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Seeking a solid overclocking Z77 board with Firewire header and smaller upper VRM heatsink... Any ideas?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey fellow OC'ers,

I've begun the search for a solid overclocking board on the Z77 chipset. I've been considering the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H as that looks like it has everything I do want but I'm afraid if the upper-most VRM heatsink is too tall. I'm not positive, but it looks rather tall; as do most of the ones on the market... I really need a board with a lower profile VRM sink due to my water-cooling setup (the XSPC RX360 + fans do not leave a lot of room for a tall VRM sink at the top of the board above the CPU socket... Only the upper one really matters, the one along the side / near the i/o panel can be larger - no problem there. I also need / want IEEE.1394 header. Some of the ones I've seen with a smaller sink don't have the Firewire... I do want a regular sized ATX board... do not want to put a micro-board in a HAF-X case. At least 2 PCI-E 16x slots (I know they don't both operate in 16X mode, but I'd like the ability to do Crossfire if / when decide to). Another thing I'm looking for is something with a black PCB. Red/black color scheme would be optimal, but as long as the PCB is black - I'll be good. I realize there are a limited number of choices with a red/black color scheme and naturally I do not want to spend ASUS top-tier price for the board. Something around the price of the Z77X-UD5H would be great; so, UP TO $200 USD.

Thanks!
~TD76
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post #2 of 11
If firewire is a big problem, you can get a USB Firewire reader, USB to Firewire cable, firewire panel, or firewire card via pci or pci-e.

Here are some examples:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998094

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812705049

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817111714

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815124003
post #3 of 11
Asus MVG has lower profile vrm heatsinks...It's incredibly solid, as is the UD5H.
You can try the ud3h, it's solid and has even less bulky vrm cooling.
Edited by ivanlabrie - 11/8/12 at 6:48pm
post #4 of 11
This might help you,

UD5H upper heatsink is 25 mm tall from PCB and about 40 mm from case's tray.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanlabrie View Post

Asus MVG has lower profile vrm heatsinks...It's incredibly solid, as is the UD5H.
You can try the ud3h, it's solid and has even less bulky vrm cooling.

UD3H doesn't have FireWire, unfortunately. And MVG looks like it has a higher heatsink than UD5H.
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanlabrie View Post

Asus MVG has lower profile vrm heatsinks...It's incredibly solid, as is the UD5H.
You can try the ud3h, it's solid and has even less bulky vrm cooling.

The Maximus V Gene looks like a nice board, but I really prefer not to use a mATX board. I'd like to have some additional expand-ability of more PCI/PCIE slots and also I do not see any kind of firewire... I also just noticed the lack of PS/2 port. I guess that's something else I like about Giga-Byte boards... The Texas Instruments Firewire controllers and the PS/2 port... I might have to stick with Giga-Byte for the I don't know how many-th build. The VRM sinks on that ASUS do look a little more low-profile which is good, and it's a very aesthetically pleasing board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeXel View Post

This might help you,
UD5H upper heatsink is 25 mm tall from PCB and about 40 mm from case's tray.
UD3H doesn't have FireWire, unfortunately. And MVG looks like it has a higher heatsink than UD5H.

Great, I will have to check to see how much clearance I have in mm. 25 is about 1". The VRM sink on the board I have now is about as tall as it can possibly be and the top of the sink is pushed up against the side of one of the fans - so I guess I have to see how tall off of PCB my current one is. That's useful info, so thank you very much.

I've built a system for someone on the UD3H and it was a good board - but I'm definitely looking for the feature-set of the UD5H.

I see both of you guys are using the UD5H - I'm guessing you both enjoy it? I wish it's sinks weren't blue, but Giga-Byte has always used an interesting mix of colors. At least they're not using Pink/Green/Baby Blue/Orange and etc colored DIMM slots, ports, and stuff anymore.
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post #6 of 11
Yea UD5H is great.

Gigabyte Z77 UP boards don't use blue heatsinks, but they are definitely higher than the one on UD5H.

Also UD5H doesn't have PS/2 either, but it's not something you should be worried about, unless... if you are planning RTS, MMORPG or something rolleyes.gif. For FPS games you won't press more than 6 buttons at the time.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh ok, I didn't notice that the UD5H didn't have PS/2. PS/2 isn't a real big deal... my mechanical keyboard I'm using supports full N-Key roll over via USB. Firewire is of bigger concern for me. I noticed the UP boards are nice looking, but are pricier and I don't think I'll be using thunderbolt anytime soon. The UP4 does not have firewire, so again I'd have to go to the UP5. The UD5H is seeming like still the best board for me - I guess I just really need to check my clearance and go from there.
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post #8 of 11
I think either ud3h or ud5h should be fine...ud5h at 175 is not too shabby, try a Microcenter bundle with a cpu. Sell it or bin it tongue.gif
I really liked my ud5h except for poor ram overclocking with my Samsung 30nm's, and the fact that I killed it frown.gif
post #9 of 11
I love my UD3H. Honestly, I think pretty soon firewire will be phased out of mobos so you may do just as well to get a PCIe FW card or just move to USB 3.0 if that applies. USB 3.0, SATA docks and other standards are going to wipe out Firewire.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm expecting Firewire to be phased out at some point, probably sooner than later... Unfortunately, still some of the better multi-track audio interfaces connect via Firewire (and it sure is convenient that Firewire is daisy-chainable - I have 3 of my 8 channel interfaces connected together with just one Firewire cable to the DAW system). More specifically, these devices work best with Texas Instruments controller chips as they tend to have the best latency and compatibility to avoid drop outs and sync issues - also keeps CPU usage down the best which is needed for the actual audio you're working with... It's also becoming much more difficult to track down a quality controller card; both for the reasons of finding a solid Ti Chipset and also one of good build quality, tends to be rather pricey too. While this board would be for my home system and not my dedicated DAW, I would still like to have the option there for when I do some audio work from home... Plus, I still do have some video equipment that uses Firewire and again, these also prefer a Ti chipset.
Edited by TamaDrumz76 - 11/9/12 at 3:12pm
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