Originally Posted by Telstar
I'm on a similar boat, although higher budget, so I'll pop in.
Usage: 50-50 gaming and surfing/office/photoshop, daily OC 4-4.5ghz
-I Never do SLI, but second 8x pcie slot can be used for raid controller.
-Upgrade cycle about 2years, stability and reliability matters a lot.
-Case is the Corsair 800D, not windowed.
-Asus P67 sabertooth
-Asus p8p67 ws (or pro, too many similar models as usual)
+Gigabyte P67A-UD7-B3 (was in my build last month, but it's almost impossible to find now)
*Asrock Fatality P67 performance (mostly for the COLOR)
*Asrock Z68 Extreme4 (because of Broadcom lan instead of realtek)
Asus boards pros:
-full EFI bios (= fast boot, absolutely hate how slow it is now with pcie raid controller)
-best bios so far
-sleep not working quite right STILL (hate this, but if boot is really fast i could turn off instead of sleep)
-rare incompatibilities with some gfx cards (have a gtx280 later to be repalced by 590)
-incompatibilities with 3TB hdd (dont care, have only WD 1tb and 2tb)
-Had always slight issues with asus boards, including the Rampage that i'm still using
-Have a g45 ud3 on htpc that works like a charm and COOL for 2 years.
-very good mosfet board cooling
-no particular HW incompatibility
-hybrid EFI bios (=slower boot, but sleep works)
-a bit expensive (but i'm happy to pay for quality)
-No direct experience, ppl talks well about the current generation P67 and Z68 models.
The amount of problems of Asus vs Asrock boards can also be due to the sheer number of purchasers.
anyway, the mainboard is always the LAST component i get, because it needs months of USERS debuggin.
I am at the $400 budget so I probably have similar needs to the other poster. But, I can offer my two cents if you want another perspective.... ????
I would steer clear of Gigabyte boards, at least the sandy bridge ones. It bothers me that they have so many Z68 boards but they don't include the output so they are practically useless as a Z68 functional board. They're more like a P67.
Also, Gigabyte boards seem to have some booting issues if you read the forum or motherboard section.
They also don't have UEFI BIOS and instead, some strange touch bios that seems useless.
For me, anyway, it's between Asus (#1 choice but really expensive), Asrock, MSI and if I am really on a budget, I will consider Biostar.
I think I like the right-angle SATA ports though because I am tired of having problems with cable management and the traditional setup or configuration always seems to add to the cables every where.
MSI and to some extent, Asus, usually have the right-angle and very logical layouts so I am tempted to consider them as best contenders. Some people here are criticizing MSI, though, for some VRM issue but I am not sure what that is about. I like Asrock, too, but they seem a bit pricey since they are not really up there in reputation as the others. I am not sure about the Broadcom LAN also. Is that a good co. to have as the LAN chipset? I think Asus is good for providing Intel although Realtek is ok, I guess.
I am unsure what features I need but I probably don't need SLI or Crossfire either. It's nice to have but I probably have to trim my budget and I think I want an i5-2500K cpu so the mobo might have to be around $150 for me.
That leaves not much room. Maybe Asus P8P67 or the Pro.
Still can't decide. Hopefully, some others will chime in and have some good ideas. :-)