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Mobo choice, is there really a difference ?

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May 21, 2010 7:01:41 AM

Hi guys

I'm planning to build a new liquid cooled system with an i7 930 processor which I intend to OC to 4.0Ghz. I also intend to run 5970's crossfire and eyefinity in the future (a little off topic here but is a 1000w power supply able to power all that ?)

I can't decide exactly which motherboard to pick, I've read reviews on how some 200+ motherboards perform the same as the 500$ ones.

The motherboards I've rounded up are;

- Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
- Asus P6X58D-E
- Asus Rampage III Extreme
- MSI Big bang Xpower x58

I understand that other than the rampage III and xpower being future proof for being gulftown ready.

What are the main differences besides stupid onboard "auto overclocking" functions and other manufacturer gimmicks.

What about BIOS wise ? I'm very new to overclocking and would like to get the board with the most user-friendly bios for me to overclock with little or no issues.

I'm having doubts over the 300$ premium for the rampage III and xpower, I've read reviews comparing ud3 and the older rampage II and there were hardly any differences in terms of performance, but I could not find anything regarding how easy it is for OC'ing newbies like me.

I hope you guys could provide some insight and opinions on what I should do, cuz I've pretty much got all my parts for my PC it's just the choice of motherboard for holding me back. I'm intending to use this computer for at least 2-3 years so I want to invest my money in something that is able to provide sustainable performance but not overpriced at the same time.

Edit: If anyone could suggest a better board than those I've listed above, it'll be great :D 

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a c 292 V Motherboard
May 21, 2010 2:40:25 PM
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Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

1- The X58A-UD3R don't support UBS 3.0 when u use Crossfire, that is one thing that u want in the future.
2- The ASUS P6X58D-E IMO is the best option for price/performance/features.
3- The queen of the X58 mobo, but with a high price too.
4- Very solid mobo with a similar price of the Rampage III but not as good as it.
May 21, 2010 6:34:03 PM

Best answer selected by arcenite.
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May 21, 2010 6:35:30 PM

Yeah I've pretty much read a ton of forums and the Asus won me over in the end with the best price for performance. Thanks for your input !
a c 292 V Motherboard
May 21, 2010 6:56:20 PM

Any time, that's why we are here.
a b V Motherboard
May 21, 2010 7:02:31 PM

Just so you know, crossfire 5970's doesn't appear to work very well - or at least not consistently. This isn't my experience but there's a 2 page thread on it. Might want to consider reading up on it before dropping $1400 on a pair. A significantly cheaper option that would still destroy all games is crossfire 5870s.
May 22, 2010 5:09:14 PM

wolfram23 said:
Just so you know, crossfire 5970's doesn't appear to work very well - or at least not consistently. This isn't my experience but there's a 2 page thread on it. Might want to consider reading up on it before dropping $1400 on a pair. A significantly cheaper option that would still destroy all games is crossfire 5870s.


Can't seem to find the thread, could you give me a link ? What I've read so far is that the drivers for the 5970 are still developing and I'm hoping they introduce better drivers to fix this issue if what you're saying causes significant problems. Cuz I was considering to crossfire 5870s but got convinced to buy one 5970 now and crossfire it in a couple of months after price drops =/. Then again, would a 1000w power supply be sufficient for 5970 crossfire + eyefinity + i7 930 clocked at 4Ghz ?
a c 292 V Motherboard
May 23, 2010 2:22:43 AM

^Yeah, the 5970 850W PSU for Crossfire. U can check here the full requirements for that GPU. The recommended PSU is for the entire system.
May 23, 2010 2:44:38 AM

Yeah but I'm wondering if they've taken into consideration an overclocked CPU and liquid cooling in the mix.
a c 292 V Motherboard
May 23, 2010 2:57:31 AM

^OC yeah, What LCS?
a c 292 V Motherboard
May 23, 2010 3:29:34 AM

What is the manufacturer of ur 1000W PSU?, They tested the LCS with a BFG 800W PSU.
May 23, 2010 3:51:04 AM

I got the Corsair HX1000 cuz I've read that it's xfire capable and is very reliable, but I'm just afraid that it'll be too much power consumption for it
a c 292 V Motherboard
May 23, 2010 4:04:04 AM

^That PSU is enough for ur rig and LCS.
May 23, 2010 4:57:13 AM

Alright cool thanks :D 
a c 292 V Motherboard
May 23, 2010 5:02:24 AM

Any time.
a b V Motherboard
May 25, 2010 2:41:50 PM

arcenite said:
Can't seem to find the thread, could you give me a link ? What I've read so far is that the drivers for the 5970 are still developing and I'm hoping they introduce better drivers to fix this issue if what you're saying causes significant problems. Cuz I was considering to crossfire 5870s but got convinced to buy one 5970 now and crossfire it in a couple of months after price drops =/. Then again, would a 1000w power supply be sufficient for 5970 crossfire + eyefinity + i7 930 clocked at 4Ghz ?


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/page-287900_33_50.htm...

I can only assume the drivers will get better, but for now there appears to be some issues. Maybe from drivers or just because older games weren't made to consider quadfire.
!