First of all I am new to this site and I hope my question is not off-topic. I have done some research in the Meta and looked up if similar questions have been closed or not and I think I am on-topic. If not, I apologize.

I am currently preparing a configuration for my next PC and, although I know enough to chose almost all the components myself, I really have poor knowledge when it comes to motherboards. I really can't tell if a motherboard is a good one or a bad one, if it will suit my needs and which chipsets are best.

My configuration :

CPU : Intel Core i7-4790K (4.0 GHz)

GPU : Asus GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II, 4 Gb

RAM : 2x4Gb DDR3-1866 HyperX Fury, Cas10

One 250Gb SSD

One 1Tb HDD

(theses are the informations I think are needed, if you need to know what other components I have chosen, ask in the comments and I will update this question)

Requirements & additional info :

  • The motherboard must be ATX format.

  • It should be under $110 if possible

  • I need it to have USB 3.0 ports

  • Socket is 1150

  • I will use my PC for graphic design and for playing games.

  • I don't plan to ever buy an additional GPU (which means only one slot is enough).

  • There will be no sound card in my configuration so I prefer a motherboard with good sound quality

  • I prefer having 4 RAM slots for it is possible I buy more RAM in the future.

  • Bonus points if the motherboard is black and yellow or black and white ;)

As I am getting an overclockable CPU I read - but am unsure if this is true - I will need a Z97 chipset if I want to exploit my CPU to the max, and that Z97 is also one of the best chipsets available for a configuration with recent components. If Z97 isn't required or specially better than other chipsets I have no idea which one I should get.

Motherboards I consider buying

Obviously I have already done some research and there are 2 motherboards that caught my attention :

This one has very good reviews but I wonder if it is not a bit "cheap" (in both meanings) and if it will be sufficient for my configuration

I thought is was a good idea to get a motherboard from the same constructor as my GPU (correct me if this is a stupid thought) and this one seems pretty good. But here I am wondering if I really need a motherboard at this price if some cheaper ones like the MSI above can do the job.

So here are all the informations. What motherboard would you buy to suit this configuration and these requirement best ?

  • 2
    I thought is was a good idea to get a motherboard from the same constructor as my GPU The brands do not have to match, but ASUS does make good motherboards.
    – Cfinley
    Jun 8, 2016 at 14:35
  • @Cfinley So it won't be useful (even just a little bit) to have the same brand for the motherboard and GPU ? Aren't they created to match best ?
    – user2601
    Jun 8, 2016 at 14:51
  • 1
    No, it is not useful. Motherboards want to be as configurable as possible, and graphic card manufacturers want their product is as many computers as possible. If I saw "10% performance increase when used with X card", the first thing I would think "Would I take a performance hit if I used another card? What if I put this card in another board?"
    – Cfinley
    Jun 8, 2016 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


As Cfinley noted, there is no benefit to matching GPU and motherboard manufacturer parts. Since you were looking at MSI and ASUS boards, I specifically looked at those two manufacturers. I think the ASUS Z97-E would meet everything you are looking for, remain under your budget (currently has a mail-in rebate as well), and be a bit more future-proof than the ASUS Z97-P you had found as it also includes USB 3.1. Also, the motherboard is black with white lettering and gold/yellow trim pieces.

Heres the direct link to it on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132512

Worth mentioning, there are boards with more features such as additional PCIe slots, more USB 3.0 ports, and better onboard audio available for a little more ($140+). If you want to go this route there are several decent options from MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, and ASRock available. However, since you mentioned you only plan on having GPU, you could get a PCIe sound card for much better audio whenever your budget allows for it in the future.

  • This looks like an amazing board, thank you. How come it is so cheap only on Newegg ? (I don't live in the USA so I don't order my parts on this site, I just use it as a reference for sending links) Also, sadly, it is hard to find in my country. Is the Z-97E without USB3.1 a good option ? (it has huge reductions currently on the site I am ordering onto).
    – user2601
    Jun 15, 2016 at 7:36
  • The older revision of the Z-97E should still be a decent board, but in this case I would go with the newer revision if you can find it. It is hard to say how fast USB 3.1 adoption will happen, but since you are investing money into an older platform (1150 socket) it makes sense to future-proof your investment as much as possible.
    – islane
    Jun 15, 2016 at 16:36
  • Yep I understand. I will wait and see if the website I use (or any website in my country) will add the USB 3.1 version to its catalogue by the time I order my configuration. If not I will probably go for the USB 3.0 version.
    – user2601
    Jun 16, 2016 at 8:38

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