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Motherboard Brand Hierarchy

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December 2, 2010 8:27:12 AM

I' just curious as to what the general consensus is regarding brand quality. I know Asus and Gigabyte are regarded as among the best. I've built three systems with MSI boards and they have been super stable and all trouble free (though I honestly don't know how they compare in performance).
How about the other brands:
Biostar-Had 1 which had a capacitor leak early and it soured mem on that brand but honestly I don't know if thats really fair.
Elitegroup?
EVGA?
AsRock?
Intel?

Any brands to avoid like the plague?
a b V Motherboard
December 2, 2010 11:32:37 AM

In my personal experience and from what i see within this community, ASUS & Gigabyte are basically neck & neck, EVGA is good as well, the next runner-up's would be brands like MSI, ASRock, some Intel boards are ok. I would avoid Biostar & Foxconn as personally i had two Biostar's die on me and hear not so good things about Foxconn.

There may be more that i may have missed but others will surely chime in :) 
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December 2, 2010 11:38:49 PM

Thanks for replying.
OK, so no I don't feel guilty for shunning Biostar. Going to look towards Asus, Gig, MSI, and EVGA. Whichever I can get at my price point.

Thanks again.
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a c 236 V Motherboard
December 2, 2010 11:47:52 PM

Hierarchy:

Intel
  • EVGA
  • ASUS
  • Gigabyte
  • MSI
  • ASRock
  • BioStar

    AMD
  • ASUS
  • Gigabyte
  • ASRock
  • MSI
  • BioStar
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    a b V Motherboard
    December 3, 2010 11:38:59 AM

    What CPU are you going to buy and how much do you want to spend for a motherboard?
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    December 6, 2010 6:23:53 AM

    jonpaul37 said:
    What CPU are you going to buy and how much do you want to spend for a motherboard?


    I'm not sure yet. I'm trying to figure that out. I was planning to spend between $150-200 on the motherboard whatever it is. Possibly more if I go with a SandyB setup . Also if I end up buying an unlocked I7 I'd be willing to spend a bit more on the mobo to do some lite overclocking but prefer stability over extreme performance.
    I just wasn't sure about the brands. I've built 3 systems with MSI boards and one with a Biostar. I think I replaced the biostar one with an abit back in the day.

    Now I see brands like evga and Asrock and elitegroup and didn't know how they ranked. I'm guessing Foxcon and Biostar as well as some others are suspect based on their pricing.
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    Best solution

    December 8, 2010 8:34:38 AM

    Depends what you are looking for. For an office box (read: stability over options, simple builds used for simple tasks), then the following list applies:
    1. Intel over all others (for an Intel build obviously)
    2. ASUS/Foxconn/ECS (many, many OEM boards are made by these guys. Hard to go wrong when the mobos use intel or AMD (ati) chipsets. Also, the entry level boards with the nvidia 6100 series IGPs are so old now, that they are tried and true great entry level IGP boards for office boxes using AMD processors).
    3. Gigabyte, Asrock, Biostar, EVGA (just too much enthusiast features at the sake of mild instability if not set up properly).
    4. Jetway, Zotac- small time players with no support post purchase.

    Now, if you're looking for your own board for a home build where overclocking and voltage options as well as ram timings are important, then the field changes dramatically:
    1. Intel (for the gamer oriented boards $100+. Their cheaper line is not very enthusiast friendly) and ASUS-usually the best represented and offers robust features on all but their cheapest boards), and Evga (never used them but have good reviews and seem to build high quality high end boards.) Gigabyte (strongly built boards that should last quite a while and often have all the options you could want. Sometimes offering even more than what ASUS has to offer).
    2. Asrock (think of it as the Buick to ASUS's Cadillac. Plenty of the same features for a lot less money, made by generally the same company, and my personal favorite for bang-to-buck ratio. Plenty of great boards from $70 to $100)
    3. BIOSTAR/MSI - usually pretty competitive and offer a small amount of overclocking/voltage options at a great price. Their best offerings are in the $40 to $70 dollar range. Not as good for a $100+ board. I've owned several cheapies from these two manufacturers and not had any issues.
    4. Foxconn/ECS/Cheap Intel -avoid like the plague. The mobos are generally inflexible to overclocking or other enthusiast hooliganism.
    5. Jetway/Zotac- dark horses in the group. Expect no customer service, infrequent or no bios updates, and poorly organized websites. Once you buy it it's your problem, so read the fine print. Only reason to buy is if insanely good bargain price. That being said, I'm typing this on my daily rig running a Jetway AM2 mobo, that's been reliably serving 24/7 duty for the last 3 years now (but I bought it as open box for $30 shipped, IIRC).

    I usually buy from the level 2 in each hiarchy, as it gives the best in quality/performance for the money spent.
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    December 8, 2010 9:20:38 AM

    Best answer selected by ripthruster.
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    December 8, 2010 9:40:09 AM

    joefriday said:
    Depends what you are looking for. For an office box (read: stability over options, simple builds used for simple tasks), then the following list applies:
    1. Intel over all others (for an Intel build obviously)
    2. ASUS/Foxconn/ECS (many, many OEM boards are made by these guys. Hard to go wrong when the mobos use intel or AMD (ati) chipsets. Also, the entry level boards with the nvidia 6100 series IGPs are so old now, that they are tried and true great entry level IGP boards for office boxes using AMD processors).
    3. Gigabyte, Asrock, Biostar, EVGA (just too much enthusiast features at the sake of mild instability if not set up properly).
    4. Jetway, Zotac- small time players with no support post purchase.

    Now, if you're looking for your own board for a home build where overclocking and voltage options as well as ram timings are important, then the field changes dramatically:
    1. Intel (for the gamer oriented boards $100+. Their cheaper line is not very enthusiast friendly) and ASUS-usually the best represented and offers robust features on all but their cheapest boards), and Evga (never used them but have good reviews and seem to build high quality high end boards.) Gigabyte (strongly built boards that should last quite a while and often have all the options you could want. Sometimes offering even more than what ASUS has to offer).
    2. Asrock (think of it as the Buick to ASUS's Cadillac. Plenty of the same features for a lot less money, made by generally the same company, and my personal favorite for bang-to-buck ratio. Plenty of great boards from $70 to $100)
    3. BIOSTAR/MSI - usually pretty competitive and offer a small amount of overclocking/voltage options at a great price. Their best offerings are in the $40 to $70 dollar range. Not as good for a $100+ board. I've owned several cheapies from these two manufacturers and not had any issues.
    4. Foxconn/ECS/Cheap Intel -avoid like the plague. The mobos are generally inflexible to overclocking or other enthusiast hooliganism.
    5. Jetway/Zotac- dark horses in the group. Expect no customer service, infrequent or no bios updates, and poorly organized websites. Once you buy it it's your problem, so read the fine print. Only reason to buy is if insanely good bargain price. That being said, I'm typing this on my daily rig running a Jetway AM2 mobo, that's been reliably serving 24/7 duty for the last 3 years now (but I bought it as open box for $30 shipped, IIRC).

    I usually buy from the level 2 in each hiarchy, as it gives the best in quality/performance for the money spent.



    Thanks Joe, I appreciate the time you put into your answer. When SandyBridge drops, I'm going to build either one of those or an I-7 with either an Asus, Gigabyte, or Evga motherboard. Previous builds including the one I'm running now, I've always gone for a value board but I want to do this one right.
    I've been trying to OC my E8400 and have had some frustrating results which I blame the board and my "meh" specc'd DDR2 ram.
    I'm actually grateful to have the time to research all this stuff better than previous builds so I get it right.
    I'm keeping my Smilodon case, Truepower 750psu, HDD, and current gpu (for now). Should be a rockin' system for a while.
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    a c 136 V Motherboard
    December 8, 2010 2:27:28 PM

    This topic has been closed by Maziar
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