I'm in the last stretch of building a new system (just deciding on the GPU and motherboard), and I need a bit of help deciding between these two boards. Apologies if this is more fitting in the builds forum. Here's my rig so far, in case it's relevant:
CPU: i5 2500k
RAM: 2x4GB G. Skill Ripjaws X
CPU Cooler: CM Hyper 212+
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 720GB 3.0GB/s
Case: Antec DF-85
GPU: Deciding between EVGA GTX560 Ti 448 Classified and EVGA GTX570 reference (input on this is also welcome)
PSU: Corsair TX850 v2 (850 watt)
So the two boards are roughly the same price (the EVGA is on sale and has a $40 rebate and free shipping, bringing it to roughly $140, while the ASRock is about $145 CAD, also free shipping). The EVGA board is normally priced around $210 or more, and I trust EVGA as manufacturer more than ASRock because of their track record, excellent warranty, service, etc, so it's the better deal I think.
The ASRock board seems to be considered a great value board, and has a lot of features that the EVGA doesn't...things like Lucid Virtu, PCI-E 3.0 and Ivy Bridge compatibility, more spacing between PCI x16 slots (I plan to SLI eventually), and so on. I'm using the system primarily for gaming and I will definitely be overclocking. Any input would be much appreciated...thanks!
That EVGA board didn't get very good reviews (only 3 eggs). Seem to be a lot of DOAs... ASRock is a very good choice for budget motherboards. Just bought the Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 a few days ago. Should be here tomorrow. The EVGA board comes with a few extra stuff, but nothing special. The Extreme3 is great for overclocking (people don't seem to have any problems with that). It only has 2 PCIe x16 slots, so won't be able to do 3-way SLI. For your video cards, I'm not really a GPU expert so I probably can't help very much. My only advice is have you looked into the Radeon HD 7000 series cards? They should be released in a few weeks...
Thanks for the help. I did a bit more research and decided to stick with the EVGA mobo. It's a higher quality board and it ended up being a bit cheaper than the ASRock after MIR. Plus it seems features like Lucid Virtu just cause unnecessary problems and are not worth the trouble, and I won't miss the integrated graphics. The 3 egg reviews were mostly due to people complaining about Newegg listing incorrect information about the board and a few user-related issues.
As for the graphics, I really prefer NVIDIA to AMD. I know the newer cards have probably improved, but I've just had too many problems with AMD in the past to justify buying their products again. I ended up going with a reference EVGA GTX570, since I figure the prices are going to drop very soon (in the next 3 months for sure) and I can take advantage of EVGA's step-up program to upgrade to a 580 if needed.