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Which Asus Z87 motherboard for my build?

Thinking of getting:

Intel i7 4770k quadcore cpu for doing 3d rendering/animation, and was wondering if anyone could help me pick out the right asus z87 motherboard?

the motherboard does need to be 1150 for compatability reason with a left over cpu cooler from my previous build: the Noctua nf-p12 (it's rather big)

Many people have recommended the z87 models to complement the i7 4770k cpu, but there's so many different z87 models and their prices differ drastically.

What exactly are the differences bewteen these models? and which is more suitable for my need?
32 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about asus z87 motherboard build
  1. Will you ever SLI or Crossfire?
    Do you have a budget?
  2. as in using multiple video card right? most likely not.
    i'm probably getting a geforce gtx 780, or gtx 780titan, or maybe something a little cheaper .. so a singular gaming video card.

    i will be using this computer as a workstation for everyday usage, and rendering/animation.

    but i think currently, most software still uses cpu for rendering, so i most likely will not be getting multiple gpu to increase the speed.

    my budget is around 1500-2000 us dollars.... but that goes to the followings:
    1. motherboard
    2. cpu
    3. gpu
    4 memory
    5. ssd drive
    6 power supply
  3. thanks Novuake!
    that does look like a more reasonable price compare to the others.

    out of curiosity though, what exactly is the difference between these z87 models? they all seem to support sataIII, ddr3, etc.

    what's the difference between this one and say z87 pro, or the other z87? this one doesnt support crossfire while the other do ? is this the only reason for the difference in price? or are there other differences?

    and since majority of the software in 3d still use cpu rendering, so i'm not really too concern about not having crossfire, and these days, for gaming, the gaming gpu are generally powerful enough by themselves right? so for gaming, unless you buy multiple cheap gpus and linked them via crossfire, there really is really no need for crossfire support right?

    just out of curiosity :)
  4. Geesh slow down. :)

    That board actually does have Crossfire. So you have the option to Dual GPU anyway.
    The differences are subtle and you would need to do a LOT of reading to see every small difference. In general with Asus though the difference in prices are usually just marketing with a bit of software or better components(unnecesary in most cases) here and there.
  5. a grandmaster indeed! thank you so much Novuake :)
    while i have the attention of a grandmaster like yourself, i might as well take advantage of this chance and seek some more guidance haha.

    so with your help, i've finally narrowed down my build to the following:

    1. CPU: intel i7 4770k 3.5 GHz Quadcore
    2. Asus z87-a atx motherboard
    3. samsung 840 evo 250 gb ssd ( for main drive)
    4. Memory: ( )
    5. Power supply: ( )
    6. GPU: ( )

    since i'll be doing rendering and animation, cpu and ram are the utmost importance, which is why i decided to go with i7 4770k.. but at the moment, i'm only planning on getting 16 gb ram... which wont be utilizing the quad core fully sadly T_T if i go with 2x8gigs ram sticks. but at least if i do plan to go full 32 gig in the future, the two 8gigs ram sticks wont be wasted.... compare to getting 4x4gigs ram now.

    what ram would you recommend? g.skill gripjaw 8gigsx2 or corsair? and what model?

    as for GPU, i do want a video card that's strong enough to handle everything... great for animation/3d work, not lag when i have multiple twitch streams or when watching 1080i movies/streams, and be able to handle the more graphic intensive games.... all in all, a great video card that is able to handle everything, but not concerned about having the absolute best performance while playing those high end games, etc. or should i just go for geforce gtx 780 or gtx 780titan? but that seems like an overkill and more for someone who wants the very best gpu for gaming.

    Lastly, how much power would you think i would need for such a system once we've finalized the gpu?

    sorry to throw so many questions at you Novuk :)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    oooh, and what do you think of this cpu cooler?
    Noctua NF-P12 cpu cooler (this is a rather BIG cpu cooler which i bought for my previous build many years ago... it's so big that i always worry about it blocking the ram sticks or something else in the system lol) or should i just get something newer? it seems a lot of the corsair ones that people recommend these days are fairly small and efficient.
    '


    lastly, this is the existing monitor that i have, it does support 1080i i believe.. but will it be able to fully utilize the newer gpu?

    Asus 238T 23" Monitor:
    https://www.asus.com/Monitors_Projectors/VH238T/overview
    https://www.asus.com/Monitors_Projectors/VH238T/specifications
  6. Right soooo lets jump in :)

    1. Memory.

    As you say, rendering is quite RAM intense. So depending on the program you are rendering with, I usually aim for 2133MHz RAM at the very least.
    COrsair and G.skill are the 2 most trusted RAM manufacturers in my opinion, however these days G.skill has a lot better value for money at the same performance.
    That being said, here is very well priced RAM that runs fast and is low enough profile to not bother most larger CPU cooler.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231673&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    2. GPU

    Lets assume you will get and stick with a 1080p monitor.
    A GTX770 or R9 280x is MORE than good enough for 1080p. However this may not be the case in time. if you CAN, push for a GTX780 (normal one), then do so. It could mean a lot in a year or 2.

    Decent R9 280x / GTX770 or GTX780 :
    GTX770 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121770&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=
    GTX780 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125471&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=
    R9 280x : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202046&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    3. Power Supply

    This is really important. A decent 600W unit would be a nice place to start, although its a bit more than needed.
    Here : http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=PSS12II620&c=CJ

    This is enough for the GTX780.

    CPU cooler.

    The model number you provided is only a fan. :)
  7. oh i'm sorry. i think the cpu cooler i have is the Noctua d-14
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018

    but actually. could you recommend a better cpu cooler? the noctua, while decent, is wayyy too big, it probably affects the airflow and ventilation as well... not to mention that it's so close to the ram that it might prevent cooling on the ram as well.

    if i do get a different cpu cooler, would you still recommend the sniper series ram? or something else?
  8. Excellent cooler! NH-D14 is one of the best.
  9. oh wow you wrote back while i was editing my previous post lol :)

    sensei ! you're the best ! :)
  10. Stick with the G.skill Snipers AND the Noctua, you will not find any better cooler for the same price.
  11. my god, geforce 780 costs so much money LOL T_T
  12. ASUS HERO
  13. SR-71 Blackbird said:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($234.97 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $584.95
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-05 09:21 EDT-0400)


    Intel i7 4770k quadcore cpu for doing 3d rendering/animation

    :)
  14. I meant the board,
    Sorry.
  15. SR-71 Blackbird said:
    I meant the board,
    Sorry.


    Nice board, not worth the price in my opinion. :) But to each his own.
  16. Novuake said:
    Right soooo lets jump in :)

    1. Memory.

    As you say, rendering is quite RAM intense. So depending on the program you are rendering with, I usually aim for 2133MHz RAM at the very least.
    COrsair and G.skill are the 2 most trusted RAM manufacturers in my opinion, however these days G.skill has a lot better value for money at the same performance.
    That being said, here is very well priced RAM that runs fast and is low enough profile to not bother most larger CPU cooler.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231673&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    2. GPU

    Lets assume you will get and stick with a 1080p monitor.
    A GTX770 or R9 280x is MORE than good enough for 1080p. However this may not be the case in time. if you CAN, push for a GTX780 (normal one), then do so. It could mean a lot in a year or 2.

    Decent R9 280x / GTX770 or GTX780 :
    GTX770 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121770&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=
    GTX780 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125471&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=
    R9 280x : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202046&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    3. Power Supply

    This is really important. A decent 600W unit would be a nice place to start, although its a bit more than needed.
    Here : http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=PSS12II620&c=CJ

    This is enough for the GTX780.

    CPU cooler.

    The model number you provided is only a fan. :)



    hey novu,

    i actually recently moved from the u.s. and am currently residing in taiwan at the moment.
    when i was living in the u.s. of course i was using newegg, tigerdirect, microcenter to purchase my product, and earlier i was checking the prices for some of these parts on a site called pchome in taiwan, which is a popular 24hour delivery shopping site here in taiwan, and my god... stuff here costs so much more lol it's funny 'cuz lots of computer parts are made in taiwan, and asus is a taiwanese company.... but since u.s. order parts and products in bulk, so the prices for computer parts actually ends up being A LOT cheaper compare to here.

    now, for the cpu, gpu, i can kind of get over the high price difference since they are essentially the vital organ of a system, but man, i just checked the price for that seasonic 620 w power supply unit.... 70 u.s. dollars x 30 (exchange rate) should be about 2100 taiwanese currency... but the part is actually listed at a price of 4100 or so lol

    now, i know a shopping district in taipei where everyone goes to buy computer products/parts, so i'll be able to get them at a cheaper price compare to the price from that shopping site i listed earlier, but just slightly.

    other than the seasonic 620 SII bronze 80Plus, are there any other power supply you might recommend? i'll be checking the prices when i get there and hopefully one will be a bit cheaper lol :D

    * just found one of the store's web site from that shopping district, the prices do seem a lot cheaper... they have the 430, 520w seasonic for relatively cheap, and their seasonic g-650 w gold 80 plus for about 3400 NT. will this be a good alternative option?
    i should be able to find the one you listed too at the MANY stores there (there's like 3 floors full of little shops selling parts, so i should be able to find it)

    but 600-650 w is what i should go after right? anything higher will be a waste and overkill?


    and regarding your statement that the 780 gpu might be better in the long run... is there going to be a new technology that is coming out relatively soon that will push graphic cards/monitor to over 1080i? and 780 will still be able to handle it while the others will not? how is that 280x compare to gtx 780 ? or 770 vs gtx 780 ?
  17. Best answer
    Right yeah prices in other countries, mine included are screwed. The Seasonic you can get at that price is an even better alternative.

    The GTX780 is currently more appropriate at resolution ABOVE 1080p, so yes, there is already tech available to utilize that power.
    If you are unsure if you need the GTX780s power, then rather not consider it, you can always upgrade a GPU very easily at a later stage.

    here is a comparison of performance relative to the AMD R9 280X.

  18. thanks so much man.

    oh, one thing though, if i can't find the asus z87-a motherboard, what else would you recommend?

    i've only found the web site for probably 1/50 shops in that tech shopping center, and they've only listed z87-pro, i'll most likely be able to find z87-a, but just in case if it's not as popular and i can't find a shop that carries it, what other boards would you recommend?

    by the way, i'm feel so bad for all these questions alternative parts i keep asking you hehe.

    it's such a pain building a new computer in a foreign country =\ what country are you from by the way ?
  19. South Africa.

    No worries. I know how you feel. Uhm it really depends on what prices you can get what for. But an Asrock Extreme 4 is a decently priced board. MSI Z87 G45 too.
  20. hey Novuake,

    just a quick question... how does one know how much power is needed for a build?

    obviously many parts inside the computer all require power, but which are the major ones that you look at in determining how much power is required?
  21. Your biggest concern in the average build in CPU and GPU.

    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    There is a calculator, although I usually tell people leave more headroom than that site suggests. Also stick to RELIABLE and QUALITY units ONLY. Even if it costs more. DO NOT cheap out on a PSU.

    A GTX770 and Intel I7 based machine is perfectly matched with a 550W PSU in my opinion.
  22. Novuake !! i'm back for more of your valuable guidance! :)

    just came back from shopping: so far have gotten:

    780 gtx gigabyte (my god this thing is huuuuge, i might have to use fishing line to hook up the back end to a metal part inside the case so the back wont end up weighing down the card inside the case)

    i7 4770k intel cpu

    z87-a motherboard

    250 gigs evo samsung ssd (finally found it after asking 20 stores)

    650w 80plus seasonic 12g gold power supply


    the g.skill memory card, apparently it's not a very hot item in taiwan, though it is a taiwanese company.. T_T so couldnt find it anywhere.

    The problem i have now is, because my noctua nh d14 is sooooo big, and it's unbelievably hard to find any memory card by corsair or g.skill in taiwan... are there any other alternative i can choose from when it comes to memory card?

    or should i just replace my noctua cpu cooler with a small liquid cooling cpu cooler (by coolermaster perhaps?) so this way i wont have to worry about the memory card height clearance. if so, what would you recommend? it seems kingston is pretty popular here, but i'm not sure how good they are, and on top of that, there's 2 types for 2400 i think... the hyperthread and something else.

    then there's also the intel memory cards, but those are more expensive

    i took out the old 2gigs memory card that i have inside my old case ... and with the big noctua cooler attached, they fitted just fine... but these cards are only 3cm (30mm) in height, and have just about another 1cm(10mm) or so of free space between it and the big noctua cooler..... so i'm not even sure if 42-44 mm memory card would fit. but this is based on my old gigabyte motherboard... so i'm not sure whether the z87-a would make a difference.

    should i just get different cpu cooler instead? is cooldermaster's any good? and does liquid cooling cpu require anything else? or just a space in the case to have the cables with the circular thing stick out for cooling?
  23. i already bought the z87-a
    it's the cheapest of the z87 line
  24. actually found the g.skill in taiwan from a web site:
    http://www.newegg.com.tw//item/itemdetail?item_id=59065
    http://www.newegg.com.tw//item/itemdetail?item_id=59084

    but would you still recommend the same thing if i was to get a new cpu cooler? if the height of the ram sticks is no longer a concern.

    also, what would be a good cpu cooler to get if i need to ditch my noctua cooler? coolermaster is pretty easy to get here, but i'm not sure how good they are, and they also seem to have a ridiculous amount of models as well when it comes to cpu cooling.
  25. err, just looked carefully and noticed that those are purchasable, but it's an order placed to the united states.. so it'll cost more money due to shipment cost T_T about $25 dollars more for shipment and shipment will take 7-9 days.
  26. You can get any low profile RAM of the correct specs. 1.5v 1600Mhz and up, CAS9/10.
  27. the 2400 g.skill sniper actually runs at 1.65 v

    is it better to find ram that runs at 1.5?
  28. Thats fine, high MHz RAM like 2400MHz can not run at 1.5v.
  29. I personally would wait to see what is on offer for CPU and MB new releases, till mid June COMPUTEX.

    ASUS have been working with Intel re next gen CPUs and MB. Some info has already been leaked regarding MBs. Hope to see what HASWELL changes to soldered chips brings, Hopefully better stability for a decent OC.
  30. Haswell has been out for months. You mean the haswell refresh, which will be no different except a small bump in MHz's.
  31. Novuake said:
    Haswell has been out for months. You mean the haswell refresh, which will be no different except a small bump in MHz's.


    Not wishing to live in the past HeHe!!, Of course I meant the refresh. Its predecessor was epoxy glued and OCs were diffiicult past 4.5GHz depending on how lucky you were in picking up a good piece of silicone. I'm hoping the refreshed Haswells will be an improvement. Hope so cause my next build is based on the 5960X.
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