Sandy vs. Ivy & Z77, New Build


Apr 9, 2012
Ok, where to start...

I'm building a new computer. I want to use either Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge with a z77 motherboard. Z77 comes with lots of usb 3.0, which I like. This may be a stupid question, but if I use Sandy, will I still get all the usb 3.0 ports?
Also, if a motherboard has 2x pcie 3.0 x16 slots running at 8,8 AND an additional x16 slot running pcie 2.0 at x4, will I get all of the slots? I understand that I will get the two slots at x8 each, but will be limited at pcie 2.0 bandwidth. For example, boards like the MSI z77a gd65 or Gigabyte z77x ud5h, the third pcie slot runs at x4 but is only available with Ivy Bridge cpu's. Motherboards like the Asrock z77 extreme6 and Asus P8z77-v Pro have that additional slot is controlled by a plx chip, so it should be completely independent of the CPU (I think). Will I still get 3 pcie x16 slots if I use a 2600k on something like the extreme6 or z77v pro?

Additionally, I will overclock any CPU I get to ~4.5ghz or higher, and my choices are the 2600k, 3570k, and 3770k. Ivy Bridge seems to run very hot at anything over 1.23v, so I'm worried about getting a 3770k and clocking it that high on air. I will be doing video conversion with Handbrake, so 8 cores would be preferable and so are high clockspeeds. Which should I get? Ivy or Sandy?