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What motherboard should I pick for a gaming PC?

Hi, I'm building a new PC and I don't really know what motherboard to choose. Usually, I'd just pick the cheapest one that is compatible with everyting else I'm buying, but I'd like to hear other ideas. So, this is the PC so far:



I've already bought the SSD, so that's not subject to change. Also, the CPU is kind of fixed too, because where I live (south america) hardware is really expensive, so I can't afford a 4670K, let alone an i7. I plan on buying most of components in the US so I can save a lot of money (on the GPU, for example), but the CPU I'll have to buy here. On the other hand, the PSU is completely subject to change because I really didn't pay much attention to it, I just picked one with enough wattage and amperage.

Okay, so that's the context, what do you think would be the best choice for a motherboard? I was thinking any Gigabyte Z87 with one PCI express (I'm not ever gonna use SLI) and lots of USB 3.0. Then the Z97 came out, so should I buy one of those? I guess the i5 won't care much but I was thinking of better resale value maybe.

I'm not sure I'm ever gonna overclock anything, but if I were to, what should I look for in the MB?

Also, I put an effort into picking parts with good specs, for example, the SSD is one of the fastest I could find for my budget and the RAM has the lowest latency I could find for that speed. I also sacrificed a little of my budget to move from 1600 to 1866. What should I look for in the MB to make sure I can take advantage of these specs? I don't wanna bottle neck the SSD or not be able to use the 1866MHz.

Finally, what do you look for in general when you buy motherboards? What are interesting features to have? What makes a good MB or a bad one, apart from build quality? Can a poorly chosen MB severly hinder the performance of the system?

Thanks!
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  1. Hi and welcome to Tom's forum.

    What part of south america are you on? Since you have a locked CPU, I would suggest and ASRock Extreme4 or MSI GD55 that are very good but not too expensive as the high end motherboards. Another option is the Gigabyte Z97-D3H.
  2. saint19 said:
    Hi and welcome to Tom's forum.

    What part of south america are you on? Since you have a locked CPU, I would suggest and ASRock Extreme4 or MSI GD55 that are very good but not too expensive as the high end motherboards. Another option is the Gigabyte Z97-D3H.


    Hi, I'm from Uruguay, thanks for the reply! I looked up the mobos you suggested and they're a bit out of my planned budget, not by much, but I was thinking something closer to 100 bucks (I still have to pay shipping to Uruguay). For example, when I searched for the Gigabyte mobo I found the "Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3" at 98.99. What's the difference between these two? If there's nothing really important I'd rather save the $30.
  3. Best answer
    You can find the difference here: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/comparison/list.aspx?ck=2&pids=4961,4955

    Not really big differences, you also can go with the HD3 for same those $30 if you are really in a tight budget.
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