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RELIABLE High-end Gaming

Last response: in Motherboards
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April 8, 2013 10:31:28 AM

What's a highly RELIABE choice?

Used "Six $220-280 Z77 Express-Based Motherboards, Reviewed", chose an ASUS Sabertooth, but that failed miserably (long story, bad support, I give up).

Newegg reviews of Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH seem to indicate that they have support problems, too, and now I'm gun-shy.

I've built a couple dozen machines, so I'm not a newbie. Building a general usage machine, including various games (10% of usage). Here's what I'll use:

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced
SeaSonic X Series X-850
Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
CORSAIR 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 1600
2 x Velociraptor 150Gb (OS & data)
2Gb Seagate Barracuda (VMs)
LG DVD burner
Undecided GPU (EVGA 012-P3-1570-AR GeForce GTX 570?)
Win 7 64-bit

I've wasted too much time (and maybe money) on this build already. What's a good safe choice with comparable performance to what I hoped for from the ASUS Sabertooth? And good support, just in case?
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b 4 Gaming
a c 245 V Motherboard
April 8, 2013 12:56:37 PM

Products DO fail unfortunately.
Reviewers are quicker to post problem reviews than good reviews, so I would not judge much on that.
Some failures are self inflicted. Do look at the nature of problems in bad reviews.

Here is a slightly dated article on component return rates which you might find interesting.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/881-2/components-ret...

You have a better chance with motherboards that have been out a while.
They will have had time for bios updates to fix minor issues.

On the graphics card, I would go with one of the newer 28nm based cards. GTX6xx or amd7xxx series.
They run cooler and quieter.

I would definitely look at a SSD for the os and some apps. 120gb at least.
Look first to intel or Samsung for reliability.
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April 8, 2013 6:01:39 PM

Thanks for the info. I've certainly had products fail, but in the past they've been replaced or repaired. Not the ASUS Sabertooth. They accepted the RMA, and sent it back (in two weeks), but no change and no explanation.

Ineresting stats on return rates. Gigabyte was my second choice, but I got scared by negative reviews on Newegg. I can accept a bad component, but I really NEED the problem to get resolved in a reasonably timely fashion. Perhaps I should look at AS Rock, as well.

I'll look at the GTX6xx, after I get the basic build done.

You know, I don't reboot that often, so I didn't really consider an SSD. But program load times are worth considering. It's just that I had the Velociraptors, so I was saving funds to overdo the MB, CPU and GPU. I'll start thinking about SSD.

Thanks again,

Jim


geofelt said:
Products DO fail unfortunately.
Reviewers are quicker to post problem reviews than good reviews, so I would not judge much on that.
Some failures are self inflicted. Do look at the nature of problems in bad reviews.

Here is a slightly dated article on component return rates which you might find interesting.
http://www.behardware.com/articles/881-2/components-ret...

You have a better chance with motherboards that have been out a while.
They will have had time for bios updates to fix minor issues.

On the graphics card, I would go with one of the newer 28nm based cards. GTX6xx or amd7xxx series.
They run cooler and quieter.

I would definitely look at a SSD for the os and some apps. 120gb at least.
Look first to intel or Samsung for reliability.


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April 8, 2013 6:11:21 PM

120gb definitely is the minimum these days
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b 4 Gaming
a c 245 V Motherboard
April 8, 2013 6:48:11 PM

I hardly boot ever too.
But, there is much more to the SSD in everything you do.
Files open instantly.
A one hour install or maintenance is done in 10 minutes.
Virus scans are much faster.
Believe me, once you have one, you will never go back.
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April 9, 2013 5:11:01 AM

Back to the original question, what MB to choose?

Went back over "Six $220-280 Z77 Express-Based Motherboards, Reviewed". ASUS Sabertooth is out (already tried that one).

It seems like Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH and ASRock Z77 OC Formula are the next best bets. My concerns are really RELIABILITY and Support. On RELIABILITY, ASRock seems to have a slight edge.

On Support, it looks like a crap shoot. By rumour, neither is great - though ASRock seems the less responsive.

I'm beginning to think I'm trying to get too much bang-for-the-buck. Perhaps the best choice is really Intel DZ77RE-75K. Good reputation (and personal experience) for reliability and I've always had exceptionally great support from Intel. I don't really NEED to OC. I'll probably use a single GPU, but I might just add a SSD (later). Less flash, but more gumption?

What do you think?
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b 4 Gaming
a c 245 V Motherboard
April 9, 2013 7:51:00 AM

I would agree that Intel probably does a better job of validation, and yes, support is good.
Know that they are apparently getting out of the motherboard business.
With a non "K" 3770, you will not be able to do any meaningful overclocking.
I might spend 5% more for a 3770K and have the potential to gain 25% more in performance with a mild overclock.
Intel may not provide the aggressive overclock potential but I would think that it should be there for any Z75 or Z77 based motherboards. Check for reviews for that. Looking at their offerings, I found a less common Z75 Intel motherboard, the BOXDZ75ML45K http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Here is a wicki article on the differences among socket 1155 chipsets. You really don't give up much for a less expensive z75 motherboard
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155
I would agree with using only one strong graphics card when it will do the job. For most of us, one will be sufficient with the exception of triple monitor gaming.

On the ssd, I urge you to use one for the os up front. Doing it later may require a reinstall of windows and apps.
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