I have kind of been going over my priorities and this is where they lay. Fyi, I was kind of thinking out loud and it got really long. I’m not asking questions here (maybe one), so I can research much of this myself, but if you are bored and care to read some and give an opinion, its quite welcome (It will shorten my research). Truth be told, I will probably impulse buy due to price (at least with some knowledge), or research it till I don’t have the money…
The original board posted is on the table still (I’m sorry, I haven’t researched it more in comparison, I’m working on no sleep and at least 4000mg of caffeine in the last two days). Luckily I’m off for the next 2 (spending tomorrow morning recovering from caffeine tremors). Its in micro centers ad so they may get more (or not, they take no effort to stock ad items and in fact may advertise an item without ever having it in stock).
Also, I can quite capably research boards mentioned or ones I’m looking at myself. Don’t spend your time unless you have one (or know the chipset ect.). I would hate for you to do research I can easily do myself and will do anyway…
Lan: My whole lan is crappy (not really crappy, it does what it needs to and works right), and its good enough. If the motherboard doesn’t have good enough lan, I have lan cards comparable to the rest of my network (though that eats a pci slot). I will probably never get better lan equipment (soon anyway, eventually it will all be junked as everything becomes obsolete), but a few years down the road things may be different. It’s not high priority.
Video: I already own 2 2600xt’s, a 2600 pro, and an x1300 pro that are all pci-e. The only time I have ever ran more than 4 computers is when I was running an old antique pentium 3 to run win 98 games. Unless onboard video would give advantage over these cards, it doesn’t matter. I actually prefer atx for the extra slots, but they tend to be more expensive.
Crossfire, I don’t think it helps video playback, and I don’t play games that need it, but really don’t know. I do have 2 2600xt’s though so there is a hmmm??? factor. Could it help me? The cards are diffrent brands and difrent memory speeds fyi.
Sata ports? I only have 4 sata drives, 3 160 gig sata 1 hitachis that I got cheap when compusa was closing, and a 1tb western digital black that I recently bought. I contrast I have a dozen pata hard drives still in service. I have 2 sata optical and a half dozen pata (one of the sata’s is sitting on the shelf). I have been wondering what ahci was as I have seen it mentioned several times. I read the wiki and googled but still don’t understand it. I suspect I don’t need advanced sata functions now (I really don’t know), but it also seems like something that might really bite me on the ass in the long run (I hate that as it has happened to many times). I haven’t found the sata for dummies book though. I can do my own reading, but what does it basically boil down too? If its importanf, I could use help there.
Memory: All my computers run ddr except for this one (actually it runs ddr or ddr2 but I don’t have any ddr to spare). for the new motherboard, I have 2 1GB sticks of mushkin pc8500/5-5-4-12 or 4 1GB sticks of corsair pc6400/4-4-4-12. I am running xp on all my machines so 2 gig is enough (1gig is seriously not enough). I have never ran 4 GB before but in my case I suspect more is better. Still, speed might help with overclocking (I’m not sure how intell processors deal with asynchronous ram speeds). 4 slots would be a plus, now or in the long run.
Processor: Upgradability is very important, but be aware, I have never paid much more than 100$ for a processor. In fact, the e6300 for it is the most expensive processor I have ever bought (I think it was in the low 100’s when I bought it). I am currently being bitten in the ass more than you can know on that issue. I have an older revision abit board that wont take a dual core processor (the newer revision will). It socked 939, and at a point, I could have gotten a much faster dual core for next to nothing. I’ll run that board till it dies (I am so in love with it I think I might marry it some day, it rocks in so many ways). It’s in my htpc right now (and will eventually pass to the kids, they are sharing my overclocked, volt modded nf7-s right now). I would eventually like to drop a faster processor in it (and considering how many processors are socket 775, I might even get 2 upgrades out of it). It cannot be the endall (because of price), but upgradability matters (within the relm of what sub 100$ processor can I drop in it down the road that will make a significant difference). I don’t want to pay a lot more for it (that defeats the purpose), but will pay more just for that (remember, if it supports 90% of 775 processors, it would still be of benifit even if it doesn’t support a few).
Some overclocking is also top 3 on the list. In a few years when I’m not paying 75% of my paycheck for daycare, HIGH overclocking will be top 3 (and I probably won’t even consider matx as I want the slots).
Ide? I have ide cards out the but including raid and or pci-e (ok not out the but but maybe 6), but again, it takes a slot. Do you see a common theme, it takes a slot? I have drawers full of crap to plug into those slots (some important, some just toys). I do actually have a true 4 channel pci ide card (so 8 drives). I don’t use it as it is outdated (no official xp drivers though I found ones that work, crappy raid 1 performance though raid 0 etc possibilities). That kind of gets me thinking about jbod’ing a bunch of pata’s into a 1-2TB drive. It would take massive work though (4 drives in my htpc are sata).
What am I forgetting? firewire (I have a card but another slot). Tv tuner (another slot and the only pci-e one is reserved for another computer?). The only thing I have that is firewire (right now anyway) is a camcorder.
Floppy (why in the hell can’t we get standardized enough for cd raid drivers???)? I do raid so I guess the odds say, once a year I will use a floppy on one of my computers for 20 seconds, but without the floppy, it could be a nightmare.
Ok I’m reaching (I don’t have a list yet, this is off of memory).