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  1.    08 Jul 2015 #1
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Toronto
    Posts : 4,660
    Win 10 Pro x64

    Gigabyte Motherboards: Are they good?


    My new rig is experiencing bandwidth bottlenecks on PCIe slots. Not because ASUS is not a good brand but because of some uplanned PCIe hardware upgrades.

    I need to fix this bottleneck problems and the best candidate so far to replace this 2 month old ASUS Z97-A USB3.1 motherboard is a Gigabyte one.
    GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 1150 - GA-Z97X-Gaming GT (rev. 1.0)



    Does anyone had issues with Gigabyte motherboards?

    Does Gigabyte MB have fan controller application like the FanXpert of ASUS?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    08 Jul 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Oak Ridge TN, USA
    Posts : 24,523
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Yes.. I've got an order in for one and I should get it in a few days.
    This: Amazon.com: Gigabyte AMD FM2+ A68H SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 mATX ATX DDR3 2133 NA Motherboards GA-F2A68HM-H: Computers Accessories



    I would go to the website to see about the fan control but I think they have it. Overall from what I've read in reviews Gigabyte is a 1b compared to Asus and I find them to be more cost effective choice. But it's a very subjective thing between Asus and Gigabyte when it comes to selecting one.

    Overall you can't go wrong with Gigabyte IMO.

    HTH
    Jeff
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  3.    08 Jul 2015 #3
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Gigabyte is the brand I prefer, and all my systems are Gigabytes. The reason is the build quality. They use high quality components, solid capacitors (no leaking), and generally everything is over spec rather than under spec. They are good about BIOS updates, and there is a vibrant community associated with them.

    MSI would probably be my second favorite, although it's probably neck and neck with Asus. Finally, my third tier would be the ASRock, etc.. type boards, which aren't bad per se, I just find them to be more average in quality, and your typical Taiwan stuff....

    DO NOT... UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.... EVER... buy an Intel desktop motherboard. You will regret it. Intel server boards are good, but not Desktop.
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  4.    08 Jul 2015 #4
    Join Date : May 2015
    Posts : 1,647
    Win 10 X64 Pro 15063

    I have not used a Gigabyte board, but they have a favorable reputation.

    Let us know how it works for you. It uses a PLX chip to extend the effective PCI-E bandwidth of the motherboard's chipset and CPU. I had the impression that was more of a marketing gimmick than a significant plus, but according to one article:

    Four Multi-GPU Z77 Boards from $280-$350 - PLX PEX 8747 featuring Gigabyte, ASRock, ECS and EVGA

    the PLX chip does data management in a way that increases the effective number of PC I-E lanes. It can't really increase the number of lanes possible, but the claim is that it prevents bottlenecks when not all lanes of the bus are saturated. I can't pretend to appreciate this, but it looks useful in practice.

    My newest board is from Asrock. (See my system.) Asrock has had a reputation as a bargain MB manufacturer, but they have been trying to change that perception. I'm quite pleased with my MB, and find its UEFI setting screens to be nearly as good as Asus.
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  5.    08 Jul 2015 #5
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
    Let us know how it works for you. It uses a PLX chip to extend the effective PCI-E bandwidth of the motherboard's chipset and CPU. I had the impression that was more of a marketing gimmick than a significant plus, but according to one article:

    Four Multi-GPU Z77 Boards from $280-$350 - PLX PEX 8747 featuring Gigabyte, ASRock, ECS and EVGA

    the PLX chip does data management in a way that increases the effective number of PC I-E lanes. It can't really increase the number of lanes possible, but the claim is that it prevents bottlenecks when not all lanes of the bus are saturated. I can't pretend to appreciate this, but it looks useful in practice.
    It appears to be a PCI-E lane multi-plexor, which essentially "shares" lanes that are not in use. Kind of like those bridges or highways where they reconfigure the number of lanes going a particular way at certain times of the day.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
    My newest board is from Asrock. (See my system.) Asrock has had a reputation as a bargain MB manufacturer, but they have been trying to change that perception. I'm quite pleased with my MB, and find its UEFI setting screens to be nearly as good as Asus.
    Yes, ASRock isn't bad per se. They just aren't "Premium" in most cases. There's always something missing from ASRock boards in my experience. They don't exceed the quality I expect like Gigabyte and others regularly do. They just meet the quality you would expect. But then they're also cheaper.
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  6.    08 Jul 2015 #6
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Toronto
    Posts : 4,660
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the input Bunny, bob and Mystere.

    "Lane or Bandwidth Sharing" is currently one of the biggest problem with my ASUS Z97-A motherboard right now. And I realized it's common to most Z97 motherboards including the one that I have my eyes on (the GA-Z97X Gaming GT). But it's not more of a "lane sharing" but rather a "trade-off" on this ASUS. Like two PCIex1 slots get disabled when I use the M.2 slot, or USB 3.1 gets disabled when I use the 3rd PCIe 2.0 slot. The Gigabyte MB I wanted to get is better in terms of lane sharing compared to ASUS that totally disables some functionality. Plus, I need at least three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (the one I want has 4) but this ASUS only got two 3.0 slots and a 2.0 slot that is only dual lanes. My PCIe SSD can only go as fast as 700MBps on a dual lane slot. On four lanes, it reaches the top speed of 2200MBps. But of course, this Gigabyte costs a little bit more than the ASUS that I currently have.

    Well in fact, this ASUS is ready to go back where it came from. It's been a great 2 months but I need to let it go.
    I haven't ordered the replacement yet. I am still doing a little research. So my new rig is temporarily out of commission.

    Here's my second choice: http://us.msi.com/product/mb/Z97-GAM...-specification

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7.    08 Jul 2015 #7
    Join Date : May 2015
    Posts : 1,647
    Win 10 X64 Pro 15063

    Just out of curiosity, I checked Newegg.ca:

    Computer Hardware, Motherboards, Intel Motherboards, Intel Z97, 6 x PCI Express 3.0 x16, 4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16, 7 x PCI Express 3.0 x16, 5 x PCI Ex... - Newegg.ca

    It looks like the Gigabyte board you've chosen is the least expensive one that they list with the PLX chip. (Not that it's a cheap board.)

    One of the features it appears to include is a dual BIOS, with a hardware switch to select the one in use. Wish I'd had one on the first couple of UEFI motherboards I'd had. (I've habitually updated the BIOS when new versions became available. I never had a problem, until I first tried UEFI boards. The updates appeared to succeed, but the boards never booted into Windows again.)

    (Joke mode ON.) Why not an X99 board with an I7-5930k or an I7-5969x? You'd need DDR4 Ram and a new CPU cooler. Should set you back less than $2k, if you don't get too carried away. (Joke mode OFF.)
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  8.    08 Jul 2015 #8
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Toronto
    Posts : 4,660
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
    Just out of curiosity, I checked Newegg.ca:

    Computer Hardware, Motherboards, Intel Motherboards, Intel Z97, 6 x PCI Express 3.0 x16, 4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16, 7 x PCI Express 3.0 x16, 5 x PCI Ex... - Newegg.ca

    It looks like the Gigabyte board you've chosen is the least expensive one that they list with the PLX chip. (Not that it's a cheap board.)

    One of the features it appears to include is a dual BIOS, with a hardware switch to select the one in use. Wish I'd had one on the first couple of UEFI motherboards I'd had. (I've habitually updated the BIOS when new versions became available. I never had a problem, until I first tried UEFI boards. The updates appeared to succeed, but the boards never booted into Windows again.)

    (Joke mode ON.) Why not an X99 board with an I7-5930k or an I7-5969x? You'd need DDR4 Ram and a new CPU cooler. Should set you back less than $2k, if you don't get too carried away. (Joke mode OFF.)






    I hope I could go back and start over. I just finished this build 2 months ago with i7-4790k cpu. I was just correcting the bottleneck problem with the motherboard. I just need one more PCIe 3.0 with at least 4 lanes to run my PCIe SSD and 2 GPUs at full performance. My previous motherboard had only 2 PCIe slots @ x8 mode. The least expensive motherboard you are talking about will fix my problem.





    GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming GT LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gbs USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Newegg.ca

    Here's my build:
    badrobot - Saved Part Lists - PCPartPicker Canada
    Last edited by badrobot; 08 Jul 2015 at 16:54.
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  9.    08 Jul 2015 #9
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Posts : 83
    windows 7

    I have a Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming7 board and I'm very happy with it. I've not had one issue with it since I bought it 09-14. Loaded it up with a new 4790K, Corsair memory and an EVGA Nvidia card that I had from the previous board and it booted right up like it had always been there. As said there's the dual bios and tons of bios settings.
    I will not hesitate to buy Gigabyte again.
    Jim
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  10.    08 Jul 2015 #10
    Join Date : May 2015
    Posts : 1,647
    Win 10 X64 Pro 15063

    Quote Originally Posted by badrobot View Post
    I hope I could go back and start over. I just finished this build 2 months ago with i7-4790k cpu. I was just correcting the bottleneck problem with the motherboard. I just need one more PCIe 3.0 with at least 4 lanes to run my PCIe SSD and 2 GPUs at full performance. My previous motherboard had only 2 PCIe slots @ x8 mode. The least expensive motherboard you are talking about will fix my problem.





    GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-Gaming GT LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gbs USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Newegg.ca

    Here's my build:
    badrobot - Saved Part Lists - PCPartPicker Canada
    Looks good.

    If you were buying the CPU cooler new, I'd suggest checking out an all-in-one liquid cooler. I've always used large air coolers. A Corsair H100i is my first AIO liquid cooler, and I like having the space around the CPU. (I don't know how well one would fit in your CM case.) Its performance seems to be good, although it's far from quiet when the fans are running flat out.

    I wish when I did my build that I'd gone for the Samsung XP941 M.2 drive over the Plextor M6e. The SM951 that you have is considerably better than the older XP941. I've since transferred the Plextor (with an M.2 to PCI-E slot adapter) to my backup PC, and use an Intel NVME drive as my boot drive. (Pointless in practice, although it gives good benchmark numbers.)
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