The Top 5 Best Motherboards of All Time

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by Dan_D, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Evildead666

    Evildead666 n00b

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    I would have thought one NForce2 chipset would have made it ?
    It was by far one of, if not the best, chipset for AMD.

    great overclocking, with proper chipset cooling.
    The only black mark i remember was nvidia having to remove SoundForce (HW AC-3 decoding/encoding on their integrated sound solution iirc) ?

    Great list though. My Abit BX440 got my PIII-450 to 600 at 150FSb back in the day, with the RocketRaid IDE controller, and a Quantum FireBall KA+ UDMA66 drive.
     
  2. Smoked Brisket

    Smoked Brisket Limp Gawd

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    Second this. A7n8x deluxe was my first build. I remember it as the greatest board ever, so it must be so. It was deluxe, man.
     
  3. Ranger101

    Ranger101 [H]Lite

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    Although I never owned any of your top pick motherboards, I enjoyed this well written article. As others have commented, a pleasant trip down memory lane.

    Sadly, no AMD boards listed but I am absolutely 100% sure that this is NOT, indicative of I**** bias.

    Dr-Strangelove-featured-760x850.jpg
     
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  4. MartinX

    MartinX One Hour Martinizing While You Wait

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    I had an a7n8x deluxe for a long time, good board.

    Currently I'm running the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX with an i7 3770k, and until nowish I've felt there was no real reason to upgrade, my main use case is gaming and that MB/CPU combo doesn't come close to bottlenecking anything.
    That said, there's other things I want, like nvme support, and once a strong x299 mini-ITX board emerges I will probably retire the Asus
     
  5. thebufenator

    thebufenator [H]ard|Gawd

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    A7N8X was not in the same league as ABit boards.

    NF7-S was awesome. For the older chipsets, the KX7-333R could get crazy high FSB without crashing.

    Does no one remember the days of BH-5 DDR abuse on those boards? 2-2-2-7 1T timings at 230+ FSB
     
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  6. Abraxas601

    Abraxas601 n00b

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    Out of all the motherboards I've owned in the past 20+ years the Abit BP6 was the one I loved the most.

    Honorable mention goes to my Rampage IV Extreme that I purchased in late 2011. Nearly 6 years later and it's still rocking my gaming system with the original Intel I7-3930K, I think I've replaced the GPUs three times and just as many SSD upgrades.
     
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  7. Modred189

    Modred189 I'm Smarter Than You

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    My favorite board until recently was the Asus P5B Deluxe Wifi-AP.
    I ran a silly number of systems through that thing, from a Core 2Duo e6300, to a Q6600 and a later 8series, it served as a gaming rig, HTPC and a home server. Never crashed, BSODd, or hung. It even ran XP, Vista and both versions of Windows Home server.

    Solid overclocker, had a solid built in audio for it's day, and the wifi was rock solid.

    Miss that board to this day.
     
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  8. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I had some trouble with the review board, but the one I used in my personal system was flawless. I replaced it with a 680i SLI so you can imagine how that went. I did use that board In a secondary machine and it was solid for six years.
     
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  9. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    Love reading these kinds of articles. It doesn't matter which forum/site I go to in that they always bring up memories and interesting comment posts from users personal experiences.

    Having said that. My two more recent favorite boards are one(retired)MSI LG775 Socket(I'd have to find the manual for model number) that I got when a pre-built system's(VPR Matrix) mobo finally died. That rig ended up being completely rebuilt by me sans the full size atx case at the time and ended being my first Raid, SATA 1, and first system I mostly maxed what it was capable of. It was Presscott P4 running at 3.4GHZ and the last GPU was something like an ATI HD2600 that allowed some DX10 w/ XP 32bit. Still have it. At one point when OTA HD t.v. had started I was using a USB TV stick to record 1080I/720P broadcasts before blu-rays had really become affordable or even really accessible. Just can't let it go. . . .and it was up and running for almost ten years.

    After doing a little research I'm pretty sure it was a MSI PM8M2-V MS7071 or maybe M3.


    My second one is the one I list in my profile(old and recently rebuilt). It's pushing 7 years and still doing amazing things.

    I know neither of these probably ranked high in the excruciating, intensive, and thorough tests that [H] puts things through but they've survived the test of time and performance for me. BTW I do totally appreciate the testing [H] does, it's awesome!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
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  10. KevinG

    KevinG Limp Gawd

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    Is there a market for any of these old MBs? Maybe someone collects them?

    I still have my Abit BP6, and 2 Abit IC7-Max3s. No clue what to do with them.
     
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  11. Yaden78

    Yaden78 n00b

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    I think this was my first ever mobo/build. I probably have it boxed up yet in the closet.
     
  12. Modred189

    Modred189 I'm Smarter Than You

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    I loved it because it was so simple and straight forward. No gimmicks or complicated features with overwrought software, no finicky ram requirements or touchy OC settings. It had a full feature set for a mid range board, but simply did its job without fuss.

    Did not hurt that I got it at Circuit City during their closeout days for half price (legit half price, that is).
     
  13. Unoid

    Unoid [H]ard|Gawd

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    No DFI nforce 2 AMD love?
     
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  14. fingerbob69

    fingerbob69 [H]Lite

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    Surely the Asus P6T SE.

    Running a i7-920 @3.6 since January 2010 without [touch wood] missing a beat.
     
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  15. I love my Asus Z77 Sabertooth Armor. And while the thermal armor is more of a gimic, this thing has been ROCK solid stable. It's the best motherboard I ever had, and it overclocks well. I can run my 3770K at 4.4Ghz (conservative overclock) all day long and it has only crashed once during a gaming session. Add to this it's layout was excellent. I never had any interference issues with ram and coolers or the video card.

    It just worked from out of the box. Although it's auto overclocking was VERY conservative, it also worked with a minimal of fuss.
     
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  16. There were a lot of nForce2 chipsets which were implemented so poorly that they were a disaster. I think there was also a RAID corruption issue.
     
  17. Grimham

    Grimham [H]ard|Gawd

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    I was curious if the Abit IT5H was going to make the list. If I remember correctly, it was quite a beast at the time and may have introduced the "SoftMenu" (not sure about that though). I owned one or two and never had any issues. I understand not everything can make the list though.
     
  18. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    I was surprised the BP6 didn't make the list. Also, where's AMD? There were tons of really great AMD motherboards over the years. The Nforce ones are the most memorable, but they're hardly the only ones.
     
  19. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    I will definitely vouch for my current motherboard. (Gigabyte P55A-UD3)

    It has been ROCK SOLID since purchased back in Nov 2009.

    Crazy!
     
  20. Vader1975

    Vader1975 Gawd

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    I ran a Rampage III until it melted its pin connectors to the CPU. The processor was recoverable but the board was not. Still, it lasted years.

    Abit's BX440 with a socket converter with the last gen PIII-1000 I used for just years and years. I know a lot of people that had BP6 duel socket with it. Truly classic.

    It is sad to see all the problems I am having with my current board. Asus's Crosshair 6 with the Ryzen 1800X. It makes me miss my Rampage III.
     
  21. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    I can't remember the exact model, but between 2000-2001, I build hundreds of computers using an ASUS board for the AMD K6-2 processor. Not a single problem with any one. That's a good hallmark for reliability and a "best" qualification. I'll have to look up the model number later when I get home.
     
  22. jamesv

    jamesv [H]Lite

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    Abit BX was bad ass. As mission critical as old Intel boards, like the Core 2 duo 875/865.
    Great article Kyle B.

    I miss old Intel boards, but quite happy with Supermicro these days.
    Prefer long life and stability.

    Still use a Supermicro P4SCT+II and a Northwood 3.0GHz CPU.
    Old SCSI Cheetahs are 13 years old and still work great.
     
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  23. dragonstongue

    dragonstongue 2[H]4U

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    Asus P5K or P5Q-E for Intel 775 socket and for kind of modern Asus M5A99X EVO (original not V2) AMD 990x AM3+
    very fond memories of the P5Q-E my mom still is using my old mobo with C2D E8400 EO to this day.

    P5K was supposedly quite good for its time (not best obviously) it really was one of my first to really cut my teeth on overclocking stuff(locked box only gets you so far) sadly it died a horrible death.
    I had it in a CM 590 case that had a small 80mm fan that could be used on back of motherboard tray side panel.
    To use the fan, one had to use some kind of odd metal clip thingy which is what the fan screwed to. I was checking my temps by having fan pull, shut off, push, pull, push, pull worked best so I put back on (pull through mobo tray to push outside the side)
    this last time it basically had dethreaded/stripped the metal thingy or at least made the holes in side panel dethread 2 of these metal threads was what caused contact with back of mobo zzzzzzzzzzaaaaappppp! nice cloud of acrid green/black smoke.....insta panic.

    Was living at grandma in BC that summer/winter, she was nice enough to put the $1200 on her credit card for me to order a new mobo-cpu-ram combo, at the time E8400 I had was the CO version for P5K, was not taking the chance frying new cpu(brought to a shop for him to test the cpu-psu, he said he would test the pus no problem but he was not taking a chance test the cpu in case it fried his equipment type deal)

    Anyways, for the price I had to buy the cpu from tankguys in the USA to Canada (none available here unless insane price gouged) C2Q were far too pricey (couldnt afford let alone ask grandma to increase budget though the Q9650 would have been nice was an extra $145 total) so got another C2D E8400 EO.
    Have had that chip stable at 4.45 Ghz with a very old aftermarket P4 based top down cooler ThermalTake cant remember the name but the plastic shroud was like gas on water coloured.
    Am sure would have been able 4.5+ with enough volts/cooling always ran very nice temps hell of a chip, the P5Q-E which I ended up getting (grandma got me) amazing motherboard really for all intents and purposes.
    Happy that I paired up with Gskill memory whom have never failed me in many years, me and my oldest youngest brother (4 of us 1 older, me, 2 younger) scrapped $ rebuild my "old" and give to mom as Christmas gift
    I think was bit over 4 years now, R7 240 1gb GDDR3 surprised me with how well it did even with higher end games, was getting 1/4 the speed of my much faster 7870 ~1/3 as much as the 6870 running 1050p or 1080p using the SAME IQ settings,
    sure it was a little grindy, but, could play them o_O, WoT and Armored Warfare 21-33FPS not bad at all really. Mom just plays facebook games on it :p
    ===============
    =========
    Now am using M5A99X EVO with a few years old PHII 955 which I have had clocked to 4.3-4.38Ghz on my Hyper 212- P/P though it most certainly was hotter than I felt comfortable with (56C+ spikes of 58-60 especially in crapppy cases) the board and cpu have been very awesome for me (had used the 6870-7870 on it still using the 7870 the 6870 my brother still has which I sold to him years back with accelero S1 Rev 2 modded with Zalman ramsinks glued/pasted to it and 2x120mm ziptied to it) hate the design many reference/aftermarket use of them fans going from barely moving to massive ramp it wore/broke 2 cards cooling fans so far, the 4870 and 6870 both Asus, both I modded to use standard case fans which are easily and low cost able to be replaced, unlike the fancy blower type which are hard to find if at all in most cases and usually pretty pricey considering.

    At the time I built that had the $$$, was either go Intel and pay the big $$$$$ or go AMD for this build and await the very soon to be released at that point Bulldozer, prior to C2D and PHII I had an Athlon 5600+ locked build.
    I chose to go with the PHII x4 955 C3 costs/performance etc were researched quite thoroughly.
    Needed/wanted the quad core cause although that E8400 was crazy snappy, it just could not "keep up" with the more demanding titles where I felt the sluggish spikes even when high overclocks (2 cores can only do so much) it just could not feed 4870-6870 "good enough"
    955 while not as rocket ship quick as the E8400 in some cases, has done everything I have expected and more TBH.

    Temps have never been an issue (4 chassis used the same build in so far) voltages have always been quite good from what I have seen/read, not the lowest of the low, but a happy medium lower than avg volts for clocks, lower than avg temps considering clocks, higher than avg clocks considering the cooling/chip I have, and very downclockable/voltable.
    Not counting driver issues or me screwing around trying to keep volts down type deal, PH II955 has been far more stable in the speed being the speed I learned to expect for weeks/months at a time powered on, whereas the E8400 I did find ~2weeks maximum had to reboot or it seemed "sluggish" quick reboot was back to expected speeds.
    That snappy feeling had survived many new OS installs cause of bad virus, go to SSD and such. so again, while there are obviously higher end boards made during and since for AM3+ this board has been awesome overall for everything I have thrown its way.

    Am hoping get a bag of $ dropped on my head so it can finally get some well deserved sleep when I give it a new room mate ^.^ (Zen 2 and whatever Radeon at that time at this rate, least by then in theory any bugs will be sorted out as will MSFT and Win10 shenanigans)
     
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  24. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Definitely not.

    The P6T was a good one. Had I more personal experience with them, I very well might have put it on the list. I've never heard anything bad about them. I never reviewed one and I never saw any in person.

    Evidently, the many responses I've made to these exact questions have gone unread, as was the bottom part of the article where I actually answered these questions before they were asked.
     
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  25. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I liked the P5K. I experienced one or two issues with them which is why it didn't make the cut.

    Guys, I really had to nit pick here. For some boards it was down to a minor quirk or a layout element I didn't like, or even the board's aesthetics over one that got chosen. Out of all the boards I've installed, owned, used, reviewed, abused, etc. I could probably do a top 100 list. Choosing only 5 was incredibly difficult.
     
  26. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Kyle didn't write the article. :) He just posted it. Although he did write the teaser at the top. He's always been better at writing those than I am.

    Secondly, Supermicro's great but those boards would have to go on a top 5 workstation / server board list.
     
  27. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    I read the article. I just don't agree with you.

    Edit: I obviously haven't owned every single motherboard on the market, though. I just think that, in the grander scheme of greatest motherboards ever, the way you chose these five, while perfectly valid, does not necessarily represent what I might consider to be the five greatest motherboards ever.

    For instance, the BP6. That was a kickass board. I never owned one, but my buddy did, and while it did, in fact, have some quirks, most motherboards did at the time, and this was offset by the amount of fun we had with it.

    Before they went away, Abit actually had several models that might fit this pattern, like the KT7A-Raid and NF7. Same with DFI.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  28. David-Duc

    David-Duc [H]ard|Gawd

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    X58 and 1366 were not for Sandy Bridge. The first gen of 1366 was "Bloomfield" - i7 920 and then the 6-core Xeons and i7 980X were "Westmere/Gulftown". The "lower-end" i7 with 1156 socket were "Lynnfield". "Sandy Bridge" was the next gen after that (socket 1155 and 2011).
     
  29. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    You are correct. Gulftown and Bloomfield were the CPU's that used LGA1366.
     
  30. David-Duc

    David-Duc [H]ard|Gawd

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    My best experience from the last decade was probably with the Gigabyte P45-UD3R + Q9650 + Sapphire HD4890. Still remember the components:
    Gigabyte EP45-UD3R
    Intel Q9650 @ 400 x 9 = 3.6 Ghz, nice and cool for around 3-4 years.
    2 x 2GB DDR2 1066 Crucial Ballistix
    Sapphire HD4890
    CoolerMaster Centurion 5
    Prolimatech Megahalems
    FSP Epsilon 600W

    /And for those noobs/kids keep saying that "VRM before X299 hardly got hot, never got hot, does not need active cooling...", please notice the fans for the VRM in my builds:
    ComputerJan4th20101.JPG

    Here's with the P8P67 and 2600k @ 4.5Ghz:
    MOSFET_Cooler_zpsa9ec8f96.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
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  31. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    I love my Megahalems. It's still going strong on my i7-920 on a P6T SE. Oh, and that red Radeon is something to see, too!
     
  32. Smoked Brisket

    Smoked Brisket Limp Gawd

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    One distinct memory I had about this board was the clip-on method of attaching a heatsink. I had a thermalright heatsink paired with a vantec tornado, sounded like a damned fighter jet it was so loud. I had terrible heat issues and finally broke down the system to get at eye level to make sure the sink was making proper contact. Realized that that clip-on system aloud the heatsink to slide north and south and it was off center. slid it up about 5 mm and had icy cool temps. I miss those quirks. That board and a 9800 pro lasted a long time. Ahhh the 9800pro....
     
  33. Burticus

    Burticus [H]ardness Supreme

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    No Abit BH6? Really? It was the cheaper little brother to the BX6. Had a Celeron 300a @ 450, beast mode with my Voodoo 2, LOL. Later on was an Abit VT6 (I think? Maybe VP6) slot 1 board, used a "slocket" and a P3 500 became a 750 like magic.
     
  34. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    I had one, and again I had to pick just one. I felt the BX6 Rev 2.0 was the best of ABIT's Intel 440BX chipset based boards. The VP6 was the replacement for the BP6.
     
  35. Killahurtz

    Killahurtz Gawd

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    here is my VP6 like you mentioned , still running , and as a replacement I think the VIA Apollo chipset was a step back from the BX 440 in overclocking , luv it though

    2 PIII 1gig @ 1140

    [​IMG]
     
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  36. Qrash

    Qrash Gawd

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    Maxed out! I love the old IDE cable management (remember cable-gami?) too.
     
  37. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you were really cool, you sprung for these:

    [​IMG]
     
  38. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    Those are awesome! Never even knew about them then. I remember learning about 40/80 wire and then upgrading as I discovered how many things I had that were actually 80 capable. I also remember how the old ribbon style ide's would get fragile/heat fatigued over time and just suddenly start to fail. These would've been awesome. It was only towards the end of my LG775's lifespan that I started to see braided IDE cables(I think I put some in it). It also brings back memories of always making sure that DMA was always enabled.
     
  39. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wasn't sure where to put this. . . .any chance of a best/worst CPU list? I apologize if I missed you mentioning anything in your articles regarding such.
     
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  40. psyclist

    psyclist Gawd

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    No AMD DFI LAN Party Ultra's? Great board, still runs to this day!