My daughter recently bought the Sims 3 and has not been able to play the game due to not meeting min. requirements. So I want to buy a new MB / CPU, preferably AMD, that hopefully will last the next 3 yrs or so. I have been looking at boards that have the built-in Radeon HD3200 chipset (like the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H) and NVIDIA GeForce 8200 chipset (like the ECS GF8200A). I want to pair this new MB up with an Athlon 64 X2 7850 processor. Also, it would be nice if the MB built-in graphics could use up to 512 MB of the system memory (not sure if these two MB's both can do this or not). Are MB's with the Radeon HD3200 or NVIDIA GeForce 8200 chipsets a good choice or would you recommend a different chipset / MB not listed? I'm trying to keep MB / CPU cost under $150. Thanks!
Pros: I bought this motherboard on St. Patrick's Day (March 17) and now it's almost the end of July. I use it everday and haven't had any problems. Purchased it for a budget gaming rig (Half Life 2 and Sims 3) as well as for surfing the web and running an online business and it has done everything and then some.
I am running it with an AMD 7750 2.7 MHz CPU, 4gigs of G.Skill DDR2 800 RAM, WD 650gig SATA HD with Vista Home Premium 64-bit.
Total cost with a CoolMaster case and the Windows OS was around $380. I have friends who have paid much more for Dell's and don't get nearly this performance.
Cons: Would be nice if it had a second PS/2 port and Firewire, but at this price, you can't be picky.
Other Thoughts: Have always had great luck with more expensive Asus and Gigabyte motherboards. This is the first time that I have purchased a "low end" micro ATX board and I am surprised how well it runs. I had originally planned to purchase a PCI Express video card, but the built-in card is great. If I needed another system, I would buy this board again.