Forced to upgrade sooner than expected.

Well, although I wanted to wait until I had enough for an Extreme4 Gen3 I have to upgrade now. I'll buy a 2500K from MicroCenter for $160 (I wanted to save up for 2600K but they're going UP in price with the release of third gen) and I was wondering if is a good board? I want SLI potential for a new video card, and I need 1600, and 1333 RAM allowed (1333 ATM 1600 in the future.)

I'm also going to be over-clocking the 2500K and not sure if anyone knows if this board is good for OCing.
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  1. That board will not do SLI since the second slot only runs at X4 speed.
    This one will
  2. You have an opportunity to rethink how you will go about building a gaming PC.

    For starters, the 2500K @$170 is a great deal from microcenter.
    They also have a 3570K for $190.
    That is also a good price, but it also brings you the opportunity to save $50 or so on a Z77 motherboard.
    Consider this M-ATX Z77 Pro4-M for $60:

    If you are intent on sli, then a M-ATX motherboard is not for you.
    There are some that will support two graphics cards in sli, but the necessity of installing the two cards in adjacent slots will cause heat issues for the top card.
    But consider these issues:

    a) How good do you really need to be?
    A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

    A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
    Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
    A single 7970 or GTX680 is about as good as it gets.

    Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
    Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

    b) The costs for a single card are lower.
    You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
    Even a ITX motherboard will do.

    Your psu costs are less.
    A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
    When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
    A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 or GTX680 needs only 550W.

    Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
    That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
    You will also look at more noise.

    c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
    The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
    Read this:,2995.html

    d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

    e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
    It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.

    Now, as to ram speed, it should not be an issue.
    The current Intel cpu's have an excellent integrated ram controller. It is able to keep the cpu fed with data from any speed ram.
    The difference in real application performance or FPS between the fastest and slowest ram is on the order of 1-3%.

    Synthetic benchmark differences will be impressive, but are largely irrelevant in the real world.

    Fancy heat spreaders are mostly marketing too.

    Only if you are seeking record level overclocks should you consider faster ram or better latencies.
    Read this Anandtech article on memory scaling:

    I have no problem with using 1600 ram since the cost difference over 1333 is trivial.

    Any P68 or Z77 motherboard will have adequate OC potential for conservative overclocks in the 4.0-4.3 range with either the 2500K or the 3570K.
    Not to worry there.
  3. Why does the say (1x, 4x) for PCI? Normally it says 16x/4x or 8x, I've not seen 1x/4x before.

    ALSO! I have a 560Ti and I can run basically any game at 1920x1080 max resolution with no lag, only time I lag is when I stream due to Processor. What good will SLI actually do, since my video card isn't even reaching 50% of it's "total use" when I game? Should I not even worry about it?

    Things I do: Stream everything.

    Dual box WoW and Stream (Huge processor strain, meh on video card.)
  4. It is 2 times X16 size slots that run at X1 and X4 speeds. Why I do not know!
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