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View Full Version : Are intel motherboards any good?


joydivision
07-23-2011, 01:48 PM
My 4.5 year old AM2 motherboard has finally died this morning, I've known its been faulty for a while as it took a few attempts to POST but now its finally dead.

I need to build a new system, and I have decided the wait for the Bulldozer is just too long, o so it looks like I will be building a system around the i1155 socket and an I3 sandybridge.

I have seen this board

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/51546/Intel-motherboard-DB65AL-Intel-LGA1155-DDR3-mATX

Any reasons why not to buy it? It seems like a very good price considering it has four DDR3 slots and 1 x SATA 6. I am not interested in overclocking, it all all be stock.

Vicenarian
07-23-2011, 02:17 PM
Judging by the pics of that board, it uses the regular capacitors (yuck), and not solid caps. I would avoid it for that very reason.

Any reason why you're going with the B65 chipset? I would go H67/P67 if I were you.

When it comes to motherboards, I generally stick with Asus/Gigabyte, just because they tend to use the better components and offer better support than cheaper brands like ECS, etc.

You can pick up a nice H67 Asus/Gigabyte board here in Canada, for like $80. Add an i3 2100 for $120, and you have yourself a nice platform for around $200.


Also keep in mind, I've heard reports that the intel integrated video on the new sandy bridge chips doesn't play that well with linux. If you are going to run linux on this PC, you probably should think about investing in a dedicated video card.

joydivision
07-23-2011, 02:56 PM
Thanks, I will just stick with Asus, they are expensive but I do love their boards.

Not really thought about chipsets, its not going to be for gaming but just my main PC, however it is to last for the next 3-5 years so may as well get something good.

I will be using my 8600GT for graphics, and my 400w FSP power supply.

Vicenarian
07-23-2011, 02:59 PM
Thanks, I will just stick with Asus, they are expensive but I do love their boards.

Not really thought about chipsets, its not going to be for gaming but just my main PC, however it is to last for the next 3-5 years so may as well get something good.

I will be using my 8600GT for graphics, and my 400w FSP power supply.


ASUS does make great boards. If they are available in your area, see if you can find a board with a z68 chipset. You can google for more info, but yeah, it's like H67 and P67 combined, which is nice. It's not a necessity, but if you can find one for the same price as a H/P67 board, then definitely consider it.

The 8600GT should do fine. The power supply might be ok, but if it's more than 4 years old, I would use a Corsair unit. You can get the cheaper Corsairs for like $40 here, sometimes for $20 after MIR :D

Currently using a Corsair 430CX to power my main PC (and I do just about everything on this PC):

Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3-B3
i3 2100
4GB Corsair DDR3
9800GT
Corsair 430CX PSU
WD Caviar Black




Oh, btw, make SURE you get a board that says it is a B3 revision!!!! VERY IMPORTANT!!!

gikstar
07-23-2011, 05:52 PM
If you keep your main system for 4-5 years then I would suggest that you spend the extra money and buy for your future needs.
Make sure you get Sata6 and USB3, upgrade your power supply and you might consider this Z68 motherboard:
Intel BOXDZ68DB LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121527

Shows good reviews and a decent price (only bad reviews are from idiots).

Personally, I'm sticking with my i7-860 for now and am waiting for the next round of Intel processors - should have even better video on the cpu chip.

joydivision
07-23-2011, 06:25 PM
I should add that is the only the motherboard which is that old, most of it is a lot newer. My hard drive for example is a 1TB SATA 6, so I will be wanting SATA 6. I don't remember how old the PSU is, but it has the PCI Express plugs and two SATA ones so it can't be that old.

I am on a bit of a budget too, so for now most my money will go on the case, motherboard and CPU, I will run without the 8600GT until I get the money to replace the PSU.

Also a traditional PCI port is a must as I have an audiophile sound card.

Vicenarian
07-23-2011, 07:25 PM
You should be able to run the 8600GT on that 400W PSU.

joydivision
07-24-2011, 12:15 AM
I have decided to go for an MSI Micro ATX board, it only has two DDR3 slots, but it has 32-bit PCI slot, SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0, it has been mentioned on my other thread I made a few weeks back when I was merely thinking of upgrading.

The board is 60

Now I need to make some savings, and looking at the benchmarks the Pentium G840 Sandybridge looks very good value and I could then upgrade to an I5 sandybridge if I feel the need later on when prices come down.

The G840 could always then be used in my bench system which is currently another AMD X2.

So I think I will save the 33 and go to with the Pentium, so my costs so far are:-

Coolermaster Micro ATX case 23
Windows 7.0 64B-BIT 70
MSI Motherboard 60
4GB RAM (2 X DDR3) 28
CPU 60.00

Which brings the total price to 238

Remember I have my 8600GT so I am not bothered about the poorer graphics offered b the Pentium variant. I also assume the micro ATX case will have room for my graphics card, maybe I am better spending 7 on a MIDI coolermaster. All this is such bad timing.

joydivision
07-24-2011, 12:28 AM
I feel well out of the loop now, but I don't really do that much hardware stuff.

I am trying to spec some RAM but I've noticed it some are 1.5v and some are 1.8v, am I right in thinking lower voltage will be more stable and produce less heat? Also will there be a jumper on the motherboard to set the correct voltage or is it automatic?

Edit I can get two 2 X DDR3 1.5 Kingston 1333Mhz at 1.5v, or 23 for OCZ Premium 1333Mhz stuff which has its own head spreaders, but they run at 1.8v.

This the motherboard I have decided on, solid state caps and H67 chipset with the B3 revision.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/265584

KompuKare
07-24-2011, 10:35 AM
I am trying to spec some RAM but I've noticed it some are 1.5v and some are 1.8v, am I right in thinking lower voltage will be more stable and produce less heat?

Not so much stable, the i3/i5/i7 IMC (Integrated Memory Controller: on the CPU die like with AMD) is only spec'ed for 1.5V although it seems to handle 1.65V okay. The other thing is that the DDR3 spec is supposed to be 1.5V anyhow so higher voltages are in effect factory overcloocked. Actually, while a higher voltage produces more heat it should be more stable not less (well where it doesn't have a chance of burning out the IMC).

BTW I keep away from OCZ since you have to RMA to the Netherlands...

Vicenarian
07-24-2011, 10:26 PM
Stick with the lower voltage memory.

seedubya
07-24-2011, 10:29 PM
My only contribution to this is to say that the most reliable machines I've ever come across are built by a wholesaler an hour's drive away. He builds workstations for high use environments - POS etc. These things never fail and he ONLY uses Intel boards.

joydivision
07-24-2011, 11:13 PM
Just an update, spent 144 so far on:-

Coolermaster Elite 335 case
2 X 2GB 1333 Kingston RAM
Intel I3 2100 - I decided to go for the i3 because I would know the Pentium was a compromise. I think in the long term the i3 will be fine.

Now still stuck on the motherboard, and stuck with suppliers between Microsoft and SCAN, I think I will go with SCAN because they have a decent MSI board and WIn 7 is only 70 there.

Just got the motherboard and windows 7 to buy now.

Vicenarian
07-25-2011, 12:06 AM
Don't buy ANY motherboard that DOESN'T have solid caps...Sure, an intel board with the regular caps may last a long time, but solid caps are still FAR better.

joydivision
07-25-2011, 12:28 AM
I still cannot make up my mind, I was going to get this, H67MA-E35 (B3) but some of the reviews of beeping at posts and the CPU lever being tricky put me off. I have paid 90 for my CPU and I know I will be paranoid as it is when I come to install it, although I've never had a problem with the recent 775s I have done.

Microdirect do have several in my price range but they don't state if it has the B3 revisions or don't have USB 3.0 despite the fact they have the H67 chipset.

I've never found it so hard to find a motherboard in all my life.

And yep I would rather have solid caps so I will avoid the old type, however there is a lot of other things which can make a board fail too.

joydivision
07-25-2011, 01:04 AM
This is probably my favourite now, but it has solid caps near the processor and important bits, but the PCI section still seem to use liquid caps.

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/51552/Intel-motherboard-DH67BL-LGA1155-DDR3-USB-3-0

Not sure what to do now. In my experience it is always the capacitors near the CPU which fail because that is the area which gets the most heat and perhaps these capacitors are charging and discharging at a higher rate too.

joydivision
07-25-2011, 02:14 AM
I really should be asleep now, (it is 3:10am!) but I have been doing a lot of research and I spent around 1 hour researching capacitors.

It seems some of the cheap motherboard manufacturers are using cheap solid state capacitors which might soon turn out to be another circa 2003 capacitor disaster when motherboards only ten dcapaictors thded to last a couple of years.

I am sure the Intel will have half decent caps around the CPU and the others are less critical. While I would like the Japanese capacitors I get in my HIFI equipment those motherboards are way out of my budget.

So I think I will go with the Intel because it meets the exact spec I need and it is within budget, and has the B3 revision on the SATA chipset.

While solid state capacitors are better, there is too much marketing hype in the budget sector, and they are being used as a gimick, e.g this 35 motherboard has SS caps so it must be good, well the problem seems to be is that there is a huge difference in quality between solid state capacitors.

andcorptech
07-25-2011, 09:48 AM
My only contribution to this is to say that the most reliable machines I've ever come across are built by a wholesaler an hour's drive away. He builds workstations for high use environments - POS etc. These things never fail and he ONLY uses Intel boards.

Agreed here. I have built over 250 systems in the last 3 years. All Intel boards & CPU's. I have had so far 3 boards fail out of all of them. 2 of the failures were due to a batch of faulty card readers killing USB. thats a failure rate that speaks for itself.

joydivision
07-25-2011, 11:35 PM
Picked up the board this afternoon for just 65, looks like a decent quality unit with no frills. It does have a three year warranty too which is a nice bonus.

Waiting for the CPU, RAM and case to be delivered tomorrow.

I will buy Windows 7 from Amazon as it seems to be best price, and I am not in a rush as I can install it without the COA code until it arrives.

I just hope it all works, a bit paranoid about bending pins but I have built plenty of 775s without any issue.

I think I will be lazy though and use the stock paste on the fan, it will be less messy and as I am not overcloking it I am sure its plenty good enough.

One odd thing, the motherboard as a switch on it but no writing saying what it is, and the motherboard manual dosn't list it either. Is this a power switch?

Now got the bug and in the next few months will upgrade the PSU, graphics card, RAM to 8GB and get an SSD.

Total cost so far is 277. Rough costs:-
Motherboard 65.00
RAM 22.00
case 24.00
CPU 90
windows 7 home premium 64-bit 70.00
Delivery 6

joydivision
07-26-2011, 09:04 PM
Got it all up and running now, wow its so blistering fast, I feel like I can take advantage properly now of the 22mbps connection I have.

It too me less than ten seconds to download and install Spotify.

The intel motherboard is very good, I checked all the caps and they are made by Panasonic (Matsushita)

Vicenarian
07-26-2011, 09:05 PM
Got it all up and running now, wow its so blistering fast, I feel like I can take advantage properly now of the 22mbps connection I have.

It too me less than ten seconds to download and install Spotify.

The intel motherboard is very good, I checked all the caps and they are made by Panasonic (Matsushita)

glad you're enjoying it :)

joydivision
07-26-2011, 09:13 PM
Just in case anybody is interested these is the windows performance index score:-

Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2100 CPU @ 3.10GHz 7.1
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB 5.9
Graphics Intel(R) HD Graphics Family 5.2
Gaming graphics 1696 MB Total available graphics memory 4.6
Primary hard disk 914GB Free (931GB Total) 5.9

I am running it on the stock HD2000 graphics built into the CPU as its only a tiny bit slower than my 8600GT according to my benchmarks so it would just use up power and generate heat, but I will buy a decent graphics card but that is for the future.

The hard disk is a Western Digital Carvier Blue SATA III/6.

joydivision
07-26-2011, 09:21 PM
Just updated the graphics drivers and the desktop graphics score is now 5.9, quite a lot better than my old 8600GT.