Hi Everyone! Been going through this forum for a while now and gathered some interesting thoughts on a new motherboard I am planning to purchase. Here's the thing, need someone to help me in deciding the best one.
I've been a fan of Asus for quite sometime now, but last year I picked up a P5K-E Wifi and lasted me 6months before it gave way, quite disappointing really as it took me a while to settle on that board, and since then i've been too busy to check on what's available. Now that i've got time, i've also got a lot more choices. Here are the list of mobo's that i'm looking at, and the stuff that I already have. I hope someone can help me decide.
Stuff that I have:
1) Intel E7200
2) Inno3D - 8600GT - 512
3) 2GB DDR2
4) 4 SATA HD's = 1.2 TB
Things to consider:
1) Not that much into gaming. (no time really, but would love to play once in a while.)
2) Don't do much overclocking.
3) I do a lot of intense graphics using Adobe / Corel
4) Would love to finally create a VOD system at home.
5) Need a lot of USB Ports.
6) I'd like to beef up my graphics by either going SLI with the current video or changing it to Crossfire.
7) Need a stable robust mobo, something I can leave on 24/7 and wouldn't bog down, don't plan to do an upgrade for another 3-4 yrs.
hey zip... I'd have to agree with you, seeing as how my last mobo lasted only 6months.. not sure why their quality has gone down, i've been using asus for quite sometime now and didn't have any problems with it... anyways you think that the UD3P is stable and would actually last me at least 3yrs? I've not looked into MSI yet nor have I heard anything about their boards..
Yeah, I hate to join the Asus "hate train", but I swore them off back in the Pentium 4 Northwood days. Their P4PE motherboard was the biggest piece of garbage I've ever used in my life. Strange part is, I still see people having the same problems with all thier motherboard line-ups today that I had with that one back in 2002.
They are totally living off of their reputation from the Pentium I/II/III days, when they actually made rock solid stuff.
MSI let me down last time.
Never had a problem with a Biostar or Foxconn, except for the junky chipset fans going out.
Honestly, IMO, it's hard to get a rock-solid board these days. All the mobo manfuacturers rush to market and realse too soon in order to get sales, rather than building the product right, testing it throughly, and releasing when the quality is actually good.
The sad part is, you might think, "Oh, I'll just spend a lot of money and buy the most expensive board -- it's GOT to be good quality and I'm willing to pay extra to forgo headaches". Nope; doesn't matter how much you pay -- doesn't mean anything will go smoother at all. You just got to read a hell of a lot of reviews and see what trouble people are having... then pick the board that has the features you want with a defect/trouble rate you feel you can tolerate (or gamble on).
Just came from an ASUS board, have always found them good but the last one was just tooo bad.
I'am happy with my EP45 UD3P. My system is set up for very quiet operation and I get my kicks from photo and video editing (GV-R485MC-1GH passive) and have used this as a VOD server so I guess I'm coming from a similar background. I do play games occasionally (LFS and other sims) but don't get much of a chance. I like my backups to be external and have a wide range of USB goodies and even a few firewire. For me this motherboard's got the lot. I'm running a Q6600 with 8GB of RAM under Vista 64 with an Enermax 625 82+ PSU, various (MANY, more than 4TB) drives and no re-boots since Christmas except for hardware mods. I did update the BIOS when I got the board but that's it. I find it stable and fast with no negatives as a stock board. ROCK SOLID!
Chipset is heat-pipe cooled so no little fans to break (don't lift it by the heat-pipe!) and it's physically very well made. I've had several CPU coolers on it before getting to the HR-01 Plus and with all the bolting and unbolting it's still perfect. I've run the CPU up to 3.5GHZ (once) with no problems but I'd really recommend BIG cooling if you're going there.
I've used GB-PVR as my video server until recently and although my wife refused to use it I've had good luck with it. Ripping from TV is a pain though and although I've a mate who swears by it I never found it to be brilliant. Give it a try though, it is free I've moved to a single drive connected to a WD TV box. It's a much simpler system relying on sneaker net but even the kids can use it.
If you want to OC then things aren't so clear cut. It could have some more BIOS options and the tuning software that comes with it is flaky on 64bit. Still, if that's your game then you're probably after i7s anyway.
This is the best board I've ever built and I've done a small few. Please read the New Egg reviews for a greater range of comments (I did) but for your stated needs I suggest you try it.
Natesi - Yeah I suppose you're right about the whole 'rushing into the market' deal, its rather sad that the competition is getting so though that they sacrifice the boards overall quality and durability, though they claim that is more durable than the rest. I suppose it also depends on the manufacturing company that builds it. Well I have gone through a lot of the reviews and did find more positive feedback for the Gigabyte board, just wanted to get others opinions on it.
Purist - Glad to know that you're running something in the same line as I am, infact more, and that would lead me to go ahead and pick up the UD3P. But I have read that there are problems with the 'sleep' function, where its a 50/50 chance that it would wake up, hehe.. its not that important really as I don't shutdown my PC often. ever encountered a problem like this?
No, that said, I avoid those sort of things like the plague. I leave the machine up constantly. The drives sleep when not in use and when I'm having a "green" fettish I use the Gigabyte 'Dynamic Energy Saver' (don't know if it works but it sure looks cool). The box is mostly sharing something or playing music or whatever and as mentioned it's been designed to do so quitely and efficiently so we don't notice it's on.
If you need the sleep thing then I guess you'd better do some more research on the net but it's not like it takes long to reboot anyway.
I'm going to sleep myself now but tomorrow I'll give the cpu sleep thing a try and report back, small sample though I may be. If you're going to leave the cpu up but on very light duty for long periods then please try a PSU like the Enermax. There are others that are more (ever so slightly more efficient at high loads) but it's about the best when the loads are down around the 70-80 watts you can expect when everything is idling. (current cpu draw is 22.8W). Just a thought, it might save you from the wrath of Sting and the Eco-Weenies
Thanks so much purist, i'll just go ahead and pick up the UD3P, anyways the sleep function is not that important to me, just something I read about. However do let me know the results of your 'sleep' test