Why spend $300-400 on an "overclocking" motherboard?

AdamNesvick

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
2,373
I'm still trying to figure this out, you overclock to save money, but any money you save, is mitigated by the extra cost of the MB than if you just bought a fairly standard motherboard and a faster CPU in the first place.

This trend is really starting to irritate the hell out of me.

Can't we go back the the Celeron 300A days with a $50 processor on an $80 board being faster than the $300+ flagship CPU with a little luck?
 

wra18th

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
7,921
Some years ago I was asked by a buddy; "why do you go through all that for more speed?".
Answer: Because I can.

If that answer doesn't cut it for you then perhaps you're turning oft.
 

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,826
I'm still trying to figure this out, you overclock to save money, but any money you save, is mitigated by the extra cost of the MB than if you just bought a fairly standard motherboard and a faster CPU in the first place.

This trend is really starting to irritate the hell out of me.

Can't we go back the the Celeron 300A days with a $50 processor on an $80 board being faster than the $300+ flagship CPU with a little luck?

Look at the system in my sig... at the time the i7-975 was the most expensive i7 available. I spent about $300 less than the i7-975 cost if i add up my Motherboard, CPU, RAM, and CPU cooler and it runs at 4.2Ghz (900Mhz faster than the i7-975 runs at stock).
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
705
Because my purpose isn't to save money. It's to get the fastest speed I possibly can, without breaking the bank.
 

mjz_5

2[H]4U
Joined
May 24, 2001
Messages
3,637
I'm still trying to figure this out, you overclock to save money, but any money you save, is mitigated by the extra cost of the MB than if you just bought a fairly standard motherboard and a faster CPU in the first place.

This trend is really starting to irritate the hell out of me.

Can't we go back the the Celeron 300A days with a $50 processor on an $80 board being faster than the $300+ flagship CPU with a little luck?

i agree.. i get a 150$ motherboard and i overclock to what i can.. i wont spend 150 dollars more to get a few more megahertz.
 

Deluded

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
1,376
I'm still trying to figure this out, you overclock to save money, but any money you save, is mitigated by the extra cost of the MB than if you just bought a fairly standard motherboard and a faster CPU in the first place.

This trend is really starting to irritate the hell out of me.

Can't we go back the the Celeron 300A days with a $50 processor on an $80 board being faster than the $300+ flagship CPU with a little luck?

It's still fairly easy to find cheap processors and cheap mobos and overclock it.

I have a i3 530 and a biostar mobo -- it was bundled with the processor when I bought it from Fry's many months ago. Got 4.6 ghz 24/7 stable.

You just have to look in the right places.
 

defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
13,838
Can't we go back the the Celeron 300A days with a $50 processor on an $80 board being faster than the $300+ flagship CPU with a little luck?

Pedant: when it was new, I paid $120 for my Celeron 300A and $110 for my Abit BH6. It was cheap-as-hell for an Intel processor, but not THAT cheap :D

That said, I agree that there's no point in these over-the-top motherboards today if all you plan on doing is overclocking and gaming. Some people can justify the excesses of expensive motherboards because they have cool features like Tri/Quad video slots, or plenty of lanes for RAID controllers or TV tuners. But mostly people just buy them to put a bragging point in their hardware sig :D

But I'm with you dude: I managed to get TWO generations out of that BH6 purchase (Celeron 300A @ 450 and then Celermine 533A @ 800), and then the most I've paid for a motherboard has been about $130. I really can't justify any more, not when you see quality AMD boards going for $80-100.

It's even harder to justify when you see absolutely no difference between Sandy Bridge overclocks. Seems that multiplier overclocking has taken FSB build quality completely out of the equation!
 

joecop120

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,208
There is a point to it. 4 years ago I bought an expensive motherboard - the gigabyte p35-dq6 that had overclocking potential. The cost of it was due to its new release, and boatload of features as compared to other P35 boards.

I built the PC, and it worked. Now, 4 years later, I wanted to get a little more out of the chip. I don't need to buy a new motherboard though, since the one I had can overclock with stability (keyword). The initial cost of the motherboard has negated my need to upgrade, and spend the time buying/installing/tweaking something new.

So, that high cost is mostly associated to the features of the motherboard. Even an ECS piece o' crap board will overclock to some extent, but doesn't have the features or build quality of something more expensive.

That "Little bit of luck with the Celeron" is exactly what occured with AMD chips. A lot of boards will unlock stable cores, and those boards themselves are inexpensive.
 

seanmcd

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
Messages
1,433
I'm still trying to figure this out, you overclock to save money, but any money you save, is mitigated by the extra cost of the MB than if you just bought a fairly standard motherboard and a faster CPU in the first place.

This trend is really starting to irritate the hell out of me.

Can't we go back the the Celeron 300A days with a $50 processor on an $80 board being faster than the $300+ flagship CPU with a little luck?

A lot of these super expensive boards have to do with 3 way SLI more than overclocking. I have encountered friends that don't use SLI and never will yet they still buy the top end board when they could have bought the middle of the road board. CPU's and motherboard are quite different than they were in the Celeron 300A days! But, perhaps you've been in a coma the last 15 years and you weren't aware.
 

SilverSliver

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Messages
11,490
It's not like there are not plenty of lower priced boards out there that overclock just fine. If it's a primary hobby and if you want to get every ounce out of your hardware, at least the option is there. I welcome not having to buy budget boards, because that all that is available, and doing hardmods/voltmods on them to OC.
 

wesleys_dad

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2005
Messages
1,271
Mainly because its fun and challenging...and because im smart enough to do it...and because you get more speed for less money...
dude you are in the wrong forum....this is for guys who like challenges..there are some extremely smart people in this forum and i for 1 learn so much by reading this forum..everyone is glad to help..
try it and you might like it.....
 

War Zone

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
276
Agreed AdamNesvick and my mobo only cost $85+tax new and i was shocked that it had piles of overclocking options or maybe a better way of putting it is advanced bios options.
Really top notch on the topic.
Part that sucks more often then not on the cheaper mobos is the chipset heat sinks, but my self i all ways ghetto mod something on that topic and its a done deal in no time and all too often i can beat the $300 gamer boards on northbridge temps topic in the after math :D , go figure

And ya imho overclocking is about get more pay less not pay more so you can pay more .
 
Last edited:

MrSneis

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
2,584
I think the OP has some merit here. this is going to be a hot topic of debate I think. In my exp. the following tends to be the case:

-Motherboards of the same chipset are +/- only a few percentage points different in terms of real-world performance. This could be chalked up to statistical discrepancies if anything.

-In this same context I've found many motherboards are very similar in overclocking performance in the same chipset. Usually the more expensive boards get better/longer lasting caps or more power phases (which arguably result in better more stable overclocks) but this doesn't rule out the cheaper boards from being able to overclock just as well *if not within 95% (arbitrary#) as well* as the more expensive version.

-Almost always is the case that more expensive motherboards have more "features". Onboard audio vs x-fi onboard audio, Gigabit lan vs dual gigabit lan, single bios vs dual bios, raid vs no raid, usb 3, wifi, etc. The sad part is the more features cost more money and more often than not I end up going through and disabling all this crap in sacrifice for the best possible overclock.

-Better cooling for the more expensive boards. You get what you pay for of course; when you really think about it though the nb/sb/vrm heatsink setup for any mobo probably doesn't cost an arm and a leg different between budget and premium but we're definitely paying for it. Latest trends seem to be manufacturers using bolt-through heatsinks which genuinely are awesome compared to push pin type mounting of yore.

-Then of course there's the warranty. I think certain manf.'s such as XFX or EVGA get away with charging a lot for their products because their warranty is longer lasting. We all void our warranties by overclocking anyways so whatever.

In the end, I like to go for looks personally AKA the more expensive boards :(
 

War Zone

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
276
Well said and Agreed.
Couldn't have put it better.

Though my self iv never bin big on integrated anything, imho its never as good as a add in card simply because you can't get all the hardware from a add in card on to a motherboard unless you want your motherboard to be the size of a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood.

As for the x-fi onboard audio chip id love to have that on a laptop .Man 95% of all laptops when it comes to sound suck so bad its not even funny.
 

Dylan80

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
1,850
There are awesome $60 overclock/unlocking motherboards for AMD without a doubt, from Asus and Gigabyte too.... one that I would buy for a primary budget gaming rig.

If I had to buy a non-budget, normal gaming rig OC motherboard, it would only cost $100-150 tops, and that has 6GB SATA and USB3, etc..... all the fancy new stuff.

Intel mobo typically will cost more, yeah.... usually.
 

glen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2007
Messages
230
The thing about buying the $175+ motherboards that I have noticed over the years is they tend to last longer. I've got on old Asus that I paid $175 for back in 2005, I overclocked it for a few years then upgraded. Put it in my kids computer at stock speeds and it has lasted 7 years. At least back then you got what you paid for. I don't know now. For example look at the latest Asus take the P8P67 vs the P8P67 dlx, the Dlx has all the features I need but it has a less expensive power regulation, yet it seems the expensive models P8P67&P8P67-Pro, etc have more issues.
 

War Zone

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
276
Man i remember way back when their was this board that ECS made {K7S5A} with a SIS 735 chipset.
Man the mobos were dirt cheap and at the same time wining benchmarks shootout vs the costly gamer boards .
People like asus were pissed, it was funny ;)

Form-Factor too was beefy for a ATX mobo.All most E-ATX
 

wesleys_dad

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2005
Messages
1,271
I personally think on motherboard life depends on cooling..me being a temp nut ive used boards in all price ranges and im happy to say ive never had a motherboard failure, and ive been building computers since 1996...
I always design my cases with fans that actually blow across the motherboard and i check temps with my digital infrared thermometer...anyway thats my experience...
 

theseeker

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
2,245
I'm still trying to figure this out, you overclock to save money, but any money you save, is mitigated by the extra cost of the MB than if you just bought a fairly standard motherboard and a faster CPU in the first place.

This trend is really starting to irritate the hell out of me.

Can't we go back the the Celeron 300A days with a $50 processor on an $80 board being faster than the $300+ flagship CPU with a little luck?

People don't buy what they need, they buy what they want. Is there any real reason for a Ferrari 458?
 

War Zone

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
276
wesleys_dad: I personally think on motherboard life depends on cooling..me being a temp nut ive used boards in all price ranges and im happy to say ive never had a motherboard failure, and ive been building computers since 1996...
I always design my cases with fans that actually blow across the motherboard and i check temps with my digital infrared thermometer...anyway thats my experience...
+1
Same same.I don't have digital infrared thermometer though, i just go case fan and heat sink crazy.

PS the Celeron 300A was a overclocking king back in the day , it was dirt cheap and in the right hands with good cooling could hit if i remember right 550MHz sometimes more .i remember seeing 700MHz on water cooling somewhere way back when.
e5200 good too btw hehe dirt cheap and overclocks so much its stupid.
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
18,269
I'm still trying to figure this out, you overclock to save money, but any money you save, is mitigated by the extra cost of the MB than if you just bought a fairly standard motherboard and a faster CPU in the first place.

This trend is really starting to irritate the hell out of me.
People don't OC to save money. Maybe at one point they did but even cheap CPU's now day's are very good.
 

rudy

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
8,700
Blanket generalizations are not correct.

Not all people OC just to save money they do it to get more performance out of a chip, if you spend $1000 on an X cpu you still may want to push it higher to get the absolute most out of it. It's like saying why do people buy expensive cars then tweak them even more.

On the other hand people like me OC to save money, I just consider it extra performance for whatever price I paid, or sometimes I use it to extend the life of an aging system. Obviously I wont drop $400 on a mobo usually never more than $150. I take the whole system into account though recently with microcenters deals on CPUs I have been dropping more on motherboards to get X58 which comes out to about the same price.

But both tactics for computer performance are valid depending on how much you are willing to spend and so on. Now days you can OC most CPUs 400 mhz or so with out doing anything (no special ram, mobo, heat sink) its kinda just a free upgrade if you know how to do it.
 

ordovician

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 28, 2007
Messages
2,625
Jesus, name a motherboard that costs $300-400 more than an entry-level version of the same chipset. Most overclockers spend a bit more than entry price, maybe $50-100. Here's why:

1) Much more robust BIOS features, better VRM cooling, SLI/Xfire, SATA 6gb/s, USB 3.0, LCD readouts, etc.

2) It's also sometimes a GOOD financial decision to get a more expensive motherboard, since it will be more likely to support future unreleased processors. (A lot of entry level AM3-board owners learned this about the Phenom II X6, since they were unsupported).

3) They don't make processors as fast as the overclocks we want to achieve. Look at my sig. I have a 4ghz i7 930. Spending more on an i7 950 and less on a crappier motherboard would have been stupid. I'd have ended up with lower performance AND a crappy motherboard.

4) People who overclock tend to spend more than the average person on PC stuff. The money we save on the processor usually goes towards things like better video cards, etc.

I'm not saying that the "top of the line" $200+ boards are worth it - they usually aren't. However, it is often a better idea to spend $150 on a motherboard than $70. All the other components depend on it, after all.
 

mannyman

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,854
hell i only spent like 70 on my asus board and i oced my 425 no unlock to 3400 mhz and it works great
 

War Zone

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
276
And why not AMD, simple their back to being what they use to be imho, the low to mid range price point kings.It be nice to see em pump out something like the k7 vs p4 years but atm it seems more like its the k62 vs the pentium2~3 years or something.
well if some one wants me to spend $$$ on a i5 2500k cpu ill take the following on my mobo

E-atx form factor
4 p-ata hdd support
full floppy drive {2 drives} support
8 s-ata
2x serial port
1x parallel port
3 pci-e 16x
4 pci version 2.0+ {3.3~5v support}
1 pci-x {64bit pci 3.3~5v support}
1 isa 16bit
{pci and isa slots can be side by side so you can chose to use one or the other if and when needed}
twin lan t1000
twin fire wire
buffered ecc memory support
6 dimm slots

And put the main chipset chip somewhere with some space so i can mount a monster heat sink.:D

Speaking of the Celeron 300A i still have mabe 6 slot1 cpus .Here are the ones worth talking about with modded heat sinks . p2 350mgz~500mgz 2.1v Deschutes core \ p3 500@700mgz 2.2v Katmai core :O)
 
Last edited:

Impulse

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Messages
10,232
Personally, no single part on any of my rigs has been worth more than $250 in quite a while, I just can't justify it. Pretty sure my last three mobos were all sub-$150 (after MIR at 'least) and they all OC fine... ASUS A8V Deluxe - VIA's chipset actually seemed more stable than NV's at the time and it held a stable 2.3GHz OC on my A64 3000+ for a while.

ASUS P5Q Pro - Q6600 not much else need be said, I'm in the process of toning down the OC for lower temps before I give the system away to my parents, probably leave it at 3GHz. MSI P67A-GD55 - i5 2500K haven't built it yet but it's sitting on my desk, the GD65 was like $20 more expensive and all it added was e-SATA so I passed on it.

That being said, I don't think there's anything wrong w/$200-300 mobos (anything after that just seems rather excessive). There's plenty of integrated features or specialized cooling adaptations that make those mobos worthwhile for those who really want bleeding edge OCs. /shrug

SB mobo prices are a lil' on the high side, 2011's debut prices might be startling high to some.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
43
major reason i buy high priced motherboard,reliability and warranty.plus i like to try new things like over clocking.i had a cheap evga board and could not get the numbers i wanted stable.so i bought a asus rampage extreme III and in less than 20 minutes i was at a o/c i liked.i will go higher when i put it under water.but for now it is stable as heck,folding 24/7.
 

joxang

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
279
I paid £150 extra for an ASUS rampage III extreme because it was red and black. I already had a 3.8Ghz overclock on my gigabyte but I was sleeving and lighting and needed the mobo to match. I can't really afford it cos I'm a student, but that's what hobbies are about...
 

Falkentyne

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 19, 2000
Messages
1,705
+1
Same same.I don't have digital infrared thermometer though, i just go case fan and heat sink crazy.

PS the Celeron 300A was a overclocking king back in the day , it was dirt cheap and in the right hands with good cooling could hit if i remember right 550MHz sometimes more .i remember seeing 700MHz on water cooling somewhere way back when.
e5200 good too btw hehe dirt cheap and overclocks so much its stupid.

300a's couldn't hit 550.
It was the 366's that could.
Really good 300a's could hit 504, though. Those were the rare chips.

I still remember some nightmare I had with a 300a or some other chip around there, when I tried to run windows with a a very unstable OC. Completely wiped the partition table....
 

RamonGTP

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
8,150
Well i'm not going to say anything that hasn't already been mentioned, but i'll chime in anyway. First and foremost, you don't have to spend $3-400 and an overclocking board as someone else already mentioned, boards costing that much are typically reserved for 3 way SLI/CF in addition to a whole lot of other bells and whistles. A $150 board will typically OC just as well as those costing twice as much, you just don't get all the extra "stuff".

Not to mention, people who want to overclock will want to do it regardless of what CPU they purchase so even if you spend <$100 on a board and put the savings towards a better CPU, you're going to want to OC that anyway.
 

War Zone

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
276
agreed .

Falkentyne: I still remember some nightmare I had with a 300a or some other chip around there, when I tried to run windows with a a very unstable OC. Completely wiped the partition table....
ya win95\98 was like that, if your overclock wasn't stable it would format your hdd.

Newer versions of windows aren't as bad on that topic but if you start going hard reset crazy on your computer and or the overclock is way unstable it can still purge your hdd some, and this is why when i first start playing with new hardware on the overclock topic ill brake out a 20gig ide hdd or something and format it in fat32, 100% clean install with only the basic drivers in place then ill start my basic overclocking test mythology.

Speaking of hdd that purge them self's, my network server computer is down {OS drive 40gig ide fat32}

Im doing a low level hdd scandisk\chkdsk with something top secret made in freedos.
Christ iv got a case of bad sector city happening and its in the first or second part of the file allocation table, looks like i have a case of windows reinstall to do :( yay.
drive is dedicated for windows so its nothing a fdisk\format\scandisk can't fix but sadly it still means i have to reinstall.

Man i remember this dude from long ago in win 3.11{386-sx 25mgz 4 megs ram} ,it was like bad sector panic land on his 40 meg hdd. Every other day more would show up and a windows install would only last like 7 days before it was all over forcing more installs and scandisks :D it was freaking stupid as was the size of the drive ,i cant remember what the thing was but you could put your coffee on it in the morning and it would keep your mug warm.

Edit nm all good, only one bad sector and i was able to get around the fat problem.systems up and ruining but i should none the less do a reinstall .Man theirs this one cluster on the hdd where the computer gos when it boots and if its dammed your hdd is wasted, tnx god the damage wasn't in that part of the world, close call.
 
Last edited:

glen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2007
Messages
230
And why not AMD, simple their back to being what they use to be imho,

For example, how long did it take to get Trim on non Intel chipsets? Its little things like that which piss me off. If you only plan on keeping it a couple years maybe, but you never know what is around the corner and Intel seems to find ways to put non-Intel owners in a bad place long term. My current MB is from 2007 and I have full SSD harddrive SB support, every feature from the latest RST driver and the latest SB chipset bios driver. I don't think folks who bought a non Intel chipset MB in 2007 can say that, but maybe I am wrong. Not wanting a AMD vs Intel war, hell the tables could turn at anytime, just stating my personal observation.
 

War Zone

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
276
last gamer Bords i got my hands on was this one
Gigabite 7N400 pro2
cost me like $200 back in the day and the Bord is still in use,its my network server computer atm,and i have better {Tyan tiger mpx} then that as for as server board go but the other computer doubles as a gaming computer for a guest if and when needed.
as well the feature set is really nice, 8 ide \ 2 s-ata support support fire-wire \ gigabit integrated lan
this is one of the end of the line\top of the line mobos for k7 cpus btw .
I use to own a ABIT NF7-S v2.0 as well link, but i sold it at one point when i was low on cash {should have kept it}

I should say as well the stuff Asrock is making of late works more for me then most mobos company's out their and its not cus their a under dog company that changes anything in my mind .Asus was as well once long ago if you go back to way back when.... :p
P67 Pro3

Ps glen my self what im looking for is a gamer Bord that's really a server Bord but is really a gamer Bord with upgrade options from hell so i can pack so much junk in to one case its not even funny anymore and i don't care about the more then one video card topic.i want a gamer Bord i can pack full of hardware raid cards lan cards sound cards ~ etc & video card heat sinks are taking up too much space imho and are starting to get on my nerves .I think my next rid its water cooling time for the video card even if it means i have to ghetto mod my own\make my own just to save a buck,im not paying $200 for a water block for a video card i know that much.
 
Last edited:
Top