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Which Motherboard?


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#1 RB_Kandy

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:25 AM

I got all my parts selected, and I need to choose a motherboard. I am going to be using an Intel i7 3770K Ivy Bridge (Socket LGA 1155)
Should I go with GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP7 at $400
Or the ASRock Z77 OC Formula for $240

I won't be doing any overclocking at first. But later down the road I will try my hand at overclocking, air cooled only.

Both MoBo's I hear are great for overclocking.

I just don't know. I am putting $2,500 into this new build. I figured if I can toss out $290 just to have the most awesome case in the whole world... I can dish out $160 more and own the best 3770K compatible motherboard out there.
But really, I'm wondering, how much better is the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP7 for that extra $160?
I've heard one complaint about this Asrock, the audio on the BIOS is way too loud, and newegg customers have said "make sure you turn your speakers down when going into the BIOS". I know that may sound superficial, but I already have to keep this lap top's volume at 33% or else with these extreme head phones everything is way too loud. And I suppose Gigabyte would have better customer support and better drivers because they are a larger company. The only complaint people have had with that Gigabyte board is "You think to justify the price over their competitors, they'd have tossed in Thunderbolt"

And now to get pointlessly long winded, and to spare you from tl;dr my speech will be wrapped in a spoiler tag
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#2 billy gates son

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:34 AM

The Gigabyte has more PCI Express 3.0 x16 ports which will matter if you plan on running multiple video cards

#3 killerx525

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:50 AM

The Gigabyte is really the top of the line motherboard from Gigabyte and it can overclock really well considering it has whooping 32 phases which is heaps and high end power circuitry. I think it's best to tone it down a bit to that ASRock board as that is also good.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#4 dpunisher

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:21 AM

If you limit yourself to those two, then the Asrock would be my choice (it was on my finals list of my Z77 build). Don't know what fancy case you have, but the Asrock is an EATX board, so make sure your case can hold it.

Power/power phases aren't really a limiting factor on good Z77 boards. With a 3770K, heat will be the limiting factor, so aircooled you are looking at 4.5-4.6ghz on almost any "enthusiast" board. Once you delid the CPU, ramp up the voltage and add water cooling, then you worry about voltage regulation (and toasting a socket).

If you plan on triple or quad Crossfire/SlI, then I would skip directly to Socket 2011, which leads me to my point- on that expensive motherboard, be it Gigabyte or Asus etc, what you are paying for is extra PCIE16 slots and the hardware to make them work with a Socket 1155 CPU, and sometimes better voltage regulation. If I was having to spend $400 for a mobo....I am just jumping to Socket 2011 and not even worrying about a Socket 1155.

Best is kind of a loaded term. You can get the "best" motherboard, run it with a 3770K, single or SLI videocards, and get exactly the same results as you would with a motherboard that cost $160 less. To me "best" is having the same performance for $160 less and sinking the cash into an H100i, or better videocard setup, but that's me.

Whatever you decide, it sounds like it will be a monster.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#5 RB_Kandy

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:39 AM

After doing a little more research, the only feature the Gigabyte has that the Asrock doesn't, that I actually care about, is the bios switch. On the Gigabyte, you can power down, flip the BIOS switch and go from your overclocked BIOS to the default BIOS. This is great if you overclock your system so bad it won't POST.
But what I am wondering is, how hard is it to reset your BIOS on the Asrock, or any ol' MoBo? Isn't it just a matter of clearing CMOS? If it isn't than I honestly don't know what clearing CMOS does. So again, how difficult would it be to reset the BIOS on the Asrock?

I found out the ultra loud BIOS audio can be turned off, so that's good.

Here is one more thing that confuses me, do both or either of these boards support 3-way SLI?
The Asrock says it supports:
CrosfireX
3-way CrosfireX
4-way CrosfireX
SLI
Quad SLI

It doesn't mention SLI with three graphics cards. Does that mean it can't do it?

The Gigabyte claims:
4-way Crosfire and SLI

It lacks mention of 2-way or 3-way (though I have to assume if you can do 4-way you can do 2-way)

Both claim they can handle 4 video cards. But is there some reason neither comes out and says 3-way SLI?

The graphics cards I intend on using are Nvidia GTX 660
The case does support Ex-ATX: Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition

I'll be powering all this with an 850 Watt Seasonic PSU

#6 killerx525

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:09 AM

Is there a reason you want to SLI 3 or 4 gpu? The 660 isn't probably the best card to SLI.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#7 RB_Kandy

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:48 PM

Well I don't see any reason to do 4 GPU's but I might do 3.
I intend on starting out with one GTX-660, when I come across a game I like, that doesn't give me what I personally consider to be a fun and enjoyable frame rate, at the settings I want to play the game with, I will buy a second GTX-660. When the day comes I can't play my favorite games at desired settings, I will pop in a 3rd. I think when the day comes that 3 GTX-660's can't play the hottest games at great settings with good smooth frame rates, it's time to eBay those 660's and buy whatever new graphics card gives the best performance without breaking the bank.
I hear the GTX-670's SLI better because of their larger memory bandwidth, but after looking at some charts, I just can't see it justifying me paying double the money.
I found a Zotec GTX-660 for $200 with a 20 or 30 dollar mail in rebate. So $170 vs $360 for the cheapest 670, doesn't take a mathematician to know that buying a pair of the 660's is the better choice in both performance and price than just one 660.
And I am going for Nvidia, because, maybe it's just chance, but I have had bad luck with ATI/AMD video drivers.

#8 killerx525

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

The more cards you chuck in doesn't necessarily mean more performance. The game itself has to support multi-gpu and to get the most performance of the 2 cards, it has to scale well which is dependent on the game and the drivers. A lot of the time, any more then 2 cards is where diminishing returns kick in when it comes to gaming performances. Stick with 2 cards and also another problem would finding the 660 later in down the run could be tricky.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#9 RB_Kandy

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:43 PM

Hmm, you have a good point. I have no idea how many games can take advantage of more than 2 GPU's, certainly the ones in the benchmarks, but how many can't. Also, good point about possibly not being able to find that 3rd Zotec 660. If it were an Asus, or a MSI 660, good chances of finding that on eBay. But Zotec? Might be hard to find one when they go out of production.

#10 killerx525

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

You might be lucky to find any branded 660 on Ebay but expect a high price tag. The best way to do this, is to both cards at the same time and be done with it. My 6950s were bought at the same time to avoid finding the cards as on Ebay they are selling it for the exact same price when at the time i purchased which totally isn't worth it. I was annoyed when i realised GTA IV didn't support multi-gpu but the Battlefield scales really really well and you basically get either double or more then the performance. It's always best to SLI or Crossfire with higher end cards as they usually scale better then mid or lower end cards.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#11 RB_Kandy

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:11 AM

I did it.
I bought the Asrock.

My rig is:
850 watt full modular Seasonic PSU
16GB RAM (2x8). I know slightly over kill, but I always wanted to play with that RAM disk/drive thing.
Intel i7 3770K
2 Zotac GTX-660 video cards
The case I linked to earlier
bought a cheap 23.5" monitor
a game controller, wireless mouse, wireless rechargeable illuminated keyboard.
Some cheap PCIE network card
a pair of western digital raptors (they were cheap, I'll stripe them and install Linux on it)
a Samsung 840 pro 254 GB SSD (for my main OS)
a $100 2tb HDD (for storage and backups)
a Blu Ray/DVD/CD burner

Dude...I totally forgot to add an OEM Windows 7 Home Professional to it. I am so used to playing with pirated software I forgot I was going legit this time LOL
Got a free copy of Assassins Creed with my video card.

#12 killerx525

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:38 AM

Looks nice but is the network card a ethernet card or is it a wifi card?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#13 billy gates son

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:29 PM

I've run benchmarks with Passmark PerformanceTest on a two card crossfire setup on a OLDER motherboard with a AMD 890FX/SB850 chipset with 2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 and it performed ALOT better than a newer motherboard with a AMD 990X/SB950 chipset with 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, running at x16 & 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, running at x8. In fact there was very little performance gain over a single card setup when the second card wasn't also in a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot.

I'm curious to see what your benchmarks for a single versus a dual GPU setup are.

#14 killerx525

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:33 PM

The 990X chipset can run the full X16 when in a Crossfire setup and are you sure your not using the 970 chipset?

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#15 billy gates son

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

yeah I'm sure GA-990XA-UD3 as listed in my profile, I ordered the same board that you have when I figured this out

Edited by billy gates son, 14 December 2012 - 05:26 PM.





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