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Mid-Range Mobo recommendation request (I have some ideas..)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all, long time no lurk. I'm building my first system from the ground up, and I am trying to semi-future-proof (which shouldn't be too hard since I'm only a semi-enthusiast [how about these hyphen-laden phrases?]). My budged is $600-$800, which leaves i5/i7 out, so I'm looking at AMD chipsets. Here are the boards I'm very carefully considering:

ASUS M5A97 Evo $120

GIGABYTE 970 UD3 $115 (my $20 rebate is gone overnight D=)

ASRock 970 Extreme4 $110 Which, as you may or may not know, is actually a 990FX board in disguise I think, right? Since it can SLI...the only "970" that can.

So I'm looking at upgradability mostly, and since I'm getting a Phenom II x4 960T maybe I'll be able to unlock some cores and MAYBE some mild OC'ing. Which is where the phases come into play...because I was really smitten with that ASRock board till I noticed it's 4+1....but I have been reading it's made with really good components, so maybe that wont be an issue. But down the road, with a Bulldozer chip in 2 years or so, maybe it will become one? I'm going to be running an HD 6870 solo, so the SLI isn't a factor NOW, but it may be eventually. I really like the specs and features of that board, but all 3 are solid choices. So, can anyone offer me any insight or opinions? Not looking for fanboyism or anti fanboyism or anything like that, all these boards and companies are great, everyone gets a DOA at some point, blah blah blah...all other things equal, what do you think will have the longest life span for a casual user like myself? Any other info you need to make a recommendation?

K /wall of text sorry bout that. hahaha. Thanks in advance for your input smile.gif

edit: I also wanted to add that I'm very appreciative of the diagnostic LEDs that the ASRock comes with...could be very helpful troubleshooting over the years for a nub like me
Edited by Kylezo - 12/13/11 at 4:21am
post #2 of 11
Go for the ASRock 970 Extreme 4. I've got the ASRock 970 Extreme 3 and I really like it. Wish I had gotten the Extreme 4 though. On the other hand, that Gigabyte board has a pretty slick design. You say you want to future-proof your rig? For a bit more cash, I think this board would be a good buy > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138341
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the vouch for the ASRock nik! I'm looking into i5/i7 systems one last time to see if I can do it within my budget before I pull the trigger, but I'll be counting your vote for that board when the time (undeniably) comes when I realize it can't be done as cheaply as an AMD rig...hahaha.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
The ASRock board is $10 off atm at least...can anyone comment on the viability of the 4+1 power phase of it?? I think that's my main question in picking between those 3 AMD boards..besides the big question of AMD vs Intel, which is another question I'd like to get some input on...

Since my main focus here isn't really out-of-the-box performance, but more - and I hate to hesitantly use the phrase - future proofing potential, I know these 970 chipsets are Bulldozer-ready, but I remember hearing a lot of hoo-hah about AMD shifting their main focus onto a mobile platform...is investing in a desktop AMD based system just a bad idea from the get-go? (btw I derived a lot of enjoyment from using the phrase hoo-hah and get-go in the same sentence)

Anyways, tl;dr here: does the 4+1 phase of the ASRock mobo preclude it's being Bulldozer-ready? Is AMD even a good idea anymore? Is there a cost-effective Ivy Bridge ready solution?
post #5 of 11

Of good quality and featuring a confirmed protection technique.  Go for it.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Vouch #2...sounds good. hahaha. Still a little bit leary on the lifespan of that 4+1 but I'll probably go for it anyways, good all around board smile.gif
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just an update here in case anyone is curious...I found my way to the NewEgg Business discount code world and found a $100 discount code on orders over $500. After sorting through all the options of a z68/2500k, 990fx/960t, and various video card configurations I ended up with this...for a grand total of $699.63...the exact same amount as my original configuration! Don't ask me how I did it...cuz it took forever working the components out. hahaha

finalbudgetbuild-1.jpg

Ooh, oooh and before you flame me about spending 42 bucks on 8gigs of ram...its a 15 dollar rebate...so it comes out to about 28 bucks ^_^ it's $55 in total rebates, which is where my final figure of 699 comes from =]

I ended up sticking with AMD and bumping up the cpu (x4 960T BE) and the mobo (ASRock 990FX Extreme4) with the extra 100 (almost went for a fatal1ty, but it was just over the top of my budget - I think I found a decent compromise). I very seriously considered what was suggested to me earlier on - investing all the newfound cash in a REAL hot GPU...but I think the 6870 is exactly as much as I need for what I plan to do with it, and now I have an SLI/XFire board if I wish to invest more in the future.

People can hate on me for not going with sandy/ivy all you want...I looked at TONS of z68 options with 2500k, but the bottom line ended up being that with a $219 cpu, I could only afford a mediocre mobo, and in the end I decided I'd rather have a high quality mobo, even if the system is less powerful overall.

So, was this a good deal? Well, I can at least say I'm happy with it...I love the components I ended up with and I had a great time finding the cheapest way to configure it. Thanks ya'll!
Edited by Kylezo - 12/15/11 at 4:01am
post #8 of 11
i thinks thats a solid build. i also have a ASRock 990fx Extreme 4 and to be honest, it's a beautiful and solid board. This will also be a future proof for you if ever BD in the future would turn to be a good cpu. Better add some cpu cooler if you're intending to overclock.
KM
(14 items)
 
KTechDev
(5 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 6100 Asrock 990FX Extreme 4 Powercolor 7870 2GB Gskill RipjawX 1600 CL9D 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Caviar Blue SATA 3.0 Samsung 22x SH-S222/223 Sata Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 
MonitorPowerCase
21.5 Samsung LED Monitor Corsair GS800W Thermaltake Armor A60 
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
Intel Pentium G620 2.6GHz ASRock Z68 Pro3-M Corsair XMS 3 1333 8gb Windows Server 2008 R2 
Power
Antec Basic VP350W 
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KM
(14 items)
 
KTechDev
(5 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 6100 Asrock 990FX Extreme 4 Powercolor 7870 2GB Gskill RipjawX 1600 CL9D 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
500GB WD Caviar Blue SATA 3.0 Samsung 22x SH-S222/223 Sata Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 
MonitorPowerCase
21.5 Samsung LED Monitor Corsair GS800W Thermaltake Armor A60 
CPUMotherboardRAMOS
Intel Pentium G620 2.6GHz ASRock Z68 Pro3-M Corsair XMS 3 1333 8gb Windows Server 2008 R2 
Power
Antec Basic VP350W 
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kelvin! I had a 212 plus evo coolermaster, but I accidentally took it out of my cart before purchase, lol. The case I got has several fans and room for more, and although it's a top mounted PSU case, it's a good design. So, if I'm not overclocking, that should hold me over well enough until I get around to an aftermarket CPU cooler.
post #10 of 11
should be fairly solid in my eyes, though to be honest you could have gone with the 970 extreme4 like you listed before and that would have given you more room to breath which would have enabled you to go with a bigger psu. im not knockin the corsair builders series 500watter....its a really nice psu for the price, however if you start thinkin about using SLI or crossfire your gonna need more max wattage from your psu then what that one provides, plus a bigger 12 volt rail. overall, a very good build though minus those 2 picks and you should have alot of fun gaming on it. i predict that youll be able to run skyrim in full settings on that beast.
 
Beautiful HoRyzen
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 7 1700x Gigabyte Auros ax370 gaming 5 gigabyte geforce gtx 1080 ti gaming Crucial Ballistix Tactical ddr4-3000 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Seagate Barracuda 4TB crucial mx300 m2 Asus dvd rw corsair h100i 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
corsair af120 corsair af 120 windows 10 pro 64 bit asus vw 246h 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
aoc 2236vw corsair k40 corsair rm750x corsair graphite 760t arctic white 
MouseMouse PadAudio
corsair sabre rgb razer vespula altec lansing ocatne 7 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo g72gx-rbbx05 gtx 260m Nanya PC2-6400 
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G Skill 64 GB SSD Western Digital Scorpio Black HL-DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 
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Beautiful HoRyzen
(19 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 7 1700x Gigabyte Auros ax370 gaming 5 gigabyte geforce gtx 1080 ti gaming Crucial Ballistix Tactical ddr4-3000 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Seagate Barracuda 4TB crucial mx300 m2 Asus dvd rw corsair h100i 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
corsair af120 corsair af 120 windows 10 pro 64 bit asus vw 246h 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
aoc 2236vw corsair k40 corsair rm750x corsair graphite 760t arctic white 
MouseMouse PadAudio
corsair sabre rgb razer vespula altec lansing ocatne 7 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo g72gx-rbbx05 gtx 260m Nanya PC2-6400 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
G Skill 64 GB SSD Western Digital Scorpio Black HL-DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 
MouseAudio
Razer Lachesis 4000 DPI Onboard Altec Lansing 
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