Best LGA 1155 Motherboards

 LGA 1155 socket was released alongside 2nd generation Intel Core processors built around Sandy Bridge architecture. This cross-generation socket also supports 3rd generation Ivy Bridge processors.

The socket uses dual-channel DDR3 memory, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 3.0 interfaces. Older LGA 1155 socket in the likes of B65, P67, H61, H67, and Z68 do not have as many features as newer LGA 1155 motherboards. These chipsets include B65, H77, Q75, Q77, Z75, and Z77.

If you have a dual-core Intel Core processor paired with an older LGA 1155 motherboard, you look to gain lots of performance boost with a quad-core processor without upgrading the motherboard.

Features to look for in an LGA 1155 Motherboard

Compatibility

As we said, this socket is for Intel’s 2nd and 3rd generation CPUs. If using a 3rd generation Ivy Bridge processor with the older LGA 1155 motherboard, it will need a BIOS update.

Overclocking Capabilities

For those with an unlocked CPU, you are better off with a motherboard with overclocking ability. For example, if you have an i5-3570K, a Z77 chipset helps push the limits of the CPU to realize its potential.

Note that all Ivy Bridge motherboards support up to 2800Mhz speeds while Sandy Bridge motherboards only go up to 2133Mhz.

Some motherboards support only GPU overclocking. But Z77 and Z75 motherboards support CPU, GPU, and RAM overclocking.

USB Ports

Ivy Bridge motherboards have 14 USB ports. These include USB 3.0 ports. On the other hand, Sandy Bridge motherboards do not have onboard USB 3.0 only headers.

What makes a good LGA 1155 Motherboard?

Intel SSD Caching (SRT)

Not all LGA 1155 motherboards support Intel’s Smart Response Technology (SRT). This technology enhances system responsiveness and overall performance. This feature is enabled only on Z77, H77, and Q77 chipsets.

Multi Graphics Card Support

If you plan on running a multi-graphics setup, you’ll want a motherboard with multiple high-speed lanes. You will find those that allow x8/x8 or x8/x4/x4 setup.

Best LGA 1155 Motherboards Features Comparison 

Product Name

Memory

Storage

PCIe Slots

Crossfire/SLI

ASUS P8Z77-V LX

4x DIMM 32GB of DDR3

2x SATA 6Gbps

2x SATA 3Gbps

2x SATA 6Gbps ASMedia

2x PCIe 3.0 x16

1x PCIe 2.0 x16

2x PCIe 2.0 x1

2x PCI

Yes

ASUS Sabertooth Z77

4x DIMM 32GB of DDR3

4x SATA 3Gbps

2x SATA 6Gbps

2x SATA 6Gbps ASMedia

2x PCIe 3.0 x16

1x PCIe 2.0 x16

3x PCIe 2.0 x1

Yes

ASRock Extreme 4 Z77

4x DIMM 32GB of DDR3

4x SATA 3Gbps

2x SATA 6Gbps

2x SATA 6Gbps ASMedia

2x PCIe 3.0 x16

2x PCIe 2.0 x1

2x PCI

Yes

ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3

4x DIMM 32GB of DDR3

4x SATA 3Gbps

2x SATA 6Gbps

2x PCIe 3.0 x16

1x PCIe 2.0 x4

2x PCIe 2.0 x1

2x PCI

Yes

Gigabyte GA-Z77X UDH3

4x DIMM 32GB of DDR3

2x SATA 6Gbps

4x SATA 3Gbps

2x SATA 6Gbps via MarveLL

3x PCIe 3.0 x16

3x PCIe 2.0 x1

1x PCI

Yes

ASUS P8B75-V

4x DIMM 32GB of DDR3

1x SATA 6Gbps

5x SATA 3Gbps

1x PCIe 3.0 x16

1x PCIe 2.0 x16

2x PCIe 2.0 x1

3x PCI

Crossfire only

Best LGA 1155 Motherboard

1. ASUS P8Z77-V LX LGA 1155 ATX – Best Overall

ASUS P8Z77-V LX offers significant upgrades from previous LGA 1155 motherboards. It is a cost-effective model that is designed for powerful PCs without breaking the bank. Although it is not prepped for overclocking, it features overclocking options in the BIOS.

Simple Layout

The first thing you see on this board is shades of blue going all the way to the heatsinks. It maintains a simple layout without any LED lighting. Well, except for the troubleshooting LEDs that light up during the POST process.

This motherboard comes with a DIGI + VRM digital power design. It does not have onboard fans, so operation is silent. However, it includes fan connectors if you want to add fans for more cooling.

When you first open the BIOS, you are greeted by a user-friendly screen. It provides lots of configurable options that most users will find straightforward. It includes the preferred interface that gives you advanced options. For overclocking, you will find tweak settings under the ‘AI Tweaker’ tab.

You’ll like that this motherboard gives you access to ASUS’s support structure, which includes frequent firmware updates that will benefit you to date.

Storage and Connectivity

ASUS P8Z77-V LX comes with two full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 and one PCIe 2.0 x 16. You can only have x16/x0 or x8/x8 setups.

We do like that there are two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots and two PCI slots. The board also offers two SATA 6GB/s and two 3GB/s ports. You can load 32GB of RAM on four DIMM DDR3 slots.

The board does not have onboard switches but comes with switches to engage MemOK and GPU Boost features.

As for networking, this motherboard is powered by Intel Gigabit LAN. Realtek ALC892 HD Codec powers its audio. It is built around an analog speaker system and has three jacks for 5.1 channel surround sound.

There are four USB 3.0 ports at the back panel and two USB 3.0 ports at the front panel. You only get ten USB 2.0 ports. Of which, only two are at the back. There are a couple of video outputs, including HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI-D. There’s one S/PDIF and one PS/2 combo port.

This motherboard is quite busy as it also carries an RJ45 LAN connector, Wi-Fi antenna, RGB port, and a couple of audio jacks. You’ll also find a front-panel header for 8-channel audio.

ASUS P8Z77-V LX focuses on the mainstream market for those who want to get powerful features while keeping their budget on the low end.

Pros

  • Stable power design
  • Features GPU Boost
  • Troubleshooting LEDs
  • Customizable fan controls
  • Support Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • Not prepped for overclocking
  • Fan connectors are hard to reach

2. ASUS Sabertooth Z77 LGA 1155 ATX – Best High-End

ASUS Sabertooth Z77 is a high-end motherboard with enhanced onboard features. It includes overclocking features via the BIOS. This board gets rid of less-used features like DVI and PS/2 combo and instead has two eSATA connectors.

Military-Grade Components

All over the board is a plastic shield ASUS calls TUF Thermal Armor. It covers most of the parts to achieve a classy look. The thermal armor is also on the memory slots that support up to 32GBof DDR3 RAM. It supports memory speeds from 1333MHz to 1866MHz without overlocking.

The power design is built around 8+4+4 phases. It uses DIGI + Power control and TUF capacitors, MOSFETS, and chokes. For cooling, there’s one fan on the left side. It also offers two fan connectors in the middle and on the rear I/O.

You’ll want to connect these fans in a push-pull configuration. Fans run silently in the automatic mode. When you tweak the settings for them to run faster, you can expect them to be loud.

Storage and Connectivity

Z77 motherboards came with the introduction of PCIe 3.0 interfaces. With this board, you get three PCIe 3.0 x16. The top two operate at x8 speeds when populated with two cards. You can run one card at x16 when using only one card. The bottom slot is locked at x4 speeds.

Besides, you also get three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Two dual cards can run SLI or Crossfire modes.

There are eight SATA ports. The two brown ports are SATA III and run off the chipset, and so are four SATA II ports. It comes with two SATA II running off the ASMedia ASM1061 controller. The two eSATA 6Gbps connectors at the back panel use the ASMedia 1061 controllers.

The front panel comes with a standard header for three USB 2.0 ports. It also has two 4-pin connectors and a header for use with EZ connectors. Still, on the front panel, you’ll find a header for one USB 3.0 port.

Looking at the rear I/O, you will find a couple of display outputs like HDMI and DisplayPort. There’s an optical out that is powered by Realtek ALC 892 HD audio codec.

ASUS Sabertooth Z77 has a BIOS flashback button. For networking, it uses Intel Gigabit LAN 82579V controller. It’s super helpful that ASUS Sabertooth Z77 comes with Network iControl to assign and control Ethernet bandwidth.

You also get to use six aux connectors. Not to mention the ease of keeping this board clean thanks to the included PCIe and RAM dust defenders.

We like the overall look and tech features accompanying this motherboard. It can support overclocking, especially with a capable Intel Core processor like i7-2600K.

Pros

  • UEFI design BIOS
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • Supports LucidLogix Virtu MVP Technology
  • TUF Thermal armor
  • SATA ports face forward

Cons

  • A bit expensive for LGA 1155 motherboard

3. ASRock Extreme 4 Z77 – Best Midrange

ASRock is one of those brands that has become a force to reckon with in the midrange motherboard market. It offers competitive mobos with reliable performance. ASRock Extreme 4 Z77 is designed for Ivy Bridge Intel Core processors. It comes unlocked to support overclocking with 2nd and 3rd generation K-series CPUs.

Powerful CPU Power Delivery

The most distinctive feature of this motherboard is power delivery to the CPU. It comes with a Digi Power design with an 8+4 phase to the CPU. It comes with moderately-sized heatsinks for the VRM. A heat pipe does not connect the heatsinks because Ivy Bridge processors consume less power and, hence, heat up less.

The motherboard supports Turbo Boost 2.0 and hyper-threading. We like that the socket area is clean so it won’t be a heat-trapping zone. You get five fan headers along the top edge, next to the two-digit debug near the top PCIe slot.

The bulk of USB and audio headers is on the front panel. There’s one USB 3.0 header to increase on the four USB ports on the rear panel.

If you are starting in PC building, you’ll find the forward-facing SATA ports easy to access because the board is quite narrow. However, the only way to install large air coolers is near the PCIe and memory slots instead of next to the CPU socket.

BIOS, and Connectivity

ASRock is keen to give you lots of connectivity options. There are multiple video outputs, including HDMI, DVI-D, and D-sub output. You can browse and play games online as it comes with a Gigabit LAN port.

When it comes to setting up and getting things going, you get a Clear CMOS button and Port 80 diagnostics display. The display allows you to know problematic areas in the Boost sequence. Not only that, but you can also download the BIOS using Internet Flash BIOS.

The software is standard such that anyone can access settings fast and easy. It gives you access to XFast USB and XFast LAN. You can configure faster speeds for USB data transfer and network controller, which is just incredible.

Storage

ASRock Extreme 4 Z77 guarantees easy access to all its storage ports. It has two PCIe 3.0 x16 ports typical of what you’d expect in a Z77 motherboard. One has 16 lanes while the other takes eight lanes. There are two PCIe 2.0 x1 and one PCI slot.

You can operate a single graphics card at x16 speeds. But when you go with either Crossfire or SLI, bandwidth will drop to x8/x8. On this board, the two graphics card slots are separated by a three-slot distance. This way, your GPUs will be cool and stable.

The Z77 supports only two SATA 6Gbps ports. That’s why ASRock is using ASM1061 controllers to provide two more connections alongside four SATA 3Gbps.

ASRock Extreme 4 Z77 is well-balanced from the feature set to the performance. You can count on this board to provide a beautiful interface as well as impressive overclocking capabilities.

Pros

  • Up to 2800MhzOC
  • Comes with one eSata3 connector
  • Broadcom NIC audio
  • Includes 2-digit debug onboard
  • Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile XMP
  • Supports Blu-ray audio

Cons

  • No support for Quad SLI or Quad Crossfire

4. ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3 – Best Cheap Option

ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3 is an inexpensive option for those upgrading to the PCIe 3.0 platform. Built to ASUS standards with the Z68 chipset, it has been the lead chipset for Ivy Bridge processors. On the PCIe 3.0 standard, you are bound to achieve full benefits when paired with a PCIe 3.0 graphics card.

Digital Power Design

To increase the board’s overclocking range, ASUS opted for a digital power design. It provides precise Vcore PWM and minimizes power loss. This way, the board can overclock longer without heat issues.

With DIGI + VRM, ASUS integrates Intel’s power specifications to the fullest. The board’s power is significantly enhanced since it goes beyond the limits of analog designs. Apart from the VRM and socket heatsinks, there are five fan headers for comprehensive cooling.

You get two 3-pin fan headers and two 4-pin headers for CPU fans. This setup is ideal for push/pull fans or if you prefer water cooling solutions.

Storage and BIOS

This board handles storage using the Z68 PCH. It has two SATA III and four SATA II ports. An ASMedia controller comes in to provide one eSATA 3Gbps port for more possibilities. It SATA ports support RAID 0,1,5,10. With Ivy Bridge processors, the board supports Intel Smart Response Technology.

For graphics cards, ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3 comes with two full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. The third slot is a PCIe 2.0 x 4 in black. These slots are completed by two PCIe 2.0 x1 and two PCI slots.

One thing we particularly like about ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3 is its flexible BIOS. It comes with a UEFI BIOS. It is a mouse-controlled graphical BIOS that is quite flexible, including its overclocking setup.

The exclusive EZ Mode displays all the frequently accessed functions. The Advanced Mode gives you an intricate system that is great for performance enthusiasts. Other features include support for LucidLogix Virtu, meaning you can explore multimedia features with Sandy Bridge processors.

Connectivity

ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3 introduces USB 3.0 on the Z68 chipset. It has one USB 3.0 header running from the ASMedia controller. It comes with a total of twelve USB 2.0 ports on the front and back panel. There are four USB 3.0 ports on the rear and mid board.

For the price, the feature set on ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3 is outstanding. You have future proof tech that anyone from gamers to enthusiast can take advantage of.

Pros

  • Onboard power and MEMOK button
  • Removable BIOS chip
  • It has DVI and HDMI converters
  • Digital power for overclocking

Cons

  • Lacks a Clear CMOS button
  • USB 3.0 is third-party controlled

5. Gigabyte GA-Z77X UDH3 – Best Value

Gigabyte is one of those brands where you can find a motherboard from every chipset. Like all Z77 chipsets, Gigabyte GA-Z77X UDH3 can be used with 2nd and 3rd generation Intel Core processors. The good thing with this mobo is that it gives you just about every feature you can find on more expensive models.

Built to Last

This motherboard is designed to ‘Ultra Durable 4’ standards. It’s a fancy way of saying you can depend on this motherboard amidst power surges and outages. It features a glass fabric that protects against humidity and comes with extra copper for the PCB.

Not to mention, you’ll be able to automatically restore from a backup BIOS file using the DualBIOS function. To reduce the overall temperatures of the board, it utilizes all solid caps.

A digital PWM controller enhances power delivery. We find the VRM heatsink a bit small, but it’s understandable considering Ivy Bridge power needs. There are two fan headers within reach of the socket. You’ll find one 4-pin header for the CPU near the memory slots.

Other fan headers are near the power/reset/Clear CMOS buttons and at the bottom of the board.

Memory and Storage

Gigabyte GA-Z77X UDH3 houses four DIMM slots of dual-channel architecture. It can handle stock memory speeds of up to 1600MHZ and 2666Mhz OC. Since this model support Intel’s Smart Response technology, there’s one MSATA port to aid in data caching.

Storage is by two 6Gbps SATA III and four 3Gbps SATA II ports. In addition, there’s a secondary MarveLL 889172 chip to handle two 6Gbps eSATA ports on the back panel.

Expansion slots are three PCIe 3.0 x16 in x16, x8, x4 configuration. The third slot shares lanes with three PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. It means you cannot use the PCIe x4 and x1 at the same time. It also has a typical PCI slot to complete the picture.

Connectivity

Gigabyte has lots to offer in terms of USB ports and expansion headers. The front panel houses most of the headers, including S/PDIF, one 4-pin fan header, and a TPM header. There are three USB 2.0 front headers and one USB 3.0 header.

You have eight USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the rear. Only two are derived from the Z77 chipset and must first be used for a keyboard and a mouse during OS installation.

Overall, Gigabyte GA-Z77X UDH3 is a high-value board that’s great for overclocking and everyday computing tasks.

Pros

  • Four video ports
  • Supports On/Off charge
  • Handles 8-channel surround sound
  • Digital power delivery
  • Comes with onboard LAN

Cons

  • The installation package is a little sparse

6. ASUS P8B75-V – Best Under $100

ASUS P8B75-V is a feature-rich economical board. It gets you on the PCIe 3.0 standard so you can start enjoying high graphics performance. You don’t just wet your feet because you can have video cards in AMD Crossfire.

ASUS Feature Set

This motherboard brings features distinct to the ASUS line. First, it comes with a digital power design for the CPU and iGPU. It guarantees stable power delivery while minimizes power loss. As such, it can overclock slightly longer than most boards featuring the B75 chipset.

Other features include GPU and USB 3.0 Boost. The BIOS interface is friendly, so you can easily adjust frequencies to improve graphics performance. As for USB Boost, ASUS software increases USB 3.0 transfer speeds by up to 132%, according to ASUS.

Memory and Storage

It’s all about improving data transfer speeds since you get one 6Gbps SATA 3.0 hard drive slot. Considering the time of its release, you can see why it’s a vital connector to have on a B75 motherboard. You can have multiple drives on five SATA 2.0 ports.

ASUS P8B75-V supports integrated graphics cards on Intel 2nd and 3rd gen CPUs. It has two PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots, and three PCI slots.

ASUS P8B75-V can support up to 2200MHz overclocked memory. It has four DIMM slots for 32GB RAM.

Connectivity

Eight USB 2.0 ports provide lots of options when you have multiple devices. It even includes four USB 3.0 ports on the rear and mid-board. Remember that USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0. You don’t have to change peripherals if you prefer USB 3.0.

Networking is enabled by Realtek 8111E Gigabit LAN, while Realtek ALC 887-VD2 8-channel HD audio codec powers the audio. You have an S/PDIF out and three audio jacks on the rear.

This mobo is complete with the MEMOK button and Clear CMOS jumper. These features are essential when overclocking RAM and resetting the BIOS. Regarding today’s standards, we are impressed with the available features on the ASUS P8B75-V motherboard.

Pros

  • PCIe 3.0 graphics support
  • Intel Rapid Start technology
  • UEFI BIOS has EZ mode
  • Supports high-performance SSDs
  • Well-spaced RAM and SATA ports

Cons

  • Only one PCIe 3.0 x16
  • Does not support Nvidia SLI

FAQs

1. How do you know if your motherboard can support two GPUs?

You need multiple graphics card slots for the motherboard to support two GPUs. Look out for two or three PCIe x16 slots on a motherboard’s features specifications.

Next, the GPU must support AMD Crossfire or Nvidia SLI. These technologies link the cards and produce a single output. You then have to use a bridge connector to connect the cards. Most motherboards that support SLI and Crossfire come with a bridge connector.

2. Is it worth it to have two graphics cards in one system?

Two graphics cards do not work for everyone. Meeting the requirements for a dual-graphics set up can cost the same as one high-end GPU. The main advantage of two GPUs is that games run at higher frame rates and resolutions, than with one mid-range video card.

However, when two cards sit together, they tend to draw more power and produce more heat. It can become an issue if your cooling set up is not up to the task. Also, depending on your video driver, some games will not support Crossfire or SLI.

3. How do you know your CPU is unlocked for overclocking?

For Intel CPUs, the easiest way to tell if a CPU is overclocked is the K at the end of a chip’s name. The second method is checking CPU speeds in the BIOS. Just access the BIOS screen and check out the CPU overclocking options. Then, look at the CPU multiplier and check where it’s set at. Then, compare that number to the stated turbo speeds on the manufacturer’s website.

Conclusion

Whether you plan on getting better graphics performance or overclocking, there’s an LGA 1155 motherboard for you. Our top choice is ASUS P8Z77-V LX. It is a popular board for its PCIe 3.0 graphics support and balance of features to price.

For high-end features, you can go with ASUS Sabertooth Z77. And on the cheap, ASUS P8Z68-V Gen 3 is a steal.