Helpful Replymobo opinions?

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violacompost
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2016/08/05 16:20:18 (permalink)

mobo opinions?

I'm doing a new build and wondering if anybody here has some thoughts on these two motherboards:
EVGA Z170 Classified K 142-SS-E178-KR ATX Intel MotherboardProduct.aspx
GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 (rev. 1.0) ATX Intel Motherboard
 
 
I'm leaning towards the EVGA for the following small reasons:
* usb ports - I know it's just one extra A type, but it's a 3.1 and while C is nice and all (and the future or whatever), I don't have anything now that will use it and I don't care that much (A connectors will still be common for at least the next few years, I'm sure)
* more SATA connectors - my current board had one die early on. I don't know how normal/abnormal that is, but I'm planning on having 5 drives and the safety/expansion ability would be nice.
 
I'm also a little nervous about the EVGA board for the following reasons:
* not a whole lot of reviews out there compared to similar mobos from other retailers, whether it's consumer reviews, benchmark tests, etc.
* They don't seem as focused on mobo manufacturing as GIGABYTE, which gives me automatic doubts about quality/reliability/support.
 
I definitely don't care about on-board audio as I have an external interface.
 
I'm hoping to use an M.2 for my boot drive, depending on cost factors. I've never done an M.2 before and some of that stuff still confuses me a little. Someone told me that on the EVGA board the M.2 slot shares bandwidth with sata connectors, which I haven't verified yet but seems odd (I thought they generally shared bandwidth with PCI-E lanes? Or does it affect both?). The GIGABYTE board explicitly states the M.2 connector shares bandwidth with the x4 PCI-E lane.
 
Any thoughts/opinions would be great! If you think there's a stand-out board at a similar price, I'd love to hear about that, too. Only thing is I'm planning to avoid ASRock because so far I've done all my builds with them and I'm keen to give something else a shot (ASRock has been pretty much fine, but I'd like to gain some knowledge and experience with other brands). Thanks for reading :)
 
#1
Sycraft
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Re: mobo opinions? 2016/08/06 02:57:54 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby violacompost 2016/08/06 16:29:35
I'd get a Gigabyte over EVGA, and an ASUS over either. The reason comes down to firmware. While all companies use a basic UEFI written by American Megatrends (they are basically the only company that makes one) they all customize it and work on features that can affect system stability/performance. ASUS seems to do the best, Gigabyte and MSI do very well, and everyone else is somewhere behind that. EVGA doesn't tend to be that great with motherboards, GPUs is what they are known for.
 
Also hardware quality is something of an issue. ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI all tend to be top notch with their motherboard hardware (within price constraints, of course, better boards have better hardware). I haven't looked at EVGA to see how there's is. Probably good, their graphics cards are, but it is a consideration.
 
Now that said, ASUS has absolutely garbage support. If I have an ASUS product die on me, I write it off and just buy a new one their support is that bad. Their products are quality, they rarely die, but their support if you need it is atrocious. Gigabyte is OK from what I hear, no experience. EVGA is pretty decent, particularly if you wish to pay them for their cross-ship support (extra fee you pay on registration, kinda like insurance). If you do get ASUS getting it from somewhere like Amazon that'll take a return isn't a bad idea.
 
When it was my money, ASUS was what I chose. That's motherboards only though, everything else I get from someone else and the firmware was what tipped my choice. I seriously looked at Gigabyte though (they are who I have my GPU from). EVGA I wrote off because their reputation for firmware isn't great.
 
With regards to SATA connectors, do note that only a certain number of those are connected directly to the Intel Z170 chip, 6 to be specific. Any extras will be on a secondary SATA addon chip which may not perform as well (can't say specifically without testing). Also note that the Z170 doesn't support USB 3.1, so any 3.1 is via an addon chip as well, only the 2.0 and 3.0 ports are on the Intel chip.
 
M.2 connectors, at least when used with a PCIe SSD, always share bandwidth with PCIe connectors. I mean in theory they could have a dedicated link, but in reality there aren't enough PCIe links on the board, so they'll share with a slot. They only way they share bandwidth is over the DMI link to the processor. If the motherboard maker hooks the M.2 slot(s) to the Z170 chip, which almost all will (the PCIe on the processor itself is usually reserved for graphics cards) then it'll share the 4GB/sec DMI 3 bandwidth from the Z170 to the CPU with everything else on the Z170. That's plenty though, and the "sharing" really won't be an issue.
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Siluroo
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Re: mobo opinions? 2016/08/06 09:27:11 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby violacompost 2016/08/06 16:33:07
Last time i got a gigabyte board was in 2012, the usb3 mainboard socket fell off when I plugged in the cable.  The vendor would not take it back as they said it was my fault for breaking it and was not covered under warranty.
Got an ASUS mobo from another place, still have it, I am worried about it though, as the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3072 MB GPU is bending under its own weight and twisting the slot it is in, its a full length card with 3 fans on it in a shroud with a few heat sinks, the weight is obviously too much for the PCB which the card is built around, and it has simply twisted so much that the unsupported end of the card is now 2cm lower than the end fixed into the back of the PC case.
In the previous machine had a Gigabyte Mobo and the GPU was a Gibabyte TI model, forgotten exact model, I never overclocked either, kept getting black screens, artifacts and BSOD just after warranty, so decided to build a complete new rig.
I used to be a huge fan of Gigabyte stuff, but now, when I was PC network tech, I used to recommend their gear, but now I would have to be pretty desperate to get Gigabyte stuff.
I agree with Sycraft, get an ASUS mobo, and if u really need to get something from EVGA make it a GPU!

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#3
violacompost
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Re: mobo opinions? 2016/08/06 16:13:21 (permalink)
Sycraft
I'd get a Gigabyte over EVGA, and an ASUS over either...




Thank you for such a detailed and informative response! This is great, and definitely helps me a lot in planning this build. I'll be taking a closer look at the available boards from ASUS today. Also, *really* good to know about USB 3.1. Thanks again!
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violacompost
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Re: mobo opinions? 2016/08/06 16:20:10 (permalink)
Siluroo
Got an ASUS mobo from another place, still have it, I am worried about it though, as the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3072 MB GPU is bending under its own weight and twisting the slot it is in, its a full length card with 3 fans on it in a shroud with a few heat sinks, the weight is obviously too much for the PCB which the card is built around, and it has simply twisted so much that the unsupported end of the card is now 2cm lower than the end fixed into the back of the PC case.
...
I agree with Sycraft, get an ASUS mobo, and if u really need to get something from EVGA make it a GPU!



Scary story about the GPU - I hope it continues to work for you until it's time for a new rig. Thanks for your opinions as well!
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