Matx mobos

open to suggestions (not too crazy tho like an asus gene)

getting most likely an i7 4790k or something along the lines. Z97 doesn't look like it's worth 40 dollars more for M.2 and SATA Express, and I'll most likely upgrade in 2 years, where Z97 will become obsolete anyways.

gonna overclock as well

you need to be aware that you need to update the bios, before 4790K will work on Z87 boards. They will not work out of the box. But probably with usb flashback utility, it should be possible to update the bios without cpu.

This is a good board

It should overclock very well like all other ASUS boards and because it is Z97 you shouldn't need to worry about updating the bios to get your CPU to work

Also the Maximus VI Gene (Z87) is under $200 so it would be a good buy if you are wiling to stretch you budget out about $20

It says that it supports haswell refresh.

any thoughts between the 2 I said? I don't really like the color for that mobo and don't really want to stretch my budget for z97 as im not gonna use M.2 and SATA Express (which I think are the only new things)

The Sabertooth is cheaper than the Gigabyte and it doesn't have M.2 or sata express, if you are hellbent on one of only those 2 boards I would say get the MSI because from personal experiences Gigabyte has left a bad taste in my mouth. Also one note on those 2 boards, they don't have any equivalent to USB BIOS flashback so be warned that if your board ships an earlier BIOS you will need to RMA since you probably won't be able to flash the BIOS without a functional CPU. Be careful.

wait i haz to update the bios first?

(gigabyte has a huge main in rebate) wait so if i get unlucky i'll have to rma?

Yes, because Gigabyte does not have a way to flash the BIOS without a supported CPU installed and the BIOS chips themselves are non-removable, so if you do get a board with older BIOS and your CPU can't run on the board then yes you will need to RMA

is there a way to determine a board's version without opening the box? (i don't want to unplug everything after building my pc finding out i have an old mobo)

(also, pretty sure on the msi one)

It might be printed on the side sticker that also has information like serial number, but other than that I don't think there is any other way to find the BIOS version without booting it up first

hmm.... a z97 mobo matx ~120-140 bucks?

This is everything that meets that criteria and can OC

MATX is still pretty niche so there aren't that many cheap OC boards for MATX