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Old 08-10-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
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Default Pick Me A Mobo!

With Battlefield 3 a little over 2 months away, it's time to get this first generation i3 traded up to at least a second generation i5.

I have it in my head that I want a Z68 board. I'd probably be fine with a P67 board but I like the ability to be able to fall back on the IGP if a GPU buys the farm (I can still write for TG if that happens too!) but at the same time want to overclock the snot out of the CPU.

The only other requirement is that the needs to be a PCI-E x1 slot that will not be blocked by a double GPU setup that is going to be in place when the game drops.

So far the ASUS P8Z68 series looks to be the winner, plus I'd get the bonuses of both disk caching (when applicable) and Quick Sync by way of Lucidlogix's Virtua should the need ever arise to encode video.

Keeping the above in mind, are there any alternatives that I may have overlooked that will hover around the $150-$160 price point?

Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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Asus Maximus Decimus Meridius IV EXXTREEEEEME!!
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:55 AM   #3
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ASUS is as good as any... has UEFI and that's about as good as it gets for Z68 far as I'm aware. As long as ya don't run into blackplate issues I guess. (P8P67 has two caps on the back of the board that shouldn't be there, they block some style blackplates)
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:46 AM   #4
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I plan on getting the P8Z68 V Pro its a tad pricy but screw it. I think the lesser V model falls in your price range. There are some cheaper versions out now don't know what the deal is.

ASrock and Gigabyte might want to avoid for their use of the etron usb 3.0 controller as it seems to have a tendency to die and while its working have issue with windows. MSI seems okay as well if not more expensive and some complaints about DVI not working but it may seem those fall on user error in reality.

As mentioned watch out for backplate issues on some coolers with ANY board. If there is a problem and you got to use it then insulated spacer for the win.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday View Post
Asus Maximus Decimus Meridius IV EXXTREEEEEME!!
RAMPAGE CROSSHAIR SABERTOOTH GENE EVO DELUXE!!

Thanks for the input guys. I had no idea about the clearance issues on the back of the socket. On the P8Z68-V, I don't see anything on the back that would cause problems but maybe I'm overlooking something.



Having used GIGABYTE's Z68 board for the disk caching article and then the ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution for our CPU cooler/hard dive testing system I've become spoiled and want UEFI.

MSI's P67 boards were inconsistent so I tend to shy away from them, plus the price premium that seems to be attached is a bit of a turn off but I could be persuaded if they had features that I don't know about.

This may be an expensive upgrade. 8GB of RAM may find its way into my shopping cart as well. Hehehehe.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:40 AM   #6
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This may be an expensive upgrade. 8GB of RAM may find its way into my shopping cart as well. Hehehehe.
With many many sets of 1333 and 1600 DDR3 16 GB kits (4x4GB) hitting the 125 dollar mark I decided to forgo 2 x 4GB with the future of 16. Im getting 16 right now. Cheapest Ive seen in 1333 is 100 from Gskill in the ripjaws branding. Going for corsair but everyone else has something in the pot. Of course thats USD.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:07 AM   #7
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I could do a 16GB kit of low profile Vengeance and have had my eye on them since any of the kits, blue, black or white would go with the ASUS Z68 boards. I suppose future proofing is the way to go.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #8
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I could do a 16GB kit of low profile Vengeance and have had my eye on them since any of the kits, blue, black or white would go with the ASUS Z68 boards. I suppose future proofing is the way to go.
Yeah I picked my Zalman CNPS9900 MAX in Blue specifically for ram clearance along with case clearance. I was offered a free Noctua NH-D14 but it apparently has some clearance issues with my Thermaltake V9 BlacX. My second choice probably would have been the Frio. But the Zalman is a pound lighter and doesn't cover the ram. It is a bit noisy at max speed but the performance and size seem to be worth it.

Yeah I dunno when I got my ASUS Laptop for gaming I swore when 8GB of DDR2 800 dropped in price I was going to upgrade, plus the stock crap was holding my bus clock back. Well it dropped.... to 150 bucks..... so I never did it. So yeah I dunno with 16 GB of DDR3 being less than that I think I'm going to skip the concept of upgrading later.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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The problem, Rain, is that they'll keep improving on current designs. If you do need 16 GB, you need 16 GB. But if you don't, purchasing them for the sake of skipping future upgrades won't probably do you any good.

25-nm DRAM is apparently on its way, for instance. Meanwhile, improvements in latency, speed, or even a new design (DDR4 is expected to be released next year **) will eventually make you want to upgrade regardless; and the early investment then made redundant.

** That's 30 nm dies at 1.2 volts. 2133 MHz normal speed and up to 3200 MHz. Hard not to drool over it.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:49 AM   #10
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I am building a 5 year machine now and I bought the laptop I have now for 900 (9800M GTS/C2D 2.8Ghz) with the plan of replacing in 3 years. It will be 4 months from that when it actually gets replaced due to gaming so a little early. 2 Grand of desktop I am hoping will make it 5 years.

Of course there is always hardware failure lol. But say it was a mobo id likely try to scrounge up a PCI-E 3.0 1155 board for the ivy bridge that would be in it by then if its within my interests. I cant afford to replace the machine anytime soon and I want something NOW not later lol.

But that's just me they are probably on a 2 year schedule like alot of people maybe 3.

EDIT - I think I should probably say what I Like to have is double whatever I need. Mind you an extra 8GB of ram can be a bit much but I run virtual machines for development I can almost justify it not quite at the moment.

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Old 08-12-2011, 01:05 PM   #11
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My only concern is that my memory usage will be over 4GB with things going on in the background and while gaming so it's likely an 8GB upgrade for me. I wish I could find another 4GB set of my ECO's for cheap.

I'm hardly a power user and tend to use my rig for only a handful of things at a time.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Mind you an extra 8GB of ram can be a bit much but I run virtual machines for development I can almost justify it not quite at the moment.
Yup. A VM pretty much justifies the 16 GB investment.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks for the input guys. I had no idea about the clearance issues on the back of the socket. On the P8Z68-V, I don't see anything on the back that would cause problems but maybe I'm overlooking something.

You can see the problem in that exact photo... there is a line of four capacitors running parallel to the metal socket plate, located between it and the memory plate. These four caps are a problem as some blackplates can't seat with them there.

When Rob and I were putting together the SSD test platform we had this exact problem... the Thermaltake Frio's backplate wasn't usable. It depends on the backplate design, I was forced to use a Noctua cooler on the P8P67 because of it.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:41 PM   #14
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Are you talking about this?

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Old 08-15-2011, 12:26 PM   #15
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Erm, yeah. Five, I can't count I guess. Although I think it was actually four on the P67...

At any rate, the leftmost column, if you use any backplate that touches the board there it will either not seat fully, or it will crush them if you force the issue when tightening down the cooler. Depends on the style of backplate... those that only seat on the socket plate are generally okay.
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