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How to Choose a Motherboard?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I'm looking into upgrading my current build and I'm lost when it comes to figuring out a good choice in motherboard.

The one in my current build is unable to upgrade the CPU as I'd like so I want to avoid similar problems in the future. I was pointed toward this one, https://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-m5a99fxpror20. Looks pretty good to me but I've only ever built this one pc and as you can see I had problems, haha.

Is there any way to tell if a motherboard is a good choice in regard to future upgrading?

Here's my current build for reference http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dFptGX
post #2 of 15
990FX is the best and likely the last chipset for the AM3+ socket. I wouldn't get anything less than that if you are planning on getting another FX CPU in the future (8320, 8350, even 9590). Most 990FX motherboards are going to have more features than you can shake a stick at and will fill the needs for the average user many times over. All you really need to worry about is whether or not your RAM and CPU are on the manufacturer Qualified Vendor List. That said, just because your exact G.Skill kit may not appear in their QVL, you can almost always safely assume something with the same timing shouldn't have issues. IE two different kits of Ripjaws. same ram, different model.

Personally, I don't recommend anything but Asus, Gigabyte or MSI. A lot of people like AsRock, but they have a history of cutting corners that caused a lot of problems for not just overclockers in the past, but even every day users. People say they are making a better product now-a-days and that may be true, but they still offer similar features on their top tier motherboards as heavy hitters like Asus, but for much less cost. They are saving money somewhere, whether it be quality of materials or manufacturing methods. That coupled with a shady history doesn't settle well with me. Enter AsRock fanboiz.

All that said, the Asus you linked is a fine board and capable of future upgrading. If you are going to do serious overclocking, you might consider a board designed more towards that venture like the Sabertooth or Crosshair.
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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTtheTremendous View Post

Hi everyone,

I'm looking into upgrading my current build and I'm lost when it comes to figuring out a good choice in motherboard.

The one in my current build is unable to upgrade the CPU as I'd like so I want to avoid similar problems in the future. I was pointed toward this one, https://pcpartpicker.com/part/asus-motherboard-m5a99fxpror20. Looks pretty good to me but I've only ever built this one pc and as you can see I had problems, haha.

Is there any way to tell if a motherboard is a good choice in regard to future upgrading?

Here's my current build for reference http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dFptGX

What are you hoping to do with this system. That really dictates what you need in a mother board.
   
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm going to be using it for gaming, the reason I actually started thinking about upgrading was because of the specs they just released for Fallout 4!
post #5 of 15
OK then, I would stick to a 990FX board as was suggested above. ASUS is a good brand, I would suggest the Sabretooth as to me it has a great feature set without spending over $200. Ive been seeing them for ~$160 which is a great price IMO. It is not the only quality board in that range but it is a good one that im familiar with. I cant see what the other ASUS board was going to run you, its says the website is down for maintenance.

Any thoughts on budget for the rest of the system? WE love to help others spend their money biggrin.gif
   
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardonthejob View Post

990FX is the best and likely the last chipset for the AM3+ socket. I wouldn't get anything less than that if you are planning on getting another FX CPU in the future (8320, 8350, even 9590). Most 990FX motherboards are going to have more features than you can shake a stick at and will fill the needs for the average user many times over. All you really need to worry about is whether or not your RAM and CPU are on the manufacturer Qualified Vendor List. That said, just because your exact G.Skill kit may not appear in their QVL, you can almost always safely assume something with the same timing shouldn't have issues. IE two different kits of Ripjaws. same ram, different model.

Personally, I don't recommend anything but Asus, Gigabyte or MSI. A lot of people like AsRock, but they have a history of cutting corners that caused a lot of problems for not just overclockers in the past, but even every day users. People say they are making a better product now-a-days and that may be true, but they still offer similar features on their top tier motherboards as heavy hitters like Asus, but for much less cost. They are saving money somewhere, whether it be quality of materials or manufacturing methods. That coupled with a shady history doesn't settle well with me. Enter AsRock fanboiz.

All that said, the Asus you linked is a fine board and capable of future upgrading. If you are going to do serious overclocking, you might consider a board designed more towards that venture like the Sabertooth or Crosshair.

Thanks for the info!

What do you mean when you say that the 990fx is most likely the last chipset for the AM3+ socket? Does that mean that it most likely won't support any higher than the 9590 in the future? (I know it's impossible to know for sure, but I'm clueless when it comes to technologies/future developments so wondering if there's any way to tell how good a 990fx would last for future CPU upgrades?)

Also, what is the next higher chipset from the AM3+/990fx? That affects what CPU you can use right?

Now I'm also wondering if it might be a better investment to get an Intel motherboard instead, but I"m really not sold on that idea since the CPUs are so much more money for the same performance (at least as far as I know!)
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTtheTremendous View Post

Thanks for the info!

What do you mean when you say that the 990fx is most likely the last chipset for the AM3+ socket?

Its a dead socket. The next generation of CPUs AMD releases will not use the AM3+ socket. No need for new chipsets. 990FX is the most featured chipset you will get for AM3+.
   
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post #8 of 15
AMD has moved on to other things. The new CPU's are socket FM2 and FM2+, the A-Series cpu's, most of which are APU's (integrated GPU) and couple of Athlons that are just, well... meh. For raw processing power, the APU's simply don't add up to the top end FX CPU's. I'm pretty sure there was an official announcement that AMD will no longer be creating CPU's for the AM3+ socket.

That being said, until AMD comes out with something else, the 990FX chipset with a top end FX processor is pretty much the best you can get for AMD. And honestly, for gaming, you really don't need more.
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A6-6400K Dual Core MSI A78M-E35 Onboard 4Gb G.Skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz (2 x 2) 
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Intel 320 SSD Western Digital 2.5" 1Tb 7200rpm  LG External Blue-ray Combo Drive Noctual NH-L9a 92mm SS02 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Toshiba Regza 52" 1080p Logitech K400 Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 
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A piece of plywood and some zip ties. Onboard Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2250 dual tuner card. 
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTtheTremendous View Post

Now I'm also wondering if it might be a better investment to get an Intel motherboard instead, but I"m really not sold on that idea since the CPUs are so much more money for the same performance (at least as far as I know!)

Right now, yes, you will get the best performance with INTEL. Hopefully AMD will release their ZEN CPUs next year and give INTEL some competition. To be clear though, there is a difference between my saying INTEL will give you the best gaming performance right now and saying that you cant do it with AMD. I am not saying that. You can certainly build a capable gaming machine with AMD.
   
Work Rig
(22 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7-6850K 4.5 GHz  ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH X99 LGA2011-V3  Asus STRIX GTX 980 ~1600 Core Asus STRIX GTX 980 ~1600 Core 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
32GB 3000MHz HyperX Savage DDR4  Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD  Samsung 256GB SM951 M.2 SSD PCIe 3.0 x 4 (PE246... WD 3TB Black SATA 6Gbs 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
WD 4TB Red in RAID 1 WD 4TB Red in RAID 1 ICY DOCK DuoSwap MB971SP-B Fits 5.25" Bay allo... LG WH14NS40 14x SATA Blu-ray Internal Rewriter 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
CPU - Corsair Hydro H110  GPU x 2 - Nzxt G-10 x 2 + Corsair H-90 x 2  Lamptron FC-5 V2 Fan Controller 4 Aerocool Dead Silence 140mm Fans on the radia... 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit LINUX KXStudio AOC i2769Vm 27-Inch Screen IPS Monitor AOC i2769Vm 27-Inch Screen IPS Monitor 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
AOC i2769Vm 27-Inch Screen IPS Monitor BENQ GW2250 +1 Monitor Easymountlcd Triple Monitor Stand (002-0019) Homemade Extension and vesa mount for +1 Monitor 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Top - CM Storm QuickFire TK (Red) Bottom - CM ... EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 - 80 Plus Gold Corsair Carbide Series 400R Cooler Master Storm Inferno 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Top of the Desk TUF Onboard Audio Cyber Acoustics Platinum CA-3550 Logitech H390 Headset 
OtherOtherOtherOther
ASUS Wi-Fi PCI Express Adapter/400 upto 800 Mbp... Tripp Lite Isobar Supressor CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD 900 Watt Pure Sinewave UPS Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick 
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upHere (3.5 inch Bay)Multi Function Card Reader... 
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Work Rig
(22 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7-6850K 4.5 GHz  ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH X99 LGA2011-V3  Asus STRIX GTX 980 ~1600 Core Asus STRIX GTX 980 ~1600 Core 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
32GB 3000MHz HyperX Savage DDR4  Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD  Samsung 256GB SM951 M.2 SSD PCIe 3.0 x 4 (PE246... WD 3TB Black SATA 6Gbs 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
WD 4TB Red in RAID 1 WD 4TB Red in RAID 1 ICY DOCK DuoSwap MB971SP-B Fits 5.25" Bay allo... LG WH14NS40 14x SATA Blu-ray Internal Rewriter 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
CPU - Corsair Hydro H110  GPU x 2 - Nzxt G-10 x 2 + Corsair H-90 x 2  Lamptron FC-5 V2 Fan Controller 4 Aerocool Dead Silence 140mm Fans on the radia... 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit LINUX KXStudio AOC i2769Vm 27-Inch Screen IPS Monitor AOC i2769Vm 27-Inch Screen IPS Monitor 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
AOC i2769Vm 27-Inch Screen IPS Monitor BENQ GW2250 +1 Monitor Easymountlcd Triple Monitor Stand (002-0019) Homemade Extension and vesa mount for +1 Monitor 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Top - CM Storm QuickFire TK (Red) Bottom - CM ... EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 - 80 Plus Gold Corsair Carbide Series 400R Cooler Master Storm Inferno 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Top of the Desk TUF Onboard Audio Cyber Acoustics Platinum CA-3550 Logitech H390 Headset 
OtherOtherOtherOther
ASUS Wi-Fi PCI Express Adapter/400 upto 800 Mbp... Tripp Lite Isobar Supressor CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD 900 Watt Pure Sinewave UPS Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick 
Other
upHere (3.5 inch Bay)Multi Function Card Reader... 
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post #10 of 15
Pretty much anything AMD right now will not have much in the way of 'future' upgrading in that they are going to be switching to a new chipset/cpu architecture and current motherboards will not support the new cpu's coming out. It's a somewhat similar situation with Intel, in that the motherboards are only good for 2 cpu releases and then everything gets reset so to speak.

If you are needing to upgrade your board, depending on your needs and uses you could get away with a decent 970 chipset board like the Gigabyte UD3. If you are wanting to do some heavy over clocking, or need to crossfire/sli gfx cards, then a 990fx board will be the best bet. I currently use the Asrock 990fx extreme6 and have used the fatality Pro and both have been solid boards. My extreme6 has kept my 8320 at a happy 4.6-4.8ghz (depending on my needs) 24/7. I've also used the sabertooth and gigabyte 990fx ud3, and for the money I'd say the UD3 990fx or 970 is the best option if you are on a budget.
Project:303
(11 items)
 
   
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
XFX RX 480 Black Edition GSkill Trident Z 3200 OCZ Trion, SK Hynix Canvas, HGST UIltrastar Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Benq 1440p Razer Blackwidow Tournament Silverstone Strider S 700w 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
InWin 303 Razer DeathAdder Chroma Razer Firefly 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 6600k MSI Z170 Gaming Carbon XFX R9 290x gSkill Ripjaw 5 DDR4 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZ Arc 100 Western Digital SanDisk M.2 SSD Western Digital 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Custom Water Cooling Windows 10 Crossover 1440p IPS Steelseries 6v2 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone Strider S 750w Custom Parvum m1.0 Mionix Castor Gloriouspcgaming XXL 
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Mackie CR3 Limited Edition 
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Project:303
(11 items)
 
   
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
XFX RX 480 Black Edition GSkill Trident Z 3200 OCZ Trion, SK Hynix Canvas, HGST UIltrastar Custom Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Benq 1440p Razer Blackwidow Tournament Silverstone Strider S 700w 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
InWin 303 Razer DeathAdder Chroma Razer Firefly 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 6600k MSI Z170 Gaming Carbon XFX R9 290x gSkill Ripjaw 5 DDR4 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZ Arc 100 Western Digital SanDisk M.2 SSD Western Digital 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Custom Water Cooling Windows 10 Crossover 1440p IPS Steelseries 6v2 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone Strider S 750w Custom Parvum m1.0 Mionix Castor Gloriouspcgaming XXL 
Audio
Mackie CR3 Limited Edition 
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