OK, so after some overclocking adventures, my MSI 880GM E-41 motherboard died. Now, I am looking at getting a new, better motherboard. Currently, I have three options chosen, a Gigabyte GA-990XA UD-3 ($140), Asus Sabertooth 990FX ($195), and Asus Crosshair V Formula ($230). Can anyone steer me toward or away from any of those boards?
OR, would it make more sense to wait and upgrade to Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge E, and just get a good enough AM3 board for now? I am unsure of what exactly each platform is bringing to the table. I have heard all the rumors, but know nothing concrete. So any/all information about the three platforms would be awesome Also any info on pricing would be cool as well; as I think Sandy Bridge E will be out of my price range (if it brings the successor to the i7-900 series, and therefore the next $1000 CPU).
So, I guess bottom line is this: Bulldozer, Sandy Bridge E, or Ivy Bridge. And if Bulldozer, what motherboard?
I'm kind of in the same boat you are, without the overclocking adventures. My MSI K9A2 Platinum gave up the ghost just because MSI motherboards seem to be crap. I studied all the specs of the various motherboards out there and decided that there was no way I was going to get a better deal than the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 so I went and bought it. Gigabyte is a reputable name with rock-solid products so hopefully I won't have the same fiasco with this board that I had with the MSI. The fact that I spent $200 on the K9A2 Platinum and it died 5 months out of warranty also told me to not invest too much money into a motherboard, especially when it might fail as soon as the warranty period ends. Now I have 16GB of DDR3-1333 and the required AMD 9xx series motherboard so I'm just waiting until September 19th (Maybe October for the second wave if rumours turn out to be true). I expect I'll buy an FX-8150 the day it is released and I'll again be able to use both of my Radeon HD 4870s in Crossfire. My CPU is a Phenom II X4 940 so I'm stuck in the way that I couldn't find any AM2+ Crossfire boards that were worth spending that kind of money on since I was expecting to build a bulldozer setup anyway so I just got the cheapest mobo I could find that had a PCI-Express 2.0 slot on it. That ended up being an open-box special (My friend was the one who returned it so I knew it wasn't used) ECS IC780M-A. It's fulfilling its role as a stop-gap for now. I'm really excited because even the GA-990FXA-UD3 has more features than I really need but it was on sale at Canada Computers for $140 which is the same price that they're selling the GA-990XA-UD3 for. Getting a 990FX chipset for the same price as the 990X? You can't beat that!
Keep in mind one other glaring piece of reality: AM3+ will be the last iteration of the AMx series of AMD sockets. Near the end of next year piledriver will be released and AM3+ will be replaced by FM2 which will (for the first time in a long time) NOT be backwards-compatible with the AMx series. AMD milked the AMx series of sockets for all they were worth but now they need to change it to step up in performance. The dual-channel RAM can only be so useful before tri and quad-channel become required. Because of this, no board you choose will be futureproofed in the same way as the AM2 and AMD2+ motherboards were. Spend as little as possible. If you have only one video card, I'd even recommend getting the 990X or 970 over the 990FX. The performance difference will be non-existent. I only got the 990FX because I already have 2 cards to put in. Just like in the radio world, AM gets replaced by FM!