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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I recently bought a third MSI GTX580 Extreme Lightning Edition card (which seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I'm starting to think I should have just gotten a 680); and, as soon as I get back stateside (deployed right now), I planned on slapping it on a sexy new motherboard, but I can't choose between these two:

1) Asus P8Z77 WS

2) Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7

My current board is an Asus, the P8Z68 Deluxe, and I haven't had great luck with it. I was never able to use ANY of the Asus Suite II software programs... no matter what I did. I tried using Asus's customer service and searched around online for a good month before giving up. The board worked fine; I just couldn't use any of the bells and whistles it offered.

Some of the clear benefits of going with the Gigabyte would be more SATA ports and the ability to run all three of my cards at 16x as well as having more room for a fourth card or other peripheral if I needed it, but I'm not really sure what the difference in the 16x/8x/8x on the Asus would be compared to the 16x/16x/16x on the Gigabyte.

If anyone could offer some expertise or advice on which one of these would be the better choice, please let me know!

Thanks.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Nothing...?

Y'all are usually so helpful on here.
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Get the MVE instead of UP7 since MVE is cheaper and UP7's major edge over MVE is irrelevant(it have a more robust VRM but both VRMs are massive overkill for Ivy anyway)

Howvever I would consider the Gigabyte G.1 Sniper 3 as it is much cheaper than both of these boards you listed + MVE and also have a PLX chip so you can run your Tri Lightning at max bandwidth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherlock View Post

Get the MVE instead of UP7 since MVE is cheaper and UP7's major edge over MVE is irrelevant(it have a more robust VRM but both VRMs are massive overkill for Ivy anyway)

Howvever I would consider the Gigabyte G.1 Sniper 3 as it is much cheaper than both of these boards you listed + MVE and also have a PLX chip so you can run your Tri Lightning at max bandwidth.
The specifications for MVE state three cards would run at x8/x16/x8, while the Gigabyte would run at x16/x16/x16... isn't that "max bandwidth"? Also, what benefits would I see running them at x16 vs. x8?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Originally Posted by eXXon View Post

Between the two above, the UP7

But would choose this over them:
ASUS Maximus V EXTREME for the bigger community.
I actually chose the WS over MVE because it supports two more SATAIII RAIDs than the MVE and because I've heard nothing but praise regarding the stability of the board. Also, the tri-sli bandwidths are the same for both.

Could you explain how the community being bigger would make the MVE a better choice? And, if I stuck with my original two choices and went with the Gigabyte, why should I chose it over the Asus?

Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturnal Link View Post

I actually chose the WS over MVE because it supports two more SATAIII RAIDs than the MVE and because I've heard nothing but praise regarding the stability of the board. Also, the tri-sli bandwidths are the same for both.

Could you explain how the community being bigger would make the MVE a better choice? And, if I stuck with my original two choices and went with the Gigabyte, why should I chose it over the Asus?

Thanks!
Bigger community means more people can help troubleshooting/overclocking/modded Bios....etc.

Both of the boards you picked are good, but the UP7 has better MOSFETs/Inductors/Capacitors.
Source

EDIT:
580s support PCI-E 2.0 only which is half the bandwidth of PCI-E 3.0, so any of those boards would run all 3 580s with full potential.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturnal Link View Post

The specifications for MVE state three cards would run at x8/x16/x8, while the Gigabyte would run at x16/x16/x16... isn't that "max bandwidth"? Also, what benefits would I see running them at x16 vs. x8?
You will see no appreciable difference while gaming with Tri-SLI on a x8/x16/x8 configuration vs x16/x16/x16 with current generation cards. That being said, there might be some scientific or engineering applications where running three x16 slots could provide improved Direct Compute or CUDA performance.

Keep in mind while looking at these newer boards, that PCIe 3.0 is double the bandwidth of PCIe 2.0. That being said, a PCIe 3.0 x8 slot has the same bandwidth as a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot.

The only problem I see with the GA-Z77X-UP7 is that there is a larger support base for the ASUS Maximus board, but there's no denying the Gigabyte's VRM arrangement and PLX PCIe switch are compelling features.

I say give it a try and let us know if that PLX switch induces enough bus latency to offset the 2x improvement in bandwidth offered by x16 vs x8 on those cards. =)

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by eXXon View Post

580s support PCI-E 2.0 only which is half the bandwidth of PCI-E 3.0, so any of those boards would run all 3 580s with full potential.
Ahhh... I did not know this. Still, since it seems either of the three boards would be a decent choice, and I like the idea of having two more RAIDable ports, I think I will go with the Gigabyte.

If I end up having to send it back, why should I go with a MVE vs. the WS I chose?

Thank you again.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammong View Post

The only problem I see with the GA-Z77X-UP7 is that there is a larger support base for the ASUS Maximus board, but there's no denying the Gigabyte's VRM arrangement and PLX PCIe switch are compelling features.

I say give it a try and let us know if that PLX switch induces enough bus latency to offset the 2x improvement in bandwidth offered by x16 vs x8 on those cards. =)

Greg
I'm not quite as tech savvy as you sound so I'm not sure what any of that really means. Do you know of a place I can learn about that so when I get the board I can report my findings back to y'all?

Thanks!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
I can't see those links for unknown reasons; I'm deployed right now and many sites are blocked on our line. If you don't feel like typing out any explanations, that's cool. Maybe someone else will hop along and see the thread. I have seen reviews of both boards and considered both, but I have not seen comparisons between the two or read reasons why one would be better than the other, that is why I created the thread.
 

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Any reason why you don't want a much cheaper G1 Sniper 3?

As for lane arrangement. PLX doubles CPU lanes from 16 to 36. If you use all 4 slots, they'll run at x8/x8/x8/x8.

MVE has Thunderbolt, UP7 doesn't.
MVE has PCI-E swith, UP7 has dedicated PCI-E x16 passing PLX chip.
MVE has 8 phase VRM with low-RDS mosfets, UP7 has 32 phase quadrupled from 8 VRM with IR3550 mosfets that are 2x better. As been said, they are overkill, but UP7 will run cooler.

Stability wise I hear different reports. I can only speak of UP7 compared to my UD5H which is rock solid for almost a year.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeXel View Post

Any reason why you don't want a much cheaper G1 Sniper 3?
I don't like the color, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeXel View Post

MVE has Thunderbolt, UP7 doesn't.
I have no need for a Thunderbolt port; I actually haven't seen any external drives or monitors with them, yet, either - only Apple products and other motherboards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeXel View Post

MVE has PCI-E swith, UP7 has dedicated PCI-E x16 passing PLX chip.
MVE has 8 phase VRM with low-RDS mosfets, UP7 has 32 phase quadrupled from 8 VRM with IR3550 mosfets that are 2x better. As been said, they are overkill, but UP7 will run cooler.
I'm not sure what those differences mean in lamen's terms of which would be better... now, if you explained why... however, I digress; I'm sure y'all don't have time to explain stuff all day. I wasn't aware of so many of the complex responses I've received; I figured there might have been more definitive "this one/that one, because X" replies - doesn't seem the case. Instead, everyone would prefer it if I were to choose something entirely different for their reasons.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturnal Link View Post

I don't like the color, really.
I have no need for a Thunderbolt port; I actually haven't seen any external drives or monitors with them, yet, either - only Apple products and other motherboards.
I'm not sure what those differences mean in lamen's terms of which would be better... now, if you explained why... however, I digress; I'm sure y'all don't have time to explain stuff all day. I wasn't aware of so many of the complex responses I've received; I figured there might have been more definitive "this one/that one, because X" replies - doesn't seem the case. Instead, everyone would prefer it if I were to choose something entirely different for their reasons.
Not really sure what you meant in the last few lines,
but you asked for advice on which board, we gave it,
then you asked for justification why, we gave you the reasons,
then you state you don't understand any of those reasons and that we are all biased in the info we provided.
confused.gif


In lamen's terms, any Z77 board out there thats above 100$ (Extreme4 & UD3H have the best value) is a decent board. The higher the price, the better overclocking capability & extra features.
Since you need a Tri-SLI capable board, the choices you provided & what others suggested are all very good. Can't go wrong with any of them.
Choose one that suites your taste in terms of looks, brand preference, warranty, RMA service and pull the trigger (haha get it?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by eXXon View Post

Not really sure what you meant in the last few lines,
but you asked for advice on which board, we gave it,
then you asked for justification why, we gave you the reasons,
then you state you don't understand any of those reasons and that we are all biased in the info we provided.
confused.gif
I didn't get reasons why from a couple of the posts, particularly yours and the one prior to this; you simply posted two reviews, which I couldn't view, and the other person listed a bunch of details about the features in the MVE and the Gigabyte, but he did not explain which feature was better than the other. The only feature which I recognized was the Thunderbolt implementation; everything else, I have no knowledge of. Because I have no knowledge of some of the features y'all have so kindly listed, I had asked for reasons why those features would be beneficial. I also stated if you did not feel like explaining anything, then don't bother. I apologize if my text came out in any other way; I did not mean it to sound berating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXXon View Post

In lamen's terms, any Z77 board out there thats above 100$ (Extreme4 & UD3H have the best value) is a decent board. The higher the price, the better overclocking capability & extra features.
Since you need a Tri-SLI capable board, the choices you provided & what others suggested are all very good. Can't go wrong with any of them.
Choose one that suites your taste in terms of looks, brand preference, warranty, RMA service and pull the trigger (haha get it?)
Thank you. That is helpful information.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturnal Link View Post

I didn't get reasons why from a couple of the posts, particularly yours and the one prior to this; you simply posted two reviews, which I couldn't view, and the other person listed a bunch of details about the features in the MVE and the Gigabyte, but he did not explain which feature was better than the other. The only feature which I recognized was the Thunderbolt implementation; everything else, I have no knowledge of. Because I have no knowledge of some of the features y'all have so kindly listed, I had asked for reasons why those features would be beneficial. I also stated if you did not feel like explaining anything, then don't bother. I apologize if my text came out in any other way; I did not mean it to sound berating.
Thank you. That is helpful information.
You're welcome & stay safe
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Well buying an motherboard is all about being technical lol.

In short I listed phase count 8 (MVE) vs 32 (UP7). Generally more is better for overclocking if the quality of MOSFETs, chocks, inductors, and capacitors is the same. In this case UP7 also has better MOSFETs. It's much better boards in VRM specs, but as I mentioned previously in real world you won't hit the limit on either board.

PCIE switch on MVE let's you choice whether PCI-E slots receives lanes directly from the CPU or goes through PLX lane doubler first.

LGA1155 CPUs have only 16 PCI-E lanes (20 for Xeons), and SLI requires at least x8 per GPU.

So manufactures use PLX chip to double the capacity, but PLX brings extra latency.

Ideally you want to use lanes from CPU directly when you use 1 or in some cases 2 GPUs for better performance.

MVE PCI-E switch gives that flexibility. With UP7 you get a dedicated PCI-E X16 slot that is tied CPU, so it's pretty much the same.

Saying that I can justify price tag of UP7 due to VRM components cost of nearly the third of the board's price, but I wouldn't pay more than $300 for MVE imho.

Thunderbolt will be useful in long run, or if you want to connect external enclosure with 5 HDDs using a single interface
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. Saying that Thunderbolt won't become mainstream anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeXel View Post

PCIE switch on MVE let's you choice whether PCI-E slots receives lanes directly from the CPU or goes through PLX lane doubler first.

LGA1155 CPUs have only 16 PCI-E lanes (20 for Xeons), and SLI requires at least x8 per GPU.

So manufactures use PLX chip to double the capacity, but PLX brings extra latency.

Ideally you want to use lanes from CPU directly when you use 1 or in some cases 2 GPUs for better performance.

MVE PCI-E switch gives that flexibility. With UP7 you get a dedicated PCI-E X16 slot that is tied CPU, so it's pretty much the same.
Veeeerrrry interesting stuff, more of which I didn't know. (+rep!) So, if you were to choose to use the CPU directly on the MVE for tri-SLI, wouldn't you be short lanes for all three cards? (Using an i7 2600k)

Also, what kind of "latency" are we talking here? I hate "latency." Who doesn't right? I was already experiencing what I believe was the dreaded SLI stuttering I hear about so much with only two cards. (mouse seems to jitter/skip pixels when looking around in certain games; other games are fine, windows environment is fine, using Logitech G9X) Search youtube for a video I showed of this before I left for Afghanistan; it's named BF3 mouse jitter/stutter, or something along those lines. I would show the link, but I don't have access to youtube. Although, that's another issue entirely, I think, so no need to worry about it. I'm just curious about this lag you speak of when using the PLX doubler.

Thanks!
 
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