Originally Posted by LikeDaddy
If Asus makes the mini-ITX, Z170 motherboards with
the most feature-rich BIOS (UEFI), then
there are exactly two options.
Option 1 = Asus Z170I PRO GAMING
Option 2 = Asus MAXIMUS VIII IMPACT
Presently (Jul 18, 2016):
Option 1 has a BIOS file = 6.73 MB (ver. 1805 for Win 7, 64 bit)
Option 2 has a BIOS file = 7.93 MB (ver. 1701 for Win 7, 64 bit)
Newegg and Amazon show a number of recent (within the past 3 months) reviews reporting BIOS issues with Option 1. What are your thoughts? Is Asus still the best option given the aforementioned criteria?
I got 2 z97 pro-gaming boards that both were faulty. They were open box from newegg (So not exactly Asus fault) but because of the issues I found with the GPU slots on the 2nd board and seeing quite a few reviews with either dead gpu or dead ram slots I decided to switch brands. I ended up switching to ASRock Extreme4 motherboard and it is by far higher quality (significantly less price also). The mosfets are much nicer, the board itself is quite a bit thicker and of course no issues with GPU slots. What can be said though is the Asus board had a MUCH nicer bios and it looked way nicer with the red lights.
So anyways the reason I mention the above is because I personally do not like the build quality of the Pro Gaming boards. I have not tried the Z170i so it may have improved but I would definitely recommend jumping to the Impact (option 2) because it has far better quality build. The pro-gaming boards are minimalist design in order to compete with other mid range gaming boards and in my opinion they fall short on quality of build. I personally am not a big fan of Asus due to poor support and poor RMA process but they are by far the best of the bios features and quality.
You can still get very similar features from other brands though especially if you opt for the high end boards. Most of them have the same features Asus just tends to be better software.
From my experience it tends to be
Asus = best features, best bios, if you get the high end boards they are likely best build quality as well (no experience myself)
MSI = Best warranty return process (low end boards tend to have poor build quality)
Gigabyte and ASRock seem pretty equal in the best build quality, thicker PCB and better low end board quality.
For GPU I always go with MSI as the build is good and return policy is outstanding, they send you a new GPU which restarts the manufacturer date based warranty. Assuming they still do this it makes MSI the best IMO.
For Mobo it depends on what I am going for, I like gigabyte for low/mid end quality boards, they are probably the best all around company with decent warranty, decent build quality, decent bios features, usually nothing spectacular but it just works.
For high end mobo really it always comes back to the Asus TUF (sabertooth) and Asus ROG series (Impact). I have also heard good things about high end ASRock boards.
Not many people have a ton of experience with a lot of different brands. Most of it is going to be opinion based. I have had quite a few and have done a lot of research on Z97 boards but even still my opinion is fairly bias to what I have had experience with.Edited by dmfree88 - 7/18/16 at 3:04pm