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Current setup, kind of outdated - was built in 2009, except graphics card and a chassis:

  • Corsair 650D chassis
  • Asus P5Q Deluxe motherboard
  • Intel Core2Quad 3GHz @4GHz
  • Radeon R9 290 GPU
  • Corsair 750W PSU
  • 16GB RAM

I want to keep chassis and gfx card for a new setup.

Looking for a motherboard recommendation which will handle Intel i5 4690K CPU and will allows me to keep that new setup for another next 4-5 years at least (upgrade CPU, upgrade gfx card, etc), ability to OC.

I have read that anything on Z97 will be fine but there are too many options to go for and I have no clue which one will have longer life span (BIOS updates, better support etc)

Price something below $250


After some research I have found those motherboards interesting:

  • ASRock Z97 Extreme6
  • MSI Z97 Gaming 5
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H
  • ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer
  • Gigabyte G1 Gaming GA-Z97X Gaming 5

Now I will review each of them in a depth and will pick that one which will fits the most.

  • Are you looking to buy the cpu and the mobo or do you have the cpu already bought? In the first case you could eventually look into upgrade kits, they often come with some pretty handy discounts. The i5 4690k will hold nicely for 3years at the minimum without being a bottleneck (it can handle a SLI gtx 980ti without issues), but that R9 290 will hold you back severely. – Rudra Matroja Nov 5 '15 at 5:35
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    So you can pick a "normal" mobo like a ASRock Z97 EXTREME6 (about $150 pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-maximusviihero) or you can go for the high end Asus MAXIMUS VII HERO (about $200 pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z97extreme6). use the remaining budget on a second r9 290 or get something like a GTX 970 (or amd equivalent). That would last you for 4-5 years. – Rudra Matroja Nov 5 '15 at 5:36
  • @RudraMatroja I'm going to get the CPU and a mobo based on CPU choice. I have looking at that ASRock Z97 Extreme6 but I have read multiple reviews comments about low quality (pins broken, plastic parts broken or dented), high returns value (around 20%) due DOA or booting issues. It looks like Russian roulette - you are going to get great mobo or DOA. I like that motherboard but no clue if I want to play that game ;) – JackTheKnife Nov 5 '15 at 15:07
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I will make the case that the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard is the best choice because of its feature set and price.

The first thing to note about all boards under consideration is that they are absolutely top-notch. These boards represented the best each respective company could put together when socket 1150 was the leading socket for Intel. In terms of durability, reliability, and manufacturer support, these rank ahead of any other OEM motherboard for this socket in the desktop space. This leaves only price and feature set to differentiate them.

Another poster has recommended the Asus Maximus Ranger vii motherboard. This was a very popular choice in its heyday because it had a good marketing campaign, Asus enjoys good brand rep, and because it was priced intelligently above many of its competitors, giving it the aura of an elite product SKU (which it certainly is). However, I think that for precisely these reasons, it is now certainly not the right choice for you. This board is not in much supply right now, so unless you want to buy used, it will be difficult to procure at a reasonable cost. My recommendation, the ASRock Z97 Extreme6, is still available on Newegg at a very competitive price.

Though price seems to favor AsRock's board, this means nothing if AsRock doesn't bring compelling features to the table. Fortunately, AsRock does. Let's compare (please excuse the crappy pic):

Comparison of the Extreme6 vs. the Maximus Ranger

In almost all of the most important ways, these two boards are identical. They enjoy the same chipset, the same RAM slots, the same cooling schema, and a similar audio chipset. The important advantages of the Extreme6 are as follows:

  • Dual gigabit ethernet. This allows quite a bit of flexibility and creativity when it comes to how you configure your network - you can even team these connections together to get a better connection to your router, though that's probably not going to help much if you don't also have a teamed connection all the way out to a fiber line - the real joy of having this feature is that the board will remain useful to you as a server after it has ceased being your gaming rig. It also allows you to do neat things like daisy chain an ethernet connection to another PC, or access some kind of network resource like a server, separate LAN, or whatever while not giving up your primary hardline connection to do so.
  • 6x USB 3.0 without headers. This is great because it means two more USB 3.0 connections and more longevity in terms of your ability to support modern peripherals.
  • Displayport output on motherboard. This is the most modern video out format available, and it is not available on the Maximus.
  • mPCI-E port. This gives you access to cheap laptop parts like wifi cards, 4G modems, and GPS units. It represents added versatility over the Maximus.
  • Maximum shared memory is more permissive (1700mb vs 500mb); you can attach many screens to your motherboard video outs (especially using DP splitters) without worrying about running out of framebuffer.
  • SATA Express connector available, offering compatibility with one of the fastest available connections to external drives.
  • More SATA connectors available on a separate controller helps to alleviate potential I/O bottlenecks at the controller level if you install your HDDs intelligently.
  • More and faster m.2 connectors - has 2, one of which is the newer, faster Ultra type
  • More and more intelligently-placed fan headers. It is worth noting, though, that the AsRock's fan headers are mostly 3-pin, while the Maximus enjoys mostly 4-pin fan controllers, which usually gives the computer access to better speed control for fans that support 4 pin connections.

All in all, I think the features you get with the AsRock board outweigh the Maximus' brand name even at the same price, given that both these boards are well made. The added versatility is something that will make this board a workhorse for you or whoever else owns it long past the days when it can serve as a gaming rig's basis.

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I am currently using the Asus Maximus Ranger vii motherboard.

Asus Maximus Ranger vii Z97 board

It is great for the price and has alot of overclocking features which are very easy to use. I am also running this with the Intel i5 4690K, as @Niklas Holm mentions there will be a very low chance of another LGA 1150 CPU being released.

However, some investigation has been carried out on the performance differences between the Haswell CPUs and Skylake, and they show minimal increase in performance. So I definately think that for the next 3 years at least this set up will do you fine.

This Mobo is priced at around $150-$200, usually towards the upper end.(Being replaced by Ranger viii for Z170 so prices will drop)

Another choice is the [Asus Z97 - PRO Gamer][3] which is another solid choice, however with less overclocking features. This is priced at $150 on amazon.

  • How is quality of that product? Have heard a lot of problems to get RMA during the warranty period as ASUS is trying to charge repair fees anyway. – JackTheKnife Nov 5 '15 at 16:49
  • the quality seems great, the only thing I found was the covers on the usb 3.0 sockets are a bit flimsy. The RAM and PCI slots are pretty solid and and it looks pretty damn cool when the LEDs come on. Anything Asus I have owned has not broke before being upgraded so unfortunately I cannot comment on their returns and service. – JostySpoons Nov 6 '15 at 8:33
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    It looks like that mobo is actually hard to get. Out of stock on NewEgg, Amazon only two new sources – JackTheKnife Nov 6 '15 at 14:14
  • Hmm I checked both US and UK sites, seems it is more available over here in the UK unfortunately. It will be due to the Ranger viii being released I am guessing so making this one 'obsolete'. – JostySpoons Nov 6 '15 at 14:34

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