After building a nice budget AMD sytem for my brother i'm now planning on building a small AMD based PC for myself
I'm going for a Micro ATX system and this is my spec so far:
Amd Athlon II x4 645 @ 3.1ghz
4GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM (2 x 2GB 1.50V)
1GB XFX Radeon 6870 dual fan edition
1TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000.C SATA-II HDD
Sony 24x combo optical drive
600W Corsair CX PSU
Cooler Master Elite 342 Micro-ATX Case
Now i'm not too sure which motherboard to go for but i've narrowed it down to 2 choices (other suggestions welcome):
*Asus M4A88TD-M EVO/USB3
Neither motherboard comes with VRM/Mosfet cooling which is not a big issue as i won't be overclocking. The Gigabyte board uses an 8-pin CPU connector (might be better for Phenom II X6 CPU'S later on). The main problem i can see with the Gigabyte board is 3 of the 5 SATA ports will be blocked by my Radeon 6870 (but i only need to use 2 anyway)... The Asus board doesn't seem to support the Phenom II X4 970/975 or the Phenom II x6 1100T and i'm not sure if they will release a bios update for these? Both use a 4+1 power phase (as do most micro-ATX boards) but it looks like the Gigabyte board uses better mosfets.
Does anyone here own either of these boards? And which one is likely to be better?
Go with the Gigabyte. Even if the SATA ports are blocked, you can always add a SATA card to the PCIEx1 above it.
I was actually thinking about using the PCI-E x1 slot for a better sound card depending on what the onboard audio is like (both Asus and Gigabyte boards use Realtek ALC892 audio). I've ordered the parts and gone with the Gigabyte board (it's probably too late to change now anyway)... I just have to make sure the northbridge heatsink is attached properly as this seems to be a problem with both boards (I hate it when they use push-pins on a chunky heatsink!).