I'm building a PC for the first time in ~7 years, so of course there's once again a great deal to learn. I see from various reviews that the Z68 chipset offers two innovations: SSD caching, and the Virtu graphics switching software.
Since I was already planning on hosting the operating system and most apps on an SSD (OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
), I don't see SSD caching as being particularly useful to me. A few comments on this site seem to support this view.
Opinions on the net seem to vary widely over whether the Virtu software does a good job or not. In addition, one source says you need two video cables connected to your monitor to benefit from this feature - one connected to the motherboard's video outputs and the other to a video card. Is this true?
Applications: I do play some games, including a few relatively modern ones like Batman: Arkham Asylum, so I was considering a video card with some horsepower. I also rip and encode videos (so far, only DVD) for watching on my PC, and on a standalone player that is networked. I rip audio, do some basic image editing (using GIMP), some software development (I am semi-retired). The two big reasons for building now are the age of my current system and the fact that increasingly, it cannot handle games I might want to try. I'm not looking for the kind of bleeding edge system that costs huge dollars, but I'd like something
I've noticed people here seem to like ASRock motherboards. My current build has an ASUS board and that has been satisfactory, so I was considering them. Is ASRock better? Worse? I don't know too much about other makers, but I am told Gigabyte makes generally good products.
Thanks in advance.