Ivy Bridge to Haswell motherboard models comparison by chipsets

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With the introduction of the Haswell (LGA 1150), customers are asking for the models that match up to the Ivy Bridge (LGA 1155) models they have been using. Here are some comparisons I’ve listed for you; I recommend you do your own research and make your own decisions on what works best for you and your customers. As Intel exits the desktop market, only their Haswell motherboards are available and that would be for a limited period only. Now would be an ideal time to research the Haswell models and see if you can find motherboards that offer the features that you’ll need for your system configurations.

H61 Chipset to H81 chipset
The H61 was your entry level chipset for the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge models, they got customers into the LGA 1155 socket which gives them the ability to go from a Celeron all the way up to an i7 iCore processor without having to change the motherboard. The H61 was a no frills model only supports up to DDR3-1333 memory and normally had two sockets and supports up to 16GB of RAM. It only has SATA 2 and USB 2.0 ports. For video ports most H61 models come with two outputs a VGA (DSub) and either a DVI or HDMI, the “higher-end” H61 may have all three ports.

The H81 is the Haswell equivalent and the entry level for the LGA 1150 platform. The H81 supports DDR3-1600 RAM but is still limited to 16GB maximum. The H81 also supports SATA-3 and USB 3.0 but normally only has two of each available. For video outputs the H81 normally will have two ports a VGA (DSub) and either a DVI or HDMI just like the H61. The H81 runs $2 to $10 dollars more depending on the brand and model.


B75 Chipset to the B85 Chipset
The B75 Chipset is the entry level business class chipset and normally comes with one SATA 3 port and two USB 3.0 ports plus two more via headers. Since most business machines normally only have one hard drive this allows the system to take advantage for the SATA 3 hard drive, and USB 3.0 speed advantages. This is popular with system integrators that want to keep the price down and still allow their customers access to the latest features. These B75 models can use the faster DDR3-1600 RAM and normally come with four DDR3 sockets. The motherboard memory limit for the B75 Chip set is normally at 32GB. For video out the B75 models normally support all three formats VGA (DSub), DVI, and HDMI.

The B85 Chipset is the Haswell equivalent of the B75 and is generally the same as the B75 model except it has more SATA 3 ports available. The B85 also supports DDR3-1600 RAM and normally comes with four DDR3 RAM sockets and the motherboards using this B85 chip set top out at 32GB of RAM. Again the B85 supports all three video out formats and depending on the model should have all three available. The price difference between the B75 and the B85 ranges from approximately $5 to $10 dollars more depending on the brand and model.


H77 Chipset to the H87 Chipset
The H77 chipset was meant for the home user sector has more advanced features then earlier chipsets. Like the B75 Chipset it supports the faster DDR3-1600 RAM and normally comes with four RAM sockets with a maximum memory support of 32GB. The H77 supports two SATA 3 sockets and multiple SATA 2 ports. Some models with the H77 Chipset may come with native RAID support. Some H77 models may have other features like mSata or eSata support. H77 models may have support for entry level multi-GPU configurations most likely Crossfire instead of SLI. For the H77 the USB 3.0 and the Video out ports are pretty much the same as the B75 Models.

The Haswell version of the home user sector chipset is the H87 and the specs for motherboards using the H87 chipset very closely resemble the H77 models. The main difference being the additional number of SATA 3 ports. Unlike the Ivy Bridge chipsets which offer a Max of two SATA 3 ports natively the Haswell chipsets natively supports six SATA 3 ports. With such a high number a SATA 3 ports most H87 models have no SATA 2 ports.


Q77 Chipset to the Q87 Chipset
The Q77 is a business chipset which offers the model features. Generally it has more features than the H77 and less than the Z77. It has the ability to work and may come with special business security protocols software. With features ranging from Intel Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Advantage solution, and Intel Smart Response Technology to Intel vPro technology, exclusive Intel Identity Protection Technology, and Intel Anti-Theft Technology, The Q77 is designed for higher end more secure workstations. Generally the number of models using the Q77 chipset are very limited compared to the other chipset models. Again the Q77 models support DDR3-1600 RAM with 4 RAM sockets and the maximum RAM supported is 32GB. Some Q77 models may offer multi GPU support if so most likely it will be crossfire instead of SLI. Q77 supports two SATA 3 ports and will have multiple SATA 2 ports. Most models will offer some RAID support natively. The Q77 USB and video ports resemble the same configuration as the H77 and B75 models.

The Q87 is the high-end business chipset for the Haswell line. It has all the same specs as the Q77 with the main difference being the number of SATA 3 ports. The where the Q77 is limited to two SATA 3 ports the Q87 supports six SATA 3 ports. Once again most models will not have SATA 2 ports since there are six SATA 3 ports. The Q87 will also offer native RAID on the SATA 3 ports. Price differences between the Q77 and the Q87 tend to be minimal.


Z77 Chipset to the Z87 Chipset
The Z77 Chipset is the Gamer/Enthusiast model. The Z77 can offer the most features and has the widest range in cost depending on the Brand and model, and of course the features. These models are generally the most popular followed by the B75, and H61 Models. Though many businesses would be wiser to opt for the Q77, many prefer the Z77 instead. The Z77 is the chipset that allows over-clocking and although it doesn’t have the security features of the Q77 for business users, it delivers all the bells and whistles that Gamers and Enthusiast look for. Intel’s: Rapid Storage Technology, Smart Response Technology, Smart Connect Technology, Rapid Start Technology, eSATA support and of course SATA 3, and USB 3.0 Support. Since the Z77 models support over-clocking many models support higher memory speeds from DDR3-1866 to DDR3-2800. The MAX RAM supported by the Z77 chipset is still 32GB but because of the Ivy Bridge limitation of two SATA 3 ports the Z77 motherboards need to add a chip like the Marvell 88SE9172 chip to get additional SATA 3 ports. Drives on these ports cannot be used as boot drives. Only drives attached to the SATA ports provided by the Z77 chipset can be used as boot drives so this creates some limitations to your configurations. Many Z77 models will offer additional features like Raid, ESATA, and mSATA options. The Z77 on-board graphics are usually not utilized by Gamers and Enthusiast however businesses might not choose to add a discrete VGA card. They will normally include all three main connection types: VGA(DSub), DVI, and HDMI. In some models you may see Display port and RGB support. Some models may only offer DVI-D version instead of DVI-I versions. As such they are digital only and can’t be converted to analog by using the DVI to VGA adapter. The Z77 motherboard will generally support multi display configurations depending on the ports offered by the model. All Z77 models should offer PCI 3.0 support and will offer both PCI 3.0 and 2.0 slots. Z77 models will offer from 4 to 6 USB 3.0 ports on the back with additional 2 to 4 USB 3.0 ports available internally. The Z77 will also offer from 2 to 4 USB 2.0 ports with 2 to 4 additional 2.0 headers. For audio most Gamers and Enthusiast will opt for add-on sound cards for high quality audiophile sound. However most Z77 models will come with 7.1 audio with high definition Codecs which provide good enough audio quality for most uses.

The Z87 chipset fills the same Gamer/Enthusiast sector on the Haswell line as the Z77 does on the Ivy Bridge line. In addition to all the special Intel features the Z77 has it also as Intel’s Rapid Recover Technology. For more information on this feature you can use the link below. The Z87 also offers overclocking ability like the Z77 with the max amount of speed varying from model to model. The Z87 also has a maximum memory capacity of 32GB RAM just like the Z77 models. As earlier Haswell chipset models the Z78 Haswell’s are not limited to two SATA 3 ports natively but support six SATA 3 ports. This means more flexibility in your boot configurations. For Z87 models that offer more than six SATA 3 ports the manufacturers have to add a chip such as the Marvell 88SE9172 for the additional ports. The same boot restrictions from the Z77 models would apply the ports provided by these chips. The Z87 model will usually have anywhere from six to ten USB 3.0 ports with typically four to six ports on the back with the rest accessible via a motherboard header. There is a reduced amount of USB 2.0 ports usually from four to six ports with two to four on the back and the rest can be tapped via motherboard headers. The display ports and the audio are pretty much similar to the Z77 models.


Asus P8Z77-V LX >>> Asus Z87-C

I hope you find this information beneficial.