mATX board for i7-3770k, mild overclock, 1 video card

Hi all,

I want a solid and good quality mobo for my i7-3770k with mild overclocking in mind (max 4.2 or 4.3GHz). I will only use 1GPU max (no SLI/Crossfire issues) (maybe GTX 650 Ti). My OS will likely be Win-7 pro 64bit. I would like a regular hard drive as well as SSD. So the mobo should have no problem with SSD (Samsung pro, etc.)

I have narrowed down my choices to (budget around $140ish max)

1. Asus P8Z77-M ~ $120
2. Asus P8Z77-M Pro ~ $140
3. Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H ~ $120
4. ASRock Z77-Extreme4-M ~ $130

I want a mobo that is easy to install, easy to mildly OC, and doesn't give me trouble when I reboot my system. I am leaning toward either 1 or 3.

Specs-wise Asus Z77-M pro looks good, but the reviews on Amazon and on Newegg are concerning. However, the regular Asus Z77-M has very good reviews on both Amazon and Newegg, but lacks the 2 extra USB3 ports and doesn't have the TPU and EPU switches. Are these important?

What are you thoughts on the 4 mobos I listed above? Please be as detailed as you can. While I appreciate all responses, any response that says something like "get choice 4, and you're good" or something similar, will really not be helpful at all. It would be great if you have personal experience with any of these mobos and can speak from experience, or know a lot of mobos and share your opinion. Thank you very much!
4 answers Last reply
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  1. I would go with the first motherboard. Asus is a reliable brand and the board is priced reasonably. The extra features on the Pro model aren't really worth it in my opinion.
  2. Do you know what the TPU and EPU switches do?
  3. mastrom101 said:
    I would go with the first motherboard. Asus is a reliable brand and the board is priced reasonably. The extra features on the Pro model aren't really worth it in my opinion.

    Also, what do you think of the ASRock? It has better sound chipset Realtek 898 and the eSATA external connection.

    I read a lot of boot issues with P8Z77-M Pro. Is this also true for the regular version (Asus p8zzz-m) or just pro?
  4. Asrock does have good boards. If the eSATA connector is important to you then it's a good choice.

    I haven't heard about any issues with the non-pro model, but then again I haven't done too much research. It shouldn't be an issue.
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