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Motherboards Z77 Motherboard upgrade advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jsty3105, 8 Jul 2012.

  1. jsty3105

    jsty3105 New Member

    22 Jul 2010
    Likes Received:
    Looking to upgrade from my MSI 770-C45 (that the good folk here recommended to me a couple of years back - http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=191334)

    It recently died on me and is going through an RMA now. I'm looking to upgrade to an Intel setup since I've effectively been handed a blank cheque as a birthday gift. Since I still don't want to break the bank, I'm still looking at keeping the cost of the CPU and motherboard at under £190 though.

    Core i3-2120 (looks like the cheapest upgrade to my old Phenom II x4 955BE)

    Motherboards - Now here's where the selection gets rather murky.
    I plan to go with the Z77 mobo as I've read in a couple of other forums that it's got better second hand value than the H77 boards - sound advice methinks - but what Z77 board to go for?

    Features I'm interested in:
    • USB 3.0 - I have loads of pheripherals so the more the better, especially front panel USB
    • Intel's Smart Response SSD caching tech
    • Onboard audio
    • Lucid VirtuMVP software - That tech is looking rather interesting...
    • Onboard LAN
    • Easy overclocking (This feature is more for the future when I've upgraded from the i3) - Am a complete beginner in this but would like to start learning it. Not aiming at a major overclock to begin with though since I'm just starting out.
    • Energy efficiency - To balance out the power draw of my HD4890
    • Stability
    • Good warranty

    Features I don't need:
    • SLI or CrossFire (Probably only going to stick with one GPU, my HD4890)
    • eSATA

    Features I might not know I need
    • Onboard power/reset switch
    • Dual Bios

    Rig mostly used for:
    • Gaming - Starcraft II, Mass Effect series, Civ IV, Football Manager 2012, Quake 4, Bioshock 1 & 2, Deus Ex series
    • Video editing - More as a hobby
    • Sound editing - Do this a lot more as a vocal artist and wannabe multitracker(?)
    • Picture editing - Adobe Photoshop Elements 10

    So, a fairly well-rounded set of uses. Am quite impressed with the performance of the Core i3-2120 and how close it gets to my old Phenom II x4 955BE at stock speeds on multi-threaded applications so am planning to plunk down for it and upgrade to the Core i5 or i7 in a year or two.

    Boards I'm looking quite closely at:
    • Asus P8Z77-M PRO
    • Asus P8Z77-M
    • GA-Z77M-D3H
    • ASRock Z77 Pro3
    • ASRock Z77 Pro4-M
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2012
  2. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

    11 Aug 2008
    Likes Received:
    Your first issue is that CPU wont overclock, you need a k series chip. I personally love my M5G as you get all the features of a truely top of the range board but the cost of a midrange board.
  3. jsty3105

    jsty3105 New Member

    22 Jul 2010
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    Forgot to mention that the overclocking was a future-proofing feature. Only plan to overclock when I upgrade my core i3
  4. aramil

    aramil One does not simply upgrade Forums

    10 Jul 2012
    Likes Received:
    Not on the list and does "Break the budget a little (£160-ish opposed to £100-ish)".... but my ASUS Sabertooth Z77 is rocking with my i5-3570k, very solid 5 yr warranty too.

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