Price Guides, February 2005: Motherboardsby Kristopher Kubicki on February 12, 2005 3:00 PM EST
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Athlon 64 AGP
For those of you still in AGP land, don't worry as nForce3 and K8T800 still have a lot of life in them. Tier 2 manufacturers that missed the nForce4 boat have redesigned many of their existing nForce3 solutions and re-released them on Socket 939 and 754. The most interesting case in point is the Abit NF8 [RTPE: Abit NF8] – a sub $100 motherboard that should give MSI and Chaintech a run for their money.
Also notice that the Tier 1 guys pretty much dominate the Socket 939 nForce3 sector right now, but their grip is slowly loosening to some of the more aggressive Tier 2 manufacturers like Abit and DFI. Unfortunately, you still pay through the nose for AGP on Socket 939, and PCIe video cards are generally cheaper in the mid-range. If you don't need to provide legacy support for your existing video card, you are almost certainly better off buying a Socket 939 nForce4 or Socket 754 K8T800 motherboard.
VIA just kind of fell into the value roll for Socket 939 over the last few weeks. If you don't overclock, but still need a stable feature packed board,
MSI's Neo2-F [RTPE: MS-6702E-020] is pretty unsurpassed in price/performance. Coupled with a Socket 939 Athlon 64 3000+, you'll have a nearly unbeatable $250 combo.
EPoX and Biostar are also attempting to break into this nForce3-Socket 939 market, if ever slowly. DFI will also have an offering that will ship within the next few weeks.