Its not that I'm not into overclocking at all. But its only something I do when I know I can recouperate from catastrophic failure. lol. So later on down the road, if I end up dropping a near-top-end CPU onto the (already completely capable) motherboard, I can squeeze another year or two of keeping up with the times. Thats kind of how I do my own computers. I've built dozens. But when it comes to my own, as limited as I often am on budget. I usually want as good a foundation as possible with the aim to fill in the gaps later.
For instance, in this case, I intend to (hopefully) land another nice big spacious case with plenty of room for hard drives and cards (in case I wind up accidentally getting a surprisingly massive video card like I did last time, I can fit it =) geforce6800gt.) Support for as much memory as I could ever hope to throw at it (support for highly clocked memory, and lots of it)This way, With a big case, and all the bells and whistles in place. I can put in a "Par" CPU, and "well above average" GPU (so I can get some gaming in) and then later on, once I start getting comfortable with the extent of its capabilities, add to it. Add two more sticks of memory. Possibly, ;eventually do the most expensive upgrade, and put in the "near-top-of-the-line processor." Possibly put in a paired video card and start experimenting with SLI.
I like possibility. I want the possibility of tons of hardware support. I dont necessarily need to start out using everything that could be done with a MAXIMUS, but later on down the road, when I grow tired of the capability of my 3750k, and 16gigs of memory and single video card. Or even grow tired of the strength of 32gig memory, and an even better processor. And have some spare parts to fall back on..... Start REALLY getting the rest of my moneys worth.
I've learned that if you prepare for the long haul (by investing in massive expansion options and overclocking capability) that once you get to the end of the road, it doesn't mean the end of the journey. Even a little bit. With the right choice of hardware and bells or whistles, its just the beginning of yet another chapter in the life of a well built computer.
Though it may seem like a waste of good hardware for me to be aiming at a MAXIMUS, I would really enjoy knowing just how far I can push it once push comes to shove.
When I built my little brothers computer, I used an ASRock motherboard and was quite pleased with how matter-of-factly it got the job done. But there wasn't much....impressiveness. It didn't really wow me about anything in particular. Its a little plain. So despite my support of ASRock as able to get the job done, and surely very capable in many / most of its models. I've got more experience with pretty expensive ASUS boards.
Oh! And about the little slot in that case. Ya know why I'm interested in that? People needing me to fresh-install their computers while retaining their data. It usually involves installing their drive as a slave on my computer. This looks like it COULD be a pretty painless alternative for that. I will also likely put it to good use as storage. Since I always get extra hard drives from friends and family or canninablized computers I've come across. I always liked the idea of those HP HotSwap drivebays they had. I was just greatly disappointed by them being more or less brand specific, requiring their brand of storage medium. I always thought "Man it would have been nice if i could just jam one of these exctra 40gig HDDs in there." This looks like HPs HotSwap reborn USEFUL.
When the other shoe falls, I may end up having to go for a cheaper motherboard, which I could accept, and would undoubtably be one of your suggestions. And quite possibly from the houston MC. I'm only about an hour and a half away from it.
Man I get rambling when talkin shop. I always feel guilty and self absorbed when my posts get this long. ANYWAY I dropped in to tell anyone reading this thread....that the OCZ rebate process is RIDICULOUS
Since I dont have access to a printer or copier, the whole process is made doubly inconvenient, but aside from my own personal difficulties in applying for a rebate.... You have two choices. Either wait 8-10 weeks ONCE THEY GET & APPROVE your rebate letter. Or pay 3$ and they'll mail it within 5-7 days of receiving the claim letter. So....for 3$ I can have them actually give it some effort? Aw thanks! Bess frens 4eva! =/ Oh! Whats that? I don't and CAN'T get a check for the remaining amount? It comes on a "free" credit card gift card which includes some "service fees" and it can't be used at an ATM? SWEET!!! This is getting better by the moment! =( I'm totally disappointed by OCZs rebate process.
I had not bought anything of OCZs previously. And I may not again. I'm happy that I got a 700w modular SLI power supply for what came down from 90$ to 50$ after neweggs free shipping and 10$ off. Fifty bucks seemed like a pretty good deal on it. I've put it into the tower I've been using lately, and its MASSIVE. Had to take out the motherboard (with its big stupid CPU fan cowl) just to get the old PSU out. Let alone get this massive PSU in there.
OCZ 700w ModXStream Modular Power Supply
Although neweggs servicve is always awesome, OCZ's rebate process was / is very tiresome and a little disappointing. The price, between the reseller and OCZ was really competitive and reasonable. It came with a bag (literally like a showerbag type thing) full of its cables, which is a little neat. But since I don't plan to carry these with me, um, ever, I think I would've rather they cut costs a little by not including the cable purse. But I'll put it to use I'm sure in some form or fashion, its kinda neat. This power supply is massive. Its not so much long as it is every bit as deep and tall as a power supply can become (i suppose to be more compatible with mid-tower cases and the like). But with every type of connector I could need for it to power my previous-generation computer, or the one I'm in the process of building I'm very happy with how functional it is.
(That was a lot of reading I'm sure.....if anyone has actually read this entire message I'll be impressed. Peoples attention spans are always so short. If I could bang foreheads like doctor who and skip all the needlessly elaborate explanations, I would =) Cookies to all!