Best Z77 mainboard for my build

Hi everyone,

I am planning on building a gaming pc (next two weeks) and I am unsure about the mainboard at the moment. I dont want to exclude the option of OCing, that means a Z77 chipset board is needed. Here are the other main components:

CPU: Intel Core I5 3470
Graphics: ATI 7970 / GeForce GTX 670 (depending on daily prices)
Memory: Kingston Hyper X 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM (Kit Of 2) XMP (or equivalent)
Harddrive: Single Sata3 drive, 1TB-2TB
Network: some Wlan card

I know that every manufacturer has at least 3 different Z77 builds, starting from 130NZ$ going up to 400NZ$. The question is, how much money should I invest? The only extra feature I think I'd need is an onboard wlan chip, but thats not worth spending 120NZ$ more on a board...

OC: Although I am planning on OCing, I am not planning on maxing out performance. I read that most boards now offer auto options and I would probably go for such an option.

Thanks for any input on this!
Michael
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More about best mainboard build
  1. The cheaper boards now have solid caps, so you may not have to spend too much; just pick the board with the features you will use every day. I've used low end boards like biostar, asrock, and even ecs, but asus and gigabyte are recommended by many folks. My biostar amd board has three auto overclock settings in the bios. If you want to overclock, set aside $$ for a 700-750w power supply by antec, corsair, seasonic, enermax, xfx, or ocz (what I use). Don't buy low end stuff by powmax, diablotech, etc.
  2. rinmic said:
    CPU: Intel Core I5 3470
    Graphics: ATI 7970 / GeForce GTX 670 (depending on daily prices)
    Memory: Kingston Hyper X 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM (Kit Of 2) XMP (or equivalent)
    Harddrive: Single Sata3 drive, 1TB-2TB
    Network: some Wlan card

    OC: Although I am planning on OCing, I am not planning on maxing out performance. I read that most boards now offer auto options and I would probably go for such an option.

    CPU: In order to Overclock you need a (K) series CPU on LGA 1155, Ivy Bridge examples: i5-3570K or i7-3770K ; gaming only i5-3570K - http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2012/05/01/intel-core-i5-3570k-cpu-review/6
    GPU: (look for benchmarks of the games you play) ; both GPU's have their Pro & Cons
    RAM: Do not get/use the older IC's from Kingston Hyper X, Kingston offers DDR3-1600 @ 1.50v 2x4GB KHX1600C9D3P1K2/8G
    HDD: SATA2/SATA3 interface on mechanical HDD's offers no advantage, instead look for 7200RPM and 32MB+ cache ; nice resource - http://www.harddrivebenchmark.net/
    NETWORK: Look into PowerLine over WiFi if a wired solution isn't available. MOBO's with WiFi are fine for an Access Point or to Share data; see - http://www.youtube.com/user/NCIXcom/videos?query=PowerLine

    Z77 MOBO's - My attitude is if you're going to OC then get a MOBO designed to OC. The Ivy Bridge is a very vCore sensitive CPU and the MOBO's with better Phases (often more) aide in reducing the vCore needed to keep the CPU stable and cool (<vCore = <Temps).

    ASUS P8Z77-V PRO - http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77V_PRO/#specifications
    ASUS P8Z77-V - http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77V/#specifications
  3. Thanks for answers!
    So I basically decide between a i3570K and expensive Z77 combo and a i5 3450/3470 and a cheaper H77 board.
    This comes to a price difference of up to 100 NZ$, if I take the cheaper P8Z77-V. The question is, is it worth it?

    Reading some articles, I discovered that I am very unlikely to actually need more power with this kind of setup, so I'll probably take a pass on it. Is there any compelling argument to spend more money and go for it (except: higher benchmarks)?

    Also: thanks for mentioning powerline, this seems like an alternative, if rather pricy compared to just buying one wireless card.

    Thanks,
    Michael
  4. Frankly, most folks never OC to game but just OC to OC. So given a choice (budget) between an expensive MOBO, CPU and HSF -- I would opt for a 4-core IB CPU (non-K), a MOBO that supports 2-WAY SLI/CF, and spend the money on an SSD or whatever will make the experience 'better' for you. Get at least 8GB of RAM.

    Examples:
    ASRock Z77 Extreme4
    ASUS P8Z77-V LK
    etc...

    CPU: i5-3550 or i5-3450
  5. What about the:

    ASRock H77M-M
    Is that as good, too? It has quad CF and is reasonably cheap.

    I am planning on going for 8GB memory, I just wanted to ask how to figure out which are the newer and older "ICs" are there and what the difference is.

    Thanks for the input!
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