Upgrading or building a PC, and shopping for a new motherboard to go with it?
We have made a short-list of the 5 best Intel based motherboards available right now.
#1-MSI Z87 MPower Max:
MSI’s MPower Max is an overclocker’s dream board for Intel 4th-Gen “Haswell” CPUs, with excellent features and accessories at a lower price than some competing boards.
It goes without saying that overclocking has vast become a popular practise for devoted hardware enthusiasts, Hardware vendors now specifically design their products to be tweaked in this fashion.
MPOWER MAX is an attractive high-end Intel Z87 motherboard which focusses primarily on overclocking as a key attribute. Boasting a burly 20 phase digital power design, this motherboard plans to
project enthusiasts to overclocking stardom.
Despite including connectors for virtually every kind of monitor (and a slot for an mSATA SSD), the GA-Z77X-UD5H is actually less expensive than many similarly equipped competitors. It’s an
excellent base board for everything from a dual-monitor productivity PC to a quad-video-card gaming powerhouse.
Performance wise, the Z77X-UD5H gets a high grade across the board, It benefits from having MultiCore Enhancement, giving an extra 200 MHz when fully loaded compared in Intel Turbo
specifications this helps the Gigabyte push the board in CPU related benchmarks, IO benchmarks are mid range, reaching the upper echelons on occasion.
#3-Asus P9X79 Deluxe:
Addressing the shortcomings of Intel’s X79 chipset by piling on extra USB 3.0 and SATA ports, this fully loaded motherboard is a great basis for a six-core Sandy Bridge-E PC. (You’ll have to bid
farewell to your last legacy PCI card, though.)
The graphic used on the packaging of the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe is similar to that of the previous generation Z68 and P67 motherboards with a black base and the supported technologies highlighted
The big callouts on the front panel are PCIe 3.0 readiness, ASUS Dual Intelligent processors (TPU and EPU), and DIGI+ power design for both the CPU and DRAM, for improved power control
Add in the One Click Speedup for easy overclocking, uEFI BIOS, eight DIMM slots for huge bandwidth, SLI and CrossFireX support, and of course support for the latest Second Generation Core i7
The front cover of the box lifts up to explore a bit more of the large feature set you can expect on a “Deluxe” level motherboard, including definitions and functions of the TPU (TurboV
Processing Unit) and EPU ( Energy Processing Unit), which work in tandem to deliver world class overclocking and energy management. Additional features include USB BIOS Flashback, USB 3.0 Boost,
Fan Xpert, and Dolby DTS Connect and Ultra PC II sound.
The back side of the package shows the board and lists the specific features on the motherboard I/O panel and PCB, There is more detail on the full hardware-based Digi+ power control, ASUS SSD
Caching, UEFI BIOS implementation, and BT Go 3.0 Bluetoooth and Wi-Fi technology, which open up new ways to transfer data.
#4-Asus P8Z68-V Pro:
With full support for the Z68 chipset’s SSD caching and multi-GPU support, as well as a great layout and superb software, this is the Socket 1155 motherboard to beat.
This £150/$225 board is designed for the discerning user that wants to be able to do pretty much everything with his machine, rather than just specialise in a few key areas.
That’s not to say it’s lacking in any department, as much as the Sabertooth and RoG boards are overclocking monsters this Asus P8Z77-V Pro is certainly no slouch.
We’re certain that with some serious tweaking and voltage-messing you could push the higher-end Asus boards over the 4.8GHz we’ve seen as the limit for the Intel Core i7 3770K, but this little
bargain board matches that speed with consummate ease.
Ports and slots galore: The Asus Z87-Plus offers plenty for upgraders and builders planning a Haswell power PC, especially given its price.
Equipped with the same high-end Intel network controller, the same ASMedia add-in SATA 6Gb/s controller, the same USB 3.0 hub, and a slightly cheaper audio codec, Asus’ Z87-Plus needs to do
something extremely well in order to overcome its price premium compared to ASRock’s competing Z87 Extreme4.
Asus has a long list of features that it says add more value than any other vendor, and the USB BIOS Flashback feature is one strong example.