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Advice on Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 vs MSI 970A-G46 (hands on experiences preferred)

Poll Results: Which is the best cheap AM3+ mobo currently around?

 
  • 5% (2)
    AsRock 970 Extreme4
  • 22% (8)
    ASUS M5A97 EVO
  • 57% (20)
    Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
  • 14% (5)
    MSI 970A-G46
35 Total Votes  
post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

as stated in another thread I'm looking for a replacement for my dead DFI LP Jr 790GX-M2RS.

Looking for a cheap but decent AM3+ mobo, I've run into these two ones: the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 vs MSI 970A-G46.

Is there anybody out there who already owns one of these boards?

Any meaningful advice about them will be very much appreciated: thanks in advance.
post #2 of 24
GB is in my opinion a good board, but you will need some cooling on the VRM's.

if that is not your thing get the Extreme4.
post #3 of 24

The 970A-G46 is a 970A-G45 (i.e. failure prone VRM design) with a bigger heatsink attached onto it and the "do not overclock" warnings on the MSI website subsequently removed.  A bigger heatsink does not make a board with internal VRM design problems and a failure prone record any more safely overclocking-ready.  The GA-970A-UD3 has the most overclocking-friendly setup with an efficient quality, heatsinked 8+2 phase.  But the one on the 970 Extreme4 although a less efficient but still heatsinked 4+1 phase is pretty good too, and consider of course that the Extreme4 is actually a 990X with 8x-8x CrossfireX and SLI, it's very competitive.

post #4 of 24
I love my 970A-UD3 because bios and layout are similar to my 990FX-UD3. The only big difference between the 2 is the second PCI-E slot only runs at x4 in crossfire setup and no SLI. It has 8+2 power phase and overclocks very well. As for VRM cooling I don't see an issue with my Gigabyte board although MSI's VRM's scare me due to all their failures in the past.
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RYZEN
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CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H110i GT Windows 7 64bit 60" Sharp Aquos 1080p 120Hz Corsair AX860 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 3570k @ 4.5GHz ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ASUS Radeon RX480 Strix OC Samsung Wonder RAM 
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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

consider of course that the Extreme4 is actually a 990X with 8x-8x CrossfireX and SLI, it's very competitive.

Thanks for the information.

As far as you may know, is the Extreme4 the very same Extreme3 board but with just the SLI support added?
post #6 of 24

Pretty much, there might be a couple of other differences.  The Extreme4 is basically the Extreme3 with a 990X SLI-ready chipset, although it is marketed as a 970 chipset board which may have to do with the lower price point the board is selling at.

post #7 of 24
So basically the 970 and 990 chipsets are the same with SLI and XFire being the difference? What about overclockability, do they roughly overclock the same or are the 990 chipsets much better at achieving higher frequencies?
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post #8 of 24

The 970 chipsets have 16x-4x CrossfireX (if the second PCI-E slot is even implemented) and no SLI support.  The 990X chipset steps up to provide split 8x-8x CrossfireX with SLI support.  990FX provides even more lanes.  Generally, CPU overclocking wise, the results are similar between the 3 chipsets and it is the board's features like VRMs, BIOS that determines max overclocking potential.

post #9 of 24
The Asus has better overclocking memory support over the Gigabyte.
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

The 970 chipsets have 16x-4x CrossfireX (if the second PCI-E slot is even implemented) and no SLI support.  The 990X chipset steps up to provide split 8x-8x CrossfireX with SLI support.  990FX provides even more lanes.  Generally, CPU overclocking wise, the results are similar between the 3 chipsets and it is the board's features like VRMs, BIOS that determines max overclocking potential.

So, a 970 would be fine for someone like me, who never used Xfire? All my boards the past five years have had Xfire support but I've actually never even tried it. The one and only time I've tried SLI was with two 7600GT's on an nForce 4 chipset and wasn't impressed.

Reason why I ask is because I'm thinking of replacing my motherboard and CPU with something newer, without spending loads. Also my offspring's PC is really frustrating me as her new motherboard (new Gigabyte G41) has problems with USB drives and crashes from time to time.
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