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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Intel 1150 motherboard shopping

    Right now I have an i5 2500K on an Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard and I kind of sort of want to upgrade to an i7 4770K. I'm not completely convinced it is actually worth doing since I don't think my performance is suffering that badly, but let's say it is worth doing, how would I go about choosing a motherboard?

    I've heard that Asus are a good manufacturer to stick with, if not the best, is this correct? Then would I just shop to my budget, or is there a good reason to aim higher and save additional cash? I don't think I want to SLI at any point, I originally did think I would but the leap from GTX 580 to 680 was so big that I think I'll probably just get a GTX 880 when they're released instead of another 680, so that's not a feature I'd pay more for.

    In my PCI slots at the moment, apart from my 680, I have an Asus Xonar DX though I'm not sure why as I just use headphones all the time - good on-board audio would do - and a wi-fi card I no longer use because I have TP-Link PA211 powerline ethernet adaptors instead, so I guess I could probably get by with minimal PCI slots. I do have three hard drives and an optical drive though, so I need at least four SATA ports but I'd like more just in case.

    Apart from ease of overclocking, what other factors/features affect the price of a motherboard? What is the key difference between the B, H and Z Intel motherboards? Why is it so hard to see a comparison of the features on sites like scan.co.uk?

    Cheers guys.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    I think the Z87 boards are the only ones that have proper overclocking support. Beyond that I'm really not sure what you get for spending more on the motherboard, aside from extra PCI-E/SATA/USB ports.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    Apart from ease of overclocking, what other factors/features affect the price of a motherboard? What is the key difference between the B, H and Z Intel motherboards? Why is it so hard to see a comparison of the features on sites like scan.co.uk?
    http://uk.hardware.info/reviews/4444...85-h87-and-z87

    Z's are the only ones that can overclock -K type processors. You generally want one of those.

    The other thing you want to pay attention to when you are overclocking is how many phases the CPU power supply on the motherboard is. You can find the amount of black cube things (chokes) near the CPU socket and count them. More is usually better. Most cheap motherboards come with 4 phases. 8 phase usually gives you better overclock potential.

    If you want to stick with Asus, the Z87-A is a motherboard that's well reviewed, quite cheap, and 8-phase.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Oooh, that phase info is useful, that's not something I've ever seen on a motherboard spec sheet on a site before. It seems like the Z87-A would be the one I'd pick for that reason, also it's less than 20 more than the Z87-K so why not I guess. That does mean a processor/motherboard upgrade would be 360 though which is too much for me right now, I think I'll just hold on and see how the current generation of consoles shapes the requirements for PC gaming over the next year or whatever.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    You have a 2500k. I wouldn't upgrade for at least another year. Probably even two years.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    You have a 2500k. I wouldn't upgrade for at least another year. Probably even two years.
    Yeah, I'm not feeling a huge need to upgrade but the next thing on the list is the CPU and motherboard, apart from maybe the graphics card when the GTX 800 series is out. As I said in the OP, this is really more of a hypothetical question about shopping for motherboards, and so far I've learned that:
    - The power supply has a variable number of phases from one motherboard to the next, and 8 is preferable to 4 for overclocking stability and/or legroom.
    - If you're buying a K-suffix CPU like the 4770K get a Z chipset motherboard.
    - Apart from the above, budget is all that really matters and for most people there's not a massively compelling reason to get the most expensive motherboard.

    Right?

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