Help deciding which Z87 Motherboard to buy to pair with i7-4770k

Hi all,

I've done some research and considering my budget have narrowed down my choices to the following Z87 boards to pair with my i7-4770k.

Other parts I am putting in (mostly taken from my old pc)
Cooler Master HAF 932 Case
Corsair AX1200 Power Supply
Evga Nvidia GTX 580 x2 SLI
Gskill Ripclaws 8gb x 2 DDR3 Ram

#1 MSI MPower MAX

Why I like it:
- Supposedly durable in low airflow high temp conditions.
- Supposedly stabler overclocking design
- Killer NIC (I play a lot of lag sensitive online games)
- 3 Way SLI compatible (I run 2 GTX 580s and might add one more for more power down the road).
- WiDi / Bluetooth 4.0

#2 AsRock Extreme 6

Why I like it:
- Dual Intel Gigabit LAN Ports
- WIFI Module with 802.11ac support and Bluetooth 4.0
- 3 Way SLI Compatible
- Creative Sound
- Water Resistant
- Cheaper

#3 Asus Max Hero

Why I like it:
- Easier Bios Flashing
- USB 3.0 Boost
- ROG Ramdisk

Any thoughts to offer? I plan on buying possibly tonight or tomorrow.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. u_gonna_squeal_b4_we_cookya said:
    I'd say #3 any other time, but #2 is much cheaper than both #1 and #2 and they are giving you free 8GB of RAM. In this case, #2 is the best value. Plus, you aren't planning on running your PC in the middle of a desert, right? So the benefits of #1's design is not really relevant. The only advantage of #3 is the BIOS flashback. Also, overclocking should be the same on all 3, the differences being the interface of the different BIOS's.


    First of all, thanks for your input.

    The free ram does not really entice me right now because I already own other ram sticks that may not play nice with the free stick of ram.

    Also, the other 2 choices bought in a bundle with the i7-4770k gives me a discounted price on them that makes the difference less painful.

    Any thoughts on Killer NIC E2205 vs Intel Gigabit LAN? WiDi performance?

    I technically live in what used to be the middle of a desert I think...
  2. u_gonna_squeal_b4_we_cookya said:
    This article compares the same 3 boards you have chosen with the only difference being that they are 1155 Z77 boards. The "killer NIC" feature is simply a controller that takes the networking load away from the CPU. Having a 4770k, I highly doubt you will see a difference. What the article mentions is that if you want to decrease lag in multiplayer online games, simply turn off all your other programs and stop any downloads. The widi or wireless display feature can only perform as well as your router. I don't think that there is any difference in the LAN capabilities of these 3 motherboards. The only bottlenecks will come from your router.

    From wikipedia's entry on Killer NIC:

    "Early reactions to the Killer NIC centered on price, with its initial MSRP of $280.[7] This led to widespread skepticism and speculation that the product was merely attempting a money grab, hoping to cash in on the "bling" aspect of enthusiast computing.[8] However, using a F.E.A.R. benchmark IGN found that the Killer NIC increased framerate from 15.41 to 23.5 frame/s. While recognizing the potential for real performance gains, they also noted that the test systems were already struggling with the game, and that having a higher-end machine in the first place could offset the gains made by the Killer NIC. This supposition was supported by Anandtech's findings, which showed some real, but much less dramatic gains.[8] IGN declined to rate the card with a score, saying that more testing with other games would be needed. They remarked that the potential performance gain with the Killer NIC was probably higher than upgrading a $300 video card from one generation to the next. Anandtech noted that the people who would stand to gain the most benefit from the Killer NIC, the low-end users, would also be the ones least likely to pay $280 for a network card."

    The tech does work and works best on low end systems. Since you plan on using the 4770k, this feature is almost completely irrelevant.


    I notice you mention an article but I do not see a link to the article or where I can find it. Would you care to elaborate?

    Also, it seems with bundles the prices would be:
    259 - 48 = 211 for #1
    179 for #2
    229 for #3

    Edit: Gene is mATX, did not realize that right away.

    MSI board has the best features for money but spotty help (I own an MSI laptop) does make me a bit nervous.

    I have zero experience with Asrock, but have gone through a bunch of ASUS boards. Normally go with GIGABYTE but as the most recent one started exhibiting problems early I've decided to try another brand.
  3. My favorite at the time of the first post was the MSI, but now I'm wondering if I should just opt for the Asrock, 1 year limited warranty and all.

    Asus ROG Hero seems to have its own issues based on topics in this forum.

    Anyone else have any opinions?
  4. In the end, I may actually hold off for a little bit and see what else comes down the market or if retailers decide to bring a combo for other boards as some of the combos I were looking at have ended.

    I appreciate the help provided in this thread.
  5. I got the MSI "flagship" board, I don't have any cooling system right now and Im crossfiring 2 GPU's so I went with the "cooler" temp. board and the NIC option. Everything I read in forums and general people made me stay away from the Asrock board,
    I'm not a fan of Asus AT ALL I always hear how great of a brand it is but in real life terms my friends laptop which was a week old started to smoke when he turned it on to show me his "awesome" Asus laptop. Every one of my friends have had their ow issues regarding their products as well not as extreme as the laptop of course.

    I LOVE Gigabyte(My last 2 boards where Giga's NEVER had any kind of issue's with them. my GPU's are Giga's as well again no hint of any issue's) My best friend has always bought their boards as well.
    I almost bought it I like the dual netcard idea as well. I like the dual BIOS as well. But I believe all 3 have some sort of dual BIOS kind of option so I went with the sturdier and from what I've seen it's been a higher rated board of the 3. I would go Gigabyte if this MSI board wasn't available. Just MHO.
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