What's the difference between the Z-series, B-series and H-series motherboard?

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shravan
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:17 am

What's the difference between the Z-series, B-series and H-series motherboard?

Post by shravan »

These series designations are for Intel motherboards. The way these work out is that:
The Z-series motherboards are usually the “premium” boards aimed at enthusiasts who are going to want the most out of their computer. Z-series boards usually have the most I/O options (like WiFi, SATA ports, M.2 ports, ethernet, etc) and are the only boards out of these series which are allowed to have the frequency multiplier increased above the stock values by Intel but only with K-SKU CPUs like the i7–9700K. This ability to overclock usually leads to motherboard manufacturers to include better VRMs (these supply power to the CPU and RAM) and better support for faster memory. The Z-series are also the only motherboards in the lineup that feature the ability to split the PCIe x16 coming from the CPU into 2 PCIe x8 slots to allow for multi-GPU setups.
The B-series are the midrange boards. These boards are aimed at the average user who does not want to overclock their CPU and usually have less I/O options then a Z series motherboard. They do not support overclocking and will only ever have 1 PCIe x16 slot that comes from the CPU.
The H-series are the budget motherboards. They have minimal I/O options which means less SATA ports, no USB 3.1 gen 2 coming off the PCH (this is what the northbridge and southbridge of yore has morphed into over the past few generations of Intel releases), support for only 2 DIMM slots, and so on. These usually feature minimal VRM setups.
Something to think about is that you really should match your CPU to the motherboard. If you buy a higher end CPU then you really ought to buy at least a B-series motherboard to go with it. I would be really hesitant to stick a i7 9700K into a H-series motherboard in fear that the VRM would be stressed out too much supplying the required power.
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