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Better motherboard for i3-2120?

Last response: in Motherboards
February 19, 2012 8:49:30 PM

I am currently building a custom computer and would like to know which mobo would be best for the i3-2120.

So far, I have it narrowed down between



ASRock Z68 Extreme3

The Biostar is part of a combo and would save me more money so I would prefer to buy that unless it's really bad. But these both look like two good boards and would like your opinions.

I would also be running a Radeon HD 6850 with 2x4 GB Patriot RAM. I will have one Samsung 830 SSD and one Seagate 7200 RPM 500 GB HDD. Thanks!

More about : motherboard 2120

a b V Motherboard
February 19, 2012 9:04:44 PM

need more information. Generally you don't spend more than $70 on a mobo for an i3 processor. These are both gamer boards, which the i3 is not going to be great at to begin with.

Don't get me wrong, the i3 will hold it's own for budget gaming; But it is not powerful enough to really support crossfire/SLi, or huge GPUs to begin with. You also cannot OC an i3. So you would generally pair the i3 with a H61 or h67 chipset. The only feature of the z68 chipset you would be remotely interested to pair with an i3 would be SSD caching, and there are now some other options for that which do not rely on the chipset.

Give us more details on what you plan on doing, and what kind of budget you have and we can get you some helpful advice.
February 19, 2012 9:21:50 PM

Well, the build I had in mind consists of:

Intel i3-2120 CPU
Radeon HD 6850 1 GB
Samsung 830 SSD
Seagate 7200 RPM 500 GB
Antec 300 Illusion Case
LG 22x DVD Burner
Patriot 2x4GB RAM

I plan mostly on using it for web surfing and schoolwork and overall multitasking. However, I still want a fast, quiet and efficient computer that will last me for a while (I've had this one for over 5 years and it needs to be replaced). As for budget, I do not want to spend over $150 on a mobo but if you can find a decent one $70 then that's great.

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a b V Motherboard
February 20, 2012 1:45:45 AM

not the same, the amazon board is a little better, but also more expensive than the newegg board. Either should be reliable. Keep in mind that ASRock is the 'economy' version of ASUS, so don't expect it to be amazing, but it should work just fine.

For an internet and school machine I would go even cheaper; perhaps

When picking a mobo keep in mind that it does not effect the speed of the computer (except for the max ram speed, but 1333 is pretty quick and I have had no problems maxing out games with 1333 in my build). When buying a mobo you are picking a feature set, and the quality of the parts on it (cheaper parts will be more temperature sensitive). So any board designed for use with the i3 (or LGA1155) will run those processors at their full speed, it's just that the cheaper boards do not support things like SLi/xFire, overclocking, super fast Ram, the latest interconnects like USB3 or SATA3, etc. But for a school and internet machine (heck even for most gaming machines) you don't need all that stuff.

Also, for the build I would suggest droping the GPU and see if the onboard graphics work for you first. Even the HD2000 graphics can game a little, and you can always get the GPU later if you find that you need it. The SSD will be nice for you though, so keep that, and 8GB of Ram should be overkill for a good long time :) .
a c 216 V Motherboard
February 20, 2012 1:54:41 AM

kimisizer said:
I'm not sure what that means but as long as it can support the i3-2120 and run smoothly then I guess I have no complaints.

Is that board the same as ?

Is it reliable?

Since you can afford the BIOSTAR TZ68A+ or the ASRock Z68 Extreme3, why buy a cheaper motherboard? The i3-2120 is powerful enough for gaming. Here's a review:
February 20, 2012 1:59:18 AM

Actually, the Amazon one is cheaper for me because of free shipping and no tax (newegg taxes me).

Well, I would have bought the Biostar mobo but if a more expensive mobo is not going to improve performance, then I might as well stick with the Asrock H67M-GE.

These conflicting responses are only confusing me lol. Will the amazon board be enough or should I invest a little more? I don't really want to go any cheaper because I would like upgrading to be an option. Thanks!

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a b V Motherboard
February 20, 2012 2:05:09 AM

just because you can afford something does not mean that it will be any better/faster for the use that it is being built for, and that money can be better spent on other parts (like a larger HDD, faster CPU, software, faster internet, etc) which will have a greater effect on the end-user experience. I am not suggesting that he 'cheap out' on the mobo (both boards I suggested should perform quite well for the OP's uses, and can even game well if paired with a good GPU), but that is $70 (or more if you cut out the GPU that is not really needed) that can be spent towards a better quality KMV (keyboard, mouse, and video; the user interface), larger SSD, or any number of things that would better suit the use of the build.
Again, don't get me wrong, the origonal boards you were looking at are great (I use an extreme3 gen3 and love it), but in a blind test you would never know the difference for the uses you stated, so why waste so much money on something you would never miss?
February 26, 2012 10:55:17 PM

Best answer selected by kimisizer.
a c 328 V Motherboard
February 26, 2012 11:21:37 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr