Help needed choosing a motherboard for i3 2100

Hello everybody,

I'm planning a new build (my old E4300 from 2007 is not really keeping up with things), and need some help choosing a motherboard. I'm not a hardcore gamer, though I do play RPGs and strategy from time to time, I do moderately-heavy photo editing, browsing, office tasks - the usual stuff. What I do need, and this was my main reason for thinking of an update, is being able to work hiccuplessly with full HD video files (playback, editing and transcoding). And generally, I'd like a system that's faster and more responsive than the one I have now. (And budget friendly too).

Starting from the last consideration, I was thinking to go with an i3-2100 - I don't plan to do any overclocking, and the significantly higher price of an i5-2400/2500 doesn't seem to be worth it based on my needs. I'm thinking about an SSD as a main operations drive (probably Crucial m4 - not sure whether I can afford the 128GB version, though would love to), coupled with a 2TB something-green for storage. Haven't looked into memory yet. Regarding graphics, I was thinking of getting a Sapphire 6850, which has good reviews almost everywhere, but then I started reading about motherboards, and Quick Sync and Virtu and got a bit confused (mainly wondering whether I could just get a Z68 motherboard, keep my 8800 GTS 320MB and somehow survive on that. The 8800 GTS, btw, runs Skyrim on mid-low settings, and I'm quite happy with that - but I can't work with HD video files at the moment.)

So based on the above, what would you recommend? I'd prefer something rock-stable over extra power and whistles; any thoughts/ideas/suggestion will be very welcome.

Thanks in advance,
4 answers Last reply
More about help needed choosing motherboard 2100
  1. Ehm, anyone?
  2. a h61 board should suit you fine, h67 if you want something a bit better.

    ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

    it might worthwhile considering stepping up to an i5, it got twice as many physical core, photo editing would benefit from it.
  3. Thanks, zhihao - I didn't consider h61, but looking on Newegg, they seem to be mostly microATX boards, and that's a bit tight for me - I need to be able to put a dual-slot graphics card and still have two regular PCI slots free (I have a Creative E-MU 1212m sound card, which is dual-slot too).

    Regarding i5 - it's 65% more expensive than an i3, and it seems to me that jumping from an E4300 to an i3 2100 should be enough right now - and it will give me a better chance of going for a 128GB SSD.

    What I'd still like to know is whether an Z68 mobo + my old 8800 GTS 320MB will allow me to work with HD files, or whether I need to upgrade my graphics card too.
  4. i think z68 +800gts would work. you going to get a good improvement on cpu side that is going to help. have a look at whats your cpu usage when you edit video.
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