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Thread: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    OK, I'm finally going to upgrade, and I was thinking of going for an Intel Core i5 3570K paired with a Z77 motherboard. The question is which one?

    What will be re-used: Antec P180, Corsair Modular 650W, ATI 6790 (for now), Xonar XD PCIe, 256Gb SSD and 2Tb HDD plus opticals. I need Gigabit LAN and a fair number of USB ports, but can't think of anything else that's vital. Look for rock solid stability with the ability to easily overclock to a reasonable level (I'm not looking to win any speed records just get easy extra performance).

    Which brings me on to my second question. I quite like the new, small, simple liquid coolers, such as the Corsair H80 - never really liked those air monstrosities, which must put a strain on the board. Question is, where would the associated fan go? Obvious place is the back panel, but that already has a fitted, controlled Antec fan. Assuming that there's an easy way around this (which I hope), what motherboard would people recommend?

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    I personally have a preference for Asus motherboards, which I use in all three of my PCs. I have an Asus P8Z77-V at the moment in my primary system, which has been perfect so far - I have a 3570K overclocked to 4.5Ghz, and it's fantastically stable and easy to do (whether in the bios or on the desktop). You don't mention your budget for your upgrade though, & it's probably fair to say that Asus boards are a bit more expensive than some other brands, for the same feature set. Value wise, I think the Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H takes some beating, but I've no first-hand experience of it.

    If you're planning to fit a sealed liquid cooler like the H80, you'd normally remove the rear exhaust fan on your case prior to fitting the unit. I think Corsair recommend that you reverse the flow of air in your case when using the system, so that cool air is sucked in at the back (over the radiator) and blown out at the front, but I'm not sure how much difference it makes. I know Corsair have a range of their own brand fans which are supposed to be quite good value (although I assume the H80 comes with one or two).

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    My advice would be don't spend too much, there's no point spending extra on an expensive motherboard if you never end up using the extra features.

    Here is a comparison of features for a range of motherboards:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...rlay_125x94%23

    The more expensive motherboards are great, but if you buy one make sure it is because you are actually going to use the extra features.
    Last edited by Willzzz; 11-12-2012 at 01:48 PM.

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    I was looking at the Asus P8Z77-V, but it is more expensive than other boards and includes features I don't need, or foresee needing, like WiFi. OTOH I've had several ASUS boards in the past and been largely happy with them.

    I'm probably going to spend around £400-450 on board, CPU, cooler and 16Gb memory, but if I had to spend £600 that wouldn't be an issue.

    PS the Newegg link doesn't work for me as it hadn't saved the compared products.

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Fixed the link so you can see the different features on offer.

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    My Gigabyte Z77-D3H seems to be rather good.

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    There's not much in it between Z77 boards tbh, it's a solid chipset in my experience. I've put a couple together for mates. I've used the D3H g8ina recommended and a top of the line Asus ROG jobbie recently and there was no real difference between them once the side panel was on despite the steep increase in price. It's not like the old days when spending a couple hundred on a DFI et al was worth it, both over-clocked effortlessly, had solid BIOS's and stayed cool. I've not used the P8Z77 that was recommended but I've heard good things.

    Pick your brand and don't spend more than £80 would be my advice. They're all very similar.

    For the H80, I've used the old and new, both very good, the new H80i is well worth is worth the extra fiver IMO. The rear exhaust is the best place for them. IIRC it may also fit in the top exhaust in the P180 depending on clearances, but it probably wouldn't be as cool, with the cowl above spoiling the airflow.

    EDIT: You might want to give the plastic cover that goes over the graphics a quick measure too. It's quite a deep unit(think 3 120mm fans stacked, corsair has the exact dimensions) might get a little tight round there.

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Next question then. I'd really like 2x8Gb of the LP 1.35V Memory (Arctic White), but can't see 8Gb sticks on sale. So which of these three:

    Vengeance 1600

    Vengeance 1600 LP

    Vengeance 1866

    Pennies different for the first two and seem to have an identical spec. Is there any benefit to the fancy H/S? Is the extra £8 for the latter buying any real world performance increase?

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by g8ina View Post
    My Gigabyte Z77-D3H seems to be rather good.
    I disagree with it being rather good, I think the Z77-D3H is excellent, definitely an amazing board, it doesn't have SLI but has everything else I could want from a Z77 board, plus it has the fantastic Gigabyte EZ Setup utility for setting up Smart Response, Rapid Start and Smart Connect so even if you don't install an SSD now you can add one later and this utility with set it up for you. If you want more from a board like SLI just keep stepping up through their range until you find the features you want. They also have UK based support which means service issues will be dealt with faster than companies like Asus (I have an Asus).

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Not sure about the Gigabyte. Like the cheaper ASUS models it doesn't seem to have as much (albeit passive) cooling as other boards. On the detailed testing (possibly on TH site) it got quite warm, which makes me worry about the life expectancy. I prefer the look of the MSIs, but it seems that they have had some recent problems and are a bit on the slow side.

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Come on gimme a chance its only been up and running for 48 hours

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    Next question then. I'd really like 2x8Gb of the LP 1.35V Memory (Arctic White), but can't see 8Gb sticks on sale. So which of these three:

    Vengeance 1600

    Vengeance 1600 LP

    Vengeance 1866

    Pennies different for the first two and seem to have an identical spec. Is there any benefit to the fancy H/S? Is the extra £8 for the latter buying any real world performance increase?
    1866 memory will show gains over 1600, whether you would actually notice the change is doubtful, but you might not really notice spending £8 more either.
    Won't do much in gaming, but will increase general performance by a few percent.

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    duplicate (forum thought pressing save was the same as leaving the page)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    Next question then. I'd really like 2x8Gb of the LP 1.35V Memory (Arctic White), but can't see 8Gb sticks on sale. So which of these three:

    Vengeance 1600

    Vengeance 1600 LP

    Vengeance 1866

    Pennies different for the first two and seem to have an identical spec. Is there any benefit to the fancy H/S? Is the extra £8 for the latter buying any real world performance increase?
    I got the low profile and was glad I did, if you are going to use an aftermarket cpu cooler the space installing them is quite cramped and the low profile helps. I doubt you would see any benefit in having slightly faster ram when that money could goo towards something with a tangible benefit e.g cpu cooler, ssd etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiggerai View Post
    I do like a bit of hot crumpet

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by finlay666 View Post
    I got the low profile and was glad I did, if you are going to use an aftermarket cpu cooler the space installing them is quite cramped and the low profile helps. I doubt you would see any benefit in having slightly faster ram when that money could goo towards something with a tangible benefit e.g cpu cooler, ssd etc
    I'm going for the Hydro 80i which doesn't have that problem. There's nothing else to spend the £8 on, it's far too small to improve the CPU and I'm already getting a motherboard that has more than I need. I agree that the difference is minute for most tasks, but so is the £8.

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    Re: Advice on Z77 Motherboard etc.

    Then get the slower, regular (normal height) Dominator and maybe a fan to give them some airflow as you wont get it with an AIO water cooling system?

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/s...he-best-ddr3/6

    The difference is practically non existant and if you plan to overclock you still probably won't see much benefit, so much as any real perceived benefit is a placebo

    Just because there is £8 doesn't mean it has to be spent
    Last edited by finlay666; 12-12-2012 at 01:17 PM.
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