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, 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.