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Motherboard recommendations for new gaming build

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January 13, 2012 3:15:43 AM

I am building a new PC in the next month or so primarily for gaming. Choosing a motherboard is daunting and I'd like some recommendations. I am willing to spend a little extra for quality but don't have too much brand preference. Looking to spend $150-$200. Considerations:

Going with an i5 2500K
Would like to do moderate overclocking
Will probably be getting a single GTX 580 or Radeon HD 7970 but want SLI/Crossfire available as an upgrade later
Will get a large enough SSD for OS/apps and don't care about SSD caching
I don't do video transcoding so I don't care about Quick Sync or the integrated graphics

So from what I've read it seems like features wise I could get away with a P67 board, but are there any other reasons why I would be better off with a Z68?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790

This ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 board seems like a good option but I don't really understand the difference between the regular, pro and deluxe versions. Any advice based on my needs?
January 13, 2012 7:50:57 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155

That link shows the differences between all the chipsets. The Z68 allows overclocking over the whole system rather than just GPU or CPU + RAM. So I would go with a good Z68 chipset board.

If your going to possibly SLI in the future you will need a full size ATX board or if you want even more room an Extended ATX board. I don't know which case you have but could you post some of the parts your wanting/considering?

Also in terms of having more than one graphics card you might want to consider boards that have an NF200 chip which supports SLI GFX cards at X16/X16 (no loss of speed) but most boards with that chip are over 200.

If you wanna spend a little more money this board has an NF200 chip which is the one you also posted

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The ASUS board you mentioned is a great choice BTW.

Differences between the boards is mostly features. Things like more USB and SATA ports. The Deluxe board has a power and rest button on the board itself where the others don't. Performance wise they are completely the same. The regular version of the board you suggested is just as good for you performance needs. :) 

Hope the info helped :D 
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January 13, 2012 2:54:38 PM

Thanks midget! Definitely helps. That board you linked looks pretty sick though it's a bit more than I would like to spend. From what you said and from digging a little deeper it seems like the standard version of the ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 has all the features I would need and is a pretty good deal at $167 on the Egg right now.

To answer your question, I have not decided on any other parts yet. I thought CPU & mobo would be a good place to start. Will have to keep the case size in mind for sure. I am going to want one that doesn't look like a typical "gamer pc", no crazy lighting, etc. just a clean, solid, well built mid-tower.

Now I'm going to have to check out the boards sosofm linked, thanks for those man. ASRock keeps popping up but I don't know anything about them, must be pretty good? I heard they were somehow related to ASUS? Of course the last build I did 3 years ago I had never heard of GIGABYTE, haha, and ended up getting one and couldn't have been happier.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2012 3:15:30 PM

For pure gaming the P67 edges out the Z68 slightly on SSD and USB speeds, but the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 is a frequent recommendation of mine. The ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 only lacks: Marvell, FireWire, and a few other non important parts, but is another good choice.

ASRock's issue is the 8 Phases on most of their LGA 1155 lines. There's a correlation to Phases, and the <12 Phase typically have a ~+0.10v which might not sound like much but 1.35v vs 1.45v is a BIG difference. It inhibits a higher OC e.g. 4.5GHz @ 1.35v (manageable heat) vs 4.5 @ 1.45v (thermal limits to most HSF). So to cool it: 1. higher price HSF or 2. Unobtainable OC. Not to mention >1.40v shortens the SB CPU's life.

However, if you can cool your horses, you're getting close in time to both the IB CPU and GTX 600 series both are probably, no exact dates yet, ~<90 days out. I 'get' the need it now feeling.

If you're going to OC then you really want a 12 Phase or higher LGA 1155 MOBO; the number of Phases SB vs IB might be different and less. Keep in mind if you want pure PCIe 3.x then it must be 100% PCIe 3.x clean: CPU (IB), MOBO (if >1 GPU) aka GEN3, and GPU e.g. HD 7970. However, PCIe 3.0 vs PCIe 2.1 has shown as predicted -- nothing; see -> http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

If you must have PCIe 3.x now then it's big bucks: SB-E ($600), X79 ($300+) plus the rest.
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January 13, 2012 3:49:55 PM

Hey jaquith thanks for the info especially regarding the OC'ing!

Also, I have definitely thought about waiting for IB and Kepler. I'm pretty patient about things but for me now is a good time. I'm rockin' my e8400 with a single HD 4830 and it's getting its butt kicked by Battlefield 3. Plus it's winter so there is not much else to do :D 
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January 13, 2012 3:53:03 PM

midget666 said:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155

That link shows the differences between all the chipsets. The Z68 allows overclocking over the whole system rather than just GPU or CPU + RAM. So I would go with a good Z68 chipset board.


P67 doesn't support SB integrated graphics and therefore of course you can't OC the integrated graphics with P67. Who cares about integrated graphics? P67 supports the same OCing that z68 supports.

Unless you want SSD caching, there is no noticeable difference between P67 and z68.

A good P67 board beats a cheap z68 board any day.
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January 13, 2012 5:53:45 PM

amythompson172 said:
This board here seems to do what you want it too, at the high end of ur budget unfortunatly!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00407ZUUY


That's a socket 1366 board Amy - he's looking for socket 1155.
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January 15, 2012 1:42:44 AM

Thanks everybody for the recommendations, really helped me decide. Wish I could give more than one 'best answer' :)  Ended up popping on an ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 since it has all the connections I require and at $167 shipped seems like a great value. Now I have to figure out pretty much everything else for my build :D 
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January 15, 2012 1:49:52 AM

Best answer selected by thepieguy.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2012 3:05:42 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr.
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