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Is Z77 the answer

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July 21, 2012 8:52:47 AM

hi all! i'm just wondering if for my gaming build, is the z77 line of intel boards the right choice? i'm keen to overclock and will use pcie 3.0, with that said, and a relative budget in mind, what's my best choice? and what brand would you recommend? right now it's a toss-up between asus and gigabyte. thanks all for your input!

More about : z77 answer

a c 212 V Motherboard
July 21, 2012 9:02:21 AM

It works ..... hard for me to say that its better than Z68 or P67 the additional feature set it provides won't benefit 95% of users in its lifetime .... unless budget constraints makes z77 undoable, I'd stick with it.

I prefer Asus over Gigabyte for the OC'ing features and BIOS
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July 21, 2012 10:51:39 AM

For gaming, the Z77 isn't necessary at all; it just has nice features. For a gamer build, the Z68 is going to be your best option overall. The only reason I'd buy a Z77 board would be to take advantage of native USB 3.0 support and the advanced LucidLogix Virtu features that can be used with an Ivy Bridge processor. As a gamer, LucidLogix is unnecessary (I have it disabled on my Z68 as I find it highly annoying) and USB 3.0 is on all of the good Z68 boards.

Z77 would be the way to go if the chipset offered PCI-E 3.0, but as it doesn't it's really not much of an upgrade over the Z68 and performance is almost or entirely identical in benchmarks.

As for motherboards, ASUS and MSI are my favorites (my last MSI board lasted me seven years) but interestingly enough I've been rocking a monster of an overclocker from Biostar, the TZ68A+ (which, coincidentally, got reviewed on Tom's - why I bought it). It's a great budget board but if you want features ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, or ASRock are usually the way to go.
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a c 468 V Motherboard
July 21, 2012 11:06:43 AM

it not just the mb chipset or the cpu on an all around good gaming build. it starting wiht a good gaming case and a good power supply. then tossing in a good video card. a lot of builds people over spend on the cpu and mb then have to buy a low end gpu.
i run some builds to see with the funds you have what kids of cpu and mb combo you could put together. myself i look into a build around a 660ti price point. for a single card is going to be faster then the 580 line of gpus.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
July 21, 2012 11:19:08 AM

If u can get Ivy Bridge CPU, get Z77. - bit faster and nice features, like wireless HDMI : )

If u get the 2500K @ $200, get Z68.

Budget, the magic word : )
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a b V Motherboard
July 21, 2012 1:45:36 PM

The biggest benefits of current-gen chipsets (z77/z75/h77/b75) over past chipsets:
- integrated USB3 (x4), frees up some PCIe lanes for IO slots
- integrated SATA-6G (x2), frees up some more PCIe lanes for IO slots
- guaranteed board compatibility with IB CPUs, no need to worry about potentially requiring a BIOS update beforehand
- lower power and cleaner board layout due to having fewer extra chips
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July 21, 2012 5:29:45 PM

smorizio said:
it not just the mb chipset or the cpu on an all around good gaming build. it starting wiht a good gaming case and a good power supply. then tossing in a good video card. a lot of builds people over spend on the cpu and mb then have to buy a low end gpu.
i run some builds to see with the funds you have what kids of cpu and mb combo you could put together. myself i look into a build around a 660ti price point. for a single card is going to be faster then the 580 line of gpus.

yeah i have spent a ton of time compareing the gpu's and power supply, i'm looking like i'll get a 700w cooler master psu, and a gigabyte ati radeon 7870 and ivey bridge cor i5 3570k. my build at the moment is floating around $1000 and i plan on getting it all during black friday/cyber monday on newegg, the goal being to spend around $700. it's looking like a totally solid mobo can be had for $150 or less, or is that too little?
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a b V Motherboard
July 21, 2012 6:29:19 PM

misfitkid86 said:
it's looking like a totally solid mobo can be had for $150 or less, or is that too little?

Depends on how many add-on features (extra IO controllers to add more USB3 and SATA-6G ports than what is supported directly by z77) you want. If all you need is a motherboard that exposes all z77 features with no further extras, you can find some good boards in the $110-130 range. If you want a z77 board with everything including the kitchen sink then you end up north of $200. At ~$150, you have tons of z77 options.
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a c 468 V Motherboard
July 21, 2012 8:35:27 PM

the z77 mb if come down to the number of usb or other ports in the back...if the mb has build in wifi/bluetooth or not. if it got a thermal shield like the sabertooth line. on the lower end mb check that they can do both crossfire and sli..some mb dont do sli (they did not pay the fees to install that on there mb). so the mb pci slot does 16x and the other 4x. also watch some video of some of the mb and see if you like a bare bios or one like asus with the efi bios. if you have a local computer store or micro center...look at the mb and feel them...good mb have more layers to them...there thicker then the low price chepos. flexing in a mb is not good..look into the free shipping with shoprunner and or amazon. sign up...use the coupon for free shipping...then cancle shoprunner when the parts come in. also keep an eye out on micro center..amazon and new egg and other sites for combo deals...right now there a 50 dollars off with mb at micro center. flyer pages 20-30.
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July 21, 2012 8:54:43 PM

InvalidError said:
The biggest benefits of current-gen chipsets (z77/z75/h77/b75) over past chipsets:
- integrated USB3 (x4), frees up some PCIe lanes for IO slots
- integrated SATA-6G (x2), frees up some more PCIe lanes for IO slots
- guaranteed board compatibility with IB CPUs, no need to worry about potentially requiring a BIOS update beforehand
- lower power and cleaner board layout due to having fewer extra chips

Z68 and Z77 are both native SATA3 and with how far out he's going to be building his rig it's unlikely that he'll need a BIOS update.

misfitkid, if you're building around black friday I would suggest looking at the Z77 chipsets for the simple fact that by then they will probably be around the same price as Z68 chipset motherboards.

As for the price of motherboards, I've found that the best mid-range motherboards tend to run $150-180 depending on the quality of components and the number of features. However, before rebates and sales, $180 tends to be the sweet spot overall.
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July 22, 2012 1:32:57 AM

s3anister said:
Z68 and Z77 are both native SATA3 and with how far out he's going to be building his rig it's unlikely that he'll need a BIOS update.

misfitkid, if you're building around black friday I would suggest looking at the Z77 chipsets for the simple fact that by then they will probably be around the same price as Z68 chipset motherboards.

As for the price of motherboards, I've found that the best mid-range motherboards tend to run $150-180 depending on the quality of components and the number of features. However, before rebates and sales, $180 tends to be the sweet spot overall.

ok thanks, that's kinda what i was seeing, although if i can avoid having to fill out a rebate i would be happy! but regardless. not to deviate too far off topic but: does anybody know how newegg's black friday/cyber monday deals tend to be? i've heard things like 40% off of some items, but i don't want to cound on that then get burned. just would like an idea what to expext. thanks!
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a c 328 V Motherboard
July 22, 2012 1:51:11 AM

OK, do u live near Microcenter?
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July 22, 2012 2:32:38 AM

misfitkid86 said:
ok thanks, that's kinda what i was seeing, although if i can avoid having to fill out a rebate i would be happy! but regardless. not to deviate too far off topic but: does anybody know how newegg's black friday/cyber monday deals tend to be? i've heard things like 40% off of some items, but i don't want to cound on that then get burned. just would like an idea what to expext. thanks!

It's really hard to say what each year's sales items will be and how much of a discount each item will have but yes you will see some items 40% or more off. There are always CPUs, Motherboards, PSUs, and probably a few SSDs on sale but you never know exactly which units you'll see. Best bet is to stay live on newegg and wait until they post the deals; might be a good idea to sign up for the newegg.com newsletter and maybe tigerdirect's as well. Also, as a nod to Nikorr, Microcenter has BF deals too, as will Fry's (if you live near either of those B&M stores you might get some killer deals).

Ugh. Rebates. I try to avoid those like the plauge. Not only do they take forever to get but let's take newegg as a vendor and OCZ's SSDs. For example, to get OCZ's rebate you have to send in your SKU which makes it so if your SSD goes bad within newegg's one month return, you can't return it or get it replaced by newegg. You have to send it to OCZ for a replacement/refurbish which is a massive hassle and this kind of policy is usually the same for every other type of rebate offer. Needless to say I haven't validated any rebates in a long time.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
July 22, 2012 2:38:52 AM

So truth about the rebates. Agree 100% ^.
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July 22, 2012 5:15:37 PM

s3anister said:
It's really hard to say what each year's sales items will be and how much of a discount each item will have but yes you will see some items 40% or more off. There are always CPUs, Motherboards, PSUs, and probably a few SSDs on sale but you never know exactly which units you'll see. Best bet is to stay live on newegg and wait until they post the deals; might be a good idea to sign up for the newegg.com newsletter and maybe tigerdirect's as well. Also, as a nod to Nikorr, Microcenter has BF deals too, as will Fry's (if you live near either of those B&M stores you might get some killer deals).

Ugh. Rebates. I try to avoid those like the plauge. Not only do they take forever to get but let's take newegg as a vendor and OCZ's SSDs. For example, to get OCZ's rebate you have to send in your SKU which makes it so if your SSD goes bad within newegg's one month return, you can't return it or get it replaced by newegg. You have to send it to OCZ for a replacement/refurbish which is a massive hassle and this kind of policy is usually the same for every other type of rebate offer. Needless to say I haven't validated any rebates in a long time.

ok good, i'm really hoping to find at least a few of my wanted items at deep discounts, i live somewhat close to a fry's but there prices seem like even if they dropped a ton then they would still not be as good as neweggs. what i kinda think needs to happen for my build is a large discount on a diy kit, although that leaves me open for getting stuff i don't need or want. yeah the rebate thing seems kinda crappy, but i'll totally do it at the sacrifice of my stress level if i have to (something about me having far less money than i'd like).
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July 22, 2012 10:58:01 PM

misfitkid86 said:
ok good, i'm really hoping to find at least a few of my wanted items at deep discounts, i live somewhat close to a fry's but there prices seem like even if they dropped a ton then they would still not be as good as neweggs. what i kinda think needs to happen for my build is a large discount on a diy kit, although that leaves me open for getting stuff i don't need or want. yeah the rebate thing seems kinda crappy, but i'll totally do it at the sacrifice of my stress level if i have to (something about me having far less money than i'd like).

For me newegg has always been the way to go for Black Friday deals. Back in the day I got a bundle from Fry's out of budget concerns (I definitely got it cheap) but unfortunately the motherboard was an ECS and overclocking was simply not possible on it. At that point it feels like you wasted money because you lack features that you'll never be able to get unless you buy a better motherboard which negates having saved any money in the first place. Moral of the story, unless it's a good motherboard I'd stay away from cheap DIY kits.

As for rebates, if it's a good chunk of money you're getting back then definitely send it in. I'd probably wait until the last week you have to turn in the rebate paperwork, though. This way, if the hardware ends up dying you can just return it.
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July 23, 2012 6:25:19 AM

s3anister said:
For me newegg has always been the way to go for Black Friday deals. Back in the day I got a bundle from Fry's out of budget concerns (I definitely got it cheap) but unfortunately the motherboard was an ECS and overclocking was simply not possible on it. At that point it feels like you wasted money because you lack features that you'll never be able to get unless you buy a better motherboard which negates having saved any money in the first place. Moral of the story, unless it's a good motherboard I'd stay away from cheap DIY kits.

As for rebates, if it's a good chunk of money you're getting back then definitely send it in. I'd probably wait until the last week you have to turn in the rebate paperwork, though. This way, if the hardware ends up dying you can just return it.

good tip, i have done a ton of research and have at least the basic knowledge of what is crap, i also get black friday emails weeks ahead of time that will help me prepare. that's a good idea about the rebates, although i think i'll have them all filled out and ready so i can just send them off. did fry's have anything good?
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July 23, 2012 7:07:22 AM

Yeah it would be a good idea to have the rebates filled out beforehand. Just make sure to not cut the UPC until you absolutely have to. Newegg won't take back the merchandise if it's missing the UPC from the box.

Fry's always has something good, they even have great deals when it's not BF. The problems is if they actually have any stock of the item(s) they're merchandising. Fry's is notorious for advertising something they only have five of.
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