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Choosing motherboard

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by RagingHobo, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. RagingHobo New Member

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    Hi, I'm wondering is there a really good mobo for stability? Maybe something rugged, something that can take weird currents or something and remain stable? Or something so well designed it can compensate for a dodgy component or two? I guess this is a strange way of putting something that's actually straightforward: I'd like to compute without surprises, if it gets me out of danger of these systems where the ethernet hiccups under certain drivers... or the audio has blaring hiss at high volumes... I'm only too glad to steer clear of "ultra" performance.

    If this just means I have to drop 2x as much cash on my board I guess I can accept that. Just thought I would ask first, about something that processes really well, and again less emphasizing a 3rd or 4th memory slot or lotta heat pipes covering flimsily engineered components.
  2. MyNewRig New Member

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    Computing without surprises does not exist even if you buy the most expensive components, pick a Mobo by features and price, test and return to store if it does not work as expected within the first two weeks of purchase, you would need to invest some time is swapping components until you get the stability you want, plug and play never worked for me even with the best components, my current build is still not 100% perfect after months of building it, i stabilize one components after the other by swapping out what is not working as expected...

    ASUS and Gigabyte seem to be the top two choices in the Z87 fourth Generation Haswell ..
  3. Hood

    Hood

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    For maximum reliability and stability, a server board for Xeon CPUs with EEC RAM would be best, but expensive as hell. For consumers, "work station" designated boards are a more reasonable solution. They have top quality components, extensive validation with other hardware, and the best warranties, with premium quick-exchange policies - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131971 -or - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131998 - or - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131725
    Nothing is 100% reliable, but this kind of board gives you the best shot at long term peace of mind.
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  4. MyNewRig New Member

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    These are workstation grade boards and they have their fair share of negative reviews in newegg as usual :) nothing is 100% until you bring it home and try it yourself, no two electronic components are identical, each part has its own characteristics even if they are the same exact part number and batch .. this is why you find 5 star and 1 star ratings for the same exact item :)

    OP has not indicated what they intend to use the system primarily for? gaming? workstation? office computing? server?
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  5. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Stay with Z87 Gigabyte, ASRock, or ASUS and a quality power supply like Seasonic, Corsair and you shouldent have any problems. At all. Do you live in a country with a bad power grid?
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  6. RagingHobo New Member

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    Thanks Hood, I'm taking all suggestions. I will say I was hoping for a cheaper solution. I mean I've had ECS'es and Biostars that cost 60 smackers and stood up to heavy use. That's all I'm worried about, just periods (36 hours+) of continual use, with windows 7 or XP. I know all about server boards - scratch that - I know just that even my use won't be 'heavy' enough to justify ECC ram or those other features. But for what it's worth I expect a lot out of a "workstation" PC, and with my last couple mobo's I didn't get it (troubleshooting efforts were thwarted; PSU is good; nothing bad in power grid, but my specific housing has, shall we say "older" wiring - related? who knows?).

    I think everybody here knows that unfair negative reviews aside, sometimes the boards just aren't finished designs. I'm after a confirmed good, stably working design ideally safely below $135 (this amount for me represents a doubling of cost already; so $280 would be like "4x" and impossible)
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  7. TheGoat Eater

    TheGoat Eater

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    For that budget I would recommend the MSI Z87-G43 GAMING. I have been testing the MSI boards for some time now and their stuff keeps getting better and better. This is a member of their GAMING line that incorporates some nice features while giving you awesome performance to price. If you are worried about dodgy current you really need to be focusing on getting a high quality power supply... If you don't, you might as well just use the bottom of the line stuff. The Power supply really is the most important part of the system as it is the heart that keeps it going. That is just my two cents, if no quality power supply then keep in mind that it could have those issues you worry about. If it is a matter of crappy current from the wall then I would suggest getting a power conditioner.
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  8. RagingHobo New Member

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    O I knew all that. It's the old iron underwear question, you could say. I guess my idea would have been better stated as "could board x be less sensitive to irregularities, either through design or by virtue of better actual parts". My widely varying experience at this location strongly suggests that the quality of the computer mainboard has a definite range, and so that's the line of questioning I started out with. The idea of bad power at any point along the way was just me speculating. And I'm certainly not averse to spending outside a concrete budget, if it saves money down the line so... What are some options for AMD please? I've had the Asus M5A97 mentioned; is there a likely alternative from MSI maybe?
  9. Hood

    Hood

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    If you want stability/reliability, forget about AMD. They don't have 1/10th of the money Intel has for R&D, validation, and QC. Yes, there are some who swear by AMD, but I think if you play the odds, you'll go with Intel. In my experience with AMD systems I've built or worked on, there's often some weird problem or buggy driver issue causing random crashes, blue screens, etc. And there's the efficiency factor; AMD systems generally require more power even though they have slower performance. Intel systems can also have the same problems, you just don't see them as often.
    As for motherboard selection, yes, some are designed better electronically, some use higher quality components, some have better firmware support. The trick is to find one with all or most of these attributes, that also fits your needs for ports, expansion slots, overclockability, aesthetics, etc. It's a long process, but eventually one board will stand out as the best choice. It's usually not a cheapie, and not high-end board either. Something in the middle, maybe $150 - $225, is usually the best value AND the most stable, because it has decent components, but not a lot of extra chip/controllers/features that would add to it's complexity/unreliability. Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte are the best choices for manufacturer, and they each have mid channel boards that fit this description, you just have to read a lot of reviews and comments until the choice becomes clear.
  10. RagingHobo New Member

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    Well totally, right! That's sort of the point of a forum, I thought. You could compare it to R & D sizes: what's going to win, myself reading reviews, or 20 guys who have already read a bunch of recent reviews? :) Anyway I asked because I've got an old 645 athlon chip that I understand can still fit the current socket, AM3. but I'm not keen on skimping anything anyway. Stability as I said, that's the benchmark for me.

    I like TheGoat Eater's pick of that MSI Z87-G43 (it has at least 2 pci slots which really completes my requirements I should think) and so far that seems like what I want to go with. Only I'm not sure whether the ~gaming~ or regular version of the board is going to be the best fit... Well the major difference that jumps out is ALC1150 vs ALC 892 sound chip (I guess both are realtek) and this is where I really want to draw on ppl's experience here! That is I'm suspicious that this might be one of those cases where paradoxically the cheaper mobo turns out to be the better quality. Think of it like this: you have similar looking products with an identical id/description number but one is "modified" by a category such as "gaming", and an add'l $20 tacked on to it's price. Review websites are going to look at that and go "hm" and proceed to only buy (or be provided with) the lower priced one for their reviewing. This will be the tighter constructed board. Meanwhile... the more expensive board is going to be by far the better seller and unsuspecting consumers will be none the wiser that they've sprung for the more cheaply built item, while MSI saves tons on component costs. A higher part number on the audio IC completes the illusion of more "advanceness" to the higher priced product. (I've heard it said many times that the IC doesn't solely determine the sound quality of one's built in sound solution.) A neat little version of bait and switch and so as you can see I'm in something of a bind, and would appreciate some more input (or alternate choices). :oops:
  11. Hood

    Hood

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    Okay, you want specific choices, for intelligent reasons, but remember, in your first post you were speaking in general terms, and that's why the general answer was given. The MSI Z87-G43 Gaming is probably a very good choice, I recently bought an i3-4130 system that someone built using the Z87-G45 gaming board, and I was impressed with the overall quality, the UEFI BIOS, and the ALC 1150 codec, which by all accounts is a step up from all previous Realtek chips. It's hard for me to tell the difference because I use optical SPDIF on my Asus P8Z77-V/ALC 892 rig, but the specs are better. I think the "Gaming" designation is mostly about attracting young gamers with the (admittedly cool) dragon motif and the "Killer" network chip.
  12. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    Heck you might aswell install a chassis grounding strap on all your internals
  13. RagingHobo New Member

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    Ah... not entirely true, Hood. I'm still continuing asking a pretty general thing. Any specific sub requests can be taken as merely suggestions. I want ANYBODY to feel welcome to pop in at any time and go "well I know about a diff. motherboard that is a real winner..." This doesn't alter the fact that I appreciate all the input thus far

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