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MSI or Gigabyte Motherboard

I'm designing a gaming built at the moment, and I'm looking at two possible motherboards: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 or MSI Z68MA-G45B3. These seem to be the cheapest two options which allow for decent SLI. However, the MSI seems to be about 40% cheaper than the Gigabyte, despite very similar specs. Is there a reason I shouldn't get the MSI? Am I missing something which makes the Gigabyte board much better?
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  1. To be honest, I would go with the Gigabyte mobo simply because of their reliability. You have to keep in mind that motherboards are practically the most important part of the computer, and so quality is definitely worth a few extra bucks. Although the price difference on the mobos is pretty big and their features are practically identical, the reviews on the Gigabyte far exceed the MSI (3/5 eggs on newegg is pretty bad imo). Also on a side note, I can personally vouch for Gigabyte mobos. I practically just built a computer this weekend for my little brother with a Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 and it works nicely. Good luck
  2. Best answer
    I would consider going with a z77 board instead of a z68 because the z77's are the upgrade and they're cheaper as well. Are you getting a new CPU too or just using an already owned SB? The z77's support both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPU's in the 1155 socket.

    GIGABYTE Claims World No. 1 Spot for Motherboard Durability
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/308664-30-gigabyte-claims-world-spot-motherboard-durability

    z77 Motherboard Discussion
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/308058-30-motherboard-discussion
  3. josejones said:
    I would consider going with a z77 board instead of a z68 because the z77's are the upgrade and they're cheaper as well. Are you getting a new CPU too or just using an already owned SB? The z77's support both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPU's in the 1155 socket.


    The z77's I've seen seem to be more expensive... And I thought z68 also supported Ivy Bridge?

    I'm getting a new CPU and I've settled on the i5-2500k because I can OC it. i7 is beyond my budget, and I from the benchmarks I've seen don't really think its worth it for gaming. But I want to leave have the option of upgrading in a year or two if I need to.
  4. Nope, the z68's do not support the Ivy Bridge CPU. You might be thinking about the x79's. I was thinking of the x79's on price previously too. It seems like the z68's just had a price drop - they seem cheaper now. Some are still around the $300 range.

    z68
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600158412&IsNodeId=1&name=Intel%20Z68

    x79
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600238946&IsNodeId=1&name=Core%20i7%20%28LGA2011%29

    z77
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600315497&IsNodeId=1&name=Intel%20Z75%2fZ77
  5. josejones said:
    Nope, the z68's do not support the Ivy Bridge CPU. You might be thinking about the x79's. I was thinking of the x79's on price previously too. It seems like the z68's just had a price drop - they seem cheaper now. Some are still around the $300 range.

    z68
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600158412&IsNodeId=1&name=Intel%20Z68

    x79
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600238946&IsNodeId=1&name=Core%20i7%20%28LGA2011%29

    z77
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007627%20600315497&IsNodeId=1&name=Intel%20Z75%2fZ77


    But Z68 will be supported (hopefully) with a bios update...

    I was looking for a decent board which I can keep for quite some time without upgrading it, so I was looking specifically for something which would support ivy bridge, SLI and usb3. The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H seems to be the cheapest Z77 (available in my country), and its not a lot more than the Gigabyte z68 I mentioned above, but I'm already over budget.

    My question is, should I rather go for a much cheaper board (e.g. an H67) which suites my current requirements (i5-2500k, gtx 560Ti and USB2), or would it be better to compromise on other components and get a better board? I'm worried that if I spend a lot on a board now, with the intention of saving on upgrades at a later date (i.e. in a year or two), the other components will have changed so much by then that I will need to buy a new board anyway. On the other hand, in a couple of years a new i7, or ivy bridge (assuming the bios update works) and a second gtx560ti will probably give me an extra year or so at a much lower cost than an entirely new system.
  6. Some 68 boards will do the bios update and some will not - you'll want to check to make sure before you purchase anything. However, you still will never get the new features of the new z77 board with a Sandy Bridge CPU.

    I, personally, would not get a 67 because Intel has recently announced that they are ending support for them soon.

    Intel P67 Express Chipset Begins Product Discontinuance Cycle
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/P67-Z68-Z77-Ivy_Bridge-Sandy_Bridge,15226.html

    I understand budget issues. If you can find a way to get a z77 and the Ivy CPU it would save you $$$ in the long run and you'd be up-to-date with no need to upgrade the board or CPU for a long time.

    The SB & IB CPU's are around the same price so, you might as well get the i5 Ivy CPU. The Ivy prices have just dropped a bit too.

    Intel cuts desktop Ivy Bridge pricing before it is even launched
    http://www.tweaktown.com/news/23564/intel_cuts_desktop_ivy_bridge_pricing_before_it_is_even_launched/index.html

    Not sure if that takes affect in your country though. Which country are you in?

    So, if I were you, I'd either get a z68 that has the bios update for the Ivy CPU's & get a Sandy Bridge i5 or, go ahead and get a z77 with an Ivy Bridge i5. I don't think there's going to be a big difference in price. Going with the z77 & Ivy CPU would save you from updating for a few years though saving you money in the long run while keeping up to date.

    Here the GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 for $149 (US)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512

    Plus, an i5 Sandy Bridge CPU $219 (US)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072

    = $368

    vs.

    GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H for $159 (US)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128544

    Ivy i5 according to the link above should run around $194 (US)

    = $353

    Are these similar prices in your country?

    Or here's an MSI Z77MA-G45 for $124 (US)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130647
  7. josejones said:

    I understand budget issues. If you can find a way to get a z77 and the Ivy CPU it would save you $$$ in the long run and you'd be up-to-date with no need to upgrade the board or CPU for a long time.

    The SB & IB CPU's are around the same price so, you might as well get the i5 Ivy CPU. The Ivy prices have just dropped a bit too.

    Intel cuts desktop Ivy Bridge pricing before it is even launched
    http://www.tweaktown.com/news/23564/intel_cuts_desktop_ivy_bridge_pricing_before_it_is_even_launched/index.html

    Not sure if that takes affect in your country though. Which country are you in?

    So, if I were you, I'd either get a z68 that has the bios update for the Ivy CPU's & get a Sandy Bridge i5 or, go ahead and get a z77 with an Ivy Bridge i5. I don't think there's going to be a big difference in price. Going with the z77 & Ivy CPU would save you from updating for a few years though saving you money in the long run while keeping up to date.


    I'm in South Africa. I'm not sure about an IB CPU, since it hasn't been released yet, but I think I will get the Z77 mobo - its not much more expensive here either. Is the CPU really worth waiting for? The PC is meant for gaming, so I doubt it will really benefit hugely from a better CPU anyway.

    I have some other questions about my build, but since this is the motherboard forum, I've created a new post under New Builds here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-31-322.html. I would appreciate any advice on the rest of my system too.

    Thanks.
  8. How about this board: http://www.landmarkpc.co.za/store/asrock-extreme3-gen3-intel-chipset-p-8058.html

    It is a z68, but has PCIe3 and USB3, and is a lot cheaper.
  9. Best answer selected by aquavitae.
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