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AsRock vs Gigabyte motherboard for my 3D apps with an i7-930?

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September 19, 2010 7:53:30 PM

I'm picking up an i7-930 and wanting to know which of these two motherboards is preferred? I'm a 3D artist running high memory apps and music production software. I'll be using a PNY Quadro FX 4500 PCI-E graphics card and two raptors on a raid configuration with at least 6GB RAM to start on Win7 64bit. I'm trying to build this system using some components from an older system (graphics, raptors, and power supply coming from older system). Money is definitely being taken into consideration. I can't spend more than $250 for a motherboard.

Here's the two options, so far, that I have. Both are using 1366 sockets
1) ASROCK x58 Extreme Motherboard
2) Gigabyte GA-X58A ATX Motherboard.

Input please from everyone?

Thanks!
a b V Motherboard
September 19, 2010 8:30:39 PM

I assume you mean the Gigabyte UD3R. That board is highly rated.

"Asrock" is Asus' economy line, and the Asrock Extreme board should work well for you too.

If you meant the Asrock Extreme 3, it has USB and SATA 3 support, and is closer in price to the Gigabyte.
Related resources
September 20, 2010 2:46:32 AM

Thanks for the input. Yes, I'm sorry...I did mean the UD3R. A friend recommended the Asrock board and I just realized he nor I specified. I'm actually not sure which one of these he meant?

http://www.pricewatch.com/gallery/motherboards/socket_1...

I have quite a few sata drives and use a ton of usb music controllers, instruments, and other peripherals, etc.... I also need to place a virtual XP Pro OS on my system to run some of my older software.

Knowing any of this additional info does it change either of your minds?

Sounds like Proximon that you would go for that Asus and Twoboxer you might lean towards the Asrock Extreme 3?

I appreciate any and all info/opinions. Thanks.

a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2010 4:43:17 AM

Of the two, Prox suggests the Asrock because it has support for SATA 6GB. Drives that are fast enough to require this new standard are coming on the market now, and obviously will grow over the next few years.

He then suggests the Asus as better than either, and it probably is, without being overkill.

Of the two, both (all three, actually) will work and I don't think you'd notice a difference in basic performance. 6.0GB SATA and USB 3.0 support will probably prove useful to you, and you should have them on the mobo unless budget fitting is required.

Asus and Gigabyte are the market leaders, with Asus being priced a little higher and competing underneath Gigabyte pricing with the Asrock line.

As for me, I'd buy a Gigabyte out of personal preference - I've used many, so you might call it a habit lol. So I'd use this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128423

Now that you are *thoroughly* confused lol, one of these three should be your choice:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600007887&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&CompareItemList=280%7C13-157-189%5E13-157-189-TS%2C13-131-641%5E13-131-641-TS%2C13-128-423%5E13-128-423-TS

There are little real differences in features, except the Gig supports 2 more SATA devices and the Asrock has one more USB port. I don't think the differences in Firewire and e-SATA ports are likely to be of any use to you. The Gig and the Asus *should* be better constructed.
September 20, 2010 8:15:09 PM

Twoboxer said:
Of the two, Prox suggests the Asrock because it has support for SATA 6GB. Drives that are fast enough to require this new standard are coming on the market now, and obviously will grow over the next few years.

He then suggests the Asus as better than either, and it probably is, without being overkill.

Of the two, both (all three, actually) will work and I don't think you'd notice a difference in basic performance. 6.0GB SATA and USB 3.0 support will probably prove useful to you, and you should have them on the mobo unless budget fitting is required.

Asus and Gigabyte are the market leaders, with Asus being priced a little higher and competing underneath Gigabyte pricing with the Asrock line.

As for me, I'd buy a Gigabyte out of personal preference - I've used many, so you might call it a habit lol. So I'd use this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128423

Now that you are *thoroughly* confused lol, one of these three should be your choice:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600007887&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&CompareItemList=280%7C13-157-189%5E13-157-189-TS%2C13-131-641%5E13-131-641-TS%2C13-128-423%5E13-128-423-TS

There are little real differences in features, except the Gig supports 2 more SATA devices and the Asrock has one more USB port. I don't think the differences in Firewire and e-SATA ports are likely to be of any use to you. The Gig and the Asus *should* be better constructed.


Yes, now that I *AM* thoroughly confused lol.... 've taken everyone's comments and written down all of the needs I have and compared them with the 3 cards and I have decided to go with....... drum roll please.....


ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0

Twoboxer, thanks for setting up the comparison chart. It was quite helpful. I didn't realize you could do that on Newegg.

Since everyone was so helpful can I also ask a question about which memory to go with? I'll post the question here, but if you want me to start a new thread in the memory specific forum I can do that too.

I'm looking to start with around 8GB's and then down the road I can expand upon that. I had someone recommend crucial and another ocz. I was thinking somewhere in the middle...maybe 1600's or perhaps 1333's? I had Patriot mem in my last system and it was terrible and started failing and causing me issues.

Which memory would you guys go with? You want lower latency so obviously the lower the number the lower the latency, correct? Lastly, does the "(OC)" listed next to memory descriptions mean "over clocking" capability?

Thanks for everyone's help! My friends who are quite knowledgeable in all of this are being punks and not emailing me back so I appreciate the quick responses from everyone. I'm dying without a system to work from.
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2010 8:36:05 PM

LGA 1366 boards need RAM in multiples of 3, so you should start with 6GB or 12GB.

How much you spend there would very much depend on what kind of work you are doing. If time is money certain professionals benefit from spending extra for very low latency RAM.

If price is the bigger factor, then don't sweat it.

So here is a short list low price to high.

budget 6GB Mushkin 1333 CL9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

12GB G.skill 1600 kit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(a 3 x 4GB kit like this leaves you with expansion room)

Mushkin 1600 CL 7 6GB (Blackline)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.skill Trident 1600 CL 7 12GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2010 10:08:06 PM

One benefit of getting info here is that it is "peer reviewed". If one of us makes a mistake, or touts something based solely on personal experience or bias, it gets shouted about pretty quickly.

As you can see from the prices Prox has given, there are meaningful price differences. If you are on a budget, and money spent here cuts corners somewhere else, think twice about his advice that - said another way - few people benefit from it.
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2010 10:24:46 PM

gigabyte or asus - cant really go wrong

asrock - rubbish
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 1:30:09 AM

apache_lives said:
gigabyte or asus - cant really go wrong

asrock - rubbish


You might be surprised :) 

I conducted a survey on these boards a year or so ago. I asked something like "Which brand motherboard have you used continuously for 5 or more years with no issues?"

I got quite a few responses and ASRock led by a rather large margin. Not scientific by any means but still significant info.
Think about it, and I think you'll see that no matter what other factors you include in the data it still looks good for them.

I have spoken to several small builders that have been happy with them also.

Personally I have a AGP/PCI-E combo board made by ASRock.... must be 6 or more years old and is still working in some little used machine.
September 21, 2010 7:20:55 AM

Twoboxer said:
One benefit of getting info here is that it is "peer reviewed". If one of us makes a mistake, or touts something based solely on personal experience or bias, it gets shouted about pretty quickly.

As you can see from the prices Prox has given, there are meaningful price differences. If you are on a budget, and money spent here cuts corners somewhere else, think twice about his advice that - said another way - few people benefit from it.


Thanks. I've always heard that Tom's hardware was a great site with a good community of people who could be quite helpful. I'm very happy thusfar. By asking for everyone's advice here on the forums, and should something fall apart within a month, I will at least have someone to blame :) 

Kidding of course. I appreciate the help since my friends are taking forever to get back to me, though one did get back to me tonight and simply said, "everything looks good to me" and his only suggestion being to think about getting a cooler master 90CFM 3/4pin turbo fans. I much preferred the answers I've received from this forum.

Regarding the RAM, price is definitely my biggest issue right now. I basically just need enough to get me by until I can find a full time job. I've never heard of Mushkin, but I really feel like I can trust the opinions on the board. It's really a good thing I'm asking these sorts of questions since I had no idea that you needed to buy RAM for this i7 in 3's.

I'm a much better 3D artist than I am at putting a system together so thanks for the help. I think the cooler and the case I can sort out unless you guys want to pipe in on that. That's also probably a message for another thread and sub-category though, as is needing a good walkthrough for setting up a RAID system. I don't know what number RAID it is, but I know I want the one where it literally clones a second drive.

nicole
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 7:48:03 AM

Mushkin, Corsair, most OCZ, Kingston and others regularly produce reliable RAM. All have and will have occasional issues, like anything else. Certain lines from certain companies would be recommended for OCing. You are looking for reliable.

The Raid you are looking for is RAID 1. Wikipedia and google are your friend :) 

Socket 1366 runs warmest, so cooler and air flow considerations are slightly more important than normal. I've lost track of coolers, so someone else will chime in. Cases are somewhat a matter of personal preference, so let me give you two examples, and you react:

$60 Cooler Master HAF 912 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233&Tpk=haf%20912

It has some older brothers you should look at to get context . . . HAF 922, HAF 932, HAF X

$60 Antec 300 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042&cm_re=antec_300-_-11-129-042-_-Product
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 10:00:45 AM

I suspect you are looking for a quiet case and PSU on a budget.

This Antec Sonata is quiet and also has a quality PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or grab a Sonata without a PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then get a quality Seasonic PSU, known for quiet:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As long as you are nor running a hot GPU or a hot PSU, the case should stay cool enough. And I do think someone running music production software needs a quiet system.
September 22, 2010 7:57:52 AM

Both of you are correct. I am looking for reliable RAM. My Patriot RAM on my old system failed 10 days after my warranty expired. It always works like that, doesn't it? I would be interested in OC'ing my system, though it will need to be tweaked by one of my friends since I have no clue how to do it. (Yes, Google is absolutely my friend and perhaps Google can tweak it for me) Thanks BTW for the RAID info. I hadn't hit up Google yet about it, but it was on the list to do. Thanks for the help.

I've taken all of your recommendations and done some further research. Since both my friend and Twoboxer recommended the Antec 300 case then that is what I will go with. Reviews also seemed great on Newegg and some other sites so that just reinforces that decision.

I looked at my current power supply from my old system. It's a SilverStone 650W. I was hoping to try and reuse this, but I think it might be a good idea to just get a new one with a new fan, etc... since I'm getting a new MB, Proc, and RAM. I know without a doubt that I do not want to go lower than 750W. This is also another reason why I want to get a new PS. I have so many USB powered devices, instruments, external/internal drives, etc... that I know I use near 650 already so I'd like a 750W.

I've compared 3 different ones here on Newegg. Can you tell me if you would go with any of these 3 and if so which one? When all is said and done and rebates are received, etc... all of these lie within roughly $10 of one another so price isn't my deciding factor on these 3.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-371-026^17-371-026-TS%2C17-171-053^17-171-053-TS%2C17-139-006^17-139-006-TS


I'm still not 100% sure on the RAM to get. I'm leaning towards the Mushkin 1600's that Proximon recommended.

My friend had recommended this cooler. Said it's "fantastic!" He does similar work as myself so I know he's tested this for 7 days a week of long hours each day.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What are your opinions on this?

Thanks for all of the information and the quick responses. I really appreciate it!
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 8:38:00 AM

Prox follows power supplies closely, so I would take his recommendation as the most likely to give you the combination of correct size, quality, and, within that, value. Of the three you listed, I'd choose the Corsair because of their very consistent quality.

That cooler isn't bad, but here's a list of coolers and how they performed:

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/19383-cooler-master-hyper-212-plus-cpu-cooler-review-10.html

You now know the pros and cons of RAM - its your call. All the recommendations you have gotten are "reliable". But remember, none bat 1000.

For a low cost case, the Antec is very popular and reviewed well compared to other sub-$50 cases. If you need quiet, don't dismiss the Sonata.

a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 11:39:40 AM

That's right. Of those three the only good one is the Corsair. The Antec EA750 had issues... still in spec but rather poor performance. The Cooler Master is poor.

The PSU guide in my sig will take you to a big list of PSUs, all ranked, in case you want more options.

Nothing you have mentioned requires more than about 40 amps, not sure why you think you need 750W.
September 23, 2010 8:03:09 AM

Thank you both very much for all of your feedback and info. I took all of your information, read more reviews, and checked out all of the different links you provided. I have put together, hopefully, a decent system that I can use to get me by for a little while until I can find a full time job. I think in total I spent closer to $900, which is over what my budget was, but I hadn't figured on getting a new power supply and I had to buy windows 7 pro.

In the end here is the system I put together (with your help of course :) 
ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366

i7-930 Processor

Windows 7 x64

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V (I wanted the Seasonic 750, but it went over what I could spend. If this is too noisy then I may suck it up, send it back, and get the Seasonic anyway.)

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop

Antec 300 Mid Tower ATX case

Cooler Master Hyper 212+

PNY Quadro FX 4500 graphics

nVidia Quadro FX 450 Graphics w/composite

2 X Western Digital 10,000 170GB Raptors on RAID 1

4 X Western Digital 7,200 SATA (internal)

3 X Western Digital 7,200 SATA (external)

Pioneer 107 DVDRW

Pioneer 110 DVDRW

Tascam US-428 soundcard

I've picked up a few things at MicroCenter that were cheaper than anyplace online. Everything else I've ordered from Newegg and should be here next week maybe? I've never put together a system from scratch before. As long as there are instructions with the motherboard I think I'll be okay. And as you said...Google is my friend :) 

Thanks again to both you. You have been a GREAT help!
nicole

a b V Motherboard
September 23, 2010 11:54:13 AM

You should be OK with the 750TX. It's quieter than many PSUs, but not a quiet PSU. I'm still using one and it does the job, can't be heard over the GPU.
September 23, 2010 5:23:31 PM

jsc said:
nicole, while you are waiting for your parts to arrive ...

Build it yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-13-step-step...

And although this primarily a troubleshooting thread, the first part contains a checklist that will catch most noob mistakes:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

And let us know how it goes.


These links are just what I needed! Thank you! My nervousness lies in connecting the wires TO the motherboard and getting them in the right place. I've only ever plugged in a SATA cable to the board before. Everything else I feel pretty confident in doing.

I also took a look at your breadboarding thread. I'm trying to figure out what is wrong with my old system so this gives me a great method to try and figure it out.

Thanks Proximon for making me feel like my 750TX was an okay purchase even though it's not what I had wanted.

Next week couldn't come soon enough. I'm excited for a new, fast, powerful, desktop system. I absolutely love my Sager laptop (my baby) and it's been fantastic for working on 3D, graphics, etc... but I need more power for rendering.
November 29, 2010 8:38:34 AM

Hey popflier,

So how is your new system running?

I Have been planning to build the same, with the same mobo and 2x quadro FX 4500 in SLi mode.

do you have any advice?
November 29, 2010 6:17:30 PM

hardtek147 said:
Hey popflier,

So how is your new system running?

I Have been planning to build the same, with the same mobo and 2x quadro FX 4500 in SLi mode.

do you have any advice?



My system is running well now, but it took me quite a while to get it setup and functioning. Once I started putting it together I realized that both my DVDRW drives were IDE so I had to go and buy a new one that was SATA. I also realized my FX 450 card wasn't SLI capable so I just used my 4500 by itself. I also wanted a card reader so I added that to my system.

I also wanted to have a dual boot system with XP 32 and 7 64 on RAID 1, but that proved to just be ridiculous to setup as I ran into all sorts of issues. There's a separate thread here about that issue:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/11545-63-install-raid...


In the end I dropped running in RAID 1 and just kept the XP 32/7 64 dual boot. I probably could have also run 7 64 with xp 32 in virtual mode, but the problem with that is I needed the graphics power, which you lose when running in virtual mode. The only problems I am having right now is that there's a latency in XP 32. When I drag a window, for example, the window will streak as I move it, like it doesn't have enough memory or graphics power? I haven't solved this yet. The other issue I have is that Win 7 64 only seems to show me 4gb of memory even though I have 6gb installed. I've read about this on other forums and I know it's solvable, but I haven't worked on fixing this yet.

This system is really fast and the sound of the fans and power supply really are not that loud. I was expecting it to be much louder because of the comments I had received on this post. Also, because I am not running this system online I have no clue how it handles on the internet, but I imagine it works great.

Hope this helps!
November 29, 2010 10:48:22 PM

what dose the red folder mean on the left of the post. i have a envelope with an X on it.
!