Introduction

Welcome back to another edition of the Price Guides. For those of you who need some advice on new motherboards, we have a complete look at today's market segment along with our recommended picks. As another reminder, the RealTime Price Guides is leaving the beta testing phase, and moving into production real soon! Please send us your comments and suggestions on how we can improve our engine! Of course, you can always view the existing release of the engine here. Furthermore, you can view the still beta QuickSearch RSS feed forum thread here.

This has been an excellent month for AMD users as nForce4 boards are finally starting to show some availability on the A04 silicon and VIA's PCIe solution is also shipping. Some of the late blooming nForce3 motherboards are also picking up in availability – which is important if you aren't ready to make the transition to PCIe just yet. We also have details on availability for next generation Intel motherboards.


Athlon 64 PCIe

nForce4 motherboard options went from 2 to 20 almost overnight. ASUS and Gigabyte managed to control the entire nForce4 market for the month of January (with some help from Chaintech as well), but the heyday of AMD AGP is clearly coming to an end. Pricing on the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe [RTPE: A8N-SLI Deluxe] has dropped nearly $20 in the last week alone, and other comparable boards. All three Tier 1 manufacturers have SLI boards available now, but the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe is still clearly the leader in the price/performance category for now.

That being said, don't forget to check out Wes's review of DFI's attempts to rise into the elite nForce4 club. Although the SLI LanParty board isn't available yet, our merchants do show it preordering. For those of you who like to live dangerously, you may wish to check out the DFI nForce4 LanParty UT-D [RTPE: LanParty UT Ultra-D], which Wesley mentioned could be modified into an "SLI-like" motherboard very easily. Of course, you won't get any driver support from NVIDIA, and if you feel the need to run an SLI configuration, you may be better off paying the extra $25 for the rock solid ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.

However, for those no-nonsense types who still want the versatility of PCIe, there are some pretty awesome choices. The veteran of value nForce4 motherboards, Chaintech, has two offerings available right now – both with reasonably good price points. Chaintech's nForce4 Ultra motherboard is selling at the same price as most of the other nForce4 4X boards right now, and they clearly have a competitive solution for the price point.

Don't rule out VIA based PCIe just yet. The K8T890 motherboards have started shipping en masse, with the exception of the ASUS AV8-E Deluxe [RTPE: A8V-E Deluxe] that hit the market a little bit early; certainly par for the course at ASUS. We will have more details and benchmarks on K8T890 in the coming weeks.

Just to give a great example of how some motherboards like the A8N-SLI Deluxe are affecting the retail market space, take a look at how the price of this motherboard has dropped – particularly since the New Year.


Athlon 64 AGP
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  • ChineseDemocracyGNR - Sunday, February 13, 2005 - link

    #9,
    no he's not kidding. There are several reports of dead boards, or boards that killed PSU's, memory modules and processors.
    Both moderators of dfi-street had their boards die on them.

    And not just related to this, but if you really want to know the truth you can't settle for AnandTech's review of any product.
    Reply
  • bersl2 - Sunday, February 13, 2005 - link

    On Thursday night, the MSI nForce4 Ultra board hit $145 + $5 shipping on NewEgg. It's out of stock right now, though. Reply
  • overclockingoodness - Sunday, February 13, 2005 - link

    #8: You are kidding, right? The latest DFI motherboards are the best of the best. Check out the latest AnandTech review if you want to know the truth. Reply
  • arswihart - Sunday, February 13, 2005 - link

    no one know what the DFI's performance is yet, so I don't know what you're talking about. And looking at various hardware forums on the net, there seem to be more problems with DFI than with Epox Reply
  • overclockingoodness - Saturday, February 12, 2005 - link

    Yep, I agree with you justly. Just because SiS chipsets are not for extreme users doesn't mean they are not a worthy contender. As you already know, enthusiasts make minority of the PC buying population. Only if you guys reviewed SiS based motherboards, value users may want to look into them. NVIDA, VIA and Intel aren't everything. Reply
  • justly - Saturday, February 12, 2005 - link

    I don't understand why Anandtech seems to have such a hard time recognizing SiS as a chipset option.

    Why is SiS listed at the end of the last page under "other deals" and not under "Athlon 64 AGP", the SiS 755FX is a "Athlon 64 AGP" chipset is it not?

    When doing a search for SiS chipsets why "only" search for the 755FX chipset?

    Maybe you could explain how "SIS clearly lost the "oomph" they once had", as far as I can recall every Anandtech review of (or comparison to) a SiS based motherboard (since the days of the 735 chipset) has shown SiS as a good if not a excellent chipset for all but the most extreme of enthusiasts/overclockers.

    I just can't fathom why SiS (and ULi/ALi) seem to be looked at by the Anandtech staff as if they are lepers and can't be associated with the likes of nVidia and VIA when they often perform as good as if not better than equaly priced (or even more expensive) boards using these other chipsets.
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, February 12, 2005 - link

    I'm sure it'll be included in an upcoming nForce4 roundup. Epox's mobo will have to be something special to outperform DFI's though. Reply
  • arswihart - Saturday, February 12, 2005 - link

    specifically, forgot to mention, they left out the 9npa (nf4), and did not mention 9npa-sli which will be released shortly. Also, did not mention the 9nda3+ that they reviewed. Thats not very respectful to Epox Reply
  • arswihart - Saturday, February 12, 2005 - link

    amazing, they totally ignored Epox, the best motherboard maker out there

    and they have yet to issue an update to there negative review of the 9nda3+, to my knowledge, this is the most trouble-free 939 motherboard out there today. They have new BIOS code that fixes the early memory limitation Anandtech flamed about. Basically, now that I own a 9NDA3+, I can't really take Anandtech's reviews for a grain of salt.
    Reply
  • Manzelle - Saturday, February 12, 2005 - link

    Graph states 2001 as the year... Reply

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