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Please help me pick a MOBO for $150 or less

post #1 of 22
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Hello. I am trying to pick a MOBO and am having a hard time making a choice. I have read a lot of reviews and it looks like no board is a real homerun, where most love it. I see a lot of reports of failing SATA and USB ports. Here are some of my basic requirements:

1.) It needs to be compatible with my CPU, Core i5 Ivy Bridge 3570K.
2.) Must have the newest chipset
3.) Need USB 3.0
4.) Need SATA 6
5.) I won't be overclocking. I need the most reliable board.
6.) I want to stay below $150 if possible. Does paying more give me more reliability(ex: better caps, other circuit parts)? I don't want to compromise reliability by going too cheap on the MOBO.

I have been researching and it seems that either ASUS or GIGABYTE might be my best choice. But it looks like ASUS has gone down a bit in quality and I am hearing that there are a lot of problems RMAing boards. Here are the boards I am looking at. Could you please provide me any info on which board you think would be best for me? Thanks.

ASUS
ASUS P8Z77-V LX LGA
ASUS P8Z77-V LE LGA
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA
ASUS P8Z77-V LE PLUS LGA

GIGABYTE
GIGABYTE GA-Z77-DS3H
GIGABYTE GA-Z77-HD3
GIGABYTE GA-Z77-HD4
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H
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post #2 of 22
Gigabyte Z77X-D3H, great board.

Hope that you'll overclock in the future, it would be a waste not to. smile.gif

If you don't you can always go for a B75 board.
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post #3 of 22
If you're absolutely positively sure that you're not going to overclock, then you might be better served getting an B75 or H77 motherboard. One good, inexpensive solution (provided that you're only going to use a single graphics card) is the Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H. It meets all the criteria you listed and should be very reliable.

Sin0822 wrote a very detailed review of it HERE.
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post #4 of 22
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H
If you would like to overclock.
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by svenge View Post

If you're absolutely positively sure that you're not going to overclock, then you might be better served getting an B75 or H77 motherboard. One good, inexpensive solution (provided that you're only going to use a single graphics card) is the Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H. It meets all the criteria you listed and should be very reliable.

Sin0822 wrote a very detailed review of it HERE.

Thanks for you comments. They have been very helpful. So, nobody seems to be recommending ASUS over GIGABYTE it seems. If thats the case, I can just eliminate ASUS from my consideration. This would significantly reduce my shopping smile.gif

1.) I am definetly not going to overclock. This will be for a business build for a family member and I don't want any possible issues, having to worry about extra cooling, louder fans(they want a very silient system) etc. I might do a build for myself in a couple of years and I will probably overclock that one.

2.) I started to look into the B75 and H77 chipset boards since you mentioned them. I am mostly going to buy my board from Newegg so I looked at their stuff. The H77 boards were almost the price of the Z77 boards, so I saw no point in going for them. The B75 boards however were significantly cheaper and interested me. I looked at the Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H. Two things I didn't like about this board, were that it only has 1 SATA 6 connector. If I decide to add another SSD in the future, it would have to run in SATA 3, which I don't want. The other thing I don't like about it is that a review I read, mentions that the the SATA 6 and USB 3.0 speed is at the bottom of the pile. This concerns me. The board I was looking at instead is GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3P. It has 3 SATA 6 connectors, which is great, but there are like no reviews of it on the web(other than very few user comments on newegg and amazon), so I don't know how good or bad it is and I don't know if its USB 3.0 and SATA 6 performace is any better.

3.) I read about the differences between the Z77 B75 and H77 chipsets. It seems that the B75 and H77 chipsets have all the main features I need. I don't need to overclock the ram or CPU. I don't need RAID or more than 1 GPU. I don't plan on doing any GPU to start but might add a low powered GPU in the future to take some stress off the CPU, if need be.

4.) These B75 chipset boards seem to be all Micro ATX. Are these boards poorer quality and slower(i.e. bus, ports etc) than regular ATX boards? I would be willing to pay more for a Z77 board like the Gigabyte Z77X-D3H if it is better made and has faster ports etc and disregard the OC abilities.
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post #6 of 22
I just made the same choice, and got a Z75 board, specifically the Z75 Pro3 which is $76.99 from Newegg

If you don't need 'Smart Response Technology' (SSD Caching), then I would say go for the Z75 series, I don't know why they arn't more popular, since most people don't need SSD Caching and only use 1 GPU.

It has 2x Sata 6gb/s, supports native USB 3.0 etc
Edited by .:hybrid:. - 2/25/13 at 12:45am
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post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualnan View Post

2.) I started to look into the B75 and H77 chipset boards since you mentioned them. I am mostly going to buy my board from Newegg so I looked at their stuff. The H77 boards were almost the price of the Z77 boards, so I saw no point in going for them. The B75 boards however were significantly cheaper and interested me. I looked at the Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H. Two things I didn't like about this board, were that it only has 1 SATA 6 connector. If I decide to add another SSD in the future, it would have to run in SATA 3, which I don't want. The other thing I don't like about it is that a review I read, mentions that the the SATA 6 and USB 3.0 speed is at the bottom of the pile. This concerns me. The board I was looking at instead is GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3P. It has 3 SATA 6 connectors, which is great, but there are like no reviews of it on the web(other than very few user comments on newegg and amazon), so I don't know how good or bad it is and I don't know if its USB 3.0 and SATA 6 performace is any better.

Most B75 boards only have one SATA-III (6Gb/s) port because that's all the B75 chipset has natively. The Gigabyte -D3P is an exception because it adds an 3rd-party Marvell controller for the "extra" 2 SATA-III ports. As for the -D3H model's USB/SATA speed differences in that review, I can't explain why they existed, but since all of them were less than 5% I wouldn't worry. The funny thing is that it shares its position in those charts with the twice-as-expensive Z77 model G1 Sniper M3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualnan View Post

4.) These B75 chipset boards seem to be all Micro ATX. Are these boards poorer quality and slower(i.e. bus, ports etc) than regular ATX boards? I would be willing to pay more for a Z77 board like the Gigabyte Z77X-D3H if it is better made and has faster ports etc and disregard the OC abilities.

The reason that most B75 boards are mATX is because the B75 chipset is primarily marketed towards small businesses. Most computers in a small business have no need for 7 PCIe/PCI expansion slots, so making the board smaller reduces costs without any real downside. Theoretically, it shouldn't reduce performance since they use the same basic I/O components as their full-sized brethren. Plenty of people here have mATX boards and I haven't seen anything indicating that said form factor is a hindrance, anyhow.
Edited by svenge - 2/25/13 at 1:37am
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by .:hybrid:. View Post

I just made the same choice, and got a Z75 board, specifically the Z75 Pro3 which is $76.99 from Newegg

If you don't need 'Smart Response Technology' (SSD Caching), then I would say go for the Z75 series, I don't know why they arn't more popular, since most people don't need SSD Caching and only use 1 GPU.

It has 2x Sata 6gb/s, supports native USB 3.0 etc

Hey thanks for that info. That board looks interesting and the price is good. The only thing is that I have heard not so great comments about Asrock's circuitry components. So I was staying away from this brand.
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post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by svenge View Post

Most B75 boards only have one SATA-III (6Gb/s) port because that's all the B75 chipset has natively. The Gigabyte -D3P is an exception because it adds an 3rd-party Marvell controller for the "extra" 2 SATA-III ports. As for the -D3H model's USB/SATA speed differences in that review, I can't explain why they existed, but since all of them were less than 5% I wouldn't worry. The funny thing is that it shares its position in those charts with the twice-as-expensive Z77 model G1 Sniper M3.

So in reference to the D3P. Isn't it the best of both worlds being B75 and with 3 SATA 6 ports? Any negatives having the other 2 sata 6 ports off of the 3rd-party Marvel controlller?
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