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Looking for new motherboard


Rukh Whitefang
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My current motherboard is limping along. A PCI-E slot went bad last year. And the motherboard is no longer made. Its a Gigabyte Z68ap-D3 (rev 2.0). The CPU socket is 1155. And I am not finding a lot out there with that CPU socket. Price isn't a big issue. I am looking for a mid-high range motherboard for gaming. I have 16 gigs of ram and a gtx 970 4 gb gpu. Anyone have any suggestions?

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You really need to hit the used market.  eBay or your local used sales could be your best place.  These mobos are well out of production but that doesn't mean that a lot of used units don't exist.  For the most part, just make sure you stay within the P67 or Z68 chipsets (Avoid the P67s if onboard video is a concern of yours).  Also the Ivy Bridge chipsets like Z77 chipset boards would be fine, they'd all be backwards compatible with Sandy Bridge 1155 chips, no firmware update needed.  (Unlike running a Ivy Bridge CPU in a Sandy Bridge chipset board).

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1 hour ago, AshleyAshes said:

You really need to hit the used market.  eBay or your local used sales could be your best place.  These mobos are well out of production but that doesn't mean that a lot of used units don't exist.  For the most part, just make sure you stay within the P67 or Z68 chipsets (Avoid the P67s if onboard video is a concern of yours).  Also the Ivy Bridge chipsets like Z77 chipset boards would be fine, they'd all be backwards compatible with Sandy Bridge 1155 chips, no firmware update needed.  (Unlike running a Ivy Bridge CPU in a Sandy Bridge chipset board).

Yes I have found some on amazon, but I was thinking of upgrading. Or is that not worth it with this socket type? I am noticing the limited choice of new boards.

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4 minutes ago, Rukh Whitefang said:

Yes I have found some on amazon, but I was thinking of upgrading. Or is that not worth it with this socket type? I am noticing the limited choice of new boards.

Well, in terms of new boards, you might find 'New Old Stock' at some places but often the places hanging onto that want to get a 'good price'.

However, either way, equal replacement or high end replacement, used is probably the best bet.  So, here's the issue, ehnnn, for gaming, no board is REALLY going to improve things.  You can get some boards that are better suited for overclocking but nothing is going to say, give you more PCI-E Express lanes than your Z68 board does (Ya know, except that yours is broken) to let you throw in two or three GPUs with 18 lanes each.  That's when you'd need to dumb the chip entirely.  So, aside from boards better suited to overclock with, mostly you can just get 'better boards' with more secondary accessories on them.  More SATA controllers to give you 8-12 ports instead of just 6.  More USB controllers.  And so on and so on.  Nothing is really going to change your gaming performance significantly except for improving your graphics situation.

The Asus MAXIMUS IV EXTREME-Z is probably one of the best Z68 boards you could fine, but one of those would not come cheap, they weren't cheap new and they're still desirable now.  But something like that is certainly near the top-top end for Socket 1155.

 

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9 minutes ago, AshleyAshes said:

Well, in terms of new boards, you might find 'New Old Stock' at some places but often the places hanging onto that want to get a 'good price'.

However, either way, equal replacement or high end replacement, used is probably the best bet.  So, here's the issue, ehnnn, for gaming, no board is REALLY going to improve things.  You can get some boards that are better suited for overclocking but nothing is going to say, give you more PCI-E Express lanes than your Z68 board does (Ya know, except that yours is broken) to let you throw in two or three GPUs with 18 lanes each.  That's when you'd need to dumb the chip entirely.  So, aside from boards better suited to overclock with, mostly you can just get 'better boards' with more secondary accessories on them.  More SATA controllers to give you 8-12 ports instead of just 6.  More USB controllers.  And so on and so on.  Nothing is really going to change your gaming performance significantly except for improving your graphics situation.

The Asus MAXIMUS IV EXTREME-Z is probably one of the best Z68 boards you could fine, but one of those would not come cheap, they weren't cheap new and they're still desirable now.  But something like that is certainly near the top-top end for Socket 1155.

 

Thanks for the info. I was assuming this was the case. I am looking at two boards on Amazon right now.

Gigabyte Z68XP-UD5
http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Z68XP-UD5-Intel-Motherboard-GA-Z68XP-UD5/dp/B0054OWTCO/ref=sr_1_9?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1454380791&sr=1-9&keywords=z68+motherboard

ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z - LGA 1155 - Z68 - Republic of Gamer Series

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Maximus-IV-Gene-Z-Motherboards/dp/B005584ZHQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1454382235&sr=1-1&keywords=z68+motherboard&refinements=p_89%3AGigabyte|Asus

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Downsize of the Gene-Z there is that it's mATX, so it doesn't have a lot of options for adding more cards.  That said, people often have no interest in anything more than one GPU when it comes to expansion cards and that one does have two mechanical 16x slots if you did want to go dual GPU.  So so long as a lot of other PCI-E devices isn't your interest, it's price is good for what it is.

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5 minutes ago, AshleyAshes said:

Downsize of the Gene-Z there is that it's mATX, so it doesn't have a lot of options for adding more cards.  That said, people often have no interest in anything more than one GPU when it comes to expansion cards and that one does have two mechanical 16x slots if you did want to go dual GPU.  So so long as a lot of other PCI-E devices isn't your interest, it's price is good for what it is.

Only thing in the future that might happen is sli two 970s (a big if). So the Gene-Z it is then. Design made, I have never swapped out a motherboard before (only built new computers) So switching bios from one to the other? How does that work?

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1 minute ago, Rukh Whitefang said:

Only thing in the future that might happen is sli two 970s (a big if). So the Gene-Z it is then. Design made, I have never swapped out a motherboard before (only built new computers) So switching bios from one to the other? How does that work?

Well, you wouldn't switch the BIOS, they have their own BIOS.  You'll need to reconfigure the new mobos BIOS basic settings to match the first, ya know, boot drive, weather it uses AHCI and such.  However otherwise the OS should work fine.  It's the same chipset so all the core function of the mobo will work right off so at most you'll need to manually install drivers for any unique extra hardware that the boar might have.  Ya know, if it has an extra USB3 chipset or extra SATA chipset or whatever.  However one thing, this will break your Windows activation, so you'll have to re-activate Windows via the normal procedure, it'll prompt you for that and it's not rocket science to go through.

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8 minutes ago, Rukh Whitefang said:

Great, breaking windows activation with windows 10 is a nightmare from what I have heard. There is no product key. And what about drivers (keyboard, mouse, graphics card?) .

Oh right, Windows 10... Well, I'm sure it's similar.  It'll be all 'this isn't authentic, click here, do the stuff, blah blah'.  I've only ever had to re-activate Windows 7 installs.  Good luck! ^^;

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3 minutes ago, AshleyAshes said:

Oh right, Windows 10... Well, I'm sure it's similar.  It'll be all 'this isn't authentic, click here, do the stuff, blah blah'.  I've only ever had to re-activate Windows 7 installs.  Good luck! ^^;

They product key is hardware based for win 10. There is no product key for users who upgraded for free... And because I got my original windows 7 boot disk from my brothers college (not sure if that is considered retail or OEM) I am not sure the win 7 would show up as a legal purchase to Microsoft. In other words I have to get into a chat with Microsoft support and convince them I had a legal OS system...

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Just now, Rukh Whitefang said:

They product key is hardware based for win 10. There is no product key for users who upgraded for free... And because I got my original windows 7 boot disk from my brothers college (not sure if that is considered retail or OEM) I am not sure the win 7 would show up as a legal purchase to Microsoft. In other words I have to get into a chat with Microsoft support and convince them I had a legal OS system...

I don't think this'll be as big a challenge as you think.  Hardware changes DO happen and MS is prepaired for them.  Obviously they'd be able to look at your previous activate and kill it.  I thiiiiiink that so long as your previous windows was retail, as in not an OEM version, you're good, cause you can move that activation.  However if it was OEM, you're SOL, cause that OEM key is tied to that hardware, but that would have applie to the OEM version before Windows 10 even.  Such as how my Windows 7 Home for my laptop became non-existent after I replaced it's mobo.  That OEM license was part of the motherboard that went into the trash and I'd never even upgraded to Windows 10.

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So I just got off a online chat with Microsoft technical support. And according to them when a hardware change like a motherboard is done in order to reactivate windows 10 your windows 7(8) product key will work and activate win 10. So, thats not what I was seeing on forums and such but it would be nice if thats all it took.

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