View Full Version : Help me picking a motherboard.

15-04-2013, 01:04 AM
Hey, i'm having trouble trying to pick a motherboard. Mainly because theres no many of them.

If I said I wasn't going to overclock what would you recommend me? Is there any reason not to get a micro-atx?

I've seen this one for $100 Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4150#sp

and then I see others like

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 for $200 http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/
That seems like a popular board.

Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H for $180 http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4140#sp
which also seems popular.

I will be only be using 1 card.
I will be using either i7-3770/k or i5-3570/k
Be using 2 x8gb or more

Any help is much appreciated.

Thank you.

15-04-2013, 08:46 AM
For the Gigabyte socket 1155 motherboards are both very good, and robust. For $100, the GA-B75M-D3H is a bargain.

The next one you've listed is about $240. It uses the Z77 chipset, which has many features that you'll probably never use.

As you've probably noticed, there is a socket 2011, which is newer, and starts about $350. Personally, I'd be inclined to use this, for my main PC that I'd keep for 3+ years.

Micro-ATX motherboard tend to lack of PCI-Express slots, which you mentioned is not a problem for you.

I like my components to have plenty of breathing space, and also like using massive low speed quiet CPU coolers. Some third-party heatsinks can interfere with micro-ATX DIMM sockets (RAM). However if you're going to stick with the original CPU cooler, micro-ATX is fine.

A micro-ATX case takes up very close desktoip space to the same as an ATX case size. For the ham-fisted, cabling a micro-ATX case can be a pain.

Personally I'm a ATX tower case man.

15-04-2013, 09:01 AM
Forgot to mention, I believe every ATX case will take a micro-ATX board.

15-04-2013, 09:11 AM
My new mobo is an ASUS P8H77-M Pro. It is my first micro ATX board. I figured I didn't need PCI anymore so this board will be fine for me.

If you choose from the major brands it is hard to make a wrong choice. Look for the IO outputs you want and don't spend on things you won't need.

Happy mobo choosing!

15-04-2013, 02:58 PM
UNLESS your are using more than 2 GPUs, 2011 socket is a waste of time, as the expense is the addition of extra controller for PCIe lanes....and really, quad channel memory isnt going to be noticeable.

As for boards, I have been using ASRock boards for several years now, the board is a little thin, but other than that, you will get more bang for your buck than ASUS or Gigabyte.
Extreme 4 is a popular board, and the z77 chipsets on ASRock come with a few feature not on the other two manufacturers boards, namely, RAM disk, non K overclocking, FAST USB & FAST LAN, oh, and they look quite good in black and gold.

15-04-2013, 05:52 PM
My opinion is stick to a good brand like Gigabyte, Asus, or Asrock (top 3 world wide I believe), and buy the cheapest motherboard that has all the features you want.
It's worth looking at things like how many RAM slots, how many USB ports, does it have USB 3.0 (worth having), does it have enough SATA ports including SATA 3.0 if you will need it? If you are not overclocking the rest is unimportant but it's cheaper and easier to get a motherboard with everything you need than to try and add it later with expansion cards.

Also as you say you will not overclock so maybe buy the non K CPUs and save a few dollars, the whole point of K series is for overclocking, a plain 3770 or 3570 is exactly the same at stock speeds peformance wise. I have a 3570K and it keeps losing it's overclock and returning to default settings and I never even notice it happen so I don't think the perormance is needed for me.

16-04-2013, 11:00 AM
Have you considered the Gigabyte GA-H77N-WIFI or the GA-Z77N-WIFI.
Should be able to pick them up for $170 or $200 respectively.
Both are Mini ITX so the PCIE slot is the only expansion slot, but can be used for any PCIEx16 or less card.

I would say stick with the non K series CPU unless you need to over clock. If you're not running a graphics card the 3570 and similar also offer the HD4000 graphics on board which will support 2x 1080p monitors. (the Z77N has 2x HDMI out as well as DVI and built in WIFI)

I'm running the 3570 with the Z77N board above and 2x8GB RAM with a Samsung SSD. the machine flies and can easily run multiple VMs when needed for work.

16-04-2013, 03:47 PM
I'm not a big fan of mini-itx form factor.

It's true a lot of bigger cases will take mini-itx board, though it sometimes inside the case it looks like a little gift in a big box.

Many mini-itx only cases are really not fun to assemble. You can forget about using most third-party CPU coolers. Sometimes even full-size 3.5" drives, and a full-height card are excluded.

16-04-2013, 03:56 PM
Depends on your personal preference of course but check out the bitfenix prodigy. Quite large as itx cases go but it can take any hardware you'd normally want.

16-04-2013, 05:16 PM
Yes there are some very awkward Mini-ITX cases. The prodigy and the Silverstone I mentioned are two of the best I've found and offer no great challenges during installation. The silverstone also got the WAF, where the prodigy didn't (may not be a problem for everyone obviously). It will fit many custom CPU coolers and all but the largest GPU boards.

On a side note, I generally wouldn't purchase a 3rd party CPU cooler unless you have a specific need for it (htpc etc...) - especially with this case and the excellent airflow already available. The stock Intel coolers have improved a lot over the last few years.