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Thread: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    For me, its about who makes the best motherboard for my needs at time of purchasing.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Asus

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    I miss Abit
    Me too :-( They were my go-to brand until they folded and I must have built more than a dozen PCs on Abit boards. Such good value and a great community around them. Even after they went under I was still getting support and bios tweaks for my AX78. I loved that budget board even more than my NF7-S.

    Now every time I build for someone I'm using a different branded mobo with an unfamiliar bios to deal with. I did have a run of ASRock boards for most of my previous gen AMD builds and I've just started using MSI for Ryzen. Like many here say, it's wide open now so I just pick the board with the chipset and sockets I need that's selling at the best price at the time.

    Have to say that I have never had any hardware issues with any motherboard that I've ever bought, all of which have been at the budget or midrange end of things. And all my AMD builds have been overclocked to the max stable speed, so it's not as if I give the mobos a particularly easy time.
    (I have occasionally had boards that didn't reliably wake from sleep, but that could be the fault of a driver)

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Hmm mentioning software brings something else up. I don't recall the last time I had a remotely positive experience with any supplied software/utilities.
    ...
    For those reasons I generally leave the disc sealed in the box, and get drivers preferably from the likes of Intel/AMD directly, or if not I'll carefully download and just the bare drivers from the website if Windows doesn't find them itself.

    I just find graphical UEFI annoying too (all of them), and a waste of limited EEPROM space.
    Yep. I don't even look at the provided disk in most cases. And agree that my experience with UEFI has been that they are even worse than the old BIOS screens. Had real trouble just working out how to change the boot order on my last build, due to a crucial bit of the UI being scrolled off the bottom of the screen and it not being obvious that the panel was scrollable. Instead of "simple" and "advanced" options simply switching the look of the GUI I would much prefer "advanced" to switch me to a text only mode on fixed pages (like the old BIOS). I think that would make it much easier to get your head around all the available settings quickly.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    I always end up with ASUS boards as they get the best reviews however my experience with their reliability has been poor. in the last 8 years I've gone through 5 RMA's with faulty ASUS boards. 2 were DOA's. These weren't cheap boards either 3 failures were on the Rampage 4 extreme (1 DOA), 1 on the Crosshair Hero VI and 1 on the Crosshair hero VII (1 DOA). Tech support is also uniformly terrible with staff never reading tickets properly and just repeating scripted responses.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Quote Originally Posted by emperoralku View Post
    I always end up with ASUS boards as they get the best reviews however my experience with their reliability has been poor. in the last 8 years I've gone through 5 RMA's with faulty ASUS boards. 2 were DOA's. These weren't cheap boards either 3 failures were on the Rampage 4 extreme (1 DOA), 1 on the Crosshair Hero VI and 1 on the Crosshair hero VII (1 DOA). Tech support is also uniformly terrible with staff never reading tickets properly and just repeating scripted responses.
    Perhaps you should pay more attention to your own experiences and less to reviews?
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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    My last Abit board is mounted in a frame and hung on a wall with a P4 still fitted. It never died despite running for years 24/7. Only retired it recently has it was truly obsolete (32-bit only, no virtualisation tech etc).

    I've been using Gigabyte for my top end builds since that. My last board, an X99 board I've found a little bit unreliable, but to their credit, they respond quickly to support queries and are happy to provide BIOS fixes when asked. I have an X58 that hasn't received a Spectre patch, but the X99 one was released promptly.

    I had a fright at the weekend when my board wouldn't POST after a powercut, narrowed it down to either the board or the CPU. Tried everything, clearing CMOS, trying to force a flash, or the recovery BIOS, no avail. In a fit of inspiration, popped the battery and it all recovered.

    There are a few things that attract me to Gigabyte. The dual-bios, and ultra-durable stuff. I know most of the other manufacturers now do this too, but Gigabyte were early to the table so got my business. They have proven fairly resilient.

    The other thing I noticed whilst scouring ebay for a replacement board was most Gigabytes had 7 expansion slots where most others had 6. Whilst I don't use every PCIe slot, I do use every position due to dual-height gfx card. I couldn't use another brand and fit in all my expansion cards.

    I have heard good things about ASRock, and used their boards in home-brew mini servers and such. I've found their support for more professional features ahead of the others (VT-d etc I could only find on their boards for a while without paying silly money).

    I think I'd probably check ASRock first before looking elsewhere these days, including Gigabyte.

    Like others on here, I've fallen out with MSI. I've found their boards and BIOSes (especially UEFI) are unreliable and far from slick to use. And I found with their top-end boards, their PCIe lane usage quirky so you can land up with unusable slots.

    Asus seem to be overpriced and under-quality. They seem to put a lot of effort into the LED clad overclockers/gamers, charge through the roof but seem to skimp a bit on materials when comparing with similar priced products.

    Who will actually get my business at my next major upgrade? The manufacturer who provides:
    - reliability
    - flexibility with PCIe lanes
    - gimmick free

    I do not want:
    - gimmicky nics with poor driver support (looking at you "Killer")
    - LEDs that serve any purpose other than to indicate status and errors
    - cable sockets in stupid positions meaning you can't use half the slots
    - stupid garish colours over everything (I'll assume form over function)

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Agreed WRT the gimmicks, but I think they're driven by a need to differentiate given how more and more is being integrated into the CPU leaving the motherboard to do less. Not that they've been dropping in price or anything as a result

    Wouldn't it be nice if they competed on things like reliability, functionality, and a well-written+tested UEFI rather than a horrid thrown-together mess of bugs, spelling mistakes, nonsensical/broken settings, rubbish fan profiles, and childish graphics? Just a thought...

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      • CPU:
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      • Intel 750 PCIe SSD; RAID-0 x2 Samsung 840 EVO; RAID-0 x2 WD Black; RAID-0 x2 Crucial MX500
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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Also - I personally don't need a sound card, or an ethernet card. I've got standalone both (10GBe ethernet and Sound Blaster Z). I'd love an option to save a few quid by not having to opt for those. You'd think in these days of automation it would be a trivial thing to do motherboard options. Sacrifice audio for extra USB or SATA ports or something.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    The market may not be big enough for a consumer board with those features stripped out, and they're so cheap in bulk that they probably wouldn't be able to recoup the costs of designing and producing yet another board, and I doubt they'd be any cheaper at retail regardless. Plus you get the inventory management issues that come with yet another SKU. You can always just disable them in BIOS.

  11. #59
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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    It used to be ASUS. Especially back in the mid-to-late 90s ASUS motherboards were about the best you could get. Sadly, it's gone downhill for the last decade or so, ever since ASUS felt the need to "diversify" and outsourced the production to companies like ECS.

    These days I'd probably favour ASRock motherboards. Back when they were still a sub brand of ASUS they weren't allowed to properly compete and mostly made wacky motherboards with features you didn't know you didn't need, but now they actually produce some pretty decent kit.

    Not a big fan of Gigabyte, because they tend to do several revisions of their products and "forget" about the earlier ones in favour of the current ones.

    When all this is said and done, because of my requirement for ECC support, that very much narrows the available selection from any manufacturer.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Have to agree with what a few people have said about ASRock - they still seem to carry the reputation of a budget brand but they've made some of the better boards I've owned/used. Their UEFI is also one of the more usable ones IMO.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Gigabyte is my preference mainly due to reliability, dual bios features and being Hackintosh friendly.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    I use to think it was Asus. Now I am not a fan of Asus's prices or quality. I'm pretty much stuck between Asrock and a hard place. Either I switch to Gigabyte or Asrock. Currently I still think Asus is the better of the other brands. Asus quality is eroding and the prices Asus charges are getting to be a slap in the face. I happen to like the hero series of motherboards. I am now thinking on switch to Asrock or going to Asus Strix an inferior product though Strix has the pricing the Hero series should still have.
    Last edited by Korrorra; 02-08-2018 at 09:42 AM.

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Asus does easily

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    Re: QOTW: Who makes the best motherboards?

    Quote Originally Posted by StaticLNX View Post
    Asus does easily
    Why do you say that? User experience here seems to disagree with you! (with some users reporting a reduction in build quality and software quality)

    So we would be interested to know why you think they are easily the best.
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