well a buddy of mine is going to buy my i5-2500k and z68 along with my old case and heat sink. I have crunched the numbers and it looks like I can upgrade to a i5-3570k a decent mobo and heat sink for about $25-$50 after the sell. going to sell in April right before ivy bridge comes out. I think getting rid of old junk and SB and being able to upgrade is worth it.
I'm also going to be selling my gtx 480 while it is still worth over $200 and borrow a 250 from a friend and save the cash for kepler. I figure that right now is the best time to sell while its only one series behind and still has value. as soon as Kepler rolls out itll never sell for more than $200
guess the reason for the post is, is it worth around $150-$200 to upgrade to IB and Kepler. Kepler no doubt is worth it, the only reasons for me to go IB is for pci-e 3.0 and lan party bragging rights, but I think the low costs to upgrade to it are enough motivation to do so plus I found my current mobo usb 3.0 speeds to be rather sluggish and I wouldn't mind thunderbolt support
IB has more than PCIe 3.0 going for it. It will be 10-15% faster than Sandy while using 20-25% less power so if you pump up the voltage you should be able to could considerably higher overclocks on budget coolers. I'm not sure if any IB motherboards will have thunderbolt or not.
Micro-ATX boards suck at overclocking and tend to have less performance oriented features than ATX boards do. I would never recommend a Micro-ATX board to anyone whom want serious performance and especially so when with gaming. There just isn't enough space for large amounts of power phases, four DIMM slots at up to 2400MHz, and all the other benefits of ATX's more room.
What do you meand dedicated IB board? Pretty much all Z68/P67/H67/H61 motherboards support Ivy bridge and many of them support PCIe 3.0 (especially Z68 motherboards, many Z68s have PCIe 3.0 already)
Z77 (when ti comes out) will probably just be an enhanced Z68, maybe making PCIe 3.0 support mandatory and improving default connectivity. There probably won't be a major difference besides native support for USB 3.0 and maybe another pair of SATA 6Gb/s ports.
That $185 Micro-ATX board is probably beaten or at least matched by some $150 ATX boards. I didn't mean to imply that all Micro-ATX boards suck but that for their price they suck in comparison to ATX boards when it comes to overclocking.
I want micro atx so I can have a wider range of cases to choose from, I want to eventually do a m-atx build. I only have a single video card and I probably can't afford an sli setup for a few more generations. I'm not an extreme OCer. m-atx is really all I need. one pci-e is all I need with one more for possible sli. if I wasn't so poor id have a better rig, I still have the best rig at every lan party I go to