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Motherboard Enthusiasm

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July 11, 2011 10:50:19 PM

So I've been over analyzing motherboards to a painful degree. I have decided none of the features that a Z68 board has really intrigue me over a P67. I also decided that I want at least 2 usb 3.0 ports(which I believe is just one "port" on the motherboard). I also need two PCIe x16 slots minimum for Crossfire(just two vid cards).

What do you people like on your motherboards?

If I hook up a second monitor to my onboard video chipset, will it take away from my gaming on my primary monitor that is hooked up to the crossfired 6950s?(aside from the limited processing power that it would need)

Why would a computer enthusiast use the Virtu perk of a Z68 board?(I suspect it has something to do with the question immediately above this, but I'm not sure.)

What are some interesting features that are maybe often overlooked on a motherboard?

More about : motherboard enthusiasm

July 11, 2011 10:54:29 PM

I thought of more questions :) 

Does the audio chipset matter?

Does the LAN chipset matter?

As far as USB 3.0 is concerned, I am under the impression that there is a difference between internal usb 3.0 and usb 3.0 on the back of the board(the part exposed on the back of your computer case. Am I wrong? Will i have to route usb 3.0 cable to the back of my computer regardless?

Thanks.

edit:
Found the answer to my USB 3.0 question. Figured I would share. This is what USB 3.0 port on a MB looks like. It is called a USB 3.0 header(maybe you already knew that :) )


There obviously is a difference between USB on the rear panel and on the MB.
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
July 11, 2011 11:45:02 PM

The only way to do 2 X16 pcie lanes is having a NF200 chipset for 1155 socket. I prefer P67 boards myself I dont need ssd caching.
July 11, 2011 11:51:42 PM

redeemer said:
The only way to do 2 X16 pcie lanes is having a NF200 chipset for 1155 socket. I prefer P67 boards myself I dont need ssd caching.


Sorry, that is not what I meant. 2 x8 lanes is fine. I don't think the 2 x16s will make a difference with 6950s or 6970s(undecided which I am getting).
July 12, 2011 8:57:54 PM

Can anyone answer my questions? :) 
a b V Motherboard
a b C Monitor
July 12, 2011 9:09:45 PM

Why would you hook up a monitor to your onboard chipset when your corssfire can run multiple displays
July 12, 2011 9:18:01 PM

redeemer said:
Why would you hook up a monitor to your onboard chipset when your corssfire can run multiple displays

So I could have a website/tv/news up on the 2nd screen and it wouldn't be using my GPUs from my video cards, while I had a game up on the primary monitor. It might be impractical and silly in real implementation, but it was an idea I had :) 
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2011 9:27:08 PM

I also prefer the simpler P67 over Z67. Not worth the price premium.

Random thought: I read the title of this as "Motherboard Euthanism" for some reason... :) 

Anyway, back on topic. I'm the same way when it comes to motherboards - everything has to be exactly what I'm looking for. And it should be; your motherboard is the base of your system.

Does the Audio chipset matter? No. Honestly, it's all onboard audio, no matter which chip it runs off of. If you want better audio, the only way to get it is to go with an actual Audio card. Even a cheap one will be better than any onboard audio.

Does LAN matter? Not really. You'll probably be MUCH more limited by your service provider than you will be by your motherboard. Unless you have a fiber internet connection, it won't make a noticeable difference.

Hmm... interesting features. I know that MSI's boards are my ABSOLUTE favorites, just because of the little things that nobody notices. Like the CMOS reset button on my 790FX-GD70. You don't need to pull out any batteries or move any stupid little jumpers - just shut it off, press the button, and turn it back on. Your CMOS has been reset. And trust me, you'll have to use it at one time or another. ;)  There are HEAPS of little conveniences like that hidden all over the place on their boards.
You don't actually NEED two x16 slots for CFX. Well, actually you do, but only the physical slot. P67 boards operate at x16/x8 speeds, which wont make a noticeable difference when compared to x16/x16 speeds.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/16/sli_cfx_pcie_...
Not noticeable, and not worth a price premium for a board with complete x16/x16 IMO.

About USB 3.0. I'm honestly not very up to date with it, because a USB 2.0 port serves me just fine. I'm NEVER, never going to be actually running a HDD off of my USB ports. Maybe for a single file backup here or there, but other than that, it's just a waste. If I do actually need to make a large backup of something, I'll whip out my eSATA cord and do it that way. I've never felt the need to pay extra for USB 3.0 when all it will save me will be a minute or so off of my weekly backup session. :??: 

Just my opinions. :) 
July 12, 2011 9:53:25 PM

someguynamedmatt said:
I also prefer the simpler P67 over Z67. Not worth the price premium.

Random thought: I read the title of this as "Motherboard Euthanism" for some reason... :) 

Anyway, back on topic. I'm the same way when it comes to motherboards - everything has to be exactly what I'm looking for. And it should be; your motherboard is the base of your system.

Does the Audio chipset matter? No. Honestly, it's all onboard audio, no matter which chip it runs off of. If you want better audio, the only way to get it is to go with an actual Audio card. Even a cheap one will be better than any onboard audio.

Does LAN matter? Not really. You'll probably be MUCH more limited by your service provider than you will be by your motherboard. Unless you have a fiber internet connection, it won't make a noticeable difference.

Hmm... interesting features. I know that MSI's boards are my ABSOLUTE favorites, just because of the little things that nobody notices. Like the CMOS reset button on my 790FX-GD70. You don't need to pull out any batteries or move any stupid little jumpers - just shut it off, press the button, and turn it back on. Your CMOS has been reset. And trust me, you'll have to use it at one time or another. ;)  There are HEAPS of little conveniences like that hidden all over the place on their boards.
You don't actually NEED two x16 slots for CFX. Well, actually you do, but only the physical slot. P67 boards operate at x16/x8 speeds, which wont make a noticeable difference when compared to x16/x16 speeds.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/16/sli_cfx_pcie_...
Not noticeable, and not worth a price premium for a board with complete x16/x16 IMO.

About USB 3.0. I'm honestly not very up to date with it, because a USB 2.0 port serves me just fine. I'm NEVER, never going to be actually running a HDD off of my USB ports. Maybe for a single file backup here or there, but other than that, it's just a waste. If I do actually need to make a large backup of something, I'll whip out my eSATA cord and do it that way. I've never felt the need to pay extra for USB 3.0 when all it will save me will be a minute or so off of my weekly backup session. :??: 

Just my opinions. :) 


Alright, I will ignore audio and LAN chipsets. You may have convinced me to buy an audio card.

As for the x16, I think what I meant to say was that I need two PCIe 2.1 slots.

When would you need to reset your CMOS? I did this a very long time ago but I don't remember why.

Also, my biggest concern right now is that I cannot find a p67 board, with 2 pcie 2.1 ports, and 1 usb 3.0 header that ALSO has more than 70% good reviews on newegg. I understand newegg customers are not computer scientists(well some of them are) but they're generally reliable, and many of them are reviewing p67 boards saying that they go into an endless loop. I see this review often, and I do not want to roll the dice with my MB when I'm going to put a grand or two into a system. Any insight?

Thanks again for the responses.

edit:
There is one intel board that has better than 70% good responses(4stars+) but it only has like 7 reviews total. Is there a reliable p67 board with 2 pcie 2.1 slots and a usb 3.0 header?
a b V Motherboard
July 12, 2011 11:47:09 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asrock-p67-extreme6...
That should pretty much say it all. Take your pick. ;) 

Gotta love sound cards. :D  Everyone starts salivating when a new series of graphics cards are released, but yet nobody seems to care at all about audio anymore. Such a shame... You'd be absolutely amazed at what a sound system can do when you spend as much on it as you do on your video equipment (monitor, graphics card). If you'd listen to your favorite music through a pair of $200 headphones on a $150 sound card, I can promise you that you'd instantly begin shatting beyond control. Gotta be a huge music/audio fan to really appreciate it, though. /off topic audio dreaming
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