Looking for a Z68 or Z77 to tick the following boxes;

Hi, I'm looking to build myself a new PC in the next month or two based around a 2500K. I've considered a 3570K, but in the UK, they are a bit more expensive and I'm on a pretty tight budget and can't really spend more than £170 on any one component. The final build, come around September should look a bit like this;

The parts I have yet to buy;
Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.0Ghz. (A conservative overclock to hopefully keep noise down.)
32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 bought in 2 lots of 16GB, the excessive amount is for use as a RAMdisk.
Z68/Z77 Motherboard to fit the spec below.
CPU cooler that is a good compromise between noise and performance. Right now my eye's on the Corsair Hydro H100.

And as for the parts I already own;
MSI GTX 560ti 1GB
Coolermaster Cosmos 1000 tower case
Crucial M4 128GB
Corsair HX620 PSU
Various storage drives (consolidating these at a later date.)

Now assuming I do go for a Corsair Hydro, that'll mean my choice of motherboard will need the following;

3 Fan headers, (2 system, 1 CPU.)
4 Front Panel USB 2.0.
Around 4 rear USB ports, speed isn't important.
1 Legacy PCI slot to accommodate my sound card, which I'd like to keep.
Reasonable OC potential. Anything's better than nForce 680i, I can't get more than 300Mhz extra out of my Q6600, regardless of what I try.

So, looking at that, I'm considering the Asus P8Z77-V LX, since it seems to be getting good press and seems to do everything I require, on top of being exceptionally cheap for what it is. The only thing that concerns me is the overclocking potential, but considering the overclock I want is very mild by Sandybridge standards, I'm not too worried. So, my question is, are there any alternatives worth considering?
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  1. Here are my thoughts:

    1) You have a well cooled case. There is no need for a H100. It is noisy, expensive, less reliable, and will not do the required cooling job any bettter than the cm hyper212 at 1/4 the price.

    2) Buy a single 32gb kit of ram, not multiple kits.
    Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
    Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
    Some motherboards can be very sensitive to this.
    That is why ram vendors will not support ram that is not bought in one kit.
    Although, I think the problem has lessened with the newer Intel chipsets. Still,
    it is safer to get what you need in one kit.

    3) You will have no problem reaching 4.0 and beyond, regardless of the motherboard. They are all good.
    I would tend to pick a Z77 based motherboard. They are newer, and no more expensive. Just buy one that includes the specific features you listed.
  2. Quote:

    I'm not touching SLI with a forty foot pole, so I neither want, nor need a board with that capability.

    As for RAM kits, it's a matter of price, apart from anything. A single 32GB kit is going to be very difficult for me to afford. I've checked out the 212 though, seems like a solid cooler, so my interest is piqued. Though, that said, the airflow in the original cosmos isn't nearly as good as you might think, at least not with mine - My Q6600 which I have in there right now is reading 55-48-52-56 at idle and stock speeds, coupled to a Freezer 7 as I type. It's so hot simply because the dust in my house clogs the dust filters faster than I can clean them.
  3. Your Q6600 is a 65nm part. Intel has moved on to 45nm, 32nm, and now 22nm with ivy bridge.
    CPU cooling is now much less of an issue, at least for any sane overclock.
  4. Yeah, I'm aware of the advances that have been made, though I have the G0 stepping Q6600, so TDP is actually slightly lower than the 2500K. I'll be changing up the case fans to use better models too though, as I currently have an Arctic Cooling set and they're a bit sub-par.

    As for mATX boards? No thanks. Not one of them actually comes close to offering the full feature set I require. Either they're low on fan headers, missing a PCI slot or short on USB ports - four rear is an absolute minimum and six or more is ideal as I actually have six USB items that are going to be wired up to the computer at any given moment, not counting things like my camera, flash drives or psp. The fans aren't even quite adequate on the LX if I go 100% air cooled as my case has 4 fans, not counting the CPU cooler, so I actually ideally need 5 headers, but the price to pay for that is just a little too high. And that's where the LX comes good, price. All the mATX boards I've seen are barely any cheaper than it, in fact most are more expensive.
  5. I already stated that I didn't want any more than 4.0, which is barely a couple hundred Mhz higher than the maximum turbo on a 2500k anyway. I'm not going for a high overclock, not with this build since my PSU is old and a little on the weedy side for a bleeding edge OC anyway and that's before we even think about boards to couple it with. I know 4+1+1 is a cop out from an OCing perspective and if I actually had the money, I'd get myself something more like the Gigabyte UD3/5H, but for the moment I don't. Believe me, I've been burnt by bad motherboards before, my current board is an Asus P5N32E-SLI which are legendary for being bad overclockers, thanks to the terrible 680i chipset.

    I will hopefully be getting a bit of inheritance money later in the year at which point, sure, I'll probably change out the board and go for a more aggressive overclock, but I have no timeframe for that and this build ideally needs to be up and running within 3 weeks or so, hence the tight budget.
  6. No problem, I definitely appreciate your opinions, both of you. Hopefully that inheritance will come good soon as I definitely don't want to be stuck with the LX for long. Who knows, if I get enough I might even take a stab at a proper watercooling kit too.
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