Motherboard compatibility

Hey guys, this is my first time buying parts to build my own computer, and the Motherboard is something I understand the least. Yet it seems to be the most important part. I have no idea how to tell if a certain motherboard will be compatible with a certain configuration, and I'm worried I'll spend my money and time on something that won't work, or even worse break the other parts.

Can anyone give me any tips on how I would figure this out?
for instance, currently I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the ATI Radeon HD 5850 graphics card, and I'm probably going to get the Phenom II X6 1090T CPU. How would I know what a good motherboard would be for this combination?

Does getting intel or amd cpus (or other components) affect what sorts of motherboards i can use?

this is confusing.
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More about motherboard compatibility
  1. If you go with the 1090t cpu, you may want to ask the vender to flash the bios for you. Otherwise, be prepared to borrow another am3 cpu or buy an extra one yourself, such as the sempron 140. You can avoid this hassle by choosing the phenom x4 955 or 965 instead. You won't lose that much performance, and save some money in the process. I would avoid paying top dollar for the latest board, unless you will really benefit from usb 3.0 or the new sata 3.0 standard, which is good for ssd's. You can use an add on card later if needed. Budget at least $85 for a decent 650-750w power supply, such as antec or corsair. And go to the motherboard website and check the bios versions if you go ahead with the 1090t. Only a few boards will run it without a bios flash.
  2. Oh I see. Is asking the vendor to flash the bios something that is asked for quite frequently? I kind of need the extra power, as I need it for video editing.

    I'm confused, why would I need to buy an extra am3 cpu? Do I need it to flash it myself or something? If I got the vendor to flash it, would I still need to get an am3 cpu? Sorry for trying to be so specific, I'm really not at all knowledgeable about computers.

    also for power supplies, do I need to get a wattage that matches the video card's requirements or do I need to also add in the cpu's requirements?

    Thanks a lot for the help.
  3. If a newer bios version is required for the 1090t, the board won't post. The only solutions are for the manufacturer or vender to flash the bios, or buy a low end cpu to flash it yourself. Most venders, such as newegg, don't offer this service. But some smaller shops eager for business, might do it for a small fee. It's probably easiest for you to do it and sell the low end cpu on craigslist after you've flashed it. The sempron 140 is $32.95 shipped at newegg. You may save that much over another vender's price for the motherboard, since newegg and frys have some of the best prices.
  4. After looking over some boards, the gigabyte GA770TA UD3 for $87.86 shipped (newegg) after $10 rebate looks like a good buy with the latest usb and sata standards. That will leave you some leftover for the sempron 140. You can gamble that the board you receive will have the latest bios for the 1090t, but for a few $$ extra, the sempron 140 will get your board going with the 1090t faster. If you don't use it, it will be easier to sell unopened. The power supplies I recommended in 750w will have you covered for any single video card you choose.
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