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Z97 choices

Perko
Level 8
lets say you had a Z97 Maximus Formula VII, a Z97 ASUS Deluxe and a Z97 EVGA Classified and weren't thrilled with the deluxe and wanted to swap it for another Z97 board that had 4 way SLI, 2x usb 3.0 board plugs and had plenty of extra board power supply options.
I'd like a wifi option but it's not 100% needed. I do need CPU stability as I run my 4790k's at 4.8 to 5.0 stable at under 75c loaded now.

I don't run quad SLI yet and may never but I like the slot spacing. I like quality sound through my 7.1 phones so that's a seller also.

thoughts from the collective?

SS
Case Labs S8
ASUS X99 Rampage V Extreme
i7 5960X
EKWB XTX360 kit +1 XTX360 & XTX240
10x MassCool fans on a Lamptron FC5 6 Channel 30W LED Fan Controller V3
32GB Geil Potenza 3000Mhz
2x Samsung 840 EVO 1TB
WD 7,200 Hybrid 2TB
ASUS Blu-Ray RW
Gigabyte 980Ti G1 EKWB full block
Acer XB270HU monitor
EVGA 1200 P2
Razor 7.1 phones, Death Ader & Ultimate KB
Madcatz Panther XL SteveO modded
2,761 Views
4 REPLIES 4

Nate152
Moderator
Hey perko !

if you want to go with asus the only other choice would be the z-97 WS. Or the maximus VI extreme which is a z-87 board but you could still use your 4790k with it.

Korth
Level 14
A Z97 mobo with 4-way/quad SLI (and good slot spacing), stable power/clocking (i7-4790K, etc), plenty of enthusiast options, 2 or more USB3.0 ports, great 7.1 audio, and (maybe) integrated WiFi.

You neglect to mention a few parameters I consider critical: motherboard form factor and maximum memory capacity/speeds.

I think the best Z97 mobos available right now (which meet or exceed all your requirements) would be the MSI Z97 XPOWER AC (EATX) or Asus Z97-WS (ATX). Four (or more) PCIe 3.0 slots narrows your options a lot, but if 3-way SLI is acceptable then I think the MSI Z97A GAMING 9 ACK (ATX) is currently the best mobo Z97 available (I would also mention the Asus Z97 Maximus Formula mobos, but you've already excluded them).

I don't think Gigabyte or EVGA currently have anything better than MSI and Asus in Z97, but I might be wrong. ASRock is supposed to have some killer Z97 mobos. And the "little" players (BioStar, ECS/Elite, and L337 Gaming) offer some surprisingly awesome Z97 mobos. But I have no actual firsthand experience with any of these brands/products.
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]

Perko
Level 8
THANKS MEN!

I don't have 4 way plans BUT like the spacing options.

On board USB 3.0 plugs (2) are important to me as my Case Labs S8 front port uses two. I need 8 at the rear (not all 3.0) for my gaming hardware.

I have a MF7 that I sent for RMA but ASUS responded with.... pay as it's "scratched". My Deluxe works fine but doesn't fit my desires regarding spacing and "power" inputs via 8/6 pins I like it so It'll likely go in the wife's 750D with a 295x or my 980 SLI KPE setup should I go X SLI or 390X CF with triple Acer XB270HU's for giggles. EVGA just listed x79 boards for 50 to 100 so I'm also kicking around a 5930/5960 setup ....... gawd the Jones's suck. :laff:

SS
Case Labs S8
ASUS X99 Rampage V Extreme
i7 5960X
EKWB XTX360 kit +1 XTX360 & XTX240
10x MassCool fans on a Lamptron FC5 6 Channel 30W LED Fan Controller V3
32GB Geil Potenza 3000Mhz
2x Samsung 840 EVO 1TB
WD 7,200 Hybrid 2TB
ASUS Blu-Ray RW
Gigabyte 980Ti G1 EKWB full block
Acer XB270HU monitor
EVGA 1200 P2
Razor 7.1 phones, Death Ader & Ultimate KB
Madcatz Panther XL SteveO modded

Korth
Level 14
USB 3.0 (and now USB 3.1) can be added to any mobo through PCIe cards.

Each USB 3.0 port has an upper bandwidth limit of 5Gbps, each USB 3.1 port has up to 10Gbps.
Up to 2Gbps per PCIe 1.0 lane, 4Gbps per PCIe 2.0 lane, and nearly 8Gbps per PCIe 3.0 lane.

A PCIe 2.0 x8 card can easily support up to 3 USB 3.0 controllers (with 2 ports each) or 1 USB 3.1 controller (with 2 ports). A few cards bring out internal USB headers for connection to the chassis/etc.

The Z97 chipset uses DMI 2.0, offering a total PCH-to-CPU bandwidth of 32Gbps (which must be shared between all onboard devices: up to 6 USB 3.0 controllers, up to 8 USB 2.0 controllers, up to 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes, up to 6 SATA 6Gbps ports, 10/100/1000 MAC/LAN, HD audio, SMI, etc). And of course the processor directly controls up to 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0 (plus RAM). Motherboard manufacturers can select from a variety of different port/slot configurations. They also often add their own chipset parts (ASMedia, Marvell, PLX, etc) to add more slots and ports and device connectability, although the maximum data bandwidth limit for anything/everything flowing in and out of the processor cannot be increased.

In my experience, most of the Asus ROG mobos basically cannibalize an internal USB controller to implement their special ROG port.
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]