Well, with more and more motherboards being released every single day, and the amount of 'What motherboard is the best?' rising proportionally to the number of motherboards being produced, common sense tells me that we're in need of something to help out. I picture this as being somewhat like the 'No Post' help thread. I'm aware that this probably won't go very far as a guide, but I figure it's worth trying. Here goes nothing.
My apologies to the Intel crew out there. I personally know absolutely nothing whatsoever about Intel motherboards or their sockets. The best I could do for suggestions would be to fumble through NewEgg and stick up here what I think seems good, but that doesn't always work how you think it would.
Here goes nothing. I'll keep adding onto this if it gets enough action, but if it dies within two days, that will be end end of it. Sorry. Socket AM3
These boards serve their purposes for refurbishing and budget builds, but honestly, I'd fork over another $30 for a little better board if I were you. Most of these have limited connectivity, including expansion, I/O, and RAM. All of which are mATX. That doesn't mean that some aren't well made, however... they just aren't meant for extreme enthusiast environments.
Supports 4GB DDR3-1333, Onboard GeForce 6150, decent expansion capability. Excellent for HTPCs. Only 4 SATA ports, 4 USB ports. Excellent quality.
Supports 8GB DDR2-800, Onboard GeForce 7025, similar connectivity to above Foxconn board. Also excellent for HTPCs, supports 4GB more memory with a slightly better onboard graphics chipset. Still only 4 SATA ports, and DDR2 memory instead of DDR3. DOES NOT OVERCLOCK.
Supports 8GB DDR2-1066, Onboard ATI Radeon 2100, AMD 740G Chipset. Still only 4 SATA ports, similar connectivity to above two boards. Excellent quality.
An excellent board once you get past all the moronic NewEgg reviewers that RMA anything that won't get up and make them coffee. The only Full ATX board in this price range. Supports 16GB DDR2-1066. 3 PCI slots, 1 PCIe x16, 2 PCIe x1. Six SATA ports. 95w Processor limit, though. Still probably the best bang for your buck for under $50.
Best for the price: BioStar A770E. If you can't afford $50 for a motherboard, then you're better off getting an HP. Sure, it's DDR2, but it's also a lot of it, and you can easily make up for that performance loss with the money you save.
This is where the competition starts to heat up. There are many excellent boards in this price range, but there are also many which are absolutely worthless. The function of these boards will begin to spread out, so I'll try to be a little more detailed in the short summaries for each one.
Ah, ASUS. That's more like it. Yet another excellent HTPC choice, this board supports 8GB DDR3-1800 and basically all AMD processors. Onboard Geforce 7025. Only allows for two DIMMs and four SATA ports, but overall, a solid board for the money.
Here we go. Full Size ATX, 16GB of DDR3-1333, No onboard graphics. Still has a 95w CPU restriction. Same connectivity as the previous BioStar board. Excellent budget board for the price; good for pretty much everything it will fit in.
Another solid board for the price. Supports 16GB DDR3-1600 with 140w processor support. This has two PCIe x16 slots (Operating at x16 and x4), one PCIe x1 slot, and 3 PCI slots. This board's only problem other than the fact that it only has 4 SATA ports, is that it is basically the above BioStar board with one x4 PCIe slot instead of two x1's, and two fewer SATA ports. If you feel you'll need an x4 expansion slot, then go for it. If not, I'd recommend the BioStar board.
"What?!", you might ask? "Why pick this over an Asus for the same price?"... Well, the answer is simple. This one is slightly better. It has an onboard Radeon HD 4200, supports 8GB DDR3-1600, Hybrid CFX, and 125w processors. The only downfall is the lack of any other PCIe expansion slots, other than two PCI slots. As usual, this is an excellent HTPC choice, but I wouldn't recommend it for a gaming setup due to its lack of expandability.
I'm getting tired of saying 'another excellent board', so I'll just say that this is probably the best board in this price range so far. Supports 4 DIMMs (16GB) of DDR3-1600, onboard Radeon HD 4200, one PCIe x16 slot, one PCIe x1 slot, and two PCI slots. No processor limitation as far as I know. This board also has excellent rear I/O connectivity compared to other boards in this price range.
This board is just awesome. 16GB DDR3-1600, USB 3.0 (although I don't think you'll need it), 4 PCIe x1 slots, one x16, and two PCI slots. Support for Phenom II x6 processors. I'd highly recommend this board if you're looking for something for $80.
Well, this board is just as awesome as the last. 16GB DDR3-1600, two PCIe x16 slots (at x16 and x4... it IS CFX ready, but that wouldn't do you any good at that speed), one PCIe x1, and three PCI slots. Speaking from experience, this board is very easy and fun to overclock with. Supports all AM3 processors. Honestly, I'd recommend this over the above Gigabyte just because of how well it overclocks, and the fact that you probably won't use a USB port for your main HDD, anyway.
To Be Continued.
Feel free to comment on what I have so far.
I have to go to work right now, so I'll pick up where I left off in a few hours.
Have a good day.
Yeah, it probably would be... it won't be so bad once I got everything put up on it, all I'd need to do would be to update it when a new chipset comes out. Until then, though, I'll just see how it goes. This will really depend on user input on how they like their boards, though, and how it's worked for them.