I7 3770K - Choosing a motherboard (and a few other things)

Hi there! I'm looking for build advice on the new system I am making. I'll be building it myself, using a few parts from my old system. I'm mostly certain about what parts I want, apart from the motherboard, but I've listed the other parts in case anyone has any different suggestions. I use my system for pretty much everything, from gaming to work (CAD and 3d modelling/texturing, but not rendering).

I'll be buying my parts from this place because it's local. I would prefer to get my parts from the one place in case there are any RMA/warranty issues. I have a flexible budget of around $2000. I'd like to keep it lower because I want to upgrade to an Intuos 5, but I can wait a few weeks for that if it means getting the right parts.

The motherboard is the one thing I could really use help on, since I have been going back and forth on them. These are the motherboards they have (ATX) and (microATX)

I have quite a few hard drives (and could add more), so I would like to have plenty of SATA ports. The current build I have set out will be using 6. I don't currently have any plans to SLI/Crossfire, but I would like to have the board capable of 8/8 in case that comes up when I upgrade my card later on.

The motherboards I have had my eye on have been the following:
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 $239
ASUS P8Z77-V $305 (this line of motherboards has so many options it's hard to find which one to choose)

I generally prefer Asus to other brands, but I readily admit that's because I've been buying Asus for years. If other motherboards are a better deal I'm willing to hear it. I'm also wondering what is worth the price premium on the more expensive motherboards. Are the things like power control and the like worth the extra cash, or should I not worry about them? I don't want to short change my system by underspending on the motherboard, but likewise I don't want to overspend on features I don't need.

Here's the rest of the system I have specced out:

CPU: Intel i7 3770k $489
RAM: (32GB total) 2x G.Skill Ripjaws X (blue) 16GB DDR3 1600 $338
GPU: EVGA 560Ti (from old machine)
Hard Drives: 180GB Intel 330 $205
(from old machine) 64GB Crucial M4, 1TB WD Caviar Black, 1.5TB WD Green, 2TB WD Green
PSU: Corsair AX750 Professional $289
Case: Fractal Design R3 $199

Thanks to anyone who can offer advice, it's a great help.
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  1. For an editing/compute/VMware rig with light-med gaming capability its pretty good.
    If its a dedicated gaming machine its overkill in all the wrong ways and insufficient in the GPU, which is the important piece in a gaming rig.

    Of the three mobo's the AsRock is the best value, it comes with pretty much all the features you will need.

    The Intel 330 is the mid-range SSD from Intel, you would want something like the 520. But Intel's SSD's are very expensive considering their competition. I would go with the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, its faster and a bit cheaper than the Intel 520.
    OCZ Vertex 4 128GB. $220

    Also these parts seem very expensive, even for New Zealand prices. You may want to look elsewhere because that Vertex 4 is only $120 here in AUS, and the exchange rate between us isnt all that extreme.
  2. The Extreme4 has all the features you could ever need. The Extreme4 will give you more bang for your buck than any of the ASUS boards (especially boards like Sabertooth, which is more suitable for builders with an "unlimited budget" that care just as much about aesthetics than performance/functionality).

    Also, it looks like you are overspending on the PSU.
    Go for this one (it's on sale)
    or this one if you can't get the HX while it's on sale
    I'd also consider downgrading to a 650W PSU if you're not thinking about SLI.

    And ^+1 for the Vertex 4.
  3. It sounds like the Extreme4 is the way to go. Thanks!

    As for the prices, the local pricing aggregator (Pricespy) lists the Vertex4 at $211 at the cheapest. It's like that for most of the parts, there's a $5-10 premium but I'm happier paying that to be able to buy from a local store with a retail presence - especially since I've been buying from them for about 5 years, and know they're very good with RMA.

    I think we just get shafted with prices as a country, no real way around it.
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