Motherboard for CAD work

I am dealing with larger and larger customer files so more ram (16gb), and faster (DDR3 1600?), than my current 8gb DDR2 800 is needed. I will use some of my existing components:

- AMD Phenom II, X4 840 processor (AM3 socket)
- ATI Firepro V4800 video card.

I need a recommendation on which motherboard or chipset I should use. I don't want on-board video; however, the usual audio & LAN etc. is necessary. Also prefer full ATX form.

Thank you for your help.
6 answers Last reply
More about motherboard work
  1. Asrock has the M3A770DE ($59.99 It will work with 4 x 4gb ddr3 kits. Newegg also had some 1333 ddr3 4x4gb for $99.99 yesterday. This board has an older chipset, so don't expect sata 6.0 or usb 3.0. If you want those features, expect to spend $20-40 more.
  2. Since your using your computer to make money, you shouldn't piss around with cheap boards.

    Asus Sabertooth 990fx. Has all the goodies and will give you an upgrade path to Bulldozer. I just ordered one myself. Everybody that has them seems to like them.
  3. For the price of the sabertooth, you can get about 3 of the asrock boards. It's good to have a spare board in case of problems. Asrock makes some good boards. If you don't need all the fancy stuff on the asus sabertooth, then I still recommend the asrock. Motherboards have a short manufacturing lifespan. Getting two is a wise investment for any board.
  4. The sabertooth comes with a 5 yr warranty, not sure why you'd need spares.

    IBM did a study a few years ago about the the cost of maintaining PCs, and they found that on average every time the case was opened up for maintance it had an average cost in the range of $200. In a nutshell it doesn't pay to skimp on quality components when your using them for business. Of course people who "play" with their computers don't worry about how much time they spend dinkin around inside the case.

    I'm not against cheap boards, I've used quite a few of them myself. But we are at a transition period to USB3/SATA6 (and with AMD transitioning to Bulldozer). Boards that fully support the new standards will have a much longer useful life.

    I just voted with my wallet today and ordered a sabertooth. I'm gonna fill a case with hot-swappable 3TB SATA's for my video collection.
  5. Thread is a bit old now so my post will probably be irrelevant. However, I would have also gone intel since they have an advantage over AMD when it comes to desktop applications. I agree about Sabertooth though. I'm building an intel system for cad and digital art and that is the board I've chosen.
  6. Sorry for the super-delay in replying with what I had done.

    Computer has a Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 motherboard and 16gb of DDR 1600 matching ram. I also agree with spending a bit more on hardware especially on your bread-n-butter machine. It runs very nice and (knocking on wood) with no issues to date. The reason for a new MB was my old one max'ed out at 8gb. Really, the additional ram is what made the big performance improvement when handling large 'dummy solids' in my CAD program.

    Thank you for the replies. Good luck!

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