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Need help picking a Z77 Mobo

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Last response: in Motherboards
May 9, 2012 11:07:09 PM

I'm new to selecting motherboards and am not really sure what I need. I would rather not pay for extras I won't end up using, but on the otherhand, I want a user friendly mobo for a first time builder.

Here are the choices I'm considered. Feel free to list a different one, but please explain why it's better for my needs.

BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
BIOSTAR TZ77XE3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77

Here a link comparing them.

For your info, I plan on running:
Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB DDR3 1600
Corsair Silver HX850
Cooler Master HAF 932
Crucial M4 SSD 128GB
XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB (maybe a 7870 if they drop in price)

I'm a first time builder who really has no clue on what he's doing, so please keep that in mind. Simple and easy are my focus points. I plan on OCing the i5-3570k somewhere in the low 4Ghz in the future when I need to. The PSU is 850 to allow me to have the option of Crossfiring two cards in the future as well.


More about : picking z77 mobo

a b V Motherboard
May 9, 2012 11:13:37 PM

Although not on your list, here is a site that compares all the Asus P8Z77 lineup:

Hardware Secrets: Asus P8Z77-V Pro Motherboard...

IMO, you don't need:
any add-on SATA 3 controller, the native Intel ones' are better and enough,
Any memory timings over 1600 are a waste,
any extra USB 3.0 ports, not enough stuff even supports USB 3.0 yet
Dual LAN,

You will want 2 PCI-e 3.0 slots (x16/x0 or x8/x8) for Xfire/SLi in the future. Any more, including PCI-e, and PCI x1 are a waste.

But if you need something I said you don't, tell me.

P.S. You didn't list a hard disk drive. You'll need/want one as a 128GB SSD won't be enough for "storage," but plenty for boot/OS/Programs/Games.
May 9, 2012 11:38:05 PM

You nailed it. I only need two PCI-e 3.0 slots as at most I "might" Xfire in the future. At the moment, I have no plans to.

Do I need anything special to add a Crucial M4 128gb SSD?

I'm not sure what SATA 3 controller's do also.

Edit: Would any of these three other mobos work for my needs? With the money saved I could upgrade to a 7870.

MSI Z77A-G43 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
BIOSTAR TZ77XE3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77

Here's the comparison link:|13-138-355^13-138-355-TS%2C13-130-646^13-130-646-TS%2C13-157-293^13-157-293-TS%2C13-131-837^13-131-837-TS

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a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2012 2:17:52 AM

The SATA 3 controller is what you plug the SSD into on the motherboard.

They go as follows:
SATA I=1.5Gbps,
SATA II = 3.0Gbps,
SATA III 6.0Gbps

That's Giga-bits per second. Roughly 1 Giga-bit = 100 Mega-byte. So 6.0Gbps = 600MBps, for the SSD specs and benchmark utilities.

I'm glad you slimmed your choices down, and obviously, I like the Asus P8Z77-V LK.

As far as the SSD "special things," the first thing is to install Windows 7, any version. It has specialfeatures it does for SSDs.

Here are some Tips & Tweaks for SSDs, after you install the OS to it:

The SSD Review - The SSD Optimization Guide...

OCZ Blog - SSD Tips & Tweaks (I know, not an OCZ SSD, but they apply)

You don't have to do them all, or any, they are just tips & tricks.

Do you have a hard drive to go with the SSD? There are some other things to do if so.
May 10, 2012 3:11:08 AM

I would say either the Asus or Asrock board would be your best choice.
May 10, 2012 9:29:39 PM

Research on the memory support and memory socket positions if you plan to run dual channel. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is huge and can easily obstruct the higher seated rams.