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Need a Motherboard for Intel i7

Last response: in Motherboards
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December 6, 2011 1:47:59 AM

Hello, I need a motherboard for Intel i7 for around 100-140.

My setup is
case:HAF 932
cpu: intel i7 2600k
gpu: radeon 6950
ram: 16gb g.skill ripjaw
cooling: Corsair H70 or H100

i was looking at the asus P8Z68-V Pro, but it is out of my budget. Something less than that price wise, but close to its performance.

More about : motherboard intel

a b V Motherboard
December 7, 2011 4:58:20 AM

In the $125 range, two good choices are the ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 and the Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3.

($130) Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($125) ASRock Extreme3 Gen3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The advantage that you get out of those two boards is the ability to SLI or crossfire. Both of those boards support x8/x8 PCIe modes which is what you want to run two cards. If you only ever plan on running one card and you're willing to give up the SLI or crossfire capabilities, there are cheaper motherboards that only have one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot or only support x16/x4 mode which will be bad for two cards. The following are two good cards in that range.

($100) Gigabyte GA-Z68P-DS3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
($100) ASRock PRO3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Personally I'd go for an ASRock, but all four are quality boards.

The ASUS board in this price range is the P8Z68-V LE but in my opinion it's not going to perform as well as the others mentioned - especially if you're looking to overclock.
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December 7, 2011 5:26:34 AM

Yea I'm planning to OC and I am planning to Crossfire in the near future. I am planning on using the system for gaming and lots of HQ video rendering.

Would you say I should go with either Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 or ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 or

spend extra 60-70 bucks and get the asus P8Z68-V Pro even though its out of my budget. I mean I rather pay some extra for a good MB so it doesn't crash on me than on a cheap MB thats gonna give me lot of headache and problems?
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a b V Motherboard
December 7, 2011 6:05:58 AM

The GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 and the Extreme3 are definitely not cheap or crappy motherboards. I recommend them on higher budget builds all the time. There is almost no difference in performance between $125 motherboards and $180 motherboards. The extra money is for a bigger port cluster and some extra bells and whistles. For example, the Extreme3 doesn't have a USB 3.0 header (although there's USB 3.0 in the port cluster) and the GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 only has 3 audio ports.

Here's a comparison:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
All five boards have the same PCIe x16 bandwidth distribution - that is they all offer x8/x8 mode for SLI/CF - which is your biggest gaming priority. You'll also notice that they have most of the same features (plus or minus some legacy ports) but the more expensive boards have more of some of those features.

Long story short, if you don't need the extra ports I think you should go with one of the $125 boards. I tend to recommend the Extreme3 over the Gigabyte, but they're very close. The ASRock overclocks a little better and it offers PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (for Ivy Bridge + the next generation of graphics cards). The downside is that the ASRock only has a 2 year warranty and the Gigabyte board has a 3 year warranty.
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December 7, 2011 4:25:24 PM

I get what you are saying, but I read a lot of reviews on the MB that you suggested and did some major research, and a lot of people on newegg.com are saying they are having a lot of problems with those MB, such as dying after few months or coming defective or not working at start up or freezing. I'm not saying the more expensive ones are much better at not crashing, but wouldn't you think if they are more expensive they might have put in some more time in to taking care of the problems before releasing them?

So that said, do you still think I should go with one of the cheaper ones or get the Asus P8Z68-V Pro? I was even looking at AsRock Extreme Gen 4 for around $179, but if I would get that one I would rather spend extra bucks and get the Asus P8Z68-V Pro.

And a lot of people say even though AsRock is the sub-company of Asus their products fail more than Asus and if you need a replacement you end up paying more than you wanted anyway for shipping and could have just gotten the Z68.

So I am just confused whether to get one of the two that you suggested, but i'm afraid of MB failure, but I like the price, but might end up paying more for returns and such. At same time I might get that with Asus as well. I just need a push in to the right direction.

Thanks
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a b V Motherboard
December 7, 2011 5:03:47 PM

I think every motherboard will have reviews that say they failed in the first two weeks or so. Motherboards are difficult to produce and I think they just tend to have a higher failure rate than other hardware. Also, if you buy from newegg and the board fails they're great about replacing it for free.

There are low-quality motherboards in the world - for example there are some $80 Biostar or Foxconn boards that I would never buy. However the ASRock and Gigabyte boards I suggested are not cheaper because they're low-quality - they're cheaper because they have less features than the higher priced boards. I recommend the Extreme3 in ~$1200 builds with a 2500K and a GTX570 all the time. There's nothing wrong with spending $60 for peace of mind if you're really worried about it but I don't think there's any more risk in the Extreme3 than the Extreme4. If I were building a gaming PC today for under $1300 I would probably use the Extreme3.

The last thing I will say is that I own an ASUS P8Z68-V PRO and it's a really nice board but it does not overclock well. ASUS's Maximus boards overclock great, but the P8Z68-V line doesn't have a good reputation for overclocking.
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