This week we have some awesome deals on AMD and Intel motherboards. It wouldn't be a Price Guide if we didn't throw in our weekly reminder to give the RealTime Price Engine a try, so stop what you're doing and test it out! Do you like product alerts, buy recommendations and trend information for CPUs, memory, motherboards and lots of other computer products? Of course you do, that's why you're reading a Price Guide! RTPE has all these neat features and many more, so give it a try and send us some feedback.

Last month during our motherboard edition of the guides, we took a look at some of the PCIe options for Socket 754 and hinted at the new motherboards on the way from Intel. The 945P and 955X motherboards successfully launched a few weeks ago and like most of Intel's motherboard launches, boards were on the shelves immediately (if not a little before) the actual launch dates. Kudos to Intel for at least temporarily giving us reason to believe that not all PC component "launches" are just product-less media events. Unfortunately, ATI's "launch" of Xpress 200 Crossfire was probably the furthest thing from a retail product launch we have seen since the GeForce 5xxx a few years ago. But we will get to that in a minute...

Dual core processors are here. AMD folk won't need a new motherboard for their X2 dual core chips, but they will need a second mortgage. Intel dual core chips are significantly cheaper, but require one of those new Intel 945P and 955X boards we just mentioned. Since a lot of people want us to mention DTCP-IP ("featured" on the new 945P and 955X motherboards), we will talk a little bit about that as well - and whether or not it should hinder your next purchase decision.

Athlon 64 Socket 939

Last month there were only 15 nForce4 products, this month there are over 40. VIA shows up in much smaller force with an additional 4 K8T890 motherboards, but whether or not they stick around in the core logic arena long enough to offer driver support for those motherboards remains something to be determined. PCIe is really the only way to go in our opinion - particularly for AMD systems. By the way, G70 shows up later this week (on retail shelves!) in PCIe form - another reason not to jump all over AGP.

First, check out the AMD nForce4 SLI motherboards available right now. Our personal favorite still remains the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe and Premium lines, but there are some very aggressive rebates right now on the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum SLI [RTPE: MS-7100-020] which won our Editor's Choice award several months ago. There was a bit of discrepancy about overclocking on the Neo4 Platinum when using Winchester or Venice chips, but MSI engineers have assured us the latest BIOS fixes this problem.

ASUS nForce4 Ultra (939) A8N-E] comes with one of the better feature sets available and also throws in some very good overclocking features for modest overclockers. The Chaintech VNF4 Ultra [RTPE: Chaintech nForce4 Ultra (939) VNF4 Ultra VE] is also a top Socket 939 recommendation for us, and if you look hard enough there are actually some rebates and things floating around for that board. $90 for a full featured Socket 939 used to be reason enough to buy the Chaintech board over others, but Epox and (surprisingly) Foxconn [RTPE: NF4UK8AA-8EKRS] have very aggressively priced boards too.

If you already have a very nice AGP video card, then by all means spring for an nForce3 AGP motherboard on Socket 939. However, there are several things to consider first; expect to see Socket M2 DDR2 processors from AMD early next year with very little AGP support if any. Also, start to expect product launches (like G70) showing up en masse for PCIe, with AGP support just trickling in behind. We already pay a premium for AGP hardware, as is painfully apparent with the GeForce 6600 series. It isn't in the best interest of AMD, NVIDIA, Intel or ATI's to have two separate hardware specifications running around and unlike the PCI to AGP transition several years ago; AGP carries no legacy development tree. We are already starting to see technology that can only work on the PCIe bus (TurboCache) - don't expect these companies to keep up support for the PCI hack that is AGP any longer than they absolutely have to.

More AMD Motherboards


View All Comments

  • fishy - Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - link

    Another vote for an AMD motherboard roundup...
    Prices, I know, thank's.
  • Live - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link

    I agree with 6 and 7 about needing more roundups of AMD motherboards. Even the motherboards that have been reviewed evolve with new revisions and bios updates. So at least the past medal winners would warrant a new test against what the competitor’s have come up with.

    And sound measurements should be a big part in both testing and final score. Passive NB cooling or at least the ability to exchange the cooler for a third party solution is a must for many users. Imagine a motherboard that wouldn’t let you change your CPU cooler from the standard one. Wouldn’t score very well in a review I would bet. Yet in the last nforce4 roundup it wasn’t even mentioned that most of the motherboards had NB coolers that was very loud and which can’t be exchanged because the graphic card hangs over it.

    Nothing wrong with these price guides tough.
  • yacoub - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link

    Actually that first one should probably be "Why" because bundling ridiculous components/peripherals with a motherboard to jack up the price is ludicrous. Just like how dumb it is when GPUs come with a "software bundle". That's fine as long as you sell the same card WITHOUT that crap for a better price for those of us who have different taste in games, or as is generally the case, already have the 6-month-old games that are offered. Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link

    what the F is WiFi-TV on a motherboard.


    who the F would pay $300 for a stupid motherboard.

    Those are the first two things that came to mind looking at Intel's list.
  • Tujan - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link

    As for having any"unanounced" DRM. (DRM is DRM or DRM is NOT DRM). There certainly was no anouncement of DTCP-IP. And only here Anandtech said so.Intel had not said so.

    For something to add to the mix in addition to look at this article in (Hi

    Toms Hardware Guide: , What's next for DVD ? Blu-ray and HD-DVD
    battle for your home theater.

    "" DTCP-IP does hint of something more ominous to come. However, don't expect IP-TV feeds from AOL/TW or HBO anytime soon without some DRM infrastructure in place. Our advice? Turn off DTCP-IP in the """

    Whats confusing about this is that of the question: Does everybody have to be a content'' provider ? Big market on 'providing content ahead. Get your DRM,DTCP-IP here etc. Anandtech did a little about detailing what this was about.Would much rather have my attention dealing with VO-IP ,Video Vo-IP (wich incodently ,lollipop),or an accesory technology that benifits ME(or you). Dont think that 'any broadcast is worth the time,it takes to worry about wether or not I(you or me) is a pirate.
    For most of this,the DMCA,and a computers 'encryption diapers are suppose to be for 'everybody ?

    Get your encrypted diapers here.Changes for everybody.You stink em we replace em. And 'count on paying for 'clean encrypted diapers.Yeah.So wheres the Federation when you need it.? Im 40 years old,I need my clean encrypted diapers.

    (c)DMCA.Somebody one of these times is going to rock right into this.And it is going to pay well.Game over.

    Maybe Anandtech could get another tab up their with digital content protection.Wouldn't bother me the least.Think game performance is not going to keep our attention span that long.

    BTW Buy one of these fine motherboards from one of Anantechs sponsors.
  • geogecko - Sunday, June 19, 2005 - link

    #6 Agreed. It's been a while, and as stated, there are over 40 S939 MB out there, it's time for another roundup.

    One suggestion, can we include noise parameters in the MB tests? Some of those little beast fans can ruin a MB choice for someone building an HTPC.

    I just recently received the new A8N-SLI Premium from ASUS, and couldn't be more happy about the 0dBA noise factor...
  • justly - Sunday, June 19, 2005 - link

    Personally I would rather see more motherboard reviews than a price guide. Anyone can search for the best price but readers need to know how the products stack up, and fit their needs.

    I know I can't expect every board to be reviewed, but IMO more motherboard reviews, and more variety when it comes to target markets and chipsets would prove much more usefull to readers than just a price list.
  • bersl2 - Sunday, June 19, 2005 - link

    #4: Read the relevant Intel press release. They said "no *unannounced* DRM"; this has been "announced" for quite some time.

    As far as hardware enforcement, Macrovision is bad enough. If you want to implement that kind of filth, you can do it in your proprietary OS and applications. I prefer to have the final say over my purchased hardware and my data, licensed or personal, and I will fight for your ability to do so, but if you don't want that, so be it.

    I still think anybody who will have knowingly consented to hardware DRM is either insane, irresponsible, or downright evil. Maybe I just don't understand the need for some people to be constrained...
  • Tujan - Sunday, June 19, 2005 - link

    The"" Asus Xpress 2-- p5RD1-V Deluxe.""listed in your chart for Intel (ATI motherboards),that version the 'Deluxe,has an onboard Phillips TV chip for the chipset.It is only selling in Europe though.For some reason.So the vendor is also only selling the p5RD1-V.Dont know how this could be somehow linked to the DTCP-IP and 'Broadcast 'Flag in our country.Probably has to do with the type of signaling (NTS) we use here.Dont know.Wouldn't expect anybody to do all that reading to figure it out.Would be a hot ticket though.

    That DTCP-IP ,wonder how come Intel did all that rambling about 'not having DRM''in their products.Without mentioning what everybody could finally notice from your story.Could be in fact that usage of 'DRM - IS NOT''defined as DTCP.

    And with this:
    ""Some argue that even though the technology is optional, it will probably become mandatory down the line - and since when did it become the job of the computer hardware to decide whether I am allowed to copy or share something?""....this is writers cramp.

    Just the reason DRM is mentioned as every defining moment for a copyright agenda...I still think its most about bankers hours.

    Wonder what that Asus had for a play in all of this.Why that Deluxe wouldn't be sold in U.S.Certainly would've been a winner.Though dont think it will run dual-core Intels.

    Think you could all the m-atxs you could find,or cant...

    And is that ATI catalyst Control Panel a communist or something.?

    Have a descent summer.
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, June 19, 2005 - link

    Hey Ryan,

    A refurb got stuck in there -- the page should update in a few min without that link.


Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now