Introduction

We know that you've been waiting patiently for a new edition of our Motherboard Price Guide, awaiting information regarding the latest and greatest. We would like to start off with a quick reminder to check out the RTPE system for unbiased, up-to-date hardware pricing information.

Along with everyone else, we're also anxiously anticipating (uh, sure) the release of the new i975X based motherboards. Performance-wise, we are expecting much better results than the 955X based motherboards while going for roughly the same price.

On the Socket 939 front, we see that most of the boards have increased in pricing, perhaps due to the increase in sales with the Opteron 1xx processors. Our editor Kristopher Kubicki seems to believe that Socket 939 Opteron is going to disappear from the retail box market, but a few gray market tray processors are going to stick around.

The new GeForce 6150 nForce 430 based motherboards have finally been introduced into the mainstream Tier 1 market and at very competitive prices.

Athlon 64 - Socket 939

The theme for most of the socket 939 SLI boards this month has been an increase in price, ranging anywhere from $2 to $30 more. We're noticing that a few boards were cheaper just last week, many of which were at their lowest price, and have increased back to their mean price point very recently.

We recommend that you look into the Epox 9NPA+SLI [RTPE: EP-9NPA+SLI], which has many overclocking options, going for just over $130.00. You can see from the graph below that this motherboard is currently at its lowest price and has been there for the past couple of weeks.


EPoX nForce4 SLI (939) 9NPA+SLI

Another excellent motherboard to consider is the DFI NF4 SLI Infinity [RTPE: DFI Infinity] on sale for approximately $115.00. The Infinity line is a stripped down version of the pricier LanParty series, yet it is still highly tweakable at a significantly lower cost. One more board to look into is the Gigabyte nForce4 SLI GA-K8N-SLI [RTPE: GA-K8N-SLI] at about $90. For the performance and features of this board, especially at this price, we recommend that you keep this one in mind.



The price leader this week, once again, is the nForce4 Ultra boards. The Chaintech VNF4 Ultra VE [RTPE: VNF4 Ultra VE] is going for just under $72.00 shipped. From the chart below, you will see that this motherboard has actually been fluctuating up and down every week or so over the course of the past month.


Chaintech nForce4 Ultra (939) VNF4 Ultra VE

For those not looking to spend too much on a motherboard, there are many nForce4 Ultra boards to consider that are at or significantly under the $100 price tag. The Abit KN8 Ultra [RTPE: KN8 Ultra] is an excellent popular choice, which is at $100.00 shipped.





Motherboards with the VIA K8T890 chipsets are also decent performers, although not as great as the nForce4 based boards. Nevertheless, their pricing is fairly competitive with the NF4 motherboards, trying to hang in there with the sparse number of boards using this chipset. For a stable and inexpensive suggestion, the Abit K8T890 (939) AX8 [RTPE: AX8] is a decent alternative that is on sale for $80.00. VIA announced a K8T900 chipset recently, but there are no motherboards available in the channel based on this chipset.



Currently, Asrock is the only manufacturer producing boards with the M1695 chipset that supports both AGP and PCI-E cards. The Asrock M1695 939Dual-SATA2 [RTPE: 939Dual-SATA2] is on sale for about $72.00 shipped, the lowest price that it has been at since its release.



Next up are the boards with the nForce3 Ultra chipset. For a new build, we recommended against these as they only include AGP slots. Leading the pack is the MSI nForce3 Ultra K8N Neo2-F [RTPE: K8N Neo2-F] going for $85.00.



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  • Beenthere - Monday, December 05, 2005 - link

    It would be very telling to have an honest survey that indicates how often people buy a new Mobo. I'm sure there are gamers and speed junkies that buy a new Mobo every chance they can but I doubt the majority of PC enthusiasts run out and buy the latest and greatest Mobo, CPU, memory, PSU, heatsink, etc. every time a new model comes out. And for those who do buy a new Mobo, CPU, memory, etc. every couple months, what do you do with the old hardware??? Hopefully it's given to someone who can put it to good use??? Reply
  • xtremejack - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    A while back I was waiting for 975x, because it would support Pressler *and* Conroe. Now it looks like it will not. If there will a single motherboard supporting both Yonah and Conroe, then I am gonna jump for mobo+Yonah for sure. Far better looking option than Pressler Reply
  • kilkennycat - Monday, December 05, 2005 - link

    Your wish is likely to go wanting. You can bet that Intel will change CPU pinouts and profiles as often as possible to sell more high-end chip-sets and motherboards, just as they have done with Yonah and the Pentium-M. Exactly the same number of pins, but physically incompatible !! Intel is not sinking all that new money in chip-set plants for nothing. A would-be monopolist in marketing fancy-dress. Grrrr............More power to the AMD lawsuit. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, December 05, 2005 - link

    975X WILL support Conroe, except not on the initial batches, just like Prescott and 865/875 times.

    Yonah's desktop chipset is called 945GT so look for that.
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, December 05, 2005 - link

    The chipset can support it, but the socket is different.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    It can't come fast enough, i want to order that one for sure :D Reply
  • kilkennycat - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    ..... hard to get, therefore omitted ?? Reply
  • rrcn - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    The A8N32-SLI is http://labs.anandtech.com/search.php?q=A8N32-SLI">showing up on the RTPE as preorder only. Anything on preorder will not show up on the charts in our guides. Reply
  • kilkennycat - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    Thanks for the clarification. They have been actually shipping from Newegg and ZipZoomFly for the past month (no pre-orders are accepted at either vendor) but each batch sells out almost immediately. Reply

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