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Need Help with NF200 Board Selection

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a high-end Sandy Bridge motherboard. I'm leaning heavily towards either the Maximus IV Extreme or the EVGA Z68 FTW. My priorities are overclockability(I want to know that it's my CPU and not my motherboard limiting the overclock), appearance, and price in that order. It will be running 2 GTX570/580's(undecided which) and a PCI-E sound card.

The ASUS board looks solid, more overclocking features than I'll probably use, plenty of people running maximum overclocks. It eliminates potential NF200 latency issues by supporting 2-way SLI straight from the controller on the CPU at x8/x8, with the Z68 chipset handling the x1 for the sound card. From what I've been lead to believe, that is the most effective way this setup can be done with the 1155 platform.

The EVGA is significantly less money and hasn't already been used in every extreme 1155 build known to man. I can't find any information on how well it overclocks. I'm also concerned that it has potentially poor PCI-E lane arrangement. The bottom 5 slots are all run off the NF200. Since there's a heatsink in the way of one x1 slot and the top GPU would block the other one, I would be stuck using an NF200 slot for both the sound card and bottom GPU.

According to the Z68 block diagram, it shows graphics getting a total of 16 lanes and the chipset effectively getting 4 lanes. NF200 boards are advertised as allowing x8/x16/x16, but last I checked 8+16+16≠16. Since I don't think NF200 can magically create more PCI-E lanes, would running a sound card on the EVGA board effectively be gimping my graphics by making it x8/x7/x1?

A lot of text I know, but I'm hoping someone has knowledge or experience with these subjects that can help me decide on a board.
post #2 of 2
Honestly I'd go with the MIVE if price is that low of a priority on the list. EVGA (more specifcially, classified) just aren't the same since they let go of their original mobo dev team. I did go from an E760 Classy to my current MIVE-Z though and both boards are nothing short of awesome for their socket/time of release. I did skip EVGA on 1155 though after reading a lot of mediocre reviews and a lot of complaints people had with the board. It's build quality also didn't seem as good as the X58 Classys, and was definitely not on the MIVE's level. I only run a single gpu and a sound card on mine though, so I can't comment on your SLI question.
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i7 7700k ASrock Z270 Extreme4 EVGA GTX 980Ti ACX 2.0 G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin ... 
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Main Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 7700k ASrock Z270 Extreme4 EVGA GTX 980Ti ACX 2.0 G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin ... 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 960 Evo 1TB  Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK windows 10 Home 64-bit asus vg236h 120hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
keycool 84  Seasonic SS-660XP2 Silverstone FT02B Nixeus Revel 
Audio
Audio-Technica ATH-A700 
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