X79/LGA 2011, Three Options, Pick One

Hello, I just got off the CPU forum to discuss a dilemma I had regarding Haswell vs SB-E for video editing as well as more causal pursuits such as gaming. Since I do work with Adobe CS to professional ends, naturally SB-E won in the end.

But now I'm in that second phase. I need a motherboard. Previously when I built my Socket 775 system for use with a QX9650 a few years ago and had a horrible experience with the Intel DP45SG board, the only logical choice out of the pick of latter day 775 boards was the Gigabyte GA-EP45T-USB3P. But with a still-living X79 platform, at least for another year, the situation is less clear.

The difficulty stems from the fact that one requirement that I do have that is not negotiable is the presence of at least one conventional PCI slot, as my next system will have an HT-Omega Claro XT and that uses the older standard. Certainly there is a PCI-E release from HT-Omega but from what I have read it is inferior to the older part. Unfortunately, this means that those X79 boards without at least a single PCI slot (such as the Rampage IV) cannot be considered.

Given these requirements and having done my research, I have come up with three possibilities:
Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4
ASUS Sabertooth X79
ASRock X79 Extreme6

There are certainly pros and cons to each platform. And I just published my thread too early by accident so I'll make this one quick.

Gigabyte: like GB build quality, cheaper than Sabertooth, quad video is an option, a lot of SATA 6GB connections...but BIOS hasn't been updated for about 6 months, only 2 USBv3 in back, only OK OCs, 2.13GHz DDR3 bugged (although I'm not worried about that last one so much since I'm unlikely to go above 1866).

Sabertooth: keep the BIOS up-to-date, good OC performance, yes to Firewire, 4 USBv3 in back, 5 year warrenty...least number of SATA 6GB ports of the lot, most expensive device.

Extreme6: cheapest of all, 4 USBv3, more SATA 6GB than ASUS, Firewire, 2 old PCI slots, better OCs than Gigabyte board...less aggressive BIOS updates like Giga, never really worked with them and they have had problems in the past.

I would certainly like to hear your suggestions, and am open to all opinions on the matter. Keep in mind that the target platform is primarily for media creation purposes so stability at clock is a concern along with stability overclocked (when I get around to that eventually).
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More about x79 lga 2011 options pick
  1. You can still put PCI cards in a PCI-E slot, would work just fine.
  2. Gigabyte is the way to go. They have the best power delivery section on the market in their X79 lineup.
  3. manofchalk said:
    You can still put PCI cards in a PCI-E slot, would work just fine.

    Sadly you can't, the key for conventional PCI is towards the front whereas on PCI-E it is towards the I/O shield. Observe here. There are devices that are can convert PCI-E to SFF PCI, but I haven't seen one with good build quality.
  4. manofchalk said:
    You can still put PCI cards in a PCI-E slot, would work just fine.

    No, you can't. The only thing that PCI and PCIe have in common is the name.
  5. OK, I learnt something new today :P
    I thought it was just AGP and PCI on early boards, and eventually were replaced with PCI-E which I assumed would be backwards compatible with PCI given the similar name.
  6. I think I should discuss what I am doing with this machine a little more since this issue hasn't been resolved yet. Basically my main concern is getting the most of Adobe Premiere CS5.5 rendering HD (1080p) video. I do not presently need for a machine that can process 4K resolution footage, as those won't be the standards for several years and I have no means of generating any footage of that kind of quality anyway. I am also going to do gaming on this machine as well (since this will be my "home" desktop) so this is a dual-use "prosumer" build with a dedicated production-only build coming up in a year or two, after Haswell-E is out (may as well since that'll have 8 cores, 20MB cache along with OC).

    Basically what I need in this build is the ability add in around up to 64GB memory if I have to, good RAID performance natively, at least decent overclocking capabilities, and of course USB 3 connectivity with Firewire as an option (I'd prefer at least one native port but am not against an expansion card). And of course at least one PCI slot.

    I have the storage, PSU, vid card, and sound card lined up already but the other things like the CPU, RAM, and of course the board are up in the air. I think I can hash out the CPU and RAM on my own, but I'd like as much detailed analysis as I can get on these three boards.
  7. Well, I had to make a decision before IB-E came out and changed the dynamics of this situation, so today I purchased an ASUS Sabertooth X79. I would have strongly preferred the Gigabyte in regards to its physical build quality, but the ASUS board has more USB3 connectivity and better firmware (presently), and more frequently updated firmware. Given the nature of current X79 boards, this was the only hardware option I could determine as being rational at this time for this target platform.

    Thank you to those who did post on this matter.
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