Which CPU/mobo combo would be best?

OK, so I'm going to the twin cities for work tomorrow, and there just happens to be a Micro Center there. Yay for me!

My question is, what is the best Intel CPU/mobo combo for the price? I don't have any experience with Intel stuff, but with the disappointment that is Bulldozer, what do you do?

Here is a link to the October specials (Page 27):

2500k for $179 or 2600k for $279.

Plus from what I can tell, extra $40 off mobo with 2500k purchase (not in the ad, but when I put a 2500k + mobo in cart, it took $40 off the mobo). Also $80 off select mobos with a 2600k purchase.

Also looking for advice on a PSU. Probably in the 650W range as I will not run CF/SLI. Preferably modular, without LED's.

So far for my new system, I have the following:





I will definitely be overclocking, so please consider this when making a recommendation on the mb. Plan on picking up a CM Hyper 212+ for cooling, cheap DVD, etc.

Budget for CPU/Mobo/PSU: about $400

Please help, as I would have to decide by tomorrow afternoon so I could place the order on my phone and pick up in store before I head home!
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about which mobo combo best
  1. even a 2500k at stock speed will not be the limitation in your build for gaming
  2. What will you be using the system for? If gaming, what games and resolutions? What other programs?
  3. I will be using the system for gaming, video encoding, etc.

    Games (so far): Borderlands, TF2, Skyrim 3? at 1920x1080.

    Other programs: Handbrake, Audacity, Office stuff.

    I was kind of leaning toward the 2500k with the thought of an upgrade to IB if/when needed. Just want a decent mobo to go with it that will OC well (not MSI). Or if the price is right with the $80 discount on the mobo, I would consider the 2600k.
  4. So I looked at the combos for a while, and this is about the only option for a combo special with the 2500k:

    Of the other 3 choices, one is mATX (don't want), the one I do want is out of stock, and the third one is too $$$.

    Any input on this board? Only 6 reviews on Newegg. Can get this with the 2500k for $285 after tax.

    Edit: Or I can get this board with 2600k for $50 more.
  5. Anyone?
  6. Best answer
    Z68 is a good platform choice. For gaming and audio editing (audacity) the 2500k is the sweet spot and a great choice. Handbrake on the other hand will eat as many threads and ghz as you can throw at it. The 2500k will do well, but the 2600k will do considerably better ( and certainly not hurt the gaming).

    So. If cutting perhaps significant time off handbrake encoding is worth $50 to you, go with the 2600k combo - otherwise the 2500k combo.
  7. Yeah, I decided that the 2600k would be worth the extra $60.
  8. Best answer selected by jcamel24.
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