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Help me choose: ASUS P8Z77-V PRO/THUNDERBOLT vs GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP4 TH Motherboard

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May 26, 2013 8:14:02 AM

So I think I've narrowed my search down to these two motherboards. I'm trying to futureproof my motherboard selection as I'd like my computer to last 5 years or more so that's why I'm wanting Thunderbolt. I've built two desktop computers before so I'm not a total newb, but the last one I built (and still use) was 10 years ago! I'd also like as many Sata 6g/b and eSata ports as possible.

I can get either of these motherboards for around the $180 mark. The ASUS seems overall the better board but the GIGABYTE does have 2 Thunderbolt ports.

What is the community thought on these side-by-side?

I notice that on the newegg site the ASUS has been discontinued but I supposed all of these 1155 boards have a limited shelf life now with Haswell coming soon.

Thoughts?
a b V Motherboard
May 26, 2013 1:51:09 PM

Hi there,
To future proof your new build, might consider waiting just a little while longer and looking at the ASUS Z87 boards. Here is a link to their preview:

http://rog.asus.com/230442013/news/asus-z87-design-stor...

They sure look great, and I'm pretty sure they have thumderbolt built in. It's a new CPU 1150 socket with the Haswell chip, so the 1155's are toward the end of their lifespan regarding speed and additional features. They run at a cooler temp, slightly higher freq, and have 802.11ac on the boards.
The word is they will be available June 3rd. Something worth considering, and will certainly stretch out the usefulness of your system.
May 26, 2013 2:03:31 PM

Thanks for the reply John. I know it's a bit hypocritical of me saying I want to futureproof my computer and yet am looking at a sunset technology like the 1155, but I already have the Intel 3770k CPU, so I'm stuck with an 1155 motherboard. I picked up the CPU for $275 and at the time didn't really find the Haswell chips a lot more appealing than the IB ones.
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a b V Motherboard
May 26, 2013 3:05:24 PM

I like the 3770K chip and the 1155 socket. The P8Z77-V pro has a single thunderbolt I/O port on the back which is great. I like the ASUS boards, and have 2 of the Deluxe model. It does not have the thunderbolt I/O port on the back but does have a MB header for one. It has 2 Intel Sata 6Gb/s ports and 2 Marvel Sata 6Gb/s ports. You will be able to add a PCI-e card if you need more, & you can add an ASUS USB 3 add in front plate for 2 ports up front.

There are always going to be addt features each year, like the smaller CPU's, addt USB 3 ports, DDR4 RAM, etc. but your choice with a nice SSD, fast RAM sticks should last 10 years. You can see how MS is simplifying the icons and windows code to comply with the tablets coming out, so I suspect the code bloat won't be as bad as we have seen. The StartUp and ShutDown speeds are much improved with Win-8. The only feature on the Gigabyte board I'm not enthusiastic about is the sSIMM slot to add flash memory as an I/O buffer for HDD's. Rather just have a fast SSD for the system drive in place.

So, after all that, I'd vote for the ASUS MB, everything considered.
May 26, 2013 4:12:44 PM

That's great advice, John. Thank you. I also had a preference for the ASUS, though without being much of an expert I didn't have much to back up my inclination.

You mentioned RAM and a nice SSD... I haven't looked much into them yet but so far was leaning towards Corsair Vengeance 4x8GB sticks and a Samsung 840 series 250GB SSD... any advice in that regard?
a b V Motherboard
May 26, 2013 6:06:05 PM

bdubbin said:
That's great advice, John. Thank you. I also had a preference for the ASUS, though without being much of an expert I didn't have much to back up my inclination.

You mentioned RAM and a nice SSD... I haven't looked much into them yet but so far was leaning towards Corsair Vengeance 4x8GB sticks and a Samsung 840 series 250GB SSD... any advice in that regard?


The Vengeance Ram chips are great. Just a couple things to think about. You really don't need more than 8 GB of matched RAM, and two sticks are not as stressing on the Memory controller Unit than four sticks. I'd also look at the 1886 GHz, since the newer MB and OS have made 1600 GHz the default, rather than 1333. I am building a computer presently, which I purchased 4 matched sticks of Vengeance of 4 GB each, but am only going to install two sticks. I use the MS CPU/RAM gadget, to watch real time utilization and it never goes over 2 GB. The matched RAM package is fine. You could just use two sticks at first, and if you find you never use near 16GB, you could always use the other matched pair in another build. When you look at the matched choices, you will find many more 8GB matched units than larger packages. Worth checking out.

The Samsung 840 is also a great SSD, really fast, stable, and 256 GB is the sweet spot in size. You can place your OS, programs, and data on it with space left over. IF you are storing movies, or photos that take up a lot of space, those can be stored on a secondary HHD since they are more archival.

Both great choices! You will really have fun with your new build

May 26, 2013 7:40:12 PM

Thanks so much, John. I guess it looks like I was on the right path. Your advise re: memory is wise. I do plan on running on a fairly regular basis a couple concurrent virtual box VM's, so that's one of the reasons I was planning on maxing out my memory earlier rather than later. Again, though, I'm really not sure what the numbers will look like until I actually configure everything.

Your feedback instilled confidence in my decision-making so I bought the ASUS motherboard this afternoon. I was struggling with that decision for a few days, so thanks! Hopefully it arrives safely in the next little while! I'll hunt a little for the best pricing I can find for the SSD and memory before pulling the trigger.
!