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Need a little help choosing an X79 mobo.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I'm looking to upgrade my rig with a 4820K and an X79 mobo, here is the reasoning behind the upgrade, in case I've got the wrong idea:

I'm satisfied with my 7950's single monitor gaming performance (have it running @1175/1575Mhz) however I will eventually move to triple 1200p monitors, which means I'll need more juice so I'm going to Crossfire with a 7970/280x and as far as I can tell, Intel's platforms are much better at delivering the performance I want for such a setup.

I know that a 4770K is better than a 4820K, but i'm willing to live with that difference, if it means I can just drop in a 6-core 4930K in the future without having to change the motherboard, plus I get 40 native PCIe 3.0 lanes. If I understand the situation right, there are no more planned releases from Intel for either socket.

My current budget is a bit tight, so unfortunately mobos like the Sabertooth / RIVE are out of reach. Looking at the low end of the X79 spectrum, I see 4 choices in order of my preference:

1. Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3
2. Asrock X79 Extreme4
3. MSI X79A GD-45
4. Asus P9X79

I browsed about the first 10 pages of this forum or so and managed to read some horror stories / BIOS / BSOD troubles with mobos from all of the above manufacturers (which is understandable, since most owners without issues are just happily using their hardware and don't come to the forums), so I'm looking for feedback from owners of the mentioned mobos, like:

Are they good enough for non-extreme overclocking? (up to 4.5 Ghz or so, air-cooled)
Do any of them have a temperature sensor for their VRMs?
Will I have trouble overclocking the memory?
Is the Sata performance decent (both the native ports and the add-ons)?
Plus anything else you might think is relevant.

I'm currently leaning towards the Gigabyte UD3 (it's the cheapest and the most feature-packed) but I haven't heard the best for Gigabyte's X79 implementation so I'm slightly hesitant and open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading, any and all advice/feedback is welcome.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm still undecided between the UD3 rev1.x and MSI's GD-45, so I'll be grateful for any feedback on those 2.

Also, I'm looking at a Phanteks PH-TC12DX as a cooling solution, its dimensions are (LxWxH) 126x107x157mm, will that fit without blocking the DIMM slots nearest to the cpu socket?
post #3 of 6

All the Gigabyte UDx x79 series are bad for overclocking.  I had a UD7 ($400 motherboard) and it couldn't push my 3930k over 4.6ghz no matter what voltage.  Same CPU in an Asus x79 RIVF, and got to 4.8ghz.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know RIVF/RIVE are strictly better, both in terms of features and overclocking, but they're also 60-75% more expensive (UD3 is about ~200€ here, RIVF is about 325€, RIVE is 350€ so it's a fair trade in my book.)
post #5 of 6
I'd go with the P9X79 of the boards you listed. That has been shown to be able to OC well, a friend of mine on the forum here had his 3930k running at 4.9ghz with one.

I know you mentioned only wanting to go to 4.5ghz for daily use, so any of them should be OK.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I see, you've been a great help, I had overlooked the P9X79's OC capabilities. I'll stick with the UD3 though since it will do 4.5Ghz and will save me 30€ compared to the P9X79 + an adapter for my front panel's USB3.0 header that the P9 lacks. It's a tough choice though and if I was chasing higher OC, hwbot scores and the like, I'd definitely go for the Asus.
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