Dan Dobrowolski Intro and Motherboard Review Format

jardows

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Looking forward to your reviews. One of the things that I personally am a stickler for with motherboards is reliability, but I know that can be hard to determine without having a system for a long time, and many samples to work with. Though I suppose there could be some design elements that could contribute to build quality, and if possible, I'd love to see that in reviews. As a bit of a tinkerer, I like looking at some of the different format boards, like Thin-ITX and STX. There are dedicated sites for that sort of stuff, but I'd still like to see your take on them.
 

Dan_D

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In the past, I have covered what you can see in terms of build quality. Some motherboards have flimsy heat sinks, sloppy soldering, or thin PCB's that flex allot. Some motherboards have flimsy fans prone to failure etc. The problem, as you point out is that longevity isn't something we can really test for in a long term review. As for other form factors, it really depends on their popularity to some extent and whether or not those options are good as the heart of a gaming build. I've covered ATX, E-ATX, mATX, and mini-ITX many times over the years and we will continue to do so. Primarily, I've focused on ATX as that's still the biggest seller according to the manufacturers.
 
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Bezant

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Dan, I liked reading not only your reviews on hardocp but also your comments on hardforum. Great fan!
+1 on the motherboard quality comments. I like to run things for long periods rotating them from main machine to some other use over time. 6 desktops at home right now with the oldest still staying strong at 12 years old. So I know longevity is hard to predict but comments on quality help.
 

noko

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The only change I can think of is the video to enhance and clarify the review. Loved Kyles straight to the point helpful videos, to me they were the gold standard and for CPU's one got the full picture from the articles and videos everything one needs to know. From cooling, performance, installation etc.

One area I see lacking here or has not been mention is CPU coverage. One hell of a CPU launch by AMD is right around the corner, you maybe the best qualified to take on that aspect if no one else is ready or up to speed. Your critical and no BS stance and really the depth you research and test is what is really needed, add in your bios understanding and how to OC - Well I can think of no one better. To big of an upcoming launch to miss.
 

David_Schroth

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The only change I can think of is the video to enhance and clarify the review. Loved Kyles straight to the point helpful videos, to me they were the gold standard and for CPU's one got the full picture from the articles and videos everything one needs to know. From cooling, performance, installation etc.

One area I see lacking here or has not been mention is CPU coverage. One hell of a CPU launch by AMD is right around the corner, you maybe the best qualified to take on that aspect if no one else is ready or up to speed. Your critical and no BS stance and really the depth you research and test is what is really needed, add in your bios understanding and how to OC - Well I can think of no one better. To big of an upcoming launch to miss.
Agree on the CPU side - if we manage to get sampled from AMD, then Dan will be the likely reviewer on it. His first motherboard review that he'll publish will start to lay the groundwork for the Ryzen 3000 series as well (it's a MSI Ryzen board).
 

Dan_D

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We are definitely planning on video content for that purpose, though I am uncertain precisely when that will happen. As for CPU coverage, its a matter of getting a sample. I doubt AMD has sent any out at all. They tend to send them much closer to the embargo end date than we are now.
 

noko

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Can someone send in a sample for review and then once review is done have it sent back? Until sponsors are present or samples are provided by the companies? Of course with the understanding if it gets damages, fails etc. no liability for FPSreview and really just a donation in that case.
 

Dan_D

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I would be concerned about liability for lost or damaged hardware. I get what your saying, but if someone really wants it back and the hardware dies, not everyone would be willing to say: "oh well, consider it a donation." Truly washing our hands of liability in those cases would require lawyers, contracts etc.

While I haven't killed all that much hardware over the years, its a definite possibility. I've smoked $1,700 processors and $500 motherboards on rare occasions.
 
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David_Schroth

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Can someone send in a sample for review and then once review is done have it sent back? Until sponsors are present or samples are provided by the companies? Of course with the understanding if it gets damages, fails etc. no liability for FPSreview and really just a donation in that case.
Labor costs are generally far higher than review kit costs...
 

ThreeDee

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I'm pretty stoked you guys are Still doing what you guys Do! I stumbled upon the GenMay thread that mentioned your guys' new site and .. well .. I cried just a little bit.

I might have even pee'd myself a little bit too.. the jury is still out on that one

Looking forward to catching up on what you guys have posted so far and for what's coming down the road. Thanks a bunch!
 

Dan_D

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Just some passing thoughts going forward. One thing that I'm going to do is standardize the memory speeds at DDR4 3200MHz for now. That will change as speeds go up. At the old site, it was DDR4 3600MHz for Intel and DDR4 3200MHz for AMD. I never understood the reasoning behind that. Latency values may be different between the two, but that comes down to compatibility with specific motherboards and memory modules. Not every motherboard and CPU combination will work with the same modules. I'll endeavor to keep these as close as I can, but ultimately, I may not have much choice here. If I can use the same modules across multiple platforms and across different brands, I'll do so. Unfortunately, compatibility is all over the place sometimes.

Lastly, because of the nature of PB2, PBO, etc. I will be locking the processors down at specific speeds. The speeds chosen are not designed to be a "clock for clock" comparison. These will be 4.2GHz for all AMD systems, save for Ryzen 3000 series CPU's. I don't know what those will clock at. The only Intel CPU I have is a 5.0GHz capable 9600K. So that's what I will run it at. The reason for this is to represent static clock speeds without boost clock influence that are commonly attainable for those platforms.

This is only for motherboard reviews. Any other articles will be adjusted depending on what we are doing.
 

Azrak

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it was DDR4 3600MHz for Intel and DDR4 3200MHz for AMD. I never understood the reasoning behind that.
As I understood it, the thought process was that those speeds were considered "somewhat easily attainable" XMP memory speed choices for each platform. I don't know how close to reality those speeds actually were for the enthusiast segment of the market, however (ie. the most common memory speed purchased for each platform by enthusiasts).
As you know, AMD (Zen and Zen+) had a more difficult time at higher than 3200 MHz speeds, while Intel was somewhat easy to run at 3600 MHz.
Beyond those speeds, for each platform, the gains were negligible.
Therefore, running those speeds would more accurately reflect the performance an enthusiast would see on their own build, assuming they used similar parts.

I guess the idea was that if Intel had an easier time with higher speed memory, let it use the higher speed memory. It's a platform advantage, so you might as well use it. Otherwise people might say you are artificially hobbling the platform to make the other platform look better (even if it was not your intent).

I can still see why keeping Intel at 3600 MHz makes sense, but only as long as ALL Intel builds used for reviews of motherboards are using 3600 MHz.
When comparing motherboards within a platform, I think it is best to keep everything the same as much as possible.
Highlight the differences for the item under test with as few variables as possible.

A different issue is when you want to start comparing performance between platforms (Intel vs AMD). I do not think choosing 3200 MHz for Intel would be a good choice in this case. So you would not be able to take the results from the MB testing and use them for the platform comparison testing in that case because 3200 MHz memory was used for all Intel tests. You'd need to install 3600 MHz memory to allow Intel to "stretch its legs" and give more accurate enthusiast performance results. If you didn't do that then you'd get nothing but negative feedback from readers saying you've hobbled the Intel platform with slow memory. With Zen2 it may turn out that 3733 MHz is the best memory speed to choose because it maintains the 1:1 ratio and gives the best performance.

I can see pros and cons for each way of doing it.
 

Dan_D

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Interesting. That's a good point. I will consider this.
 
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When the time comes for me to pick up a Zen2 board, I fully intend to go with whatever Dan recommends.
 

ThreeDee

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Nice try.
Dratz! Foiled again.. nonetheless ... really looking forward to all your guys' reviews and articles and I hope you guys go at least as long as [H] did and longer.
 
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