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Z77 Motherboards: ASRock Extreme4, Gigabyte Z77X-D3H or MSI

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January 31, 2013 5:01:19 AM

My CPU just died, and only a few months before Haswell comes out, when I was going to upgrade it. So now I'm going to be upgrading it to a 2550k instead, and that means I need a new motherboard too.

I know the Extreme4 is supposed to be pretty much the best value low-tier Z77 motherboard, but for some reason, here in Canada, ASRock boards are ridiculously more expensive than they are in the US, and I don't want to go spending $40 more for a board unless I know I'm going to get a lot more out of it.

I'm not the type of person to upgrade frequently. My processor that just died was a phenom II x4 955 BE, which was 3.5 years old. I'd like to stretch the life of this 2550k as long as possible too, without breaking the bank (which would defeat the purpose), so I'd like a motherboard that is at least a half-decent overclocker. I don't really care how many SATA ports or USB 3 ports any of them have, and while features like a CMOS reset button are nice, I'm primarily looking for overclocking ability and durability. These three seem to be that, while not being terribly expensive. Here are the prices I can get them each for, in Canada:

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - $150
Gigabyte Z77X-D3H - $135
MSI Z77A GD55 - $110

They do each have mail-in rebates too, but I know better than to count on those.
Which of those would be the best value? Does the Extreme4 have enough over the Z77X-D3H to make it worth getting? How does the MSI board compare with the other two? Are there any important ones in that price range I should be considering instead?
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January 31, 2013 5:22:21 AM

The -D3H isn't amazing; if you go gigabyte, get the -UD3H.

Keep in mind this, however: Although the z77x-ud3h is probably the best budget overclocker in terms of the numbers you can reach, it's UEFI / BIOS is absolute hell to navigate, and likes to lose settings, meaning you have to set each overclock a few times before it'll stick. (It's weird that way.)
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January 31, 2013 5:27:44 AM

DarkSable said:
The -D3H isn't amazing; if you go gigabyte, get the -UD3H.

Keep in mind this, however: Although the z77x-ud3h is probably the best budget overclocker in terms of the numbers you can reach, it's UEFI / BIOS is absolute hell to navigate, and likes to lose settings, meaning you have to set each overclock a few times before it'll stick. (It's weird that way.)


The UD3H is $20 more, and from what I can tell, the difference between it and the D3H is pretty minimal, isn't it?
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January 31, 2013 11:08:46 AM

The UD3H has on-board power/reset/CLR_CMOS buttons and a numerical debug display, as well as 2oz more copper in the PCB itself as I recall.
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