im building a new i7 gaming rig and the only item i cant decide on is my mobo. ive done quite a bit of looking around, and from what ive read so far, it seems like asus, gigabyte, evga, and even the new foxconn bloodrage all have their followings and none seem to really stand out from the rest. in fact, it seems like the only threads that really get more than just loyal asus (or fill in the brand) preachers are the ones that are responding to specific systems and needs. so this is my attempt to get some help with mine and what might work the best for me.
as a starting point, here's what i have so far (note that the evga mobo is just a place holder):
first off, yes i realize that i could get a better gaming pc right now by going with a C2Duo and using the extra cash on more GPU power, so please no posts suggesting that.
basically, what i want from this rig is to have plenty of capability now, but in the future be able to add on and overclock easily, and have a high end pc for a few years to come, at least until the sandy bridge comes out.
it shoudl be noted that while i do enjoy FPS' casually (ie CoD, cysis), the bulk of my gaming is MMO type stuff (no WOW flamers either plz, never played that never will ). the reason i point out the online aspect, is that i was almost sold on the EVGA, but then saw a roundup of the four major original x58's somewhere, and the EVGA scored terribly compared to the others in NIC performance.
this is my first build, so im looking forward to working out the usual problems a builder faces as a learning experience, but the last thing i want is to be in way over my head and be at a total loss.
what i think is most important is probably:
1. quality/performance (geared toward an online gamer)
2. overclocking/expansion capability (threeway sli and an extra .05% OC ability over the competition are not all that important however)
3. support (i know; evga on this one)
oh it shoudl also be noted that i will be purchasing this in a few weeks, so waiting for the new EVGA Classified to be released is an option. i would however like to keep the cost of the mobo between 300-400 unless an extra few bucks sets this system apart from the pack.
feedback would be greatly appreciated. whatcha guys think?
as a subnote, the memory i picked -- OCZ Platinum 1333 -- seemed to be a nice balance of speed, latency, and quality/cost, but the one thing that is somewhat concerning to me, is that its standard 1.65V. should this be something i should be concerned about?
Just go with the Asus P6T, it's a good board and is quite popular. I'm using that board and I'm happy with it. the 1.65V isn't a concern at all. I'm using the OCZ Gold. But if I had to buy memory again I would go with the OCZ XMP series.
yeah, if i had to buy today, im leaning towards either the asus or the gigabyte. as i noted though, ill be buying this in a few weeks, so the EVGA Classified will be out or will be soon to be released. since this is my first build, i like the reassurance that i would have EVGA quality support on my side. its very important to me however to have good NIC performance, and thats really what turned me off from the eVGA thats out now. maybe if someone could comment on this aspect of the boards out there, it would be alot of help to me.
also, as far as the xmp memory goes, i think i read somewhere that the platinum was able to be OCed a heck of alot more than the other ocz models. any idea what the pros and cons of the two memories are: xmp vs platinum?
Both memory are very new, could not find any reviews by any major hardware websites. I was torn between the Platinum and the XMP too but I ended up buying the golds just cause of the low price on it. Plus the memory isn't going to be the bottle neck of a system anyways. I would go XMP if I had to choose again just cause the ease of using the XMP profile over having to manually set everything during install.
the other plus with the platinum is that its 7-7-7-20 latency vs the 8-8-8-24 on the xmp. from what ive read, the latency is more important with the i7 setups than the memory speed. like you said though, its not going to be the bottleneck, so its really speculation of whats going to be better down the road, 7 vs 8 cl, or 1333 vs 1600.