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politbureau

Mobo Rec -

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Hey all,

 

Been awhile since I've been on - had some other stuff to do over the summer...

 

MEEE.jpg

 

Need a quick rec on a motherboard. Bought a cheap-cheap i7 920 D0 here from a mate who is leaving the country, and want to get it into a socket ASAP.

 

I'm pretty far out of the game and haven't kept up with the mobo scene, and trying to wade through the reviews from so far behind is a challenge for my 31yo brain.

 

My only def need is 2-card SLI and maximum overclockability/stability. I'd like to keep price under C$250 (~USD$230) or less (cheaper the better) to keep the GF happy (and be able to pay the mortgage).

 

Any help is appreciated!

 

Cheers

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If you really want to keep the price low you cant go wrong with the ECS X58. While its not the most high end it does have the ability to overclock like the $200+ priced motherboards.

 

The Asus P6T is also a really nice board, especially when it comes to overclocking but there has been some tlk about stability issues, then again there are people who have had absolutely no problems with it.

 

Then there the boards from MSI and Gigabyte, which in my opinion offer some of the most "reliable" X58 motherboards on the market, and certainly can offer competition, overclocking wise. :)

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Damian, thanks for the reply. The ECS is actually still $200 here in Canada, which puts it pretty close to some of the other solutions.

 

I could get the ASUS P6T for $250 - not sure how it compares to the other options.

 

As for MSI and Gigabyte, I'm a HUGE fan of GB from the UD3P models, but the UD3R-SLI seems to be discontinued and there aren't any others within my price range. It seems like you have to be a clairvoyant to figure these things out. From my basic searching, the cheapest SLI boards I can find are:

 

AsRock X58 Extreme $200 (ATX)

MSI X58M $200 (mATX)

EVGA SLI LE $230 (ATX)

ASUS Rampage II Gene $230 (mATX)

ASUS P6T $250 (ATX)

 

All things being equal, I'd like an ATX for the expansion possibilities, so it looks like I've got the AsRock, EVGA and ASUS. Thoughts?

 

:D

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Actually, of those listed, the Gene II would be the one to get. Outstanding overclockability, great with ram compatibility and overclocking, it's form factor doesn't limit it, comes with an FX sound card and has the performance of high end atx boards.

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Actually, of those listed, the Gene II would be the one to get. Outstanding overclockability, great with ram compatibility and overclocking, it's form factor doesn't limit it, comes with an FX sound card and has the performance of high end atx boards.
So tough call then - all three boards get great reviews and are essentially the same price. Features are tough to compare as well. The ASUS' boards have full 16x PCIe slots, while the EVGA has the most slots available with 2 GFX cards installed.

 

6-phase on the EVGA, 8-phase on both ASUS' boards...

 

The other advantage to the ATX designs, as I see it, is being able to run the graphics cards in the two furthest slots - which will go a long way to keeping my GTX295s cool.

 

The Gene performs great at the bleeding edge, but I'm not benchmarking, and likely won't be pushing the system much beyond 3.8 or 4.0, since that's where my other i7 hits the graphics bandwidth/CPU performance wall with 99% of games. I think I'd rather have upgradeability and expansion vs flashy LCDs and bleeding edge performance. I must be getting old...

 

Other opinions? Anyone with any of these boards?

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I've got the GENE II and love it. I don't like the spacing between the PCI-E slots. It's really the only drawback. I run a pair of HD5870s on mine and they are a tight fit. Doesn't seem to effect their performance or temperature though. The attention to detail of this board is what really impresses me. It really is like they took all of my complaints about the P5E X38 board and fixed all of the little things. The LCD Poster is sort of a waste to me but it doesn't need to be plugged in and used. Has a fairly intuitive BIOS. I've had great overclocking success with mine and don't feel that I've really pushed the board yet.

 

If you're not going for bleeding edge or benchmarking then it may suit your needs but it still has the power to if you want. If you plan to add a 3rd graphics card for whatever reason then it definitely isn't what you're looking for.

 

I don't see this board as giving up anything other than the 3rd PCI-E slot for me personally. I see it as gaining the advantage of putting it into smaller cases. It will always fit into a full ATX case.

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Since you're targeting a relatively large overclock, scratch the MSI X58M; the lack of heatsink on the MOSFET's is a deal breaker.

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Just when you think you start to understand something...

 

..Some pissant decides to 'help you out.'

 

:angry:

 

Well it came down to the Gene II, which I had found for ~C$200, or the better-layed-out EVGA SLI LE. I had *just* about come to a decision, when...

 

...another friend offered to swap my i7 920 D0 for a sealed i7 860. "Cheaper mobos," he said. "Better overclocking," he said. "Check it out online," he said.

 

"&!(@^# %!(*@ &@^#," I said.

 

:withstupid:

 

Is this true? What does this mean for SLI/gaming performance?

 

... help ...

 

:unsure:

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"Cheaper mobos," "Better overclocking,"

Yes and no to both quotes.

 

The Maximus III Gene (roughly the same as the Rampage II Gene) is $199, so that's $0 saved, but there are also good and cheaper boards.

 

Even though the 860 is likely to reach a high max clock, a stable 24/7 overclock on air on either processor's is going to end up pretty much at the same speeds. Especially that your 920 is a D0.

 

Stick with the 920 IMO.

Edited by Zertz

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Yes and no to both quotes.

 

The Maximus III Gene (roughly the same as the Rampage II Gene) is $199, so that's $0 saved, but there are also good and cheaper boards.

 

Even though the 860 is likely to reach a high max clock, a stable 24/7 overclock on air on either processor's is going to end up pretty much at the same speeds. Especially that your 920 is a D0.

 

Stick with the 920 IMO.

Based on advice given, I've gone for the Gene II. Found it

'open box' and unused in a local shop for C$179, so couldn't pass it up.

 

Looking for some RAM now (ugh, suggestions), and will update how it goes.

 

Thanks for the help!

 

:D

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