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Budget Z170 Board Vs Mid Range

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Kasm

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Looking for a Z170 board for my new build. I was trying to keep the total cost down, so I didn't want to spend more on the MB than needed.

I understand that basically high end boards come with better chips, better power stability, etc. But how much impact does that really have?

I stated looking at boards that cost around $80. Then I kinda convinced myself I should get a board that could support SLI in the future and have some USB 3.1 gen 2 connectors. So now I am in the $130 area. So I tried researching reviews and most of them are based on the boards that are like $170 and up. It makes me feel like I have to get a $170 board to have any luck at OCing.

So my basic question goes back to how much better is a high end board? Will a board that cost $170 instead of $100 get a 70% better over clock? Or the difference between a $130 and $170 board?

I was looking at the MSI Z170A SLI PLUS and Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI in the $130 range. Anyone have any pointers?

Last question, MSI boards say they support up to DDR4-3600 and the Gigabyte one says 3466. Assuming the memory can do it, it is likely the MBs will actually be able to hit these memory speeds?
 

ninjacore

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Location
OH
Just about any Z170 board will get you the "average" overclock for a Skylake chip if you have standard cooling (air or AIO). As you increase in price, you're basically just looking at features and aesthetics. Expansion slots, audio codecs, PCIe slots, increased power phases...

Asrock is typically the leader in terms of bang for your buck. Less than $100, they have the Pro4S. At $100, the Pro4. And $125-130, the Extreme6 is on sale right now (newegg) for the same price as the two you mentioned. I would take it over either of those.

Ultra M.2 (x4) compatibility would be a must-have for me. Seems like nvme drives will be the component to make the biggest performance leap while you're still on the Z170 platform :thup:
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
For that meager price difference, get the Extreme6!
Ninjacore, that's a heck of a deal man, didn't know it was on sale.
 

ninjacore

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2006
Location
OH
Yea I saw that this morning. Feature-rich boards for great prices are the only thing that makes me second guess my ITX build :D