Need "Seasoned" Opinion re Motherboards

I have built my own Gigabyte and Intel based systems. Both run just fine.

Now I want to build another system. With a given set of features, I see boards using the same North and South chipsets and very little other differences vary in price by 50-75 bucks. BioStar and MSI are cheap boards, Intel and Gigabyte more expensive.

I find a few reviews on these board and never do I find any negative comment on the actual quality of a board other than “it doesn’t overclock well” or “it needs another ide slot” or other totally useless info.

Seems to me that circuit board contstruction should be the same for everyone? And if after that they are using the same Intel or Nvidia chips==should I be cheap or smart?

Your thoughts appreciated. /// Bobbo

What kind of system are you going to build AMD or Intel?

I’ve got an MSI mobo, and apart from the lack of OC’ing options, I’m pleased with it. 2 IDE channels, 4 SATA. ATi chipset.

Not the “seasoned” reply mentioned in the title, but thought I’d slip it in anyway.

As for cheaper boards…ECS is another cheaper one, and the last ECS board I had was solid as a rock for 4 years.

I don’t know if it will help, but if you are looking at the Nvidia chipsets for Intel cpu’s, they tend to run quite a bit hotter than the Intel chipsets. The 650SLI and 680SLI boards will differ in price by a large margin based on the cooling solutions that are included on the board. If your case doesn’t have really good cooling, you should consider one of the boards with better (more expensive) heatpipe cooling. As an example, look at the bottom of the line Asus P5NE SLI vs the P5N32E SLI. Nearly $60 difference at Newegg. They do have some other differences, but the cooling on the P5NE is marginal.

Other than that, it really depends on what you want included on the board. The cheaper boards are often times missing extras, like a second nic, a firewire port, fewer usb ports, fewer SATA connectors, etc.

thanks guys==

crossq–I’m open to either solution. Its often said that Intel is more expensive, but if they are, I don’t see it at the entry level systems.

Arachne–good to know info. Somebody has had good or bad experience with every board out there. I wish there was some access to real “quality” info==eg, how many boards go bad at 1-2-3 years by brand would really be nice. There is not even limited testing for 1-2 months on enthusiast reviews.

Kerry==good info. I did not pay attention to cooling solutions and I do think that is real important. HEAT - - KILLS.

Still==I think I am comparing feature to feature and North and South chipsets the same. I don’t want to waste $75 for Intels “name” but I don’t want to cause problems not worth a few extra bucks to fix.

I read everywhere that Intel is “no good at overclocking” but “very stable.” Stable is what I want so why pay for overclocking? Anybody know of good website to get quality stats, or is it just luck of the draw?

Biostar is the only mobo I’ve had fail, and it took about 3 years for the failure. I’ve built several systems with Abit and MSI boards, and all perform well. One Abit is an old PII Intel system (actually the only Intel system I’ve built) that’s still running. I’ve built systems with Via and Nvidia chipsets and prefer the Nvidia. MSI is most bang for the buck IMO, and they seem to have excellent support although I’ve only needed to use their support once.

I don’t know of any stats anywhere, but info at and seem to indicate Asus may be among the most stable and Intel chipsets in particular.

If you want a cheap system go for AMD 690G-chipset, they’re reliable and quite cheap. If you want more performance go for i965G (perferably ViiV certified) although they’re usually around 100$ mark. It’ll be easier to suggest a motherboard if you coul specifiy what you want to use the computer for.

Choose a camp…AMD or Intel
Choose a chipset…compare capabilities at mfr’s site
Then shop the boards for deals/bell and whistles (track record);c=5

The first two also have recommended budget, mainstream and Hi-perf configurations.

Have Fun/Good Luck

Chipsets may be the same, but number and quality of the capacitors, and the quality of the voltage regulator circuit, are crucial non-chipset features.

I’d say that both CSIP certified and ViiV certified motherboards are “safe”

Matth–yes, I’ve read gigabyte has a 100% solid state board which makes it very reliable. Course, its top of the line at $300 or so. Also, cant find a single review of motherboards using the same chipset that ever mentions capacitors and what not==maybe the cooling pipes and thats as much as I have ever seen.

Diizzy–BULLSEYE!! I did a quick google on “CSIP certified and ViiV” and thats the type of thing I’m looking for. For AMD, BioStar is not on their list, MSI is CSIP. I’ll read up on that some more. ((I’d like to know the criteria by which boards make or fail the list, but at least I found a valid “quality” evaluation)). Now we all know that everybody makes a bad board every once in a while, I’m just trying to better my odds. Thanks again.

I would choose that path:

  1. A-BIT
  2. Gigabyte
  3. Asus

2 & 3 are kinda similar, they have joint forces.