It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:49 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 75
Location: California
Okay, finally, finally!, ready to build. I have some parts selected, but after research there seem to be only least-bad options for the MB.

First some info:
-processor 4770K. Probably will not overclock, but like the option of the K version.
-no SLI
-will not be using wifi, and prefer not to have it.
-playing games less these days, but still want it to work well in high end games. I use speech recognition software which is demanding.
-quiet computer ability when not gaming. I'm okay with manually using fanmates.
-would like this build to last if possible, so want good performance and a higher probability of quality and reliability.
-modest price differences are not a huge issue. My current MB is over a decade old. I'd like to get quality and reliability without drastically overpaying for features I don't need.

Options:

Asus Maximus Hero. I'm leaning towards this board as it apparently has decent quality parts, like the capacitors, and doesn't have bells and whistles like onboard wifi that won't be using anyway. There are anecdotal reports of quality control issues with memory tabs breaking, and problems with Alsuite that I read at hardforum. I got the impression that Asus quality and customer support has dropped. Is there a minimum fan speed issue with Asus that I recall reading about here, with the CPU fan that could affect quietness?

Asus Z87 Pro. Same quality control concerns, but is an option. Some parts better quality on the ROG boards.

Asus Formula. Gimmicky armor seems more a negative than a positive, and a waterblock capable heatsink that do not need.

Asus Sabertooth. Is apparently built as a quality board, but has armor and tiny fans because of the armor. Haven't read enough testing on its performance without the armor and fans.

MSI GD65. This may be my second choice. Seems to do a lot well and decent reviews.

MSI Mpower and GD45 are other MSI options.

I have done research and am concerned about all the anecdotal reports of problems with Z87 boards. Are these likely to be less now that C2 stepping and months have gone by since the introduction of Haswell? Granted there is some chance that almost any MB could be DOA.

Thanks for any feedback.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:23 am 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4772
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Just a note on the CPU - Speech recognition s/w might have been demanding for a 10 yr old PC...but runs easily on a 3 year old dual core laptop. Games mostly use no more than 4 cores and don't use hyperthreading. Usually, speed trumps hyperthreading. Go with the i5 and save $100.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 75
Location: California
That was just an impression about the speech recognition, but glad that should not be a problem.

I didn't see the helpful sticky in this section about asus fan control issues until just now. Frankly it's off-putting that an asus representative at hardforum mentioned that the 40% minimum fan speed in the bios was for the greater good. One would think their liability concerns about fans not spinning could be addressed by a warning in the bios, rather than trying to force these higher limits on the end user, which is counter to the whole idea of enthusiast computing.

With the asus boards, as a last resort would a fanmate be able to reduce the CPU fan to very low speed without triggering any error messages? Would the bios allow it even if the speed was lowered after start up? There seem to be enough issues with Alsuite that wanted to know as a backup plan with an asus board, if it could work without allsuite and instead use fanmates to achieve less fan sound.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2063
Location: Guatemala
If you want pure bios fan control go with MSI or AsRock, and with 4pin PWM fans, both motherboard manufacturers have very good bios fan control, and include in most of their motherboards 2 PWM FAN Headers (MSI is CPU_FAN1 and CPU_FAN2 and on AsRock i believe CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN1), and get a PWM splitter to control the case fans and leave the CPU to its header alone.

Now if you wish to control them individually, and dont mind AI SUITE, then go with Asus, and with 3pin fans for case fans, and PWM fan for the CPU_FAN header, run fanxpert2 tunning and let it test your fans and lower them.

You can also go with Speedfan if you wish, i just havent been lucky with it, but many here live and swear by it, so its a good option to consider, and to crosscheck the motherboard that you chose will have supports for its sensors on speedfan.

Btw some time ago i open a thread to see if Asus would release an bios lowering the restrictions on the bios fan control, given that in past gens was lower, just recently the up it which i find stupid, but seem they are not interested on changing it, i leave the thread in case you are interested, ASUS Bios fan control request. That said, i still recommend Asus motherboards, its not all bad, just you do have to use AI suite /fanXpert and know their motherboards are desing with only one true PWM fan header and the rest are fake 4pin, once you understand this and chose the correct fans for each header, its a pretty good solution for a quiet setup.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:56 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1240
Location: UK
DeltaForce wrote:
...Is there a minimum fan speed issue with Asus that I recall reading about here, with the CPU fan that could affect quietness?...

AFAIK this was only an issue with the ROG boards, perhaps reflecting that the target customer group was assumed to be more interested in increased air flow rather than acoustics. In the case of the Asus Z87 Pro/Pro V-Edition both feature the usual Silent BIOS profile which allows PWM fans to run from 20% duty cycle upwards. So fans such as the 120mm Noctuas will typically run in the 350 to 450 rpm range under idle conditions. Using the Fan Xpert 2 software will drop these particular fans to around 17% duty cycle. Asus has already issued BIOS updates and a revised BIOS installer for these two boards to cater for the Haswell refresh CPUs which might be another factor.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 75
Location: California
Thanks Abula and Lodestar for the feedback, appreciate it. Abula I read your thread to Asus which made good sense, and yet they didn't care at all about the higher fan speed minimum on the rog boards, which is disappointing.

My preference would be fan control in the bios, but of course that's not the sole factor in choosing a MB. Both the MSI GD 65 and Asus Z87 Pro -V seem like the best choice at this point. The Pro V version doesn't have wifi or Bluetooth which I didn't want.

One concern about fanxpert2 is that it is tied to the Aisuite bundle, which has had anecdotal reports of causing other problems that were solved when it was uninstalled. With the maximus hero, as a backup plan, would it be possible to run the fans at low speed without aisuite and fanxpert2 installed? Not that this would be an ideal method, but in theory could manual fanmates be hooked up to all the fans, and then the voltage could be lowered manually? That would probably trigger an error message in the bios, but if so, would that only occur at startup and then it would run fine and quietly? Or would it not allow it? I just wanted to know if this was an option before giving up on this board, as it otherwise fit the bill.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1240
Location: UK
DeltaForce wrote:
That would probably trigger an error message in the bios, but if so, would that only occur at startup and then it would run fine and quietly? Or would it not allow it? I just wanted to know if this was an option before giving up on this board, as it otherwise fit the bill.
There is an option in all Asus BIOS to set 'Ignore' on the minimum fan speed setting, so there will be no error messages/issues. Bear in mind that Asus Z87 Pro/Pro V have both a CPU and CPU_OPT PWM fan headers. CPU_OPT mirrors the CPU BIOS settings. This can give a CPU/Exhaust fan PWM chain without splitters, or with Noctua fans the supplied Y PWM cables can be used to run additional fans from the CPU and/or CPU_OPT header.

A part of the problem with Asus Ai Suite 3 which includes Fan Xpert 2 is that as well as installing the software it also sets up two Windows Services. Uninstalling the software does not remove these two Services. To remove them you need to use Ai Suite 3 Cleaner, available as a download from Asus (AiSuite3Cleaner.exe). Fan Xpert 2 has an XML configuration file which is stored somewhere under the User settings, again uninstalling the software does not remove this file - and it may seem to cause odd effects if you are not aware it is there. But as it is XML presumably you could manually edit it to override the normal Fan Xpert 2 settings.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2063
Location: Guatemala
DeltaForce wrote:
One concern about fanxpert2 is that it is tied to the Aisuite bundle, which has had anecdotal reports of causing other problems that were solved when it was uninstalled. With the maximus hero, as a backup plan, would it be possible to run the fans at low speed without aisuite and fanxpert2 installed? Not that this would be an ideal method, but in theory could manual fanmates be hooked up to all the fans, and then the voltage could be lowered manually? That would probably trigger an error message in the bios, but if so, would that only occur at startup and then it would run fine and quietly? Or would it not allow it? I just wanted to know if this was an option before giving up on this board, as it otherwise fit the bill.
Asus higher end has very high restrictions on pure bios even on the CPU, but all get overpassed once FanXpert2 loads. But i guess will depend on the fans you chose, for example there are fans that even at 12V are quiet like Scythe Gentle typhoon 500/800rpms.

Now MSI is not that hot on bios if you going for 3pin fans, there is a 50% restriction on bios for CHA_FAN headers, but if you chose 4pin PWM fans and use CPU_FAN1 and CPU_FAN2 headers, they are capable of dropping to 12.5% at the least, with increments of 12.5%, that's what im doing atm, with a Y PWM fan splitter, i really like this solution and probably will continue to persue this type of setup, as its very nice not to depend on extra software or even the OS you are running.

Asrock also seems like a good choice for pure PWM fans, although i haven't tested personally, it seems it has much more tweakability on the % and breakpoints, more than MSI, that said, i still like a lot my MSI, its been great for almost a year, while i had a ton of issues on my Asus Maximus VI Gene, like audio clipping, stuttering among other things, and the high bios restrictions made me move to MSI, no regrets, but i still recommend asus, its by far the simplest way for someone to setup a quiet pc, specially for using the included fans that most of the time are 3pin.

There is also speedfan as an option if you don't want to use fanXpert2, but just be careful into choosing a motherboard that its sensors are supported.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 7:04 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 75
Location: California
Again, appreciate the feedback.

Have still not been able to find out whether the Z87 Pro has lower fan speed limits with the bios q fan control than the asus hero (this is without ai suite and fanxpert installed). There are the 40 or 60 percent limits, but also a "silent"mode. Not sure how silent that mode is. I got nowhere contacting Asus about this. The Hero has a slightly higher default clock speed, but is there any difference with the bios q fan control with these two boards?

Zalman has a PWM fanmate with auto and manual mode here: http://www.zalman.com/eng/product/Produ ... hp?Idx=375

Is 25% on PWM mode potentially as low spinning as the fanmate2 5v output? Is one of these types preferable for quiet computing? As a plan B, could I disable the fan control in the bios on either of those asus boards, and use one of these fanmates? While that might not be as convenient, I just want to make sure I could run either of those boards at low fan speeds one way or the other without using ai suite.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 9:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1240
Location: UK
DeltaForce wrote:
Have still not been able to find out whether the Z87 Pro has lower fan speed limits with the bios q fan control than the asus hero (this is without ai suite and fanxpert installed). There are the 40 or 60 percent limits, but also a "silent"mode. Not sure how silent that mode is. I got nowhere contacting Asus about this. The Hero has a slightly higher default clock speed, but is there any difference with the bios q fan control with these two boards?
The Z87 Pro/Pro V Edition boards definitely feature the around 20% PWM duty cycle in the BIOS Silent profile, which is in line with most Asus motherboards apart from the Z87 ROG boards where it is set somewhat higher. Even around 20% will give idle speeds of 350 to 450 rpm with PWM fans like the Noctua 120mm range.

DeltaForce wrote:
Is 25% on PWM mode potentially as low spinning as the fanmate2 5v output?
The issue with running fans under voltage control is that 3 pin fans have different start voltages, this is why motherboard manufacturers typically provide BIOS 3 pin fan control in the 6/7V to 12V range. Like PWM control, this is automatic (thermally based) so under idle conditions the lower voltage ranges will apply but the speeds you get will depend on the fans. So a Fanmate 2 could lower 3 pin fan speeds compared to motherboard fan control - if a fan can run at 5V. In terms of Fanmate 2 versus PWM, the issue perhaps is that a 3 pin fan that it going to run at say 350 rpm at 5V is unlikely to have a very high top speed, perhaps only 800 rpm. So at full speed it may not be able to cope with factors such as high ambient temperatures and/or the greatly increased system stress caused by gaming. This is not the case with PWM fans which typically can provide low-end idle speeds and a wider speed range.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 9:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 75
Location: California
Thanks Lodestar, that was a helpful reply. That settles it for the MB then, and was good information about the fanmate and PWM differences. On the asus boards my understanding is the cpu has a true PWM fan connect, so could use a PWM fanmate if I had to go to that option as a last resort, but according to the sticky in this forum section, the chassis fan headers look like PWM sockets, but operate as 3 pins.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 12:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 75
Location: California
Last question. After looking online at the Z87 Pro V for purchase at amazon, it has a higher price than the normal Pro, probably because of availability, even though the V version doesn't have wifi and Bluetooth. I really do not want wifi, have no plan to use the feature and do not want more wifi signals than necessary where I live. With the Z87 Pro, can the wifi be disabled and completely turned off, even if not used? Would it really be 100% off putting out zero signal? I tried to find the answer to this and couldn't, and figured would see if anyone here knew.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 12:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1240
Location: UK
Yes, the wifi and Bluetooth can be turned off if not required, by using the BIOS settings to disable both of the onboard controllers. The only fly in the ointment is that we now seem to be close to the launch date* of the Z97 boards including an Asus Z97 Pro, which features Fan Xpert 3 and 'proper' 4 pin chassis fan headers which support either PWM or voltage control fans. There are other improvements as well. So are you sure you still want a Z87 board?

* Edit: Newegg list the Z97 Pro release date as May 11th.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 9:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:30 am
Posts: 75
Location: California
Yes that is a fly in the ointment, and maybe worth the unknowns of using a new chipset. Given that the Z87 (and H boards) were the first consumer chipset for Haswell, is it probable or normal that there are generally fewer issues with a second chipset release for a processor? Granted any board can malfunction, but there were problems initially with the Z87 boards that were mostly sorted out in the C2 stepping, and one would think they would have a better understanding with the Haswell Z97 boards.

The Z97 Pro seems like a good board with a fan control friendly UEFI: http://www.legitreviews.com/asus-z97-pr ... iew_140521

In the Z97 Hero: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VII_HERO/ ,it appears in the UEFI image that the cpu fan can go to 20% in the graphic, but don't know if that is true in reality. Wish there was a way to know for sure with the Z97 rog boards with this fan speed issue in the bios, I've gotten nowhere contacting asus. The keybot is an interesting feature with its own microprocessor but not sure if that is part of ai suite. The heatsink is covered in plastic it appears.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 11:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1240
Location: UK
A major reason for going with the Z97 Pro (unless there was one of its other specific features that made it an overwhelming choice) is that both the BIOS and Fan Xpert 3 look to offer a step better fan control. There is also the suggestion that the 4 pin chassis connectors will fully support PWM fans unlike the 'fake' 4 pin connectors on the Z87 model. However looking at the early Z97 Pro manual releases this does not seem to be the case - the chassis fan connectors are not labelled as PWM so the Z97 Pro apparently offers no improvement in this respect (the same applies to the Maximus VII Hero). It may be of course that the early manuals are wrong and simply repeat the chassis fan information from the Z87 range, but as it stands from the fan control perspective there are only the BIOS/Fan Xpert 3 improvements.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Z87 Motherboard choice
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 12:04 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4772
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
My standard position is don't be an early adopter unless you are willing to take the risks. Every Intel chipset released in the last decade has been buggy. Some issues were resolvable with firmware updates, others required chip revisions. Also, motherboard firmware goes through many updates for the first few months to resolve stability and other component issues.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group