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Well, it's an evident issue to the author, but there is no saying... So, I ascertain: you should choose a processor type before you start choosing a motherboard. Why? Because, despite its small dimensions, a processor governs computer functionality to much greater extent than a motherboard. Motherboards – yep, they are large, you can install a lot of things on them, they commutate all computer components, but... They are unified as much as possible! That is most motherboards are similar in their functionality. While processors offer at least 3-4 different architectures, each one possessing its own peculiar pros and cons. That why start with a processor. Only after you decided on the processor, proceed to choosing a motherboard for it.
So, we need a motherboard. Do we need a motherboard? We DON'T need a motherboard! If you need a motherboard, I can give you one simple piece of advice (one is just enough!): let you choose the one you think the most fitting to your model of beauty. Because you probably need it to insert into a nice wooden frame and hang on the wall. The rest of us don't need a motherboard. We need a computer. Which unfortunately includes a motherboard. Why unfortunately? Well, because the more components, the more troubles you have with choosing and buying them. That's why the correct question is: "We don't need a motherboard, to hell with it! But unfortunately, we cannot do without it, so let's try to choose the one promising fewer troubles". This article is for those who see the problem of choosing a motherboard in this light. If you preach a different approach, this article will hardly be of any use to you.
This chapter is deliberately brought to the beginning, because that's the appropriate place for this issue. So, our first step (and one of the most important) to distance us from troubles is to give up hunting for new models. I'm perfectly frank and professed, if you need a stable computer, I can recommend no motherboards that appeared on the market less than 2-3 months ago. You can adjust this time span according to your pessimism, but I don't recommend reducing it below the stated limit. Motherboards happen to have mistakes, you know. New chipsets may have them as well. Sad but true. And no reputation, no service record, and the "loudness level" of a brand may serve you the 100% guarantee in this case. Of course, a large R&D department, strict quality assurance system at the development stage, large test base, high quality components, experience (everything that comprises the notion of a "famous brand") will considerably reduce the number of possible "slipshods". Say, from 5-7% to 1-2%. The question is: will you feel better that your motherboard falls into that one percent instead of the 5-7 percents?
Trust me, if there were at least one manufacturer on the market making no mistakes, it would have crushed all its competitors just by the fact of its infallibility. If people could be 100% sure that the products from Company X were completely bugs-free – 95% of users would buy only the products from this company (the other 5% would be those who always take the opposing side on principle) Alas, only God is infallible, but he is not up to motherboard manufacturing yet. And don't worry that "if everybody did this choice, the progress would stop". The progress will be all right, because there will always be enthusiasts, ready to risk, whose mighty feedback will encourage a hurricane of improved BIOS versions and new revisions of motherboards. They are ready to take the risks. We don't want to take any risks, don't we?
That's why if your list of possible purchases includes "novices" – wait three months and then visit some large forum (the corresponding section of iXBT forum, for example), where enthusiasts narrate how they torture their hardware. Type the model of your potential choice in the search field and analyze what people wrote about it. If nothing can be found, it's very suspicious. As a rule, three months are enough "to figure out" a successful model. However, it depends on the brand. Enthusiasts are not crazy about reliable but "boring" models. So, the lack of reviews is generally good news. If you found good reviews, it's still better. If the reviews are bad, analyze the complaints.
What concerns me, I suspect that a problem really exists only if minimum two people complained about it. A single complaint may be due to incompetent handling of an ignorant user, who unfortunately learnt to change FSB frequency without understanding the difference between PCI and DDR. However, you will figure them out by their lingo – these posts shall have a lot of exclamatory marks as well as such words as "sux", "must die" and other expressions loved so tenderly by lamers. You shouldn't be scared away, these slang words replace technical terms in their vocabulary – the latter are too difficult to remember... So, I think that a sane person will figure out on his/her own which information to trust. Even if you are a philologist or a fiddler, remember: experts or at least clever people always mind their manners. Irregardless of their profession. We are interested only in their reviews.
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