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Asus Rampage II Extreme vs. Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 for first home build

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December 13, 2009 6:40:58 AM

Hey everyone,

I plan on building my first PC soon, and I'm trying to figure out a solid configuration. So far I've figured these bits out (I think):

CPU:
Intel Core i7 920
Storage:
32GB Imation M-Class SSD (for Win7/Ubuntu)
500GB Seagate Barracuda HDD (for files, apps, etc.)
GPU:
ATI Radeon HD 5870 (1 to start, and 2, maybe 3, later on w/ CrossfireX)
RAM:
6GB DDR3 SDRAM (Kingston HyperX 2000MHz)

But where I'm really stuck is on the motherboard. I think I've narrowed it down to Gigabyte's GA-EX58-UD5 and Asus' Rampage II Extreme. They've both got the same system bus speed (6.4Gb/s) and RAM capacity (6x DIMM 24GB DDR3). I've heard that the Rampage II Extreme has had issues with the 3rd GPU spilling over the edge and not fitting in a standard ATX case, but I don't think I'll be getting a 3rd GPU for some time.

The primary focus would be on gaming performance. Also, I'm quite new to custom computer stuff, so I'm not sure about how much overclocking I'll be doing. Although it does seem like a very attractive thing to get into.

Any benchmarking or personal experience info is greatly appreciated. And also feel free to point out anything wrong with my current configuration; it's solely based on online reviews, so I can't be sure of all my sources.

Thanks in advance!
a b V Motherboard
December 13, 2009 2:42:20 PM

I recommend getting the Seagate 1TB drive, even if you have no immediate need for the extra space, as it is faster than the 500 GB version.

Some others will most likely recommend the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 MB because it is faster in some specific benchmarks. But the THG charts show the Seagate 1 TB to be faster in the gaming benchmark. In addition, I prefer that brand because of Seagates long history as one of the two top drive manufacturers.

Here are the THG benchmarks.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...

Both mobos are obviously good. I generally prefer Gigabyte because of its UD - ultra durable -features and the UD5 is an excellent incarnation of that. Here are two informative reviews, in case you have not already read them:

http://www.*****/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/14406-gigabyte-ga-ex58-ud5-x58-motherboard-review.html
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/ga-...

Note that the BIOS has gone from F5 at the time the articles were written almost a year ago, to an F9E beta version now available.
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