How to buy a motherboard?

I am in the beginning stages of building a new system, choosing componets. Right now I'm trying to pick out a motherboard from the seemingly thousands that are out there. I'm not looking so much for a recommendation, but what to look for when buying. I've decided on what type I'm looking for (Socket 939, dual-core support, SATA, non-SLI) so I've been able to narrow it down to a few, but what else do i want to look for when making my final decision? How important is brand reputation? Thanks for any advise!

Also, is anyone aware of a site that would have a nice price:performance ratio chart?
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  1. what to look for in a mother board depends on what you are oing to do with you computer.

    it doesn't sound like you plan doing much outsid the day to day use. maybe some gaming, photo editing or movie editing?

    even if you wanted to play games you don't need SLI or anything fancy.

    brand reputation does help but shouldn't play a big role in you choise. look at the features and functionality first then brand.

    just to give you some brands to look at, ASUS, ABIT, DFI, and GIGABIT. i know i just said don't look at brand first but i know what these brands have to offer and they are generaly the first i go to.

    Also look for SATA 2. this is the way HD are going and most MB offer this feature.

    Hope this helps
  2. "How important is "MB" brand reputation? Thanks for any advise!

    Not very...

    ANy MB maker, wether it be Asus or Abit or Jetway, or even Intel, has on *occasional* bad board....

    (I bought an MSI, and although delightfully issue-free at stock speeds, either it or my cpu will only operate with stability with the FSB under 217 MHz, but, I can live with it, as I was only OCing it out of curiosity anyway...)

    You should be able to find a basic NF4 board for less than $90, and I have even read a review of an SLI capable Jetway NF4 board for $120...awesome reviews, and a great overclocker....
  3. "just to give you some brands to look at, ASUS, ABIT, DFI, and GIGABIT. "

    Let's face it, given similar prices, most would choose Asus/Abit over Albatron/Jaton! :-)
  4. The issue is that they are NOT at similar prices. If a consumer can get similar price, performance and quality for a smaller price tag, then they will typically go for the least expensive product.
  5. Exactly my point. its not about price, it's about perfomance and functionality.
  6. Thanks for the replys, this does help! How much does memory speed and type affect performance? DDR, DDR2, 2700, 3200 etc...
  7. you wont see much proformance gain from DDR2. and also one thing i have noticed is that the CL timeing is kinda bad when you compare DDR2 to DDR. i don't know why that is. but never the less it's sill good memory.

    AMD is soon to move from DDR to DDR2 so, you might want to hold off until Q2 of this year. there revamping the product line with all sorts of fun toys.

    also prices seem to be falling in the DDR2 range so its almost more cost effective to go with DDR2
  8. Foxconn makes very good boards. They use the name Winfast for their AMD boards. Perhaps not the best for overclocking, but stable and reliable at stock speeds. They also seem to offer a bit more features for the money. For RAM, don't overlook Wintec, they make excellent stuff, AMPO for value and AMPX for gaming. If you're not overclocking, don't overlook the warranties mobo makers offer, some are only 1 year. I think DFI makes good boards, but I'd like to see them up that paultry one year warranty. In this forum there are more Asus and DFI fanboys than you can shake a stick at, and they'll lead you to believe they are the only boards out there worth consideration, but that is not true, as there are other good boards out there from other manufacturers. Same with RAM, most here will advocate Corsair, which is good stuff, it's just not your only option for good memory. Be open-minded, read the responses, and then check some reviews and prices. Good luck.
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