[quotemsg=16395275,0,53571]This article is pretty good. I'd like to see articles on the lesser boards as well. I see too many people advocating for high end motherboards for budget builds in the forums. H81 and B85 is fine in most situations where overclocking is not a factor.[/quotemsg]
Thank you. There is absolutely no denying that some users will only be satisfied with a loaded "Z" board, and I'm not disparaging them; they know what they want, and why. For the vast majority of people, who do not overclock, it's quite clear to me that a much cheaper board has all the necessary features for them.
Imho, H81 is an excellent business-box chipset. Companies buy PCs by the dozens or hundreds to put on their networks, and for most corporate users, H81 offers all they'll ever need or use.
Even most home users will likely be satisfied with H81, although going up to B85 gives you PCIe3.0 and a few more native ports. I'm looking at the add-ons in this segment though, like the Codec; some are clearly better than others.
Personally, I really like H97, because I prefer RAID1 pairs for my data drive, yet I still only need a single PCIe 3.0 slot.
If you could plot people's needs in a motherboard on a bell curve, the H97M Pro4 would cover most of it, losing the bottom only to those on a super-tight budget, and the top only to those who particularly enjoy overclocking, or who need multiple graphics cards. For the vast majority, I could recommend this board and know I did not give bad advice.