Originally Posted by Paradigm84
Sorry if this is a stupid question but what would be the advantages over getting a Z77 board over Z68 Gen3? Is it just native PCI-e 3.0 and USB 3.0 support?
Native PCI-E 3.0 and USB 3.0 are the only real improvements made for Z77, but are both in the early stages of practical useability. If you buy one of the Z77 boards upcoming in the next few months, likely, it will be replaced by some sort of Z78 within a few months to fix inevitable "new tech" problems which are guaranteed to arise with the new PCI-E and USB standards and how efficiently they are able to do their thing. Being an "early adopter" of anything usually involves this kind of thing.
Taking into consideration there are very few USB 3.0 compatible devices available as of today, and that PCI-E 3.0 won't actually be necessary to run even multiple GPU offerings flat-out for the next year of releases at least, these technologies' only real use is to plaster their logos all over motherboard and GPU boxes to boost sales. These new standards were developed and implemented ahead of there being any necessity for them, and because of this, they should be considered little more than a gimmick for 99% of PC users, unless you plan to tri- or quad-SLI some Keplers and/or want a USB stick that can double as an external hard drive. Even tri-sli will likely not really dent it much, if the 7970 is any indication of what we can expect from Kepler. It would make sense that their bandwidth requirements would be very similar.
At this stage you can't really go wrong with either. There's really no such thing as "future proofing", as by the time USB 3.0 and PCI-E 3.0 are in common usage, any board you buy in 2012 will be quite outdated.Edited by lowfiwhiteguy - 3/2/12 at 7:50pm