Hello,I am beginning the research process and have settled for CPU as Intel Core i5-3450 as "sweet spot" for my needs. (I am not a gamer but want the best build for the buck) I would like the forums opinion of the best mobo with the most features in the "sweet spot" range
Both of those boards I would consider "feature rich" for the chipset. What specific features are you looking for here, that'll help some.
The Biostar (I have never owned a Biostar board so I can't comment on their quality) you mention is a socket 1156 board (featuring the slightly outdated P55 chipset) and will not work with your processor choice.
What I have settled on is the Intel 3450 Ivy bridge with the LGA 1155 socket. Lots of good reviews. This is the Z77 chipset. Now I need a higher end Mobo. I am in the market for some quality but don't bust the budget. I like native 3.0 USB Ports,slots for about 32 GB RAM, wifi/bluetooth dongle, SATA ports,couple of PCle 3.0 slots. I am suspecious of ASUS products from a little past experience with their laptops and notebooks. I see all sorts of recs for Gigabite and others but strangely, not much buzz about Intels mobos. I would think that Intel CPUs would be most compatible with Intel mobos. What do you think?
Am I wrong to go with intel or should I look more closely at ASUS and Gigabyte?
My opinion here: Asus and Gigabyte (ASRock also) are better in their higher end motherboards than Intel (from overclocking and other motherboard reviews I have read) but when looking at mid-range motherboards, I don't know that any one manufacturer is overall better than another.
I suggested the motherboards with an H77 chipset because the only advantage to the Z77 chipset is overclocking (which your processor choice cannot do).
BTW, the chipset (H77 or Z77) is on the motherboard.