Seven Sub-$160 Z77 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

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Crashman

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[citation][nom]SpadeM[/nom]LAN performance .. ISC performance ... USB 3 .. well that's it then.[/citation]Tom's Hardware has several controller comparisons, and publishes new ones frequently. So unless you think one of the boards has a broken controller, wysiwyg.

The things that actually get screwed-up are typically related to the clock generator, multiplier control, memory timings and power options.
 
I always appreciate your Articles! :) I know how much work you do to get them done.

You're kidding - Biostar. I guess this article is not about the 'Best Sub-$160 Z77' MOBO's but about the best manufacturers sent you. The cheapest MOBO I recommend for the SB/IB (K) is the ASUS P8Z77-V which pops your 'unique' budget cap depending where you shop; found it here for $159.99 - http://www.gadgetneeds.net/asus-p8z77-v-atx-intel-motherboard/

Interesting you didn't get an ASUS P8Z77-V LK ~$120 which offers SLI. The ASRock Z77 Extreme4 and Gigabyte Z77X-D3H for the price aren't bad.

There's NO WAY I'm recommending Biostar in the forum, folks and myself would thing I've lost my mind.
 

gorillagarrett

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Jun 4, 2012
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No peripherals performance tests? Those are the only tests that differentiate those motherboards from each other.

Would really like to see how the UD3X Atheros Ethernet controller fares against the Intel and broadcom ones.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]gorillagarrett[/nom]No peripherals performance tests? Those are the only tests that differentiate those motherboards from each other. Would really like to see how the UD3X Atheros Ethernet controller fares against the Intel and broadcom ones.[/citation]I'll let the integrated controller guy know you'd like to see those parts compared :)
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]rolli59[/nom]I would have liked to see the Asus P8Z77V-LK version instead of the LX since it is better equipped.[/citation]It's also mentioned in the article. It was over $160 (at $165) when the comparison was set up.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]pacioli[/nom]Wow, Biostar...? I wonder what the longevity of that board is...[/citation]It's hard to tell, but the last Biostar board I had in a system lasted 12 years before it got dismantled for its entire processor selection being too slow.
 
Nice to see a Mobo review where the charts are not all identical bars lol. It has been a long time sense the stock performance has had much of any variance between brands, and we are getting much more feature variety as well. I thought as more and more parts became integrated into the CPU that the bars would become more and more similar, and mainstream features would become more and more homogeneous.

Also, I love the True Studio Pro software, if you are running digital audio it really makes any idea of a dedicated sound card a thing of the past. Every computer I build now either has True Studio Pro with the mobo, or I purchase the MB2 software suite, it makes such a difference if using headphones or quality speakers, and much less buggy that Creative's sound cards and driver issues that we all know and love.
 

jamie_1318

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On-motherboard start buttons are a useless feature. Anyone who could actually use it should know they can just short across the power switch header using any piece of metal.
 

goinginstyle

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Another comment about why the P8Z77V-LK board was not reviewed. I own this board now after a total disaster with one of the boards you awarded so why is it missing? The ASUS P8Z77V-LK was priced at $149.99 when I purchased it and is now $139.99 with a rebate down to $119.99 after a quick check this morning. Based on your comments about the Biostar and ASRock boards having additional features like SLI/CF or additional USB 3 ports it is hard to understand why this board was not reviewed. The P8Z77V-LE is priced at $165 not the LK board. As to the 4-dimm testing, did you try the DDR3-2666 ratio or is the test overclocking the 2400 ratio?
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]goinginstyle[/nom]Another comment about why the P8Z77V-LK board was not reviewed.[/citation]Because it was priced at $165 two months ago when the invitations went out. End of story.
 

noreaster

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May 30, 2012
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I really enjoy reading these types of articles, it's like Tom's is looking at my wish list on Newegg and making reviews based on it. I was looking at the MSI Z77-G45 but am now considering the Biostar TEZ77XE3, only problem is that the Logitech mouse they had issue with in the UEFI is the same one I use (Logitech G5). I can live with just using the keyboard or a secondary mouse. They are all so close but I hate the front facing SATA ports on most of them.
 

jordonc

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What a great resource for those seeking a motherboard in this price range. I could have used this article a couple of months ago, but apparently I made a good choice with my Gigabyte board.
 
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