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Best budget Z68 motherboard?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Would you say it's between the Z68 Extreme4 and P8Z68-V PRO?

The Asrock has the PLX bridge but the Asus doesn't. The Asus has an Intel LAN but not the Asrock. The Asrock lacks VRM? How big a deal is that?

Is there any other choices?

I figure I won't be able to add a video card for a while and any decent card will be $50 and up, right?

My current video card is old, GeForce 79xx series so...

I'd try to get the i5-2500k cpu as it would allow Intel HD 3000 graphics so that would do for the time being.

Any advice? My budget is around $350 - 400 (mobo & cpu) but I'll be trying to sell some 775 hardware and I hope to get $280 - $300... hope that's realistic... help me, ebay!
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post #2 of 27
I wouldn't consider Extreme4 or V Pro budget, because I own the Z68 Pro3. I think what you listed is more mid-ranged to me. I got my AsRock Z68 Pro3 for $100 shipped on Ebay, which is a good deal. What kind of games are you looking to play? It all depends, I'd recommend GTX 460 since they are pretty cheap for the time being but definitely not $50.
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post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
That board doesn't look too bad and yeah, I guess it can be considered more budget than the more expensive ones I listed.

I guess the main issues I have with that particular Asrock board is the lack of VRM power (not sure how major an issue that is) and the fact they use the Etron EJ168A chip for the USB 3.0. I dual boot to Windows 7 and Linux. There's no support by the manufacturer of the Etron chip for Linux yet.

The lack of SLI or Crossfire options isn't major for me but the other issues might be a pain, not sure.

The Asrock board is $140 for me so the question is do I want to pay an extra $50 for either of the other boards which might have the extra options plus better compatibility of the NEC chip (at least, for Asus) which is the USB 3.0 in that board.
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post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee View Post
That board doesn't look too bad and yeah, I guess it can be considered more budget than the more expensive ones I listed.

I guess the main issues I have with that particular Asrock board is the lack of VRM power (not sure how major an issue that is) and the fact they use the Etron EJ168A chip for the USB 3.0. I dual boot to Windows 7 and Linux. There's no support by the manufacturer of the Etron chip for Linux yet.

The lack of SLI or Crossfire options isn't major for me but the other issues might be a pain, not sure.

The Asrock board is $140 for me so the question is do I want to pay an extra $50 for either of the other boards which might have the extra options plus better compatibility of the NEC chip (at least, for Asus) which is the USB 3.0 in that board.
Honest'y, it really depends on your needs. If you are going to OC your cpu significantly, then most likely go for the higher end board. Additionally, since you mentioned that you need to dual boot linux and windows 7, and the Etron chip is not supported by the manufacturer of the Etron chip, so in that case, another $50 to the cost is definitely worth it since you know your needs. But now the question is which higher end board would you get.
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post #5 of 27
Looking at Newegg reviews, the ASrock has higher egg ratings, in regards to the stability of the board. Then is it down to the aesthetics I guess because I am not an expert on all the components on the motherboard. ASrock is also cheapers by $20.
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post #6 of 27
You don't have to buy K to get HD3000

i3 2105 has HD3000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115090

It is a similar CPU to i3 2100 but has HD3000 instead of HD2000 and it cost a little more
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by noobee
Quote:
V PRO has a "useless 3,o USB back bracket" if you plan to use the ONLY x16 electical PCI E lane. (PCIE x16 the first one)
Does the Gigabyte board have the same issue? Or?

Are you satisfied with your Asus board?

I'm looking at both boards as well but the Gigabyte BIOS and the lack of DVI is a concern to me. Is there any way around the lack of DVI? I could use an adapter or one has to buy a monitor with HDMI? My monitor doesn't have HDMI.

I also like that Asus has UEFI BIOS, Intel LAN and thus, the only concern is the issue in which ports are disabled if I use a video card?

I wanted to use the integrated video to start with but if I add a video card in the x16 slot, is that the configuration which causes eSATA and/or USB 3.0 ports to be disabled (because of lack of PLX bridge)?

The Asrock Extreme4 Z68 is the 3rd board I'm looking at since it doesn't have that issue (clearly).

Thanks for reading my pm. Hope it's ok.

Your replies are informative so I ask for your input. :-)

Thanks.
Hmm.. I am not really super happy with my ASUS V PRO because of the price but that is subjective.

Anyway..

With the lack of DVI there are HDMI to DVI converters (The only motherboard video output that I see in the Z68XP is an HDMI).

I believe there is a an HDMI to DVI cable or adapter in the market. I hope it will be easy for you to find the in a computer brick store or online (online if you can).

As for the "STUFF" that gets disabled, that is ONLY when you use the 3rd x16 PCI-E Lane (w/c you probably would never really want to use nor put a new video card in).

If you only plan on using the first TWO PCI-E Lanes, then none would be "disabled". The first PCI-E Lane from the top runs up to x16 electrical.. The 2nd PCI-E Lane is only up to x8 electrical.. So to maximize your GPU just use the 1st x16 PCI-E lane.

I am very interested with the Z68 Extreme 4 from ASRock but the 1 year warranty just doesn't do it for me.. And the I just had a very hard time resisting ASUS' sexy UEFI.

The Extreme4 has decent features and extras in the box for the price though.

Again, everything will be fine as long as you just use those first two PCI-E lanes for new video cards.

and yeah.. too bad the Z68 V PRO has no PLX chip.. but I never plan to use a 3 way discrete GPU configuration anyway.. Do you?

Goodluck
Edited by tubers - 6/11/11 at 8:54pm
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post #8 of 27
Just get a damn P67.
post #9 of 27
I just purchased and installed the ASrock Z68 Extreme 4 and I have been nothing but pleased with it. Great board for the price point and has very good reviews regarding the consistent quality.

Cheers!
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post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tubers View Post
With the lack of DVI there are HDMI to DVI converters (The only motherboard video output that I see in the Z68XP is an HDMI).

I believe there is a an HDMI to DVI cable or adapter in the market. I hope it will be easy for you to find the in a computer brick store or online (online if you can).

As for the "STUFF" that gets disabled, that is ONLY when you use the 3rd x16 PCI-E Lane (w/c you probably would never really want to use nor put a new video card in).

If you only plan on using the first TWO PCI-E Lanes, then none would be "disabled". The first PCI-E Lane from the top runs up to x16 electrical.. The 2nd PCI-E Lane is only up to x8 electrical.. So to maximize your GPU just use the 1st x16 PCI-E lane.

I am very interested with the Z68 Extreme 4 from ASRock but the 1 year warranty just doesn't do it for me.. And the I just had a very hard time resisting ASUS' sexy UEFI.

The Extreme4 has decent features and extras in the box for the price though.

Again, everything will be fine as long as you just use those first two PCI-E lanes for new video cards.

and yeah.. too bad the Z68 V PRO has no PLX chip.. but I never plan to use a 3 way discrete GPU configuration anyway.. Do you?

Goodluck
Good point. No, I would not have any plan on using the 3-way! I doubt I'd use SLI or Crossfire either but it's nice if it's an option.

Yes, there's DVI to HDMI adapters but I was thinking about it and I probably don't want an extra part involved that I have to worry about regarding connections.

I'll think about it, then. I suppose everyone who picks the UD4 already has a HDMI output/input on their monitor so it's not an issue?

Yes, the UEFI BIOS is a major selling point for me. I think it is a reason to choose one board over the other if they are comparable in other respects.

Is the technology moving towards that and towards HDMI rather than DVI? Maybe that is why Gigabyte is only using HDMI if they add the video output at all on their Z68 boards? Saves money, too.

There's also Intel LAN for the Asus instead of Realtek which is on the Gigabyte board.

If the price is the same or close, I am not sure why I should choose the UD4 over the V-Pro. If someone who prefers the Gigabyte can chime in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kand View Post
Just get a damn P67.
Why? My current discrete/dedicated video card is quite old... GeForce 7xxx series so I thought I might as well get a Z68 since I could take advantage of the HD 3000 graphics (providing I get a cpu that offers it) until I can upgrade the graphics.
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