to feel slow)
16Gb ram 2 x 2x4Gb PC1600 (why not, RAM prices are just silly at the moment)
ASUS P8Z68-V something (there are so many flavours, I'm confused!)


I currently have a geforce 9800GTX+ 1Gb GPU which I believe is more than adequate - I dont really game - havent got the time these days, and I have never, and probably will never, consider any kind of graphics card SLI or Crossfire setup.

I do process a large number of photos - sometimes upto 400 12Mpx RAW files at a time, I use Lightroom 3 x64 and it will be running on win7 x64 and also processing of hd video. I have a 120gb agility3 SSD for my OS drive, and I store all my data on a pair of samsung 500Gb SATA disks in RAID1 - which I am considering to upgrade to larger disks and a RAID5 to increase capacity and redundancy.
I also run some virtual machines from time to time for work/Training - or pleasure - sometimes 3-4 at a time for testing some complex things (hence the 16gb memory)

My questions now are -
Is the Z68 the chipset for me,
I like the idea of the Smart Response and this is something I want to utilise - specially since all disks over 1Tb these days are still stuck in the 5400RPM-era- but I hear people say that I would need a separate SSD disk for the caching (cant I use a partition of the 120Gb?) Ive also heard that it would be better to stick with the 120Gb SSD, since SRT isnt all that.

If so - which board is going to give me everything I need without breaking the bank?
Asus do a
P8Z68-V
P8Z68-V LE
P8Z68-V LX
P8Z68-V PRO

Forget the Deluxe - thats over-kill

Would I be able to make use of the hybrid graphics with my current graphics card?
I hear LucidLogix’s Virtu doesnt work with everything. If not what are my options? I'm not sure I can justify the expense of a new graphics card as well. If not - should I stick with the on0board graphics (I hear its pretty good) or even consider a different chipset altogether?

I want something that isnt going to limit the capabilities of the i5, but at the same time, I dont want to spend a shed-load on features that I'm not going to use.

If I just buy the PRO, will I future-proof myself (for a few months? - a year?)

All advice is welcome.
a b V Motherboard
November 28, 2011 12:43:28 PM

Yes, the Z68 is probably best for your use. But if your intent is to do a lot of video editing, the 2500K may not be your best choice. Depending on whether your editing software uses hyperthreading or multiple cores, you may be better off with either this dual core 13 2125 chip http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or the 17 2600K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

If you video editing is hyper threaded then you have to chose whether it used multiple cores. The i3 is better if it does not use muiltiple cores, and the i7 is your choice for multi core processing.

Any of the ASUS mobos should serve, but I cannot pick one over any other because they are differentiated on their features. Want more SATA 3.0 or USB 3.0? Or PCI slots? You have to pick according to your needs.
!