I'm looking at two motherboards, the MSI 970A-G46, and the ASRock 970 Extreme3. Both are AM3/AM3+ motherboards. My CPU is an AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE @ 125W. I don't plan on overclocking the CPU at all.
The MSI 970A-G46 is $83 after taxes and rebates, but it's open box.
The ASRock 970 Extreme3 is $120 after taxes and rebates, which means it's almost $40 more than the MSI motherboard.
Both have gotten good reviews overall, from what I've read, but is it REALLY worth the extra $40 to go out and buy the ASRock motherboard? Is it a better motherboard? I'm on an incredibly tight budget, so realistically, I can't afford the ASRock motherboard, but it's the next best priced motherboard I can find, and I'm a little hesitant on buying used or open boxed stuff, and I need this computer to last me at least a year before I can upgrade it again.
Go with the MSI - if you aren't overclocking, you don't need the AsRock. They built boards with minimal features, but good overclocking capabilities.
I've been looking at the 970A-G46 for a while now, and it honestly seems like the best possible motherboard I could get for the price, but I didn't find out that it was an open box item until today, which wouldn't be a bad thing, except that I have terrible luck with used computers and parts, and I know from extensive research that the G46 is basically a G45, but with a bigger heatsink on the VRM. The VRM on the G45 made that motherboard a terrible motherboard to buy, and was problematic for many people. Hopefully this G46 motherboard wasn't returned due to the VRM being problematic...
EDIT: The MSI motherboard has all the features I want, and then some, so that's why I chose it as one of the options