Gaming Motherboards

Published on August 9th, 2013 | by Tonberry King

Best Z87 Motherboard Under $200

New processors typically mean new motherboards and upgrading an old and slow PC is always a good idea. If you have a rig with an Ivy Bridge CPU and a Z77 motherboard to support them, you may be in a good spot. If you have an older processor, it might be time to upgrade. New for 2013, Intel Haswell processors offer better performance than previous Intel processors.

So why do you need a Z87 motherboard to use Haswell processors? Haswell processors use a new socket type – LGA 1150. Older Ivy Bridge processors use a LGA 1155 socket. Therefore, Z87 motherboards are not compatible with older processors.

What’s new with Z87 boards? There’s a number of features that set these motherboards apart from their older siblings.

  • Socket Type – Z87 uses a LGA 1150 socket to connect the processor
  • Power Saving – Fortunately for the environment and mobile devices, Intel has redesigned the way a processor goes to sleep to save power
  • Graphics – Unlike Z77, Z87 motherboards will natively support Display port output and triple screen setup
  • Voltage Regulator Module – this function has been removed from the motherboard, it is now controlled by the CPU
  • SSD Friendly -Z87 supports six SATA 6.0 GB/s ports, compared to Z77’s two ports
  • RAM Speed – Z87 natively supports 1600Mhz RAM (Z77 only natively supported 1333Mhz)

View Best Z87 Motherboards Below

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Asus Z87 PRO

The Asus Z87 Pro is a great mid range Z87 mobo. Instead of including dual Ethernet connections, Asus includes a single ethernet and adds dual-band wifi 802.11n and a built in Bluetooth module. Additionally, the I/O panel-based wireless connection includes two transmit and two receive antennas. Another cool thing incorporated into this spot, Asus adds a couple of extra USB 3.0 ports.

What about graphics? The top two x16-length slots run at PCIe 3.0 signaling, going from x16-x0 to x8-x8 mode when the second card is added. If you place a slower PCI device in the third slot, it won’t steal any real estate from the the top two 16x slots.

The Asus Z87 Pro matches ASRock’s feature value by adding a good Wi-Fi and Bluetooth solution. Additionally higher stability is offered through quality components like the 5,000 hour rated capacitors, and features such as its USB BIOS Flashback allow you to upgrade the motherboard’s BIOS via USB even without a processor.

The Z87 Pro targets mid-market buyers by including four SATA cables. Its included SLI bridge is flexible, and its 2×2 Wi-Fi antenna is foldable.

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ASRock Z87 Extreme6

The ASRock Z87 Extreme6 comes with dual network controllers, dual HDMI ports, DVI-I, and DisplayPort. Also included in the box: SATA cables, SLI bridge, and ASRock’s famous USB 3.0-to-3.5” bay adapter with integrated 2.5” SSD adapter tray.

The Bios is easy to use and understand. Additionally, the Internet flash option on the BIOS is a convenient feature. Overall this is a great motherboard for high end setting configurations and overclocking, and the price makes this mobo one of the best value Z87’s on the market.


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