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Default Motherboard reccomendations?

February 17th, 2012, 18:58
My computer is slowly but surely getting obsolete and I would like start planning a new one which I will build myself. Two motherboards i was thinking about are:
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc…82E16813131786 and
GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc…82E16813128498 but I am open to all suggestions within $170 range.
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February 17th, 2012, 21:57
Are you specifically trying to do a micro-atx build? If not I would go will a full size board such as the gigabyte. Throw a 2500k and 8 gigs of ram on it along with the video card of your choice and you'll be Rockin' like Dokken!
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February 17th, 2012, 22:01
No, I don't aim for micro-atx build Iris.
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February 17th, 2012, 22:23
If you have a Micro Center within say ~100 miles round trip you should get your CPU and perhaps mobo from there…

Newegg 2500k ~ 230 ; 2600k ~ 330
Micro C 2500k ~ 180 ; 2600k ~ 280

Even their mobos tend to be a bit cheaper(I believe that, unlike their Intel CPUs which IIRC are sold at cost or as a loss leader, mobos can be ordered online):

Newegg GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 ~ 160 after MIR
Micro C GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 ~ 150 after MIR

Out of curiosity, what are you upgrading from(current PC)?
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February 17th, 2012, 22:38
Are you locked in on Intel? A complete AMD build has the advantage that Steam auto-updates all the drivers, thanks to a cooperation with AMD.
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February 17th, 2012, 22:54
^ I dunno if auto-updating drivers is really worth it…

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4955/t…x8150-tested/1

BD performs worse on almost every metric, only winning marginally in a couple heavily threaded work loads… Oh and then it's power consumption is significantly higher too.

Simply put, AMD's current lineup offers less overall performance and lower performance/watt.
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February 17th, 2012, 23:15
AnandTech is a well known Intel friendly website.

But anyway, the BD is indeed not fast enough to compete with Intels top CPUs. And it isn't priced to compete with them.

Who needs CPU power nowadays? Most games don't. So far I could play every game without problems on my 100$ Phenom 2 X4. Most @max on a 22" TFT and with AA activated, while my CPU had a load of 30% or less. This includes Crysis and Metro 2033, although I had to lower the resolution a bit because the graphics card turned out to be the bottle neck.

Personally I have a tendency to consider the price-performance ratio. If somebody is on a budget he can build a pretty damn fast gaming machine based on a cheap AMD CPU.
If 200 bucks don't matter I would probably choose an i5 in the flavour of the week. It is more expensive - the mainboard too - but it also offers more.
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February 18th, 2012, 00:35
I don't think anandtech is intel bias. You really can't hold it against him that amd consistently offers less performance than intel. Amd hasn't been competitive since the athlon thunderbird and if you read his articles then he says as much.

Back on topic. I own the asus p8z68-v pro. It's a rock solid board. I've overclocked my i7 2600k to 4.8 ghz with no troubles. If your overclocking i'd go with asus i've owned 3 asus and 3 gigabyte boards and found asus USUALLY overclocks better. If your not i've found asus and gigabyte to be rock solid. So I don't think you can go wrong with either. The asus does have some limitations if you are going to use all 3 pci-e slots. I forget the specifics because it's been a while since I set mine up if you download the manual it will tell you. Not sure if the gigabyte has the same limitations.

I wouldn't touch an amd system right now. I'm not a fanboy and have owned amd in the past but they just can't compete if your focus is gaming. You can get an i5 for $179.00 right now and in games that aren't gpu bound it is 30 to 40 fps faster most of the time than an AMD Bulldozer 8150 at $259.00 .

Right now most games are going to be gpu bound but in a year or so when your graphics card isn't as fresh owning an i5 over an 8150 could be the difference between playing a game at 40 fps and watching a slideshow at 15 fps. I hope amd gets their act together as competition is good. I believe amd's inability to compete is one of the reasons intel's 2011 platform is so expensive.
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February 18th, 2012, 00:44
@MaterKromm - my current machine is Dell XPS 630i (I know, I know) with
Intel Duo E8400 3.0 GHz CPU,
Radeon 4670 (1Gig) GPU,
SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio,
4 Gigs RAM,
Vista (32-bits) OS.

@Gorath - I am on very limited budget so cheaper CPU would be preferable but it is supposed to be a gaming machine so are you positive that ADM CPU will not affect performance of current and near future games like LA Noire, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3 or Dishonored? I am not greedy, I don't need to be able to play them on highest settings but I want something better than lowest settings! And yes, I am aware about the importance of graphic card

@sakichop - that's exactly the impression I was getting about ADM when I was doing my research…
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February 18th, 2012, 01:28
To be honest, I'd recommend just switching over to Win 7 Pro first if you have someone who can borrow you the DVD.
I think Vista is one of the shittiest systems out there and that Win 7 runs everything faster. It even consumes less RAM anyway.

Might be much cheaper than a complete overhaul anyway and can give you another year maybe. My 2 cents anyway. Not much of a computer guru.
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February 18th, 2012, 01:30
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Amd hasn't been competitive since the athlon thunderbird and if you read his articles then he says as much.
Definitely 100% incorrect. AMD dominated the market for ca. 3 years starting with the release of the Athlon 64. Intel couldn't compete on performance at that time.
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February 18th, 2012, 01:47
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Personally I have a tendency to consider the price-performance ratio. If somebody is on a budget he can build a pretty damn fast gaming machine based on a cheap AMD CPU.
Sure but the price/performance Δ on a relative scale should take into account power consumption… Over the course of a couple years the Intel platform could actually be cheaper due to it's overall(idle and load) power consumption being lower than that of an AMD platform(mobo + CPU) with all other components equal.

@zahratustra

A bit dated but nothing like what I was expecting… It's not really the CPU/mobo that is holding you back it's that 4670. A temp solution to tide you over while you piece your future gaming rig together would be to buy the PSU and GPU you desire for your future PC but use them in your current dell(assuming that is possible, which it should be unless your dell uses some strange form factor PSU/ or small case that cannot accommodate the potentially larger GPU).

@Gorath

You are correct, AMD has been trailing since the tail end of their K8 days, coinciding with the release of C2D… So really they've only been trailing for 5.5+ years, which isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things. However, just as I recommended everyone buy K8 over nutburst, I will also advocate for the higher performance and lower power consuming part. Which, ironically, today is a complete role reversal of the ole K8 vs netburst days - AMD had the IPC and Intel had clock speed.
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February 18th, 2012, 01:48
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Might be much cheaper than a complete overhaul anyway and can give you another year maybe. My 2 cents anyway. Not much of a computer guru.
I hear what you say MasterKromm (and Pladio) but it's a bit more complicated than that I will be relocating from USA back to Europe and XPS 630i is just too bloody big and heavy to take it with me. I mean I will be taking bits and pieces but, because it's fricking Dell, you can't even take the motherboard and put it in another case…
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February 18th, 2012, 01:55
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Definitely 100% incorrect. AMD dominated the market for ca. 3 years starting with the release of the Athlon 64. Intel couldn't compete on performance at that time.
Touche, my good man. Your right my bad. My memory isn't as good as it used to be. I thought the t-bird was part of the athlon 64 family. I actually had a t-bird setup then went to an athlon x2 with the 939 chipset if I remember correctly. Then after that I went intel and haven't switched back.

If amd releases a better processor next year i'll go with them. I have no brand loyalty. It's the same with gpu's I switch between nvidia and amd based on who's got better performance and features at the time. Right now intel is way ahead for gaming. I'm not here to bash amd but it's hardly a ringing endorsement that they had the fastest processors 6-7 years ago.

At any rate I still wouldn't touch an amd system today.
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February 18th, 2012, 02:14
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
@Gorath - I am on very limited budget so cheaper CPU would be preferable but it is supposed to be a gaming machine so are you positive that ADM CPU will not affect performance of current and near future games like LA Noire, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3 or Dishonored? I am not greedy, I don't need to be able to play them on highest settings but I want something better than lowest settings! And yes, I am aware about the importance of graphic card
I'll give you a couple of links to brand new (some are from this week) Gamestar Mag articles. Sorry that they're in German, but they are exactly what you need. You can translate paragraphs or the whole page with Babel Fish.
Their current recommendations for self built PCs. They claim their 500 EUR AMD Phenom 2 X4 PC is fast enough to play Crysis 2 at FullHD 1080p with high details. This PC is very similar to what I have, with the exception of my slower graphics card. I played Crysis 2 at 1680*1050, so FullHD with a faster card sounds realistic.
The 1000 EUR Intel i5 2500 PC is on the next page. It's full of luxury items though. After reading the article again, I believe the price difference isn't much bigger than 100 EUR if you choose identical components as far as possible. So mixing both configurations up is also very tempting. Especially the graphics card looks intersting.

100 EUR difference is less than I expected. That's a free graphics card upgrade as per the configurations above. I think all 4 options (more / less CPU resp. graphics card) are completely valid and attractive.

The latest Gamestar CPU recommendations for gaming:
1. < 150 EUR:
budget: AMD Phenom II X4 960T (105 EUR) | Performance-tip: AMD FX 6100 (125 EUR)
2. 150 EUR < x < 250 EUR
Preis-Tip: Intel Core i5 2500(K*) (185 EUR) | Performance-Tip: Intel Core i7 2600 (250 EUR + 20 EUR K*)
*K -> can easily be overclocked.

So lots of options - and all are much faster than your current PC.

edit:
I see you have a nice sound card. Maybe you can find a mainboard with enough slots to continue to use it. Graphics cards with silent coolers are big.

As Pladio mentioned, an upgrade to Win7 is inevitable.
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February 18th, 2012, 02:19
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
My computer is slowly but surely getting obsolete and I would like start planning a new one which I will build myself. Two motherboards i was thinking about are:
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc…82E16813131786
I got that board coupled with an i5-2500K and have been very happy with it so far. Never had a bug or issues with a BIOS update or any other annoying crap. It's been smooth sailing all along and the board has a great set of features including automatic overclocking (for which you need a 'K' CPU from Intel obviously). If you decide to use the auto OC feature then the BIOS will automatically select the highest safe frequency which turned out to be 4.2GHz in my case. This way you're getting a really nice free +500MHz boost (the regular non-OC turbo clock of the 2500K is 3.7GHz). With decent air cooling (I have a Thermalright Archon) it is pretty much risk-free, too. I haven't had a single sign of overheating or instability. The CPU is 100% Prime/Orthos stable even when OC'ed.

Intel or AMD for a gaming system really is a no-brainer. You will definitely want to buy Intel unless you are running on an extremely super tight budget where every penny counts. But if anyone is that starved for cash then you're probably better off saving your money for other more important RL stuff instead of upgrading a gaming comp.
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February 18th, 2012, 02:34
AMD was more cost effective at the low end of the market up until very recently.

A good summary of gaming cpus can be had here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/…lock,3106.html

I recommend just reading through it and you will see pretty much even entry level cpus are now fine for even the most demanding games these days. If you have money to burn though I would go for the 2500k.

Every month prior to feb 2012 AMD took out the bottom 2-3 slots.

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
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February 18th, 2012, 02:44
Thanks Gorath! Those articles are extremely usefull. And you are right, if I pick cheaper components (like cheaper GPU) and don't buy some bells and whistles, than Intel CPU model becomes a possibility!
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February 18th, 2012, 03:11
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
if I pick cheaper components (like cheaper GPU)
That is the worst thing you can do. Games are mostly GPU bound not CPU. My 7 year old cpu still plays all the latest games perfectly well. Read the link I gave before. A Core i3-2120 will give almost IDENTICAL performance to a 2500k in games. Meanwhile an extra 50 dollars for the GPU can make 20-30%+ performance difference…

edit: I am pretty sure Gorath didn't mean to cheap out on the GPU as well. If you want to save money reduce the quality of the ram and motherboard and accessories, they make very little difference from a price/performance perspective.

Favourite RPGs of all time: Wizardry 6, Ultima 7/7.2, Fallout2, Planescape Torment, Baldurs Gate 2+TOB, Jagged Alliance 2, Ravenloft: The stone prophet, Gothic 2, Realms of Arkania:Blade of destiny (not the HD version!!) and Secret of the Silver Blades.
Last edited by bjon045; February 18th, 2012 at 03:24.
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February 18th, 2012, 03:31
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
That is the worst thing you can do. Games are mostly GPU bound not CPU. My 7 year old cpu still plays all the latest games perfectly well. Read the link I gave before. A Core i3-2120 will give almost IDENTICAL performance to a 2500k in games. Meanwhile an extra 50 dollars for the GPU can make 20-30%+ performance difference…

edit: I am pretty sure Gorath didn't mean to cheap out on the GPU as well. If you want to save money reduce the quality of the ram and motherboard and accessories, they make very little difference from a price/performance perspective.
The only component I'd ever recommend cheaping out on is the ram… It's effect on total performance is minimal these days. Heck you could probably bump up voltage or lower the speed on the following kit and run CL9 easy:

2x4gb 1600mhz CL11 1.35v @ 35 shipped free

-EDIT-

Clarification: by cheaping out I mean buying the absolute cheapest component… Think ramen noodles. A midrange CPU/GPU is by no means cheaping out.

-EDIT- #2

For GPU reviews I tend to like HWC, here's a recent one covering AMD's 7770 + 7750.
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