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New PC: I7 2600K + water cooling. Which MB?

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December 29, 2011 2:46:43 AM

Hi there!

I decided to go for a new pc and I have less than 10 days to decide everything about it.
I'm going to US (I'm from Brazil) and I can save a lot of money buying it there.

So I decided to call for help to make things right.

I want a quiet PC for general use, some intense computing, and some gaming (Starcraft 2 mostly).
Probably will make some OC but nothing extreme.
Don't want to expend too much on that (will save some money for cooling).

Considering noise is a major concern, I decided to go for a custom water colling system. I'm not going into this subject here.

CPU: Intel I7 2600K.
RAM: probably Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8Gb (2 x 4Gb) Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz (CML8GX3M2A1600C9B).
PSU: probably Corsair Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX)
Video Card: probably EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5
Storate: 128Gb SSD to be defined + Raid 2 x 1Tb Seagate (or other) for data safety (redundancy).

I'm having a lot of trouble to decide which motherboard to chose. I believe Z68 chipset is the best choice.
First option was Asus, but it is a little expensive IMHO.
Second choice was Gigabyte... but some people are complaining about most of their models (in newegg and others).
I'm not a big fan of Asrock.

Can anyone help me with motherboards and general advice?
Thanks very much.

More about : 2600k water cooling

December 29, 2011 3:42:51 AM

Well you basically crossed off the top three motherboard manufacturers. I wouldn't go with MSI as they don't seem reliable (for motherboards at least). So here are my thoughts: if you have the money, go for ASUS. They make great boards and have extra features like Bluetooth, for example. Gigabyte boards seems to get mixed reviews. I haven't done much research with them, so I'm probably not much of a help, sorry. Lastly, if you're on a budget, go for ASRock, even if you aren't a big fan of them. They make good boads with excellent prices.

So here's what I came up with:

ASUS #1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Since you're from Brazil, I assume you won't want to spend a ton of money to upgrade to Ivy Bridge. This boards is basically the exact same as the GEN3 version, except without PCIe 3.0 (only usable on Ivy Bridge). Good board for decent price.

ASUS #2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Micro-ATX, not sure if that's a downside for you. Same as one above, there's a GEN3 too if you want it, but it's more expensive. Good for OCing.

Gigagyte #1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- 2nd Best Z68 rated on Newegg out of Gigabyte's boards. Seems like a good choice. Maybe do some research if you have time?

Gigagyte #2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Like a lot of Gigabyte's boards, got mixed reviews. Best rated though. Not too many featues. For this price, ASRock seems like a better choice.

ASRock #1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- I know you're not a fan of ASRock, but this is very good for the price. If you don't need all of its features, look at the board below.

ASRock #2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Same as board above with less features. You decide if you need them.

Conclusion: I would avoid Gigabyte (for motherboards, at least). Just ordered a graphics card from them so better be good! Haha but for $150-$200, get an ASUS board. You choose which one. The Gene-Z looks sexy in my opinion (I've seen the other one it real life it looks great too). For $100-$150, I would recommend the ASRock Extreme3 Gen3. Even if you aren't a fan, it is the best option. I just purchased one and it's on the way. If you want me to tell you how it performes, I would be more than happy to :) 
December 29, 2011 12:18:30 PM

The ASUS P8Z68-V looks promising... some people were complaining about it at Newegg, but I think they were out of lucky.

The ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z is impressive, but I'm worried about the expansion slots. I'd like to get a good sound card in a new future if the onboard one is not that good. I currently have a ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe Wifi and the onboard sound is not that good (a lot of HIS). I was thinking about a Creative X-Fi, but reading the newegg feedbacks, I got a little disappointed about it. Maybe a PCI slot is necessary in a near future. What do you think?

Some people suggested the GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 either. Looks like a good board. I'll dig into that a little more.

I'd like to stay with this new pc for as long as possible.
If the GPU gets a little outdated, I could go for a SLI (would be cheap by that time).
Is there any restriction on using the PCIe 1x slot (topmost slot) for a sound card? Would it be too close to the video card?
The other PCIe 1x slots are between the two SLI PCIe 16x slots.

I'll double check the ASRock too... will try to judge that fairly.

I'd love to hear about your experience on your new ASRock board. Would be very helpful.

I'll stay in touch!

Thanks very much for your reply.
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December 29, 2011 1:54:46 PM

- The 550Ti is going to have trouble keeping up with the latest games (though it would be enough for SC2 since SC2 is highly CPU-dependent). And, if you are going to water-cool your GPU (especially if you are using a full cover block), you may want to jump for a better GPU from the start.

- Fan of ASUS here. I'd definitely suggest the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO or GEN3 version. ASRock is another good choice if budget is a concern.
December 29, 2011 3:44:52 PM

Good point. I'll probably go for a better GPU.

I liked the ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 at first glance. Will take a better look tonight.

Thanks very much.
December 29, 2011 3:56:40 PM

Saw some benchs and looks like it is not worthwhile to get the i7 2600k. Chose i5 2500k instead.

Have to decide which is the GPU of choice. Will check this out tonight.

For now, that's the target setup:

CPU: Intel i5 2500K.
MB: ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3
RAM: probably Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8Gb (2 x 4Gb) Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz (CML8GX3M2A1600C9B).
PSU: probably Corsair Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX)
Video Card: GTX 570 or GTX 560.
Storate: 128Gb SSD to be defined + Raid 2 x 1Tb Seagate (or other) for data safety (redundancy).

Opinions?
December 29, 2011 4:04:58 PM

Looking good.

Will you be water-cooling the graphics card? If so, you'd need to plan ahead to see if there are water blocks for your particular card (if you are going full cover).

Btw, GTX 560Ti > GTX 560.
December 29, 2011 4:13:04 PM

Quote:
Will you be water-cooling the graphics card? If so, you'd need to plan ahead to see if there are water blocks for your particular card (if you are going full cover).


Sure. I'll make sure before buying. I'm not sure whether I'm going full cover.
Looks like it is just as good to use just the GPU water block and some sinks for everything else. The Zallman heat sink packages seems to be nice.
Thais way I wouldn't spend a ton of money when I decide to update my video card or something. Specially considering water cooling is not that common here in Brazil. There would be no use for the full coverage water block (money waste).

Quote:
Btw, GTX 560Ti > GTX 560.


It's always important to remember. Thanks for the spot. I'll consider the whole range from GTX 560 to GTX 570, including others in between.

Thanks.
December 29, 2011 4:50:56 PM

Hi Marcus

You have a major advantage there and it is that you can test the system in the US before bringing it into Brazil, if anything goes wrong with the mobo, you could easily RMA it. I live in Colombia and it took over three weeks to my parts to arrive and the international shipping+taxes were around USD$140.

As you will be saving a lot of money, I'd suggest you to get a better video card and a reliable motherboard. (I pulled the trigger with Asrock and it's good so far)
December 29, 2011 5:05:26 PM

Quote:
Hi Marcus

You have a major advantage there and it is that you can test the system in the US before bringing it into Brazil, if anything goes wrong with the mobo, you could easily RMA it. I live in Colombia and it took over three weeks to my parts to arrive and the international shipping+taxes were around USD$140.

As you will be saving a lot of money, I'd suggest you to get a better video card and a reliable motherboard. (I pulled the trigger with Asrock and it's good so far)


Actually, my father is going. Will stay in San Francisco for 10 days.
I'll probalby go there in april, but I have plans to buy another Gibson Les Paul guitar by that time!
Have to buy it this time!

I'll have to buy everything online and send to his hotel or maybe to an american friend.
I don't fill conftable to ask my father's friend to go out and buy things for me. Shipping 1500+ USD in equipment to his house is already too much, and he is not that into the subject. So I have to buy online.

Here lies my advantages! LOL

When you say reliable motherboard, you mean Asus or Gigabyte? That's my intention.

Thanks for your reply.
December 29, 2011 5:22:31 PM

marcus_cps said:

Actually, my father is going. Will stay in San Francisco for 10 days.
I'll probalby go there in april, but I have plans to buy another Gibson Les Paul guitar by that time!
Have to buy it this time!

I'll have to buy everything online and send to his hotel or maybe to an american friend.
I don't fill conftable to ask my father's friend to go out and buy things for me. Shipping 1500+ USD in equipment to his house is already too much, and he is not that into the subject. So I have to buy online.

Here lies my advantages! LOL

When you say reliable motherboard, you mean Asus or Gigabyte? That's my intention.

Thanks for your reply.


OH I see,
a reliable mobo means(for me) a mobo with high positive feedback regardless of the brand (MSI, Asus, Gigabyte, ASrock). Also make sure that whatever parts you choose, they are well packaged (it's a long trip). Try to choose parts with free shipping within the US, and remember that they usually take 1-3 days to deliver from newegg and 1-6 days from amazon.

PS: I love GLS guitars.

December 29, 2011 5:33:12 PM

Quote:
OH I see,
a reliable mobo means(for me) a mobo with high positive feedback regardless of the brand (MSI, Asus, Gigabyte, ASrock). Also make sure that whatever parts you choose, they are well packaged (it's a long trip). Try to choose parts with free shipping within the US, and remember that they usually take 1-3 days to deliver from newegg and 1-6 days from amazon.

PD: I love GLS guitars.


Sure. Reliability is the main point of this thread! :D  I'm very concerned about it. That's why I'm not confortable with some Gigabyte and Asus models. I've seen a lot of complains in Newegg's feedback sections. Don't want to get caught in a RMA situaion.
But it is good you've touched this subject.

I will focus on Newegg and Amazon... do you know any other store that worths the mention?

GLS are the best! I have a P90 loaded GLS that I love more than anything. You have good taste on that! :D 

Regards.
December 29, 2011 6:12:57 PM

marcus_cps said:
The ASUS P8Z68-V looks promising... some people were complaining about it at Newegg, but I think they were out of lucky.

The ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z is impressive, but I'm worried about the expansion slots. I'd like to get a good sound card in a new future if the onboard one is not that good. I currently have a ASUS P5Q3 Deluxe Wifi and the onboard sound is not that good (a lot of HIS). I was thinking about a Creative X-Fi, but reading the newegg feedbacks, I got a little disappointed about it. Maybe a PCI slot is necessary in a near future. What do you think?

Some people suggested the GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 either. Looks like a good board. I'll dig into that a little more.

I'd like to stay with this new pc for as long as possible.
If the GPU gets a little outdated, I could go for a SLI (would be cheap by that time).
Is there any restriction on using the PCIe 1x slot (topmost slot) for a sound card? Would it be too close to the video card?
The other PCIe 1x slots are between the two SLI PCIe 16x slots.

I'll double check the ASRock too... will try to judge that fairly.

I'd love to hear about your experience on your new ASRock board. Would be very helpful.

I'll stay in touch!

Thanks very much for your reply.
If you ever wanted to get a sound card and SLI then I would cross out the Gene-Z. It would probably fit, but airflow might not be as good. You'd be better off with the P8Z68-V. It seems like the Creative ones are good, but have problems after a while (drivers and reliability). Maybe look at the ASUS ones? Not really too knowledgeable of sound cards sorry.

It might be good to look into that Gigabyte board. I was actually looking into it a few months ago.

If you go SLI, here's a video of a guy who has SLI plus a sound card: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNtqdHp_514

Should be getting my board today. I'll keep you updated :) 

Oh by the way when you were asking about stores, you could also try Tiger Direct. You said your father is staying in San Francisco right? You could try Fry's Electronics. I think the closest one is like 45min away (don't live there, only visited sorry). Might not be worth the trip though.
December 30, 2011 12:31:29 AM

Quote:
Should be getting my board today. I'll keep you updated :) 

I'll be waiting! :D 

I think I decided my GPU: EVGA GTX 560 Ti 1Gb:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130604

GTX 570 is too expensive for my needs.

Up to now:

Case: CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced (probably... need to check if water cooling fits)
MB: ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 (still may change)
CPU: Intel i5 2500K
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8Gb (2x4Gb) DDR3 1600MHz (CML8GX3M2A1600C9B).
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX)
Video Card: EVGA GTX 560 Ti 1Gb
Storate: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128Gb + 2 x Seagate 1Tb.
Optical drive: TBD
Wifi board: TBD
Sound card: postponed (will check if the onboard is OK)
Cooling: Custom water cooling solution.

Still need to get a Wifi board. Any suggestions?

What do you guys think about it?

Thanks so much for your help.
December 30, 2011 12:50:37 AM

marcus_cps said:
Quote:
Should be getting my board today. I'll keep you updated :) 

I'll be waiting! :D 

I think I decided my GPU: EVGA GTX 560 Ti 1Gb:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...tem=14-130-604
GTX 570 is too expensive for my needs.

Up to now:

Case: CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced (probably... need to check if water cooling fits)
MB: ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 (still may change)
CPU: Intel i5 2500K
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8Gb (2x4Gb) DDR3 1600MHz (CML8GX3M2A1600C9B).
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX)
Video Card: EVGA GTX 560 Ti 1Gb
Storate: Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2CCA 2.5" 128Gb + 2 x Seagate 1Tb.
Optical drive: TBD
Wifi board: TBD
Sound card: postponed (will check if the onboard is OK)
Cooling: Custom water cooling solution.

Still need to get a Wifi board. Any suggestions?

What do you guys think about it?

Thanks so much for your help.
Can't view the link for your GPU :(  I'm assuming it's this?
Build looks really good so far! That case does work with water cooling so you are ok there :) 
For WiFi, I got a Rosewill RNX-N180UBE. It's worked really good so far (signal has increased from 82% to 100%!).
December 30, 2011 12:59:01 AM

Quote:
Can't view the link for your GPU :(  I'm assuming it's this?

Exactly. I probably forgot to use the kink tag. I'll edit that.

Quote:
For WiFi, I got a Rosewill RNX-N180UBE. It's worked really good so far (signal has increased from 82% to 100%!).

Its been a while since I haven't dig for Wifi adapters. My ASUS P5Q3 comes with an embedded Wifi card.
I was thinking most of them are PCIe or PCI.
Seems everyone is going to USB now. I'll just chose a Linux compatible one. This one seems to work right away.
Considering the price, it seems we have a serious candidate!

Thanks so much. I'll double check everything and get back if something comes up.

Guys, I'd gave you all a 6 pack for all the help I got. Unfortunelly, I'm in Brazil. So, next time! :D 
!