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Need a motherboard for an i7-970 for gaming, minimum over clocking

I picked up an i7-970 fairly cheap, and I've been debating on what motherboard to pick up with it. I consider myself a decently serious gamer and would like a little "oomph" to last, however this is only my second build so I really have minimum knowledge of the finer details. I'm not interested in overclocking as much, something I may toy with later but I really haven't had the need to explore that. I don't have a price range really for it, obviously if I can get away cheaper I would love to spend that money on other parts, but this is my "get well" present to myself since I'm pretty much housebound with back surgeries.

The only requirements I do have are SATA III compatibility and USB 3.0. Down the road I may try to learn more about RAID or over clocking, but they are far from the priority now.

So far, I've been considering the

P6X58D Premium
Rampage III formula or extreme

but I've also heard good things about the GA-X58A-UD3R

Any help what so ever would be more than appreciated. Thanks in advance

Current Setup

G.SKILL PI 6GB (3 x 2GB)
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 (will be upgraded immediately after motherboard)
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. In my opinion, all ASUS boards are excellent. But Gigabyte competes very well and yeah, there are many good things about it.

    Well, I choose GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R...

    and for ASUS, I'll take a look at ASUS Sabertooth X58.
  2. Best answer
    With the Gigabyte boards you want the most recent revision of the UD3R series, unless you want onboard power/reset switches then you need to get the UD5R for nearly $100 more.

    The Asus boards (except the Extreme) all have unique shortcomings. The Sabertooth has good cooling / low price but does not accommodate many video cards.

    The P6X58D is a solid board that has two ethernet ports, space for three video cards, many power phases, good cooling, but cannot raid on SATA III and during boot it WILL look for a SATA III drive first - slowing the boot by several seconds. (My premium worked great till it recently died)

    The P6X58D-E is like the premium but with slightly worse bridge cooling, one ethernet port, can SATA III raid, and is much cheaper.

    The Rampage Formula (what I'm now using) is better than any of the above ASUS boards for SLI / Crossfire setups because you are supposed to use PCIEx16 slots 1 & 3 rather than 1 & 2. It comes with an extended bridge for this purpose. It can SATA III raid. But, it only has 8 power phases.

    The Rampage Extreme is Asus's best board and the only con is high price.
  3. Best answer selected by Chazboski.
  4. Thanks to both of you, the information was really welcome
  5. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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