Am I missing out a lot when saving on the motherboard? (Z170)

Discussion in 'Processors and motherboards Intel' started by fabse, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. fabse

    fabse New Member

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    Hello there,

    i have been lurking around for a while and since i am about to upgrade my system i thought i'd just ask the question that is bothering me.
    My system is 8 years old, and I do want its replacement to last over a similar timespan, thus I decided for a 6700k with ddr4 memory support since I think it is quite future proof.

    Since this platform is so new there are hardly any tests and impressions of the available motherboards. There are tons of Z170 boards from each manufacturer and prices range from 120€ to infinty. In return I do have a hard time deciding on one.

    With higher prices the boards seem to get better connectivity, better on board sound and some other features. However even the cheapest ones seem to offer enough to satisfy my needs in this regard. I will certainly never use SLI/Crossfire and I highly doubt usb 3.1 is a must have - and these are the only hard stats advantages that expensive boards seem to have over cheaper ones (please correct me if I am wrong, this is my conclusion after one evening of light research). Finally: I honestly could not care less about fancy colors and glowing features.

    Is there anything that could justify the higher price for a user like me? Maybe some performance differences, maybe better stability (this is most important for me, I cannot handle system crashes). The CPU will be water cooled, maybe I will do some overclocking when I need the performance. Can I expect different OC results with different boards?


    I hope you guys can help me out a little :),
    Fabse
     
  2. token2k8

    token2k8 New Member

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    I am having a similar situation. Right now i think outside of niche features you aren't really missing out on a lot when you got with a midrange board. You won't have built in wifi etc but overall I think you will be fine. I was looking at the 170 Deluxe board by ASUS currently. It is $300 and is pretty damn good in comparison to the other board I was looking at by Gigabyte which is $500. Also I think the Asus boards from experience handle OC very well with the AI suite 3 so you can overclock your cpu pretty good
     
  3. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Well, I haven't looked into the Z170 boards too much (just upgraded to X99), but it all comes down to how 'future proof' you want to be, and how much you'd want to overclock your CPU.

    The extra features usually are about connectivity (additional SATA ports, M2 port, NVME compatability), but I, too, don't fancy USB3.1 at all. I don't see much sense in it, since I can't imagine any scenario for myself where I'd want to transport large amounts of data via USB, or use a device that needs the bandwidth hooked up to an external port...

    Depending on OC results, there can be an advantage in more expensive port, first of all there's the Asus OC socket (I won't comment on how and if it improves your OC stability, as I can't really test it), but then again there's additional CPU, PCH and RAM phases, which can indeed help in maintaining a bit of a higher OC with the same stability. Of course, any performance gain are not that important if you go for watercooling, since you already should surpass air cooling's capabilities.
     
  4. Netherwind

    Netherwind Ancient Guru

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    MSI for example has a wide range of Z170 boards. Starting from the MATE version posted on Guru news a few days ago to the ultra expensive Titanium boards. They do have their difference (of course) but I guess it's up to what features you want/need (like fanaskarsef said). I chose something in the middle (although it was the most expensive mainboard I've ever bought). I don't remember right now what the M3 board lacked in comparison to the M5 but it was something. I for one want a mainboard that has the right colour theme so that could also be a factor for you OP.
     

  5. fabse

    fabse New Member

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    Thanks for the replies token2k8, fantaskarsef and Netherwind.
    Basically you have freed me from eyeing at some needlessly expensive boards ;) .
    Maybe I should state that I do not want to do exessive OC, I do have the water cooler and there is no reason not to keep using it as it runs solid and quite.

    I have no found some boundary conditions that basically reduced the amount of options to one:
    - I want to buy all my stuff at the same shop (mindfactory.de)
    - A Samsung M.2 stick (MZ-HPV256HDGM) with 32 Gb/s should be part of the system (cannot post links yet...)
    - µATX would be nice as my small case is pretty camped due to the radiator.

    This only leaves the Gigabyte GA-Z170M-D3H (roughly 120€) and I promtly have two follow up questions concerning the compatibility of the M.2 SSD and the RAM with the board:

    1. The M.2 compatiblity list of the board lists the "MZ-HPV128HDGM" as supported. I am interested in the larger version "MZ-HPV256HDGM" and assume that there should not be any problems even if it is not directly listed.
    2. I want to go with 2x8 gb of ddr4 ram and the vendor I mentioned has a very limited selection with these specs. There is a GSkill kit (F4-3000C15D-16GRK) which is not directly listed in the compatibility list, however F4-3000C15Q-16GRK is supported.
    I figure that "Q" stands for quad and simply means that the board supports 4 of these DIMMS simultaniously. I conclude that it should work just as well with only 2 at a time, so the kit that is avaivable should be fine.

    I conclude that there should not be any compatiblity problems. Can someone confirm my assumptions or are there any objections?
     
  6. W@w@Y

    W@w@Y Ancient Guru

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    My experience going with a Rampage motherboard (x58) as a normal PC user/gamer

    I didnt get to use any of its features that made it expensive save except for its chipset and having the ROG board seemed cool
     
  7. Netherwind

    Netherwind Ancient Guru

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    Good questions, unfortunately I cannot answer them. Tbh, I didnt even check RAM compatibility when selecting my mobo. I'm sure it will be OK as long as you update BIOS.

    If you want a good list of MSI boards and the possibility to compare them I recommend you to check this out : http://gaming.msi.com/products/motherboard/z170a-gaming-series

    (Sorry, slightly in favor of MSI atm ;))
     
  8. fabse

    fabse New Member

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    Isn't everyone biased towards one manufacturer :wanker: .
    But you are right, compatibility issues are somewhat rare these days and there is just no way that manufacturers can test every single piece of equipment. I will just gamble a bit and tell you guys the result :cool: .
     
  9. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    First things first, mindfactory. Don't forget, they deliver via UPS, DPD, etc... you should be at home, or you should redirect the order to your workplace, or somebody who is present. Not that they ring the bell at all times (when I ordered somebody was home indeed and they just delivered it to a close shop, had to pick it up anyway, outer box was damaged, etc.)

    Second, unfortunately I have no experience with M2 SSDs since I've not yet saw any need for the huge transfer speeds with my builds. But you should really be fine with it, if not return it. Ask mindfactory support on your chances of returning the SSD (which should not be a big deal), but I think you won't run into any problems with your choice.

    The same goes for the RAM, it's just a slightly different model ID, but basically it should work. These days RAM are practically universally compatible, it's just at times they don't have samples at hand (like X99 and DDR4, both new technologies, and they might not get free RAM from every vendor). I don't expect any problems with your configuration.
     
  10. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    If you don't need high end board features, generally aim for the middle range Z170 boards. This is of course, dependent on the power features, the required number of SATA ports, audio requirements etc. Low end boards may have cheaper audio solutions, for example Realtek ALC892 vs ALC1150 on mid range boards. They may also have say, 6-phase power compared to 12-phase power on other mid-range boards. This of course varies from brand to brand. Best thing to do is link some examples of what you might buy, the price, and we can give you some hints as to the better choice.

    Probably a key thing to keep in mind is that nothing is truly 'futureproof', it's just been a bit of lucky lately that technology has temporarily stagnated. This is likely to change at the end of next year/2017, with AMD Zen (don't believe the naysayers), and 14/16 nm GPU's etc.
     

  11. fabse

    fabse New Member

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    I cannot link yet, as I dont have 10 posts. As I said before, I have pretty much settled for the Gigabyte GA-Z170M-D3H. I'd be happy if you could take a quick glance at it. I am in no rush to order as the CPU is out of stock for 6 more days anyways.

    My reasons for taking this board:
    - µAtx (not neccesary)
    - the smaller version the M2 SSD i have chosen is in the compatibility list
    - My last mainboard was also an ultra durable of gigabyte, worked well and stable (and stability is key).
    - Audio is not important, as i do have an external USB in (XLR) and output device.
    - As said before: overclocking only light, i doubt I will need it in the near future at all - heating is something heaters should do, not computers ;) .

    My definition of "future proof":
    - RAM extendible
    - More powerful CPUs coming for this platform, maybe i get a cheap replacement with 8 cores in like 4-5 years.
    - The platform be able to keep up with games by updating the GPU every 3-5 years.

    Real future proof is naturally unachievable. However, when I look at it now, the single thread performance of the 6700K is roughly 4-5 times the one of my Core2Quad. I can use the latter for my gaming purposes at the moment as I dont mind low settings at all. I guess gaming with the 6700K or a possible replacement with 8 cores will satisfy my needs for an equally long amount of time.


    Thanks for the heads up - will send to my office.
    As for the RAM, I did have really bad experiences with my first rig, bad dimms, then incompatible dimms... dont want to go through anything alike again.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  12. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    The GA-Z170M-D3H motherboard is most likely an appropriate choice.

    The first point in the futureproof list you have above doesn't really apply to Intel systems. It would almost be safe to say that definitely won't happen. The best chance of an upgrade is to Kaby Lake at the end of next year, but that is likely to be similar to Skylake. Cannonlake (the likely true successor to Skylake) will most likely be on a new socket. Who knows, Kaby Lake may even need a new socket or chipset knowing Intel!

    The second point ties in with the first, that Skylake will be replaced by Cannonlake, so you would only really get one GPU upgrade in 3 years time. The efficacy of doing so is not yet known, but with DirectX 12 and hopefully better coding by developers the platform will likely last. If the rumours of AMD developing their own load balancing between AMD Zen APU's and discrete AMD cards is true, that may mean a cheaper per graphics performance path in the future, meaning you may need to pay more for the graphics card to achieve the same result.

    Due to stagnation in the last couple of years, computers have relatively been 'futureproof', but like I pointed out this is likely to change in the next 2 years.
     
  13. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Very good point.
    Not everyone wants SLI nor Crossfire.
    Really,if i want to upgrade that motherboard looks very decent.
    More,it will very likely that one can build a Hackintosh on that platform.
    Only thing that comes to mind is that Gigabyte always pulls a new version of the same motherboard..
     
  14. fabse

    fabse New Member

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    I got my parts 2 days ago and immedeatly tried to set the system up.
    Unfourtanetly, on the first boot with the new system my PSU began to malfunction - it started making high pitched noises and it seemed like the power was not enough for the system to do a stable boot (it was 480W).
    So I bought a new one yesterday, put it in, and the system worked instantly! All parts seem to be perfectly compatible - although I am not running the RAM at 3000 yet (only 2166).

    Maybe I will try some OC in the next few days. Any tipps on what benches I should use to test for stability?
     
  15. fantaskarsef

    fantaskarsef Ancient Guru

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    Does the 6700K allow you to overclock to 3000MHz with the 100Hz strap? That would be very intersting to know since with my 5930K you can't do 3000MHz with the 100Hz strap, yet 3200 are possible... which some of the 3000MHz kits are capable of.

    Well as for benchmarks there's cinebench, realbench, x264 video encoding run, and probably a lot of benches other people can name. AID64 also comes to mind but it's not for free.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015

  16. angmar

    angmar Maha Guru

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    If you don't plan on overclocking or running Crossfire/SLI then no not at all as long as it has all the USB/SATA/RAM slots that you require.
     
  17. Emille

    Emille Master Guru

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    I want to go gigabyte as a result of bad experiences with other brands and good the GB.

    I wish the lower boards had 2 M.2 slots and the single 3.1a and 3.1c usb slots. To me those are the only differences that matter between the cheapest boards and the most expensive...that and the x8 second pci slot instead of 4.

    There is literally nothing inbetween feature wise. With the cheaper ones you get no 3.1 of any kind. A single M.2 slot or none, second pci slot is x4 max or shared with other features.

    I hope that if I end up wwiting for kaby lake we get boards without the B.S.

    No usb 2.0...just 6 3.1a slots and 4 3.1c slots on the back, 4 M.2 socket 3 slots, 8 sata 3 6gb ,8x/8x in sli on the cheap boards

    I don't like paying for legacy features and capacitors filled with sake and pixie dust.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015

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