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Help Me Choose The Right Motherboard

Posted on 2012-12-28
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Last Modified: 2012-12-31
I have recently had to restart the process of choosing a Motherboard, which... when its the third time you are doing it... feels like much more of a chore than it was the first time.  For anyone who has done this recently, or is in the middle of the same process, or you just know about Motherboards...  This Question is for you.  


In Short:
I have an Antec 900 Case.  I am trying to finish / complete  the computer build.  The graphics card ( GTX550TI ) is a double wide, that actually takes up closer to 3 slots on the current motherboard, ASUS P8P67 LE R3 1155 ATX.  I have the Intel core i5 1155 processor for the current board already.  The video card, 1 slot, its heat sink and fan, 2 slots.  The system I am trying to build will have good graphics with the 1GB card, but I don't think I will need more than the current video card, and almost 100% certain no second vid card will be needed.  What I'm most interested in is being able to access and organize LARGE amounts of Data.  The system will have 1SSD drive as the boot drive.  1SSD for files.  Then...  3 WD Green 3TB internal drives ( to be setup in a RAID 5 config).  In addition to that, will probably install 2-3 more smaller WD drives.  Need at least 2x PCI Express slots, 1 for media card reader for the front, and 1 for Sound Blaster Live.  Lastly, this comp will be running Win7.


SO....  Does anyone know of a good Motherboard to fit what I'm doing.  Below, I'm going to try and list the same information, in maybe a slightly easier to work with format.  Trying to put each aspect in ascending order of importance...

I am looking for a Motherboard that:


IS...    between $150 and $300.  Obviously less expensive is better, if it also matches the following.
HAS.. 4x   6GB  SATA connections.  (More than 4 is also a plus)
HAS.. 4x   3GB  SATA connections.  (More than 2 is also a plus)
HAS.. 2x   PCI Express Slots not covered by a double wide Video Card.
HAS.. On-board RAID configuration, 0,1,5 min.
HAS.. Multiple USB 3.0 connection.
HAS.. Good Reviews / High Reviews.

Any questions, or additional information that I can provide, please let me know.  I will try to check back on this post, in about 3 hours.  8pm  EST.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Question by:FourthDownMage
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by:Scott Thompson
ID: 38728353
Here's a motherboard that as far as I can tell, it meets all your requirements.

ASRock Z77 OC Formula
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157328

It even has a USB 3.0 header so you can have USB 3.0 in the front (assuming your case has it, or you want to add it).

EDIT:  Just read that is an Extended ATX, which I'm not sure will fit into your case.  Sorry about that.
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Scott Thompson earned 500 total points
ID: 38728372
Okay, here's one that is ATX.

ASRock Z77 Professional
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157299

This one will fit in your case.  The only thing that I can't find with what you want is for at least two of the PCI-e x6 3.0's to be full x16.
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by:FourthDownMage
ID: 38728559
I am looking them both over right now.  I think the extended ATX should fit, the case is pretty huge.  Maybe I will go and measure.

I had been looking recently at:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128545

I wish they had a video for the ASRock Z77, the only one of the 3 that doesn't have.

You had said:
"The only thing that I can't find with what you want is for at least two of the PCI-e x6 3.0's to be full x16. "

My response:
Uhhh... What?    :)
The only Full x16 I would need, would be for 1 video card slot.  This board, the second one you mentioned, has 2, so it should be fine.  In fact, if I can find out, if the Video card could be used in the 2nd of the two PCIe 3.0 slots (the middle of the 3 red slots) when ONLY 1 video card is installed, I think I'd be pretty much sold on this board.  IF it can be used in that middle slot, the 2nd of the 3 red slots, then I could be sure that the two PCI Express x1 slots would both be free.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 38728591
I don't see any reason that you couldn't install it into the second slot. Should work fine.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38728874
you can always install a sata controller card - 3 or 6 GB as needed :  http://tonymacx86.blogspot.be/2011/08/increasing-disk-performance-sata-6gbs.html
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