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.
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-overc... 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.
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.