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Please help choose Z97 Motherboard that are about the same price range

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May 20, 2014 6:52:12 AM

Hi,

Before I ask for help, I will list the parts I already have:

CPU: not yet
M/B: not yet
VGA: HIS R9 280x turboboost
PSU: OCZ ZT 750w
RAM: 4gb * 2 = 8gb 1600mhz
HDD: 500gb

My budget for both is a maximum of $400 +-
I am building a new PC for Gaming. I don't do video editing or rendering and so on.
I am planning to get for CPU: i5-4670k ($215) and thinking to get the newer Z97 motherboards.

I have the following options: **I don't live in the US, so prices might be different compared to US**
I will be planning in the future to overclock my CPU if needed (thus the "K") :

MSI Z97-GAMING 3 - $150
MSI Z97-G55 SLI- $164

ASROCK Z97-KILLER- $160
ASROCK Z97 EXTREME4- $170
ASROCK Z97 PRO4- $130
Fatal1ty Z97X Killer- $188

ASUS Z97-C- $162
ASUS Z97-K- $156
ASUS Z97-I PLUS itx - $171

GIGABYTE Z97X Gaming 7- $179
GIGABYTE Z97X Gaming 3 - $150
GIGABYTE Z97X SLI - $150
GIGABYTE Z97X-UD3H BK - $185
GIGABYTE Z97-D3H - $136
GIGABYTE Z97-HD3 - $121

Of course the old Z87 is also an option and if you know a z87 motherboard that is as good as the newer Z97 and is in the same price range- please do recommend (for example I can get asrock z87 extreme4 for $150 or asrock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer for $155)- because the new z97 motherboards are release- the older z87 has a price decreased by 10-20% in my country.

I am really confused because of so many choices (like whether to get gigabyte z97x gaming 3 for $150 or the asrock z87 extreme4 for $150? ). Of course if paying the extra $ wouldn't make a difference in my case (e.g from gigabyte Z97 gaming 3 to asrock z97 extreme4)- then I would just like to save money as much as possible, but can stretch if it does make a difference.

I like and prefer the extra usb 3.0 ports as I be using them, but in general - the computer will just be used for gaming (and transfer of files - not all the time though)

If I can save money on the motherboard, I can invest on a SSD and a CPU cooler. I was wondering if the CoolerMaster Hyper212 EVO ($35) would be enough? (as the corsair h80i costs $107 and h100i costs $124- I won't be doing any overclocking to begin with unless it makes a difference in gaming like the watch dogs have a requirement of i7?- so the h100i could be a future thing when I overclock)

I really appreciate any help I can get on any of the above subjects including the CPU- as I haven't gotten it yet. Thank you tomshardware community for your valuable help



a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
a b G Storage
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
May 20, 2014 10:29:03 AM

Hi there,
Honestly there is not a lot of difference between the Z87 chipset and the Z97 chipset apart from it supports SATA express.
They Z97 was originally manufactured to go with the Haswell refresh CPU's
So honestly, I would go for a Z87 chipset as the difference is minimal for the price.
As for the CPU, a i5 4670K would do perfectly for gaming.
For gaming they're really wouldn't be a point in upgrading to a higher model.
Plus the Z87 chipset overclocks so you can always push more out of the CPU anyway.
And then you can spend the money you saved on a Cooler or SSD as you mentioned.
If you don't want to overclock the coolermaster 212 evo would be fine, but for overclocking the corsair h80i would be the way to go!
Hope this helps!
P.S for the motherboard I would recommend either a MSI Z87 GD65 or a ASUS Z87 Pro
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May 21, 2014 1:36:58 AM

Hjgrove said:
Hi there,
Honestly there is not a lot of difference between the Z87 chipset and the Z97 chipset apart from it supports SATA express.
They Z97 was originally manufactured to go with the Haswell refresh CPU's
So honestly, I would go for a Z87 chipset as the difference is minimal for the price.
As for the CPU, a i5 4670K would do perfectly for gaming.
For gaming they're really wouldn't be a point in upgrading to a higher model.
Plus the Z87 chipset overclocks so you can always push more out of the CPU anyway.
And then you can spend the money you saved on a Cooler or SSD as you mentioned.
If you don't want to overclock the coolermaster 212 evo would be fine, but for overclocking the corsair h80i would be the way to go!
Hope this helps!
P.S for the motherboard I would recommend either a MSI Z87 GD65 or a ASUS Z87 Pro


Thank you so much for your answer! I was feeling unwell, so just check this forum right now. To be honest, the only reason I want to go for the Z97 chipset is that, I read on those official manufacturers website, they mentioned, the ability to support "5th gen CPU", so if I ever wanted to upgrade my cpu- it maybe useful? though it will at least after a year or two.

Thank you again for your recommendations. I will have a look on how much they costs here. Will check now actually. Just had a quick look. Currently the MSI Z87 GD65 costs- $209 and Asus I could find only Z87 Plus- $183 or Pro with wifi- $230. Way outside my budget. Maybe I am better of buying a Z97 one? Is there any Z97 that you would recommend from my list. I will try looking at other sites or slightly used ones. How about the Asrock Z87 extreme4?

Thanks for your help!



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May 21, 2014 1:52:00 AM

Hjgrove said:
Hi there,
Honestly there is not a lot of difference between the Z87 chipset and the Z97 chipset apart from it supports SATA express.
They Z97 was originally manufactured to go with the Haswell refresh CPU's
So honestly, I would go for a Z87 chipset as the difference is minimal for the price.
As for the CPU, a i5 4670K would do perfectly for gaming.
For gaming they're really wouldn't be a point in upgrading to a higher model.
Plus the Z87 chipset overclocks so you can always push more out of the CPU anyway.
And then you can spend the money you saved on a Cooler or SSD as you mentioned.
If you don't want to overclock the coolermaster 212 evo would be fine, but for overclocking the corsair h80i would be the way to go!
Hope this helps!
P.S for the motherboard I would recommend either a MSI Z87 GD65 or a ASUS Z87 Pro


Is the GIGABYTE GA-Z87X-UD3H a good motherboard? (whats the difference without the "U" in the end?)- I maybe able to get this motherboard for $160. Not sure if for the same price I should go for Z97 like the Asrock z97 extreme4 or the Asus z97-c.

I am also getting a new Asrock Z87 Pro 4 for $115- is that worth it? If it isn't much difference from others, a cheap option like that (saving $50 or so), will allow me to get atleast 64gb of SSD. I maybe overclocking in the future if the game demands it so I wouldn't want to spend on another motherboard too soon- rather get a one that allows overclocking now if for example the Asrock Pro 4 doesn't- I don't know

Thanks again for your help man :) 
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May 22, 2014 2:18:16 AM

Anyone else that knows? Which motherboard would you recommend Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H ($160 or a year used at $130) or Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK (Black Edition) for $175?
Any help on the above selection or topics would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the help :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
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a b V Motherboard
May 24, 2014 2:31:03 AM

Hi there,
Sorry for the long delay.
And yes the Z97 will support 5th Generation Broadwell CPU's in the future.
So it maybe a good idea for you to go for it then as you will then be able to upgrade.
But, the Z87 will do perfectly for gaming it just depends on whether you would like to spend a little bit extra and future proof your machine.
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May 24, 2014 5:24:40 AM

Hjgrove said:
Hi there,
Sorry for the long delay.
And yes the Z97 will support 5th Generation Broadwell CPU's in the future.
So it maybe a good idea for you to go for it then as you will then be able to upgrade.
But, the Z87 will do perfectly for gaming it just depends on whether you would like to spend a little bit extra and future proof your machine.


Hi, thank you for replying again :) 

I actually just bought (a little used) i7-4770 for $240 - I thought it was worth a good deal and the extra $30 or so from the i5-4670k (very little used). The only thing is that , it is not unlocked, but I am not too bothered, as I wasn't even sure if I would have done any overclocking to begin with.

Now my question is- Can I just settle with an "H97" instead of the "Z97"?
I am thinking of this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Asrock H97 Pro4) which costs about $95 in my country, unless it is worth to pay the extra $30 or so and get the Asrock Z97 pro4 or so instead? What do you think

I would again really appreciate the help in above topic.

Cheers
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a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
a b G Storage
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
May 24, 2014 5:47:53 AM

Yes, the Z87 Chipset main advantage over the H87 was overclocking.
So considering that CPU can't overclock then the Z87 chipset wont be needed.
And its the same story with the Z97 and H97 chipsets.
So the ASrock H97 pro4 looks like a excellent motherboard for that CPU.
Hope this helps!
P.S the i7-4770 is a outstanding CPU so you wont need to upgrade for a while to a 5th gen CPU but its nice knowing you can always upgrade in the future.
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May 24, 2014 8:06:54 AM

Hjgrove said:
Yes, the Z87 Chipset main advantage over the H87 was overclocking.
So considering that CPU can't overclock then the Z87 chipset wont be needed.
And its the same story with the Z97 and H97 chipsets.
So the ASrock H97 pro4 looks like a excellent motherboard for that CPU.
Hope this helps!
P.S the i7-4770 is a outstanding CPU so you wont need to upgrade for a while to a 5th gen CPU but its nice knowing you can always upgrade in the future.



Thanks man , you have really helped and just what I wanted to hear :)  I guess now I can spend the money left on SSD and so :) 
Cheers
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a b 4 Gaming
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May 24, 2014 8:10:56 AM

No problem!
Glad I could help!
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