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Z68 or z77 mobo for new gaming rig

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April 30, 2012 7:55:42 PM

Hello community, I'm a first time PC builder so please excuse any obvious questions I may have. I have most of my parts picked out but I cannot A) figure out with chipset mobo to go with and B) have any clue which brand or model to go with either.

Here are the rest of the system's specs:
CPU: Intel i5 3750K
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB(2x4gb) DDR3 1866
HDD: 320gb/7200 rpm Western Digital
Graphics: GeForce GTX 680
PSU: something 700W

Money is sort of an option. I just don't want to blow money on extra things I don't need. I have heard the z77 boards have quite a few bugs and that most z68 gen3 boards will be compatible with the ivy bridge cpu I picked. I don't really have a brand preference. I suppose something reliable (asus,msi,gigabyte) but each of them have so many options and I don't know anything. I just need something compatible with the rest of my gear, probably around or less than $200, and gaming reliable. Thanks in advanced.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 121 V Motherboard
April 30, 2012 8:03:51 PM

If you are in fact getting an Ivy Bridge CPU, then it definitely would be better to get a Z77 board. Yes, the IB's will run in the Z68, but you will lose some of the features of IB.

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April 30, 2012 9:22:38 PM

Ok, but now you need to help the op, and me out by suggesting the best bang for the buck in certain bucks ^^
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Related resources
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 121 V Motherboard
April 30, 2012 9:30:31 PM

Newegg is a great site to use, since you can easily sort by a variety of specifications including chipset.... Also they included reviews.

I always use Asus or Gigabyte, but I have heard that MSI and ASRock have gotten fairly solid recently.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b V Motherboard
April 30, 2012 11:06:51 PM

I seem to have a couple of articles based on this exact question...and I compared my 2700K to the IB chips...guess what...my processor has MORE features available and performance is IDENTICAL with my processor having a tiny edge on feature sets.

take a look at this http://www.pugetsystems.com/blog/2012/04/12/z68-z77-and...

The ONLY gains I see are for integrated graphics and a bit more onboard connectors...support for usb 3.0 is enabled on the higher end mobos in Z68 and P67 so really there's no difference in 2cnd gen and 3rd gen as far as performance.

Reliability???definitely the Z68 for now...the drivers aren't mature on the Z77 and won't be for 6 mos to a year.

As long as the motherboard vendor has released a bios to support the new IB chip then you are golden...you can go to the manufacturers product page and check the downloads for IB bios updates easily.

Look at these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This seems to be the trend with new chipsets...but in this case the features are as close to identical as one can get and there's no gain of any kind EXCEPT for Integrated Graphics.

Again...it's a personal choice and what your computing habits need. There doesn't seem to be a real performance reason to move to the new chipset except for the Integrated Graphics caveat and onboard rather than added support for usb 3.0.

This is from all the experts, engineers and vendors.

Respectfully,
tekman42
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a b V Motherboard
April 30, 2012 11:42:15 PM

Since you going with Ivy bridge I would go z77 for the features and future proofing(PCIE 3.0 and intel USB 3.0). This is the board I would get GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Whatever you do please get a quality PSU. You don't need a 700 watt PSU either(see below 2x GTX 680 in SLI total system draw 550 watt):

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2012/03/28/nvidia_kepler...

This is probably still even overkill but a very good PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 1, 2012 12:12:20 AM

Right now there seems to be a close tie in-between:
Gigabyte z77 UD5H
ASrock z77 Extreme6
MSI z77a-GD65
Asus P8Z77 V-Pro

I could probably scratch the Asus V-Pro considering it's a little bit more than I want to pay. Deciding between the other 3 is difficult because there differences all seem slightly negligible. That or I simply don't know enough to make an adequate assessment of quality between the boards.

As far as power goes, will 650 be enough and is a gold rating absolutely required for a PSU to be considered "quality"?
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May 1, 2012 8:30:09 AM

Cool. but what about slightly future proofing with pcie3. i know its not really used at the moment, and may only be good for crossfire etc.
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a b V Motherboard
May 1, 2012 12:38:50 PM

aevancho said:
Right now there seems to be a close tie in-between:
Gigabyte z77 UD5H
ASrock z77 Extreme6
MSI z77a-GD65
Asus P8Z77 V-Pro

I could probably scratch the Asus V-Pro considering it's a little bit more than I want to pay. Deciding between the other 3 is difficult because there differences all seem slightly negligible. That or I simply don't know enough to make an adequate assessment of quality between the boards.

As far as power goes, will 650 be enough and is a gold rating absolutely required for a PSU to be considered "quality"?



A 500 watt power supply would be enough if you don't ever plan to SLI. Plug your components in here(the result will have a big number which is recommended and a little number which is actual power draw): http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

No "gold" is not required to be quality as it just speaks to efficiency not quality. If you don't want PSU recommendations from mere mortals then do the research. The places that have the best testing methods IMHO are http://www.jonnyguru.com and http://www.hardocp.com
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 121 V Motherboard
May 1, 2012 4:50:12 PM

Out of those 3 choices I would go with the Gigabyte Z77 UD5H

As far as PSU, even though the system may not draw more than 550W, you do not want to use a 550W PSU. PSU's work most efficiently when they are using ~40 - 75% total draw. Also drawing 550W from a 550W PSU will drastically reduce the lifetime.

I personally would look for a 650W for Single GPU, and 750+ For Multi GPU systems.
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May 2, 2012 2:07:23 AM

Seems like i read in another thread on this site that anyone would have to be mad to get a z77 mobo before they had been out for at least 6 months due to bugs in new mobos...is that not the case?
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May 2, 2012 6:05:38 AM

Ive heard the same but this was before the launch to public. surely they will fix it soon in updates.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 121 V Motherboard
May 2, 2012 3:39:50 PM

New chipsets are always rough at first. No matter what manufacturers do, there will always be bugs.

That said though, they are relatively easy to fix, and the problems are generally not severe. You just deal with the problem for a week or 2 until the have a BIOS update.

So, even if you had a Z77 that was having problems, you would not need to go out and buy a whole new board, just update the BIOS.

That brings it down to a personal choice. Do you mind dealing with a few bugs at first in order to have cutting edge technology? Or do you want to play it safe and use a couple year old technology to avoid a few bugs?

I personally don't mind dealing with bugs, but I can't speak for everyone.


EDIT: and yes, once a MB is mainstream most of the bugs are gone. They do a lot of testing. The actual chipset has been around for probably a year +
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May 2, 2012 5:14:59 PM

OK, thanks, what I decided to do was just go ahead with a z77 and well see how it goes, if i change my mind cause its buggy or something I can just return it for a z68.

If the bugs can mostly be resolved through bios updates than there really isnt much of a reason not to go with the latest.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 121 V Motherboard
May 2, 2012 5:17:38 PM

Exactly. There are only hardware issues in extremely rare cases, and if this is the problem the manufacturer will RMA the board, and ship you a new one.

The Chipset is mature enough that I really don't see a lot of problems with them.

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