I'm a total n00b, I have very little experience overclocking.
Anyhow, all that is about to change now that I got some good money in the bank and I am about to blow $2,300 to $2,500 on a new gaming rig. I am going to buy a 3770K, and tinker with it on air cooling, and if I blow it, so what, I can afford another one. Like I said, I came into a lot of money, time for an awesome gaming rig.
Here's the thing, I got all my parts chosen, except for the motherboard.
It's a toss up between the OC Formula and the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP7.
For about 10 days now I have not been able to make up my mind.
The thing I like about the Gigabyte:
1. BIOS switch. Just flip from your overclock BIOS to the default BIOS when you goof up your overclock so bad it won't POST.
2. Every USB port works on an independent fuse. Stick some cheap USB cable into the port, blow the port, and the other ports around it are fine.
3. Additional PCIE 3.0 slot.
The Things I like about the OC Formula:
1. 8 Layer PCB and 4 x 2oz copper. You know this thing is built to last!
2. Nick Shih OC BIOS profiles!
3. I've had nothing but good experiences with Asrock in the past. My first build was with a cheap $60 motherboard, it was an AM2/AM3 socket. Came with OC software, and for the first time ever I experienced the thrill of overclocking. I couldn't afford a case for that old rig, so the MoBo just sat there propped up on plastic soda bottle tops for years in a wet and damp basement. I had no air conditioning, so it got up to 83 F in that basement in the summer. That thing took so much punishment, and yet it never quit. Practically every other piece of equipment died, the monitor, my keyboard, 2 old hard drives, 1 floppy, 2 CD drives, a CPU fan. The way I abused my old computer was down right criminal, things like picking up a HDD while it was running, and setting it out of my way to set my dinner plate or whatever on the computer desk. if a $60 Asrock can be abused like that, imagine what this $240 MoBo can handle.
4. $160 cheaper than the Gigabyte
5. The most beautiful motherboard in computer history!!!
Seriously man, when your current OC Formula rig is old and can't keep up, you won't be throwing away the motherboard; you'll be mounting it to your wall like a priceless work of art. And your grand kids will point and ask what that thing on the wall is. And you get to explain that back in those days computers ran off what they called PCB circuit boards. And then they'll point to the Nick Shih signature and ask "Who is Nick Shih?" and you'll get to say "He's the reason I have a dozen tanks of liquid nitrogen laying around the house, never did beat his record."
Anyhow, the thing I am wondering about both he OC Formula and the Gigabyte is, can either one SLI 3 GTX-660's?
I'm aware that if possible, the OC Formula would make me SLI them in PCIE 2.0 mode, but I doubt that would bottle-neck the SLI performance. I am just wondering if it can do it. It says it supports 3 way CrossfireX, and Quad SLI, but it doesn't say it supports 3-way SLI. So I am wondering about that. Does anyone know?