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Best mid range z68, mild overclocking for 2500k 4.5ghz, gaming ~$180

hey would like some opinions from actual owners of boards on best z68 up to about 180 bucks for gaming and mild overclocking of a 2500k i have access to gigabyte, asus and asrock. alot of people seem to have asrock extreme 3 but im also reading as many bad reviews re asrock boards as well. asus have a good name with reviews i have personally had alot of bad luck with asus in the past 2 out 3 failed in their 'useful' life time and i currently have a gigabyte board. im looking at (all in the b3 guise of course)
gigabyte ga- z68x-ud3, ga- z68x-ud3h, ga- z68x-ud3h
asus p8z68m-pro
asrock extreme 4 professional
just keep in mind im not out to set oc records if it does 4.5, 4.6 i'll be happy, and c/f and sli they are a bonus and nothing more being down the cf path dual 4850 they cause as many problems (noise, heat, power consumption and the white elephant in the room, yes stand up mr driver) as they solve so prob wont do it again. it just needs to do everything its supposed too reliably
just sold my mobo and cpu and keeping the rest including 6950 vid card
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  1. Best answer

    The ASROck Z68 Extreme3 GEN3 is very solid for a good price, solid component and good overclocking features BUT if you can extend your budget for an ASUS Maximus IV Gen-Z/GEN3 like this one:

    I'd go with that for sure.
  2. In my opinion there's basically four choices in the $180-$200 range:
    ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3:
    Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4:
    ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3:
    MSI Z68A-GD65:

    I think that the MSI kind of sticks out as the worst of those four, although I don't have any tangible reason to say that except we get this question a lot about motherboards in this range and MSI almost never gets the recommendation. The ASUS is a solid board but it's not going to get the biggest overclock and when the third PCIe x16 slot is in use at x4, two of the other x1 slots and two onboard controllers get disabled which is unfortunate. The ASRock and Gigabyte are both very similar and I would recommend the ASRock Extreme4 by a hair although the Extreme4 only offers a 2-year warranty.

    All that being said, the ASRock Extreme3 offers the same performance as the Extreme4 at a lower price point - the Extreme4 just offers a few more features like extra ports in the cluster and a USB 3.0 header.

    The ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/GEN3 is a good board for sure, but I have a hard time seeing the value of a micro ATX board unless you need the small form factor.
  3. Best answer selected by jasont78.
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