Which Mobo for This Build?

Hey all,

I had what I thought was a perfect £1000 gaming build, but then someone on the forum mentioned a couple of bad experiences with Gigabyte motherboards, and now I'm paralysed by choice!

Initially I was just going to go for the cheapest Z77 board I could find with Crossfire support and enough slots to give me room to expand in the future, which was the Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H. Now I'm wondering if it'll be worth spending a bit more, so any advice on features/quality/cost-effectiveness will be gratefully received.

The build the board will have to support is this:

Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor - £180.80

Crucial 128GB M4 SSD - 2.5" SATA-III - Read 500MB/s Write 175MB/s - 3 Year Warranty £86.99

Seagate 2TB BARRACUDA 3.5" SATA-III Hard Drive - 7200RPM 64MB Cache £85.00

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular PSU Single 12V Rail 135mm Fan £64.29

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit £68.44

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 - BlueTrack £32.99

Antec 120mm TrueQuiet Fan £8.60

Antec 1100 Eleven Hundred Case £86.99

Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz CL9 1.5V Non-ECC Unbuffered £38.99

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2 Socket 775, 1156, 1155, 1366, AM2, AM3 Heatpipe CPU Cooler £14.38

Sapphire HD 7850 OC Edition 2GB GDDR5 HDMI DVI Dual Mini DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card £208.98

Sony AD-7261S 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM with LightScribe SATA - OEM Black £14.99


Many thanks!
7 answers Last reply
More about which mobo build
  1. If I did the math correctly summing up all your parts to ~ £805, that leaves about £195 for your motherboard. Sounds like a good budget too.

    I think you can not go wrong with this: MSI Z77A-GD65 @ £148.98
    http://www.ebuyer.com/345316-msi-z77a-gd65-z77-socket-1155-8-channel-hd-audio-atx-motherboard-z77a-gd65
    It is one of the selected z77 motherboards in recent Tom's hardware z77 face off.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-extreme6-z77a-gd65-z77h2-a2x,3187-22.html
  2. It's more like £885 at the moment, so I was mainly wondering whether to go for a £150 low-mid-range mobo like the one you suggested, or stick with scratching around the £100 mark high-end-budget.

    Will I see much appreciable difference in performance/stability/upgradability for my extra £50?

    I was actually thinking of choosing either the Asrock extreme 4 or 6, but that MSI looks pretty neat.
  3. I bought the extreme4
    Very solid and booted it up first time, no problems.
    If planning on running dual graphics cards the the extreme 6 might be worth the extra though, I doubt that any current gen graphics card could come close to saturating Pcie bandwidth.

    It's of a decent quality for a great value price.
    My $0.02
  4. Cheers, that's very helpful. Guess I'll go sinking back into review sites again - and to think I thought choosing the GPU would be the hardest decision.
  5. Ok, so I've compared the Extreme4 and the Extreme6, the only major difference seems to be a bucket load more expansion slots. I'd like to preserve the option of getting a second graphics card to run in crossfire as an easy upgrade option, but the Extreme4 has two PCIe 3.0x16 slots and two PCIe 2.0x1 slots. Even if I use both the x16 slots to run graphics cards, that still leaves me two x1 slots for, say, a sound card and something else. Is there a reason that the extreme6 is better for running multiple graphics cards?
  6. No. As far as I know, the major difference between the Extreme 4 & 6 are the IE1394 ports & display ports on the 6:
  7. Excellent, thanks everyone. I'll probably go with the Extreme4. Though the price is hugely variable at the moment, so I might go for the 6 if there's only a ~£20 difference on the day.
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