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Best 1155 gaming motherboard

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December 20, 2011 5:51:24 PM

just wondering what the best mother board for gaming would be for my gtx 580 and i5 2500k. i have $180 to spend on a mobo and just want to get one with the mosst features/ durability.
December 20, 2011 7:45:17 PM

corymorrison said:
just wondering what the best mother board for gaming would be for my gtx 580 and i5 2500k. i have $180 to spend on a mobo and just want to get one with the mosst features/ durability.


For feature richness, I would say this ASRock Z68 board.

It has lots of features, USB3, PCI Expresss 3.0 functionality, supports Ivy Bridge processors, very overclockable, SATA 6.0gbps ports. Good stuff.

It's $5 over your budget though
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Yesterday it was 5 bucks less on their site, so you can probably find it for sub $180.

If you are uncomfortable with ASRock, this board offers similar features at a slightly higher price.

Again, last week newegg had promo codes that had it below $180.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, both of these boards support SLI and both PCI-Express x16 slots will work as v3.0 with support ivy bridge processors when the time comes.

If you need it today and need to get under budget, you can get this ASRock board instead. It has less USB and SATA 6.0gbps ports, but is much cheaper. That's the only diff between it and the other one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only $114 after rebate.
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December 20, 2011 7:58:31 PM

You want 12-phase MOBO's to OC the SB (K) CPUs, and for the money and performance I prefer the ASUS. Further, for gaming I see no advantages to the Z68 chipset and in fact items like USB and SATA are typically slower on the Z68. The Z68 does offer Quick Sync IF you plan on video editing and creating a ton of MPEG-2/4/H.264. The Intel RST makes little sense for a few more bucks get a dedicated 128GB+ SSD for OS + Apps + Working data; the SSD caching only kicks-in on repeated usage 2+ times and 64GB is RST limits.

My picks:

$149.99/Rebate ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$214.99 ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Side-by-side -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
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December 20, 2011 8:03:14 PM

jaquith said:
You want 12-phase MOBO's to OC the SB (K) CPUs, and for the money and performance I prefer the ASUS. Further, for gaming I see no advantages to the Z68 chipset and in fact items like USB and SATA are typically slower on the Z68. The Z68 does offer Quick Sync IF you plan on video editing and creating a ton of MPEG-2/4/H.264. The Intel RST makes little sense for a few more bucks get a dedicated 128GB+ SSD for OS + Apps + Working data; the SSD caching only kicks-in on repeated usage 2+ times and 64GB is RST limits.

My picks:

$149.99/Rebate ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$214.99 ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Side-by-side -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...



Didn't even notice the reduce phase capabilities on the ASRock. Guess there had to be some corners cut for such a price diff.

That being said, the gen3 has gotten some good overclocks on some other forums I read, consistently in the 4400 range with 1.3-1.34v steady with prime running for 8+ hrs.
The phases will offer better protection if you plan to max your OC, however.

Any reason you would not recommend the non-pro version of the Asus board and put him closer to his budget goal?
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December 20, 2011 8:19:34 PM

The ASRock is perfectly fine up to 4.0GHz~4.5GHz, luck of the CPU. Most folks don't OC that high so vCore won't be an issue for those folks. Guessing, the IB will 'I ass-u-me' have even a lower vCore and therefore require less Phases at higher frequencies (GHz) to keep stable.

Many of the ASUS non-Pro versions are either more expensive OR don't offer SLI; SLI requires a 'BIOS Key' in order to work so it's a cost thing. Since the OP has a nVidia GPU I can only assume SLI might be in the future and IMO it would be negligent on my end not to post SLI MOBO's.
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December 20, 2011 9:08:33 PM

jaquith said:
The ASRock is perfectly fine up to 4.0GHz~4.5GHz, luck of the CPU. Most folks don't OC that high so vCore won't be an issue for those folks. Guessing, the IB will 'I ass-u-me' have even a lower vCore and therefore require less Phases at higher frequencies (GHz) to keep stable.

Many of the ASUS non-Pro versions are either more expensive OR don't offer SLI; SLI requires a 'BIOS Key' in order to work so it's a cost thing. Since the OP has a nVidia GPU I can only assume SLI might be in the future and IMO it would be negligent on my end not to post SLI MOBO's.


The ASUS i posted above is non-pro, supports SLI, and is within $5/10 of his budget. Just didn't know if there was another compelling reason you would recommend pro over the non-pro version besides additional USB and SATA connectors.
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December 20, 2011 9:53:14 PM

The ASUS P8Z68-V/GEN3 is fine :)  Lacks a few things like additional SATA3 and Firewire ports. I said 'MANY' not to be confused with ALL, and I didn't eve look at what you posted above.

Further, IMO Z68 is a waste for gaming but the next to useless 'GEN3' switch, for some odd reason, is a 'selling point' and is typically limited to the Z68. In 5+ years maybe just maybe GPU's will saturate x16 PCIe 2.x lanes -- now it's 1/2 that at best -- yes even the GTX 590.

For a solid budget minded gaming MOBO the ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) is ideal.
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December 20, 2011 10:49:52 PM

I'm not sure what the OPs main intent is. I will game with the one I am looking to get as well as video encoding my recorded tv off to my nas drive for long term storage. Plus I usually only do major upgrades once per 5-6 years, so I like to get the newest chipset so I can grab a processor here, new vidcard there, toss them in in the future and have it handle the "next-gen" options without a complete rebuild. I have been looking at these are the boards that fit my needs best, so I was sharing the research I had done.
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December 20, 2011 11:35:05 PM

^Then you're looking at SB-E LGA 2011 - today it's PCIe 3.0. Today the SB LGA 1155 is a mixed bag the CPU is PCIe 2.x and the MOBO (some) have the PCIe 3.x switch. However, until Q1 2012 no PCIe 3.x GPU's.

This is the 'problem' today -- right now.

Replacing your SB LGA 1155 PCIe 2.x -> IB LGA 1155 PCIe 3.x AND GPU(s) PCIe 2.x -> GPU PCIe 3.x -- IMO is NUTS!
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December 21, 2011 2:43:36 AM

jaquith said:
You want 12-phase MOBO's to OC the SB (K) CPUs, and for the money and performance I prefer the ASUS. Further, for gaming I see no advantages to the Z68 chipset and in fact items like USB and SATA are typically slower on the Z68. The Z68 does offer Quick Sync IF you plan on video editing and creating a ton of MPEG-2/4/H.264. The Intel RST makes little sense for a few more bucks get a dedicated 128GB+ SSD for OS + Apps + Working data; the SSD caching only kicks-in on repeated usage 2+ times and 64GB is RST limits.

My picks:

$149.99/Rebate ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$214.99 ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Side-by-side -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...


Hey, Im a newbie but stumbling through some of the same motherboard questions regarding a SB processor. Can you explain to me what a 12 phase mobo is and how I identify one from a non 12 phase mobo? Hope the question is too noobish but Im pretty new to the PC building and overclocking world. Thanks ahead of time for the response.
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December 21, 2011 11:50:24 AM

The simplest explanation is to think of Phases like gears -- however not all MOBO's utilize the Phases in the same precise way. Like gears in the case of LGA 1155 (12) seems to be the magic number in offering a smoother transition as the power requirement goes up from load on the SB CPU. The smoother transitions yield improved stability in voltage which tends to yield a lower vCore. There are MOBO's like the Gigabyte UD7 series which offer 24 Phases but the vCore advantage yields diminishing returns.

In contrast (16) Phases was the magic number for most LGA 1366 MOBOs.

So the question is 'How do I know this?', I looked CPU-z Validated data and studies comparing MOBO's to vCore e.g. -> http://www.overclock.net/t/916189/official-intel-p67-z6...

I am still trying to figure-out the SB-E/LGA 2011 so called magic Phase number.
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December 21, 2011 11:38:13 PM

jaquith said:
The simplest explanation is to think of Phases like gears -- however not all MOBO's utilize the Phases in the same precise way. Like gears in the case of LGA 1155 (12) seems to be the magic number in offering a smoother transition as the power requirement goes up from load on the SB CPU. The smoother transitions yield improved stability in voltage which tends to yield a lower vCore. There are MOBO's like the Gigabyte UD7 series which offer 24 Phases but the vCore advantage yields diminishing returns.

In contrast (16) Phases was the magic number for most LGA 1366 MOBOs.

So the question is 'How do I know this?', I looked CPU-z Validated data and studies comparing MOBO's to vCore e.g. -> http://www.overclock.net/t/916189/official-intel-p67-z6...

I am still trying to figure-out the SB-E/LGA 2011 so called magic Phase number.


I understand what you mean by "thinking of the phases like gears" this makes sense to me. I guess what I still dont understand is how I tell if a mobo is a 12 phase board. Is there an actual spec I can view under the details section if I were to look one up on Newegg or Tigerdirect? Or are you just seeing which mobo's OC best and those must be 12 phase mobo's? Pretty sure Im missing some crucial piece of info here...Thanks again for the response.
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December 22, 2011 1:13:36 AM

I typically go to the OEM sites like ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, etc there they typically list the Phases -- otherwise I simply look at the MOBO itself (picture) and count them. The MOBO's that don't list them are typically 4~8 Phases.

Again, the number itself is not a 100% guarantee if their improperly or poorly implemented.
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