Unfortunately during a lightning storm my current 680i board got fried, get the -- of death. So I am now on the hunt to find a new board. Of course I do this search every 2-3 years and by that time everything has changes. I have been reading for 2 days straight reviews, recommendations, etc.
I am not looking to spend $300 on a board, would like to keep the max right around $250 (hopefully shipped)
Been looking at Asus and Gigabyte boards.
My main concern is that I would like to have options for upgrading later. I currently run 4GB of PC2-6400U DDR2 memory with a 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU (forgot the new naming conventions)
So that is going into the new board no matter what. I would like to be able to use drop in a new CPU in a year, possibly a Quad, not sure, but I want to make sure the board is more then capible of handeling the later technologies. I know there is a new processor type coming out, but I need to replace the board now.
I am looking for some recommendations between the following chipsets: x48, x38 and P45. I am currently running 6 SATA devices, and can always use as many USB slots as available. I want a feature rich board, and I currently do not overclock, but would if the utilities were simple. As sad as this might sound, I would like the board to look cool, not your typical workstation board. I don't want to waste my money, but the above chipsets all seem to be right around the same price point. Was looking at the following specific boards:
Asus Maximus II Formula P45
Asus Maximus Formula x38
Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5 x48
If someone has a better recommendation I am all ears. If I am going to see very minor performance changes thats kinda what I want to know. I don't play a lot of games, and my 680i was a great board until it choked. Pretty average user, lots of programs, looking for a stable and fast board that has some bells and whistles with upgradability and expansion are the key points.
possibly. if its true that "I don't play a lot of games" like you said, i doubt you would go with two graphics cards....thats kinda for extreme gaming enthusiasts. Although, most single cards DO use pci express x16 V2.0, ALL of the above boards CAN utilize it!! only thing is, P45 can run 1 card at x16, or 2 cards at x8. if your only running one card, and your not an extreme gamer, i would suggest P45/X38.