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A good mATX board with two PCI-e slots?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, it's time to get my rig back in working order, time to replace the broken motherboard. Can anyone help?

Specifically, what I'm looking for is a mATX board (my case is an NZXT Vulcan, so I'm limited to mATX, not that I mind this of course) that has the AM3 socket. I would wait till the AM3+ sockets come out, but with a limited budget, I have to work with my AM3 CPU. And besides, being limited to hex cores isn't so bad...

Anyway, DDR3 RAM slots with at least 8GBs max, preferably more. And here's what is required completely, two PCI-e x16 2.bla slots, spaced far enough apart so I can get two full length cards in there.

Here's what I've currently found, but I have no clue how good MSI is, and I don't want to get a board that will die on me AGAIN.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130269

That looks good to me, great features and such, but again, my last board looked great feature wise too, and it died in under a month, and I've been stuck on my netbook ever since (up to over two months now).

Anyway, my budget is $200 max. This counts for shipping as well, and DO NOT count mail in rebates. Yes, they're nice, but if a $200 item costs only $150 with a MIR, it's still going to cost me $200 and I wont see the $50 back for a couple of months.

Also, keep in mind, just because I have a budget of $200 doesn't mean I want to spend all $200.
post #2 of 9
You really only have two choices since DFI stopped making their mATX crossfire board; it's either the MSI or Gigabyte's variant:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128445

It's a bit cheaper, but has less featured chipset. If you care about overclocking, get the MSI. MSI is a great brand too. I've actually owned that motherboard in the OP for a while, never gave me any problems.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the Gigabyte one is cheaper, but the PCI-e ports are right next to each other, limiting me to single slot cards.

Well, if you think the MSI one will be fine... You'll have to excuse me, as I'm very... cautious about brands I know little about, as previous boards from brands I know little about, well, died in under a month.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRK View Post
Yeah, the Gigabyte one is cheaper, but the PCI-e ports are right next to each other, limiting me to single slot cards.
Oh, haha. Didn't notice that.

But yeah, I'd definitely give the MSI board a shot.
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post #5 of 9
The MSI board is your only bet for mATX Crossfire. I wouldn't recommend it for overclocking though.

That board is also lined up for a Bios update for Bulldozer/AM3+ CPUs, but like I said, I wouldn't OC on it at all. The VRM quality is pretty meh.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well it's a good thing I'm not looking to overclock that much, if at all, I just want the option for dual video cards and what not.

But wouldn't a BIOS upgrade to AM3+ be pointless if AM3+ is physically different from AM3?
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRK View Post
Well it's a good thing I'm not looking to overclock that much, if at all, I just want the option for dual video cards and what not.

But wouldn't a BIOS upgrade to AM3+ be pointless if AM3+ is physically different from AM3?
Nope. AMD has NEVER released ANY information about pin count for Bulldozer/AM3+ CPUs. All we know from speculation is that the SOCKET will have 942 CONTACTS.

But here's the breakdown:

AM3 Socket = 941 Contacts
AM3b (AM3+) Socket = 942 Contacts

HOWEVER current AM3 CPUs have 938 PINS for those contacts.

So if the company is releasing a bios update allowing AM3 sockets to accept AM3+ CPUs such as Bulldozer, it's safe to say that they know more than we do about pin counts and compatibility.

This bios update more than likely cost them (and ASUS) a lot of money. Not only for development but for hosting and announcing. It would be foolish if they were lying to us, wouldn't it?

Keep in mind, these manufacturers have Bulldozer CPUs RIGHT NOW. They get them WAY ahead of the consumer market so they can prepare their motherboards for mass production and to make sure things plain o' work.

They just don't pull boards out of their butts and hope it works.
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post #8 of 9
if u had the intel platform u could go for the Maxumus III gene like I am
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well seeing as I've been using an AMD configuration for a while now, I'm simply going with what I have. It would be far more expensive for me to go with any different configuration at the moment.

Anyway, I hope a BIOS update would make things compatible, AMD have been known for socket backwards compatibility.
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