Choosing an LGA 1155 Chipset

**This post exists in an alternate form in another thread that was about motherboards, generally, but in order to get some more varied perspectives I figured I'd re-post with a title geared specifically toward chipsets**

I'm in the process of researching the various components that will go into my first build—a gaming PC.

- I'm working on a budget of about $1000 (hopefully less) before monitor and peripherals.
- want to use the system for fairly high-end gaming. Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, and Witcher 3 are among my list of future game purchases. 1080p (and perhaps even a tiny bit higher) will be my preferred resolution.
- I am looking at buying a Radeon HD 7800 series or 7900 series video card. As it happens, those cards have a promo on right now for some free games with purchase, so I might just splurge and cut my losses.
- I don't think I need SLI or Crossfire, but I wouldn't mind if I had it. My thinking is that my usage will tolerate a single high-quality video card just fine, and if I decide I really want SLI or Crossfire, I can include them in a future build.
- I don't intend to overclock (at least not for a few years).
- 8GB of DDR3 1600 RAM should be plenty.

Now, on to my actual question! I'm trying to choose a motherboard, and I'm a bit intimidated by how much there is out there. As such, I've been doing a lot of reading, posting in other forums, etc. Long story short:

I've been hearing a lot about the Z77 chipset and how it's the best chipset for gamers, but after looking at and comparing all the available LGA 1155 chipsets I really can't see any significant difference between 4: the Z77, the Z75, the Z68, and the H77 (comparison from Intel here:,64021,52816,64018). Can anyone offer any insight on whether or not any of these chipsets stand out as superior or inferior to the rest? All four of them are compatible with overclocking, I think, so that shouldn't be an issue down the road.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Z77- you can overclock and pcie lanes are more
    Z75- you can overclock and pcie lanes are trickled down
    Z68- Older generation, you can overclock but pcie 3.0 is not present (only pcie 2.0)
    H77- you cannot overclock and pci lanes are normal...
  2. choose z77 if you OC and h77 if you dont
  3. Shoot! I totally forgot about (and, to be honest, misunderstood) PCIe 3.0 compatibility! Ok, so that helps me narrow it down to 3. And I thought H77 allowed OC, but I guess not, eh? Well if I want to keep that option open down the road then I'm down to 2. Thanks, timarp!

    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if I'm just looking to have the one video card, and the potential for SLI/Crossfire down the road is just so much unnecessary gravy, I could go with either the Z77 or Z75. No?
  4. go with z75 if you dont SLI/Xfire
    but z77 does have more options...
  5. Best answer selected by SyntaxSocialist.
  6. timarp000 said:
    go with z75 if you dont SLI/Xfire
    but z77 does have more options...

    Nifty! Thanks! I'll shop with both in mind, as SLI/XFire is an option, but one I can do without if need be :)

  7. happy to help!
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