Best Z77 motherboard?

Hi guys,
What's the best LGA1155 Z77 motherboard for, under $300 and under $400?

My only requirements are:
SATA III
USB 3.0 Internal header
I'd like atleast 3way SLI for the future but 2 way will be okay
Not dreadfully ugly.

Thanks,
James.
23 answers Last reply
More about best motherboard
  1. all you really need is a asrock z77 extreme4. anything higher isnt useful if you cant use all the ports.

    and can you also give me some overall system specs. would like to give some input into that as well
  2. Thanks.

    My currents specs are:
    Intel 2600 - Going to 3770K when I can afford.
    Corsair AX850W PSU
    8GB RAM
    EVGA Geforce GTX 660 SC, upgrading to SLI before long.
    WD 1TB Black
    WD 1TB Green
    And I'm going to get an SSD when I decide one.
  3. -for a gaming rig, a i5 3570k is a better idea. going to a i7 has no performance gains
    -a ax 850w is pretty overkill in price. a xfx xxx 750w is only 79.99 after a MIR and would do the job just as fine
    -unbalanced as a 660 makes no sense in this rig where all the other components are really ahead of the GPU
    -a blue drive performs the same as the black and better than the green

    if you have not bought the items, id suggest changing now. but then if you have and they are already in a system up and running, then i cant tell you to do anything about it
  4. The absolute best is debatable.

    For overclocking the ASRock Z77 OC Formula holds the world record and would be the best for overclocking, however it's expandability is mediocre with only 2 PCIe 3.0 slots operating at x16/x8.

    For expandability the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 is the best, with 4-way SLI capable, and no shortage of SATA/USB. However it's 400 dollars. Also it's worth noting this board held the highest OC honor before Nick Shih got 7.something on the ASRock OC Formula.

    Asus Maximus V Extreme is a decent choice but it's 370 dollars and I'd just get the Z77X-UP7 for 29 more bucks.

    Good luck!

    BTW to help you decide on your SSD the OCZ Vertex 4 is the fastest on paper with 120,000 Write and 100,000 read, and the Corsair Force trails slightly behind with 90,000 read and 100,000 write. However these are just academic figures and in all actualality will perform around the same as a more modest, say 520 Cherryville or a Samsung 840 because of the 6GB/s bottleneck and Latency between the Drive and the Motherboard.
  5. he wont be able to even take advantage of either boards given overclocking beyond 4.5ghz is pretty hard with standard cooling
  6. TheBigTroll: The parts are mixed up like that because I had a low end computer and have been upgrading it gradually ever since. The graphics card was the first thing I did, and only got the 660 because it was miles ahead of what was in there but not expensive, the PSU was given to me, the green drive was already in there, the black drive was on special offer so I went with that.

    darksparten: Thanks for all of the advice, I'll have to do a bit more research then, yay.
  7. TheBigTroll said:
    he wont be able to even take advantage of either boards given overclocking beyond 4.5ghz is pretty hard with standard cooling


    I don't plan on keeping standard cooling for much longer, I'm looking to get either a H80 or H100 when it'll be possible for me to overclock
  8. thats not out of standard. out of standard means phase-change cooling (refridgeration), dry ice, and LN2 overclocking. those things will make boards show themselves from others

    and you are better off with a good heatsink like the noctua nh-d14 or a phanteks equivalent heatsink. they cool the same as those closed loop kits yet cost less and wont have as many failure points (no leaks, exploding pumps etc)

    if you want some custom watercooling, get this instead. but then you need a proper watercooling case
    http://www.crazypc.com/products/xspc-rx240-93812.html


    watercooling still doesnt make boards differentiate themselves from others much.
  9. Ohh I see, I thought by Standard Cooling you meant like, the included heatsink or something.

    I have a good watercooling case, supports a top 360MM rad and a bottom 240MM rad.
    What kind of overclock could I get from a 3770K with the water cooling kit you linked me?
  10. you have a switch 810 right?

    you can get above 4.5ghz and maybe 4.8ghz if your chip is good. it wont be easy to get 5ghz
  11. A switch 810? I don't know what you mean.. sorry I'm not that smart xD

    Alright
  12. Ohh, I get it now. Switch 810 the case?
    No I have the In Win GRone
  13. oh ok. it should do
  14. P8Z77-V LK is decent too.
  15. yes. it has just enough of everything for me to get it. it could be a bit basic for some though
  16. Thanks for the advice guys, but I went for the ASRock Extreme9 because it seemed like the best board for my budget, also got an Intel 520 240GB SSD :D
  17. Use the money saved and save it towards your i5-3570k
  18. JamesPoulton said:
    Thanks for the advice guys, but I went for the ASRock Extreme9 because it seemed like the best board for my budget, also got an Intel 520 240GB SSD :D


    id never get a asrock board above the extreme6.

    the intel 520 240gb is a pretty terrible value given i can get a sandisk extreme 240gb that will perform the same for 159.99
  19. Why not above the Extreme6?

    Yeah but it was on special for either $180 or $160 I foget
  20. because above 160 dollars for a motherboard, asus and gigabyte offer better options
  21. Yeah lol ASRock boards above Extreme6 aren't a great idea. This one is MUCH better for a much lower price(70 bucks lower), it has 4-way SLI, 6x SATAIII, and USB internal headers.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128552

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131934

    ^That Asus is also very good.
  22. Hey the msi mpower is a much better board they put it threw a stress test of overclocking at 4.5 running prime 95 to see if the board is good and send it over it is capable of the things you want and it should be reliable as its been tested and only for 185 bucks at ncix its a steal!
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=76119&vpn=Z77%20MPOWER&manufacture=MSI%2FMicroStar&promoid=1360
  23. Even i were asking myself this question, and after tons of research on multiple forum and owner club, i come up with the msi z77 mpower board, but i believe the best premium board is the up7 and the maximus vformula,

    My reason for going with the msi is it lacks of best onboard sound card than the maximus v formula, why? It is nothing when u buying a soundcard.

    Up7 have a lot pcie slot, only if u really use all of it, and the sli capabilities.

    The msi got a bunch of features only lacking of thunderbolt,3 way sli, not included usb front panel. At least this what i cxan think of.

    U currently own a very good chipset, forget about upgrading it.

    Lastly, all these 3 board does not have a gay blue colour scheme.
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