Want a z68 board, but with old style BIOS

Status
Not open for further replies.

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
I'm currently ordering the pieces for a new gaming build, but am uncertain how to approach the choice of a new motherboard. I want to get a board with the z68 chipset but also want the old style BIOS rather than the new UEFI graphical BIOS. Why? Because I frequently will be installing various new Linux releases for evaluation... and I'd much rather have the hard drive partitioned with a regular master boot record and not have any efi partition. I will be dual booting, with Windows 7 64-bit as the first primary partition and Linux on the second and third partitions. I'll also be using an ssd drive, possibly as the only HDD on the system for a few months.

If my understanding is correct, I should be able to select the old BIOS mode with most any new motherboard. This would be ideal for my needs, as long as Windows will install in that mode without creating an extra partition for efi booting. I'm not interested in any RAID setup, even after adding a second and maybe third mechanical HDD to the system for storage.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the matter, especially from someone who has already done something similar with their system. Thanks.
 
Solution
I've found the simplest is to create BIOS Profiles with each tailored for each OS. In my case Windows 7 x64 Pro, MacOS X, RHEL, and Ubuntu. If a 'drive' fails I'm not loosing 4+ OSes plus PITA to create environments. In addition I do 'play' with other versions of Linux with VMware Player which works reasonably well though slower. All == Less Headaches!

The 'problem now' is recovery from the Thailand flooding and the astronomical HDD prices; $60 Samsung now selling for $150. Unfortunately, what I've read the prices aka screwing is going to last through 2012.

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
That is where I'm confused. All the new boards I have looked at seem to have a "fallback" mode to the old BIOS. My questions are: can I initially select the old style BIOS before installing Win7 and use the ssd with no efi partition? Can I first format the ssd with my desired partition scheme and not include an efi partition (before installing any operating system)?

This is appealing because I could install and use only Linux for a few months, and then purchase Win7 or Win8 later on, and install it after reformatting the drive again. Would my plan apply to all Gigabyte motherboards with dual BIOS? ASUS and ASRock boards also?
 

pbm86

Distinguished
Jan 9, 2012
372
0
18,960
With most UEFI motherboards you can choose how to boot the installation media with UEFI or not. When you choose to boot Windows 7 installation media with UEFI the installation drive must be GPT, otherwise it works just as a BIOS setup.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
Actually, if I were only going to have Windows then I'd love to have only UEFI bios. My problem is that I prefer Linux as my main system and Windows only for gaming. I also enjoy distro-hopping (fun with Linux), but not all Linux systems work well with UEFI.

But you are correct, I should just buy the most appealing motherboard and learn to make it work. And judging from your replies, it should work without any problems. Thanks for the help.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860


I don't know from personal experience... but from what I have read, some Linux distros that still use the legacy Grub and Lilo bootloaders won't work with UEFI. If I am not correct, then that just makes me happier. It would be fabulous if I could just install Win7 with UEFI, and then dual-boot with Linux (new install every week) and not experience any bad surprises. I'm not any sort of Linux pro, but am gradually learning more as I continue trying out new versions.

I was only wanting to gain some insight before purchasing the final pieces for the new build.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860


Do I do that regardless of whether I'm installing only Linux, or dual booting with Win7 already installed? Either way, I presume the HDD already has the efi partition as the first partition, fat32, 200mb? Obviously, I don't quite understand. Thus, I am quite frightened.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860


Yeah, I already read the Arch threads about dual booting... and that's why I decided to rather just go with MBR on my new build. It's been working fine for me for four years that way. Now it sounds like dedicated individual drives are the most sensible way to deal with it. I'll use the ssd for Windows and a mechanical drive for Linux (since Linux is plenty quick anyway, and not used for gaming). Maybe a second ssd added later this year for Linux. I've been using VM's sometimes for distro-hopping, but prefer a "real" install on the HDD most often... although it's probably illogical to do so.
 
I've found the simplest is to create BIOS Profiles with each tailored for each OS. In my case Windows 7 x64 Pro, MacOS X, RHEL, and Ubuntu. If a 'drive' fails I'm not loosing 4+ OSes plus PITA to create environments. In addition I do 'play' with other versions of Linux with VMware Player which works reasonably well though slower. All == Less Headaches!

The 'problem now' is recovery from the Thailand flooding and the astronomical HDD prices; $60 Samsung now selling for $150. Unfortunately, what I've read the prices aka screwing is going to last through 2012.
 
Solution

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860


The high prices really stink, but I'm still gonna buy a mechanical drive and hope it lasts a good long while. I've considered installing Win7 or XP inside a VM in a Linux host and gaming like that. Some people say it works pretty well that way if you got plenty of ram. Sounds kinda fishy to me, but I might try it if only to satisfy my curiosity.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
Man, shopping for a motherboard is a real crock of crap. Every time I see one that looks great, I'll start reading the user reviews and get totally discouraged. Two people say its the best board in the world, then two other people talk about it being DOA or an endless booting loop, some even say their board caught fire. I mean, really, who can you believe? Surely some of those reviews are either positive spam or negative trolling by the other manufacturers. So I end up browsing the most expensive or prettiest boards.... and the reviews are still the same. The only thing I'm certain about is that I've had my current ASUS board for more than a year and it's been working perfectly since day one. All day, every day.

Just guessing, I bet I end up buying the prettiest board when purchase-day arrives. Regardless of the brand-name.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860


Do you mean: What MOBO am I interested in? or Which one caught fire?

Well, first I was really interested in the ASRock Extreme3 Gen 3 or 4 (now trying to decide between P67 or Z68), but after reading the reviews it seems they are very thin and flimsy... and also smaller, so they are missing two mounting holes. I want a sturdy board that won't break when I throw my tower against the wall. So, forget ASRock.

Then I fell in love with the Intel Z68 board with the imprinted blue skull logo with red eyes that flash in unison with cpu activity. But that's the one that caught fire in one of the user reviews. So, forget Intel boards.

Then I was really digging on the ASUS Sabertooth with the Tuf Armor. Nevermind. You gotta remove the plastic "Armor" to reset cmos.

So now it comes down to: EVGA (expensive but nice), MSI (the higher end models look good), BIOSTAR (cheap and ugly... my kind of broad), ASUS (been there, done that. Wanna try something different) or Gigabyte (currently appeals the most to me, but worried about the endless boot-loop. And I really want it to work BEFORE flashing the BIOS).

Price is of no concern. As long as it arrives in working (new) condition and costs less than $250 US.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860


Wow, that was real nice of you to put up the comparison page. Thanks.

For a P67 board, I would definitely pick the ASUS Revolution. The Z68 boards will take some time to decide, both look great. At this moment I would get the EVGA mostly because it's extended (I'm certain I'd find a way to fill the extra slot), but the Gigabyte is one I had already almost chosen as my final purchase. All three of those have the nicer audio chip. On the other hand, the lower priced ASUS P67 boards would allow me to spend the savings on a better graphics card or bluray drive or fan controller. Tough decision. If I was buying today, I'd get the EVGA. I'm gonna do a bit more research on those, and in a week (when final decision day arrives) I'll be more confident in my choice.

Which one would you get if you absolutely had to buy it today?

I'll be using the I5-2500K Intel cpu w/ CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, so will overclock no higher than 4.2. Probably a GTX 560 Ti, maybe even sli a second one before the end of summer. Eventually hope to have a nice 3D gaming setup. Hopefully shopping for a monitor will be more straightforward.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.
 
I would either get the 1. ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1), or 2. ASUS P8Z68-V PRO in most instances. If I wanted to build a 3-WAY SLI + PhysX then 100% the ASUS P8P67 WS REVOLUTION.

Something in between plus excellent service and support then hands down the EVGA Z68 FTW. My gaming board is EVGA and I love it :)
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
@joemama069
That was one of my favorite picks initially. Besides the flashing skull logo, I also liked that it came with a wireless/bluetooth front panel addon and extra sata cables. I still haven't forgotten about it. BTW, Newegg is currently out of stock.

@jaquith
I keep reading that Z68 is the better chipset, but honestly am drawn more to the P67 boards. The main reason I'd choose Z68 is for integrated video functions, but only as a backup in the event of a discrete graphics card failure. Faster encoding is cool, but I believe the P67 would encode fast enough for me. Still, the EVGA Z68 board seems a wise choice, especially if their customer service is that much better than the other brands. Even if I never needed customer support, I feel a company should be acknowledged for outstanding service, and rewarded in some way (like me buying their products).

I don't have anything bad to say about ASUS at all, just want to sample a different brand. Decisions, decisions... kinda puts a knot in my stomach.
 
Hmm P67 vs Z68, if you read my posts it's typically the P67 (faster - SATA, USB and often FPS); see -> http://www.anandtech.com/show/4330/asus-p8z68v-review/5

In your top post you listed 'Z68' so I included 'my' picks. The Z68's SSD Caching and Quick Sync for 'most' isn't a MUST have item.

The reason I like both of those ASUS LGA 1155 is because I have good experiences OC'ing them with their 12 Phases and low vCores. :)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

TRENDING THREADS