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educate a first time builder

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
This will be my first build and I'm afraid my ignorance about motherboards and CPUs is exceptional right now.

Besides offering a "foundation" for your build, what should I look for in a motherboard? Does sound quality change? Do they all have wifi? Do 6g/s SATA connections really matter, when internal Hard Drives (not SSDs) can't really go that fast (even when they are 6g/s).

I'm trying to decide between these motherboards, and would love some input. They'd go with a i5-3570


MSI
Z77A-G41 LGA 1155 ATX

Gigabyte
GA-Z77-DS3H LGA 1155 Z77 ATX
401042

ASUS
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Z77 ATX
659565

ASRock
Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Z77 ATX
380550

The computer would be for moderate gaming and 1440p media stuff (no video editing, just movies). Game settings don't have to be maxed out.


Thanks very much smile.gif
Edited by wermcran - 6/11/13 at 8:31pm
post #2 of 7
You're going to definitely want SATA3 if you're running an SSD, if you're going WD Green it probably won't make a noticeable difference. Sound quality will change nominally but if you're not an audiophile you probably won't notice. If you're not overclocking and you just want a basic cheap board, get the Extreme4. My friend got one on sale for like $90 and he loves it.

They don't all have wifi so check the specs but if you're anywhere close to your router you can get along just fine with a $9 wifi usb dongle. All motherboards will have the few basic things you need: SATA, USB, a CPU socket, and at least 1 16x PCIE slot.

edit: not to say the extreme4 can't overclock, it definitely can.... it's just not a "top of the heap" hardcore oc'ing motherboard.
post #3 of 7
1) Most mobo's don't support Wi-fi in their current stages. As the years go by, it will be more commonly implemented but at the moment, you're not gonna find an inexpensive mobo with Wi-Fi capability.

2) What you need to look for are: the correct sockets (like these will support the Ivy Bridge series and Sandy Bridge for example); quality of VRM's (the heat pipes on the mobo that... well, regulate and handle heat output); and the features you desire (does it support SLI/Xfire? What about RAM size?)

3) The standard transfer rate for SATA is now 6Gb/s. It does make a difference in the modern HDD's and SSD's but is pretty much standardized in most (if not all) mobo's today.

4) What are you planning to do with your CPU(?)? If overclocking is coming into play, you should consider an alternative motherboard with better VRM's and a higher Phase Power (6+2 or 8+2 rather than 4+1).

5) The ASRock is looking like the best fit. It has plenty of decent features and decent build quality.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventyfive View Post

You're going to definitely want SATA3 if you're running an SSD, if you're going WD Green it probably won't make a noticeable difference. Sound quality will change nominally but if you're not an audiophile you probably won't notice. If you're not overclocking and you just want a basic cheap board, get the Extreme4. My friend got one on sale for like $90 and he loves it.

They don't all have wifi so check the specs but if you're anywhere close to your router you can get along just fine with a $9 wifi usb dongle. All motherboards will have the few basic things you need: SATA, USB, a CPU socket, and at least 1 16x PCIE slot.

edit: not to say the extreme4 can't overclock, it definitely can.... it's just not a "top of the heap" hardcore oc'ing motherboard.

Thanks for the reply. Are there advantages to extreme r4 over the gigabytle model i listed. That one is $40 cheaper at MC
post #5 of 7
That one has msata which is like a tiny little ssd typically used for caching. Caching will make your system faster by a small amount because it stores the most often used files on the mini ssd which will run faster than your hdd.

Forgot to mention, don't skimp on your ram. This is just my personal observation but a large majority of problems I see when fixing computers is crappy ram causing blue screens "page fault in nonpaged area" etc... Run memtest and the screen comes up all red. I went through 3 pairs of crucial ballistix before I went to corsair and have never used another brand since. You will need some DDR3 1600 or DDR3 1333. I would say just get the 1600 and you can probably carry it over to your next build unless we are on ddr4 by then biggrin.gif
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'll have a 120 GB SSD with this build (plus 8gb ram). Does that still make the AsRock extreme4 worth the extra money over the other models? If so, it would be great to know why.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by wermcran View Post

I'll have a 120 GB SSD with this build (plus 8gb ram). Does that still make the AsRock extreme4 worth the extra money over the other models? If so, it would be great to know why.

I don't know if it's worth it in your eyes. The asrock is more expensive due to the support of Nvidia SLI and it's overclock-capable build. Imo the gigabyte is not oriented towards overclockers and hardcore hardware enthusiast.
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