When browsing through online listings for the perfect motherboard that suits your Intel Core i7 needs. Not a lot of people would really know what sort of socket the Processor itself has to carry in order to have the right configuration for the computer itself. So, how do you turn a novice PC builder into an expert?
The CPU is essentially the “Heart and Brains” of the computer. Without it, the entire thing wouldn’t be able to function correctly. It’s often said that the computer itself is also carried by components such as RAM, GRAPHIC CARDS and other sort of components. But the processor itself is actually the most important component and predictably, it’s the easiest to break.
A general rule of thumb among many PC builders is to pick the processor first and then picking the motherboard itself second. Intel Core i7 Processors are no exception to this rule and they also have their own array of ports that can actually vary in terms of sizing and type of socket itself.
What’s the Appropriate Socket for Intel Core i7 Generation 7 and 8 Processors?
The socket that often fits Intel Core i7 Generations 7 and 8 Processors is one called LGA1151 or Socket H4. LGA 1151 is designed as a replacement for the LGA 1150 (known as Socket H3). LGA 1151 has 1151 protruding pins to make contact with the pads on the processor. The voltage regulator has again been moved from the CPU die to the motherboard.
Socket information can be found on the Intel ARK website while looking for the product’s stats itself and most sellers include the Socket Type the Processor has in their Product Specifications. This also rings true for motherboards that are compatible with LGA 1151 socket Processors.
LGA 1151 Motherboards tend to have compatibility with DDR4 RAM chips. Some can still offer DDR3 RAM support but these are very rare to find and tend to be outdated by today’s standards. As such, it’s important to look after a Motherboard that has the LGA 1151 Socket along with support for DDR4 memories.
Z370 doesn’t have as many different features but it does offer better features like more bandwidth, power efficiency and better Overclock capabilities. This is better for users that want to focus on more powerful rigs without compromising the system.
Some motherboards even include cool neat features such as multiple PCIe slots, M.2 SSD support, Overclocking configurations, in-built Wi-Fi adapters and RGB LED lights that, while not a necessary feature, actually make a nice plus to have on the computer itself.
A lot of these motherboards also offer USB 3.x support. With USB 3,1 being the most prominent of the bunch. This USB specification comes with a new standard that’s basically an increase on the maximum data signaling rate up to 10GBit/s.
Another function that the new USB 3.1 standard offers is the line encoding overhead reduction to 3% by changing the encoding scheme itself to 128b/132b. This is also compatible with previous generation cables as well. As such, it can actually be compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 cables.
What are Motherboard Chipsets and which are the best For 8700K and 7700K Processors?
There are around 9 sorts of chipsets that accompany a motherboard. These 9 chips are H110, B150, B250, Q150, H170, H270, Q170, Z170, and Z270. Similarly, the new Generation has Z370 chipset for Coffee Lake processors, namely the ones found in the Generation 8 Intel Core i7 Processors.
Since this article is focused on the best Motherboard chipsets for the Intel Core i7 7700K and 8700K, which are both focused entirely on their overclocking capabilities. We’re going to look at Z270 and Z370 chipset motherboards while disregarding the rest.
Z270/Z370 chipset motherboards are the way to go when you are building a high end or at least a mid-end PC on which you can use an Overclock capable CPU. Buying other chipsets will not help much. The rest of the chipsets are only good for Processors that don’t have Overclocking capabilities.
The Z270 Motherboard chipsets are also the ones that best fit Intel Core i7 Generation 7 Processors. Z370 is only being reserved for the Coffee Lake CPU Architecture as such, it’s compatible with Intel Core i7 Generation 8 Processors.
Last update on 2019-02-22 at 09:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What are Motherboard Form Factors?
The Motherboard’s Form Factor should also be taken into account. Not as many people take this seriously but it’s very important to take this into consideration, especially because some users might not want to deal with a mini-tower-like computer.
ATX is the biggest form factor followed by its smaller sister called the Mini-ATX. ATX motherboards are big and have more features within them while the Mini-ATX motherboards can fit on smaller computer cases without any sort of issue. There’s the third version called the Micro-ITX but this is mostly reserved for Small Form Factor (SFF) computers.
In closing, a motherboard will always be a very important component to the computer itself. Intel Core i7 Generations 7/8 processors require an LGA 1151 Socket in order to function and a lot of motherboards can offer options for the user to actually overclock the processor itself.
Here’s our list of the best motherboards for i7-7700k (Z270 here) as well.
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