My aging 790i board recently died so being rushed into getting my computer back up and running I've hit a dilemma in choosing the best board to get to be somewhat "future proof" for a while. I've decided to go with an i7 2600k on the Z68 chipset.
I will be reusing my dual GTX 470s which I had running overclocked in sli mode and I want to get the best board I can for around $350 or less. I like to push my overclocks to the limits so I want a board that will be good for that.
Is the inclusion of PCIE 3.0 important especially considering I am still using 2 gtx-470s and may be looking to upgrade later on? I was looking at the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z and I would have ordered it already except I noticed it doesn't have PCIE 3.0 but it will be compatible with the new ivy bridge cpu. The Asus P8Z68 Deluxe looks like a good board also but my case is all black with red lighting and the blue/black scheme is kinda discouraging but I can live with it if I have to.
Asus is my preferred brand but I am open to any suggestions or feedback to help since I am without my desktop til I finish this build. Also looked at the ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty board but not sure about the brand. From what I read the Maximus IV is pretty much the most stable for high overclocks but not sure the lack of PCIE 3.0 is a deal breaker
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Is my motherboard, it is great at my overclock of 4ghz sofar, and costs half the price of the ones you suggested. PCIE 3.0 is in the future and no compatibility is guaranteed as far as i know. Dont spend 250 on a board, just get a nice one now, and upgrade later for the same price.
Launched 5 months after the P67 and H67 chipset the Z68 chipset combines the advantages of the H67 and P67 Chipset so that overclocking, dual dedicated graphics cards and use of the integrated CPU graphics is available. Whilst on the surface it would seem that this would be the chipset to go for, how many users that have 2 dedicated graphics cards will actually want to use the onboard graphics when they already have 2 more powerful graphics cards in their system anyway?
The only real advantage is for users that wish to access the HD graphics features such as quick sync, but considering it’s only supported by very few transcoding programs and there are not many people out there that need or will want to transcode, it makes it almost pointless to choose Z68 over a P67 chipset.
Same applies to users that want to overclock the CPU but use the onboard graphics card; it’s a very limited market.
Finally, another feature of a Z68 chipset is known as SSD caching which is where it allows the use of a small (say 10 or 20 GB) Solid state hard drive to act as a cache for a larger ‘traditional’ hard disk. If you are already planning the use of a Solid State drive this feature is redundant.
If you can’t afford a decent size SSD (40GB+) then there are more cost effective ways around using a small SSD and SSD cashing like spending less on a motherboard, (H67 chipset or even a P67 chipset) and putting the saved money into a decent size SSD.