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Best way to get latest drivers when purchasing a MoBo?

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February 11, 2012 4:54:12 PM

I'll get right to the point (since I know I can get long-winded sometimes without realizing).

I am pretty sure I am going to get myself this motherboard:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I was originally going to buy the LE variant of it, but my latest paycheck was much better than I was expecting and I think I am going to go for this one due to all the extra future-proofing it seems to offer. My main concern is that, from what I've heard, the big problem involves installing the latest drivers for a new mobo. I've heard that the CD that comes with the board is not only sometimes out of date, it can also come with bloatware that you don't really want or need in your new build. For starters I'd simply like to know where is the safest place to acquire the latest drivers? I don't have a CD burner right now so can I put them on a USB stick? And is there a special order in which I put them in the computer? Will the motherboard's instruction manual cover that?

Something else that's giving me pause... while browsing other ASUS boards I ran into this thing. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
It looks... compelling. The first one I listed is 210$, this one is 180$. It seems to offer almost all of the same features: Gen3 PCIe, front USB3 header, lots of USB2, start and reset buttons on the mobo itself. It even includes a debug LED screen, different from the ones on the P8-Pro, but similar. The one thing it seems to be missing is the built in bluetooth that the Pro comes with. Which is probably not a big deal... Considering I can probably get a Bluetooth dongle for less than the price difference between the 2 (30$). Oh, and the 180$ RoG one has a perfect 5-star review, something I've never seen before in a motherboard.

What it comes down to is... the RoG board is a micro... I don't know enough about computers to say whether that's good or bad. It seems to have all the important features and inputs and outputs. Practically, what might they have ommitted to make it so small? I mean, usually making something miniaturized brings the price up, but this one is cheaper than the Pro board.
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February 11, 2012 5:10:34 PM

As with any piece of hardware, the latest drivers can be found on the manufacturer's web site.

From the asus link you provided, click on "Download", select ya OS and download the drivers.

There will be stuff on the CD that is NOT on the site .... these typically include some special utilities and for example, a copy of Adobe Reader which is valuable in that, ya can install from the CD to any location you choose. This is much more difficult when d/l'ing from Adobe web site which always seems to want to force it into C:\ProgramFiles.


The CD may also have some registration codes tho typically this is more common with DVD units which come with media software. My son's Rampage for example came with two programs which could not be d/l'ed off the web site....one was for sound, forgot the other.

Oh yeah .... forget the Micro board .... that's for min PC's that go a LAN partying.
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February 11, 2012 5:15:08 PM

PTNLemay said:
I'll get right to the point (since I know I can get long-winded sometimes without realizing).

---- SNIP -----



Blimmy - you wer'nt kidding !!! :o 

... What JackNaylorPE said :) 
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February 11, 2012 5:30:14 PM

But... does the micro board have any other disadvantages? Any chipsets or other such controls that are missing? Because really... if it's more portable and cheaper and just the same in every other way, it might be a smarter buy.

Reputation-wise they're both ASUS... but I know Republic of Gamers is a step above. Whether it's a step above in performance or in reliability, I don't know... I just know it's supposed to be "Elite" somehow.
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February 11, 2012 5:47:57 PM

PTNLemay said:
But... does the micro board have any other disadvantages? Any chipsets or other such controls that are missing? Because really... if it's more portable and cheaper and just the same in every other way, it might be a smarter buy.

Reputation-wise they're both ASUS... but I know Republic of Gamers is a step above. Whether it's a step above in performance or in reliability, I don't know... I just know it's supposed to be "Elite" somehow.


May be... you need procrastinate about it some more ;) 

Cheers
P.S.. Original Wall of text was too much for me...I lost the will to live... didnt get through it :( 
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February 11, 2012 6:01:02 PM

Well that is certainly an option... if I procrastinate past April the Ivy Bridges will come out, and with them I imagine that new Z77 chipset. That will give me a new option... or it might reduce the price of current Z68 hardware.

The big risk is that the next Starcraft II and Diablo III will come out before that happens, and I know those won't run well on my current build. But yeah, if it weren't for those two upcoming titles I would be very willing to drag my current comp along for a few more months. If it still turns on, I'm happy, lol.
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February 12, 2012 1:32:38 AM

I get your point about waiting... but on the other side of that coin, you are going to have to make a choice SOMETIME.

Let me put it this way: no matter WHEN you make your purchase, at some point your equipment is going to drop in "perceived' value. If you wait long enough, EVERY piece of hardware can be purchased for a cheaper price at some point. Really, what's best is to make your decision as to when you're going to start your build, and then don't look back. It almost seems to me that you might be afraid of having regrets of buying X instead of Y, which might be better on paper

... but are you really going to notice it, i.e. going for maximum overclocking and running your GPU so hard that it will need a cooler?

None of these mobos you've mentioned are going to limit you in playing Starcraft/Diablo (considering that's really more determined by Graphics Card/Processor/RAM).

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February 12, 2012 4:25:32 AM

Wait for Ivy Bridge. Being patient is a wiser choice. But if you just can't wait, get the PRO/GEN 3. You could also get this mobo if you like Gigabyte
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... - UD3P

mATX mobos can't cool/OC as well as full ATX mobos. It also gives you more options in the future.

Get the drivers off of the website. Don't use the CD cuz it's outdated. When installing the OS, you boot up the computer, wait until it says to put the OS disk in and you're done. It's really simple. Well it was that simple for me. You're board might be diff.
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February 12, 2012 4:30:17 AM

@ corrinavatan
Oh I am probably making a bigger deal out of this than it needs to be... It's just that I probably have a month to think about this, so I figure I'll ask around for opinions and anecdotes.

I guess I might be waiting for somone to throw me a comment like "Oh yea, Micro ATX, they're easy to handle but all those tightly compacted circuits do heat up more." Or something. For example I came VERY close to getting a nice white case, then I came across a comment somewhere that basically said "Umm... you do know that some white cases start to turn yellow after 3 - 5 years, right?" And that just completely threw off that plan. Some people scoffed and replied "Oh whatever, I can bring it to a shop and getting it painted or something." But... yeah, that ain't for me.

And I wouldn't have found that tid-bit out if I hadn't triple-checked and kept asking "Which case should I get?" 5 or 6 times before buying. So... I'm going to keep asking about the motherboards, lol.

@ e56imfg
I've heard so many conflicting stories about Gigabyte... ranging from "Their boards are solid like a tank." to "Buggy piece of crap BIOS, it's not even a real UEFI."
So... I dunno, I don't have anything against the big G, but I might just avoid it to be sure.

I'll only wait for the IB cores if my current comp survives that long, from what I heard they won't provide all that much benifit over the current Sandys aside for lower wattage and PCIe 3.0 support. If it dies, I'm jumping on one of these ASUS Z68s.
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