ASRock Z77 Pro3
I'm considering getting the ASRock Z77 Pro3 as an upgrade to my current budget gaming system: i3-2100, Radeon 6850, micro-ATX B75 and a single 4GB 1333Mhz Kingston. Selling off the mobo and RAM (same purchase price fortunately).
I was considering getting a full ATX B75 and 2x4GB G-Skill 1333Mhz, the motherboard is $90... however, the Z77 Pro3 caught my eye at $115. It is as inexpensive as the cheapest H77 motherboards where I am. For only $25 more, even if I can't OC the i3-2100, I get the added benefits of SSD caching, RAID and 1600Mhz RAM support should I ever need such features down the road. I will most certainly opt for 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz if I buy the Z77, since its less than $10 more than the G-Skill 1333Mhz
What's your opinion on this purchase? Is it a good idea? Are the added features worth the extra $25? Is the Z77 Pro3 a good and reliable motherboard?
Looking forward to your quick replies,
EDIT: Opting for Z77 opens up the option of going for an i5-3570K... however, my system is for gaming only. As far as I understand, the i3-2100 will not bottleneck a 6850, and I don't plan on replacing it anytime soon... will there be a justifiable performance increase in gaming performance by opting for an i5-3570K? Or will it be money not well spent?
Increases yes, money well spent.. that depends on how much you see, which will depend on the games and setting you play.
Games that are even slightly heavy on the CPU / utilize more than 2 cores / if you have lots running in the background, should see a marked improvement.
I got an extreme 4 z77 for my brothers build a few months ago and I was pretty impressed overall and he's not had a single issue with it yet.
A friend of mine just got the same one and he's very impressed too (especially for the price)
Not had to deal with their RMA service as of yet
(we return to the retailer here rather than the manufacturer, if they can reproduce the fault they send you a replacement and send the old one to manufacturer, so it's not a problem for me. you may want to look into it where you are though)
Z77 will also allow you a drop-in upgrade whenever you do want to change your processor for something meatier (and second-hand, a 3570k or 3770k in 2-3 years should be a bargain).
get the MSI GD55 in special at Amazon at $ 116.99 free shipping, I purchased 2 last thursday
MSI Computer Corp. DDR3 1600 Intel LGA 1155 Motherboards Z77A-GD55: Amazon.ca: Electronics
Built a system for a friend a couple months ago with the asrock z77 pro3 and corsair vengeance 2x4GB 1600
Very nice running system, no complaints, would consider purchasing again. (z77 pro3 was on for $100, watch for deal)
Installed the i3-2125 which has the HD3000 graphics. ($110)
You already have a nice graphics card so doesn't matter. However, if you want to sell your complete system at a later date, and keep your graphics card, nice to have a decent built-in graphics for only $10 more than the i3-2100.
The newer i3-3225 has the HD4000. Worth considering if price is similar.
The z77 pro3 board is a little narrower so fit nice in a regular mid tower case. Room to spare.
Boot disk Intel 520 ssd 120GB with win8.
Very nice system
For the price and features, z77 pro3 one of the better deals out there.
Am considering getting another one if price is similar.
He already has the processor.
Since no CPU OC'ing is going to happen, I'd assume the Z77 Pro3 would be just fine, and heck its better than any other B75 board out there... for only $25 more, and its the same price as the H77's, no reason not to go with it.
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