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First time build and I'm lost in the woods with mobos...

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February 28, 2012 5:09:40 PM

Hello all!

First post, very sorry for the length...

So I am gearing up for my first build in a month or 2 and I have almost all my components picked out. The one thing I am having trouble with is the motherboard. I haven't ever build a computer before so I haven't had time to form my own opinions about different brands, chipsets, etc.

Here is the build thus far:
Processor- Core i5 2500K
PSU- OCZ OCZ-ZT750W ZT Series ATX Modular Power Supply - 750W
HDD- Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM
Memory- Corsair Vengeance Blu 8 GB (2X4 GB) PC3-12800 1600mHz DDR3
Video Card- EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi)
Case-Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Optical drive- samsung blu-ray drive

My issue is this: I was originally leaning towards an ASUS board, the z68 chipset pro "trim package" one they have. This past weekend I went into a local computer shop that does maintenance, custom builds, service, etc. and the owner said STAY AWAY from asus boards. He said that they have those come in more than any other boards, their RMA sucks and over 50% of the new in box mobos you get from them have issues. Needless to say as a newcomer this scared me off from asus. He recommended Gigabyte. Said they had a more reliable board and a better (longer) warranty to boot.

So now I'm on the hunt for a Gigabyte board but I can't make heads or tails of which ones are better than others except through price, and that isn't always a good indicator. I wish gigabyte had a more straightforward labeling system (like asus: standard, pro, deluxe). It would make things a lot easier...

Also, honestly, if I have a dedicated graphics card and I probably won't do SSD caching, do I even NEED a z68 board!?!?

I'm just very lost an need some guidance from individuals more knowledgeable than myself! :) 

If anyone actually read ALL this and takes time to reply, thanks a million, you're my hero.

-Jim
a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2012 5:23:12 PM

first id change that PSU to either corssair or antec or cougar . Second SSD contains one partition that holds your OS and favorite games/apps where speed is a concern. All other data type files, like photos and downloads go on a regular HD,if you dont one you dont have to get one , but the z68 board is better than the H67/p67 boards since it has the best of both of em , so do you have a budget for the motherboard?
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February 28, 2012 5:42:21 PM

if your getting a gigabyte mobo I suggest ud5 or ud7 they can handle more heat
the problem with skimping on parts is that you may restrict your 2500k.
PSU I always get Seatronic or corsair they are the best if you skimp on PSU you can end up with a noisy rig with unreliable voltages .

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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2012 5:51:37 PM

Hmm, I find it interesting that you got such a bad report about ASUS. I have always had good luck with them although I have definitely heard about the difficulties with their RMA's. Gigabyte also has an an excellent reputaion so you should be able to find what you want.

Please fill this out so that we can help you better: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

The primary information we're looking for is: What are you going to be using the computer for? What budget range are you looking at? Do you want the ability to SLI that GTX 560 card in the future?

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February 28, 2012 6:18:36 PM

All right, sorry about the incorrect format, here is more info:

Approximate Purchase Date: After I graduate In mid May 2012, I'm trying to get things picked out now so i can budget for the aprox cost of the rig.
Budget Range: for everything everything (keyboard, monitor, etc) $1,200 after rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: photoshop/InDesign/InCopy, movie transcoding, gaming, watching/downloading movies, surfing the net, MS Office suite
Parts Not Required: This is a complete build, the only thing I have as of now is mouse :)  but I didn't think things like monitor, keyboard, etc were applicable to the question I had so I didn't waste space listing then
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I found best prices on amazon for MOST parts (and free shipping b/c of my amazon prime :)  )
ountry: (e.g.: India) I'm in the central US (Missouri)
Parts Preferences: Intel build, obviously.
Overclocking: probably up to 4-4.2 GHz
SLI or Crossfire: nope
Monitor Resolution- 1080p

notes: I'd like to keep mobo under $200 to help stick with my overall build budget if that is possible... As for the small SSD, I'd like to get one but I think i'll add one later to keep the initial budget on this build lower. Also, I'd like this thing to be relatively future-proof. I haven't been around long enough to really know what that entails but i just know i probably won't be able to get another computer for 5+ years so this is it for a while.

THANK you all for the speedy replies! I posted this on the newegg forums like a week ago and never even got a reply... You all are saints.

-Jim

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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2012 6:52:09 PM

Just wondering. Did that computer shop owner sell Gigabyte MB's. Did he have any Asus MB's for sale?
Not that this is a final arbiter of MB quality but why are 6 of the top 10 MB/s rated by the reviews Asus? Those ratings are from customer reviews and the company compiling those reviews claim to use customer reviews and are not paid shills to promote products. Asus has had a long time reputation for quality for as long as I can remember, so take it or leave it, don't believe everything you hear but don't believe everything you read on the internet either. I see a lot of bad reviews because the box came damaged or the reviewer didn't read the specs on what they were buying in the first place. "My motherboard didn't come with enough standoffs.". Well Boo Hoo, that happens even to the best mfg's. Those responses don't make a product bad.
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February 28, 2012 7:13:13 PM

The shop owner did in fact sell gigabytes! How did you guess? :) 
However, he did say that he used to sell ASUS and got fed up with the poor RMA switched to gigabytes. They were selling a lot of other ASUS components, just not the mobos.

So with that in mind: If I were to switch my search back to ASUS, what mobo would you all recommend? As for the gigabytes, I think the UD7 is a little (boat load) out of my price range. And I can't seem to find a price for the ud5 anywhere but i'm just going to go ahead and assume it is too... :p 

-Jim
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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2012 7:28:54 PM

Tom's has several recommendations (albeit dated):

Round-Up: Four Z68 Motherboards From $220 To $280

From $100 To $160: Five Z68-Based Boards, Compared

At least go with a Z68 chipset (for Virtu and SSD Cache-ing). Get a new PCI-e 3.0 board, too.

I've never had anything but Asus, and never had issues with the board. I've had issues with additional/add-on chipsets (JMicron and Marvell), but nothing related to the "basic" mobo set (Intel).

Mine is a Asus P8Z68-V Pro. But if you don't want or need the extra 2 SATA 3 ports (which I don't), try the Asus P8Z68-V.


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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2012 7:37:38 PM

I think you'll find that everyone has a brand preference and everyone has a horror story with customer service and RMAs with a merchant. I am rocking an ASUS Sabertooth (a la AM3+, not socket 1155 - bear that in mind) and I absolutely love it. It's sturdy and it's AI suite works with the temp sensors spaced throughout the board in key hot zones to make sure I know where my temps are spike to help plan for additional fans/coolant support.

I have a friend would just pulled the trigger and got an ASUS Z68 board for the SSD caching. I would look over the features and port differences between the different mobos within a series and determine which one will fit your needs best.

Gigabyte isn't bad by any means but I prefer ASUS. There are plenty of economy mobo's out there but remember - you get what you pay for.
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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2012 7:40:50 PM

Here's what I would get based on what you said: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BTW, I know you like Amazon for parts but I noticed that the Rosewill challenger case is $10 cheaper at newegg with free shipping and that Motherboard is same price with ~5$ shipping. That would save you $5 on both parts.
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February 28, 2012 8:49:06 PM

That's funny because I actually had that gigabyte mobo picked out after I decided to switch from asus.
Yeah I'm not really attached to amazon. I got a year of free amazon prime because i'm a student, so I've been taking advantage of the free 2 day shipping until it runs out.

I have another quick question: is PCIe gen3 the same as PCIe v3.0?
the gigabyte board mentioned above says PCIe v3.0 but on the details it says it has PCI Express 2.0 ports but not 3.0...

Just a little confusing, I think I'm missing something with the terms here...

Thanks for all the help!

-Jim
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February 29, 2012 12:20:27 AM

I'm actually thinking of going with the GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3.
So far I can't see any real difference between that and the GA-Z68XP-UD3 except for $10 and the z68x-ud3h-b3 has a LOT better color scheme... :) 

If anyone has any opinion on the Z68X-UD3H-B3 let me know, otherwise, I think that is the one I'm going with. I thought a while about the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 that foscooter said he used but i read on a few forums that the Z68X-UD3H-B3 is basically the exact same board minus the bluetooth and one sata connection, but the gigabyte is $50 cheaper...

Again, if anyone has anything to say about the gigabyte, let me know!

thanks a lot for all the help

-Jim
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February 29, 2012 1:10:02 AM

I've got an Asus board in both my gaming rigs I've never had any problems ohh apart from my core 2 quads sleeping problem where it goes to sleep and never wakes up again
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a b V Motherboard
March 1, 2012 2:31:13 AM

Lickadiddle said:
That's funny because I actually had that gigabyte mobo picked out after I decided to switch from asus.
Yeah I'm not really attached to amazon. I got a year of free amazon prime because i'm a student, so I've been taking advantage of the free 2 day shipping until it runs out.

I have another quick question: is PCIe gen3 the same as PCIe v3.0?
the gigabyte board mentioned above says PCIe v3.0 but on the details it says it has PCI Express 2.0 ports but not 3.0...

Just a little confusing, I think I'm missing something with the terms here...

Thanks for all the help!

-Jim



PCIe gen3 and PCIe v3.0 are exactly the same. It's just different companies with slightly different personalities wording it differently. As far as PCIe v3.0 being supported, that has to do with the Processor. Ivy bridge will support the PCIe v3.0 spec with 16 lanes implemented directly on the processor so, even if the Motherboard doesn't include PCIe v3.0 hardware, it will work because the processor supports PCIe v3.0. However, if you try to use PCIe v3.0 on more than the primary PCIe slot with a motherboard that doesn't have PCIe v3.0 hardware, the second slot will only support PCIe v2.0.

MSI and Gigabyte recently had an interesting little argument about that. It was quite entertaining to read.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/msi-gigabyte-pcie-gen3...

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-msi-pcie-3.0-...
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March 1, 2012 1:56:31 PM

Yeah that is an interesting little squabble they had there. But informative nonetheless. Thanks for the links.

And thanks for all the help everyone. I am going with the Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3, mainly because for an extra $5.00 I get a board that looks as good as it will run (hopefully!) rather than something that looks like it got into a fight with a color pallet from the 80/90's...

I have switched the psu i'm getting, I'm going with the corsair tx650M instead of the OCZ, I did about 3 different psu calculators and wayyyyy overshot the components i was going to use and and my PSU needs never wend above ~600 so I think I'll be safe with that one.
Also I'm switching my case to the Corsair 400R.

Again, thanks for all the help! If I have any issues with the build I know where to look!!

-Jim
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March 1, 2012 1:57:20 PM

Best answer selected by Lickadiddle.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
March 1, 2012 11:37:39 PM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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