Motherboards: Power at the Right Price

At a Glance
  • Asus P5N-E SLI

    PCWorld Rating
  • ECS (Elitegroup Computers) nForce 570 SLIT-A (V5.1)

    PCWorld Rating
  • MSI P965 Platinum Motherboard (Intel Core 2 Extreme/Core 2 Duo/Pentium EE/Pentium, Socket T, P965, ATX, 8GB DDR2, 1066MHz)

    PCWorld Rating
  • ABIT Abit AB9 Pro

    PCWorld Rating
  • Gigabyte GA-M59SLI-S5 Motherboard (Athlon 64 FX/ Athlon X2, Socket AM2, ATX, 16GB DDR2, 1GHz Bus)

    PCWorld Rating
  • ABIT Fatal1ty AN9 32X

    PCWorld Rating
  • MSI K9A Platinum Motherboard (Athlon 64/64FX/64 X2, Socket AM2, nForce2, ATX, 8GB DDR2, 1000MHz Bus)

    PCWorld Rating
  • Asus Crosshair

    PCWorld Rating
  • Sapphire Pure CrossFire PC-AM2RD580

    PCWorld Rating

A new motherboard can provide cool new technologies that your PC might be missing: faster, second-generation SATA connections, which currently reach 3 gigabits per second (gbps); gigabit ethernet; high-definition audio; and even dual-card graphics (SLI or CrossFire).

We evaluated 14 standard-size motherboards by building systems using each board, running our Windows XP-based WorldBench 5 benchmark, and then installing Windows Vista Ultimate to check for compatibility problems.

Rather than make an apples-to-oranges comparison between AMD- and Intel-equipped motherboards, we split our roundup into two groups: seven boards based on AMD's socket AM2 (for use with AMD chips requiring DDR2 memory) and seven boards employing Intel's socket LGA775 (for use with that company's dual-core and quad-core processors). The Intel boards' WorldBench 5 scores were nearly 15 percent better than those of the AMD group, thanks to the advantage the Core 2 Duo CPU holds over the Athlon 64 X2 processor running at the same clock speed, though the Intel chip we tested costs around $200 more. Performance within each group varied little, however, so once you decide whether to choose an AMD or an Intel CPU, selecting a board largely comes down to assessing its features.

See our chart, "Features Set Motherboards Apart."

At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
  • PCWorld Rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 1
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.