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Need a new spacious LGA 1155 motherboard

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

Currently I have the ASUS P8Z68-V. It's a great motherboard for what it was designed for, and hasn't ever given me a single problem. When I first bought it, I wanted something basic, but great and reliable for its price. And that's what I got. But now, about 1 and a half years from when I built my pc, my needs have changed and I need something a bit better than this. I'm currently running a 7970 on the top PCI-E slot and a Sound Blaster ZX sound card on the bottom one, and there's barely enough room to fit another card in there.



It's fine with it's current usage, but very soon I'm upgrading my 7970 to a 780 and the ZX to a ZXR (bigger, better sound card, although I won't be using it's daughter board). Also, down the road I plan on grabbing a second 780 for SLI. I do plan on overclocking my 780 quite a bit (this is my first card I'm ever going to try seriously overclocking).

So not only would I not have enough room, I'm afraid I would run out of bandwidth with PCI-E 2.0. I have decided then that it's time to upgrade. So can you please give me some suggestions or recommendations? I really like ASUS, don't know much about the reliability of the other brands, (a friend recommended to me the Gigabyte Sniper and one of the MSI boards). If I get another ASUS will I still have to do a fresh reinstall of the OS?

I also have a few questions.

1.) Is there any reason to get a Z68 or a P67 over a Z77?

2.) I realize I won't be able to take advantage of PCI-E 3.0 with my i5 2500k. So with any motherboard upgrade I'll be getting the same bus bandwidth as I'm currently getting with my Z68?

3.) For my uses, is PCI-E 3.0 needed or would make a good difference? I would really hate spending even more money on a new CPU. From what I know, from a performance standpoint there really is no reason to upgrade to Ivy Bridge or Haswell from an i5 2500k. Mine is OC'ed to 4.5 and never gets above 70C in any game, it's great. So is my bandwidth is going to be really tight with 2 (eventually 3) devices using my PCI-E lanes, making PCI-E 3.0 worth the upgrade to a new CPU? Besides that, I'm only worried about one other thing with my CPU, which is...

4.) With this new motherboard I'm getting and a 780, is my OC'ed i5 2500k going to be a bottleneck in games?

I really don't think I need or upgrade my CPU, nor do I want to. But if the bus bandwidth is too saturated and/or if the i5 2500k is not enough with a 780, please give me your honest opinion if a CPU is worth the upgrade.

Sorry for deviating from the original question, but they're all related. Thanks so much.
Edited by apav - 7/22/13 at 1:50pm
post #2 of 8
1) The only reason would be if you can find a board with similar features for cheaper. Otherwise no.

2) Yes, you will be limited to PCI-E 2.0 with your 2500K no matter what.

3) The difference will be negligible.

4) In some games yes, but that is mostly unavoidable. Faster processors won't do much better either.

As for motherboards, I would probably get a Z77 board simply because the selection of Z68 boards is very poor this late in the game.

Some good choices that have wider PCI-E spacing it looks like.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157328
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131854
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-SNIPER3&c=CJ
post #3 of 8
To get the spacing you want you probably need to look at EATX form factor mobos (they generally have more slots). Bad news is they tend to also be high end boards that cost a lot.

A few that come to mind are Asus Maximus 5 extreme, Gigabyte Z77XUP7 and EVGA Z77 FTW.
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post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuckie7 View Post

1) The only reason would be if you can find a board with similar features for cheaper. Otherwise no.

2) Yes, you will be limited to PCI-E 2.0 with your 2500K no matter what.

3) The difference will be negligible.

4) In some games yes, but that is mostly unavoidable. Faster processors won't do much better either.

As for motherboards, I would probably get a Z77 board simply because the selection of Z68 boards is very poor this late in the game.

Some good choices that have wider PCI-E spacing it looks like.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157328
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131854
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-SNIPER3&c=CJ

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post #5 of 8
If it were to help your decision at all, I think that an upgrade from a Sound Blaster Zx to a ZxR is a questionable upgrade, especially if you`re not using the daughter card. The sound quality is not a whole lot better on the ZxR, especially if you aren`t already using really high quality speakers...

On that note, I have the ZxR installed, with the daughter card, along with a 780 and a PCI wireless card. This is all on the Gigabyte UP5 TH. When I can get one on sale, I`ll be adding a second 780 - space isn`t really an issue at the moment, as the daughter card does not take up a pci slot, just an expansion slot in the case.
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuckie7 View Post

1) The only reason would be if you can find a board with similar features for cheaper. Otherwise no.

2) Yes, you will be limited to PCI-E 2.0 with your 2500K no matter what.

3) The difference will be negligible.

4) In some games yes, but that is mostly unavoidable. Faster processors won't do much better either.

As for motherboards, I would probably get a Z77 board simply because the selection of Z68 boards is very poor this late in the game.

Some good choices that have wider PCI-E spacing it looks like.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157328
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131854
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-SNIPER3&c=CJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by dihartnell View Post

To get the spacing you want you probably need to look at EATX form factor mobos (they generally have more slots). Bad news is they tend to also be high end boards that cost a lot.

A few that come to mind are Asus Maximus 5 extreme, Gigabyte Z77XUP7 and EVGA Z77 FTW.

Well, after seeing your suggestions I think I've changed my mind for now. If I don't have to worry about the lanes getting saturated causing a potential bottleneck or a huge performance difference between PCI-E 2.0 and 3.0, I'm going to wait until I get that 2nd 780 to upgrade my motherboard. Physical space is the only real reason I would need to upgrade, but I'm not getting a 2nd card right away so there's no reason to until I do get it in a year or two. By then Haswell's successor or the generation after that will be out, so I'll upgrade my CPU in addition to a new motherboard for that new socket. As long as my CPU or mobo isn't an immediate bottleneck for the 780, I think that's a good decision!

I do have one more question though. Normally, pushing past a 4.5 OC on an i5 2500k would give negligible gains. But is boosting my 4.5 ghz up to 4.7 going to make a difference paired with my 780? If It's more of a bottleneck, wouldn't it make a bigger difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadricwan View Post

If it were to help your decision at all, I think that an upgrade from a Sound Blaster Zx to a ZxR is a questionable upgrade, especially if you`re not using the daughter card. The sound quality is not a whole lot better on the ZxR, especially if you aren`t already using really high quality speakers...

On that note, I have the ZxR installed, with the daughter card, along with a 780 and a PCI wireless card. This is all on the Gigabyte UP5 TH. When I can get one on sale, I`ll be adding a second 780 - space isn`t really an issue at the moment, as the daughter card does not take up a pci slot, just an expansion slot in the case.

It's for my DT 990 250 ohm headphones. I barely use my speakers that much anyway. The Z/ZX card doesn't have a good enough amp to sufficiently power these cards (125mW at 32 ohms), and as such it sounds a little distorted at even medium volumes. The ZXR however has no problem powering 250 ohms, I read somewhere that there is a 8dB difference in max volume between the two. The Burr Brown DAC is also definitely better. I've heard mixed opinions about upgrading to the ZXR (I'll hear the difference.. I won't hear the difference), so I'm just going to try it for myself and see. However I am very confident that the amp in the Z is not up to powering my headphones, so I can only imagine that the difference will be noticeable, if you have some good hardware.

If I can sell my ZX for $100, and I can get the ZXR's for $196+tax, that isn't a huge price difference. And maybe I can sell the daughterboard to make a few extra bucks back (because I'll never need it). It seems worth it to me, but I could be utterly disappointed. Hoping that doesn't happen. And thanks for the encouragement on the space! Still must be pretty sandwiched in there though.



Thanks to all of you smile.gif
post #7 of 8
If you're upgrading the sound card because of an amp, get a proper amp. Beyerdynamics play well with tube amps.
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by apav View Post


Well, after seeing your suggestions I think I've changed my mind for now. If I don't have to worry about the lanes getting saturated causing a potential bottleneck or a huge performance difference between PCI-E 2.0 and 3.0, I'm going to wait until I get that 2nd 780 to upgrade my motherboard. Physical space is the only real reason I would need to upgrade, but I'm not getting a 2nd card right away so there's no reason to until I do get it in a year or two. By then Haswell's successor or the generation after that will be out, so I'll upgrade my CPU in addition to a new motherboard for that new socket. As long as my CPU or mobo isn't an immediate bottleneck for the 780, I think that's a good decision!

I do have one more question though. Normally, pushing past a 4.5 OC on an i5 2500k would give negligible gains. But is boosting my 4.5 ghz up to 4.7 going to make a difference paired with my 780? If It's more of a bottleneck, wouldn't it make a bigger difference?

4.5 to 4.7 is about a 4% overclock, so you would see up to a 4% gain in CPU limited situations.
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