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High end Z68 vs. Mid lvl Z77 for Ivy Bridge New Build

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am torn On trying to build my new system. I use it for Gaming, Video editing/Multimedia, Multitasking, overclocking, etc. I am Going to use the i5- 3570k Chip and I am wondering if it is that important to use the Z77. I have read alot and seem to have the basics down.

The question I have is I can get a Fatal1ty Z68 Pro Gen3 for 170$ and the ASrock z77 extreme4 for 140$ and extreme6 for 180$. Is the Z68 at that price worth it, or should I go mid lvl Asus like a P8Z77-v LE (165$)

Also if I could get some details as to why, PWM, MOSFETs, Bandwidth, VirtuMVP, Memory overclock, etc.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 10
Forget about marketing targets of those boards. Just decide for yourself what do you need from a motherboard in the first place, how much do you want to spend on one, and just pick one.

Z77 offers PCI-E 3.0 support on all boards (with Z68 you have to check gen 3 support), Intel USB 3.0 ports, and Virtu MVP with some boards.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ya I basically narrowed it to the 2 Asrock boards. Seems as far as USB, pcie 3.0, Sata3, lan, sound, I wana go z68 Fatal1ty. But I was just wondering if the upgrades with a newer chipset, and the VirtuMVP changes in Z77, along with the lack of a need for a BIOS upgrade with Z68 for Ivy Bridge, I might want to go Z77 Extreme6.

As far as VRM construction and overclockability though, are they the same or not? And is the difference in the chipset of the manufacturing level of the boards?(Assuming the Fatal1ty MB is any better than the Extereme4/6 MB's)

I would assume the Fatal1ty, or shall I just say Z77 Pro(I'm not hung up on the Fatal1ty branding, just the opposite), is better than the Extreme4. Correct? So I am wondering is the difference in the Z68 and Z77 Fatal1ty pro line only different in Intel Chipset? If so then am I wrong that the only thing better in the Extreme line is the Chipset? And the features and overclockability lean to Z68 PRO Gen3?

Sorry for the crazy question and verification, I just feel the deal on the Z68 is hard to pass, yet I know if I had the money I would go top end z77. Thanks for the help.
post #4 of 10
Let me make few things straight.

You don't need top boards when overclocking, unless you go LN2.

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H and similar boards can handle any overclock you need even on LN2.

You pay extra for top boards when:
1) You need support for 3-way, 4-way SLI.
2) Better NIC
3) Better audio
4) More SATA ports
5) Something else?

Now, Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 has nforce200 chip which allows 3-way SLI.
It has more SATA III ports, but they all are Asmedia ports which are worse than native Intel ones.
It also has 8 phases digi.

Do you need that? No? Then why would you buy it if never going to use it.

It's really simple.

Also I can't figure out why all these boards are ASRock, unless you go all black?

ASrock z77 extreme4 (4 phases analog, bad mosfets)
< Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H (6 phases digi, good mosfets)
< Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H (6 phases digi, good mosfets)
= ASRock Extreme6 (4 phases analog, good mosfets)
< Asus P8Z77-V (4 phases digi, good mosfets)
< Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H (6 phases digi, good mosfets)
= Asus P8Z77-V Pro (6 phases digi, good mosfets).

That's how I rate current Z77 boards that worth considering in $100 - $220 price range.

BTW There is also BIOSTAR which is good budget option, but I don't know much about them.
Edited by DeXel - 8/22/12 at 5:42pm
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help. Last question, why wont i use 8 phase digi vrm? And the other reason was the price...z68 pro...169. But I was looking for reasons not to get it. How much slower is tbe non-native usb3 and sata3? And are they raidable?
post #6 of 10
There is almost no difference between 6 phase vs 8 phase for average user.

It's lower than difference between 4 phase and 6 phase anyway. And you won't find many 8 phase PWM boards. so no reason to choose motherboard only based on it.

Here is the list of motherboards and PWMs used in them.

Link for USB 3.0 difference.

SATA 3s depends on controller. Old Marvell ones are really bad (something like 350MB/s). New ones are better. None of them seem to support TRIM though (important for SSDs).

Some of the third party controllers support RAID others don't.
Edited by DeXel - 8/22/12 at 6:21pm
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
All that being said, who would take a 150$ or less z77 over the Asrock Fatal1ty pro gen3? Dont forget brand new MB on clearance. Of course i would take z77 all things being equal.
post #8 of 10
They are pretty much equal.

Asrock Fatal1ty pro gen3 offers extra SATA 3 ports which are limited to about 380MB/s reads. It also has IDE port for those with old DVD drives...
It has good 8 phase VRM.
Uses Realtek ALC892 for audio. Newer boards use ALC898.

Seriously, you can't go wrong with this board, but it offers nothing additional that many Z77 boards at the $170 do.

So just get it if you really like it.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK so the more I read and research the more im leaning Z77. I don't know why every source gives different parts of the story, and some get the z68 vs z77 confused with SB vs. IB.
Thanls for the help.
Now onto the even harder question on which mid priced z77 to get...lol, I will keep in mind the earlier post on vrms, thanks again.
post #10 of 10
This Biostar board has really good quality analog components http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138354

The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H DeXel mentioned is also really good for its price.

You really don't need more than those 2 boards even when your overclocking to around 4.5ghz and you save yourself some cash for other stuff.
Edited by DoktorCreepy - 8/23/12 at 5:15pm
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