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My client build is stuck between 3 motherboards

Gigabyte Z170 Gaming 7
MSI Z170 Gaming M7
Asus Maximus VIII Hero

He is looking for a reliable, high quality and has great features. Also good support if he runs into any problems.
 

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MSI motherboard uses 6 phase vrms while the Gigabyte Gaming 7 uses 8+3 phase. 8 for CPU and 3 for RAM.

The motherboard has a wide range of features. Everything that a average computer enthusiast would need.

So the Gigabyte motherboard will perform better in overclocking as it is capable of higher overclocks than the MSI one.

If your client is not overclocking at all then the MSI motherboard may be the better choice if it's cheaper.
 

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Source: http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7276/asus-rog-maximus-viii-hero-intel-z170-motherboard-review/index3.html

ASUS is using an 8+2 phase design for the VCore + VCCGT. There are four IR3599 phase doublers located between the big input capacitors behind the MOSFETs, which are used to convert 4 phases into 8 for the CPU VRM. There are 10x IR3535 on the backside of the VRM and 8 of these are used for the CPU phases and 2 for the graphics two phases.

I think ASUS is using the IR35201 which can support either 8+0 phase mode or 6+2 phase mode as it is doing on this board. It's International Rectifier's (now part of Infineon) latest and great digital PWM, and IR is well known for making some of the best PWMs for overclocking. ASUS is using the tried and true Texas Instruments NexFET CSD87350Q5D which is a 40A dual N-Channel MOSFET with support for very high switching frequencies and solid efficiency. Both the high-side and low-side MOSFET are packaged into the same IC, to help save space.

TL:DR - 8+2 phase design on motherboard. The ASUS motherboard is also will perform very similar to the Gigabyte one in terms of overclocking.

So I'd probably go for whats cheapest as all these boards will basically perform identical in terms of performance. They all are reliable, high quality and has great features.

However, with the support on ASUS I can't say anything good about them as I've only heard stories of bad customer support on RMAs. Maybe they've changed since then.
 

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Also, chip permitting, you can easily and safely run a high 24/7 overclock on the MSI Gaming series boards. The VRM's are plenty adequate. The others are more robust, but not a difference maker in "regular" overclocking. If the client looks to do so.

I wouldn't shy away from the gaming series if overclocking whatsoever. I thoroughly enjoyed reading benjamen's posts, very informative. But shying away from the MSI series because of possible overclocking is like avoiding offroading in your new jeep because you didn't get the top of the line tires.
 

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After doing some more research (for other threads asking about which MSI Z170 motherboard to buy), most Z170 MSI motherboards will easily handle 5.0 GHz overclocks even at 1.4V, even on the lower end ones. This is for the Z170A specifically.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/11/05/msi_z170a_gaming_m7_lga_1151_motherboard_review/7#.VvR2hvl96Uk

https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/msi_z170a_gaming_m7_review,22.html

Again, probably best to go cheapest out of any of the motherboards you've chosen (even msi)
 
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