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Motherboard Opinions

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February 25, 2010 7:48:37 PM

I have a 790i with a q6700, needless to say the system is starting to show its age even with some heavy-duty overclocking.

I plan over the next month or so to build a new 1156 OR 1366 system... which is where all the geniuses on the forums come in

So far the boards I'm looking at are the MSI P55 GD65 with an i5 750 (~$150 for the board $200 for i5)

The MSI X58 Pro-E with an i7 920 (~$190 for board ~$280 for i7)

The Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R with an i7 920

ASUS Rampage II GENE with i7 920 (~$210 for board)

and finally:

Recertified: EVGA 132-BL-E758-RX with i7 920 (~$220 for board)



I had originally decided to just build a P55 system cause they seem to be comparable to the X58s, but after seeing that some X58 boards aren't that much more expensive and the clearer upgrade path for 1366, maybe X58 is the better way to go?

I'm mostly a gamer so the extra PCIe lanes might help. (yes i know the difference between x16 and x8 doesn't make that much of a difference now, but it might for Fermi)

If anyone has any suggestions or firsthand experience with a good board that would be really helpful, any board somewhere around $200 is a possibility. (Good RAM kits and CPU coolers would be nice too)

Thanks in advance

More about : motherboard opinions

February 28, 2010 12:08:20 AM

Hi I believe I can help!

I was just in a situation similar to yours actually. I was running a Q6600 on a MSI 975X and Radeon 3870s in CrossFireX.

Just yesterday I built my new rig with an MSI Eclipse running the i7 920 and a Radeon 5870.

I can't find the link to my original post ~2 weeks back where I had a small discussion on whether to go LGA1156 or LGA1366.

Seeing as how you game, I suggest going with the X58 chipset will be better in the future. Us gamers will want to upgrade sooner or later and the socket is definitely better for that. All the high-end chips in the future i9 etc will be on the 1366 socket. The full 2 x16 lanes will also help with bandwidth although an article I read (having problems finding the link) showed that at PCI-E 2.0, x16 and x8 have a difference of less than 5% for most games in general. However we don't know what the future holds which is why I forked out for an expensive motherboard. My MSI 975X lasted me a good four years with 1 major upgrade of CPU and GPUs.

I would highly recommend the following motherboard the Asus P6T. It packs alot of features, has all the important things, has decent heat and power consumption and it's decently priced. It's supposedly considered a mainstream motherboard but I think it can fight with the lower-end of the enthusiast level motherboards which are easily 1.5x - 2x the price.

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail - $288.99

Your MSI X58-Pro is a good choice as well because during my research I was thinking that if I were to go for a mid-range motherboard, it would be a toss up between the MSI X58 Pro and the Asus P6T.

Maybe your rig could look something like this?

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail - $288.99

ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $204.99

Crucial Ballistix 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BL3KIT12864BN1608 - Retail - $112.99

The total stands at $606.97 which is really decent considering that these 3 parts would put your PC performance very high up in the ratings. What's left is your graphics card which is your preference. I know my 5870 really burnt a hole in my pocket but I took it because of it's low idle wattage. I use my rig for everything surfing/movies/games so I needed a good system that had low idle power draw. If you just use yours for gaming then it's not so important.

I really hope this helps you! I enjoyed answering as well. =)
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February 28, 2010 12:10:04 AM

oops I realised i made a mistake copying and pasting. I meant to copy the ASUS link instead of the processor link for the first bit. my bad =P
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a c 301 V Motherboard
February 28, 2010 12:48:30 AM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

Just an advice, fi you want OC, get the i7-920. If you are planning play games and applications at stock speed, get the i7-860.
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March 2, 2010 7:20:31 PM

I will definently be OC'ing, i like to get more performance for free :D 

Mephiston1: Thanks for the replies and for outlining a rig for me! It looks good, the only thing i am really unsure of is the motherboard, i only have experience with evga and ECS boards,

MSI has a good reputation with some boards... but other boards seem to have a lot of problems.

I'll look more in to the P6T, that's gulftown ready, right?

Anyone have experience with the MSI pro?

The other piece is the HSF, but i was thinking about a scythe mugen, to put in the antec 902 i'll be getting this month or next. Any ideas or better deals?


Oh and for a GPU, I'm waiting on a GTX 470... just to make all the people with 5870's mad when it blows it out of the water :p  haha

EDIT: The P6T SE apparently isn't SLI compatible so no joy as i plain to get one 470 and another as soon after as i can
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a c 301 V Motherboard
March 2, 2010 8:10:33 PM

Ok.

1- I have a MSI mobo high end, and is very good.

2- If you want some ASUS P6 series, my advice is the P6T Deluxe V2, but for that price you can get a Gigabyte mobo with USB 3.0 and SATA III

3- If you want the best, get the ASUS P6X58D Premium.

4- The CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, is a very good cooler for price/performance.

5- I'm also waiting for Fermi.
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March 3, 2010 5:46:22 PM

I've recently been looking at the gigabyte ud3r with usb 3.0 and sata III, it's just over $200 and has everything i need. A little concerned because it only has a six phase regulator, but i won't be overclocking to the stars so w/e

thanks for the HSF suggestion and let's hope Fermi is worth the wait ;)  (the specs are unbelievable...)
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a c 301 V Motherboard
March 3, 2010 5:58:06 PM

^Yeah, let's see the performance and the comparation with the HD 57xx series, 58xx series and 59xx series
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March 3, 2010 10:01:44 PM

Six phase regulator is actually good enough! Just need to check if they are high quality. Like my MSI Eclipse has 6 phase voltage regulator which are all the solid type so you know it's good quality stuff. The high-end boards also come with Dynamic Overclocking Technology (DOT) which is easy overclocking. Just press and button and voila! They reset if things get too hot etc as well. It got a i7-860 to go from 2.8GHz to 3.5GHz stable at the computer shop I buy from apparently.

With regards to the MSI boards I have never had any problems with the high-end boards throughout the entire series. Not quite sure about the low-end boards. Never really had experience with them.

End of the day it's up to you exactly when you want to jump onto the bandwagon. If it's not urgent for you, I suppose you can wait for Fermi but you do know the prices will still be in that bracket. The sad thing about computer parts is the prices are always constant, it's just which parts are in which bracket. I.e. $1k CPU vs $400 CPU vs $200 CPU. Graphics are the same as well.
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March 5, 2010 5:44:30 PM

I compared the 212+ and the scythe mugen, from an artcile on tom's actually, and i'm going to go with the scythe because it is only a little more expensive and the cooling was top notch.

The reason i'm excited for fermi is that one fermi card should be enough for ANY game at any level of detail, if of course they deliver on all their promises. Also, it will make ATI drop their prices a little so it's a win-win.

I should be ordering the board and proc in the next couple weeks after I pick out some memory, have some in mind just looking for best price.

Thanks again guys

Edit: As a side note, does anyone know if the ud3r is 2 16x links or 16x 8x 8x? It has 4 PCIe slots, but gigabyte doesn't specify and i can't find it online. (my suspicion is 2 full 16 or 4 8x slots.
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March 7, 2010 12:03:47 PM

I found it at their webby.

Expansion Slots

1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (The PCI Express x16 slot conforms to PCI Express 2.0 standard)
2. 3 x PCI Express x1 slot
3. 3 x PCI slots

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...


I'm not sure if Fermi would make AMD/ATI drop their prices. If Fermi comes out too expensive nothing might happen on the ATI side. Hopefully we get another case of the 3870 thing again. The 3870s were cheap and good forcing nVidia to drop prices. This time it'll be the other way around.

Anyway CaptainBib, if you're not getting it anytime soon (like the coming week) then just chill out for a while and check back in again once you're sure you're gonna get it. Things change very fast.
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