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Motherboard slowly dying, too many ideas, need help.

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Jan 19, 2004
Good whateveryourtimeofdayis OCer's! This will be a little on the long side, please bear with me.

Let's start with the rigs. In addition to the one listed as my sig, I also have:

i7 2600K on a ASUS P8Z68-V PRO :bang head stock speeds :bang head
16GB 1600MHZ Corsair Vengeance RAM (dual channel arrangement, 2x8)
Two SSDs, 128GB (OS) and 512GB (Games)
Two HDD's (1TB, 3TB, both for storage)
Air cooled in a nice full tower.
Two EVGA GTX 760 in SLi

The motherboard has been slowly dying. First it was one of the SATA ports, then the NIC died, then half the USB ports started dumping connections and reconnecting repeatedly (on board and in case), then a temp sensor went out and started detecting the CPU at 99c. Imagine my surprise when one day I actually did overheat, but never has it been near 99c or it wouldn't still be running 5 years after the build. I also started with a modest overclock, but almost immediately had to start stepping down, and have been stuck at stock for stability (not even the ASUS auto overclock can be achieved).

I was originally considering upgrading to a 6700k and doing the DDR4 big step forward. The more I look at benchmarks and performance comparisons, this seems like a leap in enthusiast numbers but a very minor one for the things I do, which are:
Gaming (at 1080P right now)
Virtual Machines for games that don't work in Windows 10.
Software Development
Occasionally hosting a game server
Typical internet browsing, etc.
Using RDP and sometimes hosting it.

I often do many of these things at once, but without much loss in performance. As is, I barely get much stuttering from Fallout 4 (an achievement in its own right) even with hidef mods installed, and it doesn't properly use my second video card. I'm thinking with a good motherboard, I could probably achieve performance similar to the 6700 with some overclocking, and would definitely go watercooling if I did it to make sure. That, of course, would bring me into a whole new area of hardware I haven't messed with yet. That also seems like something I could keep using when I upgrade to a Cannonlake or whatever down the line.

Alternatively, it's the 6700k plan with a new motherboard and 16GB of DDR4. That has the benefit of futureproofing slightly, which clearly has worked out for me in the past. Unfortunately, water cooling might need to wait, and that cuts into the money usable for the final factor here.

I want to get a GTX 1080 when it's not just the Founder's Edition, and if I have water, include it in the loop or have it on an AIO. I also have an entire room dedicated to this total project; I can do the desk-case combo thing if I want.

My questions are below. I plan to use my Amazon Prime account to finance this project, so if you're aware a product isn't available through them and recommend it, please note your recommendation isn't available there so I don't search for hours ;).

1. Is it better to buy a replacement board, or just go ahead and make the upgrade jump? Are my numbers off, or does it seem about right?
2. Either way, I've had a lot of trouble with ASUS products (this board, a wireless card, a router, and the G73JH laptop I had to RMA 3 times and then return to buy my Sager) which seems...weird. Is there a better alternative, or should I stick with the brand?
3. If I wanted to go overboard on watercooling, which I might if I keep the 2600k, what is the best PC watercooling equipment available right now? Am I better with an AIO for each piece or multiple individual waterblocks for components all connected to one huge radiator? Remember, space is not an issue, I can mount this in anything.
4. Is the GTX 1080 going to be worth it over the two 760's I have now? They're the 4GB variant. Also, will the 2600k hose the performance boost?
5. Are there any brands of any of the above that I should stay away from?
6. An HTC Vive is in the cards once the tech matures a little in the market. Theoretically, the 2600k is a lesser processor than supposed minimum requirements. I think they list starting at Gen4. Should this influence my decision?

Thanks for your input in advance. It's been a long time since I've been ready to make big purchases for my tech, and I'm trying *not* to max out my card, though we all know that no matter what I do that will probably happen.
Well, question is: do you need the GPU power of a 1080 for 1080p?

If I were you, I'd hold on the 760's til November and switch to 4K monitor and a 1080ti.

Watercooling on the 2600k might net you 100MHz, 200 max. Not worth the bucks spent IMO...

You do a lot of multitasking? Why not going with a 5820k/X99 platform?

Edit: How much are you willing to spend?

Edit 2: grab a NH-D15, or a Raijintek Nemesis, take your 2600k to 4.8GHz. It will equal a 6700k@stock.
You do a lot of multitasking? Why not going with a 5820k/X99 platform?

Mostly because of the increased price of the X99 platform, the difference in single-core performance between the 5820k and the 6700k, and I'm a bit concerned about how long the X99 platform will be in use compared to the Z170. The main reason is the single core performance; I do multitask a lot, but 90% of my use is gaming.

Edit: Ideal pricetag, under $1k. Maximum, $3k. (USD) Money spent now is money that cant be used for a long while, though, so future upgrades are in mind.
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Well, a [email protected]+ will perform the same as a 6700k, and will net you some comfort in multi tasking.

Honestly, I hesitated a lot before grabbing the X99 platform, and even after, I was ready to swap to a Z170 if the CPU would not OC decently.

I've been lucky and got it [email protected]+ stable, so no brainer for me. I believe both platform are equally good, and you could not be disappointed in any case.

Question is: do you need the upgrade? Would not a [email protected]/4.8GHz be good enough?

If I was not benchmarking like hell, I think would still be running one of my 2600K's...
I think with CPU intensive games, such as Fallout 4 (which is not optimized properly, the Bethesda branding mark) and No Man's Sky, I'm concerned with performance. I also don't want to bottleneck a video card upgrade. But in answer to your question, no I don't need to upgrade immediately, so maybe I should look into a replacement board for the 2600k.
Im sorry for your loss :(
Try finding a cheap but good board on ebay or amazon?
Also if you do upgrade to Skylake maybe try the Xeon E1230V5? Its the same as i7 6700 but cheaper and also the turbo clock is 200MHz lower. Supports Z170 mobos if you want Z170 :p