2 takes on Core 2 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | September 20, 2006 - 06:02 PM |

In one corner you have the less expensive Foxconn board, with a slightly less powerful southbrigde.  It does a little of everything, but doesn't provide as many extras in the way of SATA channels, RAID and PCI Express 16x.  In the other corner you have Gigabyte, with the better southbridge that costs about double.  The Tech Report gives you the lowdown on which board can give you the better value and why.

"THE MARKET FOR CORE 2 motherboards is starting to fill out, and enthusiasts now have plenty of options to choose from at a variety of price

points. Intel's new P965 chipset has proven to be a surprisingly popular option for budget offerings and high-end boards alike, so it was

really only a matter of time before we pitted boards from opposite ends of the spectrum against each other for a little market segment


In the budget corner, we have Foxconn's P9657AA-EKS2H, a board whose $100 price tag makes it one of the cheapest P965 offerings on the

market. The P9657AA-EKS2H has everything you'll need, including Gigabit Ethernet, High Definition Audio, and a decent array of overclocking

and fan speed control options, making it a potential bargain.

For twice the cost of the Foxconn board, you could also have Gigabyte's GA-965P-DQ6. In addition to everything you'll need, the GA-965P-DQ6

has a few things you might want, like a second PCI Express x16 slot, Core 2 multiplier control, fancy heatpipe cooling, and a handful of

extra goodies.

The obvious question, of course, is whether all those extras are worth the $100 premium. Can a budget board really keep up with a high-end

offering? Read on for the surprising answer."

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