Short version of my question:
I'm hesitating between the Asus Rampage II GENE and the Asus P6TD Deluxe.
I've considered the specs, pros and cons, etc., but cannot decide either way, so I was hoping for recommendations.
Long version of my question if you feel like reading a bit more text:
I'll be building a PC some time soon but am having trouble picking a motherboard. I've spent hours researching various products in the past few days and have narrowed it down to a couple of motherboards, plus another one (I'll explain the "plus one" in a bit). I'm hoping someone can help me choose based on personal experience if they own or have owned or have experience with one or more of these motherboards:
- Asus P6TD Deluxe
- Asus Rampage II GENE
- Asus P6T Deluxe V2
The P6T Deluxe V2 is the "plus one" in my list, because the P6TD Deluxe appears to be exactly the same as the P6T Deluxe V2 besides a couple of differences. The differences I've noted were that, according to www.asus.com, the P6TD features "Asus Xtreme Design" (whatever that means), and that it has Stack Cool 3+ whereas the P6T Deluxe V2 "only" has Stack Cool 2.
Because the P6T Deluxe V2 is, at this point, more expensive than the P6TD, I am questioning whether I should be considering it at all.
I will be overclocking my system, although not extremely so: I am expecting to overclock it to reach whatever people reach on average with good RAM, a good air cooler and good case airflow, but I don't have set frequency goals, nor do I care a lot about what frequency I may or may not reach.
Pursuant to overclocking, is there any advantage to getting the P6T Deluxe V2 over the P6TD? I'm asking because I've also been reading the XtremeSystems.org forums and few people there seem to own a P6TD, whereas tons of people have a P6T or P6T Deluxe. It seems to me the P6TD would be a better choice (even regardless of its lesser price) -- am I right?
Next is the Rampage II GENE. I have dismissed the Rampage II Extreme entirely because it is out of my budget. The GENE was the motherboard I had in mind until late last night when I started having second thoughts and considered the P6T(D) as outlined above.
Features that appeal to me in the GENE:
- Overclocking settings which the P6T models do not seem to have
- The X-Fi sound component
Features/problems I do not care for or am wary of:
- The LED gadget
- The fact that with any respectable PCI Express x16 video card, either the PCI-E x4 or the PCI slot will essentially be useless due to how they laid the slots out. Since it's a Micro ATX board, that may limit expandability in the future, although it already seems to have all the features I might ever need without add-in cards...
- Reputed Northbridge temperature issues
- On-the-fly overclocking
-> Couldn't I achieve the same overclocking results with the P6TD BIOS although maybe not as conveniently?
-> Should I care about the X-Fi thinger or is it just a glorified integrated audio solution with a fancy name?
The Rampage II GENE does support Crossfire and SLI, I'm not sure what would make you think otherwise... it just doesn't support 3-way Crossfire or SLI. The fact that it's Micro ATX has nothing to do with SLI/Crossfire support or lack thereof. And like I said, the P6TD is cheaper than the P6T Deluxe V2 here.
I am also leaning toward the P6TD though.
Any more opinions?