What reliable MB for i7-3930k?

Let me preface this by I know the Sandy Bridge E isn't a huge improvement over regular Sandy Bridge such as 2500k. So please don't go there.

I'm going to do a build with the i7-3930k. I'm intending to do some overclocking(not extreme nitrogen type stuff), software development(CUDA/openCL), and gaming.

I'm am giving a strong look at using the Intel 520 SSD due to a fairly good discount. And I've heard great things about Intel's 320 reliability.

From there, I'm fairly open on where to go.

One of the bigger requirements that I have is quality/stability of motherboard. I've always had VERY good luck with ASUS motherboards with my last two builds being ASUS.

I don't mind jumping from a $300 to a $500 motherboard if there is a good gain.

I would like to have 8 memory slots but I'm not stuck on it.

Does the second LAN port help? What motherboards support the "sync'd" 2nd LAN port?

I am considering tri or quad SLI/crossfire because of tinking in the CUDA/openCL area. But initially, I will probably get one GTX 680 card.

The ASUS P9X79 WS(~$380) does cover most of the above and I've seen it recommended several times.

The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme(~$450) also covers most of the above and I've seen several builds with it. Is this the better bet? Does it clock more stable?

I've also seen the ASRock X79 Extreme 9 (~$350)

Is it worth getting an ASUS board with the SSD caching?

The color/shape/look of the MB will not make a difference as it will be buried in a plain unassuming case.

The number of USB ports isn't a huge issue. I use very few USB devices as it is so number of ports isn't a huge factor in MB choice. If the only difference between one MB and another is $10 and double the USB ports, I'll go with more.

Is there a better motherboard to consider?

From the reading I've done, the Intel MB's function but aren't very spectacular. ASRock is an offshoot of ASUS and is starting to build a solid reputation.
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  1. Well...I like the SB-E/LGA 2011 platform...so there! :)

    I would agree with the ASUS P9X79 WS plus it games. All of the gaming rigs I've built were off the R4E.

    * Dual LAN is fine IF your router supports it, most all consumer routers will not support dual LAN.

    * SSD Caching requires you to use the non-Intel SATA ports, and SSD Caching done right requires an over provisioned SSD otherwise it's lifespan will be short. What I recommend if your want crazy performance is to either RAID 0 a couple SSD's or RAM Drive.

    * Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like the looks of all of the ASUS MOBOs.

    * OC ASUS has a proven ability to providing the best OC's per lower vCore. I personally don't like a >1.40v ~ 1.44v vCore, ideally 1.40v. Here's a good link - http://www.overclock.net/t/1167939/sandy-bridge-e-overclock-leaderboard-owners-club Note, there are (2) voltages that will permanently damage the SB-E: 1. >1.50~1.55v vCore, 2. VTT and or VCCSA >1.35v the result is a permanent loss of 1~3 bins per vCore i.e. 5.3GHz -> 5.0GHz @ same vCore.

    * ASUS vs any others, ASUS was the only MOBO immune from a vCore/Temperature bug with the SB-E CPU. MSI and Gigabyte were the worst, and so bad Gigabyte pulled their UD5/UD7 lines.

    * Better, nope get the ASUS.

    Also, when you install the OS IMO follow my guide most folks improperly install Windows 7 on the X79/LGA 2011; see - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume-sleep-booted-raid#t2068879

    Hope that helps.
  2. jaquith said:
    Well...I like the SB-E/LGA 2011 platform...so there! :)

    I would agree with the ASUS P9X79 WS plus it games. All of the gaming rigs I've built were off the R4E.
    <snip other good stuff>

    Thank you for the quick reply.

    Would you do the R4E or the WS? The extra ~$70 to get the R4E doesn't phase me too much :pt1cable:
  3. Well, I have only first hand experience with the ASUS Sabertooth X79 and R4E, the P9X79 WS is geared more for your stated needs. The P9X79 WS is more toughly tested for 'WS' applications and Pro GPUs.

    Gaming - no brainer R4E.
  4. @jaquith, in your opinion, what feature(s) make the R4E better than the WS for gaming?

    Would you mind sharing one of your R4E builds?

    I noticed in your "hardware" profile, you used a Sabertooth X79... would you do one again?
  5. I like the R4E because of a combination of features, few examples: obviously 4-WAY, PCIe debug switches, voltage points, full onboard controls, extensive BIOS controls, etc. It's like asking why I like Mercedes; design and implementation. I'm doing this on an iPhone. I have a thing about sharing photos and client builds; privacy issues. If you're local you'd know me.

    My Sabertooth X79 is used for SQL testing and everyday stuff. It's fine and I have no complaints - its just another PC. My sole regret is getting only 32GB, and I'll probably reuse the kits + spare on one of my office X58s.
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