Question Motherboard Choosing. Time for an upgrade,


Dec 24, 2014
Best answers
Hello there,

So the time has finally come for me to upgrade my pc. Im currently running a 4th gen intel, DDR3 system so its going to be quite the upgrade .
The main problem im having at the moment is im not sure what motherboard i should get, its like being a kid in a candy shop. I have an idea on what features i need and what features i dont need only problem is there is a wide selection and i dont want to make the wrong choice which i may regret further down the line. First of all i must say that i use my pc for multiple things such as a home theater, content creation, playing triple A games, and intensive work load from 3D modeling. I will list my full pc specs down below so you know what hardware i have for complatibility issues if any arise.

A must that i need on the motherboard is as followed:
  • LGA 1151 (I plan on using the i7 8700k, as i need the extra 2 cores from it to speed up my work loads, 4 cores just doesn't cut it at the moment. I also want the high core clock count so eveything runs smoothly, so 4Ghz + is perfect (turbo speed that is))
  • ATX formfactor (Anything bigger and i wont have enough room for my watercooling parts)
  • Minimum of 4 DDR4 slots (Havent quite decided on which speed to get yet as i still need to consider my budget. Duel channel will be fine as i will probably run either 2x16gb with room for expansion or 2x8gb and upgrade if i need to)
  • Minimum of 1 M.2 connection (I use a 256Gb M.2 2280 storage base as my OS drive and main drive for big/slow files/applications)
  • Minimum of 6 Sata 6Gb/s ports (I use 3 other storage devices ontop of my M.2 and would like room to expand if i ever needed to, only problem is with my currernt motherboard when the M.2 space is being used 3 of my Sata ports get disabled, i know this is to free up the lanes but it means i lose half of my storage connectivity)
  • Minimum of 2 16x 3.0 PCIe slots (Im only using 1 GPU at the moment but i do plan to go SLI further down the road)
  • Minimum of 3 1x 2.0 PCIe slots (As my motherboard has no built in wifi im having to use a wifi card. Of course if the on board wifi is better on the motherboards you suggest then i can remove the card. I also have a dedicated sound card with a 7.1 surround sound addition, this uses up 2 of my PCIe 1x slots, this is a must as i have it plugged into my external sound system?
  • Must be an overclockable motherboard (Must support overclocking, not extreme overclocking but at least allow me to try and push my CPU, RAM, and GPU to the max while supporting all my work usages and staying stable and good temps)
A nice addition but not required:
  • Duel BIOS (I like to have the saftey net of being able to switch to another BIOS quickly in case the main one has a sever problem preventing a boot or something similar. Of course a flashed USB will do the job just fine but i like it to all be together)
  • Error code screen (Having the small error code screen would help alot when trying to fix a problem, but i can always use the speaker and go off the process of elimination as well)
  • Im not to fussed on the colour. im not sure what colour scheme to go for next but i was thinking a black and purple build would look nice but im no stranger to disassembling and painting pc parts (Of course with the correct paint and procedures)
Thats everything i can currently think off. If i need to add anything else i will add it under an "Update" tag so it becomes more visable.

My current pc spec list follows:
CPU - i7 4790k
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA Z97X SLI
RAM - 2x16Gb Corsair Vengeance @ 1866hz
PSU - Corsair HX750i 80+ Gold
Wifi - Asus PCE AC68
Sound Card - Asus Xonar Essence STX II 7.1
  • San Disk M.2 2280 256Gb
  • Samsung 128Gb
  • San Disk Ultra 2 128Gb SSD
  • WD Blue 1Tb HDD
I will be getting bigger SSD's at some point. I got one of them when SSD's were fairly new then and still quite pricey hence the low capacity, it was my main OS dirve untill i upgraded to an M.2. The other SSD was a gift and i thought i would just throw it in there as i had the extra room for it.

Cooling is all taken care of by a custom water loop with parts from EKWB, Alphacool, and XSPC. It is a nickle run with no copper.
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