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What do you pay for in a motherboard


Garda
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What do you pay for in a motherboard.

I've built computers in the past, i know what a motherboard is, but what purpose is there in buying a more expensive motherboard.

My problem is that hard drives for example are pretty easy to make sence of. There is obviously the amount they hold, their spin rate, the amounth of cache memory, and their interface SATA and SATAII are a little more expensive than the old IDE. This is nice an simple. It's usually a pretty simple to find the best value (to be simple, divide storage size by cost, which seems to leave 250GB as the best option)

In the case of a motherboard, I would imagine that you would look for the different on-board features they have. ie, no. of USB ports, onboard sound and video (which tend to be kinda crappy), whether they support raid, etc. What else is there that i may want to be looking for?

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I would pay from £100 to £1600 for a motherboard. The price reflects what features it has like dual 16X PCI-E and dual or quad processor support.

Most of the time I pay between £150 to £250.

The motherboard (Supermicro H8DC8 NF Pro 2200) in one of my main desktop machine was £379 but it features:

Dual Opteron

1 x PCI (32 bit)

2 x PCI-Express (x16 Graphics supports SLI)

1 x PCI-X (64bit 100MHz)

1 x PCI-X (64bit 133MHz)

2 x 10/100/1000 (LAN)

1 x Firewire (6pin)

1 x Line In

1 x Line Out

1 x Mic In

1 x PS/2 Keyboard

1 x PS/2 Mouse

4 x USB 2.0/1.1

1 x 24pin (V)

1 x Floppy

1 x IDE

1 x IEEE1394

8 x Memory Slots

4 x SATA II

1 x Serial (COM)

2 x USB2.0/1.1

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I usually look for the most stable chipset knowing what else Im going to be running, esp for Ram when overclocking. I also tend to look for quality brand names for their known reliability and warranty support. I've had some really good and some really bad experiences trying to get parts RMA'd from different companies.

As to onboard options, I myself prefer to get 7.1 onboard sound because I'm to cheap to spend 150 bucks on a sound card. I also make sure to get lots of pin headers on the board for usb and firewire that way I can always add more connections through my case or extra pci slots at a later time. I also look for boards with heatpipes instead of case fans because I hate those little buggers so much. Of course you wouldn't want this is you were mounting it in an inverted setup like some of the cooler master server cases and the Lian Li cases.

One last thing as for hard drives you really oughta check out the new seagate 7200.10 perpendicular recording drives. MMMMM so fast.

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To put it simply the motherboard is what makes or breaks the system.

Its also the thing your least likely to want to change.

If you have a bad one with few features then you may find your computer slow and buggy without many options.

If you have a good one with lots of features then you will always have room to upgrade and your pc will hopefully run without problems.

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