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Narrowed down my MB search to 3, you pick!

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May 3, 2008 11:37:52 PM

I finally after weeks have narrowed down my motherboard selections. My processor is going to be an E8400 with DDR2 800 RAM.

ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DFI LANPARTY DK X48-T2RS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Which one gets your vote and why? :) 

More about : narrowed search pick

May 3, 2008 11:45:40 PM

dbrimberg said:
I finally after weeks have narrowed down my motherboard selections. My processor is going to be an E8400 with DDR2 800 RAM.

ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA
DFI LANPARTY DK X48-T2RS
GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4

Which one gets your vote and why? :) 

3rd one. Solid state capacitors last longer and are more reliable under oc conditions. Advanced overclocking features in bios such as loadline calibration. Massive copper heatsinks, runs cooler, and consume less power. 2 bios, so if you corrupt one, the backup takes over and you're not screwed. Max ddr2 ram support is listed as "1200" compared to DFI's "800" and Asus's "1200(O.C.)" And most important of all, cheap.
a b V Motherboard
May 3, 2008 11:55:37 PM

I second the Gigabyte. It has some cool features (DualBIOS) and solid capacitors look cooler.
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a b V Motherboard
May 3, 2008 11:57:07 PM

Actually, the other two have solid caps as well.
May 4, 2008 12:21:20 AM

Go with the first one. Asus didn't play around here, the Rampage Formula is a great platform for a nastyfastnasty rig.

It's solid (solid caps too). Fast. Overclocks like a beast (...so easily a caveman could do it). ...and is quite forgiving.
May 4, 2008 1:12:14 AM

Their overclock performance is the same. With Asus, you're paying for brand name. It runs slightly hotter too. Of course it'll do just as well, it's just far more expensive. The only real difference is the 1200 ddr2 support is listed as "O.C." instead of native, which is not a good thing, especially since it's more expensive, not less.
May 4, 2008 1:19:33 AM

I don't quite agree there but that's okay. I think with the Asus you may be paying for some features that you may not need, i.e., CPU Level Up, LCD Poster, Crash Free Bios, on-board power/reset switches etc., etc., but not just the Asus name. In my weird mind its like the difference in an Acura and a Honda. They're both cars, they both do 60mph, but the Acura has some feature that the Honda may not...and to some they're worth paying more for, to some they're not.

Here's the breakdown: http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=640&l4=...

You have to decide whether or not those features, and Asus's reputation are worth paying for.
May 4, 2008 2:04:50 AM

Meh, looks just like tricks and gemmicks. Not sure what "Crash Free Bios" does, but no bios can be crash free, the name seems a bit misleading. You can see the 2 bios chips on the Gigabyte board. If you
corrupt one will flashing or set bad values, the second one will take
over when the first fail to boot. The 2 bios are something you can
physically see. It's there as extra hardware, and it's real, it's not
some fancy programming.

As for "CPU level up," how is that a new name for auto overclocking?
Auto overclocking is a bad idea, as it set incorrect voltage and cause
problems. You should do it manually, the right way.

As for "External LED poster," it's not like most cases have a place to mount it on. And how useful is it anyway? You can have monitoring on
your computer desktop. A LED for it is just another rather cheap gadget
that you won't know where to put.


As for Onboard Switch, why do you need that? If you set bad values
while ocing, and first bios fail to boot, the second will automatically
take over, then you can change settings right away. No need to reboot,
onboard switch or not.

As for EPU, see this: http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1348/4/gigabyte_des_a... Asus's EPU should not be used, as unlike Gigabyte's DES, the capacitors
were not able to supply stable current on reduced power, thus causing
some errors. It's nothing major, but still not good.

Then there is ram. According to that Asus site you linked, it officially supports up to 1066mhz ddr2. Newegg list it as "1200(O.C.),"
but it's still less than the Gigabyte board's rating of just "1200"
without the "(O.C.)." Most people won't use ddr2 1200, but still, it's
a plus.

The comparasion of Honda to Acura is flawed. Compared to Acura, a Honda
does not have more hardware (dual bios) or better hardware (faster
native ram support). I know it's slight difference, but you're paying
more than $70 more, for less hardware and a brand name.
May 4, 2008 2:25:08 AM

I don't need voice control in my Lexus or air conditioned seats in a Lexus, but that doesn't mean that they're a waste. Their luxivoice control is a waste.

It sounds like you're not a fan of the features that Asus offers. While that's okay it doesn't mean the features or bad, rip offs, or whatever. I'm sure there's mobos you like, and I'm sure you've got your reasons for them. Some folks love DFI, but I'll never forgive them for putting those cheap-@$$ fans on their north bridges that quickly wore out. Some people love Gigabyte, but I took a gample of a P965 and while it worked I felt like I was driving an economy car when it came to things like...heck, resetting the bios (open up the PC and actually change a frick'n jumper...that was 2006, I thought we'd evolved past that).

It just comes down to what you like. Asus hasn't let me down and I've enjoyed my Striker Extreme and Rampage Formula, they were worth the $$ to me. ...even that's relative. $300 is a lot to some people to pay for a mobo.

I think with the Asus brand you also pay for ease of access to enthusiast level features. Some don't want or need that ease of access. I pay what $70 more because I've had good luck with Asus. So, I'm willing to pay that bit more next time as well. Maybe an MSI or Gigabyte would work just as well, but its not worth $70 for me to take a chance on getting another board like that Gigabyte P965 that ended up dying on me and didn't like my Corsair RAM.

Until Asus crosses me I'll buy and recommend them.
May 4, 2008 2:51:55 AM

Of course the Asus board is good. It's one of the best. I just didn't like the way Asus charge so much more for less hardware, then throw in more "features" to make up for it. They already have such a fat profit margin, so why not throw in a second bios, or give it native ddr2 1200 support? The way they advertise those "features" is just dishonest. It feels as if they're trying to con you into paying more for less hardware.
a b V Motherboard
May 4, 2008 3:02:53 AM

dagger said:
3rd one. Solid state capacitors last longer and are more reliable under oc conditions. Advanced overclocking features in bios such as loadline calibration. Massive copper heatsinks, runs cooler, and consume less power. 2 bios, so if you corrupt one, the backup takes over and you're not screwed. Max ddr2 ram support is listed as "1200" compared to DFI's "800" and Asus's "1200(O.C.)" And most important of all, cheap.


Solid state capacitors - iv seen an old chaintech video card with more then 4 of them busted so you cant tell me they last longer, and besides, there not the only thing to fail on the motherboard, and as other posters pointed out - the others have it anyhow.

Memory overclocking - too easy, select a different ratio, there just advertising extra BS features here.

Cooling - all are SUFFICENT

"Advanced overclocking features in bios such as loadline calibration" - my Gigabyte EP35 DS3R has it too, an excuse for vdroop issues if you ask me :lol: 

dual bios - when has someone actually used that feature?

roflmao sorry but it sounded like you got paid to say that so

now, nothing against the gigabyte, id say it would be one sweet board but ASUS will most likely be the winner here with there product, they dont stuff around with high end.
May 4, 2008 3:15:34 AM


Even if you are careful and don't corrupt bios while updating, you
can't say one bios without backup is better than having backup. The
memory would be overclocked on Asus board, which as you said, would be
bs. On Gigabyte board, 1200 is listed as native, no overclocking
involved. You should not buy a oc board without loadline calibration.
It's also deliberate step imposed by Intel, btw, and not a side effect
of hardware. All cooling are sufficient, but more cooling is still
better than less. Solid state capacitors will last longer and provide
more studry flow of power than older capacitors, although Asus use it
too. So if it doesn't count, Asus also suffers.


I'm not advertising for Gigabyte, it's more like against Asus, and
using Gigabyte as an example. Asus charge much more for literally less
hardware, and advertisement their board as "high end" and trick the
unaware with features that sounds good while benchmarks show no
difference in performance between the different brands of x38/48
boards. It's dishonest.
a b V Motherboard
May 4, 2008 3:41:39 AM

dagger said:
Even if you are careful and don't corrupt bios while updating, you
can't say one bios without backup is better than having backup. The
memory would be overclocked on Asus board, which as you said, would be
bs. On Gigabyte board, 1200 is listed as native, no overclocking
involved. You should not buy a oc board without loadline calibration.
It's also deliberate step imposed by Intel, btw, and not a side effect
of hardware. All cooling are sufficient, but more cooling is still
better than less. Solid state capacitors will last longer and provide
more studry flow of power than older capacitors, although Asus use it
too. So if it doesn't count, Asus also suffers.


I'm not advertising for Gigabyte, it's more like against Asus, and
using Gigabyte as an example. Asus charge much more for literally less
hardware, and advertisement their board as "high end" and trick the
unaware with features that sounds good while benchmarks show no
difference in performance between the different brands of x38/48
boards. It's dishonest.


I came from an ASUS to the current Gigabyte i use btw.

If you actually read Intels direct specs about the memory support you would find that most of the specs from the manufacturers are BS because Intel actually dictates the "official" specs - My old P5B Deluxe officially supports FSB1066 from Intel, and when it was released that was the max, doesnt mean i cant push it to FSB1600 (ran that way its whole life with an E6600), same as memory. "Native" 1200mhz memory is BS when Intel states otherwise because its the chipset running the memory etc.

Bios backup - why not have a backup chipset while you at it, and backup cpu, and everything else?
May 4, 2008 3:48:37 AM

dagger, you sound like someone who has absolutely no experience with Asus motherboards. You clearly don't understand any of their features, so how can you really judge them?
The answer is you can't.
About the onboard switches, they are for power and reset, used in situations where a chassis is not used(such as extreme overclocking using liquid nitrogen cooling)
a b V Motherboard
May 4, 2008 4:21:17 AM

evilshuriken said:
dagger, you sound like someone who has absolutely no experience with Asus motherboards. You clearly don't understand any of their features, so how can you really judge them?
The answer is you can't.
About the onboard switches, they are for power and reset, used in situations where a chassis is not used(such as extreme overclocking using liquid nitrogen cooling)


Gigabyte fanboi, blinded by marketing :pt1cable: 
May 4, 2008 4:22:51 AM

So it comes with 8 channel onboard sound AND an additional sound card?
May 4, 2008 4:48:32 AM

Buy which ever one is the most colorful and the most shiny, that always means they are better.

Another idea is to get a dart board and assign a number to each mobo. Then start throwing darts.

Or, you could....
May 4, 2008 5:16:31 AM

commit mass suicide by slashing your jugular vein with the mobos
May 4, 2008 5:18:48 AM

Hey, you can't knock the onboard power and reset switches. I thought that was **** when I got my first DFI board like 4 or 5 years ago that the onboard switches. But, when I was doing all my testing and overclocking I realized how damn tired I got of jump-starting my mobo with a screw driver lol. Those switches really come in handy....

Arson94
May 4, 2008 5:26:20 AM

Yeah, using a paper clip or screw driver is so hard and scary. :lol: 
May 4, 2008 10:01:45 AM

I've only used those onboard switches occasionally, but I like the fact that they're there. I know I've paid for for the Asus boards I have. I paid more for the Lian-Li case I have. Heck I could of got a $50 enclosure that would have served the purpose.

Anyways, maybe one day I'll give Gigabyte another chance, that P965 DS3 was an economy board and I can't judge all of their boards by it.
May 4, 2008 1:27:21 PM

dbrimberg said:
So it comes with 8 channel onboard sound AND an additional sound card?



No, that's false advertising. There is no onboard. Only the 8 channel card that comes with it, which is as good as typical 8 channel onboard sound. Note that it's only compatible with the top black pcie1x slot, and won't work if put into the white pciex1 slots.

Just get the DFI board. At $100 less than Asus, it's the best value. I used Gigabyte as an example only because it has both better hardware specs and cheaper price. The DFI is even better value, but also with slightly worse hardware specs. So If I had used that as example, they could say "hey, it cost much more, but you also get more." Compared to the Gigabyte board, Asus cost more, while you get less hardware. That's why all the Asus fanboys has stopped citing hardware and just kept repeating "it's better" without giving rationale. :p 

Fanboyism/brand chasing is an uncurable disease, but it is preventable. :na: 

Anyway, if you don't have bottomless wallet, go for the DFI board for best value. The Gigabyte board is almost as good. Skip Asus. The DFI board has more hardware in a different area, in the form of a third PCIEx16 slot that runs at x4 electrical. Could be useful for controller cards, that PCIEx16 phyix card they've been promising, or some other piece of future hardware.
a b V Motherboard
May 4, 2008 2:21:45 PM

Well, all the boards look pretty good. I'm cheap so I'd probably go with the DFI or Gigabyte. That said, I've had great luck with Asus (except their stupid fans :fou:  ). Good support too when my motherboard decided it didn't want to see my second 6800GT. That board is still chugging away years later, and OC'ed all its life too. I just bought my first Gigabyte board and will be building it this week, so I may have a new opinion soon.
a b V Motherboard
May 4, 2008 2:37:17 PM

All are good boards.
For the money, and my personal preference, I really like DFI.
I have not seen into the BIOS of the new ASUS boards so I could be wrong here, but DFI has the crown for BIOS tweakers.
May 4, 2008 3:14:34 PM

Dagger has some valid points. I'm an Asus fanboy, and I'm not proud of that. ...but that's my mobo brand of choice. The real issue I had with Gigabyte was that P965 DS3. The CMOS reset jumper was next to the PCIe slot. ...under the video card.

Guess what you got to do everytime you needed to reset the CMOS (everytime an overclock failed). Take the video card out, change jumper, put the video card back in, boot to reset, take the video card out, replace jumper to original position, put the video card back in.

...it was enough to make me never want to see another Gigabyte board for a long time. That was Winter 2006, perhaps they design better than that nowadays. DFI, like I said, lost me when I saw those cheap brushless fans on the northbridge they used to use on all their boards that quickly failed and were loud, then I saw people looking for replacement fans. I know DFI learned from that mistake and now all of their mid-to-high end board use solid passive cooling.
May 4, 2008 4:18:25 PM

I hope there isn't a problem with installing the Zalman 9500 AT, which is my heatsink/fan I have. :)  I read some motherboards are a PITA to install them on since they are rather large in size.
May 4, 2008 11:31:34 PM

I know from experience that the Zalman 9700NT fits on the Rampage Formula.
May 29, 2008 6:10:55 AM

I got both motherboards on a qx9650 and the dfi is chineese so dont get it unless you plan on getting out a calculator and reading for 2-4 weeks on how to set it up, but I will tell you this dont get the DFI if you cant figure it out, the gigabyte board is so much better for stablity and overclocking. i could get it up to 4.5-4.6ghz but not stable and i couldnt get top performance out of my memory b/c it was so unstable, plus the voltages were so far off for the cpu and didnt give an inch. go with the gigabyte totally stable at 4.4-4.5ghz
!