Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

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Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:30 pm

I'm currently trying to debate between these two:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128548 (and it's full ATX brother)

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 0boxdh77kc

And I'm leaning towards the intel one for what appears to be a more robust power phase (driver mosfets). Does anyone have opinions? The reason I'm upgrading (to an i3-2120 setup as per TR's system guide) is because I believe my old motherboard (a gigabyte ..) is faulty. It cannot sustain any overclocks (will hard lock in D3) no matter how I tweak the FSB / LLC / core voltage settings, or how mild I do it. It even crashes on stock!

But I know the gambler's fallacy - that a dying gigabyte mobo may not be indicative of future quality.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:38 pm

RMA your current Gigabyte motherboard?
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:47 pm

It's a P35 with a C2D E7200 ... :lol: I'm due for a bit of an upgrade!
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:08 pm

I realize I'm not answering your question, but here me out:

Instead of Intel/Gigabyte, consider an ASRock board. They have a pretty nice selection of H77 boards that are cheaper than the ones you linked and are not lacking in features:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... ntel%20H77

The H77-Pro4-M in particular looks nice:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813157301

The backport cluster is even with the Intel ATX board while being microATX, it has more PCI-E slots than either board (by not having any PCI slots), and its cheaper than both.

ASRock is ASUS' budget brand, and their boards are known to be reliable.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:19 pm

I'm no electrical engineer, but I'm concerned about the quality of the CPU VRM. I notice that asrock still uses the cheapest stuff, while intel has driver mosfets and gigabyte is somewhere in between.

I got an email from newegg. With a promo code, this motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131833

Gets an additional $10 off, bringing it down to the 149.99, which is the price of a ATX Z77 'LK' mobo that TR recommends. This seems to seal the deal for me ..?
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:22 pm

I'm not sure if you plan to overclock, but if you do get the Z77 chipset instead of the H77. The H77 does not allow manipulation of the multiplier and so is not appropriate for overclocking.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:27 pm

cegras wrote:I'm no electrical engineer, but I'm concerned about the quality of the CPU VRM. I notice that asrock still uses the cheapest stuff, while intel has driver mosfets and gigabyte is somewhere in between.

I got an email from newegg. With a promo code, this motherboard:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131833

Gets an additional $10 off, bringing it down to the 149.99, which is the price of a ATX Z77 'LK' mobo that TR recommends. This seems to seal the deal for me ..?


I would go with this if your planning on overclocking.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:42 pm

Probably will not overclock, since from all the reviews I've read the i3-2120 is quite close to the CPU plateau, so I'm not especially compelled to buy up into ivy bridge. I am more concerned with getting a robust motherboard, and am not sure if it's ok to cheap out a bit. The i3 has a 65 W TDP.

Edit: plateau for gaming, anyways.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:15 pm

cegras wrote:Probably will not overclock, since from all the reviews I've read the i3-2120 is quite close to the CPU plateau, so I'm not especially compelled to buy up into ivy bridge. I am more concerned with getting a robust motherboard, and am not sure if it's ok to cheap out a bit. The i3 has a 65 W TDP.

Edit: plateau for gaming, anyways.


Even the cheapest motherboard will have the VRMs and power phases necessary to drive an i3-2120, even if you plan to overclock. I can understand your concern about getting a quality motherboard, but why the extra worry about power delivery to such a low-end CPU? It seems sort like buying a Geo Metro but worrying about premium fuel and performance tires.

And, to answer your question, I would go with the cheapest option of those you linked to (sounds like Gigabyte, which actually offers some "ultra-durable" technology beyond that of Intel, which allegedly improves signal clarity, lowers temperatures, improves overclocks, etc). That or debate the pros/cons of H77 vs. Z77 based on your usage needs, which really seems to be the more pertinent question.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:30 pm

You are correct in that sense, that there doesn't seem to be any point in robustness if the CPU draws so little power. I'll probably take that into consideration to save enough money for a few lunches. It's so easy to creep upwards!
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:34 pm

cegras wrote:You are correct in that sense, that there doesn't seem to be any point in robustness if the CPU draws so little power. I'll probably take that into consideration to save enough money for a few lunches. It's so easy to creep upwards!


If your computing needs are not demanding, I would suggest buying the cheapest Sandy Bridge-based CPU and the cheapest compatible motherboard with the ports and slots that you need.

On the other hand, if you are on a budget but want more performance, I would recommend sticking with a cheap motherboard from a quality brand, and using extra money towards a faster CPU.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:23 pm

cegras wrote:This motherboard (Asus P8Z77-M Pro) for 149.99 seems to seal the deal for me ..?
I haven't had any complaints about the P8Z77-M Pro, except for those relating to the included SATA cables. There's also the thought that if you were close to a Micro Center, you could get the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M and the Core i5-3570K together for $250+tax.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:17 pm

I live within an hour of a microcenter. If I price a budget H77 + i3-2120 + 8 gbs, about 270. Microcenter, 3570K + Z77 + 8 gbs 410. Mmm...
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:54 am

$190 for the CPU, $60 for the motherboard and $50 for the RAM adds up to $300 +tax when I do the math.
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Re: Intel / Gigabyte H77 motherboard

Postposted on Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:06 am

I want to build the motherboard around the CPU. The memory is 43.99 (gskill 8 gb ddr3 1333 kit).

For an i3-2120: $125 on NE, so I want a motherboard around that price.

For the 3570K @ $190 on microcenter: I want a motherboard that's more robust. They just happen to have a $50 off certain mobos if I buy the 3570K, so I can purchase a gigabyte mobo normally at 189 for 139.

In the end the difference is about $100 between the two. I'm leaning towards the i3, since the most I'll be doing is gaming. I matlab on my laptop or on the university's cluster. Either mobo is a z77 so I could upgrade in the future.
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