Welcome back to another edition of the Price Guides. For those of you who need some advice on new motherboards, we have a complete look at today's market segment along with our recommended picks. As another reminder, the RealTime Price Guides is leaving the beta testing phase, and moving into production real soon! Please send us your comments and suggestions on how we can improve our engine! Of course, you can always view the existing release of the engine here. Furthermore, you can view the still beta QuickSearch RSS feed forum thread here.

This has been an excellent month for AMD users as nForce4 boards are finally starting to show some availability on the A04 silicon and VIA's PCIe solution is also shipping. Some of the late blooming nForce3 motherboards are also picking up in availability – which is important if you aren't ready to make the transition to PCIe just yet. We also have details on availability for next generation Intel motherboards.

Athlon 64 PCIe

nForce4 motherboard options went from 2 to 20 almost overnight. ASUS and Gigabyte managed to control the entire nForce4 market for the month of January (with some help from Chaintech as well), but the heyday of AMD AGP is clearly coming to an end. Pricing on the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe [RTPE: A8N-SLI Deluxe] has dropped nearly $20 in the last week alone, and other comparable boards. All three Tier 1 manufacturers have SLI boards available now, but the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe is still clearly the leader in the price/performance category for now.

That being said, don't forget to check out Wes's review of DFI's attempts to rise into the elite nForce4 club. Although the SLI LanParty board isn't available yet, our merchants do show it preordering. For those of you who like to live dangerously, you may wish to check out the DFI nForce4 LanParty UT-D [RTPE: LanParty UT Ultra-D], which Wesley mentioned could be modified into an "SLI-like" motherboard very easily. Of course, you won't get any driver support from NVIDIA, and if you feel the need to run an SLI configuration, you may be better off paying the extra $25 for the rock solid ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.

However, for those no-nonsense types who still want the versatility of PCIe, there are some pretty awesome choices. The veteran of value nForce4 motherboards, Chaintech, has two offerings available right now – both with reasonably good price points. Chaintech's nForce4 Ultra motherboard is selling at the same price as most of the other nForce4 4X boards right now, and they clearly have a competitive solution for the price point.

Don't rule out VIA based PCIe just yet. The K8T890 motherboards have started shipping en masse, with the exception of the ASUS AV8-E Deluxe [RTPE: A8V-E Deluxe] that hit the market a little bit early; certainly par for the course at ASUS. We will have more details and benchmarks on K8T890 in the coming weeks.

Just to give a great example of how some motherboards like the A8N-SLI Deluxe are affecting the retail market space, take a look at how the price of this motherboard has dropped – particularly since the New Year.

Athlon 64 AGP


View All Comments

  • arswihart - Friday, February 18, 2005 - link

    where is evidence of a v2.2 9nda3+? Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, February 18, 2005 - link

    nm zipzoomfly does not have them, although really newegg and mwave, who cares if not every single seller has them, they are easily purchasable and should've been included is my point Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, February 18, 2005 - link

    I got my 9nda3+ from Mwave, plus Zipzoomfly has them, not to mention others. What are you talking about? I take back my comments about the nf4 boards, but you really should've included the nf3 boards. Reply
  • sonicDivx - Wednesday, February 16, 2005 - link

    umm the NForce3 (939) prices are missing Reply
  • Live - Monday, February 14, 2005 - link

    It did help :) Thanks for the swift replies Visual and Kristopher. These little nuggets of information could give extra value to the price guides if included. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, February 14, 2005 - link

    Live: I think Visual makes the best point. Online the prices remain very close to each other, but offline the two boards have a larger disparity in price.

    Visual: The Neo2 Platinum (the socket 939 nforce board) went on backorder everywhere overnight. It got real pricey. the original Neo (socket 754) is still a great buy and I would c onsider it just as good as the otpion we recommended for the guide (for a 754 board).

    Hope that helps,

  • lsman - Monday, February 14, 2005 - link

    Pretty much only newegg carry the Epox 9nda3+ or j. And Epox is yet again with newer verison. (9nda3+ up to ver. 2.2 now) Better BIOS option (but the Caps are different...) Reply
  • Visual - Monday, February 14, 2005 - link

    on their price engine, the a8n-sli vanilla is priced almost same as deluxe, so it makes sense to go with the deluxe... if the prices were such.

    but they aren't. i wont bother myself with checking the online shop prices, but at my local shop i got myself a vanilla asus sli for $140, while the deluxe was $40 more. in these circumstances the extra cash for the deluxe is not worth it. if you actually look around some forums you'll see a common advise is don't use the extra sata ports, and dont use the extra lan port on the deluxe, even disable them in the bios :p then why pay for them in the first place?

    funny how you dont list the msi neo2 platinum nforce3 board... with it being the best nforce3 out there (at least according your reviews). has it stopped selling or what?
  • Live - Sunday, February 13, 2005 - link

    Good guide as usual. One thing that I don’t understand is why the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe is recommended over the vanilla ASUS A8N-SLI.

    The only thing you get that is deluxe is a second LAN port and extra raid options. I fail to see what you would use a extra LAN port for? I only have one internet connection and most LAN:s are set up with hubs or routers. So what is it for?

    The silicon raid controller is only useful if you want to add more the 4 hard drives in your raid setup right? How many users do this? Considering the use of raid is not that common I would guess a 4+ raid setup would be a very rare find indeed. It would seem to me that the extra $ spent on the “deluxe” would be much better invested in almost any other part of your setup.

    So why the deluxe?
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, February 13, 2005 - link

    The reason why we didnt mention Epox products is because - you can't buy them anywhere.


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