The rest of the parts are irrelevant to the question or will depend on its answer so I won't include them.
Some of the things I'm looking for in a motherboard are Firewire and eSATA support, 2 PCIe slots for possible crossfire in the future, maybe IDE support, unlocking the 4th core of my CPU is something I will probably try to do in the future, but I've never overclocked so I probably won't do anything more than experimenting. I also don't care about onboard graphics as I will be buying a separate graphics card. And obviously good build quality and reliability.
I'm not sure whether or not to go with a DDR3-capable board because I'm trying to keep this build as low-budget as possible. Help me decide between these two (DDR3) boards:
They're similar in their features, but the Gigabyte board seems to offer more "goodies" (the eSATA and 4-pin molex expansion port thing) than Asus so I'm leaning towards that. Could anyone point out any major differences to me that I may have overlooked? I think they're close enough in terms of build quality and reputability that I shouldn't worry about one brand being better than the other in any significant way.
Otherwise, the best DDR2 board I could find for the price is this:
I couldn't find anything else that met my requirements for a similar price. I'm open to suggestions here. This is from one of the reviews: "Second of all 1066 is supported with one dimm per channel...meaning if you have 4 sticks of 1066 your ram will be underclocked to 800....Not a big deal for me but nothing a little tweaking can't handle." Is this true? Should I save my money and go with the 800 off the bat rather than have it underclock if I decide to upgrade?
I'm also open to RAM recommendations, as I'm not too familiar with DDR3.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and giving me your opinions.