Hoping anyone out there can provide me an intelligible answer in regard to the following:
I have been looking at higher end PC / Lower end gaming boards, specifically ASUS gen 3 deluxe.
I had made up my mind regarding this board when I had a builder tell me that ASUS has a terrible reputation regarding RMA. He said they do not repair or fix their boards but simply diagnose the problem by having a "monkey hit them with a fisher-price hammer until they work" and then send them back.
Additionally, he said he has seen a proportionally higher percentage of ASUS boards bad out of the box as compared to Gigabyte boards, ie. apx. 10%.
Now I realize of course, some of this had to be marketing as the only thing on his shelf were Gigabyte boards. But I also realize from reading the threads regarding this issue that both manufacturers are highly though.
Because of this I have reconsidered from the ASUS P8z68 deluxe gen 3 to the Gigabyte UD5.
Regardless of the fact that I see little difference for the range in price from the UD3 to the UD5 my biggest dilemma was that the ASUS boards are the only ones in this series, range, price class, etc. that have the coveted PCI 3.0 slots.
Can anyone out there attest to issues concerning RMA problems with ASUS and/or the obvious advantages of having at least one PCI 3.0 slot ???
The out of the box failure rate is a pretty consistent 2% among all the top brands. There was a recent study that I tried to find for you...
As far as RMA process with ASUS, Gigabyte, etc they all have diagnostic tools that test the MOBO's accurately in a matter of a minute or two. The 'RMA problem' is the sheer sales volume and Gigabyte, ASUS, ASRock or MSI all share the 2+ week RMA process. The vast majority of 'failures' is the end user with other faulty components or installation problems and/or BIOS; so I always update my BIOS first thing before OS and breadboard the first few boots. The best company I've dealt with is EVGA, and most folks I've talked to also share this opinion.
I generally don't recommend MOBO's lower than ASUS 'Pro', the Deluxe is above the Pro, and for Gigabyte the UD5 series as you've posted above.
PCIe 3.x is more less useless now and probably will remain that way for the next few years until GPU's can saturate more than x8 lanes of PCIe 2.x; even the GTX 590 cannot saturate >x8 lanes of PCIe 2.x. Kinda like having a SATA3 'Interface' on ANY mechanical HDD. The gains, if any, with x16/x16 PCIe 2.x over x8/x8 PCIe 2.x is 0FPS~3FPS in most instances; PCIe x16 2.x = PCIe x8 3.x. If you're only running (1) GPU then it can run PCIe 3.x if everything is PCIe 3.x 'clean': 1. CPU (IB or SB-E), 2. GPU otherwise it's PCIe 2.x or the lowest speed of either. The first PCIe slot is a direct connection to CPU where PCIe 3.x come to play is in the 2nd or 3rd (NF200 equivalent) PCIe slots.
What interests 'me' is a 100% PCIe 3.x full BUS so more important chipsets have more bandwidth to them.
99.9% of the folks aren't going to ditch a $220~$320 SB CPU for 3FPS PLUS their current GPU(s) for equivalent PCIe 3.0 GPU(s); IMO that's idiotic. Instead, folks will buy IB or SB-E and the NEW Intel Panther Point chipsets on the NEW(ER) MOBO's.