Looking for a motherboard to start my setup for first comp build

Hey all! Long time lurker here!

I'm looking at building my first computer and I've accumulated a lot of information and am having some trouble sorting it all out. I'd like to keep the build under a grand and I'm not hoping to make a top-of-the-industry machine. I will mainly be using the system for audio engineering and production and also for some moderate gaming.

I think that I can sort everything out once I have found a suitable motherboard but it gets to be a bit of black magic for me. Here is one I'm looking at now as newegg has a free 8gb RAM when you purchase it. It seems to meet all my needs, but what about quality?


Or should I go with this one? It seems to be very similar and priced almost equally:


I'll be running a i7-3770k as I live by a micro center and can get the deal. So am I good to go with this mobo? If so, will any graphics card I would like to buy work with it?

Thanks for all the help in advance!
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  1. The answer to your question may be impacted by this article http://www.anandtech.com/show/6902/msi-z77agd65-gaming-review. They are basically the same boards save for the NIC and gaming ports. Buy the better value which seems to be the first one with the 8 GB of RAM thrown in.
  2. Thank you!
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