1. Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3
Pity AMD's current CPUs aren't a bit more competitive, because there are some cracking AMD-compatible motherboards available. They really do stick it to Intel in terms of features and value. Asus's new M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 is a prime example.
The big news is the arrival of the 890GX chipset from AMD. With it come a number of upgrades – some significant, some less so.
Of course, a pair of PCI-e x16 ports await the insertion of proper graphics firepower. But if that's what you have in mind, what do you need the integrated GPU for in the first place?
2. Asus Rampage III Extreme
The Republic of Gamers motherboards from Asus have always been the performance kings of its product catalogue, and as such have always had a fairly hefty price premium slapped on top of them. They're not just great performing items, they also come with all the bells and whistly things you could want in a board.
In short, the ROG mobos are the money's-no-object parts you throw in your machine if you never have to ask how much they cost. At £330, the oversized X58- based Rampage III Extreme (R3E) definitely fits then, but it's not a board that you can just throw into a PC to instantly make it faster.
3. Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H
AMD doesn't make the fastest PC processors on planet Earth. We can all agree on that. But in terms of bang for your British buck, the world's second-string CPU maker still has plenty to offer.
Put simply, you get a lot for your money if you go with an AMD platform. Take this Gigabyte 880GMA-UD2H microATX motherboard. It's based on AMD's latest 880G integrated chipset and also sports the SB850 southbridge chip.
4. Gigabyte H55N-USB3
Slide the latest PC processors under a microscope and you'll discover transistors measuring just 32nm across. So ludicrously tiny, in other words, that 500nm would fit inside the width of a human hair.
Thus, enquiring minds might wonder why anyone needs a hulking great PC system based on the ATX motherboard form factor. Instead, why not go for a much smaller system based on a Mini-ITX board, such as the Gigabyte H55N-USB3?
5. MSI H55M-ED55
Mega money mobos with features to match are all very well. But most mere mortals want a mobo that ticks all the important boxes without threatening their mortgage payments.
At £70, the MSI H55M-ED55 is competitively priced for a board with Intel's LGA1156 socket. Thanks to the H55 chipset, it gives you plenty of options too.
6. Sapphire IPC-AM3DD785G review
Workhorse motherboards aimed at embedded and commercial applications tend not to make fine fillies in the context of home PCs. With that in mind, what chance has the Sapphire IPC-AM3DD785G in the Mini-ITX motherboard stakes?
7. Zotac H55-ITX WiFi
Stuffing Intel's desktop-class H55 chipset into a miniscule Mini-ITX motherboard is hardly a standard procedure.
However, the Zotac H55-ITX WiFi can't hope to get by based on nothing more than novelty. It must beat the likes of Gigabyte's identically proportioned and similarly specified H55N-USB3.
8. Zotac IONITX-P-E
We're big fans of Nvidia's plucky little ION motherboard chipset. What we haven't enjoyed is the feeble Intel Atom processor it's been saddled with. But what if you could have all the yummy graphics goodness of ION combined with a tastier CPU? Luckily, that's the very meaning of the Zotac IONITX-P-E's existence.
Liked this? Then check out our Graphics card buying guide
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