It's not for real "work," just whatever I do at home, which is a combination of general productivity, gaming, multimedia, and photo editing.
Yes a Ryzen might've been a better build but when I pulled the trigger on the first set of components in March, I hadn't done my due diligence thoroughly. At the end of the day, we're splitting hairs on most of this stuff, so I think I'll be able to enjoy it whether it's AMD or Intel.
I think you should spend some money on a better camera ;)
Optimization comes from software and will get there especially if you keep the system for at least 2 years. With that said my biggest concern about Ryzen is more about motherboards. There's very few right now and a lot of them are OOS. Motherboard manufacturers have had years to solidify their lineup for Intel's offerings, and you can see a clear product line formation (even though it gets messy and confusing at times). With AMD they're just releasing a few boards only and seeing how it goes.
Gotcha. Well I think you're fine today Z170 or Z270. I think it really just depends on what you might want 2 years down the road. FWIW I used my X58A board for almost 7 years so I'm glad I demanded USB3.0 back then and SATA3.
Well speaking as someone who owns an Gigabyte Gaming K7 I'm actually itching to swap it out; not only do I have POST issues occasionally, the overclocking options are really meh. I spent the last weekend diving over the UEFI manual for ASUS, MSI, and ASRock and they all look far better.
On paper the Gigabyte boards look great (U.2, SATA Express, good audio incl SB Live on some models, dual LAN), but I think the UEFI bios is really pissing me off right now.
With that said the ASUS Maximus IX Hero is a solid choice I think and the one I would get, but at the same time its also the stingiest offering (No U.2, no dual LAN, no SATA Express). At that price point every manufacturer offers at least some more stuff.
So do you have an SSD then? If so then M.2 vs SSD isn't that big of a deal for gaming. M.2 is definitely faster though.
The other thing to think about is how long you plan on keeping this system. M.2 drives are maybe where SSDs were 5-6 years ago. Not everyone considers them today, but in a few years they might as well be the defacto standard--today you wouldn't consider building a system without an SSD.
Do you plan on over clocking? Because I personally feel that Gigabyte's overclocking options in UEFI are terrible. ASUS in my book is the rock solid standard for overclocking. Unfortunately their Z270 lineup is very stingy, especially the Hero, which seems to lack everything competing boards have.
I believe you mean the Z270 chipset has 4 extra PCIE lanes not slots. 4 extra lanes can give you some better connectivity when it comes to M.2 or 3rd party USB controllers that use the PCIE bus.
You're not going to see GPU performance change because your main slot will still run x16 and there's enough lanes to run 2 cards at x8 mode. The extra lanes go to support other devices using PCIE. Either way the consumer platform (Z170, Z270, etc.) is pretty starved for lanes so it's always been a struggle. This is why one either board once you start using M.2 slots you either sacrifice a PCIE slot or some SATA slots because bandwidth is shared.
Agreed. Your CPU will be your wall in the end either voltage or thermal-wise. You will get good results overclocking with both.
In your discussion about the board only have one (1) 16x slot, that's the case with all Z270 boards. Only the first slot runs at x16. The second slot usually runs at x8 and the third at x4. Z270 boards have limited lanes. You might be able to get 16/16 on X99 but that's about it. We've always been starved for lanes on the mainstream platform, and as M.2 and U.2 get more popular Intel will probably add another 4 lanes next round again, but it won't be enough.