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Choosing Motherboard for a workstation/gaming build

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October 12, 2011 8:55:31 AM

Hello All,

I am planning on building a workstation(primary)/gaming(secondary) rig as a home pc.

Following the "how to ask for new build advice" guide,

Approximate Purchase Date: This Week (before Oct 19th)


Budget Range: INR 15,000 (Approx 250 USD), Max: INR 20,000 (USD 300)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Workstation(CS5, Maya, 3dsMax, Blender, Matlab, Simulink), Gaming (BFBC2, Crysis2, Etc)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None, But for reference to approximate prices, www.theitdepot.com, www.techshop.in, www.bitfang.com

Country of Origin: INDIA (However, links for the items/suggestions will suffice. I will check for the corresponding item in the retail stores locally)

Parts Preferences: Asus/Gigabyte Mobo. ASRock motherboards are not available here and/or are very rare. If you know of a place to get them locally in INDIA, I will be grateful for that information too) :) 

Overclocking: Initially YES, After SLI: Maybe/Maybe Not
(Depends on whether the power supply will handle the loads with the two 580's)

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, (GTX 580 SLI)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (soon upgrading to a 3 monitor setup in December)

Additional Comments: I need help with choosing a cooler for my CPU while being compatible with the RAM that I already have. I also need a motherboard that will give me at least a little freedom to upgrade.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The links are only to serve as description for parts, the prices vary locally in INDIA.

PARTS ALREADY PURCHASED:

CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k

GPU: MSI NGTX580 Twin Frozr II OC

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 4*4GB CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9B

PSU: Corsair AX850 - 850W Modular Power Supply

CASE: Cooler Master 690-II Advanced

HDD: Re-using drives from my older system. (2*2Tb Seagate Barracuda Green 7200.12), 1*Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12

SSD: Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SSD

Misc: Samsung SH-S223 DVD Burner, Logitech 5.1 Speaker system.

PARTS NEEDED:

MOBO : Help Needed

CPU Cooling: Help Needed

NOTE: I had already selected the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z (Love the ASUS Bios and ROG Colours). However, it ran out of stock in the last minute before I could purchase.
a b V Motherboard
October 12, 2011 9:55:54 AM

You are lucky you did not purchase an Asus board.
Intel or Gigabyte is far better.
You want a Coolermaster CPU cooler, with the large fan.
October 12, 2011 10:21:01 AM

soundguruman said:
You are lucky you did not purchase an Asus board.
Intel or Gigabyte is far better.
You want a Coolermaster CPU cooler, with the large fan.


Really?? I wonder why you say that. I know about the earlier Asus motherboards having lots of problems. But of late, I have only been hearing good response from the reviews and the users on various forums also.

I hate the original Intel Motherboards as they have more features with very high price or they dont have as many features as the boards at competing price levels.

Gigabyte has always been my second choice. I have done a few builds for my close friends and relatives and most of them have Asus boards and with no complaints (some almost 3-4yrs old).

Coolermaster CPU cooler? Hyper TX-3, Vortex Plus or Hyper 212+? and I did notice that the latter two are not compatible with the Corsair Vengeance that I already have. If not, I definitely would have opted for the Hyper212+.
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October 12, 2011 8:42:03 PM

The gigabyte ga-p69a-ud7 this motherboard is great with the i7 2600k. Dont bother on asus i know allot of people with asus motherboards and they all fail. gigabyte is the best in motherboards.

and dont you dare go for a air cpu cooler. Most are too heavy and if not installed correctly or a bump it might break your motherboard,Gpu and cpu. theres too much strain!

Go for the corsair h70 or even h100. compatible with your cpu!

Its independent liquid cooling the radiator gets mounted on the back exhaust fan.

Put 2 fans on the radiator one inside the case to push air out through radiator and another on the outside of the case to pull the hot air out. You will not have any problems with these coolers and they are far better in cooling performance!
October 13, 2011 6:23:32 AM

I'm in a very similar situation, trying to decide between Asus or Gigabyte for a new Z68 motherboard. Currently I'm considering:

Asus P8Z68-V
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

In my research I've found that Asus usually gets some excellent reviews and Gigabyte follows behind, but the difference is marginal. Maybe you could explain better why are you recommending Gigabyte above Asus?
October 13, 2011 2:43:05 PM

I'm using ASUS P8Z68 V PRO mobo. Great mobo. Almost every latest technology you will get on this mobo. such as: USB3, CF, OC SUPPORT, multi PCI slot, onbord disply output etc
October 13, 2011 3:07:44 PM

draggoth said:
I'm in a very similar situation, trying to decide between Asus or Gigabyte for a new Z68 motherboard. Currently I'm considering:

Asus P8Z68-V
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

In my research I've found that Asus usually gets some excellent reviews and Gigabyte follows behind, but the difference is marginal. Maybe you could explain better why are you recommending Gigabyte above Asus?


Hmmmm...I haven't considered the P8Z68-V, however, I should admit taking interest in the GA Z68X....series.
But there seem to be so many from that series and each is with a different configuration with regard to the features. It is just so messed up (confusing)

Sukhen Sen said:
I'm using ASUS P8Z68 V PRO mobo. Great mobo. Almost every latest technology you will get on this mobo. such as: USB3, CF, OC SUPPORT, multi PCI slot, onbord disply output etc


My other choice next to the Gigabyte board mentioned above was the P8Z68 V-Pro. I like the features and also have been reading pretty good comments and reviews. But to the others who have already replied here: Why are you suggesting me to steer clear of the ASUS boards? Could you please explain?

Currently, I am looking at the P8Z68 V-Pro and the Gigabyte Z68X series (yet to decide which one to opt for among the series).

For cooling, Almost sold on the Corsair H70/H80/H100 - Depending on the Availability of the product (and the extent of my budget) ;)  Thanks to Night_wolf for the suggestions on cooler :) 
a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2011 3:25:25 PM

tpk1108 said:
I am planning on building a workstation(primary)/gaming(secondary) rig as a home pc.
Budget Range: INR 15,000 (Approx 250 USD), Max: INR 20,000 (USD 300)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Workstation(CS5, Maya, 3dsMax, Blender, Matlab, Simulink), Gaming (BFBC2, Crysis2, Etc)
Overclocking: Initially YES, After SLI: Maybe/Maybe Not
(Depends on whether the power supply will handle the loads with the two 580's)

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, (GTX 580 SLI)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (soon upgrading to a 3 monitor setup in December)

Additional Comments: I need help with choosing a cooler for my CPU while being compatible with the RAM that I already have. I also need a motherboard that will give me at least a little freedom to upgrade.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The links are only to serve as description for parts, the prices vary locally in INDIA.

PARTS ALREADY PURCHASED:
CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k
GPU: MSI NGTX580 Twin Frozr II OC
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 4*4GB CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9B
PSU: Corsair AX850 - 850W Modular Power Supply
CASE: Cooler Master 690-II Advanced
HDD: Re-using drives from my older system. (2*2Tb Seagate Barracuda Green 7200.12), 1*Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12
SSD: Corsair Force Series 3 120GB SSD
Misc: Samsung SH-S223 DVD Burner, Logitech 5.1 Speaker system.

PARTS NEEDED:

MOBO : Help Needed

CPU Cooling: Help Needed

NOTE: I had already selected the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z (Love the ASUS Bios and ROG Colours). However, it ran out of stock in the last minute before I could purchase.

A few things and questions:
1. Why NOT a Xeon and ECC? Especially if this is for Final Product...
2. Be VERY CAREFUL, the Corsair Force Series 3 were recalled - http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/08/corsair-recalls-its-...
3. IF you're looking to do a 3-Monitor 5760(+)x1080 then you really need a 3GB version of the GTX 580 to avoid vRAM bottleneck. Example - EVGA 03G-P3-1584-AR GeForce GTX 580 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Assuming you're 'stuck' on the i7-2600K then the 'Z68' won't do a thing to help anything you're doing.

MOBO - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8P6...
HSF - Thermaltake Frio - /review/ - http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/thermaltake_fri...

SSD (opt 1) - OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G
SSD (opt 2) - OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G

---

EDIT - IF this were 'my' build I would get the SB-E / LGA 2011 due out in ~4 weeks, 6-core, Quad Channel, 32-Lanes of PCIe.
October 13, 2011 4:01:35 PM

jaquith said:
A few things and questions:
1. Why NOT a Xeon and ECC? Especially if this is for Final Product...
2. Be VERY CAREFUL, the Corsair Force Series 3 were recalled - http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/08/corsair-recalls-its-...
3. IF you're looking to do a 3-Monitor 5760(+)x1080 then you really need a 3GB version of the GTX 580 to avoid vRAM bottleneck. Example - EVGA 03G-P3-1584-AR GeForce GTX 580 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Assuming you're 'stuck' on the i7-2600K then the 'Z68' won't do a thing to help anything you're doing.

MOBO - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8P6...
HSF - Thermaltake Frio - /review/ - http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/thermaltake_fri...

SSD (opt 1) - OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G
SSD (opt 2) - OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS VTX3MI-25SAT3-120G

---

EDIT - IF this were 'my' build I would get the SB-E / LGA 2011 due out in ~4 weeks, 6-core, Quad Channel, 32-Lanes of PCIe.


1. Not Xeon, because I already have an i7 2600k. I am kind of stuck with this since I got this from a friend for the price of a i5-2400 cpu. A brand new packaged processor. (Long Story)

2. The Corsair Force 3 120GB is from a work computer. It has been in use for the last 1 or 2 months, hence just gonna be reusing it.

3. The 5760x1080 is a plan for the future (Dec 2011- Jan 2012). Since I already have the MSI 580 1.5GB, is it not possible for me to add another one in SLI and then hook up to the monitor setup?

If this will be affecting the performance of the cards drastically, then I will just wait and save the money that was intended for monitors and 2nd GPU, and later on use it to upgrade to the SB-E/lga2011 along with the next gen cards.

The main reason I am building this rig is because I already have the GPU, RAM, and CPU from other sources for a total price of INR 9,400 (USD 180). In addition to that, I already have the CM690 II case from the current home computer.

Only additional investment is the motherboard and a decent PSU. I am still left with around USD 300-350, which is to go towards the mobo, psu and a decent cpu cooler :sol: 
October 13, 2011 4:15:26 PM

jaquith said:
Assuming you're 'stuck' on the i7-2600K then the 'Z68' won't do a thing to help anything you're doing.

MOBO - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution - http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8P6...
HSF - Thermaltake Frio - /review/ - http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/thermaltake_fri...


That is a wonderful board. But even after scouting many places locally and checking several online stores, I haven't been able to get one. This is the main reason I even considered ASUS Gene-Z board. And since the difference in price between the other P67 and corresponding Z68 boards is just abt INR 400-600 (USD 8-12), I felt the Z68 is a better choice.

We here somehow have a very limited choice when it comes to computer hardware and importing these items individually from outside almost doubles the price you pay for it. :fou: 

Thermaltake frio is a great choice but wouldn't it block the ram slots? I have the corsair vengeance with those annoyingly high blue heat sinks (4GB single modules * 4) :cry: 
a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2011 4:23:28 PM

Regarding item (2) - then verify with Corsair that it isn't one of those affected. The problematic version is CSSD-F120GB3-BK -> http://www.corsair.com/support/technicalsupport start a ticket and verify it's not affected or arrange an exchange. Better now than later and a job goes 'poof.'

Regarding item (3) - You can add two or three in SLI, it won't fix the vRAM bottleneck with several Games in 5760(+)x1080 resolution. Your stuck to 1.5GB, it's not an 'adding' 1.5x2 or 1.5x3 it's 1.5GB - period. On some Games it is 'drastic.' Trust me, I did a ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION + 2-WAY EVGA 03G-P3-1591-AR GTX 580 Hydro Copper 2 3072MB.
Examples:


ref - http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/06/28/msi_n580gtx_l...

I'd still stick with the:
MOBO - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
HSF - Thermaltake Frio ; good for a 4.50GHz+ OC ; depending on your luck with the i7-2600K

Best solution

a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
October 13, 2011 4:38:33 PM
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tpk1108 said:
That is a wonderful board. But even after scouting many places locally and checking several online stores, I haven't been able to get one. This is the main reason I even considered ASUS Gene-Z board. And since the difference in price between the other P67 and corresponding Z68 boards is just abt INR 400-600 (USD 8-12), I felt the Z68 is a better choice.

We here somehow have a very limited choice when it comes to computer hardware and importing these items individually from outside almost doubles the price you pay for it. :fou: 

Thermaltake frio is a great choice but wouldn't it block the ram slots? I have the corsair vengeance with those annoyingly high blue heat sinks (4GB single modules * 4) :cry: 

Simplest first, no the Thermaltake Frio won't block the RAM DIMM slots, that's more a Noctua NH-D14 problem ;) 

The ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z is a 8-Phase (mATX) micro ATX MOBO, it's great for a LAN Party rig -- not a Pseudo Workstation. You really want 12-Phase or higher MOBO on the SB; maybe the Ivy Bridge it'll be fine - who knows? Even the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z is mediocre OC'ing.

Other Choices:
GA-P67A-UD7-B3 - 3-WAY
GA-Z68XP-UD5 - 2WAY + PhysX
With or without 'GEN3' switching:
P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 - 2WAY + PhysX
P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - 2WAY + PhysX
October 15, 2011 7:22:54 AM

jaquith said:
Regarding item (2) - then verify with Corsair that it isn't one of those affected. The problematic version is CSSD-F120GB3-BK -> http://www.corsair.com/support/technicalsupport start a ticket and verify it's not affected or arrange an exchange. Better now than later and a job goes 'poof.'

Regarding item (3) - You can add two or three in SLI, it won't fix the vRAM bottleneck with several Games in 5760(+)x1080 resolution. Your stuck to 1.5GB, it's not an 'adding' 1.5x2 or 1.5x3 it's 1.5GB - period. On some Games it is 'drastic.' Trust me, I did a ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION + 2-WAY EVGA 03G-P3-1591-AR GTX 580 Hydro Copper 2 3072MB.
Examples:
http://www.hardocp.com/images/articles/1309163052zcB17FAWTk_9_4.gif
http://www.hardocp.com/images/articles/1309163052zcB17FAWTk_10_4.gif
ref - http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/06/28/msi_n580gtx_l...

I'd still stick with the:
MOBO - ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution
HSF - Thermaltake Frio ; good for a 4.50GHz+ OC ; depending on your luck with the i7-2600K


Thank you for the detailed answer :sol:  After looking at this and several other posts, I've decided to stick to the 1920x1080 res and save the remaining amount to upgrade to a better platform and go for the 3 monitor setup at that time.

Still no luck finding the P8P67 WS revolution mobo. Hence having to settle for the P8Z68 V-Pro :pfff:  reason for Z68 and not P67 V is that the latter was 15$ costlier than the Z68 :??: 

Also, Since I am not doing SLI, I chose the Corsair GS800 PSU. Is that ok? I think it is way overkill for my system but I thought that If I plan on overclocking the CPU/GPU, it should be sufficient.
a c 715 V Motherboard
a b 4 Gaming
October 15, 2011 12:45:43 PM

Corsair GS800 - it's okay. I prefer Bronze or Silver and Gold if the rig is on more than 8+ hours/day even with my $10/KWh.

PSU Sizing - http://www.corsair.com/psufinder/
October 18, 2011 12:15:20 PM

Best answer selected by tpk1108.
a b V Motherboard
October 27, 2011 12:39:47 PM

tpk1108 said:
Really?? I wonder why you say that. I know about the earlier Asus motherboards having lots of problems. But of late, I have only been hearing good response from the reviews and the users on various forums also.

I hate the original Intel Motherboards as they have more features with very high price or they dont have as many features as the boards at competing price levels.

Gigabyte has always been my second choice. I have done a few builds for my close friends and relatives and most of them have Asus boards and with no complaints (some almost 3-4yrs old).

Coolermaster CPU cooler? Hyper TX-3, Vortex Plus or Hyper 212+? and I did notice that the latter two are not compatible with the Corsair Vengeance that I already have. If not, I definitely would have opted for the Hyper212+.


Installing a Hyper 212 VS. the AMD stock cooler, we gained a 23 degree improvement in CPU temp.
!