Asus P8Z68 V-Pro vs AsRock Z68 Extreme 4 gen3 vs MSI Z68a-GD80-B3

animesh singh

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Hello, guys @ Tom's Hardware forum, this is my first post here and I hope you will all be helpful to me.
So guys, you read the title. What's your opinion.
Asus P8Z68 V-Pro - Very popular motherboard, with generally flattering reviews. Has the indisputablybest BIOS.
AsRock Z8 Extreme 4 gen3 - Supposedly identical to the above.
MSI Z68a-GD80-B3- I'm considering this due to extra ethernet ports, x16/x16 dual card mode and military grade components.

I shall only be using 2 GPU's maximum.
Used mostly for gaming, movies, music and there-abouts.

The second question I pose to you is the i7 2600k vs i5 2500k debate. Only differences are Hyper-Threading and the extra 2 MB L3 Cache. Is it worth the extra $100 for the afore-mentioned purposes. Only reason I am considering i7 is to future-proof. Will games run smoothly on a quad-core processor 3 years from now.
And lastly, seeing as I won't be building till next month, is it worth my while to wait for AMD's Bulldozer range of CPU's.
 

animesh singh

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I sure wish that someone would give me a concrete answer addressing all my fears, thereby leaving no doubt in my mind.
Anyways, how do you feel about my Mainboard dillema ?
 

pro-gamer

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hmm!these 3 mobos are good but asus is much better this mobo also support dual and quad gpu's function beside this the overclocking steps is too much easy as compared to other mobos i also using asus z68 vpro and iam very happy with it.
According to your 2nd question.I recommend you i5 2500k go for it.it perform better than all other cpu's i gurrented you don't worry about cache memory 6 mb is enough for i5.spend money on a decent gpu because games highly depend on gpu you must go for gtx 570 later you can sli it.In last make sure you have a quility psu for better and stable temps.
 
Your interpretation of the MSI Z68a-GD80-B3 specifications may not be accurate. As found in the details section at Newegg:

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16
- PCI_E2 supports up to PCIE x16 speed when PCI_E4 is empty, or PCI_E2 will support up to PCIE x8 speed when PCI_E4 is installed
- PCI_E4 supports up to PCIE x8 speed
- PCI_E5 supports up to PCIE x4 speed (due to the limitation of the chipset, when the PCI_E5 has been installed with a PCIE x4 device, 1 eSATA ports, SATA7 port, 1 onboard front USB 3.0 connectors, 2 PCI slots and 1394 rear IO port will become unavailable
With 2 GPUs installed, it should be X8/x8, not x16/x16.
 

animesh singh

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Hmm, it still has extra ethernet ports and higher-quality build. Seeing as the 3 mobos are identical to some extent, which would you recommend ?
 
I don't really care about the dual LAN on the MSI, but I like its THX certification (which the ASRock also has).

Since all 3 motherboards use the same Realtek ALC892 audio controller, they can't be very different.

Read the following reviews and then decide which one best meets your requirements:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-z68-extreme4-asus-p8z68-v-pro-gigabyte-z68x-ud3h-b3,2939.html

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/MSI-Z68A-GD80-B3-Motherboard/1279

http://thessdreview.com/hardware/asrock-z68-extreme-4-motherboard-review-all-inclusive-becomes-the-new-standard/

Also check the warranty length if it's a decision factor.

I would probably go with the ASRock because of the PLX PEX8608 chip that allows using more PCI-E lanes.
 

animesh singh

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Hmmm, I really don't care about AsRock's mobo allowing us to use the 3rd PCI 2.0 Slot since I won't be using more than 2 GPU's. Mobo's a DAMN tough decision. Anyways, what do you think of my processor problem, specifically with regards to what I've posted above ?
 
I don't see a processor problem. Since you'll mostly be gaming, then the i5-2500K should be fine. Get the i7-2600K if you'll use it's additional power, but it won't help much with gaming, at least not enough to justify the price difference.

There are less expensive and excellent motherboards, e.g., GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P, ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z, etc. I know that I'm not helping you much by providing additional options...
 

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