Is a Motherboard Price War Beginning to Break Out?

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maleficarus™

ASUS P8Z68V-PRO here! Love this motherboard that has served me well for the last 2 years...

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Obsidian

You and I have exactly the same motherboard. It has been rock solid so far. Until the Asus P8Z68V-Pro I had not experienced motherboard tuning software (and power saving options) that functioned so well right out of the box. Superficially, I liked the black/blue color scheme too, although I have no window on my rig. I don't remember exactly how much I paid for it though.

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maleficarus™

Yes, great solid board. I have mine paired with an I5 2500K@4GHz!

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Jacob Stanbery

I remember the great GPU price war of '13.
But then everything changed when the Scrypt Miners attacked.

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Sir Hobbes3

Well lol I'm still on a nForce 680i SLI mobo with a Core 2 Quad Q6600 at 3.1 gHz and and GTX 570.

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maleficarus™

nFARCE chipset? Feel sorry for you man...

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tony2tonez

Man I'm still rocking a P35 msi board.

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Arnulf

"... and the gap gets wider as you move down to ECS and Biostar."

One does not simply move down to Biostar.

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Sir Hobbes3

Move down? Heh, more like sky dive out of an airplane, land near a cliff, jump off cliff into an ocean, and swim to bottom, "Hey look, I just got a Biostar motherboard!"

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FrancesTheMute

Or ECS....absolute crap.

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D00dlavy

I must confess myself quite the Gigabyte fan. My last four boards were from them. My next one will be, too. Excellent build quality.

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vrmlbasic

I also like Gigabyte, though I've only approached them from the AMD side of things. I know that their "dualbios" setup has bailed me out a few times now.

All the headers and ports I could ask for and everything is well labeled, plus everything that could need a heatsink has one. Not sure what more there is to say about a mobo maker in this age of borderline SoCs in PCs.

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Vano

Had 3 motherboards and all 3 I had nothing but trouble with. I'm staying away from gigabite it's cursed for me.
Love Asus motherboards, but they overpriced, same features and more, but cheaper from AsRock satisfies my needs.

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Rift2

If they were made in America they would be overpriced maybe 900.00 or more for a single MB. I agree I like ASUS over Gigabyte just picked up a Z97 Sabertooth should be here today.

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Sir Hobbes3

I'll throw my 2 cents in here, that's how I am with EVGA as well, although the cheapo GT 520 I bought for a media system didn't work too well but I think that was just nVidia's failure to manufacture a decent low end card properly.

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FrancesTheMute

I'm the same with Asus. Every Asus board I've owned has been rock solid, every time I've tried something else it was not a good experience.

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Obsidian

Here here! Plus one, what everyone else said, ditto.

I hope this brings about the end of the $300+ enthusiast motherboard price point. The most I've ever spent on a board has been in the $190 area, and I felt that was too much. Although the features I wanted were at that price point, so that was the lowest I could go without much system compromise.

I hope that the efficiency and simplification game continues to benefit the aftermarket consumer(s). I'm still astonished to see some motherboards with PS2 connectors on them. I understand this is valuable in the office and workstation realm, but the aftermarket arena I would hope, left behind that interface (and thus the chip needed for it) long, long ago.

I don't remember the last time I needed or wanted a normal PCI connector either, let's ditch that slot all-together.

... I don't know where this soap box came from, will someone please take it from me.

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LatiosXT

I don't really want to sound like a a-hole but... Have you looked at the offerings lately? You can get a plethora of high-end features at the $100-$120 price point. Most Intel boards I've seen that use the Z series chipsets max out the features port wise. Everything else has to be tacked on by third party controllers over a PCIe x1 bus.

PS/2 is still used by gamers who think having N-Key rollover is a must. I have a keyboard with 26-key rollever over USB... which leads me to think "why do I need to press 26 keys at once?", 10 I feel is all that's necessary at most. Also PS/2 connects to an LPC chip, which handles a bunch of other "legacy" ports, and modern chipsets have a dedicated LPC connection so it's not wasting connectivity space.

Either way, I'm also thinking to myself who needs to use the expansion slots for more than just video cards? Sound cards sure, but that's an iffy. Wi-Fi cards sure, but I find USB based ones more convenient (you can at least move them around). I guess PCIe based SSDs, but interfaces that are exclusive to them are coming out.

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Obsidian

You don't sound like an a-hole at all, and I wouldn't really mind that anyway. You're right that there are great boards out there for under $150 ... but they aren't normally the "Z" level boards. Right or wrong that is what I often aim for, or want to have, but only purchase very rarely. I was mostly referring to the way the top 'enthusiast' boards have crept above $300 while the graphics cards have edged into the $500 range for a 'great' card.

I'm using an Asus P8Z68-V Pro - which had all the features I needed for this particular multipurpose rig. If I remember correctly at the time that board was around $140 or so. After adding 3 dual-TV tuners I ran out of usable PCIe slots. It's true there are USB TV tuners available but they take more resources to run. I wasn't sure that adding 6 of them to a USB 2.0 plane would saturate that interface while recording 3 or 4 simultaneous 1080P feeds.

My next build will likely be a smaller motherboard just because, much like you pointed out ... I won't have need for 4+ expansion cards. I'll retire this one to a media recorder/server and build a dedicated gaming PC. I was thinking a micro ATX for the next upgrade. However, sometimes the smaller boards are barely less expensive than the full ATX ones.

I don't have the cash to justify a PCIe based SSD, but wow would that be some amazing performance! I don't currently have the need for SLI. With one GTX 780 I can game at 5760 x 1200 across three 24-inch monitors in the games I play, and I call that 'good enough' - so again, you're quite right about the expansion slots on the motherboards for most builds, they will just collect dust.

Some of this could be about shifting the perception of the sales pitch by the companies, and what I would realistically benefit from as an avid gamer. It might be interesting to see a "professional" level board pitted against a "enthusiast" level one given the same other hardware. We could even compare power draw. Perhaps that's another opportunity for MPC to have an intern do ;-)

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jbitzer

Sad isn't it that even to get 4 ram slots is at least $150 motherboard it seems?

I guess if you want more than the minimum number of ports and sockets to make the PC post, you're an enthusiast according to many manufacturers.

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JosephColt

Motherboards are basically all so similar now as Intel makes more advanced processors with everything on them.

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MAIZE1951

An win,win for us gamers.

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PCLinuxguy

Not sure how this will affect my upgrades yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes.