Sunday, 11 November 2012

Two best value Mother boards.



                   The Asus P8Z77-V won’t make you feel you’re missing out on anything. An awesome feature set, stellar performance and great layout together mean this board is great bang for the buck. The Z77 chipset natively supports four USB 3.0 ports and two SATA 6 Gb/s ports. But with this motherboard, Asus has gone ahead and used discrete controllers to offer additional USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Other features are a Display Port on the rear panel, support for Nvidia SLI and a bundled Wi-Fi 802.11n adapter. The Wi-Fi adapter connects to an on-board header, while the antenna jack sticks out from the rear panel. Also present on the rear panel are four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, jacks for 8-channel audio and four types of video outputs (D-sub, DVI, HDMI and DP). Besides this, you can also use Lucidlogix Virtu to combine discrete graphics and the processor for improved gaming performance. The output of 
the graphics card is routed via the on-board video output. Asus has bundled Lucidlogix Virtu MVP on the driver disc and the software works out-of-the-box without having to register it online, unlike with certain other boards.
The combination of expansion slots is very good. You get three PCIe x16 slots (third slot is x4), two PCIe x1 slots and two PCI slots. The slots are placed so that even if you use two dual-slot graphics cards, you have one PCIe x1 and one PCI slot left. Lined up at the base are headers for front audio, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. The eight SATA ports are stacked on the right side. 3 Gb/s, 6 GB/s and the ones provided by the discrete controller are all color-coded.
The overall performance of the P8Z77-V is commendable – we’re talking about scores with stock settings. With digital voltage controllers, a dedicated processor for automatic overclocking and an overclocker-friendly BIOS, you can push performance to the extreme if you use the right processor, high-end memory and a good cooler. The P8Z77-V is a worthy option if your budget is around Rs.15,000. If you spend a little more, the P8Z77-V Pro which has 16-phase power design, two additional USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA port, is a good option.
Price Rs 16,000


Based on the latest Intel Z77 Express Chipset, the Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H is one of the cheapest motherboards in its class for usage with Intel’s second and third-generation Core processors. The board supports memory up to 32 GB with a maximum speed of 1600 MHz (or up to 2400 MHz overclocked). It also features multi-display support using AMD CrossfireX for mid-level gaming. Sadly, you cannot opt for this board if you intend to use Nvidia-based graphics cards in SLI mode. The board supports Intel processors such as Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, and Pentium and Celeron processors in the LGA 1155 package. The video interfaces available here are D-Sub, DVI and HDMI while the audio codec (VIA VT2021) sports a 7.1-channel output. Though the rear panel has a 5.1-channel interface, the 7.1-channel audio out can be delivered via the HD front panel audio module and a multi-channel audio driver. The GA-Z77M-D3H sports a total of 10 USB 2.0 ports (four on the rear panel and six onboard) and four USB 3.0 ports, of which two each are seen on the rear panel and onboard. The BIOS featured in this motherboard is Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS along with a more traditional UEFI BIOS for advanced users. The board does not have any Auto OC feature either physically or via the BIOS. Other features are humidity, electrostatic, power and temperature protection. The board scores average points on the features as well as the layout sections. There is no heatsink provided for the voltage regulators; the heatsink for the chipset is a basic one—probably as this board is not meant for overclocking or extreme gaming. It does not have an onboard Wi-fi or Bluetooth module, and sports a single PCI and PCIe x1 slot for additional cards. The performance scores in the tables indicate that this board has the ability to perform almost as good as the Best Performance award winner - the ASUS P8Z77-V. It carries a three-year warranty and bundles an OEM version of Norton Internet Security Suite. Quite aff ordable with an average set of features and good performance scores, the GA-Z77M-D3H bagged the Best Value title in this round up of Z77-based motherboard.
Price Rs 7,250


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