OCC 2013 Products of the YearBosco , ccokeman , Wesstron -
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OCC 2013 Motherboard of the Year:
Winner: MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING
This year’s winner is MSI's Dragon themed Z87-GD65 GAMING motherboard. MSI put together a solid product that will appeal to gamers and enthusiasts alike, all at a very reasonable MSRP of $189. While having great looks with a black and red color theme, this motherboard is built to meet or exceed the MIL-STD-810G standards, which is reflected in the parts used such as Super Ferrite Chokes that run at up to 35 °C lower temperatures, have a 30% higher current handling capacity, and a 20% improvement in power efficiency; Tantalum filled Hi-C Caps that are up to 93% efficient; and "Dark Capacitors" that feature Lower ESR and a ten-year lifespan all tied into a PCB with improved temperature and humidity protections. The experience with MSI's Click BIOS was painless and the abundance of fine-tuning settings allowed for great overclocking results of 4.7GHz on the CPU and 2600MHz on the RAM. The OC Genie 4 can be used to automate overclocking if the manual settings seem daunting. Some may argue that it takes all the fun out of it, but setting multiple profiles for different scenarios without much fuss is a great way to enjoy the product, especially for beginners.
The MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING also offers Multi GPU support, Lucid LogiX Virtu support, and a great onboard audio with headphone amplifier and high end audio capacitors. The Z87-GD65 GAMING has the looks and also packs the muscles, and the brain, to be our 2013 pick!
The ASUS ROG Maximus VI Hero is geared mostly towards gamers and comes bundled with some cool features such as Sonic Radar that will let you see where sounds are coming from while playing. The build quality follows into the ROG legacy and aims for performance and efficiency by including components such as the Extreme Engine Digi+III 8+2 phase power circuit, 60A rated Black Wing Chokes with gold plated coils, 10K Nichicon GT Black Caps, and NexFet PowerBlock. This board is supposed to attract more citizens to the Republic of Gamers by offering an ROG stamped product at a price tag that will not break the bank.
The Hero will set you back $229, and while bringing a solid product with some great added value to the table, it’s still more expensive than the MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING.
This board is the crème de la crème of the ASUS Z87 ROG product stack and it comes with a price tag to match at $379. ASUS engineered the Maximus VI Extreme to the rigorous standards of the ROG brand-name: Extreme Engine Digi+ III Phase Power Design, NexFET™ Power Block MOSFETs, 60A BlackWing Chokes, and 10K Black Metallic Capacitors. The ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme comes bundled with a rich hardware package including an mPCIe Combo II card and the ASUS OC Panel. The software package is also impressive: ASUS Crash Free UEFI BIOS, Daemon Tools, Kaspersky Antivirus, RamDisk, Sonic Radar, AI Suite III, Fan Xpert 2, Mem Tweakit, ROG-based CPU-Z, USB 3.0 Boost, and Game First II.
Unfortunately, this list of great components and features comes at a daunting cost. Knowing that for less than half the price one can buy a very close performing competitor, the ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme is a delicious, but very hard pill to swallow.