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Which motherboard for my new setup?

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October 5, 2011 10:00:10 PM

Hi All

I am at the point where I need to upgrade my PC and my old AMD 939 chipset. Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe with FX-60 that has served me well. The reason is when loading Win 7 64bit all was fine until I put the drivers on for my creative X-Fi fatal1ty and I had issue with popping and crackling. I know this is down to the nforce4 on my motherboard and drivers.

My main needs are SLI (for the future) and I want to reuse my creative X-FI fatal1ty. I hope to not have the popping and crackling issue when I upgrade.

I am planning to reuse the following:
- 1000 Watt PSU
- Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty
- ATX Case - Silverstone TJ105
- 1x 1TB WD Cavier black
- 2x 400GB WD

I am looking to get the following:
[CPU] - Intel Core i7 2600K
[GFX] - 1x GeForce GTX 570
(With a view to get another in the future as money is tight at the moment.)
[RAM] - 8 GB

[Motherboard]
This is the part I am not sure about. I want to be able to ensure that I have a good board that will at least last me 5/6 years. Also I wish to run SLI as a max so will not need three or four way SLI.
I have seen for me there are two type P67 and Z68. I am swinging towards the P67 but not sure.

I know that Z68 is a newer P67 with two main extras. (discrete graphics card and SSD caching). I do not think I am will ever be using these so am not sure if Z68 is worth it. Saying that I wanted a board that will last me 5/6 years so should I be looking at that board type?

I plan on getting a good CPU cooler and overclocking the 2600k.

I am looking at the following motherboards:

[P67]
MSI P67A-GD53 (B3)
ASUS P8P67 Pro Rev 3.1

Not sure if the ASUS a better board than the MSI?


[Z68]
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P

I did notice that ASUS P8Z68-V Pro has 2x PCIe 2.0 x16 which could work well for my future SLI.

Can people recommend good boards which are similar to these?
Or if I should be thinking about other items in relation to my upgrade?


I have been looking at the bundles on this link:
http://www.scan.co.uk/3xs-overclocked-bundles

Intel P67 Chipset - Overclocked Bundles > Radius
- Intel Core i7 2600K
- MSI P67A-GD53 (B3)
- 8GB
Comes out at around £470

Intel Z68 Chipset - Overclocked Bundles > Edge
- Intel Core i7 2600K
- ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
- 8GB
Comes out at around £518

I guess my main worries is upgrading and getting the crackling and popping sound again!! I would not want that at all...

Hope to hear from you all.

More about : motherboard setup

October 5, 2011 10:07:00 PM

Sorry I added this to the wrong area. how do I move it too systembuilders?
a b V Motherboard
October 5, 2011 10:30:06 PM

get a z68 gen 3 chipset that supports PCIE-3 and the yet to be releases Ivy Bridge CPU's. Dont waste your money on a p67 chipset when there are better, newer options. Currently Asrock and MSI are the only 2 brands that have these gen 3 z68 boards with Asus soon to release some.
Related resources
a c 242 V Motherboard
October 5, 2011 10:51:50 PM

Quote:
I know that Z68 is a newer P67 with two main extras. (discrete graphics card and SSD caching). I do not think I am will ever be using these so am not sure if Z68 is worth it. Saying that I wanted a board that will last me 5/6 years so should I be looking at that board type?


You decide.....

http://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/difference-between-h...

As for the 5-6 years part, not that Asrock is one of the few companies that don't offer an industry standard 3 year warranty. If ya thinking 5-6 years.....might want to be looking for a 5 year warranty. As for the PCIE-3 issue, I'm kinda betwixt and between. Getting PCI-3 would allow you to get a PCIE-3 card in the future....but within that 5-6 year period, I expect we'll be at PCIE-5 or 6. PCIE-2 id backward compatible so.... hard to predict whether this will really be an issue for you.

As for the 570, I'd suggest dropping it and getting the 560 Ti (900Mhz). Two of those 560's ($220 each) garner 862 fps whereas two 570's ($320 each) get just 873. The 560's can easily be OC'd to 1000MHz whereas the 570 has a bit of a rep for being a poor OC'er.

My suggestion is that you save $100 buying a 2500k and put that $100 towards the 2nd GFX card. The Hyperthreading on the 2600k provides no gain in gaming and the 2500k can generally be OC'd higher than the 2600k because the extra cores provided by HT make the 2600 run substantially (7C see link below) hotter.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...





October 6, 2011 10:15:32 AM

Hi JackNaylorPE

Thanks for getting back to me. You have given me some very good points to think about. It would seem that the i5 2500k is a better bet to go for with regards to CPU.

With regards to the 570 and 560 you are saying that you get better value for money with SLI 560
giving 862 fps compared to SLI 570 giving 873 fps

What motherboards can you recommend? If there was a ranking of the motherboards I was looking at what would it be?

[P67]
MSI P67A-GD53 (B3)
ASUS P8P67 Pro Rev 3.1

[Z68]
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P
October 6, 2011 10:24:44 AM

Hi iam2thecrowe

if I go with the z68 gen 3 there does not seem to be many to choose from plus they are all rather expensive in the UK it seems.

This all sounds very new so that sound like it will also be expensive as it is new?

Which motherboards would you recommend for me to look at or consider?
October 6, 2011 4:59:05 PM

I have just been looking at the following motherboards:

[p67]
MSI P67A-GD53 (B3)

[z68]
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro

I noticed these have 2x PCIe x16. If I want SLI then would I be correct in thinking that it would be best to go for a board that provides me x16 for both cards?

a c 717 V Motherboard
October 6, 2011 5:20:59 PM

If 'the plan' is to OC both the GTX 570's and CPU then yes a 1000W PSU. I would look at an SSD, and the OCZ Vertex 3 is a solid example, 120GB and larger.

As far as good MOBO's for 2-WAY/2-WAY + PhysX:
P67 - ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1)
Z68 - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO or Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD5

Side-by-side -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-730^13-131-730-TS%2C13-131-771^13-131-771-TS%2C13-128-513^13-128-513-TS

However for 3-WAY:
P67 - Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD7-B3
Z68 - Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3
Z68 - ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z
Z68 - EVGA Z68 FTW

Side-by-side -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-131-760^13-131-760-TS%2C13-188-099^13-188-099-TS%2C13-128-480^13-128-480-TS%2C13-128-499^13-128-499-TS

Extreme 3-WAY + PhysX
P67 - ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION ; perfect PCIe spacing -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 6, 2011 10:51:02 PM

So from what jaquith recommended ASUS are the better board than MSI to go with for an 2way SLI system?

How does 2x 560 Ti compare to 1x 580?
It seems that 2x 560 Ti is the same cost as 1x 580 card.
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 6, 2011 11:40:21 PM

I like all the MOBO's I linked above, and I know they provide low vCore. The value per use are in Bold. For Gaming and Value, I 3-WAY ;)  , my two top picks are the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD7-B3 and ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION. I know both the ASUS P8P67 PRO and P8Z68-V PRO have on average some of the best vCores.

I'm, for the reasons above, not a GTX 560 lover because you're limited to 2-WAY. I know the GTX 560 2-WAY performs very well. The GTX 560 SLI beat the GTX 580. The exception is the 3GB version on high resolution and/or multiple monitors where vRAM bottlenecking is a problem.

Review - http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-sli-re... {look at all the tests}
October 7, 2011 1:13:38 PM

I like Asus as my last board was an ASUS. So I guess Asus will be the way.

I am guessing that GTX 560 SLI will be a noiser card as I have seen some reviews stating that the 560 is noiser than the 580? I am thinking although SLI 560 is better than a single 580 the 580 will give me the chance to add a 2nd in a years time.

Do I need to think about PCIe x16 for both cards?

[ASUS P8P67 PRO]
2 x PCI (32 bit)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 Bandwidth)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x8 Bandwidth)

[P8Z68-V PRO]
2 x PCI (32 bit)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 Bandwidth)
2 x PCIe x1

The [Z68] board would be better if I want 2x PCIe x16.
i.e x16 x16

Looks like the [P67] board will do 1x 1 x PCIe x16 and 1 x PCIe x16 (x8 Bandwidth) i.e x16 x8 or x8 x8??
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 7, 2011 2:05:38 PM

Both of those MOBO's are x16 (1 GPU) and x8/x8 (2 GPUs); the Sandy Bridge (PCIe 2.0) and Ivy Bridge (PCIe 3.0) LGA 1155 both offer 16 lanes to the GPUs. The SB-E LGA 2011 offers 32-lanes or potentially x16, x16/x16, x8/x8/x8/x8.

Any current nVidia gaming or GTX 5XX GPU at best saturates x8 PCIe 2.0. Meaning I wouldn't be concerned about x8/x8. In contrast, there are a few LGA 1155 MOBO with the added NF200 chipset they add x16 lanes so you can have 3-WAY SLI/{CF}, or x16/x16. However, the lanes are 'funneled' {restricted} to x16 lanes to the CPU.

I don't want to confuse the issue, the ASUS P8P67 PRO and P8Z68-V PRO are excellent MOBOs. Further, the PCIe x4 by the BIOS the lanes can be controlled or limited which I recommend that you do.

The GTX 560 or any GPU certainly can be made to be loud by OC'ing the GPU.

Noise and OC'ing are the reasons people like me add a full water-cooling system e.g. Koolance, EK, etc.
October 7, 2011 10:52:54 PM

Quote:

I don't want to confuse the issue, the ASUS P8P67 PRO and P8Z68-V PRO are excellent MOBOs. Further, the PCIe x4 by the BIOS the lanes can be controlled or limited which I recommend that you do.


Why limit to PCIe x4 in the bios? This for the gfx.

If I get 1x 580 first and add my old xfi I take it I will need to ensure that I leave the correct PCIe slot free for the future 580. Just thinking would the oc 2500k bottleneck sli 580?
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 7, 2011 11:41:18 PM

There are (3) full PCIe: Blue (x16/x8), Grey(x0/x8), and Black (x4). Since the Sandy Bridge has a limited number of PCIe lanes -- I turn-off Ports and PCIe IF I can to reduce any 'sharing' bottlenecks. I was/am referring to the 'Black (x4)' PCIe i.e. LIMIT.

Assuming you mean a 'Sound Blaster X-Fi' then use the very top Blue x1 PCIe. Don't use the Black (x4).

No, 2-WAY SLI GTX 580 running at x8/x8 isn't going to be 'bottlenecked' by the CPU nor PCIe lanes -- especially on a single HD 1920x1080 monitor.
October 8, 2011 2:13:10 AM

Oh I understand...

I had no idea you could turn-off ports. Darn my system is so old! It makes sense to turn it off if you are never going to use them.

Yes I do mean old Sound blaster X-fi.

If I get SLI 580 would I not want the two cards in the blue and grey slots. (on the ASUS or is this colour system the same on all makes?) Then the X-fi will go into the black (x4) slot?
Or do you mean when I first go with the single use the blue for X-fi and then grey for 580. Then when I get the second card swap them around so that blue and grey have the 580? I guess I would need to uninstall them first or will windows 7 be fine if I change them around?

Sorry... I forgot to mention that I have two monitors.

So what do you have for you system? you running dual monitors?
October 8, 2011 10:41:02 AM

sorry.. I saw your setup... wow.. you have loads of PC.
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 8, 2011 1:46:30 PM

Tippy top PCIe x1 = Sound, Top Blue (/x8) = GTX 580, <=SLI Bridge=>, Grey(/x8) = GTX 580. For (2) Monitors connect to the "Top Blue (/x8) = GTX 580" GPU in single or SLI.

IF the monitors are >HD 1920x1080 then you 'should' look at 3GB versions of the GTX 580 to avoid vRAM bottlenecks, and 3GB is a must for (3) monitors even if HD.

---

I run 3-WAY GTX OC 470's from early last year on (3) monitors 120Hz 1920x1080 in 3D Vision. You don't want (2) monitors for gaming the bezels of two monitors is in the center line; so 1 monitor or 3 but in odd numbering for the center.

The problem I have now is that some games are practically unplayable. I was looking at the SB-E until I found out there's little improvements over my current OC'ed 980X. So either I'm rebuilding from scratch/selling my rig <or> I'm simply replacing my GPUs with 3GB+ GTX 600's. Verdicts still out. Who knows maybe I'll get 3-WAY GTX 580 3GB if the price is right?
October 8, 2011 2:06:46 PM

jaquith said:
Tippy top PCIe x1 = Sound, Top Blue (/x8) = GTX 580, <=SLI Bridge=>, Grey(/x8) = GTX 580. For (2) Monitors connect to the "Top Blue (/x8) = GTX 580" GPU in single or SLI.


I released that the newer X-Fi are PCI Express and I have the older type. It is the a PCI card so I would need to put it in the x4 slot. I cannot use the PCIe as I have an old X-FI.



I am unsure if this would cause me popping and crackling sounds which is what happened on my old Nforce4 board. Worse case means I will have to buy another sound card I guess which is a bit of a pain.

Now my only choice left is P67 or Z68 board. I am thinking that a p67 will be fine and will save me a few pounds but at only a few pounds I am thinking is it worth just getting the z68 for future proofing? but will it really future proof me?
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 8, 2011 2:21:45 PM

Then the 4th PCI slot from the top is your only choice unless you water block the GPUs. PCI and PCIe are incompatible.

The onboard sound 'now' is pretty good and some MOBO's have a version of the 'X-FI' built-in. I doubt you'll have the 'crackling sounds' as in the past. I see a lot of posts with no such complaints...

The Z68 does zero for gaming and in a lot of tests both the SATA, USB and add-on chipsets often have a performance hit with the Z68. This caught my eye way back -> http://www.anandtech.com/show/4330/asus-p8z68v-review/5

The advantages for Z68: 1. Intel SRT {SSD Caching}; solution get a 120GB+ SSD everything is faster, 2. Quick Sync {MPEG2/4} creation acceleration; fine if you make a ton of movies, 3. iGPU {onboard video}; 2-WAY GTX 580 - sure.
October 8, 2011 2:30:48 PM

Ar.... then I guess it will be the P67 for me then if the Z68 does zero for gaming then no real point in my case. I only do gaming and watch videos and do not create movies.

I set out to upgrade so that I can play Battlefield 3 at ultra hence the single 580 for the time being.

I have a 1TB WD Cavier black which I will be splitting into half. SSD over 120GB are way to expensive for me currently.

2-WAY GTX 580 is fine for both boards? Unless this will work better on the Z68?
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 8, 2011 2:47:27 PM

Keep in mind both the P67 and Z68 will support Ivy Bridge IF you decided to File-13/eBay the i5-2500K. IF you tend to hold on to stuff till it breaks then maybe the 'GEN3' versions coming out soon might be a consideration; generally I don't recommend them unless I see someone looking at the ultra high end GPUs. It won't do squat for the GTX 5XX series nor is it needed for the 1st PCIe GPU slot which will run at PCIe 2.x or PCIe 3.x speed, but the 'switch' is for the 2nd/3rd/etc PCIe slots.

The 2-WAY GTX 570/580/590 are fine for either MOBO, and probably if any a tad faster on the P67.

IF and when you can afford a SSD I certainly recommend one.
October 8, 2011 3:02:36 PM

There are not that many GEN3 boards about. Still to new I believe.

So looks like I will be getting the:

P67 - ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1)
over the
P67 - MSI P67A-GD53 (B3)
and
Z68 - ASUS P8Z68-V PRO

In the future I will be getting a second 580 and think about look at the Ivy Bridge.

You have been a great help Jaquith. Many thanks.


October 8, 2011 3:21:15 PM

Oh.. a week or two time.. the GEN3 boards are only for the Z68.

What does GEN3 give you? I tend to try keep hold of my stuff until need to jump up.
i.e current AMD 939 going to INTEL 1155. Thats a hugh jump I guess.

Why don't you recommend them unless I see someone looking at the ultra high end GPUs? Is ultra high end GPUs for > GTX 590. Is this the because the cards do not need x16 in SLI yet.
October 8, 2011 3:33:24 PM

Just to confirm:



If you select the top down view of the board in views. i.e 2nd option from the left.

Is the 4th PCI from the top is the light blue one which in the picture is 3rd from the left or 3rd up from the black PCI (x4)

I take it on the ASUS P67 that the dark blue is the main full PCIe with the white one being the 2nd i,e (x8) when I add my second card. I guess this makes sense as the only place the Xfi will fit is in the middle of the two cards.

I hope I made sense there. :) 
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 8, 2011 3:38:27 PM

Currently, the 'GEN3' gives you a lighter wallet.

The current GPUs, any of them, barely can saturate the PCIe 2.0 x8 lanes. The PCIe 3.0 x8 is equivalent to PCIe 2.x x16 lanes of bandwidth. Next on a single monitor you're probably a little over PCIe 2.x x4 lanes of saturation.

My big interest for PCIe 3.0 is the Chipsets and the subsequent 'sharing' of bandwidth. The Z68/P67 and add-on Chipsets are PCIe 2.x and NOT 'PCIe 3.0 Clean' ditto with the forthcoming SB-E. Meaning ONLY the GPU 'Switching' is the PCIe 3.0 chipset(s) - in other words useless for 99.9% of the people in real world gains.

Here's a good Scaling Article, the results my surprise you - http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GTX_480_PCI-E...
This blew my mind {note the x4 with the highest FPS! - not typical}:


Also, here's a x8/x8 vs x16/x16 vs CPUs - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/p67-gaming-3-way-sl...
I know Tom and I argued big-time because he choose not to list ANY 8xAA; the reason is beasue it takes the CPU disparity out of the equation and wouldn't fit into 'his agenda.'
October 9, 2011 12:18:05 AM

So basically you reckon Gen3 will not help 99.9% of people in real world gains?

GEN3 is a platform form for the future as current GPUs are not even pushing the boundaries of the PCIe.

How will GEN3 help if I hold on to stuff till it breaks?

a c 717 V Motherboard
October 9, 2011 2:51:53 PM

dmlk said:
How will GEN3 help if I hold on to stuff till it breaks?

It won't help. You'd have to get rid of your GPU(s) AND CPU, and then the 'gains' in speed will be 0~2+FPS -- the ONLY gain will come from a FASTER GPU "PCIe 2 or PCIe 3" independent.

Here's a direct quote to our Intel guy at Tom's that I wrote - "As far as PCIe 2.0 vs PCIe 3.0 I'm smart enough to know it means nearly zip on the GPU side; number of lanes means more. I'm more interested in PCIe 3.0 chipsets where 'sharing' was/is a problem. For that to happen the MOBO would require PCIe 3.0 'Clean' chipsets."

Frankly, I am tired of all the PCIe hysteria, it's 'Hype' NOT 'Fact' driven.
October 10, 2011 12:19:56 PM

Oh.. I just re-read the post about the GEN3 from earlier.

Quote:

IF you tend to hold on to stuff till it breaks then maybe the 'GEN3' versions coming out soon might be a consideration;


You meant if I was to keep my existing old stuff not the new items I am thinking of getting. That was what was confusing me.

GEN3 is not worth it for me as it is to new for the time being and I hope to get this new build order by the end of this month. I need to find the funds to fund this project. =)

[P67]

MB - ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1)
cpu - i5 2500K
cpud fan - Be Quiet! Dark Rock PRO BK016 CPU Cooler
RAM - 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black LP
GFX - 1x 1536MB MSI GTX 580 Twin FrozR II/OC

6 to 12 mths time I will aim to get a second: 1536MB MSI GTX 580 Twin FrozR II/OC

Then use my existing stuff:
- 1000 Watt PSU
- Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty (older PCI version)
- ATX Case - Silverstone TJ105
- 1x 1TB WD Cavier black
- 2x 400GB WD

October 10, 2011 12:40:07 PM

PCI-e 3 will be useful when resolutions of ~4000x2400 can be rendered at 60fps with a single card....
October 10, 2011 2:58:15 PM

Ar... I will not be running my monitors at that screen res.

All I need to do is work out the best way to overclock the i5 2500K safely... =)
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 10, 2011 3:49:07 PM

dmlk said:
Oh.. I just re-read the post about the GEN3 from earlier.

Quote:

IF you tend to hold on to stuff till it breaks then maybe the 'GEN3' versions coming out soon might be a consideration;


You meant if I was to keep my existing old stuff not the new items I am thinking of getting. That was what was confusing me.

I meant the P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 as linked above.

dmlk said:
- 2x 400GB WD

IF those are going to be in any RAID then don't get the consumer Western Digital's they lack TLER support; in contrast the Enterprise versions do have TLER. Instead, get Samsung or Hitachi HDDs.

TLER - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-Limited_Error_Recover...
October 10, 2011 4:22:02 PM

Hi Jaquith

These were not RAIDed when they were in my old case. I will just use them as standard data drives. Just dumping ground from random rubbish.. =)

My main drive will be the new 1TB WD which I will split into half to hold the OS and then another data drive.
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 10, 2011 4:57:07 PM

Just checking ;) 
October 10, 2011 8:23:23 PM

Heehee no worries.

!