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Durable AM3+ motherboards

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February 19, 2013 4:52:48 AM

I am currently researching computer parts to build my first (casual) gaming PC. I am on a tight budget. I am no hardware whiz and still learning so bear with me.

I chose to go the FX-6300 route simply because of upgradability to Steamroller later on. However, the i5-3470 is very enticing especially if I invest in an aftermarket CPU cooler for the FX which brings the price of i5 CPU+mobo very close. I don't plan to upgrade before at least 2-3 years. Initially, I don't plan to OC but I would still want to have a mobo capable of that just in case. I am still undecided on the GPU but it's between the 7850 and 7870 (LE?). I will not CF/SLI. I don't need anything fancy and for whatever its worth, a good ol' HDD is all I need for storage.

After some research I found that these 3 mobos are among the most decent ones price/performance wise.
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
Asus M5A97 R2.0
ASRock 970 Extreme3

Now, the question is which one is the best in general and in terms of manufacturer support (i.e. providing BIOS update for Steamroller based on their historical support record)?

Of course, if there is a better mobo (price/performance) that suites my needs, I am open to suggestions as well.

Just to provide some more info, my budget is CAD $1100 (including tax + shipping) which should buy me a whole system (w/ OS, monitor, keyboard, mouse)

Best solution

a b V Motherboard
February 19, 2013 5:03:18 AM

The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 is the way to go if you plan to do some overclocking.
The 970 chipset which is whats on the Asus and Asrock motherboards is a lower end chipset and is generally not the best for overclocking.
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February 19, 2013 5:40:55 PM

Thanks. But how is Gigabyte's history in terms of BIOS updates?

Also are there any other good mobo? even MicroATX ones?
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a b V Motherboard
February 19, 2013 10:01:15 PM

Personally i've never had any problems with updating a bios on a gigabyte motherboard using either the windows tool or through DOS.
If you buy a higher end motherboard (such as the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3) it should receive bios updates to support future cpu's, can't guarantee that but that's what generally happens .
I have never used a UEFI bios before though, so i cant really comment on them, i suspect though the procedure isn't to different (i could be totally wrong about that though).

As for microATX motherboards, do they even exist with the 990fx chipset? i can't seem to find any.
The ones i can find seem to be low end low cost boards.
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February 20, 2013 1:34:18 PM

Best answer selected by pheroh.
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