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Windows 7: Please help me narrow down some components for a new PC

27 Feb 2016   #31
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

I hear you
I bought the x99 sabertooth because it had 4-usb2 and 4-usb3 and 1-usb3.1
I was hesitant when it didn't have any on board graphic's but with a real gpu it really doesn't matter except if that gpu breaks down/ fails....

Just to muddy the water a little more there are also pci-e slot usb options to use all or some of the internal usb ports
Amazon.com: Sonnet USB2-E Allegro 5-Port USB 2.0 PCI Express Card: Electronics

Anker® Uspeed Superspeed USB 3.0 PCI-E Express Card with 4 USB 3.0 Ports and 5V 4-Pin Power Connector for Desktops [one step to upgrade your PC to USB3.0]: Amazon.ca: Electronics

And esata
Amazon.com: StarTech.com 2 Port PCI Express eSATA Controller Adapter Card PEXESATA2: Electronics


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2016   #32
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

In post 19, you complained about the lack of USB 3.0 ports.

It isn't until post 27 that you qualify that with "rear".

It is what it appears to be. Generally four 3.0 rear and 3 or 4 more elsewhere, plus at least two 2.0 rear and at least two more elsewhere. Grand total of at least 10 total.

You can work around that or not upgrade.

Have you determined which of your external devices in fact don't work well enough to suit you on USB 2.0?

I haven't looked at boards over $200 as they offer nothing for me. Maybe there is one out there with leventy leven USB 3.0 at the rear. Maybe not.

Not to mention the USB 3.1 ports.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2016   #33
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Yep that is why all cases and boards have Expansion slots
Oh boy the possibilities to put additional goodies in them
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Feb 2016   #34
tgfyhre

Windows 7 32bit Home Premium
 
 

I'm leaning towards the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 motherboard, but one thing I'm concerned about from reading pro reviews on that board is the PCI Express limitation:

from lanoc.org:

"For PCI slots we get three full length PCI Express x16 slots, you also get three PCIe x1 slots. Due to the limited CPU lanes though there are a few stipulations. For starters the bottom x16 length slot is actually only a x4 slot, in addition to that it shares bandwidth with the bottom M.2 slot so if you end up using that you can’t use the bottom PCIe slot. The top slot runs at a full x16 if you are running just one card and if you use a second it and the second x16 slot will share the bandwidth and both run at x8 each. It’s a little disappointing that all of the features on the Gaming 7 can’t be used at the same time but this is a limitation of building on the consumer level chipset, the enthusiast X99 chipset has the additional CPU lanes needed."

Is that going to be a limitation I will find on all Z170 boards? I'm not planning on using SLI but who knows 2 or 3 years from now if I decide to throw in another card to get a graphics boost, and I want to make sure I'm not picking a motherboard with limitations that other Z170 boards wouldn't impose. The ASUS ASUS Z170-DELUXE seems to have the same limitation so I guess this will apply to all Z170 motherboards?:

ASUS ASUS Z170-DELUXE:
  • 1-way mode - x16 / x0 / x0
  • 2-way mode - x8 / x8 / x0
  • 3-way mode - x8 / x8 / x4

It sound like SLI would be at a disadvantage with this layout because each slot would be running at X8 instead of X16 - but I'm not sure how much of an impact it would actually have as I've never done SLI before. The only other issue I seem to read about is audio issues with this motherboard but I'm not sure if that's widespread or maybe it was teething issues when the board was first released? It gets good reviews overall - it seems to be constructed well, and I like that it has a generous amount of rear USB 3.0 ports - 6 total, more than most motherboards. The ASUS seems to be stingy with USB 3.0 rear ports until you hit the $300 range. I like the price of the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 a lot better than the ASUS Z170 deluxe.

I've got it narrowed down to these 6 choices but it's really 5 unless the ASUS Z170 Deluxe gets a decent price drop to get around the $200 mark.

ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING ($154.99)
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO ($229.99)
ASUS Z170-DELUXE ($299.99)
GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z170X-Gaming 5 ($166.99)
GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 6 ($189.99)
GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 ($209.99)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Feb 2016   #35
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Yea with all of the expansion slots taken up with an esata and usb2 or 3 card I doubt you'll have to worry about buy 2 identical gpu's to sli with
Or for that matter buying a M.2 ssd either.

Oddly the AsRock boards aren't on your list
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Feb 2016   #36
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

What in particular is wrong with the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5?

ATX, Realtek 1150 sound, Dual Intel LAN, PS2, 6 SATA 6 ports with 2 more for ACHI mode only; 2 M.2 slots, 3 SATA Express, USB 3.1, 7 USB 3.0, 6 USB 2.0, supports DDR4 up to 3200, 4 pin CPU fan port, 4 pin CPU fan_opt port, 3 4 pin chassis fan ports, DVI-D, D-sub, display port, HDMI, S/PDIF, clear CMOS button.

Price usually 150 to 190.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2016   #37
tgfyhre

Windows 7 32bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Yea with all of the expansion slots taken up with an esata and usb2 or 3 card I doubt you'll have to worry about buy 2 identical gpu's to sli with
Or for that matter buying a M.2 ssd either.

Oddly the AsRock boards aren't on your list
Thanks for mentioning AsRock. I actually hadn't looked into the AsRock boards, but I just took a quick look through a couple and I'm already intrigued. I wasn't sure how the AsRock boards rated compared to the ASUS and Gigabyte boards, but the ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ has some very intriguing features and a good amount of rear USB ports. I noticed that board has 2 PCI-Express X1 slots, and 4 X16 slots. Silly question but can the X16 slots be used as X1 slots also for small add-ons boards like USB 3.0 or E-SATA, or are they only for video cards?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2016   #38
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

I believe there are some esata... expansion cards that can use a pci-e slot
I didn't post any I don't believe
Some don't use anything but the slot
StarTech Model ESATAPLT1LPL SATA to eSATA Add-On Card - Newegg.com

I'd use AsRock before I'd use a Gigabyte

Ha here's one for usb2
SYBA Model SD-VIA-2UH PCI to USB Card Add-On Card - Newegg.com

usb3.1 too
10Gbps PCI Express to 2 Prorts USB 3.1 Type-C USB 3.0 Converter Card 4pin Power - Newegg.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2016   #39
tgfyhre

Windows 7 32bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
I believe there are some esata... expansion cards that can use a pci-e slot
I didn't post any I don't believe
Some don't use anything but the slot
StarTech Model ESATAPLT1LPL SATA to eSATA Add-On Card - Newegg.com

I'd use AsRock before I'd use a Gigabyte

Ha here's one for usb2
SYBA Model SD-VIA-2UH PCI to USB Card Add-On Card - Newegg.com

usb3.1 too
10Gbps PCI Express to 2 Prorts USB 3.1 Type-C USB 3.0 Converter Card 4pin Power - Newegg.com
That SATA to eSATA link looks ideal as it doesn't even use a PCI slot. Only thing is it's 1 to 1 so I'd need to take up 2 rear slots to give me the 2 ports I need - shame they don't have one with 2 eSATA ports in one slot. My PCI card does but of course that ties up a PCI slot and adds time to the startup as well due to its firmware. On the other hand the card I have now uses an easy browser interface for disconnecting the drives when I want to shut down the external enclosures after backups.

Shopping for motherboards seems a bit overwhelming. Different boards and brands all seem to have their own set of bugs that may have been worked out by now but I wouldn't know because the review was done months ago so it's hard to judge based on bugs and performance issues since they may or may not have been solved by now. I see some people bash Gigabyte and then others say they're excellent - the G1 Gaming 7 board gets a better overall rating on Newegg for instance than some of the other boards, including some AsRock boards, and I like the LED lighting of the Gaming 7, though the plastic-y look and color scheme seems kind of garish and cheap and looks like it wants to be a Transformers toy. The AsRock Extreme7+ has a very professional quality look to it and nice high-end parts but there is only 2 PCI-E X1 slots, so they would both be filled right away if I use my USB 3.0 and e-STA cards, with no X1 slots left for expansion if I want to throw something else in - a lot of boards have a 3rd PCI-E X1 slot. I guess it's a trade-off with any of these cards. Also, some boards certainly seem to make mild overclocking and handling XMP simper than others. Mostly I just want to make sure I don't pick out aboard that has significant bugs that haven't been resolved yet.

Another interesting thing about the AsRock Z170 Extreme7+ - Anandtech had issues with DPC Latency (maybe it was his configuration?), yet Techspot had no issues and said the DPC latency was very good on that board. I guess that just shows how different setups will give different results. The Extreme7+ actually looks a bit overkill in many ways for my needs but it does feature high quality components. I would not need triple M.2. or 4 PCI-expres X16 slots.

For my needs the more USB 3 rear ports the easier things will be for me as I have several USB 3.0 external storage enclosures so that has to factor in for me. I'd like to not tie up all my PCI slots right out of the gate with expansion cards, and more USB 3 ports will help with that. But of course build quality and component quality along with features, performance, good BIOS and good software are most important.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2016   #40
tgfyhre

Windows 7 32bit Home Premium
 
 

Hmm, just looked at the Techspot roundup and interestingly they had both the AsRock Z170 Extreme7+ and the Gigabyte Gaming 7 in the roundup. One thing I noticed - the AsRock does seem to have 3 PCI-E X1 slots - for some reason I thought it only had 2. That's good to see. I'm torn between these 2 boards - they both seem to be excellent boards with high-quality components and lots of quality features. I'm starting to like the appearance of the Gaming 7 more as I see it - these 2 boards are both so different in appearance but I like them both in different ways.

EDIT: Hold on, I'm confused - Techspot's image of the AsRock Z170 Extreme7+ looks different from the image on Newegg and other sites:

ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Newegg.com

Intel Z170 Motherboard Roundup Photo Gallery - TechSpot

Are these different boards? They must be because the slots are arranged differently and there are a different number of PCI-E X1 slots. Here's the roundup page which features the AsRock board:

Intel Z170 Motherboard Roundup - TechSpot

Did they post an image of the wrong board?

EDIT2: Yup - the bozos on Techspot posted an image of either the AsRock Extreme4 or Extreme6 by mistake even though they were reviewing the Extreme7+. I see both the Extreme4 and the Extreme6 get mediocre reviews at best on Newegg - not too many reviews and only 3-star average for both boards, which makes me a bit nervous. The Gigabyte Gaming7 gets better overall reviews - 4-star average review based on 164 reviews. The Extreme7+ only has 29 reviews but the average is 4 stars - better than the Extreme4 or Extreme6.
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 Please help me narrow down some components for a new PC




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