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mATX motherboards for gaming PC

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April 8, 2013 4:28:03 AM

So I'm still mulling over what I want for a gaming PC, right now I'm leaning towards the smaller side(physically speaking), which means looking at mATX mobos. So far as I can tell the Maximus V Gene is the best one around, based on it being the most expensive i came across, it being $200, and the other mATX mobos being around $70. For a case I'm looking at the SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E.

Right now ideal my build is:

case:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mobo:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I just want to be able to play games like Crysis 3 and Shogun 2 at decent levels, OC abilty is not important, but hey, I wouldn't complain if it was there. Can I do that with the Gene or do I need to go up to ATX? Could I do it on one of the $70 ones? Is there a smaller case around that would be equally effective?
Also, suggestions on a PSU are more than welcome.

Sorry for having so many questions, Thanks in advance to anyone who answers.

April 8, 2013 4:34:37 AM

The Maximus V Gene is a darn good little motherboard, and will overclock very well too. It bucks the trend that MATX boards are crap OCers. It can do SLI/Crossfire too which is very good. You'll max shogun 2 and run Crysis 3 well with that rig. If you can find the NZXT Vulcan I would recommend that, the cooling is very good on that, it has room for a 200mm fan on the side and a Corsair H100 at the top, and has a grab handle if you wanna take it anywhere.

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a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
April 8, 2013 4:47:39 AM
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For the PSU, I recommend the XFX Core Edition Pro 650W for $100.

In regards to your motherboard, any mATX will support your GPU (and therefore Crysis 3 and Shogun 2 at high settings), though maybe not overclocking.
If you really want overclocking, then this is good: ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. You do not need the Maximus for either your GPU, or overclocking. There are many OC mATX motherboads to choose from, and the important thing is the chipset. That means any Z77 mobo.
These are good and better value motherboard alternatives to the Maximus, and like you said, still provide overclocking capabilities.

In regards to your CPU, it is good if you plan to overclock. I'd leave it at that. But since you wouldn't mind having that flexibility, then I wouldn't choose any other one. The 3570k is awesome.

You'd be better off with another GPU however, like the 7870 XT for $250 or $230 after rebate. Once overclocked it can even surpass the 7950, for roughly $70 less. Unless you really need 3GB of VRAM, the 7870 XT is the best value card going around right now.

The Temijin is actually good; I was actually looking at it for my build. I would recommend it as a micro atx case, especially if you want things on the smaller side. It looks good, and works well.

Bottomline: mATX is sufficient for your gaming requirements, the case is good, the XFX 650W is raving reviews, and you do not need the Maximus; any Z77 mATX motherboard is enough. The 7870 XT is better than the 7950, but that's just my opinion.

If I have helped, please consider selecting my answer as the solution. Thanks :) 

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a b 4 Gaming
a c 163 V Motherboard
April 8, 2013 4:49:53 AM

Well, firstly, if you don't plan to OC much then there isn't much point in spending another $100+ on a mobo. Plus CF/SLI on a µATX board is a recipe for baked GPU.

Save some money and get something like a Z77 Extreme4-M, P8Z77-M or any number of other Z77 boards. Should be about $110. They'll OC almost as well as the more expensive boards - you'll likely be limited by heat, not the VRM.

Use the savings to get a 7970, which will make a LOT more difference to your performance.
April 8, 2013 5:35:59 AM

Well damn, I don't know what happened to the last reply I tried to post but it's gone now.... Moving on....

First up, I think the mobo situation has been solved, the winner beeing the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. Cheers for that oddlyinsane. Stuck on the case thing tho, the Temjin and the Vulcan both look very appealing, the Temjin looks better and has USB 3.0 but doesn't have the cooling the Vulcan has and the Vulcan has, well the cooling that the Vulcan has, but looks, in my opinion a tad garish and has only USB 2.0.

A couple of questions tho; @ Someone Somewhere, first what's the difference between the GHz and not-GHz models of the 7970, and second, is the extra performance gained in a 7970 worth a $150-200 dollar price difference over the 7870 oddlyinsane is suggesting could match or even surpass the abilities of the 7950 I originally had in mind?

Follow up to that, cooling related; can I get by with just fans and heat-sinks or am I going to need to splash out(ha, pun) on liquid cooling? if so the extra saved in buying the 7850 is looking all the more appealing.
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
April 8, 2013 6:16:49 PM

In terms of cooling, you won't find much difference between the Temjin and the Vulcan.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/SilverStone-Temj...
The above shows the features of the Temjin.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4533/silverstone-temjin-t...
Look at the cooling/thermals and see if you're happy with it.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2011/06/17/nzxt-...
Vulcan review.

IMO, the Temjin is better. The Temjin is actually cooler (pun intended) in everyway.
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
April 8, 2013 6:27:36 PM

The 7870 XT can be overclocked to be on par or even surpass the 7950. Even the 7850 can even beat it when overclocked to 1200-1250 Mhz (thread on another forum).
The 7850 is $200.
The 7870 is $225.
The 7870 XT is $260.
The 7950 is $300.
The 7970 is $400.

Base your decision on this.
Hope this helps :) 

EDIT: The Ghz Editions are basically overclocked. That is all. You can do it yourself.
April 9, 2013 1:34:13 PM

oddlyinsane said:
The 7870 XT can be overclocked to be on par or even surpass the 7950. Even the 7850 can even beat it when overclocked to 1200-1250 Mhz (thread on another forum).
The 7850 is $200.
The 7870 is $225.
The 7870 XT is $260.
The 7950 is $300.
The 7970 is $400.

Base your decision on this.
Hope this helps :) 

EDIT: The Ghz Editions are basically overclocked. That is all. You can do it yourself.


Ok, what about OC'ing the 7950, or the 7970?
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
April 9, 2013 3:57:36 PM

Well OC'ing the 7950 would result in 7970 speeds, while OC'ing the 7970 would result in speeds above and beyond.

But the thing is, the 7970's performance even when OC'ed does not justify the $100-150 increase.
So I would say either the 7870 XT, or the 7950. The former being $260 while the latter being $300.
The choice is yours.
April 10, 2013 1:47:28 AM

oddlyinsane said:
Well OC'ing the 7950 would result in 7970 speeds, while OC'ing the 7970 would result in speeds above and beyond.

But the thing is, the 7970's performance even when OC'ed does not justify the $100-150 increase.
So I would say either the 7870 XT, or the 7950. The former being $260 while the latter being $300.
The choice is yours.


Cool thanks man, that was really helpful. Sorry for being so questiony.
!