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Important factors in a z77 or z87 board?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is my first post here, but in the past I've received a ton of useful information from this site and it's contributors.

I'm new to Core i hardware and am looking to understand the important factors to consider (beyond the obvious like socket and form factor) when shopping for a Z chipset 1155 or 1150 board to be used for a mild to moderate overclock. Specifically as they differ from the AMD boards I'm used to. Comparatively I notice a slightly different board layout, heatsinks are set up differently, I don't see an equivalent for hyper transport speed and generally see a greater number of power phases.


Help is appreciated in advance, as I don't want ignorance to gimp my first Intel build. So shower me with your golden knowledge.... that's right.

Edited by Dick Bogus - 6/16/13 at 9:34am

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post #2 of 10
One of the most important things to look for is that the motherboard has truly digital VRM and power delivery. For this reason I specifically stray away from all AsRock products. In the past their high-end "Overclocker's" motherboards have been found to have analog VRM not digital VRM that they were advertised to have. Even on top tier boards this was an issue. Also, even if you don't plan to overclock getting a board with decent VRM is important, both for reliability and long term performance. Another thing that's important to get right is the chip-set you're buying. Right now Z87 is the top of the line and really what you should buy if you plan to game or do anything relatively intensive. Sure, you could purchase a B85 or h87 motherboard but you'd be limiting the true capabilities of overclocking and bandwidth. Another thing that might strike you as being odd is the fact that ALL Intel Core- I series CPU's and generally all Intel CPU's have pins in the motherboard socket and contacts on the CPU.

What Intel CPU were you looking into purchasing? mid-end core-i5 (4core, 4thread)? high-end Core-i7 (4core, 8thread)?

- KD biggrin.gif
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
For CPU, even though eight threads would be great, either i5-3570k or 4670k. Right now I'm leaning toward 3570k, both because the Haswell improvements seem to be in areas that don't interest me , and I can do Ivy for a better price. If I understand correctly, z87 is only on 1150s, but if I go this route I'll definitely get a z77 board at least.

I was aware of the importance of VRM, but not that trend from ASRock. That's excellent info, thanks. But since we're on the subject, if a board uses 8 +2 phases but with hybrid or fully analog control, would that still be less favorable than a 4 +1 or +2 that's fully digital?

And lastly, yeah in the interim since posting I've read that intel CPUs have contacts. It's different... maybe better, since the pins are on the mobo which is harder to drop.

Thanks again for the info.
post #4 of 10
Power delivery: Look for ALL Digital (not hybrid digital or analog) VRM , with high quality mosfets , Alloy / ferrite core chokes (inductors... anything but iron) , and solid Japanese capacitors (sometimes they're tantalum or whatever), thick PCB

Z87 --> ASUS ROG all use Nexfet, ASUS TUF (Sabertooth is overpriced though), Gigabyte Z87X (all the Ultra Durable 5 Plus are using PowIR stage) , MSI (Xpower maybe uses IR3550 PowIR stage , Z87 Mpower both use PowerPAK and I think are digital) , Asrock (maybe OC Formula)

Z77--> ASUS P8Z77- V-Pro and above, Gigabyte Z77X- (all pretty much, but the UP models use POWIR stage which is better), Asrock OC Formula is the only Digital VRM for AsRock (though for decent mosfets get Extreme6 or higher) ... MSI boards for Z77 are all analog
* ASUS ROG boards for Z77 are vastly overrated


Compatibility: look for Intel LAN, Realtek Audio
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Bogus View Post

For CPU, even though eight threads would be great, either i5-3570k or 4670k. Right now I'm leaning toward 3570k, both because the Haswell improvements seem to be in areas that don't interest me , and I can do Ivy for a better price. If I understand correctly, z87 is only on 1150s, but if I go this route I'll definitely get a z77 board at least.

I was aware of the importance of VRM, but not that trend from ASRock. That's excellent info, thanks. But since we're on the subject, if a board uses 8 +2 phases but with hybrid or fully analog control, would that still be less favorable than a 4 +1 or +2 that's fully digital?

And lastly, yeah in the interim since posting I've read that intel CPUs have contacts. It's different... maybe better, since the pins are on the mobo which is harder to drop.

Thanks again for the info.
The problem with analog VRM is that even though it is minutely faster (due to lack of Analog to digital conversions), it underreports voltage. Also since the end result is calculated digitally by the PWM controller there is less spike/ripple and you won't have issues with variable loads (think Intel Speedstep or EIST).
Edited by AlphaC - 6/16/13 at 7:02pm
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post #5 of 10
I'd definitely recommend leaning more toward the side of Haswell and not Ivy, primarily since you'll pay less than $100 less than a comparative Haswell based system. Buying old hardware is never a good plan. Unfortunately most "hybrid" based VRM is usually more analog than digital, fully digital even if it's 4+2 is better than 8+2 hybrid. At this point it really depends on your application and what you plan to do with your PC.

For comparison, Asus "pro" series motherboards usually feature 8+2 phase full digital VRM. ASUS ROG boards usually have 16+2 phase full digital VRM and mid end Gigabyte boards such as the GA-Z87X-UD4H also feature 16+2 phase full digital VRM.
post #6 of 10
probably the wrong place to put this but you guys are on the topic, this is the phase for the sabertooth z77 "8 +4 +2" Digital Phase Power Design is that good or bad?
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazinga69 View Post

probably the wrong place to put this but you guys are on the topic, this is the phase for the sabertooth z77 "8 +4 +2" Digital Phase Power Design is that good or bad?

It's ok, but honestly the Sabertooth boards are just mid-end ASUS boards with slightly gimmicky tech. For instance, currently the Sabertooth Z87 motherboard is no better than the ASUS Z87 Hero and comes at a price premium for "thermal armor".

On another tangent, I'm really curious as to what happened to the ASUS Z87 VI Formula?
post #8 of 10
OK. It was spam.
Edited by Kepler Dynamics - 6/16/13 at 9:23pm
post #9 of 10
that user is banned so DO NOT click the links
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
But banned users have the juiciest links. I say click.

Thanks for the continuing input. Alph, that gave me a much better idea as to what I should look for. And Kep, I can't disagree with that thought on old hardware, but I'm not sure that what I'd be getting for the extra money to do 4th gen would be justified. would it really be a bad idea to wait and get a 87 board after the tech is more mature, along with a 4th or 5th gen (depending on performance difference) come next cpu release?
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