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ASUS Maximus II Formula OR GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6?

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June 29, 2008 6:49:38 PM

Hi Everyone!

I am planning on building a new gaming rig with Intel Q9450 and I'm stuck between these 2 P45 motherboards selection:

ASUS Maximus II Formula:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I also suddenly read the article "GIGABYTE: ASUS Lied and Fooled Customers" which had changed the way I used to think about ASUS Motherboard's Quality. It is where Gigabyte mentioned that ASUS EPU is fake and not as good as DES and that ASUS uses several non Japanese-made capacitors...... :ouch: 

"GIGABYTE: ASUS Lied and Fooled Customers":
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/asus-gigabyte-motherbo...

Based on the reviews, websites, the majority seemed to go with ASUS than GIGABYTE. Regardless to that article i read, I'm leaning towards ASUS Maximus II Formula for a particular reason like 16 phase power for increasing the performance for gaming. I think that is the reason why the majority of people seemed to be going with ASUS than GIGABYTE is because of the ASUS's features which makes more sense like the 16 phase power on ASUS ROG series and that ASUS tends to gain the performance crown over GIGABYTE. Please correct me if I'm wrong. While the GIGABYTE DQ6 has 12 phase power, the ASUS ROG series has 16 phase power. Does 16 phase power means a lot to you? Or is it just a marketing hype?

GIGABYTE's 6 Quads features seemed a bit exaggerated to me like the Quad Bioses (Who would really need 4 Bioses in real life?!)and the Quad ethernet Ports which is overkill and the Crazy Cool copper plate that many gamers don't even need it. :ouch: 

However, the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6 had won as Taipei Computex 2008 Best Choice Award product so it still look interesting to many people.

Anyway, What do you people think? Which one do you people think its better? Which one should I go with: ASUS Maximus II Formula or GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6????? Any advice, I would be appreciate.... Thankyou! :D 
June 29, 2008 8:06:07 PM

i think it better for gaiming a lot becasue of xi-fi sound card it give a boost to cpu.
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June 29, 2008 8:08:41 PM

Either one would be good, I was an ASUS fan for a long while, haven't been deeply disappointed by them ever, and Gigabyte is my new hero, sameo there.
Don't be sucked in by hype like 16 vs 12 phase regulation, it is bs anyway, anything over 6 phases in DC regulation is overkill unless you are in a championship overclocking race which I get the impression you aren't..
Just go with the features you want and which one you have confidence in.
June 29, 2008 8:44:23 PM

Asus EPU is software base, and not hardware based. Not sure if you can call it "fake," but it does cause instability due to unstable power flow. This instability has been verified by third party.
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1348/4/page_4_test_sy...
As long as you turn EPU off, there's no stability/crush issue. And not many gamers care about energy savings anyway.

Gigabyte's claim that Asus use cheaper capacitors is also true. Gigabyte use more expensive Japanese solid caps instead of Asus's cheaper Malaysian caps. Their suppliers were never a secret. It's still questionable if the cheaper caps are actually worse than more expensive one though.

Asus also use lighter copper heatsinks. Copper is expensive, and less of it means savings. Although p45 chipset runs cool to begin with, so it's questionable if lesser heatsink actually makes a difference on performance.

Basically, using software power regulation in EPU instead of hardware, cheaper caps, and lighter heatsink all translates to savings in material and bigger profit margin. But it doesn't necessarily translate to inferior product. Those are things that most people won't notice. Asus's boards' production cost is lower than Gigabyte. They obviously don't advertise this, but it's not like they're hiding it either. It was never a secret.

In any case, those p45 boards are far overprices. You can get x48 boards for less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

X48 chipset is more capable, and use dual pcie2.0x16 in cf mode, compared to x8 for p45. Which matters if you plan to upgrade to cf.
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1472/7/page_7_benchma...

As for highest overclocking performance, it's neither Asus or Gigabyte. The current record holder is BioStar. It ocs significantly higher than similar p45 Asus or Gigabyte boards, at a relatively low cost.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Currently out of stock due to hype.
June 29, 2008 8:58:25 PM

I'd get the Gigabyte. DES is better than EPU. Who would want to add more software... it isn't a laptop. I'd get X38/X48 motherboards for PCI-E 2.0 X16 in CF.
June 30, 2008 3:14:45 PM

@dagger, I was planning to buy Radeon HD 4850 X2 or Radeon HD 4870 X2 for gaming so I don't think that I am going to go crossfire. So P45 with single PCIe 2.0 16x should be fine for me? Or should I go with ASUS Rampage Formula or GIGABYTE GA-X48-DQ6???

I will also try to overclock the CPU and the VGA card if I can. They said that ASUS board is the best one for overclocking with tRD unlocked. Is that true??? Or should I still go with GIGABYTE instead? (I don't even know what is tRD.... :D  )

However, I am not in a hurry in buying one of these motherboards. I will buy it after 3 months, when I come back from vacation and I hope that the P45 motherboard's price will go down by that time. I will keep this P45 motherboard for 2-4 years before I upgrade to a newer motherboard with 22nm Intel Codenamed Sandy Bridge CPU.
June 30, 2008 7:14:14 PM

Is the ASUS's "Republic of Gamers" Series just a Marketing Hype Name or is it really necessary for PC gamers??? Or is it too expensive and I should better go with ASUS "AI Lifestyle" Series motherboard???
July 1, 2008 12:08:08 AM

TechUser said:
Is the ASUS's "Republic of Gamers" Series just a Marketing Hype Name or is it really necessary for PC gamers??? Or is it too expensive and I should better go with ASUS "AI Lifestyle" Series motherboard???

I'd say those things are marketing hype. But since I know nothing about actual specs of those boards, I can't comment. But the very fact that they couldn't break oc performance record, while this one with relatively cheap price and no fancy name took the performance crown, says something.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Between the Asus and Gigabyte x48 boards, get whatever is cheaper. They perform the same.
July 2, 2008 8:29:49 PM

Thanks everyone for commenting.

I think that my final decision will be that I will not get either of them but I will get the cheaper ones like GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS5 or ASUS P5Q Deluxe because after reviewing from other sites for a while, it seemed to me that the 12 phase power (GIGABYTE's Quad Triple Phase) and ASUS's 16 phase power is for marketing hype more than for performance gain. It will slightly lower the temperature but it does not give a lot of performance gain so it does not worth the extra $$$ to pay for the GIGABYTE's DQ6 and ASUS's Republic of Gamers Series motherboard? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And after the article about ASUS lied and fooled customers or that EPU is software based and not hardware based, this makes me feel like getting GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS5....

If anyone else wanted to comment please feel free, I would be very appreciate...
July 2, 2008 9:44:59 PM

PS: Interestingly, I also found out that the ASUS P5Q Deluxe also has True 16 Phase Power but the problem is that it is not truely a 16 phase power motherboard because it has an auto switch phase which changes the phase depending on the CPU loading. The other websites that I read, says that during the heavy loading, it will be 16 phase and during small loading, it will no longer be 16 phase which is a problem with P5Q Deluxe. This was meant to save energy so just to say that it is not really truely a 16 phase power motherboard due to the auto switch phase.

Sorry for the double posting....
!