A friend of mine was looking at my computer I built and asked a good question regarding his next build. Since I always jump on here to ask my trusted friends I thought I would give it another go for him as well...
Lots of Gaming (Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Left 4 Dead 2, etc)
Wants to make videos for youtube from gaming and what not
Adobe CS5 use (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc)
It is an Intel i7 2600K build and all parts are selected but here is the simple (or not so simple question):
He is a basic builder like myself (mostly plug n' play with basic OC of CPU)... Would it be better to have a
OPTION 1: Asus P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 Mobo with a Western Digital Caviar Black HD with a Crucial M4 SSD for cache
OR save about $100.00 and get
OPTION 2: Asus P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) Mobo with a large SSD for everything
The P67 build will require a video card before you can use it for anything. And you'll still need a hard drive for storage, in addition to the large ssd.
The Z68 build can be used immediately with the integrated video, but that won't be sufficient for gaming... just movies and lightweight games. So you'll still need a video card (probably sooner than later).
For performance go with a SSD for OS + Program,s (NOT FOR CACHING) and a HDD.
a 120/128 gig is big enough for OS + Programs and some games, But you will quickly outgrow it so you stillo need a HDD.
If You move to a 256 gig SSD @ about $400->$500, gives plenty of room and when you hit the 80% fill you know it's time for adding a HDD.
For gaming the 2500k is fine, but you also indicated encoding/photoshop, some of these programs can give better performance with the additional cores - just is the extra $100 worth it - only you can answer that.
I always recommend the Z68 over the P67 MBs - Just make sure you have enough USB3 ports. NOTE SOME MBs do not have the 20 pin connector on the MB so can NOT connect front panel USB3 to MB. Verify you MB has enough Sata II and SATA III ports for FUTURE. If XFIRE/SLI in even a future possibility verify it has 8x, 8x pci-e slots.
I will take responsibility for these posts as I guess I should have been even more detailed in the question. I am not sure why people keep talking about price, ways to save on cost, recommendations for processors or video cards... it has nothing to do with the question!!!
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
Regardless of which system is built it will have:
Corsair 650D Case
16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM
Radeon HD 6970 Video Card
Corsair Professional Series 1000W PSU
As stated in the original post all parts are selection other than MOTHERBOARD AND STORAGE DEVICE
So again, the quesiton is simple...
A Z68 MOBO with a Hard Drive and SSD for cache (which is 1 of the major points of Z68 tech)
A P67 with a large enough SSD to store everything
The point my friend was trying to make is everything he read says the Z68 SSD Cache system is to make a mechanical hard drive function like a SSD (performance)
So would it be better to do this or just get a SSD to hold everything on a P67 board...
Please don't provide opinions about processors or video cards as this is not the correct thread for such conversations.
RetiredChief - thank you as you are the only one that added something about the Z68 and P67 question. The Mobos he is looking at do have the USB3 connections on the board but even if they didn't he could do a pass through to the rear connection (which I personally hate).
1) On USB 3 - It depends on the Case (Ref pass thru) some case now use the 20 Pin MB connecter and NOT the pass thu. There have been several post from individuals who have been bit by this as MB did not have 20 pin connector, but case did.
2) On SRT - There are several reviews of the Z68 SRT. Yes it is the "Poor" man solution. Most reviews indicate a 1.5->4 x performance gain over a HDD. Alot depends on usage and frequence of calling a given file. In all the reviews I've read their bottom line was If the SSD was large enough for the OS + programs, Use it that way and NOT as a chache to a HDD. Min size for a desktop is 60->80 Gigs and Recommended 90 ->128 gig. My preference is 120.128 gig.
As I indicated I always recommend the Z68 over the P67. 1) There is not a big price diff between identically configured MBs. 2) Ideally NO ONE ever has a problem with the initial build powering up. RIGHT, With the Z68 the GPU can be omitted from the initial build which reduces the # of possible problem areas, and two should the GPU fail, or a problem with it then the user can switch to the IGP and still use the computer.
Thanks RetirefChief... this was what I assumed to be true but I am happy to see another take the same opinion on the cache performance from the Z68.
I do agree there are other good things about the Z68 Mobo as you pointed out. I think the best thing to do is not enter into the cache feature of the z68 mobo and just get a really good SSD for OS and programs while all other files (images, videos, etc) stay on a standard Hard Drive.