I may be nitpicking here. Im sure all 4 of these boards are quite good as they are all reputable brands. However.....I cant decide.
Wont be OC so im going with H77 chipset
Building an HTPC that can game. Setting it up with a 1080p HDTV and will be using it to store/play Blue rays and all my music. So sound quality and video quality are the most important thing to me. But id also like to start gaming.
HD 7770 (not sure which card yet but thats the chip)
1TB 7200 HDD (Possible add a small SSD in the future to run OS)
400 Watt PSU (unless someone thinks i need more juice?)
Not sure which of these 4 MBs to go with. Ive used Asus in the past and like them...however this one has soso reviews on Newegg. However...its the only board with Lucid Virtu mvp....has something to do with combining the IGP on my processor and the discrete card. IS this of any benefit in this setup?
otherwise all 4 are pretty comparable...all are mATX with 4 memory slots which i want for future upgrades. However...again...the asus mentions OC function for system memory and the others dont. Not sure how OC memory works
As for audio...the Asrock and ASUS have an Optical SPDIF out.....however..they all have HDMI out so im going to assume Dolby digital, DTs, Etc....will stream directly to my AV reciever on all them through HDMI rendering the SPDIF not neccessary.
1. Gigabyte 2.ASUS 3. Asrock 4. MSI
I chose gigabyte at first from my experience with a gigabyte board
I don't really think that you will need more then the 1600 MHz frequency. As ddr4 memory is expected to hit the mass market in 2013 (although the release date was September 2012) probably DDR3 will be history when you upgrade your ram
Also get for cards as if you wish to upgrade.later then the new cards will have different version, timing, etc which will cause a lot of random crashes(BSOD)
If you ever want to get a better gpu like hd 7970 then only you need to upgrade your power supply.