A few years back, someone at Tom's Hardware used to post a stickied shopping guide in the motherboard, hard drive, CPU, and graphics cards forums. They were very thorough, listing by price range each currently available component and relevant disadvantages or advantages. I can't seem to find anything like this now. The only things I seem to find these days is a review on maybe 4 or 5 motherboards but it doesn't go over all of them like the shopping guides did.
Does anyone know where I might be able to find something like the old guides for new components?
If the only things left are the graphics cards and CPU shopping guides, then I can definately use those.
It's too bad that the motherboard shopping guide doesn't exist anymore. I really like to have all the facts in front of me before I nail down a budget and determine what I'm looking for in a board. I'll miss that one! -Yes, I'm a backwards shopper ;-)
Truthfully, I don't think there is that much variations in MBs anymore to justify full guides. Intel MBs for instance (the ones I know best), in the last few years you had P35, P45 and P55 (with variants) and also X38, X48 and X58. All MBs using the same chipset usually perform pretty much the same, so nothing to discuss here. P35 to P45, the big difference was support for PCI-E 2.0 on the P45, not much else. P45 to P55, the transition was for Nehalem (LGA1156 CPUs). The X chipsets were basically high-end versions of the P chipset with more PCI-E lanes so it would support 2-3 video cards at full x16 speed (where the P series would support 2 at most and at x8x8). So, the big difference between X38 and X48 ... I think people still wonder as the biggest difference was support for FSB1600 ... that's it. X58 was the transition to Nehalem as well, but for the LGA1366 CPUs.
And that pretty much resumes everything there is to know about the last 3 years of Intel motherboards Oh, and the P66 will be for the upcoming Sandy Bridge CPUs.
The only thing that distinguishes motherboards using the same chipset will be features. Some will have only a single PCI-E slot, some will have 2, some will have 8 SATA ports, some will only have 6, some will support RAID, some will not (or only support RAID 0/1/JBOD), some will have integrated GPU, some will have dual LAN, ...