Why not buy premium, expensive motherboard?

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by Nebell, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Nebell

    Nebell Gawd

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    I'm curious, why a lot of people go for cheap motherboards? It's the core of our systems. I know that it doesn't affect performance much, but premium features are a big deal to me.
    I went for Gigabyte Z170x Gaming G1 which at the time cost me €550 (and it doesn't seem like it dropped in price).
    And I can't be happier with this motherboard. It really is a monster. No regrets at all.

    Here are a few reasons why I went for a premium motherboard:

    * Integrated Sound Blaster ZxR
    - I always went for integrated sound cards, but never of this quality. Then I bought dedicated ZxR and was blown away by the sound difference. So when I was getting a new computer, I wanted less PCI-E cards. This was obvious choice. This sound card is priced at just below €200 which brings the actual price of this motherboard to about €350.

    * High quality WiFi antenna
    - I didn't expect it to be THIS good. I actually bought two Ethernet cables but after detailed testing, there was absolutely no difference between using two cables and running WiFi 5GHz signal. Download/upload speed was the same, ping was the same, games worked just as good on WiFi as they were on the Cable, so I decided to just stay wireless.

    * Additional 20 PCI-E lanes
    - I was undecided between getting an "outdated" x99 motherboard or a Z170 packed with the latest features. Especially since I usually run dual video cards and wanted one of those ultra fast PCI-E SSD HDDs. Getting few extra lanes definitely helped me choose.

    * Two PCI-E x4 M.2 connectors
    - Because why not? ;)

    * Plenty of USB 3.0/3.1 connectors (even Thunderbolt)
    - Now this might not be important to everyone, but to me it is. I have split my computer into two and I've almost ran out of USB ports. There are no old USB 2.0 ports so I don't have to worry which USB I connect my USB 3.0 HDDs.

    * Premium materials, premium features (especially oc features)
    - This can be found on way cheaper motherboards, but getting this one I expected a motherboard with everything top notch, including overclocking. And it didn't disappoint. I was able to boot with my 6700k at 5GHz, unfortunately it was not stable. Whatever I attempted, the motherboard delivered, and if something was limiting it was not motherboards fault.


    Now I reason why I opted for Gigabyte's and not the other premium motherboard (I did like the looks on MSI and I always loved Asus motherboards)

    * Watercooling support
    - I was building a hardline system and since everything was going to be water cooled, why not watercool the motherboard as well?

    * The looks!
    - Not everyone have the same taste, but to me, this motherboard is absolutely gorgeous :)

    These are the few reasons I decided to go for a premium motherboard (and I must admit integrated ZxR sound card is one big reason why I did) and I don't think that I will ever be able to go for something with less features.
     
  2. bwang

    bwang Gawd

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    I think a lot of folks here do go for the premium boards for a variety of reasons; for example, I've owned nearly every generation of Rampage and Maximus Extreme and thoroughly enjoyed the thoughtfully selected features and overclocking-oriented BIOSes. That being said, $500 is incredibly steep for a motherboard; if you have any sort of budget constraint on your system you are better off maximizing GPU performance first (if you are gaming) or going X99/Xeon if you are building a workstation.
    I'd say its only worth getting a flagship board if the rest of your rig is, within reason, maximally spec'ed. For example, your sig rig has a 6700K and dual 980Ti's, which is pretty solid - there's not that much more right now you could put the extra $400 you spent on the board into that would result in a tangibly improved user experience. But if I'm picking between a premium board and a 1060 or a budget board and a 1080, you bet I'd go for the 1080 and crappy board.
    (I'm also not convinced the "premium" onboard sound is worth a damn, but maybe the newer flavors with the integrated USB DAC boxes do sound tangibly better than the old ones that were just rebranded Realtek chipsets with fancy capacitors.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  3. BeavermanA

    BeavermanA 2[H]4U

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    Damn 550 euros is a lot lol. Simply don't need most of those features, or can't justify the price to get them at least. Sound I have a receiver. Desktop is always ethernet. Only PCI ports I need are for gfx cards. Cheaper boards have plenty of USB 3.0 ports.

    I do overclock so don't go with the el cheapo special, but a solid $150-200 is plenty for my needs.
     
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  4. akmens

    akmens n00bie

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    I would say that most important part of the system is PSU - you can buy cheap cpu and it will do the job just fine, you can buy cheap memory or motherboard and it will work just fine or even a cheap storage unit and it will do it's job, but try to buy cheap PSU and sooner or later you are screwed. But I do try to buy mid price range motherboard because usually I need more ports or features that isn't on cheaper boards, but im not going to buy premium motherboard only because it is more shiny or with futures that I will not ever use, if I have a lot money to spend then yes, but otherwise I will focus on quality psu and storage first, then powerful enough for my needs CPU and RAM and so on.

    Back on the old days when motherboards did not came with all solid capacitors and cpu's where much more power hungry that was more of an issue to buy a quality motherboard but not so much today.
     
  5. limitedaccess

    limitedaccess [H]ardness Supreme

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    Because on practical level those features aren't very important nor will they make much of a difference to most people, especially not for that type of premium. Unless cost considerations are very low or basically zero I don't see why someone would buy an expensive motherboard beyond specific niche requirements.

    Let's examine your reasoning -

    Audio:

    What was the previous integrated you used? Z170 generation low cost boards already come with "beefed" up integrated solutions which most people will find more than acceptable.

    If people actually were to pay a premium they'd more likely to go with an external solution that they can carry forward with builds and also to avoid the EMI nightmare of an internal.

    High Quality Wifi:

    Not a high priority or even preferable for most over wired.

    At such a high expense there are also other options available.

    Additional PCIe lanes/m.2:

    Not very useful to most people who just run one GPU and maybe one m.2 if that. NVME m.2 drives by themselves don't even make much of a practical difference to most people.

    Also at that type of expense you could've just done a fast upgrade to Z270/Kaby with native 2x x4 m.2 support on the chipset.

    USB/Thunderbolt:

    Again how many people need those requirements? Majority are probably running just 3 USB ports and zero thunderbolt devices.

    Better Overclocking:

    The extra performance from better overclocking is basically negilible. You aren't going to notice it in a blind test.

    And you might as well have used the money to fast upgrade to Kaby Lake if that higher clock speed matters.

    The above applies to getting extremely expensive cooling setups as well.



    If you're already buying the best of everything and basically upgrading every generation and still want to spend more than sure. Most people are not doing that, and so financial allocation is better prioritized elsewhere.
     
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  6. Rvenger

    Rvenger [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't buy cheap, nor do I buy expensive. I hit it right in the middle $200-$300 range for X99 and it seems to give a good set of features at a great price.

    The Asus Z170-A and X99-A are perfect examples of excellent midrange boards.
     
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  7. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    Because people like you will buy motherboards that have more features than they can actually utilize, and will pay sky-high prices for that useless feature list, because Creative and because Wireless, and because "fancy drive bay that costs 10 bucks to make."

    Skylake has 20 lanes of PCIe 3. You really need about 16 of those DEDICATED TO VIDEO if you're running SLI, so that leaves you four more for the m.2 drive. The rest of your high-speed peripherals will just have to fight for bandwidth, if you ever make use of them simultaneously. A single Thunderbolt 3 external device could use up to 4x PCIe lanes on it's own!

    So, something's got to give. You could have gotten a MUCH BETTER VALUE for your money going i7 5830k. Same price as your overpriced motherboard, but comes with 40 PCIe lanes and six cores. I'm sure you could have gotten a fairly-impressive x99 SLI motherboard for the same price as the 6700k.

    EDIT: like this one. $350, and it has everything, Intel AC Wifi, top-end audio, including two m.2 slots, SLI. The only thing your $550 behemoth has over this is Thunderbolt, and the utility of that is lost with multile USB 3.1 slots.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130935

    Or you can keep pretending you got good value, getting twice as many features as your processor actually has the bandwidth for. Smart PCIe switches can distribute bandwidth effectively, but they can't create any more than the 20 lanes Skylake starts with.

    And we're starting to see a difference between x4 and x8 PCIe with a single GTX 1080 today, so your next upgrade (1080Ti SLI, or perhaps Volta SLI?) will definitely need x16 dedicated bandwidth between the two

    https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_1080_PCI_Express_Scaling/24.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  8. Nebell

    Nebell Gawd

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    Except that motherboard doesn't have the same audio quality, so if I was to get the same sound quality I would have to buy a €200 sound card, bumping up the price to actually around the motherboard I bought, but adding more pci-e cards.
    It also doesn't have water cooling support, it supports an older CPU and if I'm spending a lot of money on a computer, I'm not going for older tech even if it means less cores. I game mostly on my computer and that 6 core does not perform better than my 4 core, instead, it might even perform worse since it doesn't overclock as well.
    What I could've bought better is irrelevant, I bought EXACTLY what I wanted and what fits my needs. And I don't regret it. Besides, this thread is not about me only.
     
  9. whateverer

    whateverer AMD Owns Techreport

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    You keep on telling yourself that. But I bet you couldn't tell the difference if we did a blind A/B test on you.

    Any motherboard where they go through the trouble of isolating the audio circuits and putting good DACs on is worth a listen, REGARDLESS of whether it has "Creative Labs" stamped on it.

    If all you're going to so is sit here and swear your motherboard audio experience was life-altering, and worth spending twice what the audio card itself costs, we're done here.

    https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Bla...XDWUCQ?_encoding=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

    And no, because it's mounted on he motherboard and subject to more noise, your motherboard's implementation is somewhere between the 116dB of the stock zX card, and the 124dB of the REAL zXR. So no, it's an $90-120 overpriced novelty, not a $200-250 audiophile's dream on-board.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  10. KIAman

    KIAman Limp Gawd

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    I ended up with a relatively cheap ASROCK Z170Pro4S for $60 after rebate. The reason I went with this are...

    Pros:

    1. Realtek ALC892 sound - I only game with a pair of Sennheiser HD 598, no external speakers so don't need anything more.
    2. M.2 slot supporting pcie x 4 and NvMe - Only 1 slot but I don't think I could afford another 950pro 512GB and why would you need two? I have the other 1TB SSD on my sata.
    3. 6 rear USB3.0 and 2 front USB3.0 - I don't think I'll ever connect more than 8 concurrent USB 3.0 devices ever
    4. 10 phase power - Supposedly good for OC and stability
    5. 2 PCIe x16 lanes - Never planning on SLI with my gtx 1080
    6. Did I mention $60 after rebate

    Cons:

    1. Realtek ALC892 sound - not audiphile quality but if I wanted, I could simply buy an external sound card
    2. No native watercooling stuff - not ever gonna water cool
    3. Looks - I have this inside a case with no window
    4. No built in WiFi - this is my gaming PC, I directly connect over GB LAN
     
  11. stephen2002

    stephen2002 [H]Lite

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    I went with a motherboard that met my needs at the time, an MSI H87-G43. It runs 24/7 without a hiccup. I don't overclock, watercool, use the built-in audio, connect with wireless, or want SLI. So my question would be why buy anything more than a basic board with good stability?
     
  12. wirerogue

    wirerogue Limp Gawd

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    i tried a maximus v extreme board a few years back. bunch of worthless features that i never used. waste of money. ebay saves the day.
     
  13. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    Willing to bet he does not have speakers/cans good enough to even show which one is better in the first place.

    And to the OP, most people into highend audio do not get sound cards anymore, they get external DAC's, not only do they have more and better options, but it is removed from the EMI of the mobo and other things in the case.

    As for the features, lots are not needed. YOU can't tell or use it enough to tell the difference from WiFi to gigabit Ethernet, probably because you don't do any local network transfers or streaming and are speaking in surfing the web and gaming aspect only. All the other features can be had on cheaper boards and many people might not even need them, letting them go with even cheaper, just like the drive slots, you don't even have a use for them you just said "why not?"....Uhhh...Money? Some people like having the best most feature rich items, others like to have something that does what they need and don't care about other features they will never use. Some mobos OC better than others, sometimes its midrange boards that OC better than some highend ones, it really depends and is where reviews come into play.

    This thread seems more like you justifying yourself buying a high priced mobo that has features even yourself will not make use of, soooo.....
     
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  14. Xinmosni

    Xinmosni [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you were going to spend that much on a motherboard and didn't go X99 (5960/6950X or Xeon 14C+), you're doing it wrong...
     
  15. Orddie

    Orddie [H]ard|Gawd

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    so this is the first time i put $$ into a MoBo for this build of mine. For fun, i went to each website and sorted by most $$ first. Everything >$400 had WiFI which i did not want. I ended up getting a gigabybe x170x gaming 7. Kinda the same board as the top end without WiFI. Feature set should last me a good bit of time though. Only thing i would have liked to see is two 16x PCI but don't have a need for it currently (single card and if i go dual.. both slots will run at 8x with a HUGE gap for air)
     
  16. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman 2[H]4U

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    I'm always down for a high end board but $550 for a z170 mainstream board is fucking insane, no offense lol.
     
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  17. Killerxp100

    Killerxp100 Gawd

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    You can justify your purchase all you want, none of us here are going to give you a pat on the back.


    I could care less about "features", they're mostly gimmicks. I look at things like power delivery & cooling, bios options, NIC, and OC capabilities. Then I'll glance at the features. Sure it's great to have 12 USB ports, but are you going to use them? Do you really have a need for that Thunderbolt port? Built in Wifi, for desktop usage...

    Don't even get me started on the audio. You will not be able to hear any difference between that "SoundBlaster" and a normal ALC1150 that's become pretty much standard on most boards.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  18. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman 2[H]4U

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    Wrong, you don't get anymore lanes than what the cpu originally came with. What you are referring to is a multiplex chip, the PLX8747 which is like a switching station where they hung another 20 lanes off of the original 20 lanes. At the end of the day everything still has to go thru the original 20 lanes off the cpu. There is no magical extra 20 lanes. PLX chips add a bit of latency as nothing is for free.

    If you really wanted 40 unadultered pcie lanes you should have gone X99. PLX is a band-aid and not an alternative to real pcie lanes.
     
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  19. Nebell

    Nebell Gawd

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    I know, the latency is almost non existant. But it does allow for more pci-e hardware.
     
  20. LightningCrash

    LightningCrash 2[H]4U

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    I bought a $375 motherboard in Sep 2006.
    When Windows 7 Beta was released in 2009, it did not have drivers for my motherboard.
    Several people with my motherboard contacted the manufacturer to discuss the issue.
    Intel decided they weren't going to pursue making Windows 7 drivers for my motherboard.

    Now, for Windows systems, I buy the cheapest motherboard that meets my requirements. Apparently they will be deprecated by inaction of the chipset vendors.

    The $375 board lived a long life running gnu/linux...
     
  21. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman 2[H]4U

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    The reviews of the G1 did not include multi gpu which means they never tested the links thru the PLX. You need to look at the Assrock Extreme 11 at Anand. They actually tested it how it was supposed to used, in tri and quad setups. The result is that it was slower in everything. And that is quad x16 versus quad x8 (3 - x8/1 - x16). Anand did test the G1 in the usual setup since if they ran quad they'd have to test vs an x99 system.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/9819/...d-sli-on-skylake-and-now-with-thunderbolt-3/7

    ^^In games it was the slowest, in system performance it was generally slowest though it did best in cpu only tests.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6228/...w-pcie-30-x16x16x16x16-and-lsi-8way-sassata/9

    ^^The placement on the graphs for the G1 mirrors what we see with the original bad boy E11, its slower in everything. With the PLX chipset, unless they specifically custom designed a chip to switch out of the PLX, even in single gpu the performance is affected by the built in latency. In other words single gpu is slower. Iirc the previous Max 7 Extreme had done this, as Asus specifically engineered a bypass so that under single gpu, it could bypass the PLX.
     
  22. Nebell

    Nebell Gawd

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    From what I've read, PLX 8747 does not make a big difference, in fact, not even synthetic benchmarks would see a big impact.

    The review is showing gaming in 720p... that's not going to limit a video card. They even reviewed with one video card as well as more. The motherboard is slow even with one video card. According to that, G1 should also be slower than the competition even with one card. But it's not. It's right there equal to other top motherboards without PLX chip.
    That review makes no sense, here G1 is no worse than any other:
    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/gigabyte_z170x_gaming_g1_review,23.html
    So someone is either lying or they just got a 0.3 or 2 fps difference, which can vary in benchmarks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  23. bigddybn

    bigddybn [H]ardness Supreme

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    I buy the cheapest board I can find that has the chipset I need and the features I use. I'd much rather throw money toward a faster component that actually makes a difference.
     
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  24. lukart

    lukart [H]Lite

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    Even in the high end Asrock get's damn good deals.
    Even their Extreme series has a ton of features and you can find them for just bit over 100$.
     
  25. skeeder

    skeeder [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm going to toss in my 3 cents here.

    Onboard Audio is gross. I currently use it on two machines and frankly, you get much more clarity from an external DAC and AMP. I use one machine with a TOSLINK for a receiver (older with no HDMI) and the other one I just retired it's VIA based soundcard (ironically it has a VIA soundcard on-board). Processing audio away from all the noise of the motherboard is just a good decision. Please don't pay more for audio onboard when you can put that money towards something that's USB driven and much more friendly to your headphones.

    I don't buy premium boards, I don't buy the cheapest boards either. I used to buy premium boards, but prices then were $200-250 instead of what I see today (long live the 939 socket and that time period I had extra money). Today, I consider anything around $100 decent value. A lot of boards (like Asus) are very similar in layout and components just missing some componets that are literally stamped on the board for the "premium" or "pro" versions. I don't need most of those features, so I don't bother paying for them.
     
  26. M76

    M76 2[H]4U

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    They give little to no benefit. Unless you specifically need their features like lots of port expandibility. I've had many MBs from the very low end to high end trough the years and frankly I didn't see much difference, if it works it works. Higher quality components for overclocking maybe? But how much actual benefit those give? I think you're much better off buying a more expensive CPU with a less expensive MB, than the other way around.
     
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  27. Aluminum

    Aluminum Limp Gawd

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    My latest X99 board was ~$200 on a newegg special and has dual m2 x4 wired to the cpu and neither are in stupid locations like underneath the primary gpu slot.

    Its high enough 'quality' to run a 22 core and 256GB of ram, none of your other points matter. Particularly anyone with a clue that cares about audio is running an external DAC and anyone that cares about real networking runs cables.

    You paid a lot of profit margin for a bunch of kitchen sink features of dubious value, sorry.
     
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  28. Palladium@SG

    Palladium@SG Limp Gawd

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    More $$$ = better reliability my ass. Every mobo vendor has every incentive to make every board reliable especially for their bargain basement parts where a single warranty claim is going to wipe out the profit of that sale.

    Better OCing? I would rather just buy a better CPU, GPU, SSD or whatever. The the cost/benefit doesn't make sense anymore.

    More features? Somewhat more debatable, but the fact even for a chipset as basic as H81 is already close to overkill for a typical single GPU gaming setup. WiFi and audio are better off as an external USB device where there are far more options and are also not permanently tied to the board, and works exactly the same whether its a $50 mobo or a $500 one.
     
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  29. Bandalo

    Bandalo [H]ard|Gawd

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    The wifi part of this is the only thing that bothered me...

    If you've already run the cable, why on earth would you go with wifi? Sure at the best of times, it's probably comparable to wired in your situation. But if the RF environment changes, for example you add some wifi devices, or your neighbors do, the performance drops. Plus it's just one more layer of security to deal with for all your traffic.

    Other than the convenience of not being tethered to a wire, I can't think of any reason I'd go with WiFi over a nice CAT5/6 run.
     
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  30. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman 2[H]4U

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    Wifi is fine imo, and just disable it if ya don't need it. Having it onboard saves a slot when you do need it. I've wired up my house but there is a room or two along the outside walls and as you know those outside walls are a pain in the ass to lay a drop, so fuck that. Wireless it is.
     
  31. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I usually just buy the cheapest Mobo that has the features I personally want/need.
    I don't need onboard audio. Once you go HDMI-out into an AVR, it's tough to go to anything else.
    Pricing and OC'ing don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. They can, but it isn't necessarily tied together.
    The other stuff can be valid if they're things you actually want/need. Most of it is fluff, but if you specifically need things like several m.2 slots - rock on.
     
  32. Bandalo

    Bandalo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, that's my point...if you can't run a drop, or it's somewhere where it's hard to run one, then WiFi makes sense. But if you already HAVE a drop...why?
     
  33. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman 2[H]4U

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    The wifi chip is optional for those that don't have lan. I'm not sure why it bothers you so much? There's plenty of things to ? about like getting a mainstream PLX board in this day and age when mgpu is basically dead.
     
  34. Bandalo

    Bandalo [H]ard|Gawd

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    The part I don't get isn't the fancy on-board wifi. I just don't get USING wifi if you have a hardware connection available. Makes sense for a laptop, phone or tablet..but for a desktop that already has a ton of wiring required?
     
  35. Palladium@SG

    Palladium@SG Limp Gawd

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    My 802.11AC wifi real speeds are a mere quarter of the displayed 867mbps bandwidth and that is only 2 meters from the AP. Even a basic Realtek wired GBe is going to beat the living crap out of any wifi solution assuming the WAN isn't the bottleneck to begin with.
     
  36. Ripskin

    Ripskin [H]ard|Gawd

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    I did not go super high end, more middle of the road. I settled here because I balanced my needs, my real world usage and what I was willing to spend to get good parts that fit with what I wanted them to do.

    I don't need or want Wifi on my main system so scrap that. I do a "bit" of over clocking off and on and light water cooling so I'm happy with my mid range. If people are spending 400 + just for the "best of the best" if they are happy great. But I bet they would be just as happy with a 100 dollar board that they use in the same way.

    Cost does not always equal better. My main PCIE slot died 4 months ago :(
    If I plug my GPU into that slot the NIC wont work, nor the boosted audio connections and I get no post at all with error's pointing to the GPU.

    Plug it into slot 2 and everything is happy /shrug.
     
  37. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett HardOCP MasterChef Editor Staff Member

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    I am fairly sure I have reviewed more motherboards than any other person on the planet. It all comes down to this. Do you value the feature set that you are paying for? Either you do or you don't. Pretty simple. If you are never going to use those features, do not pay for those.

    You can get a very good motherboard now days for $120, and even an great one for $150. Unless you are a edge-of-the-envelope overclocker, your MHz gain will be minuscule.

    All about features.

    I do see a lot of talk about support. I will tell you this. If you have been a forum member for a while here and are having support issues, I can help you out with all mfgs in making sure get handled besides AsRock. All you have to do is reach out. Do bring bullshit underhanded shit though. That stuff is easy to see though.
     
  38. limitedaccess

    limitedaccess [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    I'm curious why you feel the z170-A is the better motherboard? I haven't found a single website that has actually reviewed both (like HardOCP only reviewed the z170-A but not Pro Gaming) so I was never able to find any direct comparatives other than the on paper feature differences.
     
  39. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,144
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    That's like saying an i7 6700k isn't better than a FX-8350 because they perform the same in GPU limited scenarios.
     
  40. Armenius

    Armenius [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
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    Jan 28, 2014
    The bottom line is no one wants to pay for features they don't need or want. Here is my opinion on the bullets you pointed out:

    * Integrated Sound Blaster ZxR
    - I always went for integrated sound cards, but never of this quality. Then I bought dedicated ZxR and was blown away by the sound difference. So when I was getting a new computer, I wanted less PCI-E cards. This was obvious choice. This sound card is priced at just below €200 which brings the actual price of this motherboard to about €350.
    I think all motherboards should replace Realtek chips with this, personally. But I bought a Sound Blaster Zx AIB for $120 (€115).

    * High quality WiFi antenna
    - I didn't expect it to be THIS good. I actually bought two Ethernet cables but after detailed testing, there was absolutely no difference between using two cables and running WiFi 5GHz signal. Download/upload speed was the same, ping was the same, games worked just as good on WiFi as they were on the Cable, so I decided to just stay wireless.
    Don't need it, as I use a wired connection. However, one could spend $50 on a Linksys WUSB6300 and get excellent wireless connectivity.

    * Additional 20 PCI-E lanes
    - I was undecided between getting an "outdated" x99 motherboard or a Z170 packed with the latest features. Especially since I usually run dual video cards and wanted one of those ultra fast PCI-E SSD HDDs. Getting few extra lanes definitely helped me choose.
    Don't need it. I only run one video card, so the 20 lanes provided by the CPU is enough to run a PCI-E SSD. The 1 PCI-E lane my sound card uses is provided by the southbridge.

    * Two PCI-E x4 M.2 connectors
    - Because why not? ;)
    If they're not being used then it is wasted, that's why.

    * Plenty of USB 3.0/3.1 connectors (even Thunderbolt)
    - Now this might not be important to everyone, but to me it is. I have split my computer into two and I've almost ran out of USB ports. There are no old USB 2.0 ports so I don't have to worry which USB I connect my USB 3.0 HDDs.
    Agreed on this point. You can never have enough USB ports. I think USB 2.0 should be deprecated everywhere.

    * Premium materials, premium features (especially oc features)
    - This can be found on way cheaper motherboards, but getting this one I expected a motherboard with everything top notch, including overclocking. And it didn't disappoint. I was able to boot with my 6700k at 5GHz, unfortunately it was not stable. Whatever I attempted, the motherboard delivered, and if something was limiting it was not motherboards fault.
    Not everyone wants or needs to overclock their CPU like myself. "Military-grade materials/components" is often just a marketing term and an excuse for a higher price point.

    Now I reason why I opted for Gigabyte's and not the other premium motherboard (I did like the looks on MSI and I always loved Asus motherboards)

    * Watercooling support
    - I was building a hardline system and since everything was going to be water cooled, why not watercool the motherboard as well?
    I admit that this is a useful trend. But again, not everyone is going to be water cooling, and unused features are wasted features.

    * The looks!
    - Not everyone have the same taste, but to me, this motherboard is absolutely gorgeous
    It's not really hard to find a good looking motherboard anymore, especially now that the black and red phase has passed. But I admit that I am willing to pay extra for aesthetics that fit my taste.
     
    AK0tA likes this.