This machine will be mounted in my av rack to act as a media server / web browsing and perhaps some gaming. It will be connected to a 7.1 receiver and Panasonic 65 inch 3d plasma ( TC-P65VT25 )via HDMI 1.4a. I'm looking for raid5 and plenty of usb connectors. I might add a graphics card but plan on using the integrated to start as I don't really know how many games will be played on it yet.
A couple simple questions, the board you are looking for is it ATX or Micro-ATX? Are you planning to use the on processor graphics or are you planning to put in a video card? Overclocking? If you are thinking of using an ITX board then we may want to change the processor that you have picked out.
There is room for a full ATX board but I think you can go with mini/micro ATX too? I'm probably going to just use the onboard graphics but having the ability to upgrade would be nice. Keep in mind that there will be no monitor other than the 65 plasma screen. I chose the K so it could be overclocked but figure it will be spending 98% of it's life not actually doing much other than sitting in the rack. If I can tune it so that it can crank up when needed but not burn much juice otherwise, I'm good. This is not my primary box. It's just one other device connected to one of my plasma screens. The gaming use will mostly my son and I doing whatever.
I need an H board if I want to use the onboard, P if I want a separate video card. The question, given an output limited to a 1080P Plasma, am I OK with going with a H board and skipping the extra vid card? I might as well get a non K chip then as it seems the H boards can't be clocked up.
Is there any good way out of this? I'm looking for the best home theater based system I can put together and would like better graphics but it seems that I'm getting stuck with one or the other. Thoughts?
The new boards have the Z68 chipset - It combines the ability to use and overclock the onboard graphics, as well as overclock the processor at the same time. There are a few other value adding features of the new chipset and frankly if your considering using a H67 and can wait possibly another month the Z68 should be released and IMO eliminate the H67 from serious users consideration if they're planning on using the integrated graphics.
The H67 motherboards will support the integrated graphics of the sandy bridge processors. The graphics power is about the capability of a $50 discrete graphics card. Every H67 motherboard will have a pci-e slot where you could put in a very strong graphics card if you ever wanted to do some fast action gaming.
Since the H67 does not support overclocking of the K cpu's. There may be some capability to OC the integrated graphics a bit, but I don't see much point in that.
You might want to look at a "S" model which has a lower power requirement. It will be easier to keep it cool quietly.