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Most Trusted Brands?

By ETF Soldier · 29 replies
Apr 1, 2014
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  1. Hey guys,
    I'm planning on upgrading my PC in the summer, planning to get this graphics card, that power supply, that motherboard over there etc. but then it hit me - how can I tell whether the brand is reliable (other than Amazon reviews).

    When you first search 'Motherboard' on Amazon, four brands come up:
    MSI, Asus, Gigabyte & ASRock

    With 'Graphics Cards' you get:
    Asus, Gigabyte, Sapphire, XFX, MSI, EVGA, Palit, Zotac & Club.

    And with 'PSU' you get:
    Corsair, ACE, Cooler Master, CiT, Alpine, Summervision, EVGA & Thermaltake

    My question is, which brands are your most trusted for each category?

    I'd would've thought:
    MSI, Asus & Gigabyte
    Corsair, Cooler Master, CiT and Thermaltake?

    Cheers guys.
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    For motherboards, I would rank ASUS the best out of the 4, and either MSI or ASRock last. ASRock is really improving lately so I wouldnt rule them out. But just to be safe, I would stick with ASUS or Gigabyte.

    For GPUs, I recommend EVGA for nVidia and Sapphire for AMD. Gigabyte and ASUS are great for both. XFX is OK. I cant really speak for the others though. Some poeple say MSI is OK, like @GhostRyder.

    For PSUs, I would go with either Seasonic or Corsair. The rest are pretty unreliable if they dont come from the big PSU manufacturers (RAW materials, not just sales) like Seasonic.
  3. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,197   +592

    My rankings are as follows:

    Motherboards: Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Asrock (All being excellent options of course)
    Asus is the Most Feature Rich
    MSI and Gigabyte offer excellent bang for buck gaming boards
    Asrock offers excellent feature rich boards for a decent price

    GPU's: EVGA, Asus or MSI on Nvidia. PowerColor, MSI, or Asus on AMD side
    EVGA is good, but the only issue is you pay alot for them
    Asus and MSI just offer very good value Cards in general
    PowerColor is AMD's EVGA now and offer excellent coolers and cool models of their cards, though MSI right now has the best R9 290X available.

    PSU's: Corsair, CoolerMaster, Rosewill, or Thermaltake. All of which have been very good and highly reliable.
    All good in my book, I personally like Rosewill for its features and price point.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    Out of those listed, here are the ones I would most likely select from. I've underlined the brands I am currently using.
    • Motherboard:
      • MSI, Asus, Gigabyte & ASRock
    • Graphics Cards:
      • Asus, Gigabyte, Sapphire, MSI, EVGA
    • PSU:
      • Corsair, EVGA, Thermaltake
  5. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 437   +112

    How are Palit for Nvidia GPUs? It's the cheapest 770 on Amazon, by £20.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +800

    Why shop on Amazon where there's limited mfg choices? If I can't pickup something locally (ie common parts), my first online visit usually goes to tigerdirect.com for the variety of choices.
  7. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 437   +112

    Usually from convenience and price - it's usually cheaper on Amazon than most other places, then it's Ebay.
    hopgop1 likes this.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +800

    AGREE - - if you can accept the limited choices :sigh:
  9. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 437   +112

    What do you mean? Limited choices in branding? Search 'GTX 770' on Amazon and you get MSI, EVGA, Gainward, Gigabyte, Palit, Asus. That's not that bad a choice for the first 16 that come up. I do the same on TigerDirect and get EVGA, Asus, MSI, Zotac, PNY, Gigabyte, that's 6 for 6. And Amazon is much cheaper.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +800

    Great. Your experience differs with mine, but isn't that the Zin of the Internet :grin:
    ETF Soldier likes this.
  11. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 437   +112

    So here now I have a choice of motherboards:
    MSI Z97 PC Mate £70
    Asus Z97-K £90
    Gigabyte Z97P-D3 £70

    Asus Z97-K + Asus GTX 770 £300
    Asus Z97 Maximus VII + Asus GTX 770 £335
    The GTX 770 is valued at £240

    I'm trying to keep the cost down as much as possible, and I'm almost definitely going to get the GTX770 anyway. The extra features you get with Asus MOBOs, are they worth it? I think that bundle would be the cheapest but that'd mean I'd also need the CPU pretty much alongside that I'm pretty much only going to use it for gaming so it's between a i5-4690 or a i7-4790. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go with the 4690, but I'm not entirely sure how much faith I have in hyper-threading.

    Any advice?
  12. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    If you are on a budget, get the i5. It is the best bang for the buck. Some games sometimes (supposedly) perform worse on i7s (some suggested disabling hyperthreading on the Battlefield 3 and 4 forums since they themselves saw improved performance). But usually, hyper-threading helps since more cores, even if they are virtual, usually yields better performance. Also, be sure to get the K (unlocked) version of the CPU so you can overclock. It is only a few bucks more. Before you OC though, make sure you have a good CPU cooler and a nicely ventilated case.

    The motherboards you picked are pretty different. All of the motherboards should support mild OCing (like up to 4.2-4.4GHz range) but the Maximus board will probably guarantee the best results since it is a gamer/OC-oriented board.

    A good CPU cooler would be the Hyper 212 evo since it is not expensive, yet can allow some mild OCing (4.2-4.4 GHz range - watch temps).

    Sorry for going on a tangent, but I hope it helps.
    ETF Soldier likes this.
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    I'm with most of the gentlemen above. MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, and Asrock is really putting out some terrific MB's now.
    as a brief aside, In working on my latest project I needed EK Watreblocks for my MSI R290X's. The only difference between the reference and the PCB's I had was slightly taller caps around the VRM. I called MSI tech and they ran down all four SN #'s for me so I knew I needed the rev 2.0 WB. That and other things have impressed me about MSI post sale service.
    My 2 cents worth.
    Good luck with the build :)
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  14. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,197   +592

    For the motherboard, I like that Asus the best personally for its design and feature set. I would just get the K variant and skip the maximus since you do not want to get an unlocked CPU.

    I would just stick with the i5, hyper threading is not really worth it unless your doing some heavily threaded tasks like video editing. Save the extra 100 bucks.

    Btw, your looking at a £240 GTX 770, but since it seems you are willing to do an i7 why not swap out and grab this. Its not that much more and will offer much higher performance.

    But either way I think you will be satisfied with an i5 and the Asus motherboard over the i7.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    BTW, there is nothing wrong with looking at nVidia. Buy the brand you want, an i7 doesn't dictate one over the other. Unless you look at the top tier card, there will always be a better card than the one you are looking at.
  16. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,197   +592

    Who said there was anything wrong, I was giving a suggestion based on what he is paying/willing to pay. He said this is mostly a gaming build so suggesting him balance in his parts is what he is wanting while keeping the price down.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    So explain why a GTX 770 and an i7 would not be a balance for his desires. I struggle in seeing this as I feel the GTX 660 and i7 balances my machine nicely in what I want. I don't remember reading any details that would separate his desires over my own as far as game play.
  18. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,197   +592

    Well he asked above whether he should get an i5 4690 or an i7 4790 for a Gaming rig while being on a budget and general consensus including the conclusions that have been come to by techspot itself is that the i5 is a better choice for a gamer for its value. I gave him a suggestion which is what he is asking for...Along with adding into his budget alternative solutions if he has extra to spare since most gamers prefer to have their machine last as long as possible. Hence suggesting instead of putting the money towards an upper processor instead at an upper GFX card. When people still game on i5 2500K's and get easy 60FPS in gaming purposes I hardly see a reason for someone who is strictly gaming on a budget to buy the i7 just to gain hyperthreading (Minus a few other slight differences).

    I also am not the only one to suggest an i5 over an i7 on this thread...
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    So you don't have an answer as to why you were promoting AMD over nVidia graphics? Because your response to the balance was a debate between i5 vs i7. The CPU choice is irrelevant to my query. You speak of balance, yet I don't see anything to balance. That is other than a budget. But yet you spoke of a balance between i7 and R9 290. You spoke of this balance because you are selling an AMD card, not because you are balancing a PC. If you were balancing the PC's performance, you would be have been asking other questions. I'm not gonna lie, you are probably more qualified to balance a machine than I, but you didn't go there. Instead you knocked down nVidia and promoted AMD, without cause other than personal preference. Promoting AMD and not nVidia is fine, but not when you unjustly knock nVidia out of the lineup.
  20. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,197   +592

    First of all you did not read, what I said was that if he has the budget for an i7 get the i5 instead since he is primarily gaming because it makes no difference clock to clock in pretty much every game I've seen with very few exceptions. The usual difference between an upper locked to locked i5 and i7 is around $100 give or take same with the unlocked variants. Now being in the UK the price of his card he is looking at (GTX 770 picked around his price) is £240 roughly. Bearing in mind that the i5 4690 is around 160 and the i7 4790 is around 223 that means if he grabs the i5 instead he saves £63 that he could spend elsewhere if he chooses. In that case he can afford to up his GPU to another level namely suggesting the R9 290 Sapphire which is £306 which going from the GTX 770 is £66 more fitting in his budget and giving a significant performance bump. There is no Nvidia in between that price point, the next is a GTX 780 which on the cheapest side is 359.38 which is much more than the suggested savings I was showing him by getting an i5 and the R9 290 over the i7 and the GTX 770.

    He asked for advice about building a gaming rig and wants to spend as little as possible but get a good machine to last for awhile. Hence no need to spend the extra on an i7 and if he wants to just pocket it back stay with the GTX 770 or spend it on a nicer video card which with the savings the only one that came back into flow was the R9 290.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    And here you are continuing to ramble nonsense, without knowing what needs the OP has in order to balance the system. You have no justifiable reason to promote the R9-290 over the GTX-770, because the OP hasn't given you a reason. You talk of saving money on a CPU, while assuming games will be the only use for the machine. At the same time talking of spending more on a GPU, while assuming the OP's game selection will need it. Tell me again what facts you have for suggesting this balance.

    STOP assuming what the OP needs for a balanced machine and ask!

    I'm not here to bicker with you, but you can't seem to get a grip on why I started questioning your recommendation. A recommendation that was given purely out of spite. You can't stand the thought of a GTX 770 being sold! In case you haven't noticed, the OP seems to want nVidia. Have you thought to ask?

    I'm done, I've trashed the OP's thread long enough. I only wish you could look back and realize you were recommending a product based on nothing other than the words gaming machine. Recommending yes, but you didn't stop there. You were also recommending against other prospects, based on an unfounded concept.
  22. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 437   +112

    The i5 is the hyper threaded CPU, with 2 cores and 4 threads, whereas the i7 isn't with 4 cores and 4 threads, do you still think I should get the i5? I've seen benchmarks in gaming for the i5-4670K and the i7-4770K and they were very similar, I think it was on Tom's Hardware.

    I've taken in to account what you've said, but I'm really quite torn on the brand of GPU I get, on one hand I've heard better things about Nvidia recently, with better drivers and more reliability, not to mention that I am very interested in the Nvidia Shield, however AMD's Mantle technology is intriguing me greatly, and it's getting in to a lot of upcoming game releases which could be really beneficial, in addition AMD is also in the current gen consoles, and from this it could give them an upper hand in smoother coding for current gen games (which is a 5 year estimate)..

    I am so torn D=

    Also, I have an AMD processor and an AMD GPU at the moment, I don't know which producers more, but my PC feels like it's on fire most of the time, especially in Summer, coming very close the 70°C dangers-zone.
  23. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 437   +112

    Guys, be civil please, we're all friends here. And Cliff, you're comments are always welcome here as long as they are well intentioned and relevant. :)
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  24. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 437   +112

    I'm not intending on overclocking because a) I'm not sure it'll be necessary, b) I have no idea what I'm doing. I do however intend on getting a Hyper 212 just because I've had enough with hot computers, it's really starting to bug me. :(
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,160   +3,257

    You have that wrong for the most part.

    i3's are 2 core with hypertheading (4 threads total)
    i5's are 4 core without hyperthreading (4 threads total)
    i7's are 4 core with hyperthreading (8 threads total)

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