Z77 motherboards - tell me which one I should buy!

I'm going nuts trying to decided which mobo to buy. I want to a get Z77. I'm in favour of the i5-2500k cpu. I'll have either a 6850 or 7850 vid card. I will be using ATX form factor.

What's the difference between all of the different models in motherboards ranging from the bottom of the pile to the very best? What is the cheapest z77 that is reliable, I can overclock and is reasonably future proof, has SLI/X-Fire (I see bad reviews for ASRock so I'm not going there). And if I get an i5-2500k, can I support 1600 Mhz ram?

Any thoughts appreciated.
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More about motherboards
  1. MSI Z77A-G43 $114.99

    GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H $119.99
    Review: Intel Z77 chipset and Gigabyte Z77-D3H motherboard

    ASUS P8Z77-V LX $129.99

    Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H $144.99
    Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H

    MSI Z77A-GD65 $179.99
    MSI Z77A-GD65

    ASUS P8Z77-V PRO $209.99
    ASUS P8Z77-V Pro

    i linked reviews to all of them, mostly same review hopefully you will know what you are looking for. if you have any questions please ask. oh, and yes you can use ddr3 1600 with an i5.
  2. Start here:

    This will help you compare the i5-2500k ($220 at Newegg in the USA) with the i7-3770K ($350). If you can afford the price difference, it may be worth it. It depends on what you intend to do with the computer.

    As for the motherboards... First decide if there are any features you absolutely need, e.g. wireless support, dual LAN, lots of SATA ports, support for three video cards, etc. That should help you narrow it down. Then find some sites that help you compare features.

    For example on Asus' site, start here:
    Open each MB you want to see in its own tab and click "Add to compare list". When done, click Compare Now. Unfortunately the site is badly designed and I can't send you a URL that goes directly there with some boards already selected. Personally I think I'll get the P8Z77-V DELUXE, but you may find some other model you like more. It depends on the features you need.

    On Newegg's site, you can also search for Z77 motherboard, select some results and compare them. For example this page compares two Gigabyte boards:


    About the supported RAM: once you decide you like a board's specs, see what kind of RAM it supports. Newegg will list it. I think most of them support 1600MHz RAM.
  3. I recently built my rig and have been very impressed with my ASUS motherboard. It has made overclocking insanely easy, provided a solid backbone and provides me with the expansion capability I want.

    I was debating between GIGABYTE and ASUS for a while but I went with the ASUS because the automated OC system outperformed.

    If you go with the 2500k don't worry about anything faster than 1333 on your RAM. The 2500k won't support it/will run it at 1333 anyway. RAM won't be your bottleneck anyway so don't worry about it.
  4. Oropher said:

    If you go with the 2500k don't worry about anything faster than 1333 on your RAM. The 2500k won't support it/will run it at 1333 anyway. RAM won't be your bottleneck anyway so don't worry about it.

    pssstt. don't tell the people that actually are running it @ 1600 :sarcastic:
  5. These are insanely good answers. Thank you.
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