Thanks for all the replies.
lodestar wrote:Although they cost a bit more, you would be better of considering the MSI GD series, such as the GD45 if you intend to overclock. The MSI Z77 GD boards have better quality power supply components, so they are a better bet for overclocking and are more power efficient than many other boards.
Sadly, it looks like those are not available in micro ATX. I forgot to state this requirement, though the NSK3480 implies this. The GD55 board linked in your 2nd post won't fit.
lodestar wrote:And OC Genie II is an automatic, convenient way of getting a moderate overclock of around 4.2/4.3Ghz. The only downside potentially is that the BIOS fan controls are fairly basic.
The MSI Z77MA-G45 has OC Genie II. Bios fan controls are not important to me. I've never been all that impressed by them in previous builds, though I've never used a motherboard with 1st class fan control either. Ignorance is bliss?
Re: memory comments:
Worker control wrote:If you'll be running a 64-bit operating system, I'd definitely spring for more RAM. It's so cheap now! And the OS's file cache in RAM is way faster than any disk.
lodestar wrote:On the subject of memory, the low or standard profile units can be a better choice for this board, for example Corsair Vengeance LP as tower coolers typically overhang the memory slots to some extent.
CA_Steve wrote:The new Samsung DRAM looks nice.
All good suggestions. I grabbed the G.Skill kit in my cart just because it was the first one I saw that was well-reviewed and didn't have fast-n-furious heatsinks. I picked a 4GB kit because this system runs 32-bit Win7. Those Samsung dimms do look nice - thanks for pointing them out.
I have a 1st gen Scythe Ninja. It clears standard height memory modules. I hope to continue using it, copying kater's mounting system: