[Weekend Open Forum]
Computer enthusiasts and gamers, we're not the type to skimp on a motherboard
that will house an uber-fast processor, GPU and other peripherals. But while recently upgrading my workstation to a new Core i7, I noticed that for daily use I don't really need SLI or Crossfire
support (I often upgrade to the next generation's fastest single GPU model). Nor do I need dual gigabit LAN or USB 3.0
for the time being. Instead, for about $100 I can get a motherboard with the same chipset, basic cooling, same number of expansion slots, plenty of USB ports, and more than enough SATA ports to get me going (eSATA rocks for external backups). Sure, you will receive additional bells and whistles with a $200 motherboard, but just a few years ago $100 barely got you a functioning board from an obscure Taiwanese manufacturer. Today you can get by with that budget and find plenty of quality options from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and most other major manufacturers.
On that same note, I must applaud AMD for not forcing users to unnecessary motherboard upgrades over the last few years. As far as I can tell, the same is true for the upcoming Bulldozer, which is still months away. As good as Intel CPUs have been since the first Core series CPU was launched, they have required more extensive system overhauls every step of the way.
Put simply, in this Weekend Open Forum we want to know how much did you spend in your current motherboard, and what brand and model of board you are running. While you're at it, tell us about the rest of your core PC components. Bring it on!