Motherboard tier list collaboration: Interested?

UPDATE: The list has been completed. You can view it HERE.


Greetings fellow members!


After a Motherboard tier list based solely on 'features, PCIe power and OCbility' failed against the rightful eyes of senior members, I've decided to develop another, hopefully more accurate, MoBo list.


And guess what, you can collaborate with your valuable inputs even before it is put up! I've this in mind:

Use a suitable service, like Google Drive to make a draft available to all interested members through mail, who can put their input and help in expanding it.

The topic for the list, Motherboards, being a fairly vast area, we can appropriately divide work, but there would be no compulsions to be a part of those groups, you can just provide your feedback about how it's looking and suggestions/ advise.

Everything being debatable, we can be sure of the 'best' ideas and rightful MoBos making it to appropriate tiers.

The new 'ranking' analogy is based off 'value/money' and 'actual usability' concept. Here, the real use, build quality, price (range) and features in accordance to chipsets shall be considered, and MoBos be tiered upon those concepts.

We can then put it here using a shared account, for fair share of work and convineance of editing. More ideas are always welcome.


How can I collaborate?

I shall be making a rough draft soon, if you're interested, PM me. Your Email ID would be needed, but will not be disclosed. Please do not provide your Email ID in the replies.

I'll be free (hopefully) after 20 Nov, but will try to make draft before that that so we can start with our development. So if you're interested or have questions regarding this project, reply here or PM me! Feel free to clear your doubts!
61 answers Last reply
More about motherboard tier list collaboration interested
  1. Sounds like a good idea. I would say grouping by chipset and the particular features would be a good idea. It might be hard to do it in a tier format as there tends to be very little difference in terms of performance.
  2. Yes, grouping every chipset (though tideous) is the best approach, I second you. And you're right about the tier format, especially in terms of lower end (or budget) boards, we can get some great ones for $50 but some 5 year old junk as well. So it'll be a careful approch, let's hope for the best, I'll join you in the loop when I make the draft :)
  3. Sounds good IMO.
    We should wait for more members to answer. :)
  4. Just prowling... :) Good idea, but very time consuming...
  5. Seems like a sound idea, is going to take some time, but should save members time in the end.
  6. Thanks for the heads-up Gam3r01! It's tedious indeed, but shall be worth it. I'll PM you for Email ID soon enough.
  7. The only way I see this working, is if you do separate lists for EACH chipset. AKA, tier 1-5 for z97 boards, 990fx boards, h81 boards, etc.

    I'll be honest. I don't really see this working 100%.
  8. It could work I think. But I don't think PER chipset is require.
  9. I certainly do. There are GREAT $50 motherboards and GREAT $300 motherboards but can they both go in tier 1?

    If the list is STRICTLY quality based, then yes they can, no problem, but if you want to include features in the ranking, then you need a separate list for every chipset for sure.

    Whoever is making the list needs to define a single variable that it will be based on. Example: the PSU tier list is based on quality of the unit, not number of connectors, or color scheme, or sleeved vs. unsleeved, etc.
  10. I made the list based 'solely' on features and such, and it failed the practical use test. So this one shall be based on quality, and features shall be secondary. Ofcourse I'll make tiers but they should be based off quality and workability. Like a $50 H81 can be tier one (in H81 tier list, if that's possible) and a Z97-A can be tier 2 in it's list. I'm ready to put all my time on this, to make it sensible and usable, along with the valuable input of all other members.

    But I'd like more feedback from other experienced members on this.
  11. I still do not see it working with more than one variable at all. You really need ONE defined variable. Make it quality, and make sure you state this.

    Also make sure to label the tier lists appropriately. I will be different from the PSU list where a tier 5 unit could fry your computer. Here a tier 5 board simply would not have many features, be more basic, and has higher chance for RMA, but is not dangerous for the computer.
  12. tiny voices said:
    I still do not see it working with more than one variable at all. You really need ONE defined variable. Make it quality, and make sure you state this.

    Also make sure to label the tier lists appropriately. I will be different from the PSU list where a tier 5 unit could fry your computer. Here a tier 5 board simply would not have many features, be more basic, and has higher chance for RMA, but is not dangerous for the computer.


    Fair enough, but there are low quality AMD 780G and 970 chipset boards that NEED to be avoided for FX CPUs.
  13. I'm not sure how this would work since things like CPU overclockability are more dependent on the CPU lottery than the board. This would be more of a subjective list than say the power supply tier list which is based on electrical performance. Honestly the only way to do this would be based on features.
  14. Quality will be the variable, provided there's no seconds thoughts in any member's mind about this. Yes I'll label them appropriately. Some AMD boards may need to be properly labelled that 'they may be not so good with so-and-so CPU'.
  15. anort3 said:
    I'm not sure how this would work since things like CPU overclockability are more dependent on the CPU lottery than the board. This would be more of a subjective list than say the power supply tier list which is based on electrical performance. Honestly the only way to do this would be based on features.


    I've put my mind around that, made a whole Tier list based on features, but there are some variables to it. Consider this:
    A home theator user might not need a $150 MoBo, and there are many $50 MoBos which do the job just as well, including them in the bottom of the 'feature first' tier list (for obvious reasons) will not be appropriate. There has to be a system of how we go about it, so making a different tiers for say H Mobos, as they all can't SLI and OC, will be appropriate in my opinion. Thoughts?
  16. You contradicted yourself.

    You said a home theater would not need a high end motherboard. This is because the system will not require many features. This would then put it at the bottom of the feature tier list. Where it BELONGS. Because it has little features. It is not a bad board, it could even be great quality, but it BELONGS at the bottom of the feature tier list, where it could also be in the middle/upper middle of the quality tier list AT THE SAME TIME.

    You can't do it by H series boards. All H97 boards would be above H81 boards because they offer more when there are VERY good quality H81 boards. You MUST do it by chipset, if you are counting features at all. That is the ONLY way it will work.
  17. Seems like we got a good hard task ahead, no worries, The list will be distinctly chipset based, sub-divided by features in that very chipset.
  18. RobCrezz said:
    It might be hard to do it in a tier format as there tends to be very little difference in terms of performance.


    I don't see why it would be a problem. The couple of tier lists out there for GPUs and the PSU tier list as well, all have hardware with similar performance, which simply results in similar tier placement. If two different boards both have similar performance, why shouldn't they be on the same tier. Considering purpose of build, as mentioned by other members, probably ought to be a factor since what works well at stock clocks with an adequate PSU and a single GPU may not be a very good choice for somebody determined to get that big overclock or run dual cards.
  19. ^ I have not read most of the posts everyone made but how will we create a Tier list. Because the motherboard has many factors affecting it.


    But remember, nothing is impossible. It takes time to research. I am not sure about the rest of us, but I am in for a great big fun. :D
  20. Since the PSU tier list actually has notations indicating "Highly recommended for any situation", "Excellent quality for limited budgets", "Meets ATX specifications/not ideal for overclocking/dual cards etc." this should be applicable with each tier simply being divided by chipset along with notations to the side of each board indicating it's intended platform (ie, small form factor, mini-itx, atx, or media center, desktop) this might be a good consideration to carry over for the very same purpose of clarifying why and for what uses it makes the grade.


    This does however seem like a very daunting task considering much of the information will have to be based on testing provided by other parties and we already know that some of those reviews are not entirely accurate due to the reviewers not wanting to knock a particular manufacturers product for fear they will not provide further hardware for review in the future.


    Obviously the hardware cannot all be tested for the purpose of the tier list, nor should it, but since not every review has the same conclusion for any particular board, you'll need to devise a way to draw conclusions from multiple reviews or simply rank according to hard facts like, well, features. There it is again.


    The type of power phase, mosfets, heat sinks, PCB quality (Thickness, protection, etc.), controller type, memory and cpu support, UEFI BIOS ease of use, number and type of USB headers, SATA headers, PCIe SSD support and a general reliability consensus whether based on an accumulated consumer response or some form of reported RMA numbers may all have to be considered to have any likelihood of being remotely accurate.


    Or I may be just completely over-thinking the entire process. I don't think however you can simply go by the basic conclusions of the common review sites as the determining criteria for placement though. Not every board that I've come across with a good review from a basically trusted site has actually been so. Some of them have had issues not addressed in the reviews or issues during the review process that were later cleared up via firmware update. This is a major undertaking I believe.
  21. darkbreeze provides some good points for pondering there. But it more or less would be fetures first list divided by chipset, ofcourse keeping quality in mind, take 990FX EXTREME3 for eg, it can SLI but can't take FX 8, as no heatsinks on VRMs, so we can't keep it in top tiers. We can't keep 5 year old AMD junk MoBos which'll burn up any FX even in tier 5, it has to be labelled. Since some MoBos are great for some special purposes, that may be kept in mind.

    For Eg, 970 UD3P is not SLI capable, but a superb MoBo for OCing, so it may be given a higher tier, from say tier 3 to 2. Labelling will be important. We need to be careful as some MoBos have some known issues, so they should atleast be mentioned. RMA numbers is a good option for checking reliability, I'm not sure if they're available for every MoBo though.
  22. There are some motherboard feature comparison spreadsheets available that may be of service to this project.

    Here is one from Asus for Z97 motherboards that is on Excel.

    http://www.asus.com/Microsite/mb/9series/
  23. http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-info-database

    http://sinhardware.com/images/vrmlist.png

    Good info about power there. Top one is AMD, bottom is Intel. This will help you determine overclocking capabilities/ stability.
  24. Quote:
    There are some motherboard feature comparison spreadsheets available that may be of service to this project.

    Here is one from Asus for Z97 motherboards that is on Excel.

    http://www.asus.com/Microsite/mb/9series/



    That's just what I was thinking of, except that I created a spreadsheet based on all available listed PCPartpicker models and selected only the relevant categories then sorted them by price. It's a starting point anyhow. I don't how useful it actually is but you're welcome to use it as a starting point of some kind if you want. It's in Excel format.

    www.puebloallpro.com/motherboards.zip
  25. There is also a motherboard list that is maintained by PCPartPicker. It contains only the very basic information. But it is a list of what is available. It also has a build guide function.


    http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/motherboard/

    Update:
    Sorry for the repeat.
  26. UPDATE: List has been uploaded with X99 chipset!

    More chipsets will be gradually added. I request all members to have a look and provide feedback/ changes/ advise/ suggestions/ etc.
  27. UPDATE: List has been updated with Z97 boards! Do have a look.
  28. UPDATE: List has been updated with Z87 boards! More chipsets to be added soon.
  29. UPDATE: List has been updated with H97 boards!
  30. I would mention on the Z97 and H97 board that "support" 4 way SLI, that it wont perform as well as on X99 due to being limited to 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, despite the use of PLX chips.
  31. Added! (I assume you meant Z87, not H97). Also, do you think H97 is tiered appropriately?
  32. MeteorsRaining said:
    Added! (I assume you meant Z87, not H97). Also, do you think H97 is tiered appropriately?


    Yeah sorry thats right.

    Yeah H97 list looks good.

    Its the AMD AM3+ boards that will be the minefield I think!
  33. Indeed. The thermals on VRMs and Power phases, along with user feedback based quality is not easy to tier w/o mistaking. And that is especially more prevalant in the lower chipsets. But I'll try my best.
  34. MeteorsRaining said:
    Indeed. The thermals on VRMs and Power phases, along with user feedback based quality is not easy to tier w/o mistaking. And that is especially more prevalant in the lower chipsets. But I'll try my best.


    Good job so far!
  35. Thanks :)
  36. I say Z97-A in Tier 1.
  37. zeyuanfu said:
    I say Z97-A in Tier 1.


    It is in Tier 3: High End. There are way too many better MoBos for it to be in tier 1. You might want to have a look at the list, in that case, PM me your Email Address.
  38. UPDATE: H87 boards added.
  39. UPDATE: H81, Q87 and B85 boards added. So that ends Intel's Motherboard list. AMD chipsets coming soon!
  40. If the typical spending on a graphics card is less than $200. And the "sweat spot" for gaming enthusiasts is around $250 for graphics cards Why are you specifying that Tier 1 motherboards have 4-way SLI capability. It would be my guess that even high end gaming machines are going to tend to be a single high end graphics card plus a smaller segment with 2-way SLI. The 3-way and 4-way SLI machines are going to be rare.

    It appears to me that a typical motherboard purchase is going to be at the bottom Tiers of this list.

    My Asus ROG MAXIMUS V Formula LGA 1155 Z77 motherboard is a high end motherboard in my estimation, but it only has 3-way SLI (2 years old). I bought it so that it would have excellent performance with one or two graphics cards installed (not three).

    There are the few who will try 4-way SLI in an attempt at gaming on 4K monitors. But as I read just recently, 4-way SLI is just for bragging rights.
  41. Won't older 7-series boards be tiered:)?
  42. terry, your point is valid, but the fact that there are MoBos with 4-way SLI ability just adds to the pressure to rank them higher than 3-way SLI boards. There are only 3 such boards anyways, and since the list focuses on features of MoBo, and not what is actually better in real world (3 way vs 4 way), just adds to the fact. And in no way is your MoBo (or any tier 2 or 3 on the list) a mediocore, it indeed is a beast MoBo, tier 2 has been named 'Very High End' for that purpose.

    Your board, or any 8/9 series ROG is indeed of non-questionable quality and features ladden, but the fact that there are some MoBos which can take up better configs cannot be overlooked. I've ranked Z97-A as Tier 3: High End, that doesn't take the fact away that it is a very good MoBo for the price. The naming has been carefully done, Tier 2 is not mediocore, it's 'very high end', read the description, there is nothing wrong with those MoBos.

    4 way SLI may not be great performance wise, but that's out of the scope of this list. And also, there are some other devices which can take up the remaining bandwidth after 3-way SLI, like G.Skill's Phoenix SSD. That is why it is named 'PCIe config' not GPU config. SLI has been taken as an example that the boards support x8/x8 at least, which is necessary to run a GPU along with another x8 device.

    IMO, the description should be given due weightage. There has to be a way to rank them, I've tried my best to rank them quality wise, but in the top tiers they're all great quality stuff, so I have to go into features.


    zeyanfu, I'm sorry, but currently only active sockets are being tiered.
  43. I'm not saying that "my" motherboard should be Tier 1. I really couldn't care less what it would be ranked (I liked it & I still do). I'm saying that type of board should be Tier I. When I purchased it, it was a great motherboard at a reasonable price. The components that were critical to performance had a budget plus a premium that I was willing to spend to reach the quality level I wanted.

    Somewhat like the way the "Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2014" articles are structured. The top of the line graphics cards are listed, and then they list the super-expensive-over-the-top graphics cards more as an afterthought. Perhaps I'm beating a dead horse, but in my opinion the Tier 1 motherboards should be within the reach of the average motherboard buyer (given that they are splurging on an a more expensive board with better features).

    I guess what I am saying is that you need to define what the list is for. If it is to be valuable to the typical motherboard customer, it needs to be more tailored to that market. You have specified that quality is most important. But a motherboard list that is based on just the most expensive features is already available. They just need to set the sort parameters of their search to the most expensive "_____".
  44. I understand. But that'd create conflict. That is because, if 'value/money' was the first criteria, then boards like Z97-A would be chosen as Tier 1 for 99% users. By quality, I actually meant MoBo quality, in hard terms (more pronounced in AMD boards). Egs like 990FX EXTREME3 has SLI capability but not good enough for FX 8, G46 970A is known to burn. That is, good features, bad quality, which shall not be acceptable in this list. Boards like 970A-UD3(or P version) are much better in this regard.

    The list does give quality the first priority, I'm sorry if it's not clearly defined from the structure, but that meant board's quality. In general, 75%+ builders won't go over $100-120 for MoBo, 90% won't go over $150, and 99% won't go over $200-250, which's how it works. Take it like this, there is XFX 550W PSU for $50 and SeaSonic X560 for double that price, 90% people will go for XFX, but that doesn't take the fact away that SeaSonic is a better quality unit, can take up more load than XFX (for longer duration). And the main point is, both are great units for their purpose, XFX is for a general gaming build while SeaSonic can sustain servers while being very efficient.

    In the same way, most enthusiast will pick ROG or Gaming series or EXTREME series boards, and not much will bother about 4-way SLI ability on Z97 socket, but for the fraction of the people who do, the list must be very clear. And even to a general builder, he should know there are boards out there, with more features. That is what I assumed would be fair to this list.

    For your last para, exactly what I'm saying. This is a general list which, if you select from appropriate tiers (3 and above), shall not get you the wrong product quality wise, with good features included, per chipset. A PSU tier list would be based solely on quality, a 560W Plat. unit will be tiered higher than 850W Bronze unit unless bronze is of great quality. A GPU list will depend on power. A Titan Z will be tiered higher than GTX 980, no matter how bad value/money it is, no matter if no-one buys the Z. This list will give you quality boards with it being tiered feature wise in each chipset, to give you an eagle's eye of what is available in that particular chipset.
  45. I agree with most of what you you just said. But I'm not suggesting that the average motherboard should be Tier 1. The feature list is important. The quality of the resultant motherboard plus value plus useability should park it at the top. The Z97-A (ASUS Z97-A LGA 1150 Intel Z97) that you mention is a good solid choice. But you have it about right as an average level. Staying in the Asus brand for comparison, I would put ASUS MAXIMUS VII FORMULA Z97 as Tier 1. I would put ASUS Z97-WS and ASUS Z97-DELUXE at Tier 2. I would put ASUS MAXIMUS VII HERO Z97 at Tier 2 as well if the Z97-A is defined as Tier 3. But then where do you put ASUS Z97-PRO. It is a better motherboard than the Z97-A. So, put the Z97 Pro at Tier 3 and drop the Z97-A to Tier 4.
  46. What about a tier list for every price range? You could do something like this:

    For 100-125$, get these boards:
    ...
    For 125-150$, get these boards:
    ...
    For 150-175$, get these boards:
    ...
    And so on and so on.
    Also, you can't really fairly compare a 140$ board and a 200$ board, the cheap board will (almost) almost always lose.
  47. terry, your point is valid but with a very important property being overlooked. Z97-WS ships for under $300, and allows quad-SLI config, which may be a big plus for pro workstation users stuck with LGA1150, ( I just rechecked, Neither Formula nor Hero support 3 way SLI) M7 Formula on other hand ships for $330 and has 2 way SLI config at most, so in name of what value and usability can I rank the latter higher than WS?

    M7 Hero or Formula are in the same boat as Deluxe. Throwing GB in the picture, Gigabyte's GA-Z97X-Gaming GT support 4 way SLI and is cheaper than M7 Hero. In all honesty I don't see a single need to rank ROG higher than WS.

    zeyuanfu, that is the point, cheap MoBos will definately have less features than costlier ones, and the list is roughly based off this priceset itself. But that can't be the only variable, as you get 4 way SLI for $200 but not even 3-way in some $300+ MoBos, won't be the best approach IMO.
  48. UPDATE: AMD AM3+ 990FX chipset boards have been added. The list was getting huge so a part-II has been created to accommodate AMD boards.
  49. Look again at the Z97 Formula spec's because 3- way SLI/CFX is supported. And if you read my last post I was putting the Z97 Hero in Tier 2 only if the Z97-A was defined as Tier 3. If the Z97-A was dropped a level, then the Z97 Hero would go into Tier 3 along with the Z97- Pro. The Z97- A is more of a base model of motherboard than the other two boards.

    Your right the Z97 WS is a workstation motherboard. The fact that it has 4 way SLI capability is pretty much irrelevant to me. I wouldn't recommend the motherboard to anyone for anything other than business applications where multiple graphics cards wouldn't be in the cards anyway. Plus it has pretty bad reviews at Newegg.com. If that meets your idea of a top of line motherboard then you have a different perception of the "best" motherboards. But that is fine. I agreed to give you my input on this project, and I have done so. I wouldn't normally be this much of a critic.

    Z97 Formula
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132247

    Z97 WS
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132126
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