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Choosing an LGA 1155 Chipset

Last response: in Overclocking
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February 10, 2013 3:16:33 PM

**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: ark.intel.com/compare/64024,64021,52816,64018). 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.

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February 10, 2013 7:11:11 PM

Well Z77 and Z68 allows for the overclocking of any 1155 chip ending in -k (like i5-3570K). So if you are looking at one of those processors, you definitely need a Z77 or Z68 to take full advantage of the unlocked multiplier. Otherwise I am not really sure of a difference, besides H77 and Z77 are Ivy Bridge supported without a BIOS flash. Z68 will need an update to support an Ivy Bridge cpu. Lastly, the more obvious difference is price. Whichever of the following meets your needs is the motherboard you should go with.
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February 10, 2013 7:22:12 PM

Best answer selected by SyntaxSocialist.
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