Athlon 64 - Socket 939

While there is a large selection of motherboards for the Athlon 64 socket 939 processors, and so many are excellent choices, we would like to mention only a few of the ones that we would recommend. We'll start our recommendations with the ASUS nForce4 SLI (939) A8N-SLI Premium [RTPE: A8N-SLI Premium]. This is a great board and deserves some serious consideration. It features SATA 3.0Gbps, integrated dual Gigabit LAN, 8-channel audio with the Realtek ALC850 chipset, up to 10 USB 2.0 ports, IEEE 1394, a multi-language BIOS and a Sony-Philips Digital Interface (S/PDIF-out) jack. This is one of the many feature-filled boards at a reasonable mid to high range price of about $170 shipped.

Although the A8N-SLI Premium is an excellent board, its overclocking potential is about average. If you're looking to overclock your setup to its full potential, we suggest going with the DFI nForce4 SLI (939) LanParty SLI-DR [RTPE: LanParty SLI-DR], which is going for approximately $193 shipped.

The DFI that we mentioned above is an excellent choice, but you also have the option of going with the ASUS nForce4 SLI X16 (939) A8N32-SLI Deluxe [RTPE: A8N32-SLI Deluxe], which is arguably one of the best gaming and overclocking boards available today. This board is currently being sold for $197 shipped.

The nForce 4 Ultra motherboards have remained at essentially the same price. Not much in the way of changes is happening here. Just as in the case of the nForce 4 SLI boards, there are many great nForce 4 Ultra boards from which to choose. Priced about mid-way, the ASUS nForce4 Ultra (939) A8N-E [RTPE: A8N-E] is a popular choice, going for about $105. DFI brand motherboards are known for their overclocking abilities; the DFI nForce4 Ultra (939) LanParty UT Ultra-D [RTPE: LanParty UT Ultra-D] is currently the most expensive board in the nForce 4 Ultra category, going for $132 shipped.

For those who are looking for a cheap alternative for a socket 939 motherboard, the nForce 4 4X boards are what you'd like to take a gander at. We suggest that you stick to the low end of this spectrum because if you decide to spend more, you might as well go with an nForce 4 Ultra based board.

Unless you're looking to replace a failed 939 board, there's little point in purchasing a new 939 AGP-only board. The ASRock ULi board is your best bet for AGP 939 at this point, as it has both AGP and PCIe X16. We won't be mentioning any of the other AGP-only boards anymore, as we feel it's really time to move on.

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  • Marlin1975 - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    What about VIA for the Intel boards. The Asrock and other PT880pro boards are getting a lot of talk with the support of the 805 dual core chip. i.e. $200 gets a dual core P-D and a board with AGP and PCIe.
  • Phiro - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    Why on earth do you relegate the mATX market to a niche group?

    Your article flow for AMD starts off with everything 939 then on the second page you say "on to socket 754", which is a dead as hell market. AFTER all of that is done, then you slip in a chunk of 939 6100/6150 boards. No comments on those boards, they aren't grouped with the rest of the 939 boards. It's all about the back of the bus for mATX 939 boards, isn't it?

    The 6100/6150 didn't land on Plymouth Rock, did it? Plymouth Rock landed on the 6100/6150!
  • Calin - Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - link

    The market for Socket 754 boards is based around the cheap Sempron processors. The minute I can buy a Socket 939 Sempron processor (preferably boxed) for $60 or around, I will forget about the Socket 754. Until the cheapest Socket 939 variants are double that, 754 is a viable platform.
    About mATX boards... even if I haven't bought one, I am thinking at buying one...
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    I've moved the remaining IGP 939 boards to the top of the second page. No slight was intended, but there are a lot of boards to cover and sometimes things end up in odd places.
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    Man, I wish AM2 was going to be released sooner. I'm jonesing to replace my P4 system.
  • SonicIce - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    wheres 939/AGP? :(
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    Unless you're looking to replace an old (broken) 939 board, I can't see any point in purchasing a new 939 AGP board. The ASRock ULi board is your best bet for AGP 939 at this point, as it has both AGP and PCIe X16.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    Note: I've added a paragraph on the second page highlighting this information. If you disagree with our assessment of AGP boards, please direct complaints towards me and I'll be happy to discuss the situation. Basically, what's the best AGP card out there right now? 7800GS, or perhaps the outdated X850XTPE (outdated as in no SM3.0). 7800 GS costs close to $300 and offers inferior performance compared to the 7800 GT.

    Starting at around $285 (not counting MIRs), you can get a 7800GT. Throw in a PCIe board starting around $75, and it's difficult to support AGP as a platform any longer. Again, if you have a fast AGP card and you need a new 939 board, the ASRock is a great option. Low price, support for AGP and PCIe, and it performs well in nearly all areas.

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