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  • marc1000 - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    whoa, this article is a little different from previous "best X", because here we have several options. I think that if the focus of this series is to narrow down the products to one or two, then that guideline should be folowed in all kinds of products. Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    Well, they only picked four, and considering how many motherboards are out there and how well these four performed, I'd say it's a fine "Best X" article. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    Hey now -- I listed at least three laptops in the last Best Budget Laptop guide. Maybe we need to make it plural, considering we are planning on at least offering some alternatives each time. Reply
  • marc1000 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    oh, that's fine then. when the series started I tought it was gonna be 1 or 2 products each time. Actually this article already is in plural, but by now things are clearer. Reply
  • Galford007 - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link


    Thanks for the overview; it was very helpful. Based on reviews from this site, I just purchased an ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe as part of a new build. I was considering the Maximus V Formula but I only have room for a standard ATX motherboard (Antec Nine Hundred Case). With the P8Z77-V Deluxe, I haven't had any issues with it so far.
  • madwolfa - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    How about mATX and ASUS Maximus V Gene? I've built a new desktop recently and I absolutely love that motherboard. Reply
  • RonanH - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    Nice review, any idea when you'll be publishing the one on the mid mITX boards? Reply
  • grantdesrosiers - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    I'm sad to see the Asus Z77 Sabertooth got snubbed. It loses the dual ethernet and WiFi, but beter thermals and a better warranty make it worth of inclusion. In my opinion.

    Can't wait to see the Mini ITX boards!
  • jtd871 - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    @madwolfa I don't think AT published any full reviews of mATX Z77 boards. If there were any, they were certainly few and far between. For a while, I was keeping my eyes open for a review of the P8Z77-M, or one of the AsRock mATX, which I was considering for a new build. (I caved and bought a gaming laptop instead.) Original reviews of mATX Z77 boards were awfully hard to find back while I was looking. If I am not mistaken, Tom's Hardware hasn't done (m)any reviews of Z77 mATX, either. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    AT mostly reviews what vendors send in response to "we'd like to review on of your mobos"; so the better question might be why the oems aren't interested in having their mATX boards reviewed. Reply
  • jtd871 - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    Correction: AT reviewed one mATX Z77 mobo - Gigabyte GA-Z77MX-D3H Reply
  • IanCutress - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    I currently have two mATX on standby for review which I want to do by the end of the month: Maximus V Gene and G1.Sniper M3. I think mATX will be more of a focus on Haswell for sure.

    As for the comment about the Sabertooth, we tend not to get those unless we ask for it specifically. We tend to review the Pro and Deluxe first; I'll keep a note aside for Haswell.
  • madwolfa - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Thanks, I think you're gonna love the V Gene. :) Reply
  • marc1000 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    great! I have real interest in mATX boards - the full ATX ones are "purely academical". mITX is cheaper and fits in smaller cases. If you get overclock out of the equation then this is a perfectly reasonable tradeoff. Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Look, I love this site, but I don't really buy the idea that there is no demand from readers for Piledriver or FM2 reviews. I always hear bs justifications for focusing on the high-end, like "oh, that is what they sent us", or "this is an enthusiast site", but the fact is many people, including a significant proportion of enthusiasts, enjoy "bang-for-buck".

    Many times, you can justify a higher price if you need some feature; other times, you can be much better off going with a value board. The point is, it is helpful to know what the trade-offs are, and for that people need reviews. A site like Anandtech could do this, but I guess it would offend its advertisers. Let's call a spade a spade.
  • jtd871 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Klug4Pres- Review sites, and AT is no exception, are dependent on the manufacturers to send review samples. They don't always get what they ask for, either. AT takes (justifiable, I think) pride in not letting advertisers influence review content.

    Kudos to Ian - if you are a regular reader of his mobo reviews, you will know that he regularly criticizes the inclusion or omission of certain features (hw and sw) based on his judgment of the target audience for a particular board vis-a-vis the asking price.

    The fact that Ian is involved with competitive overclocking no doubt influences his perspective, and may even influence which boards vendors send him for review - although the latter may be a more difficult issue to verify/disprove (and if necessary, correct).
  • Klug4Pres - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    No, Anandtech is not dependent on manufacturers - it could just buy some stuff to review. It prides itself on being an independent site, so they need to think about what that means. Reply
  • anonymous_user - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Yes Anandtech could buy hardware to review but that costs money. Imagine if they had to buy every piece of hardware that users requested. Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Yes, but imagine if they became even more respected as an independent and reliable review site (they are already among the best). They would get more traffic, which would pay for the hardware, and the lost revenue from the occasional disgruntled manufacturer.

    Anyway, they don't have to buy _all_ the hardware, still less "every piece of hardware that users requested". There is a middle ground, where they occasionally could buy hardware.
  • Hrel - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    Can you make a nice chart? Major chipset, price, notable features. Things like number of PCIE slots, number of PCIE times anything 4x or over as I have no use for the slow PCI at all anymore.

    I think we all like charts here.
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    I think your comments about Asus fan controls need to be clear that the 4-pin fan slots on Asus motherboards--other than the one for the CPU--are not "really" 4 pin fan slots because they won't handle splitters at all. They treat even a single splitter into two slots (4 pin one end, 3 pin on one, 4 on the other to avoid sending double info to the motherboard) as full speed only and refuse to adjust them.

    Only the CPU 4 pin is capable of actually functioning properly. It's a shame because it means PWM can't just carry your whole system to awesome silence. If only Asus would stop cheaping out on their motherboard fan subsystem. Of course, to compel them to stop, we'd have to have reviewers who actually checked it.

    But we don't. Do we, Anandtech?
  • Razorbak86 - Friday, April 12, 2013 - link

    My personal experience appears to be different than yours.

    I have an ASUS Maximus V Formula motherboard in a Corsair Obsidian 650D chassis, with a 280mm rad on top (2 fans, pull configuration), and a 200mm rad in front (2 fans, push/pull). The top two fans are connected via Y-splitter to the CHA_FAN2 header at the top of the motherboard, and the front two fans are connected via a Y-splitter to the CHA_FAN1 header at the bottom of the motherboard.

    All of my radiator fans connected via Y-splitters control beautifully, with speeds ramping up and down two well defined curves that I created and named "Top Rad Fans" and "Front Rad Fans" using the FAN Xpert 2 software in AI Suite II. At system idle, the fans operate at minimum speed (virtually silent), but ramp up smoothly to full speed at load, with a healthy 4.8GHz OC.

    I'm very happy with the fan controls on ASUS boards. That was one of the primary reasons for buying the ASUS Maximus V Formula. It was also a significant factor when purchasing my son the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe a couple of weeks ago.
  • madwolfa - Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - link

    You don't really need PWM on Asus boards anyway. Just use Asus FanXpert and it will control all your fans with voltage. Reply
  • geniusloci - Sunday, April 14, 2013 - link

    My Gigabyte Z77 TH board has two thunderbolt ports, something all of these boards lack. I'll take mine any day, thanks. Reply
  • ggathagan - Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - link

    You're welcome.
    That begs the question:
    Are you actually using the TB ports or are they just for bragging rights?
  • Razorbak86 - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - link

    LOL. Rhetorical question FTW! Reply
  • ashok.vijay - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - link

    AnandTech Silver Award: ASUS Maximus V Formula ($290 with AC3)

    Is "Silver" a typo? Shouldn't that be Gold?
  • carage - Monday, April 29, 2013 - link

    Can AnandTech please do a X79 guide as well ?
    Considering Haswell will be out soon, it probably doesn't make a lot of sense investing in a Z77 platform now.
  • ioconnor - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    Any high end motherboard should have the capability to add 48GBs of RAM or more. None of these four did. Reply

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