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What Features you need from a board ?

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Gh0sT-NoVa

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Location
Malaysia, South East Asia.
I'm just curious, there are tons of boards to choose from even by one company itself, let alone choosing for all 4 brands on the market. ( ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock )
So my question is, normally when you're buying a new motherboard I'm curious to know what's everyone else's needs ( in terms of Features the Mobo provides like M.2, SATA Express ) and why ?

Mind everyone sharing?
What are some of the important features on the board to you that you couldn't live without, least ones aren't that obvious I mean, of course everyone would want USB 3.0, PCIE X16 those kind of stuffs.
What are the more less common features do you expect from a board you're buying ? Example like built in WiFi ? Power ON / OFF button on the board ? Debug Code on the board ? :rolleyes:

Another thing, would you still buy boards that have PCI slots ?? ( Not PCIE, but good old PCI which is totally outdated and I don't know what new component / hardware still even uses it anymore ! )
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Depends on what I'm doing with the board, it varies wildly if it's going on my test bench vs if it's for use in my server.
 
OP
Gh0sT-NoVa

Gh0sT-NoVa

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Location
Malaysia, South East Asia.
I need the basic overclocking features.

Hmm can you elaborate like what ?
The UEFI BIOS ? The Software the board provides ?
From what I know, the VRM matter most when comes to OCing right ?
What about those " OCing Buttons " on the board, do you ever use those ?
I'm surprise you're using a rather quite straight forward and simple board lol. It still have PCI too !
I don't see why do manufacturers still include PCI slots.

Depends on what I'm doing with the board, it varies wildly if it's going on my test bench vs if it's for use in my server.

I see you're using an ASRock board on your test bench, how old is it ?
How reliable are ASRock boards ?
So if you're using this on a Test Bench, I guess that " POWER " and " RESET " buttons on the board is pretty useful then ?
I been wondering, should I get a board with those buttons but I be installing it into a chassis of course not a test bench.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Basic OC features are nice, including stable power and a robust enough power section. Audio quality. While I have issues with my mobo jack, the front panel is fine and I really like the improvement over my previous Realtek chips. So one of my requirements from now on is no Realtek audio chips. My rig is my web surfer, my gamer, and my HTPC/music server. I'm somewhat serious about my music's sound quality and Realtek chips are a no-go for me now. And, with so many good boards available for any recent socket, aesthetics are important, too.
 
OP
Gh0sT-NoVa

Gh0sT-NoVa

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Location
Malaysia, South East Asia.
Basic OC features are nice, including stable power and a robust enough power section. Audio quality. While I have issues with my mobo jack, the front panel is fine and I really like the improvement over my previous Realtek chips. So one of my requirements from now on is no Realtek audio chips. My rig is my web surfer, my gamer, and my HTPC/music server. I'm somewhat serious about my music's sound quality and Realtek chips are a no-go for me now. And, with so many good boards available for any recent socket, aesthetics are important, too.

Why don't you invest bit on an AMP / DAC or maybe a Sound card instead ?
I too am quite bit fussy about my audio quality lol, I can't stand FLAT EQ setting as well, this is the main reason why I gotten a sound card in the first place.
Are you able to tweak the EQ settings for your Mobo's on-board sound card ?

Aesthetic wise...this never come cheap lol, most the time some of the boards are basically the same more or less, but you have to pay extra to look good lol. Like seriously what's the major difference of

ASUS ROG Z170 HERO VIII ( No WiFI )
ASUS ROG Z170 HERO VIII Alpha ( With WiFi )
ASUS ROG Z170 RANGER VIII ( No " armor " on the Audio and Rear I/O Ports , No RGB Lighting )

Or the ASUS Z170 Sabertooth TUF MARK I you're literally paying extra for the TUF Armor. Not sure what it does though but it looks awesome.

Then there's the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Formula VIII, I guess this is the best there is, with TUF Armor, RGB Lighting, WiFi ( maybe ? ) and a built in water block for water cooling loop on the VRM section.
But it's a 370$ *cough*
I wonder how it handles NVMe SSD...is Formula VIII better or Deluxe ? Usually people claimed that the Formula boards are for " OCing " like Gigabyte's OC Serie boards.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I leave any EQ functions turned off. A decent DAC is on my wish list, and would be my first choice. Some recent health issues and other expenses slowed that process down, but it is definitely on my list.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I look for enough sata ports on the chipset for the rig I'm building, 6 seems to be about right.
a very strong power section with an 8 pin cpu connector perfered.
dual bios and crashless bios are a must, because every time I mess with ram I corrupt the bios.
being able to reflash the bios from a flashdrive on the dead board is a biggy for me.
I like to run multi card rigs so at least x16-x8 if not x16-x16 really counts.
standard sized board counts a lot, I have a 970 board from asrock that is an odd size so you have to plug in some stuff where the board is not supported with stand offs and if you are not real careful you can crack the board.
usb 3.0 connector under the 24 pin connector counts, I have one that it's by the rear I/o panel.
a chassis fan header at the top of the board with the cpu fan connector.
doctor debug counts.power and reset buttons on the board count some.
a cmos battery located where I don't have to pull all the gpus to get at it would be nice.
 

WhitehawkEQ

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Another thing, would you still buy boards that have PCI slots ?? ( Not PCIE, but good old PCI which is totally outdated and I don't know what new component / hardware still even uses it anymore ! )

There are still PCI adapters for SATA, Firewire, Sound card, USB and maybe a few other things I missed. Then again there are PCIe adapters that do same thing :) I guess it depends on how many PCIe slots are filled and if the PCI is only slot left to use.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I see you're using an ASRock board on your test bench, how old is it ?
How reliable are ASRock boards ?
So if you're using this on a Test Bench, I guess that " POWER " and " RESET " buttons on the board is pretty useful then ?
I been wondering, should I get a board with those buttons but I be installing it into a chassis of course not a test bench.

I've had it since about two weeks before this review went live, so almost a year.
http://www.overclockers.com/asrock-z170-extreme7-motherboard-review/

Incredibly reliable, hence why I run one of their workstation motherboards for my server.

Yes, onboard buttons for power/reset/CMOS reset are all very helpful when on a test bench. A debug display is also very nice to have when you're pushing the limits.
 

Dr. McCoy

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
How about a return to having both PS2 ports for keyboard and a mouse available?
If the board's onboard USB controller fails you could still use it to limp on and get a new board ordered or something. Controller failure and only having a single PS2 port is a real headache esp if that's the only board/setup you have and really need it to get things resolved somehow.

Having a single PCI slot doesn't bother me at all, honestly I've never had a use for those tiny PCI Express X1 slots they still like putting in boards for some reason, the standard PCI slot has always been of some use here.

Some boards have built-in wireless and personally I don't want or care for it.
I would like a way to actually enable/disable this feature with a jumper, dipswitch or something because just doing it in the BIOS (Software) alone isn't secure enough, could be hacked or have a virus/bug in the system and get switched on anyway.

Onboard debug or a plug-in debug module with on-board power on / Reset buttons.

For it to have some basic way of keeping things like the VRM"s cool plus mounting holes in areas like this so you could add something in place later if you want for that purpose.

And of course the ability to clock it to the moon....
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
My absolute must haves on a board are (excluding specific use cases I.e. home server)

Power and reset button
Debug led
Good vrm cooling
Good bios options

Things that are nice to have

Ps2 port
Memsafe button to default bios without losing settings.
Voltage measuring points
Bclk and multiplier buttons
Slow mode switch
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
How about a return to having both PS2 ports for keyboard and a mouse available?
If the board's onboard USB controller fails you could still use it to limp on and get a new board ordered or something. Controller failure and only having a single PS2 port is a real headache esp if that's the only board/setup you have and really need it to get things resolved somehow.

Having a single PCI slot doesn't bother me at all, honestly I've never had a use for those tiny PCI Express X1 slots they still like putting in boards for some reason, the standard PCI slot has always been of some use here.

Some boards have built-in wireless and personally I don't want or care for it.
I would like a way to actually enable/disable this feature with a jumper, dipswitch or something because just doing it in the BIOS (Software) alone isn't secure enough, could be hacked or have a virus/bug in the system and get switched on anyway.

Onboard debug or a plug-in debug module with on-board power on / Reset buttons.

For it to have some basic way of keeping things like the VRM"s cool plus mounting holes in areas like this so you could add something in place later if you want for that purpose.

And of course the ability to clock it to the moon....

Quite a few boards have removable Wi-Fi modules, you can physically disconnect those.
 

Dr. McCoy

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
I knew at least some had an add-in card or module for it, others have a chip or whatever made onto the board.
I've always passed up boards with built-in WIFI because I don't use it, making such a feature useless.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I knew at least some had an add-in card or module for it, others have a chip or whatever made onto the board.
I've always passed up boards with built-in WIFI because I don't use it, making such a feature useless.

Oh, I concur it's (99% of the time) a waste of money to build Wi-Fi in to the motherboard, just wanted to make sure you knew some weren't permanent :)
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
I need the basic overclocking features.

Hmm can you elaborate like what ?
The UEFI BIOS ? The Software the board provides ?
From what I know, the VRM matter most when comes to OCing right ?
What about those " OCing Buttons " on the board, do you ever use those ?
I'm surprise you're using a rather quite straight forward and simple board lol. It still have PCI too !
I don't see why do manufacturers still include PCI slots.
All I need is the basic UEFI BIOS overclocking so I don't have to install bloatware. When I overclock I make it simple also do it just once no need for anything fancy, I just increase Vcore and multiplier for a 24/7 overclock and forget about it like I have done in the past 5 years with sandy bridge.

When it comes to a overclock on air you will run out of cooling before the Intel VRM on most motherboards from what I have done. I'v seen my GA six phase cooling run skylake to 4.7GHz on AIO cooling.
 
Last edited:

notarat

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
1 - (8) or more SATA 6 Ports
2 - "Proper" spacing between 1st and 2nd PCI Express slots for SLI/Xfire (That means 2 slots between the 1st and 2nd PCI Express slots so the second card is not choked for airflow)
3 - See 1 & 2 above
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
as far as the bios features I want them all just like the crosshair 5 F-Z.
I want it ALL!!!!!!!!!!!
 
OP
Gh0sT-NoVa

Gh0sT-NoVa

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Location
Malaysia, South East Asia.
I look for enough sata ports on the chipset for the rig I'm building, 6 seems to be about right.
a very strong power section with an 8 pin cpu connector perfered.
dual bios and crashless bios are a must, because every time I mess with ram I corrupt the bios.
being able to reflash the bios from a flashdrive on the dead board is a biggy for me.
I like to run multi card rigs so at least x16-x8 if not x16-x16 really counts.
standard sized board counts a lot, I have a 970 board from asrock that is an odd size so you have to plug in some stuff where the board is not supported with stand offs and if you are not real careful you can crack the board.
usb 3.0 connector under the 24 pin connector counts, I have one that it's by the rear I/o panel.
a chassis fan header at the top of the board with the cpu fan connector.
doctor debug counts.power and reset buttons on the board count some.
a cmos battery located where I don't have to pull all the gpus to get at it would be nice.

Hmm, wao that's quite specific in alot of ways lol...sadly It's not easy to find boards to actually suit your every needs lol, this is why I'm struggling myself.
Also at this point you can't be picky about the Brand and Color Sceheme then lol. For you may not meet the features and placing you desire.
Though I do agree with the CMOS battery, why can't they make it a standard and put it somewhere easy to reach instead most below the damn GPU !
Also what's up with the SATA Ports ?? Why are only high end or more expensive ones will only then you see all the SATA Ports on the side ?? The cheaper ones are always on below or facing upwards....I kinda hate it...is it that expensive to make them side ways lol ?
Feels like they just want to make more money...

I've had it since about two weeks before this review went live, so almost a year.
http://www.overclockers.com/asrock-z170-extreme7-motherboard-review/

Incredibly reliable, hence why I run one of their workstation motherboards for my server.

Yes, onboard buttons for power/reset/CMOS reset are all very helpful when on a test bench. A debug display is also very nice to have when you're pushing the limits.

Because there's too many different opinion about ASRock, some said they are poor quality boards and not reliable some said they are among one of the best lol.
I don't know anyone who even own one before so I wouldn't know. I'm still rocking on my ASUS which is my first build lol...
Then again as I mentioned, ASRock boards are surprisingly LOT cheaper than the rest and pack with amazing features. This is why I find it's hard to trust, let's face it we are in reality, we pay what we get for lol.
But then again ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI could be over charging us especially ASUS boards as I know I felt they are way overpriced.

In your opinion, would you pay EXTRA just to get the ON/OFF button on the board if you're going to use the board inside a case ??
Though recently I did ran into one issue, I thought my casing ON/OFF button died / faulty. So there was no way for me to start up my PC !
Or least to find out whether is my board or my casing button. But luckily it was just a loose connection, I only had to unplug the front panel ON/FF wire from the board and reconnect them and it's been working like a charm so far.
What if one day my casing's ON/OFF button really is busted and my board doesn't have an ON/OFF button, what do I do then ??

And the Debug code, what does it really do ??
I don't OC and such, do you think it's best that I least get a board with one ?
So far mine doesn't have one, I guess I'm able to live without one so far till now.

My absolute must haves on a board are (excluding specific use cases I.e. home server)

Power and reset button
Debug led
Good vrm cooling
Good bios options

Things that are nice to have

Ps2 port
Memsafe button to default bios without losing settings.
Voltage measuring points
Bclk and multiplier buttons
Slow mode switch

How do one identify the board have good VRM cooling?
What do you meant by good BIOS option ? Sometimes I'm still abit confused about the BIOS thing.
Aren't all the boards / brands BIOS options or features more or less the same ? What's the major different from one and another ??
Everyone claimed that ASUS have the best BIOS, but why and how ? For what exactly ? Just for OCing or everything in general ?

I'm rapidly concluding that all I want is an AMI BIOS. I'm starting to miss my Asus boards.... LOL

AMI BIOS is the one that ASUS boards use right ?
Why is it better lol , I really don't understand.
Everyone said the same thing, everyone claimed that the ASUS have the best BIOS or Software ? ( When they say Software is it the BIOS or another thing I'm bit confused )