It's my first post in this forum and I need some help.
I am purchasing a new system and my dealer is offering me the choice between the Abit Fatal1ty FP-IN9, Gigabyte Motherboard P35-DS3, Gigabyte Motherboard 73UM-S2H and Asus Motherboard P5KR. I will be using a Quad core cpu.
Which one is the best?
Is it important to have a IEEE 1394a port on a Mboard?
I'd go with the P35-DS3 in this case, the P5K isn't bad, but the GigaBytes are supposed to be quite good. 1394 can easily be added with a PCI bracket or adapter which wouldn't cost ver much, and it is only necessary if you have a 1394 device.
Best to compare the features on the 2 boards and decide what you need, e.g., number of PCI slots, number of SATA connectors, onboard eSATA or firewire. The ASUS P5K E is loaded with features at a good price, around $140, I beleive the R is for advanced RAID if that's what you need. While you can always get a firewire card like Gravemind123 suggested, at most you'll get 3 PCI slots and why use one up if you don't have to. Most devices connect using USB but one exception are a lot of digital comcorders if you have or planning on getting one
The first one has the tightest timings out of all the currently available 800 Mhz kits you can get, and its super cheap as well!
The second one is rather pricey, but is the best overclocker you can buy, just chech the user reviews on overclockers - People are hitting over 1200 Mhz on them, but its safe to say they will deffinately go up to 1066 Mhz. I myself am getting two of the cheap one, I cant justify paying almost double for an extra 200 Mhz on the ram. Reviews on the HK ram managed to get it up to 950 mhz stable, but couldnt get anywhere near 1000 Mhz, but that is still amazing for the price!
DDR2-800 is all you will need, get either the G-Skill HZ or some Crucial Ballistix if you plan on overclocking your CPU past 400MHz FSB, or like running your ram at the highest possible speeds or tightest possible timings. It doesn't make that much of a performance difference no matter what your speeds or timing are though. If you aren't much of an overclocker, then just get a cheap kit of DDR2-800.