Best Z77 motherboard

Discuss the core components that make up the heart and soul of any good computer.

Moderators: Flying Fox, Thresher

Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Tue May 08, 2012 10:20 am

When it is time for me to build my next system, I will probably go Ivy Bridge rather than Sandy Bridge. Which motherboard is the best one given a $200 budget?

Also, these Ivy Bridge prices are kind of high. Are they worth it compared to Sandy Bridge (say this one)?
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:14 am
Location: FM, FL, USA

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Tue May 08, 2012 12:24 pm

How soon are you planning to build? Perhaps you can wait for the next System Guide?
UberGerbil
Gerbil Khan
 
Posts: 9976
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Tue May 08, 2012 8:46 pm

It depends on the cash flow, but it should be within the next month or so.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:14 am
Location: FM, FL, USA

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 6:43 am

riviera74 wrote:When it is time for me to build my next system, I will probably go Ivy Bridge rather than Sandy Bridge. Which motherboard is the best one given a $200 budget?


They're all pretty damned similar. I'd recommend Asus, personally, just because they have the nicest BIOS right now. Their P8Z77-V is $200 + $8 shipping. If I were building a gaming/general purpose PC and had to spend $200-ish on a motherboard, I'd probably get their microATX ASUS Maximus V Gene for $210 shipped, just because I like smaller builds (and I've worked with the Z68 version of it, which was really nice). Were I building a gaming/general PC on my own budget I'd probably get an ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M ($138) or Asus P8Z77-M ($154) and put the extra cash towards a nice (or or bigger) SSD.

riviera74 wrote:Also, these Ivy Bridge prices are kind of high. Are they worth it compared to Sandy Bridge (say this one)?


I dunno if the 3570K is worth $30 more than its 2500K counterpart in terms of dollars/performance, but I would probably get it regardless if I wasn't planning on an absurd OC (Ivy runs hotter than Sandy and thus its stable OCs are appreciably lower).
Jambe
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:24 pm

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 11:38 am

+1 for AsRock Z77 Extreme4 / Extreme4-m. I've been following AsRock mobos since the Sandy Bridge launch and IMO they offer the most bang for your buck and talking to owners, their UEFI is decent also. Not to metion that the black and gold color scheme appeals to me. Nobody has the level of fan speed controls that ASUS has though and their UEFI is absolutely gorgeous. The downside is that ASUS boards are generally the most expensive. I've gotten so used to only having fan controls for the CPU that I'm not yet sure how much I will need ASUS' depth of controls. So, I decided to save a couple bucks and go with AsRock.

I originally wanted an AsRock Z77 Extreme4-m but Microcenter only had the ATX board. The $80 savings for buying an i5-3570K and the Extreme4 at Microcenter were enough to change my mind. Will be purchasing this weekend!

Tomshardware did an article on $160 - $220 Z77 boards thats worth a read.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1636
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 12:17 pm

AsRock doesn't have my confidence. Their boards are hit or miss. Same with Gigabyte. Asus is the only mobo maker that seems to stick the landing every single time. Asus has the best EFI, period, and that's a huge value. Asus's "pro" boards include the quick connect jumper block. You may pay more for an Asus mobo but it is worth it. I've tried boards from almost everyone else (haven't tired MSI, but AsRock, Gigabyte, ECS, Biostar, DFI, Abit) and the mobos that delivered the best experience were always the Asus mobos - stability, compatibility, BIOS, features, overclocking, quality, continuing manufacture support, etc.

As for the question of "which is the best <= $200 Z77 motherbard, the question is far, far too unspecific. There are absolutely no usage details provided. Overclocking? SLI-fire? Feature requests? Importance of network and audio implementations? Desired storage features? Considering m-ATX?

I just ordered the P8Z77m-Pro for a workstation build, but it's got all the enthusiast features I'd want and it would be the board I'd pick for my own build. And it's m-ATX, which I think is the sweet spot (full ATX boards are usually completely unnecessary these days). And it's only $170. If you're looking for just insane, refrigerant-cooled overclocking then you might pick a different board, but other than that...
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9084
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 2:09 pm

flip-mode wrote:AsRock doesn't have my confidence. Their boards are hit or miss. Same with Gigabyte. Asus is the only mobo maker that seems to stick the landing every single time. Asus has the best EFI, period, and that's a huge value. Asus's "pro" boards include the quick connect jumper block. You may pay more for an Asus mobo but it is worth it. I've tried boards from almost everyone else (haven't tired MSI, but AsRock, Gigabyte, ECS, Biostar, DFI, Abit) and the mobos that delivered the best experience were always the Asus mobos - stability, compatibility, BIOS, features, overclocking, quality, continuing manufacture support, etc.

As for the question of "which is the best <= $200 Z77 motherbard, the question is far, far too unspecific. There are absolutely no usage details provided. Overclocking? SLI-fire? Feature requests? Importance of network and audio implementations? Desired storage features? Considering m-ATX?

I just ordered the P8Z77m-Pro for a workstation build, but it's got all the enthusiast features I'd want and it would be the board I'd pick for my own build. And it's m-ATX, which I think is the sweet spot (full ATX boards are usually completely unnecessary these days). And it's only $170. If you're looking for just insane, refrigerant-cooled overclocking then you might pick a different board, but other than that...


I do agree that Asus is probably the best MoBo brand out there. I looked at the P8Z77M-Pro and I am impressed. What is your take on this one?
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:14 am
Location: FM, FL, USA

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 3:39 pm

riviera74 wrote:I do agree that Asus is probably the best MoBo brand out there. I looked at the P8Z77M-Pro and I am impressed. What is your take on this one?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productco ... 131-833-TS

Looks like it does a few things different:
* has display port
* goes one step higher on memory speed support (DDR3 2600 instead of DDR3 2400)
* curiously, it puts 1 eSATA on a bracket instead of the main I/O cluster (p8p77zm pro puts 2 eSATA on the IO cluster)
* has Wi-Fi, which is potentially significant
* has more total USB 3.0 ports (4+4 compared to 4+2)
* has more SATA 6gb ports (4 compared to 2)
* has 2 PCI slots (p8z77m pro has none) and 1 more PCIe slot than the p8z77m pro.
* uses the Intel gig-e nic

The primary strikes against it are that it costs $25 more than your stated budget, it costs $55 more than the p8z77m pro, and it's a larger board so it won't go into smaller places.

IMO it's worth the extra $55 if you think you'll need the additional SATA 6GB, additional USB, and Wi-Fi. Speaking very practically, it's unlikely that more than 2 SATA 6GB ports will be necessary (you'd need more than 2 SSDs to take advantage of them), and it seems even more unlikely that more than 2 USB 3.0 ports will be necessary (how many USB hard drives will you be plugging in at the same time? More than 2?). So that leaves, in my opinion, the Wi-Fi and the form factor as the big differentiators between the two.
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9084
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 4:01 pm

Caught this anandtech article while I was reading during my lunch break so I thought I'd point it out. Its probably the most info on each board that I've seen in a round-up review. Asus P8Z77-V-Pro and AsRock Extreme4 win. Asus for overall and features, AsRock for value.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1636
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Wed May 09, 2012 9:12 pm

flip-mode wrote:I just ordered the P8Z77m-Pro for a workstation build, but it's got all the enthusiast features I'd want and it would be the board I'd pick for my own build. And it's m-ATX, which I think is the sweet spot (full ATX boards are usually completely unnecessary these days). And it's only $170.
I saved $15 by getting mine in combination with the Core i5-3570K.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDeal ... mbo.909660

I'm typing this from the new PC now. The P8Z77-M Pro includes Q-Fan control of the CPU and chassis fans. I haven't swapped out the original Antec Tri-cool fans yet, but I've got a few 120mm PWM fans here that may go in later.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15412
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 4:32 pm

I put the p8z77-m pro build together today. Everything worked perfectly. Asus does a nice job with driver install. There's a "InstALL" option that let's you select "drivers only" and 2 reboots later all the drivers are installed. Unfortunately I didn't notice it until I had installed all the drivers manually and couldn't find the last driver for the "sm bus". Then I noticed "InstALL" and it took care of that little annoyance for me.

Also, the CPU fan header is in a different spot than I'm used to and the case fan header is where the CPU header normally has been so I was getting "CPU fan error" until I realized what was going on.

The stock Intel cooler does just fine at stock speeds and is inaudible in my work office environment (not a good indicator of what I consider ambient silence!).

p8z77-m pro manual is nice and thick and thorough.

I ended up NOT using the "quick connect" jumper block because the connections felt very loose on that thing.

I'm also a little annoyed that all the included SATA cables have 90 degree connectors on one end. The case I'm using render's 90-degree connectors completely useless (don't ask) so I had to use the 90's at the mobo and that means on SATA port get's block at each cable. No real practical impact there since I was still able to connect all of my drives.
flip-mode
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9084
Joined: Thu May 08, 2003 12:42 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 4:37 pm

flip-mode wrote:I'm also a little annoyed that all the included SATA cables have 90 degree connectors on one end. The case I'm using render's 90-degree connectors completely useless (don't ask) so I had to use the 90's at the mobo and that means on SATA port get's block at each cable. No real practical impact there since I was still able to connect all of my drives.
The ells on the Asus SATA cables are turned the wrong way (so that the cables turn down out of the port). That's fine for many hard-drive installations, but it completely sucks when their motherboard has the SATA ports stuck off of the front edge. Having the ell turn the SATA cable down into the motherboard tray just doesn't work.

In the Antec NSK2480 case, there's only about half an inch between the edge of the motherboard (9.6" micro-ATX) and the metal wall separating the hard-drive box from the motherboard box. That means that you cannot use the straight end of the Asus SATA cables, either.

:evil:

Fortunately, I still had some SATA cables around that Gigabyte provided with one of my previous motherboards.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15412
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 5:27 pm

anand has a great review of 4 z77 boards from gigabyte, asus, asrock and msi. http://www.anandtech.com/show/5793/intel-z77-motherboard-review-with-ivy-bridge-asrock-asus-gigabyte-and-msi

should help you with your decision. all the boards did well and it seem to come down to price vs features. as usual.
wirerogue
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:29 pm
Location: i'm a jackass

Re: Best Z77 motherboard

Postposted on Thu May 10, 2012 6:27 pm

wirerogue wrote:anand has a great review of 4 z77 boards from gigabyte, asus, asrock and msi. http://www.anandtech.com/show/5793/intel-z77-motherboard-review-with-ivy-bridge-asrock-asus-gigabyte-and-msi

should help you with your decision. all the boards did well and it seem to come down to price vs features. as usual.


Yeah I read that last night. Kinda nudges me towards the Asus MoBo.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
riviera74
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:14 am
Location: FM, FL, USA


Return to Motherboards, Chipsets, & RAM

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest