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Motherboard Components

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I've been reading here for a while, just researching before I start buying. I'm trying to build a system with a 5-year life span for personal video editing and some gaming for under $1000, not including the monitor.


What are the most important things to look for in a motherboard, besides the obvious? Questions:


FSB: Is it really that important to get a 1600-capable FSB? Will 1333 do fine? Or even 1066?

L2 Cache: Motherboards seem to vary a lot on this. How important is L2 cache? Is 6MB enough, or should I shoot for 12?

Northbridge, southbridge processors: How important are these? There are so many...

RAM: Is DDR2 or DDR3 the better choice? There doesn't seem to be all that much performance enhancement for DDR3 to warrant spending more for a motherboard that supports it.

SATA: Has anyone actually ever managed to use more than 6 of these things?

1394b: Why is it so hard to find a motherboard with Firewire 800 rather than 400? Come on...

Gigabyte vs. Asus: Asus seems to give you a little more bang for your buck. And the OSx86 wiki seems to point toward less problems with the Asus mobo's, so why is everyone here recommending the gigabytes?


Forgive me if these questions have already been answered somewhere. I've tried looking, but can't find the answers.




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Five year life span for a computer is asking a bit much. At the five year point of any current Apple Product line you can barely run the latest version of the operating system. Plus if you are video editing you are going to want to be running faster stuff with more RAM.

However your budget allows you to get a pretty nice set up. Right now I am running ASUS however most on this board will recommend Gigabyte. I do not think it matter as long as there is support for the board and the board has what you need. Firewire 800 is something you are going to have to get a PCI card for, no board manufacturer is going to put it on their board too obscure.


I am personally researching this setup right now (pricing is from Newegg):


Core2Quad Q9400



640GB Seagate Drive

Pioneer 216 SATA DVD-R

Antec Sonata Case + 500W PSU


Total of ~ $1,020 + Shipping and tax


If you really want to make a point of staying under $1000 you could go to a Q8200, but you have only saved $35, and you might as well upgrade for that price difference. The Q9300 is only $10 cheaper than the Q9400 right now.

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