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Please advise between 2 Motherboards & 2 CPUs

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I'm not quite sure if this is the appropriate forum for this post, though I know at least one member here who's very tech experienced on video post-production work, and has generously shared his expertise. So here we go: I’ve managed to narrow my choices down to two motherboards: The ASUS Z97-A and theGigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H ]. However, I hope that any and all here might help me to decide between them-OR

any other motherboard that you would strongly recommend instead.


I do no gaming at all, so a frequently overclocked, multi-CPU/GPU machine is hardly

in order. However, my new pc build must be capable of performing certain other tasks extremely well. Thus, overall system cost is not a serious factor:




Cool & Quiet operation for true high end audiophile grade two channel stereo music serving.


Legacy PCI Slot: As you probably know, very few Z97 chipset models include the legacy PCI slot. But I need it for my M-Audio 2496 sound card. Unlike all other popular DAW software, due to Avid’s long-standing, shall I say, proprietary aggressiveness, only their (M-Audio built) hardware, such as this card, contains the drivers to run my old Pro Tools version 7.4.2 DAW platform. And the recent Pro Tools upgrade now including software-based drivers, allowing the DAW to run on any audio hardware interface is hardly worth the >$300. in my case.


DC Supply Noise Rejection: Because my M-Audio card’s SPDIF output and one of the motherboard’s USB ports will feed a very high end external audio DAC (i.e. Berkeley Berkeley Audio Design Product 2, Lavry, Wadia, et al), the motherboard’s DC supply circuitry must have very low noise, superior RF and EMI rejection and excellent voltage regulation. Of course, the chosen system power supply (i.e. Corsair, Seasonic, et al) must of necessity also exhibit the same low electrical noise performance.


System must have the CPU and GPU power for encoding and rendering movie length DVD and 1080p BluRay video at competitive speeds, via Sony Vegas Pro 13 ( Vegas Pro 13 Overview )


Likely system parts: Intel Haswell 4790S (possibly 4790K) CPU( Haswell (microarchitecture) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Desktop_processors ), ASUS Radeon R9 270 DirectCU II OC graphics card (AnandTech | Home 7503/the-amd-radeon-r9-270x-270-review-feat-asus-his/15 ) to feed my EIZO HD2442 monitor. Nanoxia DS-1 case( AnandTech | Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Case Review: You Asked For It, You Got It ), Sony BWU-500S BD burner, Plextor PX-760 DVD burner, Seagate Constellation ES ST500NM0011 HDD (main system drive running Windows 8.1) and an SSD (Hitachi, Samsung, WD, et al) running Windows XP SP2 for Pro Tools 7.4.2 and Serato Pitch n Time Pro plug-in.


Btw, while I do have some technical knowledge (i.e. applying the proper amount

of thermal paste between the CPU and the board’s heatsink plate), I’m have a local service shop do all that, install Windows and set up the BIOS for the cool and quiet power management and other functionality I may need, as detailed below.


IMPORTANT: Would both Over AND Underclocking the Right Haswell CPU be my Best Option?


[ In any case, please know that for video rendering tasks in Sony Vegas, the chosen Haswell CPU’s on-chip HD 4600 graphics will (through the chosen motherboard) feed my Dell “source” monitor, while the ASUS R9 270 card will feed my EIZO “output” monitor. ]


Would Cool & Quiet operation for high end audio plus reasonably fast 1080p video encoding/rendering (via Sony Vegas Pro 13) be asking too much of the same tower desktop pc?


Attempting to achieve this end, my first choice was the Haswell 4790S processor. Would its 65W TPD, 4 core/8 thread, 3.2 GHz normal/4.0 GHz turbo specs make it

the best choice for me?


But because I don’t have quite enough knowledge to determine this on my own-but from what I’ve read on overclocking, underclocking (Underclocking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )-and the capabilities

of select motherboards to provide this functionality-I’ve also considered whether I’d be better off choosing the Haswell 4790 or the overclockable 4790K CPU.


Again, I only know so much on the subject, so please point out any fallacies in the following scenarios:


OPTION 1: Running the 4790S CPU at its normal 3.2 GHz, it can easily handle any task with any audio software I’d ever use. And when running Sony Vegas Pro 13 for 1080p video encoding, the motherboard’s BIOS can be preset to enable the 4790S CPU’s 4.0 GHz Turbo mode, when it detects that higher work load. Turbo mode gets the encoding job done faster, albeit with consequent higher power consumption and heat.


OPTION 2: Running at its 4.0 GHz normal speed, the overclockable 4790K CPU is clearly overkill for my audio and everyday tasks. And the idle and/or normal speed power consumption of this 88W TPD processor would probably be way more than that of the 65W TPD 4790S. Evidently, not a CPU for a “cool and quiet” pc.


But what if the 4790K could be underclocked-and “undervolted” by the motherboard down to the 4790S’s 3.2 GHz normal speed and voltage, depending on the given work load?


1.) If the ASUS Z97-A and/or the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H can do this, would it insure that the 4790K’spower consumption and heat dissipation will be no higher than that of the 4790S when running at 3.2 GHz?


2.) If yes, then when ONLY WHEN I am encoding and rendering 1080p video in Sony Vegas, the 4790K will be (manually or automatically?), reclocked or “revolted” to its normal ranges, thereby enabling its 4.4 GHz Turbo speed to handle the heavier load?


On the other hand, would choosing the 4790K over the 4790S be a practical,

cost effective choice (i.e. fan noise and heat) only if the 4790K were overclocked and “overvolted” to run above its 4.4 GHz Turbo speed; say, more like 4.9 GHz

or so, for video encoding jobs?


Would 4.9 GHz over a “part-time” overclocked 4790K versus the 4790S’s 4.0 GHz Turbo speed be enough of a video encoding timesaver to justify the heat and power consumption from this “part-time” overclocking?


All things considered for high end audio playback serving and 1080p video encoding/rendering in one pc, should I choose the 4790K or the 4790S?


If you suggest going with the 4790K, then between the ASUS Z97-A and the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H, which, if either board, might be substantially better board for both over and underclocking (and “volting”) this CPU?


Once again, please feel free to recommend any other motherboard with impressively rapid 1080p encoding in Sony Vegas, a PCI slot and very low DC, RF and EMI noise rejection. Thank you.

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