Intel H97, Z97 or X99?

How does one pick an Intel Platform?

Steve Smith explains what the key differences are between each of the H97, Z97, and X99 platforms, and who benefits most from each.

Episode #5-12 released on November 27, 2014

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I decided for the heck of it on Whisper to ask what people wanted to know about computers, and the very first question had to do with the quality of the processor, but what is more interesting is knowing what all the letters and numbers mean on the latest generation processors and mainboard.

The first thing we need to analyze, is your use scenario. Intel mainboards current start with the letters H, Z, and X. This means when you go into a computer store of any kind, you have the option of a H97, Z97, or X99 boards.

Note: Intel H97 and Z97 mainboards use the 1150 socket, while the X99 platform uses the 2011 Socket.

If you are a home user, even a gamer, and on a limited budget, and aren't ever going to overclock your computer, using an Intel H97 board with any non-k or non-s Intel processor is your best bet. Don't get me wrong, i5 and i7 unlocked processors will function on these boards, but you will not be able to really over clock the processor, so save your money.

If you're a gamer, video editor on a budget, or a productivity type person like myself, you may be interested to know the Intel Z97 boards can be overclocked. This means that the any Intel processor will work with this board, however to benefit from the overclock features you must have an unlocked Intel processor which limits your to i5 and i7 Intel Processors.

If you are someone who edits videos, or just has a lot over cash to spend on epic systems, then the Intel X99 is for you. X99 boards use the Intel 2011 socket, not the 1150 socket that the H97 and Z97 mainboards use. It has more PCIE lanes, currently the only boards to support DDR4, and has support for processors with more than 4 cores. You are however, limited to i7 socket 2011 processors, no i3 here.

From my own honest opinion and experience, most people will buy Z97 boards for the prestige, but most will never use them to their full potential, and should have spent more on the graphics card, than on a simple character, especially if the person buys a locked Intel processor. I say this because most people never change the processor on their mainboard.

It is, also, true, that several people who buy into the X99 platform will spend a lot of money of new technologies like DDR4 which are not yet stable, or have issues with SLI technology because of the lack of documentation of various issues. If you are an Intel X99 platform user, and currently use SLI with frame rate issues, please change the setting in the UEFI Bios for the PCIE Generation from auto to PCIE 3, to fix that bug.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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