Z87 Motherboard Recommendation?

night_2004

2[H]4U
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,222
After putting together my latest build, my Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H motherboard is having nothing but problems. The audio jacks frequently think something was plugged in or unplugged (no speakers are attached yet), I have experienced 1-2 reboots, and per online comments the board is apparently unstable with more than 2 DIMMs (there goes my aspirations for eventually having 32GB of RAM???).

I have decided to replace the motherboard with something other than the UD3H. I have been reading about sporadic USB3 issues with other Z87 Gigabyte boards, so I am probably going to have to go with another brand.

Any idea where to start? This is a rough list of what I am looking for?
- 2x or 3x PCIe x16 slots, if 3 slots would prefer SLI still work if a third card is inserted (meaning the third slot would have to run off the PCH?). Right now I only have a single dual slot GPU but I might SLI later. I might not get what I want here, a lot of board seem to have this limitation.
- No PCI slots, or as few as possible.
- 8 SATA ports (more is okay)
- Realtek or Intel NIC (prefer Intel)

I have been looking at the ASRock Z87 Extreme6 and the MSI Z87-GD65, but I am not sure if there are other options. Forget ASUS ... they burned me a while back.

I would consider downgrading to Z77 with a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H, but I do not yet know what else I might be missing with Z77.

Any suggestions for boards that I should look up?

I am also looking for a low end board for a 2nd headless Linux/Fileserver PC, and that board needs to be compatible with Haswell, have at least 5 SATA ports (8 if possible), and be the microATX form factor. Just thought I would toss this in there in case anyone knows of a good board.

Alternatively if anyone has experience with and can help me solve this ... the problem is that the audio driver constantly pops up that an audio jack has been unplugged. If its little more than a driver issue causing instability I'd like to keep the board, but I am afraid this is a hardware issue. Any ideas?
 
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Venomous

Gawd
Joined
Aug 14, 2006
Messages
663
I've had good look with the asrock z77 formula oc. Gigabytes have been hit or miss for me since the P45 and I tend to stay away from their boards. Asrock have their share of issues too but their z77( ivy )/87(haswell) boards seem to be decent. MSI is another option you could look at.
 

Pringle

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
3,568
I've been rocking the MSI Z87-GD65 for 3 months now and I've been nothing but pleased with it.
 

magoo

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
14,412
I have the ASUS Maximus VI Formula.
No problems.
Pretty solid overclocker.
Has all the things you want pretty much, but I read you have a bad taste for ASUS, sorry.

It looks from reviews that MSI has some fine products.
My daughter has an MSI laptop and I have MSI GPUs all over my house.....never had a MSI mainboard though.
 

night_2004

2[H]4U
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,222
I'll have to take a look at the other boards, thanks. In the meantime I have been fidgeting around with the rig and it turns out I was able to fix the audio issue by disabling front panel detection. So far it seems stable there.

The reboot may have been caused by a faulty Corsair H60 cooler. It looks like any time I run a stress test on the CPU it will quickly overheat. Reseating the cooler did not help. The washers used to mount the radiator to the case were not machined to spec so I had to pull washers from my dead rig's H60 to finish putting the computer together. I wonder if some other component is causing a bad fit on the CPU or if the pump is not working right. I ordered a Noctua air cooler to see if that fixes that issue.

I may have bad rapped the Gigabyte motherboard too quickly. Will post an update once the new cooler arrives via Amazon Prime.
 
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