vandreadstriker if you were buying a board right now would you snag a X77? Which one would you purchase and why? I have never owned a Gigabyte board, however I have owned 4 Asus boards and never had an issue. Do you feel the boards are stable enough to purchase one?
I did line the boards against each other and compaired, Thank you for pointing out the differences, there does not seem to be much variation between the boards. Honestly I am very nervous about this part of the purchase. Everything else is pretty straight forward. I know a motherboard can make or break a system. I really appreciate all of the sound advice.
Just to be clear, you meant Z77 right?
Honestly, if I had the money, I would. I'd be lying if I don't have any concerns but the Z77 chipset are very similar to the Z68 chipset, thus in my own way of thinking, I think Intel would've made sure there aren't major bugs/flaws, especially after what happened with the P67 B2 stepping. If not, I think that Intel is somewhat a douche for not trying to repair their mistakes and that I'm a bigger douche for believing that everything would be fine.
My reason in recommending a Z77 board is simple: Warranty & Support. I think you should be familiar how quickly Intel announce EOL of their old products. Should history repeat itself, then the Z68 chipset wouldn't have very much time until Intel announce an EOL date. Should you get a Z77 board, you'd have full warranty and support from Intel for at least another year or so which will be the time Intel releases the new Haswell, instead of the half-year old Z68 chipset.
Furthermore, it wouldn't make sense for someone with a Z68 board upgrade to a Z77 board since they have very similar features with the Z77 having an updated version of those features. But for someone who do not own a Z68 board, why settle with something older really? Some may prefer something older since they're usually cheaper or other various reasons but I personally want to get 'new and better' parts instead of 'old' parts when I'm building a whole new rig.
As for what I'd buy, I'm thinking of the ASUS Z77 Sabertooth. I want to know if the active cooling towards the power phase would really aid in overclocking. Plus the Thermal Armor and dust defenders would really help me co-op with my climate and the 5 years warranty would let me have a peace of mind
As for Gigabyte, I personally had some bad experience with their GPUs some time ago. Twice I ordered and twice it DOA. I've read some similar reports but I've also hear from numerous people that they have good luck with their Gigabyte boards. Some of the rigs I built for my friends uses Gigabyte boards and they haven't had any complains to me. So I consider my case as a 'bad coincidence' and would still recommend to people (Although I haven't had the chance to use one since).
It's true that the motherboard is kinda like the backbone of a System but it wouldn't break your system entirely should it fail. Worst case scenario, it'd take your CPU with it, which is really rare. I've only read a report of it twice and that's from a long time ago.