Holiday Motherboard Guide

by Gary Key on 12/15/2008 11:00 AM EST


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  • v12v12 - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    I hate to say it, but anyone dumb enough to buy this Sh!_ gets what they deserve. It doesn't take a shopping analysis to figure that this stuff is nothing but BETAWARE. Or more like BEWARE... It's bad enough that M$ is allowed to basically sell a patch-ware OS, now mobo manufacturers are ALLOWED to sell patch-hardware. In the form of "bios updates." PLEASE Do the dang testing YOURSELVES: OC, Stress test etc... WTF are the public/review sites forced to do it themselves — then Hope and pray for a proper firmware to be released to address it?

    Just like my old NF7-S 2.0 = a GODLY mobo. It's highly OC'd, still passes Prime95 and yet cannot even boot from a damn USB stick? How could that simple innovation be left out? B/c Abit DECIDED to not give a crap and just leave users blowing in the wind...while a POS Dell Inspiron has the bios option???! People PLEASE! If you want to do something about it, DO NOT BUY these types of products until they are properly reviewed by AT and the like and PROVEN: Reliable, stable, and meet any claims or advertising by the manufacturers!
  • superkdogg - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    WANTED: One cheetah on steroids for overclocking experiments. PM me. Reply
  • poohbear - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    thanks for this guide, looking forward to the next one as im really looking at upgrading soon and this article was a wealth of info. cheers. Reply
  • jzodda - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    Nice article. In the mid range category I am impressed with the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P. It's in my opinion the best board I have owned since the Abit BH6 8+ years ago. Its incredible overclocking enables me to run 24/7 stable at 525 FSB. I didn't expect that when I purchased it. My E8400 loves it.

  • AssBall - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Speaking of Abit... didn't see them lurking around on any of these lists. Are we to conclude that newer Abit boards are no longer top notch equipment, Gary? Or is it just that AT doesn't play with them anymore or they have poor support? Reply
  • DefRef - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    ABIT is out of the mobo business, thus their non-existent profile for years. Too bad. The BH6 and BH6-II were awesome boards. Reply
  • bigboxes - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    I place the blame squarely on the mobo compnay for releasing their products without proper QA. Maybe by then their bios updates will fix the multitude of bugs that infect their products. Until then I'll play the waiting game. :) Reply
  • SonicIce - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    remember then the site used to actually review them and post overclocking results :( Reply
  • tyaiyama - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    I bought it about $260 before $30 MIR in late September. Now it sells less than $200 after MIR. It is feature rich.
    Chipset: nForce 780a SLI
    (nForce 200)
    Dual GbE
    Creative X-Fi Xtreme H/W Audio Card
    Everything else in high end M/B can be also found.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    is that Instant Boot Technology available on any ITX boards? Would be nice for a carputer. Reply
  • bob4432 - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    this is the board to use if overclocking is of prime importance to you. Our only knock against the board is that it does not overclock quad-core processors as well as the Gigabyte or ASUS boards.

    in the first sentence you say this is the board (biostar) to get for o/cing, but then state that it won't o/c quads, so imho, this would not be the board to get for o/cing????

    the way i read it, you contradict yourself in the whole midrange intel area. why not just recommend the gigabyte or asus boards since they o/c everything well, not just dcs?
  • zebrax2 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    if you read the whole paragraph you could easily understand that this board is recommended because of its ability to overclock dual cores and anyway both the gigabyte and the asus board are also recommended anyway Reply
  • symbul - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    It's a bit late to buy for Christmas I think. The best deals were on Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend. I got a brand new Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P for 100$ during that time. At that price point, everything else is moot, unless you really need a x48 chipset motherboard. Reply
  • djc208 - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    I jumped on that one as well. If anything it was nice to see it recommended to re-affirm my purchase. Should have gotten a second one for my Sage server with all the ports on it, but it'll get that as a hand-me-down when I finally go to something with DDR3. Reply
  • Noya - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    I gotta say the best deals were on eBay thanks to Microsofts Live Cashback. From Black Friday to that Sunday, they were offering 30% cashback. And if you were smart, you bought from a buyer that combined the shipping in the price and claimed "free shipping".

    I was on a budget as usual, but bought a Gigabyte UD3p for $84.50 and a Q8200 for $119 (e8400 was $121, but I wanted a quad as I only upgrade every 2 years). Besides, the UD3p overclocked my Q8200 to 3.3ghz without even trying. Fry's had 2x2gb Ballistix DDR2-800 for $20 with rebate, though their site was laggy for a few days. was selling tons due to valid rebates also as the invoice was from

    Graphics cards were crazy cheap- 4870 1gb @ $165, gtx260 core 216 @ $175, gtx280 @ $240-250 and the 4870x2 @ $300-315.
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    Where were motherboard deals on Black Friday? CompUSA is gone from retail, Circuit City and Best Buy were never real motherboard players, and Fry's is only in the West.

    Etailers have been running special pricing all along and you can buy through early next week and still get a motherboard in time for Christams from Newegg, ZipZoomFly, mwave and others.

    Still others will get cash or gift cards for Christams that they will use to buy motherboards, video cards, memory, and other computer components AFTER Christmas. This article and the other guides that will appear this wekk will be very useful to many potential buyers, if not all.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    I thought Black Friday was very weak this year. Maybe CompUSA leaving the market is to blame, but there wasn't anything I though was worth getting up very early for. My brother-in-law and I went to Circuit City around 8AM, he bought a wireless keyboard/mouse, I bought a USB TV tuner, we both would not have cared much if they were sold out. We then swung by Sears to pick up a My First Craftsman set for a friend's kid and went home. Unless you were looking for a TV or still chasing a Wii this was not a good year. Reply
  • JeBarr - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    Yes an article such as this is a tad lat for christmas anyways. Not just here but most all review sites seem to have gotten lazy this year when it comes to holiday-type buying guides. I guess too much time was spent beta testing all those x58 boards, didnt leave much time for anything else. Reply
  • Elvis2 - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    I like the layout :) Reply
  • flipmode - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    With that $170 price of the DFI x48 mobo, I am surpised with the recommendation of the $160 Biostar P45 mobo. I am curious, what is the thinking there? Is there something wrong with the DFI mobo? Because if not, how could it *not* be the *only* recommendation in the $150 and above range? Even for people that don't want to spend more than $150 I'd say save up the extra $20 to get the x48 fer cryin out loud. Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - link

    I prefer the X48 boards, the reason the Biostar P45 board is on the list is that board overclocks the Wolfdale processors much higher than the X48 boards listed. Otherwise, it really makes no sense not to choose X48 at those prices now. Reply
  • UNHchabo - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    The DFI board is uATX. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    Did you check the link? The BlackOps board mentioned is not uATX. Reply
  • UNHchabo - Monday, December 15, 2008 - link

    Sorry, I thought he meant the "Midrange" DFI board, not the "High-end" board. Reply

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