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Recommend me a mother board to use in a home server...


While upgrading my home server, I realized I am one mobo away from building another complete system, which I will sell. So I am debating if I should keep my current server's mobo and just buy a cheap one to put into the sale PC, or buy a new mobo for my server and put the existing mobo in the sale PC.

Current server specs:
Xeon E3-1231v3 - replacing a G3258 CPU
MSI Z97 PC Mate - this is the mobo in question
32GB(4x8GB) DDR3-1600 - replacing 8GB(2x4GB) DDR3-1600, which is going into the sale PC
nvidia GT 610 1GB videocard - needed something cheap as the Xeon doesn't have a built-in GPU
4-port SATA/eSATA PCIe-x4 card - needed as I have more than 6 SATA devices
Intel i240 server NIC PCIe-x1 - server class NIC handles multiple connections better
Seasonic 450w Gold PSU
250GB SSD - OS drive running Windows 10 Pro
4x3TB WD Red drives in RAID10(6TB) - Plex storage
3TB WD Purple drive - security camera video storage
1TB WD Red drive - MISC work drive
Blu-Ray/DVD Combo drive - used to rip Blu-Ray & DVD movies
6TB eSATA/USB3.0 external drive - Plex backup
500MB USB external drive - OS backup
Fractical Design R4 ATX case

The old CPU is a G3258 that OC's well to 4.4Ghz, so when I build the sale PC, I would like a mobo I can OC it with. Since the ability to OC on a B85 is all but gone, that leaves me with getting a Z97 mobo. The current mobo is one of the cheaper Z97's, so if I have to buy one, I would rather buy a slightly better one for the server and just include the current one in the sale PC.

I am rebuilding this from the ground up, so all current data & OS will have to be reloaded. As of right now, I plan on using the 6 built-in SATA ports for the OS drive, the purple drive, and the RAID10 array. Thus the work drive, BR/DVD drive, and the external backup drive will all go on the SATA PCIe-x4 card.

The main use for this server:
1) Plex server - includes not only streaming, but the disc ripping and recoding via Handbrake.
2) Security camera video storage.
3) Virtualization learning.
4) TBD

It took me forever to recode videos with the G3258, which is why I am switching to a more powerful CPU. The high system memory is for when I play with Virtualization. Plus I caught the 32GB on sale for $120, so figured why not future proof my system at that price.

I will mainly be running this server headless and connecting via RDP, so the videocard wont be used much, mainly for when I set it up, and for virtualization. However, I will have it connected to the DVI input of my gaming monitor and have a wireless USB keyboard/mouse on it for the times RDP doesn't work.

Now for the main question at hand, what motherboard would you recommend for my needs? While I don't need a Z97 mobo since I wont be overclocking, I do need a 2nd PCIe slot of at least x4, so that rules out most B85 & H97 motherboards. I do need at least one PCIe-x1 slot for my server NIC and wouldn't mind another one and/or a PCI slot for extra NIC's in case I turn it into a firewall via PFSense(virtualized). I will not be using the on-board NIC or audio, nor will I be overclocking, so the quality of those doesn't matter to me. Stability & reliability are key for me. I would also like a mobo that consumes a low amount of power while idle as that is where it will spend 99% of its time. Lastly, I would like to spend around $125 and I can go as high as $150, but no more.

Right now, my main two current considerations are...

MSI Gaming Z97A GAMING 6:

ASRock Z97 Extreme4:

I am leaning towards the MSI because of its lower idle power consumption and the fact that is has USB 3.1, plus it uses Military spec components, which should mean a more stable & reliable system. However, I am open to other considerations within my price range, so let me know your thoughts on any of this.

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I would ditch the WD Purple drives and either step down to a WD Red drive (better for that workload) or step up to a WD SE drive. For the motherboard, the Asus P9X79-WS is an excellent motherboard which has an amazing VRM. It is above your budget, but because you are going to be using this a server, you're not going to get a decent motherboard for as low as $150. If you're looking for an X79 LGA1150 motherboard, the Asus X79-WS or X79-Deluxe is also an excellent option. Again, you're not going to get a good motherboard which is validated for that feature set.

"Not breaking it or making it worse is key."

"Bad choices make good stories."

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All parts are already bought, just deciding if my current mobo is good enough or if I can do better for a little more.  Needs to be a socket 1150 as that's the CPU I already bought.  Plus this is a home server, so don't feel the need for a true WS or server mobo.

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I ended up going with an Asus Z97 Pro Gamer as Newegg had it on sale for $129.99.

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