New Mobo + RAM

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New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:04 am

I've just become the owner of an i7-3770K and Intel 510 250GB SSD, but I'm currently rolling an all-AMD platform from 4+ years ago so I need a new motherboard and some new RAM (mine are DDR2). Turns out, there's a staggering amount of motherboards available out there so I'd like to see what people recommend, especially based on build experience. For the RAM, either 16GB or 32GB if you've got kit recommendations. Hardware I need to move over:

1x SATA DVD drive
3x SATA hard drives
1x PATA hard drive
2x Radeon 6950 2GB
1x Xonar DX

I can move the contents of the PATA hard drive into one of my SATA ones and then donate it so PATA compatibility isn't strictly required. I would prefer having more than 6 SATA ports since I lose one to the DVD drive, but I also don't know how well SATA ports supported by 3rd party chipsets work.

Have at it.
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:36 am

I personally like Asus motherboards - they are widely available, have just about every imaginable feature (depending on model) and I had "good luck" with these, so... Just visit Asus' site, browse their mobo selections compatible with your CPU, see what features you want to (such as number of SATA ports) and which ones you don't (for example, you probably don't need some fancy "sound processing" codec with higher than average SNR) and select the appropriate model, then shop around the online stores like Newegg, Amazon or whatever. Pretty simple, really :wink:
For example:
http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_ ... V_LE_PLUS/
It has all necessary "native" SATA ports for you, SLI/CrossFire support and no useless crap like built-in WiFi or LucidLogix Virtu.
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:36 am

The Asus P8Z77-V LK recommended in the System Guide is a good choice. If you want 8 SATA ports then you can step up to the Asus P8Z77-V which has 4 SATA II and 4 SATA III ports as well as other features including an Intel Ethernet controller.
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:34 am

Lucid is useful if you might use QuickSync to encode video for non-archival purposes. I have it set up on my system and use dMode (discrete card does everything except QuickSync), less power savings than iMode but no hit to the discrete video performance. I haven't had any issues with it.

Definitely ditch the PATA drive, you might even have a hard time finding what you want alongside a PATA port, they are rare these days. Use the Intel SATA ports first. You could try putting the DVD on an add-on port if you might want to expand later, just be sure to check out things like booting from it, sometimes add-on controllers are a little funny with optical drives.
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:16 am

As long as you're not aiming for the cheapest board you can find, you're usually okay with any brand these days.

Pick a chipset. If you're not broke the Z77 is the most sensible choice for features
Pick a BIOS. If you want a decent UEFI BIOS, your 1st choice should be Asus, then maybe Gigabyte.
Pick a model variant for things like extra SATA ports or onboard features.

All the main manufacturers have a large variety of boards covering different feature/chipset combinations in a range of form factors.
I'm probably paranoid but I like to go with polymer/solid capacitors. Digital VRM's are useful for overclocking but there's really not a lot of need for extreme CPU overclocking these days.

As for RAM, any 1600MHz DDR kit will do - aim for 1.5V or lower and CL9 or lower. Crucial/Kingston/Samsung's make "budget" RAM like this and you can comfortably avoid giant RAM sticks with huge heatspreaders. Some of the best, most overclockable RAM on the market was the Samsung eco-stuff; low-profile and low voltage but I don't see it in anything larger than 4GB modules. This is about the closest match for it and it's the best $90 RAM option on Newegg that I can see right now
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:30 am

I will second JohnC's recommendation for Asus, they're top of my motherboard "short list" these days. But as long as you avoid "bargain basement" brands like ECS you should be OK.

Chrispy_ wrote:I'm probably paranoid but I like to go with polymer/solid capacitors.

I don't think that's paranoia; it's pragmatic. Especially around the CPU socket, where things tend to get hot. AFAIK all of the major brands are using solid caps for at least the CPU VRMs these days.
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:29 am

I just see an board with "foil & goop" capacitors and think to myself:

"this manufacturer just traded long-term reliability to shave $0.28 off the manufacturing costs."

I have working, 10-year-old hardware without solid state caps but why take the risk? ;)
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:49 pm

I remember reading that the Z77 chipset only supplied 6 "native" SATA ports and any extras that were on the motherboard were add-ons via a 3rd party chipset like Marvell or ASMedia. Has anyone had any experience with using the SATA ports powered by one of those chipsets? Are there any compatibility or performance problems with them?
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:55 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:I just see an board with "foil & goop" capacitors and think to myself:

"this manufacturer just traded long-term reliability to shave $0.28 off the manufacturing costs."

I have working, 10-year-old hardware without solid state caps but why take the risk? ;)

To be fair, conventional electrolytics can be correctly spec'd for the application and correctly separated from passive heating sources and convection paths, and when that is done, they can last for a decade or more. The problem is that the vendors are compressed by margins on every side, so they cut the ratings down to the bare minimum and don't optimize layout for relieving adjacent heating sources.

What the polymer caps are buying is an acknowledgement from the vendor that some buyers are willing to pay extra for longevity, and since the difference is readily visible, the distinction is easy. AFAIK there's little reason they couldn't come up with an electrolytic design that performed just as well and long, but the value of the extra engineering wouldn't be obvious to the layman, who would then buy the competitor's cheaper product.
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:26 pm

Zoomastigophora wrote:I remember reading that the Z77 chipset only supplied 6 "native" SATA ports and any extras that were on the motherboard were add-ons via a 3rd party chipset like Marvell or ASMedia. Has anyone had any experience with using the SATA ports powered by one of those chipsets? Are there any compatibility or performance problems with them?

Marvell works fine for stuff like optical drives but I would avoid plugging in HDDs into that chipset - I've read some people having problems with such combination... Anyway, why do you NEED more than 6 SATA ports? Currently you don't have so many devices for them, and if you want more storage space - replace your low-capacity drives with a higher-capacity ones, or better yet - get an external HDD enclosure (many of them available, starting from models for single drive and going to 5-7 of HDDs, some support various RAID types)...
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:22 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:I just see an board with "foil & goop" capacitors and think to myself:

"this manufacturer just traded long-term reliability to shave $0.28 off the manufacturing costs."

I have working, 10-year-old hardware without solid state caps but why take the risk? ;)


I have thirty year old audio equipment with regular electrolytics that have been in an environment harsher than today's PCs. It's not just about type, it's about quality.
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:29 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:I have thirty year old audio equipment with regular electrolytics that have been in an environment harsher than today's PCs. It's not just about type, it's about quality.

Unless it's tube equipment they're probably not being exposed to the kind of temperatures you get in the VRM area of a motherboard. A lot of the heat from the MOSFETs gets conducted into the power/ground planes, and really heats up the VRM caps.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying quality doesn't matter. I too have some pretty old stuff with regular electrolytics that still function. I've also had polymer caps fail (on video cards).
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:16 pm

U nerds are trying to sidetrack yet another thread with your irrelevant nitpicking... :wink:
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Re: New Mobo + RAM

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:56 pm

Due to the several recommendations for Asus in this thread, I ended up getting the P8Z77-V DELUXE and Crucial Ballistix Sport Very Low Profile 32GB Kit. Thanks for all your help.
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