In my experience, Asus
and Abit mainboard
s tend to be well arranged. My previous board, the Abit P5A-B even had the CPU clock speed
jumper settings printed on the board themselves. Expensive boards tend to be logically arranged
, have better documentation
, are more stable
and often have a "unique
" feature to set them apart from the competition.
Don't be fooled by cheap boards with extra features, for example, on board video
... I have had experience with these before, and they are nasty
! For example, the on-board video on said cheap board used system RAM
, but would only work if there was a pair of matched SIMM
s installed. I was forced to swap one of the DIMM
for a pair of SIMMs from a friend of mine (happy to have his SIMMs upgraded to a new DIMM). (Don't offer to build cheap computers for your relatives for free, kids!)
A different board forced me to underclock
because of incredible system instability. More expensive boards with cheaper CPUs can make more sense...
Remember, you get what you pay for... If your time is at all valuable to you, pay the extra and get a decent board. If stability or compatibility is an issue, get a good board from a reputable manufacturer.
Cheaper boards are more expensive in the long run
Whoops. It looks like I'm pushing Asus and Abit boards here. These are the two manufacturers that I've stuck with, due to the what I've mentioned above. There are other good manufacturers, eg, Tyan, Gigabyte and others. Check out sites like Tom's Hardware and Anandtech for reviews. It's worthwhile doing research on what you're getting.