I am proud to finally be able to say that as of today, I am officially a member of this fine community. I come to you now as a novice with a question regarding my design for a PC build. In particular, I have a few questions about the Big Bang XPower II motherboard. I originally wanted to build my rig using the MSI x79-gd65 (8D) board, but reading up on the XPower II board, I am now confused as to which one I should use, and if the XPower II is worth the extra money.
These are my questions:
1. Does only having PCI-Ex 16 slots and not having any Ex 4 and Ex 1 slots hurt this the Big Bang XPower II's ability to use other chips/accessories (Wireless-N PCIe Adapters, sound cards, etc.) In other words, is it better to only have PCI-Ex 16 slots on your board or do you prefer having some PCI-Ex 4 and Ex 1 slots?
2. Aside from being able to use 4 way sli/crossfire video card configurations, how is the Big Bang XPower II better than the MSI x79-gd65 (8D) motherboard? Would you suggest I buy the Big Bang XPower II over the MSI x79-gd65?
3. I know that both the Big Bang XPower II and the MSI x79-gd65 (8D) can support 128gb of RAM, assuming that they make 16gb RAM chips in the future. But I read somewhere online that the i7 3960x can only support 64gb of RAM. Does that mean that because they probably will not make anymore LGA2011 CPUs in the future, these boards' feature to support 128gb of RAM is useless?
4. Since this will be my first time building a PC Rig, I am not comfortable with using a water cooling system. Could you please suggest an excellent Heat Sink cooler for Big Bang XPower II motherboard.
5. I have read that the Big Bang XPower II board can support the i7 3820 CPU but that it does not recognize this particular CPU out of the box. Do any of you own the XPower II board, and if so, did you also experience this problem when you used this board for the first time? If the XPower II board I ordered cannot support the i7 3820 CPU, how do I remedy this?
I know that you are all busy individuals, so feel free to take your time with your responses to these questions. Please number your answers, so that I know which of my questions you are trying to answer. I have faith in the experts and professionals in this community. Thank you for your patience and consideration, and I look forward to hearing your expert opinions.