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Old 02-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default what's the current champ for chipsets?

I'm thinking about upgrading my home PC and was wondering which of the desktop board chipsets are current/the best. I'm leaning more towards Intel as they haven't steared me wrong in the past. When I start looking at sites like Newegg I suddenly am reminded on how out of the hardware game I am.

Also while I'm there, is there any reason, other than cost, not to upgrade my HDs to SSD?
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:18 PM   #2
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Z77?... Basically any Ivy Bridge, but Z77 has the most features, but... the quality depends on the make/model of the board.

The only concern I would have of upgrading everything to SSD... is that I know how to fix an HDD, have enough of them to be able to swap parts if worse becomes desperate, and typically they don't just die completely one random day, you have plenty of warning.

If you have important information and no means of backup, keep at least one HDD since it increases the odds of failure recovery.

Otherwise, got the cash, go SSD.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #3
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thanks for the info. I have a NAS on my network so I'm not too worried about space and I'm backing everything up. I've had a couple of HD failures in the past so i back everything up now.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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The chipset does not really matter for performance anymore. The memory controller has been integrated in the CPU since Nehalem (Intel) and Athlon 64 (AMD). The only difference between f.x. a H61 and Z77 is what connectively and other features (overclocking, SRT etc.) you get.

For basic usage I'd recommend a B75 based board. If you need more then one SATA3 port, but don't plan on overclocking then a H77 based. For all the bells and whistles get a Z77.

Keep in mind that you can only overclock K series CPU's. There are a few exceptions to that, but its a whole other discussion.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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Here's a somewhat simplified chart of Sandy/Ivy.

A Sandy board is a bit of a waste feature-wise, but there's also the possibility of getting a high-end Sandy for the same cash as a mid/low-end Ivy.

Keep in mind that the features listed on those charts aren't necessarily all-inclusive, most motherboard manufacturers will add additional chips at the sacrifice of a PCI-E lane, or USB port to add additional (generally backwards compatible) ports... PCI, Serial, LPT... or split a USB3 into more USB2...etc.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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The best chipset is the cheapest one that comes with all the functionality that you need.

If we are talking in general though the "best" chipset is probably X79 without touching on server hardware.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
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Get a 7-series for SATA3 and USB3. Otherwise, they're all about equal for non-overclocked desktop/office use.

Z series is required for SLI/CF, I think.

Some chipsets don't support PCI anymore, so you might have issues with legacy hardware.

Comparison grid here:

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