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Need help distinguishing between motherboards

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August 15, 2012 4:17:12 PM

I am having trouble deciding on a MB. I am looking for one under $200 that has very good audio and a good BIOS for OC'ing.

I have been comparing these MBs currently:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-128-545^13-128-545-TS%2C13-157-293^13-157-293-TS%2C13-157-295^13-157-295-02%23%2C13-130-643^13-130-643-TS

And this MB which isn't showing up on the link above:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here is the system I have picked out (currently w/ Gigabyte MB):
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($169.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($96.98 @ PC Mall)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($198.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($407.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake VN300M1W2N ATX Full Tower Case ($123.06 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.42 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Logitech G110 Wired Standard Keyboard ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Mouse: Logitech G500 Wired Laser Mouse ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1547.34
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-15 12:18 EDT-0400)

Also have these items which will be used:

Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2.1 Speaker System
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-ProMedia-Certified-Comput...

Headphones
http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-AD700-Open-air-Audio...

Microphone
http://www.modmic.com/collections/frontpage/products/mo...
a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2012 4:40:29 PM

Don't bother finding a MB with "very good audio" , there is no such thing, short of some very expensive ones that show up every now and then with a dedicated X-fi or Essence card. All of realtek's HD crap range sound the same to me, with the only difference being a gigher theoretical SNR which you can't hear because the noise floor is too friggin high on the motherboard in the first place.

I'd go for the Asrock and get this: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10-USB-Headphone-Amplifier/... or this: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Headphone-Amplifier-Docking-... if you can afford it. It runs circles around anything realtek puts out and will make your headphones sound a whole lot better, and you can also use them as DAC-only for your speakers.
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August 15, 2012 4:59:42 PM

From personal experience I've never had any issues with MSI (Big bang xpower, some of the other mid range boards) Asrock is pretty good too considering they're a sub-brand of Asus (think Acura-> honda) but like wiinippongamer said majority of the integrated audio isnt all that amazing , Even with the upper mobos including the sound cards its all just realtek chips running eax emulators ( my big bang xpowers quantum audio card is just a riser card with EAX 4.0 emulator And realtek chip) . Unless your willing to spend 100+ on dedicated internal/external sound card i wouldnt worry about it too much :p 
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August 15, 2012 5:13:44 PM

Ok that simplifies things a bit then. I will just get a portable DAC/amp to use (will need anyways for my 250ohm cans).

So sound aside, am I going to see much difference between the $130 Asrock board and the $200 Gigabyte board? And the others in between for that matter.
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August 15, 2012 5:17:51 PM

Honestly If you look up most reviews and charts comparing motherboards in the same chipset , the difference most of the time is just the features that each indivudual mother board includes. Unless you really need the extras (ie. Thunderbolt, host of usb 3.0 ports) then let that be the deciding factor.
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a b V Motherboard
August 15, 2012 5:21:46 PM

The asrock supports the highest mem speed of all, and has a better power design (8+4 vs 8+2) which allows you to overclock higher (though you probably won't be using more than 2400mhz RAM anyways) :p , and is cheaper. But the gigabyte has prettier BIOS and It's 3D and all.

And the AD700 are 250ohms? O_O
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August 15, 2012 5:58:42 PM

wiinippongamer said:
The asrock supports the highest mem speed of all, and has a better power design (8+4 vs 8+2) which allows you to overclock higher (though you probably won't be using more than 2400mhz RAM anyways) :p , and is cheaper. But the gigabyte has prettier BIOS and It's 3D and all.

And the AD700 are 250ohms? O_O



I won't be using RAM that fast, so yes doesn't mean much to me. I will go for the Asrock, since it doesn't justify spending an extra $40-50 for a nicer looking BIOS.

The AD700s are 32ohms, so you can plug right into a headphone jack, but my Beyerdynamics on the other hand need an external amp source:

http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-Open-Studio-Headphon...

Thanks for the replies. I might wait a week and see what comes of this gtx 660 ti.
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August 16, 2012 1:17:32 PM

Best answer selected by vlanctot.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
August 19, 2012 9:01:22 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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