Price Guide, January 2006 - Motherboardsby Haider Farhan on January 28, 2006 12:48 PM EST
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Welcome to our latest motherboard price guide. We are seeing the newly released i975X chipset based motherboards have begun to slowly roll into the market, while we expect the i955X based boards to be gradually phased out. While some deals on certain pieces of hardware are made even sweeter by including mail-in rebates, there aren't too many available this week. We are also expecting the new 945GM based boards to be released some time during Q1 '06. These boards will support both the Yonah and Merom processors.
Please do remember to look into the RTPE for your computer hardware buying needs. Our RTPE lists motherboards, RAM, CPUs, video cards, sound cards, flash memory, hard drives, optical drives, and LCD panels. Don't forget that you can also search by category, brand, or a particular merchant. The RTPE also can show you the latest in pricing fluctuations, special prices on refurbished products and which specific goods that have rebates. As always, our RTPE database is constantly growing and should contain much of your hardware necessities. Check back often, and if it doesn't contain a certain piece of hardware in the specific categories we have covered, please feel free to contact us and let us know what is missing.
Athlon 64 - Socket 939
It appears as though that not too many of the nForce 4 SLI boards have had any significant price changes. We can see the MSI nForce4 SLI (939) K8N Neo4 SLI [RTPE: MS-7100-030] is up about $11 and is currently going for $141 shipped. The K8N Neo4 is a very popular choice which features 10 USB ports, 2 Ethernet ports, 7.1-channel Creative Sound Blaster Live 24-bit H/W audio, 3 IEEE1394 ports, and 4 SATA II ports with RAID 0/1 support. The DFI nForce4 SLI (939) Infinity [RTPE: DFI Infinity (SLI)] is also an exceptional choice, going for about $118 shipped.
At times, having to deal with mail-in rebates can be too much of a hassle, but at other times it's well worth the trouble. We have found that the Abit nForce4 SLI (939) KN8 SLI [RTPE: KN8 SLI] is on sale for just about $109 shipped after a $30 mail-in rebate. We'd like to point out that this rebate is valid until February 9, 2006 and must be postmarked within 30 days of purchase. If you're not afraid of purchasing a refurbished product, you can pick up the KN8 SLI for $78 shipped over at Newegg (sales tax may be applicable depending on your state of residence). Many times, a refurbished product can come with all the bells and whistles that usually come with it. There also may have been absolutely nothing wrong with the returned product and was only returned because the initial purchaser thought there was; although your mileage may vary.
If you're looking for the absolute best socket 939 motherboard, the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe [RTPE: A8N32] remains a great high-end board with an equally high-end price. We're not convinced that the dual X16 lanes really help performance, but the 8-phase voltage regulation and some serious BIOS tuning make this arguably the best gaming platform currently available. (That may change once RD580 boards launch, but that remains to be seen.)
Unfortunately, there haven't been any significant price adjustments with the nForce 4 Ultra motherboards either. Although we do have a few recommendations here as well: the ASUS nForce4 Ultra (939) A8N-E [RTPE: A8N-E] which is going for $110 shipped. We're also seeing the DFI nForce4 Ultra (939) LanParty UT Ultra-D [RTPE: LanParty Ultra] that is on sale for $133. The Biostar nForce4 Ultra (939) TFORCE4 U [RTPE: TFORCE4 Ultra] is also an acceptable choice, going for an even $97.
The nForce 4 4X boards are decent low-end solutions. For its options and price point, the Chaintech nForce4 4X (939) VNF4 [RTPE: VNF4] seems like a fair value board going for approximately $57 shipped. You can see from the graph below that this is probably the lowest price this board has reached.
Chaintech nForce4 4X (939) VNF4
We can also recommend the MSI nForce4 4X (939) K8N Neo4-F [RTPE: MS-7125-030] which is on sale for an even $84 shipped.
The Asrock M1695 939Dual-SATA2 [RTPE: 939Dual-SATA2] fully supports both PCIe and AGP video cards and can be had for $73 shipped.
The nForce 3 Ultra based motherboards have practically all vanished, except for the EPoX nForce3 Ultra (939) EP-9NDA3+ [RTPE: EP-9NDA3+] going for $98. We don't recommend going with this board as the nForce 4 boards have already proven their stance and that is where you want to drop your hard earned cash.