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Motherboard space issue for a gaming PC

I have just purchased a PC


I wanted to start playing with overclocking and had a limited budget

So I now have a couple of dilemmas

1.  The board doesn't have USB3
I have a PCI card with a couple of USB3's but it wont fit because of the Graphics card

2.  The other issue is I can only effectively use 2 SATA ports (there are 4 in total). The ports I can use have the right angle connectors & they cover up the other two. I have to use the right angle cables cause of the Graphics card sits over the tops of that SATA connector area.

Any ideas?
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7 Solutions
Vlastimil SopuchCommented:
Buy a different motherboard or graphics card, if you won't fit 2x straight SATA together with 2x right angle one.
my advice to you would be spend a little extra and get something with good over clocking capability if thats what you intend to do.

all round you have very decent hardware and the common denominator here is the limitations of your motherboard, so that is what i would look at replacing.

i would suggest looking at Mobos from


in that order.
both companies are known for bringing out great mid range products for over clocking.

please also take care when playing around with overclocking , while it is mostly fool proof accidents do happen. also be careful when thinking about messing with voltages.
also remember that when overclocking your components are going to also heat up so cooling is something you may want to consider should you want to go for higher stable overclocks

here is a link of Mobos from asus that are in your current form factor.
the site is easy to navigate, feel free to explore for more options.
Alex Green3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
I wouldn't overclock on that board anyway, the VRM's are shoddy and they use crappy capacitors.

If you want a small form factor board then the best bang for buck is the http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-f2a88xn-wifi-amd-a88x-fm2plus-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-raid-pcie-30-(x16)-dvi-hdmi-mitx

If you don't want to stick with AMD then have a look at a 4670k and the GA-Z87X-WIFI I think it's called, Both of those boards have excellent VRMs and use a power phase from IR which is unparallelled. Even the ASUS DIGI+ power phase is borderline as good.
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since budget is a problem i think that the 4670k combo may be a little out of the question. while it would be a great investment for overclocking and gaming performance you could also get similar performance and overclocking potential from a 2500k and asus maximus iv gene z combo

this may sound like a downgrade but its still great bang for buck.

this been said your best off using the above suggestion from alexgreen312 with regards to the motherboard he posted in his link seeing as it will be the only component you will need to replace.

if your interested here is a benchmark comparison between the 4670k and 2500k

dont take these score as absolute fact as im sure there are others comparisons out there
Alex Green3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
I wouldn't go with the Gene motherboard though, if he's not looking for small form factor then the GA-Z77X-D3H is pretty much the cream of the crop.

Again it comes both down to budget and functionality, the VRM's and capacitors are exactly the same as the gene but the board is £50 cheaper.

The 2500k is a great processor though and will perform exactly the same in games as the i7 4770k when it's overclocked. I think there is around 1% difference between the two and that's because of the extra Cache and not the frequency speed.


Pretty decent benchmark here
citrineAuthor Commented:
fulloutput & alexgreen312

The mobo's you recommend are for Intel
note we have both posted links for AMD motherboards, mine is stated in my first comment. http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Platform_Products/ 

alexgreens312's is stated just below mine. http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-f2a88xn-wifi-amd-a88x-fm2plus-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-raid-pcie-30-(x16)-dvi-hdmi-mitx

his suggestion is your best option for a motherboard in a small form factor for AMD as it will give you the best stable overclocking head room on a budget build.

With regards to the Intel suggestions, our comments were merely posted in case you were looking to deviate from an AMD solution on the off chance that you could not find something in AMD that met your requirements. Sorry for the confusion caused by those comments.
citrineAuthor Commented:
Ok,  thanks. I'm wanting to keep the CPU & wanting to move away from the small form factor. Hoping to overclock & gain usb3.
OK im an asus fan myself so firstly here are  full ATX Mobos from asus for your chipset  http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Platform_Products/

here is a list of boards that are considered good or above average boards (note that these might be out of the budget)
ASUS: F2A85-V Pro - the initial F2 is for Trinity
Gigabyte: F2A85X-UP4 - the initial F2 is for Trinity
ASRock: FM2A75 Pro4 - the initial FM2 is for Trinity
MSI: FM2-A85XA-G65 - the initial FM2 is for Trinity

i would also like to suggest that you do some reviews on the different boards for your CPU and look at people who are overclocking with similar setups as you. this is what I myself did when i recently upgraded my system. i found this method very useful and educational. (i am running a small form factor setup)

the main obstacle here is the budget. budget limits one from getting parts that are designed for good/stable overclocks.
you may find a motherboard that can overclock well but needs good cooling to achieve the clock speeds that they claim. you need to cover all your bases.
Alex Green3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
I would steer well clear of the ASRock motherboards as, again, they use crappy VRM's and their capacitors are poor at best.

In short, they have been known to set on fire under overclocking. Not good.

Here are the two boards that I would consider



Or if you wanna spash the cash


That sniper is an excellent board in every way possible.
decent recommendations i agree 100% @alexgreen312
Alex Green3rd Line Server SupportCommented:
To be honest the following boards have the following issues

ASRock - Crappy VRM's, old style Capacitors, useless power phase, high ripple, inadaquate cooling on northbrige

MSI - passable at best, the intel boards are pretty decent but only after dropping £150 on a board which a £110 gigabyte board would do just as well

Gigabyte - Excellent boards within reason, lower end boards have ok VRM's but not great. The boards I recommended have excellent VRM's for stable overclocking, all solid capactiors, IR  Digital Power phase (dedicated company to Power design) and not overpriced

Asus - Again excellent boards, pretty much the same as gigabyte, a little more expensive than the gigabytes but I personally prefer the BIOS on these. They use their own DIGI+ power design, very good in all respects but personally I think the Gigabyte boards pull through with their IR design.

So in short, gigabyte or asus.

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