TechSpot

Motherboard recommendations

By ingeborgdot
Mar 19, 2010
  1. I am looking to renew my older machine with some newer parts and W7. My first and foremost is a mobod. I am only going to use this as a machine that hosts music for my Russound cav6.6 and also as a backup storage device. Does anyone have a recommendation for a mobod under or around $100?
     
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,913   +718

    Some more information would be handy.

    Are you planning to re-use a CPU ? If so, what SKU/socket ? Are you also recycling RAM ?
    If no, then what is your CPU + RAM budget ?
    Communication with computer via D-Sub 9 pin ?
     
  3. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 759

    Not on this specific machine. It is an older 4400+ and a 939 board. I want something more powerful and faster with updated things. No ram recycling on the ram either.
    Budget on the cpu and ram no important really, I will look at that after I find a board that has a good rating, and is supposed to be dependable.
     
  4. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 759

    Yes, for communication. I am hooked up to my Russound Cav.6.6 if you are familiar with that.
     
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,913   +718

    Never seen one...until I just Googled it.
    If you plan on incorporating elements of home theatre or need a reasonable level of connectivity then this Gigabyte H55M-UD2H ($100) or H55M-USB3 ($100 after $10 rebate)would seem to have reasonable value. You would obviously need a DVI-I to D-Sub adapter. CPU ($125) and RAM would be reasonably priced. The closest AMD solution in that class is likely Gigabyte's 785GMT-USB3 ($95) or this Asus ($85) paired with an Athlon II X2 250 (3.0GHz) for $65.
    You could also look at older Intel/AMD chipsets, but from personal experience they don't work out much more cost effective in the long run- you'll also have a sharply reduced feature set.
    Hopefully others can lend their knowledge, as I don't have a great deal of hands-on experience with computer builds primarily built for Audio storage, or for that matter AMD integrated graphics chipsets.
     
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    It usually works the other way round. However, you must at least tell us if you're looking at Intel or AMD. Also, quad or not.

    There are many dependable brands such as Gigabyte, ASUS and MSI. Take a pick from among them.

    EDIT: I like the H55 choices DBZ has posted. Paired with the Core i3 530 / Intel Pentium G6950 it should do great.
     
  7. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 759

    I don't really care either way. AMD or intel. It makes no difference as it is not my main computer but just a media storage for my russound and a backup computer plus just a couple of other things.
     
  8. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 759

    I already have an ati 4850 card and sound card, so video and sound are not important. I have not built one for around 3 years now and have been out of the loop looking at boards etc. Plus I have an atx case from Antec that is too nice to dish. Is micro the only way?
     
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,913   +718

    mATX boards seem to be the new-best-thing at the moment. Full sized ATX motherboards are certainly available for Intel/AMD - such as this ASRock H55 ($93 inc shipping) it's just that the extra real estate will command a higher price in general -especially for newer features such as USB 3- such as this Gigabyte for $133 inc shipping (outside your stated budget).
    If you need the extra PCI/PCIe slots or the case doesn't support mATX, then your options would be limited for a Core i3 based budget system. AMD could offer a cheaper alternative (such as this MSI board for $80 , Asus for $75 , or a USB 3 enabled Gigabyte for $98 ).
    The other alternative is to go with the older Intel 775 socket such as ...
    E6500 (2.93GHz CPU $84), and Asus P5QL/EPU board ($88 inc ship). Whether this combo (or similar) makes any appeal will likely be dependant upon the workload the system has to undertake.
     
  10. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 759

    I could always raise my budget if need be.
     
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    For an HTPC I don't think that the work load is too great. Like I said before, the H55 proposed by DBZ and a Core i3 would do really fine for your system.

    Also, there wouldn't be much point in shelling out extra for an ATX mobo when a micro should suffice. However, if you ever intend to upgrade to a multi GPU config on this system then consider ATX. You wouldn't need to dish the Antec case if you purchase a micro.
     
     
  12. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 759

    I would need space for a 2 port video card, a sound card, and I have my own pci-e nic. I need space for that much for sure. It is also more than an HTPC as I am going to be using it for backup and storage. A small server kind of.
     
  13. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,913   +718

    If you need no more than one PCIe x1 slot then the Gigabyte P55-USB3 ($128) looks the best deal. Eight SATA ports plus IDE if you need it. The second PCIe x1 slot on the board will be unusable with a dual-slot graphics card.
    The Gigabyte P55A-UD3 ($135) is basically the same board with two of the SATA ports being 6Gb capable.
    If USB 3 and SATA 6Gb are not required then the ASRock P55 Pro ($115) might bear some consideration. Two fewer SATA ports and one more useable PCIe x1 slot, or the MSI P55-GD55 ($120 after rebate) with similar connectivity.
    My personal opinion is that the Gigabyte boards offer the better feature set at a better price, have an easy BIOS navigation, good warranty and offer very good performance- although most P55 boards offer comparably good stock performance in general.
     
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