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Upgrading PC - Motherboard Query

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January 15, 2012 9:26:57 PM

Hey everyone

Last week Friday I had the misfortune of having my house and by extension - my PC - being hit by a random bolt of lightning. :o 

After thoroughly examing my fried system, I reached the conclusion that I had lost either the motherboard or the CPU. Perhaps both were affected... Sadly, I don't have any spare DDR3 RAM available, so I can't check whether or not the memory was hit as well. At the end of this thread I'll describe the exact problem that I'm currently facing with my "dead" PC.

Regardless of the exact cause for the demise of my rig, I'm now in need of a new motherboard and CPU - perhaps even some RAM. I've always wanted to switch from AMD to Intel, and now I have the opportunity - though I wish the circumstances were different. ;) 

I am planning to purchase the i5 2500K 3.3Ghz but I'm still uncertain as to which motherboard is the best compliment for it.

My primary concern is to find a motherboard that has two/three PCI-E 2.0 slots so that I can eventually run my GTX 560 Ti in conjunction with a dedicated PhysX card (9800GT). My current PSU is 620Watt - so I know for that dream to happen I'll need a stronger PSU, I'd guess around 1000W?

Anyway, given that I currently possess a 620W PSU - I'm concerned that this "limitation" may have a direct impact on my motherboard/CPU choice?

I have only briefly searched the web for potential motherboard candidates and I have compiled a list that fits my price range - approximately $100 - $200. However, the above price-range isn't a true reflection of the price that I'll be paying in South Africa, as consumers are totally ripped off and pay, at least, an extra $70-$100 for the same products.

Here's what I've currently looked at:

ASUS P8P67-M Pro
ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z (V. expensive in SA ~ $312, see what I mean :pfff: )
MSI P67A-GD65-B3
MSI P67A-GD53-B3
Gigabyte Z68AP-D3

I would greatly appreciate it if people could comment/praise/criticise the brief list that I have posted below and perhaps even suggest a name or two?

--------
As promised earlier, I will just briefly detail the aftermath scenario following the lightning strike.

1. I cautiously press the on-switch, miraculously the PC actually starts, makes all the right beeping sounds - so the PSU is intact as all fans start spinning normally.
2. My monitor doesn't show the motherboard logo screen and eventually I get the message "Check Display Adapter"
3. Okay, maybe the GPU got fried? I hold down the power-switch...but instead of turning off, my PC merely reboots (as if I had pressed Reset).
4. Several more failed hard-off attempts and I switch off the PC at the PSU.
5. After removing/replacing my GTX 560 Ti, I repeat the start-up process - I even switched monitors just in case.
6. The same problem as in Step 2 occurs.
7. Now I check the HDDs, I have Windows 7 on another HDD and so I exchange it (physically swap it out, not in BIOS) for my main HDD which runs XP
8. Nothing changes.

And that's the story, as I said earlier I have not / cannot check whether the RAM is blown - anyone think that this might be the problem?

Any thoughts on which component(s) got fried?



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a c 716 V Motherboard
January 16, 2012 3:45:54 PM

First as far as what got 'fried,' it all depends on where the lightning bolt hit {electrical line, telephone, etc}. I had a lightning bolt hit our phone line at it ran trough our cable/phone/network box and took out a PC though the NIC card and only the MOBO got fried. If it hit the power line then any part of the PC could be destroyed. Typically a power line hit takes out more stuff: TV's, Appliances, you name it.

The only way to know is to test and rule-out components. Typically, your insurance company will allow for a Computer Tech to test and replace affected components.

That said, if you purchase a new system based on any SB 'K' CPU then you want a MOBO with 12 Phases to the CPU or are know to offer a low vCore.

Here's a side-by-side that I would consider and one or more might be available in your area; See -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

The best bang for the money are the:
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...
ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...

Both offer 2-WAY SLI + an x4 PCIe for PhysX, and 12 Phases to the CPU.
January 20, 2012 8:12:24 AM

Thanks for your response jaquith.

The insurance company's techies just came back with their findings and confirmed what I originally thought. Turns out that the motherboard, CPU and RAM all got hit. Both RAM modules incidentally went down from 1GB to 768MB.

Just a quick edit: I found the Mobos that you suggested jaquith, however they both exceed my price range.

This is the site that I'm planning to use:

Can you recommend a board that falls within R1500-R2000? Thanks

What about the Gigabyte P67A-UD3R-B3? I heard that it's sort of a "dark knight"...
a c 716 V Motherboard
January 20, 2012 12:11:48 PM

When I searched the link there were only two possibilities listed:
Gigabyte P67A-UD3R-B3 - http://www.wootware.co.za/gigabyte-p67a-ud3r-b3-lga1155...

Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-B3 - http://www.wootware.co.za/gigabyte-ga-z68xp-ud3-b3-lga-...

The relevant advantages to the Z68 are Quick Sync if you produce a lot of MPEG-2/4/H.264 and want SSD Caching. Also, the Z68 offers an iGPU (in most instances/Gigabyte often not) which is perfectly fine for anything 2D (non-gaming/poor gaming performance). The GA-Z68XP-UD3 only offers an HDMI video out.

The ASUS P8Z68-M Pro (micro ATX) adds VGA + DVI out - http://www.wootware.co.za/asus-p8z68-m-pro-lga1155-micr...

However, none above are IMO stellar OC'ing MOBO's, the cheapest Gigabyte is the UD5 which is good for OC'ing; Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD5.

The 12 Phase+ MOBO's are if you plan on a 4.5GHz+ OC, otherwise any of the (3) listed above will work and do a good job.
January 20, 2012 12:40:53 PM

@mousemonkey:

My apologies. I don't usually bump posts, but after over 100 views and no posts - one does get desperate. It won't happen again. Sorry.

@jaquith:

What about the Asus P67 boards? Can you recommend any winners within that range?

I also found a MSI P67A GD65-B3 that I can afford, though I have read reviews that says that the competing Asus boards are better?

I really hate this part of searching for components, because the motherboards that I want are just too dang expensive in South Africa - but relatively inexpensive in the States. Alas, no company will ever ship electronics to South Africa due to our corrupt postal service and even if they could, I would negate any price advantage due to shipping costs! :abg:
!