Best Mobo For Non-Overclocking Gamer

I'm sure this question has come up a billion times, but I figured I'd take another shot at it.

I'm building a rig for gaming, my first, and I'm honestly not too interested in overclocking. I realize the performance boost is awesome, but I would prefer to air cool and get a longer life out of my parts. I'm also involved in music production, and a good chunk of performance will be used for audio, so I'd prefer the stability of a stock system.

But, to run high end Pro Tools and Skyrim at max settings I'm going to need an impressive set-up. I'm alright dropping the cash into it, but I'm still looking to save where I can.

Future proofing is invaluable, so the possibility of SLI or overclocking down the road is always something to keep in mind. I also definitely want to keep the newest PCI in mind, seeing as how it's the future. I believe the Z77 is probably the smartest bet. I'm also building with 3D in mind, for when it starts migrating seriously to games.

What's the best MOBO for me, a non over clocker who still wants great performance and at least a year or two of rest before I need to start swapping out parts? The Sabertooth Z77 has stolen my attention, but I'm curious if it's overkill for a non-overclocker. I love the features, but if it's wasted potential, I would consider other options.

Thanks a lot for your help, I really do appreciate it.

CPU: i7 3700k
Ram: 16 gb
Case: Cooler Master HafX
Graphics Card: GTX 670
Separate Audio Driver
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  1. Best answer
    Don't go with the sabertooth, way overpriced mainly due to a lot of gimmicky features, I was pretty torn between that board and the P8z77-V Pro from ASUS, and I am extremely glad I went with the PRO, it was cheaper and although not as aesthetically pleasing as the Sabertooth, it is has good features and performance for it's price. It also includes a wireless module which I think works pretty damn well. You could also go with one of the slightly cheaper ASUS z77 models, I have heard good things about most of them.
  2. It's seems like you are going Intel way.

    First if you don't plan to never OC you won't need a Z77 board, Z77 and H77 is the same chipset the only difference is that Z77 allows you to OC.

    And again, if you don't plan to OC an i7 3700K is useless, first, doesn't even exist also the K means unlocked ( you can OC ) so get a 3770.

    And for the mobo seeing you won't OC ever i would get an Asus H77-V or H77-V m PRO

    The only problem is that they don't support SLI, but they do support Crossfire.

    Now for Z77 I will recommend Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 and then get an i7 3770K with a decent aftermarket cooler, you can OC without overvoltage, this way your chip lifespan doesn't shortens, and even if you don't OC is always better to have a fresh CPU
  3. So H77 will be performing equally to Z77 when a locked 3770 CPU and one graphic card is used ? exactly the same ?
  4. Chugot, thanks for the advice. I'm honestly pulled towards the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB. It's in a similar category and seems excellent. Your suggestions were awesome though.

    Dangi, I'm new, so be gentle. But I actually took what you said, researched and learned a bit more about overclocking. They are safe, non voltage altering ways to overclock GPU and CPU units that are essentially free speed boosts without damage. I'm going to build an overclocking capable model, with the Z77 and the unlocked CPU, and maybe mess with light overclocking until I learn more about it.

    To both of you, I have read mixed things about the Asrock Extreme4, and even though it's fantastically priced, the amount of DOA and issues I've read make me a bit nervous. Does anyone have experience with the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB? I love the specs, and it has fantastic benchmark tests, with some of the best stock speeds in its price class. But personal experience is gold.

    Thanks guys, your advice is awesome.
  5. Best answer selected by jerryarlen.
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