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  • #2263135

    PC motherboard


    by zen37 ·

    Hi all

    I am in the process of building a new PC for myself and i was wondering, not knowing anything about the subject, what do you look for in a motherboard?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #2486834

      New build

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      Many things to consider. What hard drive interface will you use? IDE, SATA or SCSI?? What about video, AGP or the newer PCI-e?? Memory, is pretty dependant on what the motherboard will support, Frontside bus and all. Choice of motherboard dictates the rest of the plugin cards types and speeds. What are you planning for sound, integrated on board or plugin?? I usually look for a motherboard that has very little on board, then choose plugins that will enhance the system and not drag it down. Good Luck

      • #2486831

        Thanks for the info.

        by zen37 ·

        In reply to New build

        I’m what you could call “old school”. I haven’t built a PC in over 5 years, so I’m rusty in what technologies to look for.

        What is the difference between SATA and SCSI? I’m familiar with SCSI but not SATA. Same thing with video, I’m familiar with AGP but not PCI-e. Which is best? What about the types of buses on the MB? Is there something better than PCI?

        I’m not a fan of “On Board” stuff. Except maybe the network connection.

        Any brands of Board to recommend?

        • #2486811

          Let answer some of these

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Thanks for the info.

          SATA Versus SCSI. SATA is an attempt to build an array of disks with less expensive disks. A SATA disk is comparably priced with an IDE/ATA disk, while SCSI is a little more expensive. SCSI may still prove faster in disk intensive server type apps (SQL dbs), but on average desktops you wont see much difference. Most new MBs have both IDE and SATA interfaces.

          I mentioend PCI express and AGP in my other reply. There are other versions of PCI express for non-video cards, but I don’t think many cards are made for them, so I wouldn’t look for them.

          When building a PC today, heat is a big consideration. The faster the processor, the bigger the heat sink. Make sure that in your MB there is clearance between the heatsink and the cards and the PSU. I had to abandon one expensive heatsink because it was too wide and hit the PSU.


        • #2486804

          James is right – heat and fans – and. . . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Let answer some of these

          …..I might add that this is a case for a “quiet case” (pun intended). You might have up to four (4) fans running in there, so I’d recomment splurging on the quite ones. Antec makes a quiet case (the Antec Sonata), and both the power supply fan and case fan are whisper-quiet. Processor fans can get loud, so spending an extra ~20 bucks for a quiet one is well worth it.

      • #2504529

        This all depends on you are your needs.

        by ed.adams ·

        In reply to New build

        If $ are the major issue, ECS will probably be the cheapest. Their failure rate and stability might be a little higher than the others, but remember it is all really luck. With failures, its not which fails the most as much as whether YOUR particular board is going to fail, and there is actually little difference in most boards on that narrow front. ( I said little, not NONE, for all you purists) You may get a $700. board that fails, just because you hit the anti-jackpot, and you might buy a $69 combo board and processor and have it run flawlessly forever. That said, there is a simple rule of thumb: Do yor research and find the price range of boards available to you. Consider the prices of addon cards you may need for those “better” boards that do not have video, etc. built in. Then make an attempt to decide where in the pecking order of novice all through the spectrum to power user expert you fall in and spend your $$ proportionately to where you fall. Novice, do not spend a lot. Casual user, spend a little more. Photo and video editing a hobby? Make sure you get a better board along with excellent video card and lots of RAM and Hard drive space. And, since you did not mention processor or RAM, your board MUST be compatible with both of those.

        Bottom line is this: Spend the most money you are comfortable spending on the best computer parts (generally means most expensive) you can afford with that pool of money. In my computer repair business, hardware failures are about 20% of the problems I see. 80% are some combination of bad software, malware and virus problems coupled with a heavy dose of PICNIC errors. (Problem in Chair, not in Computer). Good luck!

    • #2486816

      Opinions vary

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      I woudl definately recommend reading up on the subject:

      The first thing to do is to determine which processor you want to run. This is a factor of budget and preference. But the processor determines which CPU form factor you need in your MB.

      You might also determine what must haves you want. Some gamers want the ability to run two video cards at once (SLI for nVidia, Crossfire for ATI) – and that is something you have to buy in a motherboard, it can’t be changed later.

      Speaking of video cards, there are two card standards AGP and PCI Express. In theory the PCI Express bus is twice as fast but most cards don’t take advanage of it. If I were building a PC today that I wanted to upgrade a few years from now though, I’d buy PCI Express as most manufacturers are paring down their AGP offerings.

      Alot of people put faith in certain MB chipset manufacturers. My current box uses an ATI chipset, nVidia makes one too, VIA, Intel and others make them as well. Your chipset does not have to co-ordinate with your graphics card chipset unless you want to run multiple video cards.

      In terms of features most manufacturers make a wide range of motherboards with varying levels of features and supporting various chipsets. Some people like some manufacturers more than others. I’ve always liked Asus as a stable fast MB, but they are at the top end. I currently use an MSI MB with an ATI chipset, and its fine.

      Here is a good question – what kinds of applications do you want to run on your PC?


      • #2486799

        Thanks for the link

        by zen37 ·

        In reply to Opinions vary

        I’ll be sure to read up on it

        My new PC will be for games. The way i do things is when i build a new PC for games, i take my old PC and convert it to my work PC. It gives new life to it since office applications don’t require as much resources as games.

        I was thinking of going with 2 gigs of RAM, which ever is the best type as the time of purchase, about 100 Gb of Disk space, the best nVidia card i can afford and the best sound card Creative has right at time of purchase.

        • #2486786

          I few thoughts

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Thanks for the link

          I’m a gamer too, but also cheap :).

          2 Gigs of RAM is de reigeur for a good gaming rig.

          The best nVidia card out there is the 8800 – but it is quite expensive. Its the first in the 8xxx series. You might want to look at an SLi capable board, which allows you to take two nVidia cards and “bind” them together. This way you can start with one and add another later. But be warned, if you do this you need the biggest coolest case you can get and a very high end Power Supply. SLI MBs are not that much more expensive.

          Another useful link.

          I’ve used both ATI and nVidia cards and I do see better image quality from ATI, but faster fram rates from nVidia though its hard to do as they are both neck and neck and one chipset often provides better value at a pricepoint for a certain time.

          100 GB is not a lot of disk space these days – unless you are mirroring drives for performance. I think 300s are at a good price point now.

          As for sound cards, don’t overspend. The basic Creative SB audigy sounds great, and the high end ones pretty much just add more features that you may or may not use.


        • #2488335


          by zen37 ·

          In reply to I few thoughts

          …for the tips!

        • #2487481

          James is spot-on…

          by evilhomergd ·

          In reply to Thanks…

          in about all of his replies. I’ve spent a lot of time (and money) over the years building gaming rigs for myself and friends. Things to consider when purchasing a new motherboard:

          1. What it will be used for? I noticed that you intend to use the system for gaming, so that determine where I want to go. I personally like AMD processors and ASUS motherboards for gaming. The new Core2 Duo is supposed to be beating the snot out of the socket AM2 AMD processors, but I don’t have first-hand experience with the new Intel procs. Currently I run an Athlon 64 X2 4200 (65W) on an ASUS Crosshair motherboard. The combo is nice and COOL. Idle temps on the proc run about 89F with stock cooling.

          2. What kind of add-in cards\hardware do you want to use? Are you planning on buying a new video card? Sound card? anything else (physics card maybe)? or are you going to use salvaged hardware. If you are planning to use salvaged hardware, you will obviously need to buy a motherboard that will support the hardware. If you are going new all around, I would suggest a motherboard that supports either SLI or Crossfire, has at least 2 PCI slots (PCI-e add-on cards are still less common) and PCI-e x4 support on at least one slot (for later expansion as PCI-e becomes more available). You’ll want at least 4 SATA connectors (but more can’t hurt) and possibly IDE.

          3. How much are you willing to spend? This often becomes the deciding factor. Motherboards that are $200+ are not uncommon today. Depending on your budget, you may not want to shell out that kind of money for a motherboard when the money could be put into a better video card, processor(s), or more RAM.

        • #2504311

          motherboard type

          by michaela52802 ·

          In reply to James is spot-on…

          if you may need lots of storage intel has a board the 955Xcs it has onboard hi-def sound and supports 4 sata3gb drives as well as 4 sata150 drives it does require a pci-evidoe and it supports all the way up to a 3.8 Ghz processor and 8 Mb of pc2 ram

    • #2486809

      An opinion

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      I stick with a couple of proven brands (proven to me, at least), and I’ve become very partial to the ASUS brand over the years. I never get one with built-in video, but rather purchase a separate video card. Built-in video eats up your system RAM, while add-on video comes with its own. (I prefer ATI cards with 256 MB) Make sure the board supports the video card you select. AGP and PCI Express are the cards de jour, so confirm they’re compatible.

      Look at the maximum RAM capacity, and make sure you have plenty of capacity to expand. You might only want 1 GB today, for example, but might want to expand to 4GB later. Make sure the board will support more later, just in case. This will also determine how you might buy the RAM. Most dual channel boards, for example, require identical RAM in each slot of the respective channel, and it might affect how you buy it.

      Look at the warranty. ASUS, for example, offers a 3 year warranty on their boards, but I’ve never had to use it. (Goes to my “reliability factor” with ASUS boards!)

      Most of them have sound and network built-in, and that’s okay with me.

      What case are you going to use? Does it have some front panel connections you’ll want to utilize? If so, make sure the board has connectors for the things.

      What about the hard drive? If you get an SATA drive, make sure the board supports it.

      There ya’ go!

      • #2486802

        Good point

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to An opinion

        The number of RAM slots is important if you want to run demanding apps, or will be upgrading to Vista.

        Most MBs have 2 or 4 slots for RAM. I highly recommend 4 – its cheaper to buy 4×512 MB RAM modules than 2 x 1GB. And RAM is one thing you will likely upgrade when you go to Vista. RAM can come in DDR and DDR2 – the later being in theory twice as fast. I would only look for DDR2 capability in the MB if I was building a high end PC.


        • #2486784

          However, if you buy (4) 512 MBs, and. . . .

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Good point

          …..if you decide later to upgrade the board to 4GB, you have to buy the 1GB sticks anyway, and you’ll have those (4) 512s out of the machine doing nothing. (You could, however, sell them on ebay for dimes on the dollar — and I’ve sold a lot of RAM on ebay!)

          James is right, however, it would cost more to buy the bigger capacity RAM, so some long-term thinking is certainly prudent. After years of the experience of throwing away so much RAM, I spend the extra $$ up-front to buy the RAM that’s equal to the maximum capacity of each slot; and I always buy them in matching pairs, since dual channel prefers matching RAM. (Matching RAM for each channel, that is.) But that’s just me — and it’s for a business. A personal machine is both budgeted for and used differently.

        • #2488422


          by lindfalas ·

          In reply to However, if you buy (4) 512 MBs, and. . . .

          You got that right.
          No need to buy things you cant use for a long term.
          If you dont have the money for the extra cost for better Ram, wait a month or so until you got them..
          I would buy 2*1024GB Ram to a new computer.
          XP will need a minimum of 1GB to work well and Vista will need 2GB, but you can run them on lower Ram, but I would not..


        • #2504304

          drawback to 955Xcs board is formfactor

          by michaela52802 ·

          In reply to Good point

          it is a btx board there are some cases that not only support atx but btx as well there is a case from thermaltake a kandolf series that is it supports 10 5.25 bays and 3.5 bays I believe is 4 you can buy sata backplanes that will support 4 drives and use just 3 of your 5.25 bays. all in all the system is around $2000 if you build it all the way out but you’ll not find a game or program you won’t be able to run in a windows format

    • #2486794

      things to look for

      by lindfalas ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      First you need to know what kind of computer you want to build. Thats the hard part and what kind of money if can cost.

      Motherboard you can use Intel or AMD cpu.
      Right now Intel with there dualcore is faster then AMD. So right now I would choose Intel.
      Then you need SATAII disk to that. Dont choose other.. you dont need it.
      Also buy an soundcard.
      Lan card can be onboard, but not graphic or sound.
      Get an Pci-e graphic card. I prefere Nvidia (gainward). How big you need is up to wath you use the computer for.. Dont use SLI att start. buy a better graphicscard insteed.
      Then you need a good powersource. Dont get any under 500W. If you plan for sli in the future go for over 550w.. You need it.
      Get a good case to, with many fan in it.
      If you are good then put more fan in. But lower the rpm on them.. less noise, but still good.


      • #2504615

        MGaming motherboard

        by paul ·

        In reply to things to look for

        One of the problems that i have found is that there are quite often only 3 PCI slots on the latest motherboards, so it is all very well people getting a sound card but that takes one of your slots, i have never had a problem with on board sound, get yourself a good set of speakers and go for it. PCI express video is a must, newest boards take DDR2 memory, 2 gig is plenty for the games of today. Buy at least 300 Gb Hard drive and get SATA drive, these are 50% faster than ATA.

        • #2504588

          Motherboard concern

          by georgeis2 ·

          In reply to MGaming motherboard

          I suggest you MUST consider the New Vista OS if you are building now or just major upgrade work.
          Older MoBo’s with on-board sound represent a problem – check it out with the Mfg. first.
          Be sure your Video card is at least 256 – ifyou can go for 512 even better.

        • #2504310

          Mobo recommendations

          by michael.tindall ·

          In reply to Motherboard concern

          I STRONGLY recommend that you decide which processor AND video card(s) you intend to use BEFORE buying your board, because the mobo socket AND CHIPSET will directly determine which CPU and cards will work with said board, and the number and type of slots will determine what fits, and quite possibly, limit how many (of whatever) you can install.

          Ask yourself:

          what is this machine for? Is it for gaming? what brand and slot type of videocard(s) will I want? will my chipset support this card? (remember…the chipset, for all intents and purposes, IS the motherboard!) Will I want a dual-card setup, and does a given mobo have the right type and number of slots? as for card type, unlesss you are recycling an old card, think about this: PCI-Express is taking over, with FAR higher performance than even an 8x AGP slot, and most ALL high-end cards are going that direction. Some (most) use x16 slots, especially at the high end, though some use x8. Go PCI-Express, preferably with AT LEAST one x16 channel…unless you want to use SLI or Crossfire, in which case you’ll need 2. There is even talk now of using *3* cards…one for physics modelling, and nVidia SLI cards can go quad. That would be expensive, but eventually be worthwhile, especially with VISTA and DirectX 10 coming out…and DirectX 10 game screenshots are ASTOUNDING…just wait.

          As for SATA vs IDE, SATA is faster, uses a simpler and more elegant cabling solution, requires no jumpers, is well adapted to RAID deployment, and is the new up-and coming de-facto standard. IDE is older and slower, but you may have a whole stack of spare IDE drives laying around. Most newer mobos have both, though many have only one IDE slot (dual channel), which you may need for your optical drive. The price is usually pretty close….if this is an ALL NEW machine, my money is on SATA.

          How much memory will you need, and how many slots does your board have? many boards only have 2 slots these days. 1 gig sticks are EXPENSIVE…if you want 2+ gigs of RAM, shop for a board with 4 slots.

          will you want to overclock? are your chipset and bios well suited to it?

          This last part has nothing directly to do with your board, but is important. When you build, DON’T underestimate your power supply requirements. gone are the days of 200w power supplies…gaming systems nowadays may require as much as a 1kW ps, with power connectors for not only the mobo and drives, but also the video cards themselves…and I can tell you from recent experience that a fried PS can result is OTHER fried things, like packed hard drives with irreplaceable data…not that I’m bitter. Don’t skimp on the case and power supply.

          Go to and study up, paying particular attention to chipset, socket, and performance evaluations. DON’T bother with…it’s a link page. Good luck, and I hope this helps

        • #2504413


          by lindfalas ·

          In reply to MGaming motherboard

          If you only got 3 pci slot you will have all you need.
          You also got pci-e slot..
          You need a good pci based soundcard.
          No oboard soundcard is good. its cheap and sound not good.
          Just compare it with a pci soundbord and you will hear the diffrent fast.
          Even the cheapest PCI soundcard is amost better then all onboard soundchip..


    • #2504549

      A great resource that I use

      by joels ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      The most informative motherboard site that I have found is

      They compare chipsets, motherboard prices, memory, CPU’s & video cards.

      There are also articles about overclocking, motherboard rankings & the other required hardware to build your own PC, such as cases, fans & power supplies.

      I go there every time I build a new PC to compare the newest motherboards & chipsets, many of which I don’t have access to, or the time, to do my own comparison.

    • #2504506

      Ask yourself these Questions.

      by dalton_erik_lance ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      I am a student, my knowlenge at this moment comes from my books. My text says these are questions you should ask yourself before choosing a motherboard. I hope it is helpful.

      1. What form factor does the motherboard use?
      2. Does the mother board support the number and type of CPU you plan to use?
      (For example,Socket LGA 775 for the Intel Pentium 4 up to 3.3 GHz)
      3. What are the supported frequencies of the bus? (For example, 1066/800/533/400 MHz)
      4. What type of memory does the board support, and how much can the board hold?
      5. What type and how many expansion slots are on the board?
      6. What are the embedded devices on the board and what enternal slots or connections are on the board? (For example, the board might provide a network port, an internal slot for wireless network, or both.)
      7. What type of BIOS does the motherboard use?
      8. Does the board fit the case you plan to use?
      9. What is the warranty on the board?
      10. How extensive and user-friendly is the documentation?
      11. How much support does the manufacturer supply for the board?

    • #2504449

      CPU Fan – Recommendations?

      by stephen.himebaugh ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      My main, and only, issue with building a new PC is installing the CPU Fan.

      Are there any types of CPU Fans that are easier to install than others? Any recommended CPU Fan based on ease of installation? Any system boards that have an easy CPU Fan installation method?

      • #2486577


        by lindfalas ·

        In reply to CPU Fan – Recommendations?

        Most fan is easy to install.
        But use a big and with heatpipe if you want a good fan. Then you can have a fan with less noice.


    • #2504421

      Some OTHER recommendations

      by bill ward ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      Zen, you’ve already gotten a lot of good recommendations; most of them are good, but here’s a few OTHER recommendations.

      1) Start with the things you MUST identify for limiting down your MB choices, namely, what CPU and what Videocard you are looking at. These will determine the pool to look through to begin with. If you say “Ok, Intel Core2Duo, Geforce 7900 GT”, then you’ve instantly narrowed down your choices substantially, and made your job easier; you needn’t look at any MB that doesn’t support PCI-E and Intel (the GF7900 GT is PCI-E only, IIRC).

      2) Here’s one that will conflict with a bunch of other folks recommendations: DON’T go with Discrete Sound or Network cards. Very few consumer motherboards now days fail to come with both packaged on. Years ago, I was one of the first to buy one of the great early boards with everything on board (even including RAID), the Soyo K7V Dragon+. It was without a doubt the nicest board I ever bought, and the last time I bought a network card or a soundcard. And I’m an old school computer audiophile. That said, some MB sound blows chunks… and some is better than all but the highest end sound card. Use what’s bundled with the board, save the money for a better Processor, more memory, or a better video card; if you decide LATER that you just have to have an onboard NIC or onboard Sound, you can buy what you would have bought today for less, or buy something better for the same. But give the onboard Sound and NIC a try first. However, forget onboard video; it’s useless for now (but may be “ok” for a work box later, if you need to donate forward your videocard to your next box ….)

      3) 2 GB of RAM is going to be the working minimum in another year or so for Vista… because 256 Mb was the working minimum for memory for XP back a few years ago, and 512 was “Performance”. Now, 512 is skimpy. Go with 2GB NOW in 2x1GB sticks of whatever you will need (Intel chips used DDR2, as does socket AM2 AMD chips; older 939 Chips used DDR. It’s safe to say you’ll almost certainly want DDR2 if it’s a TOTALLY new system). If you choose wisely on your MB, that will allow you to add more memory later without throwing away your existing memory.

      4) If you are going to go SLI or Crossfire down the road, fine, plan your MB accordingly. But buy just ONE videocard now, the best you can afford. Buy the second later to match, and you will be able to upgrade to dual videocards later (when they are cheaper, as well) for a boost after the machine starts getting “slower”. BTW, someone said you can’t do dual video without an SLI or Crossfire MB; that’s not ENTIRELY true, as the 7950GTX is an SLI-on-one-card solution that packs two High End GPUs on one card. It’s not that much more expensive than a 7900GTX, either.

      5) If you want to move forward “older” HDD (ie, IDE drives) from a machine, you WILL need IDE ports… but Optical Drives are still IDE, not SATA. You can also get REALLY incredible bargains on IDE drives right now as the world slowly transitions to SATA which would be great for large file stores, RAID, etc. But be aware that you will need to have RAID capability to use that!

      6) 4 SATA connections is the new minimum. Again, RAID is your friend for speed; build a SATA of two identical matched (and decently sized, ~250GB or more) drives as your system disk. Large RAID for other storage using IDE is great, but this will help the system perform faster. Just don’t store everything on that RAID! WHEN (not IF) you eventually need to rebuild your System Disk, you won’t lose your data if it’s on a different RAID array (that big IDE data store, for instance….).

      7) While MBs ARE of different quality, the biggest difference in motherboard stability has nothing to do with who made the motherboard… it has to do with how good of a Power Supply you have. Others stated it, I’ll continue it… choose a GOOD powersupply, and over build (some). Don’t go overboard though, because excess power means excess heat in the system.

      Those are just some that I didn’t see anyone else make….

      • #2504389

        Nice one Bill

        by gsymoo ·

        In reply to Some OTHER recommendations

        I generally build my own PC’s and Bill (and others) really hit the nail on the head.

        1st start by choosing your processor and graphics card as these will generally be the most expensive components and once you have them you then have to live with them (at least for the foreseeable). The rest of the machine then naturally follows.

        It’s relatively easy to add or upgrade other components as needs must. If you are short of storage it’s not difficult to add another hard drive. However it’s a complete a*se to find your processor won’t cut the mustard and your MB won’t support something which will.

        Most people have a favourite and there are plenty of reviews and opinions on the www
        Compare a list of what’s available for the money on Dabs for example then research the one’s in your budget.

        Hope that helps


      • #2504293

        sata optical drives

        by michaela52802 ·

        In reply to Some OTHER recommendations

        are now a reality I’ve seen them in of all places bestbuybut I still prefer the ide optical drives

      • #2504865

        but Optical Drives are still IDE, not SATA.

        by retstg ·

        In reply to Some OTHER recommendations

        Not true, I’ve been using a PX-716SA DVD?R/RW CD-R/RW internal Serial ATA (SATA)drive for about 7 months now. It burns a 4.7GB DVD in less than six minutes!

    • #2504952


      by balthor ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      With an already built computer you get a warranty.I think computer building is Post Doctoral.

      • #2504947

        Gee then I must be post doctoral

        by jamesrl ·


        Now I’ve made the argument against building your own computer on economic grounds.

        If you needs are simple, going to a mass marketer like Dell will get you a low price – they buy parts in the millions. And I have bought my share of refurbished PCs that were either old stock, refurbed returns, or end of lease machines, and saved a bundle too.

        But don’t argue that its too hard. Selecting the parts may be a bit of challenge, but some of us live for that stuff.

        Putting it together, well its pretty straightforward. If you can change the oil in you car, you can build a PC from components (not including the OS install) in less time that most oil changes. I think I spent more time finding the bargoon parts than assembling them.


      • #2486330


        by lindfalas ·


        WEll if you build you own computer you have warranty on ALL parts, not the whole computer.
        Thats a huge diffrent.
        I have build over 100pc( lost count) over the years and I would never buy a computer that is already built.
        They have alot of bad/cheap parts in them.
        Thats why pre built computers are cheap.


    • #2504696

      It kind of depends on what you’re planning to do with it.

      by cweber ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      It seems like there’s much more to consider about your motherboard then there ever was before. I put together machines for work weekly and probably once a month I put together something for a gamer or photographer or videographer. Anything less performance intensive than that and I help them pick something out from a retailer.
      For my machine I needed to milk the most performance out of the least amount of money that my wife would let me spend. The same video card in AGP or PCIe16 seems to perform the same on machines that I’ve tested side by side, but what PCIe16 has is the ability to support SLI video cards. so I got a board that supports SLI. You can get 2 $80 video cards that will perform like one $500 and you can still start with one card and it works fine. The next was my options for processor. AMD was the price that I needed it to be so that was easy, but dual or single core? I took a look at the applications that I spent the most time on and found out is they could even do anything with the second core. The only 2 that would benefit from the second core were Photoshop and Premier on Windows and nothing that I run in linux. So all of the other applications would only be using the base clock speed of the processor anyhow.
      So I ended up with the Athlon 64 4000 for less than $80. I got a Giga-byte board only because I’ve gotten pretty lucky with them and AM2 socket instead of 939 because I may be able to milk another upgrade out of this board. As a generalization Giga-byte is not a favorite among gamer types because they don’t give you a lot of over clocking options but again I want cheep and stable. The system uses the same RAM that I had. PC3200 2 1024 with 2 slots left in case my wife lets me buy something later, and I got a SATA 80gig from WD to boot Windows to.
      Any game that I have now is more limited by my monitor’s resolution if that’s what you’re looking for, but more importantly I’m compiling 3 times as fast as I was and rendering in no time.

      After you’ve figured out what you want to do go to and search parts by category and sort by price. You’ll quickly get a performance range that is the best for the buck. I do have wholesale accounts but Newegg was close enough to those prices that I didn’t want to wait to combine an order, and newegg ships incredibly quickly.

      This is not a great technical overview but in the moderate price range I think you’ll end up steering more toward the best price then cutting edge.
      …and don’t forget that the board you look at may have 4 more pins on the power connector than your older power supply had. …if you’re upgrading.

    • #2486608

      Read documentation closely

      by johnrussell ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      I am not an expert on this subject but, from personal experience I can say you should carefully read any documentation on the MoBo before you buy it.

      My current pc is a prebuilt, but I was able to specify components for the build. I selected a board that claimed it would support my needs – a dual core processor, SLI (for dual video cards), and a x64 OS.

      After I recieved the unit and things didn’t seem to be as I expected I started reading through the documentation. I discovered that the Mobo did support a dual core processor, but as a single core only.

      Also found that it supported SLI, but not while running a x64 OS.

      So I have dual core cpu that I am getting only half of and because I am running a x64 OS, I also have a “spare” video card.

      My advice is be very sure of what your new board will or will not support.

    • #2486514

      Stability is a good thing…

      by lightning joe ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      Just a couple of comments, after reading most of the prior posts…

      I’ve had no problems at all with onboard sound, and i think one less card in the slots is a good thing. I think most instances of this feature are now competent to handle most game sound features and home theatre apps. No complaints about quality, either. And consider that onboard is natively supported by the MB’s chipset and bios.

      Ditto for onboard video. This will inevitably be outdated for most (and especially gaming) purposes, but it does have one saving grace, in that it should still work when your vid card goes tits up. If you troubleshoot that vid only works when you enable the onboard video, that kinda narrows it down to your card(s). On one of my MB’s, onboard vid was enabled by a jumper, so i fabbed a toggle switch on the back panel. (Warning: if you do this, don’t also do what i once did, which was to flip that switch DURING a hard reset; this effectively fried the onboard video.)

      I’m an AMD guy, so that also makes me an ATI guy. I’ve had good results from the combo, and also from ASUS and A-Bit motherboards (I was “Triple-A”, before ASUS ate ATI), but i don’t run state of the art games, so i can’t tell you how my biases would stand up.

      I’d go for quality in all components, even over performance; but that’s your call. I don’t overclock, but i understand it’s turning mainstream; with some processors coming with “approved” overclocking regimes. Your call again. My philosophy is that if i build the system, i’m the tech rep; and a natively stable system is a lifeline, when it comes troubleshooting time.

      A quiet system is also one of my priorities. I have a Sonata case, but it still doesn’t meet my preference. When i had a quieter CPU fan, however, it almost did. (BTW, be aware that heatpipe coolers have a required up/down orrientation, in order to work right; this is why i had to change that fan.)

      If a quiet system is an issue (I wouldn’t think it would be paramount for a gamer with the sound turned up.), you might explore the quieter (and more expensive) case made by
      Click to the cases, and look at the most expensive one, at $ 219. This is what i had hoped the Sonata would be, when i got it.

      Good luck!

      • #2486329


        by lindfalas ·

        In reply to Stability is a good thing…

        Onboard sound is not good at all.
        This is why::
        They are simpel soundchip in them.
        They use cpu alot more then a PCI card.
        They use system RAM for the sound.

        On a PCI soundcard you have better sound chip and own RAM.
        They use much less cpu power and system ram.

        Well I can go on and on…
        If you like good sound you dont use onboard sound.. its crap.

        Almost the same is for onboard graphics.. You cant use that to play a good game.

        I also use AMD cpu, but thats for they have been so much better then Intel, but that has changed.
        Now I woulkd choose a Intel dual core.
        You should not buy a singel core.

        Heatpipe can be in any orrientation. If you dont know that you have missed how they are made.

        I also buy a case that looks good and have things I like.
        But I always put in more fan in them and make sure they are cool.
        I run all fan on low rpm, but I have alot of them so they dont sound much.
        So bigger, more and low rpm fan is they way to go.


    • #2483024

      I hope I’m not too late.

      by mechanicalmen ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      In MY OPINION you should avoid AT ALL COSTS any motherboard with a VIA chipset. I find these unstable and have had several overheat my friends and relatives processors. Other than that get a barebones board and go with an all card assembly. The onboard sound and video are generally “deadslow like Bledsoe”, and you sound like you want to build your system yourself because of issues with crappy “out of the box” standard issue “one size fits all” computers.
      Other than that, listen to the advice you have been given here.

      Enjoy….. and beware hardware vendors bearing gifts!


    • #2505533

      Things to consider…

      by thomas.kingster ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      First, you need to consider what you will be doing with this computer (ie gaming, internet, email & word processing, video & audio, etc) as this will determine what kind of needs you will have for your motherboard and or computer. For example, if gaming is your main intention, you will want a rather high end graphics card (rather than onboard) as well as the possibility for expansion (PCI Express rather than AGP). If you are going to use the computer for mainly internet, email and word processing, then onboard video, sound and networking will work just fine for your needs without much if any extra cost. Don’t forget memory capacity either, 4 mem slots are better than 2 or 3 and should allow up to 4GB or ram.

      Secondly, another thing to consider is if you have any other parts already purchased for your computer, such as hard drive, expansion cards, etc. This will play a role in what you need and can help cut out some costs. If you have already purchased a case for the computer, you must check the size motherboard it supports. For example some cases only support Micro ATX motherboards.

      Third, do you have a preference on processor manufacturer? This can play a role in what motherboard you will get. For example, Intel makes a decent motherboard for Intel processors, but not for an AMD processor. Not just a preference on manufacturer, but do you know what speed, socket, etc processor you will use? (this is also determined by your needs as addressed above)
      This also determines how much upgrading you will be able to do in the future. For example, if you were to buy an AMD processor Socket 939, you may only be able to upgrade the processor to a certain speed due to the new Socket AM2 that has come out. (this may or may not be a concern to you, but should be considered nontheless)

      Personal Opinion:
      I have seen and worked with many motherboard types (both Intel and AMD) and experienced pros and cons with all of them. I have been most pleased with three motherboard manufacturers for AMD processors: 1. Asus (great all around for whatever need: gaming, internet stuff, etc) 2. Tyan (server board) 3. Biostar (cheaper but still pretty decent)

      These motherboards are being used in a school district under very tough working conditions and have held up very well as compared to MSI, Intel, and older Tyan motherboards with Intel Celeron and Pentium 4 processors.

      One other thing to note, (may have already been addressed) SATA or Serial ATA is a newer technology that allows easier routing of cables inside the computer case which allows better airflow. This is important in keeping the temperature of the components in the computer cool which lengthens their life. SATA also allows for flexibility in the size, speed and amount of hard drives you would like to use. If money is not much of an option and gaming is on your mind, I would recommend the newer Western Digital 150 GB Raptor Hard Drive. From experience, it is very fast in all kinds of situations (Windows 2003 Server and Service Pack 1 install in less than 30 minutes start to finish).

      Hope this helps out a little bit and I’d be more than happy answer any more questions if you have any.


    • #2490633

      I Look for the name Asus

      by tachyon ·

      In reply to PC motherboard

      Seriously, I’ve been using them for years. Never a problem. Always well engineered, stable, feature filled, and fast.

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