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ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 vs ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 vs Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3

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July 6, 2013 4:19:09 PM

I narrowed my decision down to these 3 boards. The M5A99FX and 990FXA-UD3 are the same price, here, while the Sabertooth is $40 more.
Currently I have a Phenom II x4 955 BE and I plan to upgrade to a FX-6300 BE.
I am assembling a custom water cooling which includes a quad radiator with only the CPU in the loop (for now) so I will be overclocking, like, a LOT.

Sabertooth is probably the best, but will it perform THAT much better? What do you think?

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a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2013 4:30:04 PM

I doubt that you can do sufficient OCing with a Phenom to warrant a radiator of that size... However, any of the motherboards here will be fine; I personally have no preference, but you would see very little difference.
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July 6, 2013 4:44:20 PM

dannyboy2233 said:
I doubt that you can do sufficient OCing with a Phenom to warrant a radiator of that size... However, any of the motherboards here will be fine; I personally have no preference, but you would see very little difference.


I did an overkill with cooling so I have the flexibility and no worries whatsoever. Also, that allows me to add the MBO and the GPU into the loop with ease, and I have a single 120 rad sitting in a drawer if I find my self lacking cooling potential (which I doubt).
I agree on the Phenom statement, but it requires high core voltages for OC-ing, so maybe the question should be which MBO would sustain the higher voltage? Will the 8+2 VRMs make much difference, compared to M5A99FX's 6+2?
Taking a look at the VRM heatsinks, since I won't have any fans blowing across them, Sabertooth's "beefier" heatsink might nake a difference compared to 990FXA-UD3's (for which I heard it has some overheating problems with VRM/NB/SB, is it true?).
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a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2013 4:47:36 PM

rapture868 said:
dannyboy2233 said:
I doubt that you can do sufficient OCing with a Phenom to warrant a radiator of that size... However, any of the motherboards here will be fine; I personally have no preference, but you would see very little difference.


I did an overkill with cooling so I have the flexibility and no worries whatsoever. Also, that allows me to add the MBO and the GPU into the loop with ease, and I have a single 120 rad sitting in a drawer if I find my self lacking cooling potential (which I doubt).
I agree on the Phenom statement, but it requires high core voltages for OC-ing, so maybe the question should be which MBO would sustain the higher voltage? Will the 8+2 VRMs make much difference, compared to M5A99FX's 6+2?
Taking a look at the VRM heatsinks, since I won't have any fans blowing across them, Sabertooth's "beefier" heatsink might nake a difference compared to 990FXA-UD3's (for which I heard it has some overheating problems with VRM/NB/SB, is it true?).


That is true. You want the heatsink with the best VRM that is possible, so as to make sure that the VRM does not overheat in the process of OCing.
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a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2013 4:52:08 PM

The sabertooth is basically just a flashy M5A99FX Pro 2.0 There is no real hardware difference between the 2 and both will OC the same.
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July 6, 2013 5:02:01 PM

So the Gigabyte is not recommended? I'm very picky and indecisive, as you might tell, when I'm buying something I don't want to regret it after a week or two, and the fact I don't buy very often means I want a good buy.
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a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2013 5:46:05 PM

rapture868 said:
So the Gigabyte is not recommended? I'm very picky and indecisive, as you might tell, when I'm buying something I don't want to regret it after a week or two, and the fact I don't buy very often means I want a good buy.


As picky as you think you may be I would be willing to bet I am exponentially more anal when it comes to my computer. I had to go back to microcenter 4 times because I nit picked something about the every board they gave me. Every time I made them upgrade me for free until I finally got to the M5A99FX Pro 2.0 and I am so please, I have not found one single gripe about this board.

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July 6, 2013 5:57:21 PM

Well, another factor is the looks, the colors. Currently I have a blue themed HAF 922 mod in progress, and obviously the Sabertooth does not fit AT ALL. The PRO R2.0 and the UD3 both fit great, UD3 being more neutral, all black. Does the Sabertooth's alleged better quality make up for it's horrendous color scheme (I mean, really ASUS?)?
Sabertooth also attracts me because of it's "status", if you know what I mean. When you can say "yeah, I got a Sabertooth"... lol
I see you have an FX-6300 at 4.5GHz, cmi86, have you tried clocking it further?
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a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2013 10:02:44 PM

rapture868 said:
Well, another factor is the looks, the colors. Currently I have a blue themed HAF 922 mod in progress, and obviously the Sabertooth does not fit AT ALL. The PRO R2.0 and the UD3 both fit great, UD3 being more neutral, all black. Does the Sabertooth's alleged better quality make up for it's horrendous color scheme (I mean, really ASUS?)?
Sabertooth also attracts me because of it's "status", if you know what I mean. When you can say "yeah, I got a Sabertooth"... lol
I see you have an FX-6300 at 4.5GHz, cmi86, have you tried clocking it further?


Well if its an aesthetic thing than that's entirely your call. I have had my chip up to 5 Ghz but the voltage required and temps as a result were undesirable so I knocked it back to 4.5 and it runs nice and cool.
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September 1, 2013 1:50:42 PM

rapture868 said:
I narrowed my decision down to these 3 boards. The M5A99FX and 990FXA-UD3 are the same price, here, while the Sabertooth is $40 more.
Currently I have a Phenom II x4 955 BE and I plan to upgrade to a FX-6300 BE.
I am assembling a custom water cooling which includes a quad radiator with only the CPU in the loop (for now) so I will be overclocking, like, a LOT.

HI - I went your very same route- I am now saving for a Gigabyte board - I am awaiting my 3rd board on the RMA process for the Sabertooth 990fx motherboard - 5 weeks and still unresolved. Do yourself a favor and avoid my headache - avoid ASUS

Sabertooth is probably the best, but will it perform THAT much better? What do you think?


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September 1, 2013 3:03:26 PM

Did you get the R2.0 or the R1.0?
I decided to buy the Sabertooth 990FX R2.0, extremely satisfied, I'm surprised to hear about your situation.
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September 1, 2013 4:03:27 PM

I got the R1.0 version - last year - spent 2yrs buying parts - finally put it all together . The R 2.0 version has fixed many of the issues - I offered to pay retail the difference between the 2 boards and ASUS declined. I did all the part swapping before contacting them. I build systems on the side and just lost a $12k contract for a client who was looking to build 4 gaming systems as Christmas presents for his family. I told ASUS this and got the standard 'Sorry for the inconvenience line". I asked if the warranty covers lost income - it doesn't - at this point it has just cost me a nice contract - being a side business that income loss hurts. I had been building a showcase gaming system for under $3k - I will now be switching to an INTEL I 7 processor and Gigabyte board. Current specs: AMD 3.4 gig CPU, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, 8 gigs Kingston ram, GTX 770 ASUS 2 gig PCIE graphic card, ASUS sonar sound card, ASUS 24 in monitor, Corsair 650 watt Bronze level PSU, Samsung Blu Ray player, Sony DVD writer/re writer, Sony multi card reader, Belkin Surge Protector. Samsung 1TB hard Drive. A few compromises, but with ASUS for key components as they used to have quality components. I don't know if all their products have gone down hill, but their motherboards have. So far only 250 members of my family are boycotting ASUS.
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September 9, 2013 9:34:57 AM

cmi86 said:
rapture868 said:
So the Gigabyte is not recommended? I'm very picky and indecisive, as you might tell, when I'm buying something I don't want to regret it after a week or two, and the fact I don't buy very often means I want a good buy.


As picky as you think you may be I would be willing to bet I am exponentially more anal when it comes to my computer. I had to go back to microcenter 4 times because I nit picked something about the every board they gave me. Every time I made them upgrade me for free until I finally got to the M5A99FX Pro 2.0 and I am so please, I have not found one single gripe about this board.



Warning: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 cannot be recommended: PWM overheats seriously. Whether the board warps down or the HS warps up is irrelevant. 50C idle 105C loaded with FX8350, no oc anywhere, stock HSF (When CPU is water-cooled, temps are slightly higher. PWM depends on HSF or some other fan to cool). UD5 & UD7 appear not to have this problem. mfg realized this problem with UD3, and put out a new rev of the board (Rev 4) that might not have this problem.
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September 9, 2013 12:11:53 PM

I have been doing A LOT of reading myself a I am having a nightmare with ASUS over a Sabertooth 990fx board that supports an AMD chip. From what I have read yes the Rev 4 board DOES solve the issue, but the only way I could be sure to get that version is to call a PC shop and have them check the version before sending me the board as the amazon and the newegg sites do not check this before shipping you the board. Ergo if you want this board go to a local dealer and save the RMA hassle. I have noticed a lot of DOA issues with the board and issues of it dying after 12 - 18 months of use. No thanks - I like the board, but I have an RMA nightmare now - I do NOT want another one. I know Tom's hardware like the Asrock Extreme 4 (and presumably the newer Extreme 6) which I personally like the look of, however after doing research I find that Asrock's parent company is ASUS and have a similar nightmare RMA process so this gives me pause with them, I like the board I am just not sure about making that leap yet. This leaves me looking at the MSI boards of the GD65 and the MPower boards ($190 - $220) in price which is more than I wanted to spend. However the GD65 appears to be decent aside from 3 issues - one the board does not have even one PCI port (they are all PCI -E) so any sound card I buy to put in automatically jumps up in price $50 minimum, the second issue is more serious - the lights on the board are different colors (some of which can apparently be turned off via the bios) and may make my case Red LED lights look horrible. This I am not so sure about from an asthetic view point, the final issue is the onboard sound has been mentioned as "could be better", we all know on board sound is suppose to be ok, but on a $200 I want pretty good on board sound. The MPower board, aside from being $70 over my prefereed budget of $150 seems pretty good, though there are some reported issues with the killer ethernet chip, specifically relating to the drivers. You could go with the ASUS Maximus Heroe VI at about $225 , which appears to be pretty solid, but can have issues with the GTX 770 series graphics card, which as luck would have it is the one I bought, figures. Bottom line is that after a LOT of reading no board is perfect and all have some kind of issue which is really inexcusable when you figure that you are paying $100 or more for that single part. I guess my best advice is read lots of reviews from multiple sites before plunking your money down, but IF you are set on that particular Gigabyte board, I would buy local to ensure you get the newest version. As for ASUS I am entirely biased being now 4 weeks into dealing with them on their RMA process, which is why I have nightmares ATM, but your buck so your choice, "Buyer Beware" is the best advice I can give you, but if you need more help and I can hellp feel free to get in touch.
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September 11, 2013 2:26:19 PM

rapture868 said:
Well, another factor is the looks, the colors. Currently I have a blue themed HAF 922 mod in progress, and obviously the Sabertooth does not fit AT ALL. The PRO R2.0 and the UD3 both fit great, UD3 being more neutral, all black. Does the Sabertooth's alleged better quality make up for it's horrendous color scheme (I mean, really ASUS?)?
Sabertooth also attracts me because of it's "status", if you know what I mean. When you can say "yeah, I got a Sabertooth"... lol
I see you have an FX-6300 at 4.5GHz, cmi86, have you tried clocking it further?



I apologize for not understanding you completely on this, do you mean fit as in size or fit as in color scheme?
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September 11, 2013 2:40:52 PM

All I can say about ASUS is that Sabertooth 990fx and quality is a misnomer as it has ZERO quality. ASUS just sent me my 3rd Sabertooth board, version 1, in the RMA process and I am still having a CPU LED LIGHT RED error, despite trying 2 CPU - both AMD Phenom II X965, ASUS insist I try a 3rd CPU before they will admit fault to the board. The problem is one CPU belonged to a friend who loaned it to me to test the board and the other was through Amazon, who will issue me a refund, the problem is the price on the CPU has jumped because AMD is rumored to be discontinuing the Phenom series.
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September 11, 2013 3:11:59 PM

martok78 said:
So far only 250 members of my family are boycotting ASUS.


You have quite a large family and a lot of anger.
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September 11, 2013 3:31:46 PM

I am Italian so we believe in family unity. I have family in 4 counties so yes Thanksgiving is interesting! As for the anger - we believe that boycotting companies which fail to live up to standards of good customer service are punished by the boycott. We show our displeasure. There is zero reason for ASUS to have such poor service and for it to take so long to resolve an issue with them. I just hope my poor experience with them proves helpful to someone so that they don't make the same mistake I did
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