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Discussion Starter #1
OK guys. I am set on going with a 6600K. I'm not as into hardware as I once was, so I am asking for some help. I know I will get many responses, so first let me put in my requirements and usage, and you guys can possibly help me narrow it down some.

1. I would prefer a board with PS/2 port as I will be installing win 7 (at least initially).

2. I had a really bad experience with the Gigabyte board in my sig rig, so I'm hesitant to hand over more money to them.

3. I would prefer a mostly black, or black and white board to match my current setup.

4. I need at least 4 regular old sata ports. (not really needing sata express or m.2)

5. I would prefer basic overclocking settings VS a BIOS chock full of millions of settings.

I realize there may not be a board that checks all the right boxes, but I literally have no clue about what brands and models are good other than newegg/amzn reviews. In my initial roundup I came up with a LOT of MSI boards. Have they been decent on this chipset?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killa Cam View Post

msi z170 carbon
I was looking very closely at that, but the lack of reviews scare me. It looks AMAZING though.
 

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I have the ASUS Z170 Pro gaming. I really love it, and the BIOS is easy to use. I personally love the aesthetics.
 

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⤷ αC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PontiacGTX View Post

why not a c232 mobo?
Wouldn't the Z170 Extreme4+ and ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ (which is heavily discounted right now) be better? The Z170 chipset has 20 PCIe lanes instead of 8 on the C232 chipset. C232 chipset also lacks Intel virtualization and Intel HD audio.

It seems the ASUS boards are more efficient overall at idle (including the ASUS Z170-A and ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming)
http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1655&page=16
http://www.anandtech.com/show/9817/the-asrock-z170-extreme7-review-triple-m2-x4-in-raid/5
http://www.thinkcomputers.org/asrock-z170-extreme-7-motherboard-review/8/

Look at this beautiful Extreme7+ VRM though it doesn't seem to translate to benchmarks
sad-smiley-002.gif


http://www.overclockers.com/asrock-z170-extreme7-motherboard-review/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Extreme 7 does look pretty slick. It's close to my budget also. Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm terrible at making decisions. It took me weeks to pick my Z68X, and that board has been less than stellar for me over the years with boot loops, RAM not running over 1600mhz, dead ethernet port, and needing high voltages to get modest OCs stable. Now it simply will not boot up with ANY OC set in the BIOS. And by BIOS I mean BIOS. This is one of the boards that was too late to the UEFI game. They released a UEFI 2 years later and it's TRASH.
 

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By no means do I mean that the Asrock Extreme 7+ is the best choice, even though it has an overkill VRM it doesn't seem to translate to real world and benchmarks whatsoever.

Also on hwbot it seems more people have been using the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon than the Asrock Z170 Extreme 7+ so that means any overclocking issues would likely be addressed more quickly due to sheer volume of users
http://hwbot.org/hardware/motherboards#key=z170

Boards with > 500 submissions
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero 4623 - over budget
ASRock Z170 OC Formula 2990 - over budget
ASUS Maximus VIII Gene 2613 - over budget
GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 1829 - over budget
MSI Z170A Gaming M7 1788 - over budget
ASUS Z170-A 1512
MSI Z170A Gaming M5 1484 ---- lots of red , decent board though according to reviews
ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme 1414 way too expensive
MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon 1397
MSI Z170A XPOWER Gaming Titanium Edition 1141 over budget
ASUS Z170-Deluxe 1110 - over budget
MSI Z170A Gaming Pro 947 --- lots of red
ASUS Maximus VIII Ranger 828 - over budget
MSI Z170A Krait Gaming 803
ASUS Maximus VIII Impact 749 - ITX , over budget
GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI 734 - Gigabyte , plus it looks like value-built board
ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming 712 - bits of red , weaker than ASUS Z170-A VRM I believe
MSI Z170A PC MATE 629 - budget board
GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 3 544 - Gigabyte , plus it looks like value-built board

The components on the Z170 Extreme 7+ are good , so the implementation of firmware/LLC/electrical trace length or quality/etc must have been bad because even in Cinebench/RAM/DPC/LAN/idle power benchmarks it is outdone by ASUS' Z170-A , MSI Gaming Z170A Gaming M5, and other such mainstream boards. I'm not sure if it is because people are testing everything on defaults and Asrock has terrible defaults or whatever the reason is. However, I would regret not warning you before you bought such a motherboard for normal (4.6GHz or less) usage cases.

(I merely wanted to present additional options.)

* Using hwbot isn't a way to tell if a board is good though, the Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (and Z68 Extreme3 Gen3) with DPAK mosfets is/was one of the most popular boards, to the point it is submitted more than the Z77 OC Formula, ASUS P8Z77-V Pro or Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H. It is merely an additional metric if you plan on using it for overclocking: the userbase. Back when you bought your Z68 Gigabyte board they were still using Intersil analog control, the top boards on hwbot such as the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro and Asrock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 used digital PWM control.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow, Alpha. Thanks for putting that together! I'm getting close to picking a board. Right now it's between the Carbon, the Extreme 7, and believe it or not, the MSI SLI Plus. The SLI plus is only $120, but if I go that route I might be able to step up to a 6700K.
 
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