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  1. #1
    Brewmaster catbeef's Avatar
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    which m-ATX Z87 board for overclocking?

    long story kinda short: a friend is breaking apart their PC and i will inherit an i5-4670k for less than i can sell my i5-3570k on ebay. i have been a little disappointed with my AsRock Z87 Pro4-m, and since i am trying for a higher overclock and a 'free' 4670k is going begging, it seemed like a decent idea to grab it and acquire a higher quality Z87 motherboard.

    still space limited to microATX, pcpartpicker has the following toys available;
    MSI Z87M-G43 ~~~~~~~~ £ 84
    Asus Z87M-PLUS ~~~~~~ £ 102
    Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H ~ £ 109
    ASRock Z87M Extreme4 ~~ £ 114
    Asus GRYPHON Z87 .~~~~ £ 120

    Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5 ~ ~ £ 159
    Asus MAXIMUS VI GENE ~~ £ 160
    ASRock Z87M OC Formula - £ 163

    the extreme4 and gyphon seem to have some good reviews, but do you think dropping another £40 into the board make much of a difference?
    i understand overclocking involves the luck of the draw with the cpu, but lets assume the 4670k is an average performer. sadly(?) it hasn't been overclocked so we don't know how good it might be
    PSU: XFX Pro Series 550w - Graphics: Sapphire 7870 XT ~~ may Crossfire another 7870 XT in future, but for now this is it.


    as always, thank you in advance

    edit: oh shoot, meant to ask about a cpu cooler too. 2013 H60 has been getting a lot of praise and is a nice price - opinions?
    currently have a thermaltake water 2.0 performer (£30 on sale :P), but i fear it might not cut it for haswell's love of heat!
    Last edited by catbeef; 2013-08-17 at 07:04 PM. Reason: G1 Sniper is actually cheaper

  2. #2
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    While I can't speak for "It will definitely do better", the three Asus, Asrock, and Gigabyte boards are the only non-4 phase VRM boards (8, 6+2, 8, respectively). Quality and power handling wise, they would be more likely to get better overclocks than the other boards.
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  3. #3
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    - For basic overclocking, e.g. 4.3GHz, any of these boards will do fine.

    - If you want to push it a bit more, then something like the Asrock Extreme4 or better is ok. But anything above the Asus Gryphon will most likely not improve your oc potential. There you pay the extra for other stuff (looks, better sound, Crossfire/SLI, more connectors, etc.). If you do not care for that extra stuff, get the Extreme4 or the Gryphon.


    Just keep in mind: The oc is most likely not determined by the board, but by the cpu. If you are not lucky and get one of those good chips, you won't be pushing a lot more than 4.5GHz. Unless you plan to de-lid. From what i have heard an seen, the poor oc potential and high temperatures of Haswell (and Ivy Bridge) are to a good deal owed to the poor design of the IHS and thermal compound application.

    As for the cooler:
    From a test i have seen (on anandtech i think), the Corsair H55 is actually on par with the H60, but quieter and cheaper. And for the same price you can get a high end air cooler, which will not be really any worse.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsa...m2-am3-and-fm1
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsa...6-2011-am2-am3
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/be-qu...-for-intel-and

    Ok, the price difference isn't something you should worry about...

  4. #4
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biernot View Post
    Just keep in mind: The oc is most likely not determined by the board, but by the cpu.
    That's definitely not true. Or well, not something linear, anyway. I guarantee you, if I get a better board than I have (Which is one of the cheapest 'good' ones on the market), I'd be able to push my CPU past 4.6ghz that it is stuck at right now.

    While I don't think it'll make a HUGE difference, it may spell the difference between 4.3, and 4.5 or 4.6.
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  5. #5
    What's the average overclock for haswell, 4.2-4.4GHz? You don't really need more than 4 power phases for that so every board you listed would be perfect :P Well I've heard Asus would bring an armor kit upgrade for the Gryphon like the sabertooth has, if that would be a reason to consider that board. If you really like the looks of a Max VI gene and need the "unique" onboard audio, go for that one.

    It just rather seems to be coming more to a personal preference to me, so go ahead pick one. Also your 2.0 water performer is a lot better than H60.

  6. #6
    Brewmaster catbeef's Avatar
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    yeah i have been trying to research the VRM stuff. have been eyeing up the gryphon so far, but doing some serious reading on the g1 sniper (which actually turned out to be a lot cheaper as pcpartpicker was missing some merchants for it).

    i'd love to really push the overclock as high as possible, so i think better VRM might be worth £40 to me. dunno why but i love this kind of performance tweaking stuff, no idea how many hours i used to spend in the shed tuning the engine on my old nitro truck :P

    hmm i thought the tt water 2.0 performer was pretty mediocre, with the pro being a bit* better but that wasn't on sale and my room was proving too hot for the EVO 212. well, hot room + bad case. but i am also eagerly licking my lips at the new bitfenix prodigy m.. i can always grab a new cooler later, i just saw a lot of people praising the 2013 h60 and comparing it to the h100i, so thought i'd ask

    don't think i'm getting my hands on the cpu until next, next week so there is plenty of time to save up / research / party thanks for the replies so far~

    *this is where british english gets confusing and a bit can mean a lot. just in case that was not clear!
    Last edited by catbeef; 2013-08-17 at 07:22 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catbeef View Post
    i'd love to really push the overclock as high as possible, so i think better VRM might be worth £40 to me. dunno why but i love this kind of performance tweaking stuff
    To be clear, for others and Catbeef as well... Getting a setup like this is not 'cost effective' as far as performance. But there's a point at the high end where that may not matter. Certainly a cheaper board will do 'almost as good' for much cheaper. But if you want to push, then spending more (in the right way) CAN make a difference.

    I was a little disappointed that my $70 Z77 only let me cpu go to 4.6ghz. BUT, it was $70, and I don't need more than 4.6, really. I really don't. WoW runs perfectly. It would have been 'nice' to go higher, but for me, cost > performance at that level.

    And we're talking about $40, which on a probably $1000 system, is spare change.

    As far as VRM's go, more VRM's don't inherently mean better overclock, but on the average, more VRM's indicate better quality of build of the components themselves (chokes, mosfets, etc) and attention to such. It's effectively a 'good bet'.
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  8. #8
    Brewmaster catbeef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    To be clear, for others and Catbeef as well... Getting a setup like this is not 'cost effective' as far as performance. But there's a point at the high end where that may not matter. Certainly a cheaper board will do 'almost as good' for much cheaper. But if you want to push, then spending more (in the right way) CAN make a difference.

    I was a little disappointed that my $70 Z77 only let me cpu go to 4.6ghz. BUT, it was $70, and I don't need more than 4.6, really. I really don't. WoW runs perfectly. It would have been 'nice' to go higher, but for me, cost > performance at that level.

    And we're talking about $40, which on a probably $1000 system, is spare change.

    As far as VRM's go, more VRM's don't inherently mean better overclock, but on the average, more VRM's indicate better quality of build of the components themselves (chokes, mosfets, etc) and attention to such. It's effectively a 'good bet'.
    yes, exactly!

    this is how i feel with my Z77 Pro4-m. it gets to 4.5 quite happily and 4.5 is enough for what i do. but i enjoy this hobby and have come to learn (from life in general) that spending money on things you enjoy (something i have always been a little reluctant to do in the past, missed out on some good stuff) is good for my happiness.

    it is definitely a personal decision on whether you want to be cost effective or 'ahh i'll put a bit more money in and see what more i can do' and, unless you are selling your kidney to do the latter (because, you know, that is a bit extreme), either way is just fine and dandy



    edit to not bump, but in reply to below: the gryphon is what i am looking at getting right now, it seems to tick the boxes and i like the colour scheme, which is a bonus i suppose. mm chocolate.

    regarding the cooler, actually i have been looking at the h100i and it seems a lot of them are selling new on ebay for only £60, which seems like a good price.
    until the bitfenix prodigy m actually comes out (overclockers.co.uk have no release date, just 'pre-order,' which is a bit pants) i'm limited to 120mm, so if there is not really anything below a 240 rad worth upgrading too (which i imagine is the case) it'll have to wait a bit. hopefully they start shipping in two weeks
    Last edited by catbeef; 2013-08-18 at 12:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Wait, 40£ more for an additional set of 8 phases? It's all about the design and quality they use if it comes to LN2 overclocking, not the amount of phases. That i5 you're going to have is just never going to pull more than 130W orsomething which is nothing to supply compared to a 3930k which can go upto 370W almost. My rampage iv extreme (8phases) would take that easily so does the VI Gene (8phases too), hence why they're breaking world records with their boards. Gigabyte is really being stupid making a micro Atx board with 16 phases lol. Seen earlier a z77 board with 32 phases being capable to supply 2500A; a typical crap marketingsniche. A gryphon is fine for every daily use overclockers, end of it.

    Also you shouldn't be only buying a board for pure extreme performance, unique features like Sonic radar or aesthetics (especially people with window sidepanels) can be interesting as well when buying a board.

    There's no need for a better cooler than what you currently have, you'll only notice the difference once you delid the cpu; something I wouldn't recommend anyone doing it.

  10. #10
    The Patient Nedda's Avatar
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    How about a custom loop or at least an H100i? I never heard of anyone wanting to upgrade a mainboard for better OC while keeping a 120 rad...

  11. #11
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithh View Post
    It's all about the design and quality they use if it comes to LN2 overclocking, not the amount of phases.
    Yes and no. While additional phases don't imply better quality parts, the fact that they have more phases implies a desire for better quality, and inherently better parts. Being a BMW doesn't make a car better or have higher quality parts, but despite that, BMW's are better cars, and have higher quality parts (and price tag)

    Gigabyte is really being stupid making a micro Atx board with 16 phases lol. Seen earlier a z77 board with 32 phases being capable to supply 2500A; a typical crap marketings niche.
    There are no 16 or 32 phase boards, as far as I'm aware, at least that I've seen yet (I haven't gone looking, but every 16 phase... isnt). If you're referring to something like this with 32 phase power. That's called false advertising. It's not illegal, per se, but nobody has really the time or desire to call them out on it. It's just 8 phase.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    Yes and no. While additional phases don't imply better quality parts, the fact that they have more phases implies a desire for better quality, and inherently better parts. Being a BMW doesn't make a car better or have higher quality parts, but despite that, BMW's are better cars, and have higher quality parts (and price tag)
    More phases doesn't always mean more power. It's cheaper to use 16x phases 8A (Example A) than 4x phases 32A (Example B) so the quality could be even worse. So false advertising would be just that a brand claims that Example A can carry a tons of more power with a nice price tag than Example B.

    With z87 that overvolting issue shouldn't be a problem due to the haswell chips have the vrm in the die.
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    There are no 16 or 32 phase boards, as far as I'm aware, at least that I've seen yet (I haven't gone looking, but every 16 phase... isnt). If you're referring to something like this with 32 phase power. That's called false advertising. It's not illegal, per se, but nobody has really the time or desire to call them out on it. It's just 8 phase.
    False advertising? Counting the chokes just tells you how many phases your board has.

    The gigabyte I meant has 32 and +3+2(for VTT we) so 37 in total. I think every phase is able to carry 60A making a total of 2000W which is like 10-12 times overkill. My RIVE advertised as 8+2(DRAM) able to do easily 400W but requires atleast active cooling.

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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    I'd be able to push my CPU past 4.6ghz that it is stuck at right now.
    What CPU do you have? Was it the 4670K mentioned in the OP? or an Ivy Bridge?

    My 4670K i can't get over 4.1 stable, it runs at 4.2 but crashes after a few hours. And that is running on a Corsair H110

  15. #15
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithh View Post
    False advertising? Counting the chokes just tells you how many phases your board has.
    It has 8. It uses 8 IR3599 Doublers. Which is exactly the point I was making. You are a victim of false advertising. It's total output is about the same as a Z77 Pro4 with 4 phase (~6500uF). Notably, the MSI has a higher capacitance of about 7200.

    Is it a bad board? Certainly not. It's an amazing board. But is it 32 phase amazing? No. Is it 32 phase expensive? Yes.
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  16. #16
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    With Z87 overclocking I recommend simply looking for any mid range board around £115 or $130 and from there start looking at features you might need/want or aesthetics or expansion options, to pay extra for. You cooling solution and luck of the draw with your CPU is going to be much more important. Your don't need an expensive motherboard anymore for good overclocking.

    It really is as simple nowadays.
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  17. #17
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarget View Post
    Your don't need an expensive motherboard anymore for good overclocking.
    I would say thats both... true and not. Given that he wants the 'best' overclock, I think a slightly more expensive board would be a better choice than a cheaper one... To a point. I see absolutely no reason to go over the $150 mark, for any reason. A $100 board (given decent quality) will likely push higher than a $70 board.
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  18. #18
    Brewmaster catbeef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarget View Post
    With Z87 overclocking I recommend simply looking for any mid range board around £115 or $130 and from there start looking at features you might need/want or aesthetics or expansion options, to pay extra for. You cooling solution and luck of the draw with your CPU is going to be much more important. Your don't need an expensive motherboard anymore for good overclocking.

    It really is as simple nowadays.
    yup, i have asked and i have learned unless something new comes out to look at, i'm probably going to grab a Gryphon, an h100i and hope the chip isn't the same as Samurai's sounds :P

  19. #19
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    I would say thats both... true and not. Given that he wants the 'best' overclock, I think a slightly more expensive board would be a better choice than a cheaper one... To a point. I see absolutely no reason to go over the $150 mark, for any reason. A $100 board (given decent quality) will likely push higher than a $70 board.
    Asus Z87-A $136 (aka mid range board) will overclock just as well as any of the more expensive boards. The CPU and cooling as I said is much more important. If you get a shitty CPU you're shit out of luck regardless of how good your motherboard is.

    Just check out the video from Linus linked in this thread and/or the latest video from TTL.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
    My 4670K i can't get over 4.1 stable, it runs at 4.2 but crashes after a few hours. And that is running on a Corsair H110
    Whats the voltage?

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