This is an even more delicate point than the processor. I can confirm that there are very cheap motherboards with solid performance, but lack additional capabilities, such as good overclocking . Although I’ve been overclocking for a long time, the most important thing to look for in a motherboard is broad compatibility with future processors. AMD has had a more than remarkable advantage in making the AM3-based design backward compatible with AM2 sockets. Those who have invested a few extra dollars in the motherboard may find themselves surprised that a motherboard that is more than two years old is compatible with the new Thuban. If this is the case, they should look for additional information on the manufacturer’s page. Check which board they have, and see the processor compatibility list. In case the idea is not to reuse the motherboard, I will not deny that the new designs from Asus and Gigabyte are extremely attractive, but other manufacturers should not be ruled out. AsRock and ECS have launched very interesting boards, both for AMD processors and for Intel processors. A very accessible model from AsRock for AMD that I would dare to name is the M3N78D (€ 55), which has support for the entire Thuban line (including 140w processors) , solid capacitors , support for 16GB of RAM, and of course a PCI Express 16x 2.0 slot to install a video card.
Just one example from AsRock. Check the manufacturers pages, and look for prices. You will not regret.
As for Intel, our recommendation remains the same: Explore other brands besides Asus and Gigabyte. We can throw MSI into the equation, but the most important thing is to stay in the LGA 1156 socket. It is true that the latest Intel processors use the LGA 1366, but its cost is extreme, and there is no better proof than the price of the i7-980X, located in about a thousand dollars . Intel processor boards are a bit more expensive, but we have no hesitation in recommending models like the AsRock H55M Pro(€ 85), with support for all LGA 1156 processors, two PCI Express slots, solid capacitors, a maximum of 16 GB of RAM, and support for the new video system integrated in Intel processors. If someone has a motherboard with an LGA 775 socket, they may find a faster processor to update their current system (a little difficult task today) , but Intel’s policy is to stop supporting systems based on the LGA 775, in favor of the new LGA 1156.
The recommendation is very simple: Stay away from the generic . Today, the difference in money does not justify taking the risk of a faulty module, damaging the entire stability of the system. Today, both Intel and AMD motherboards use the new DDR3 modules, although there is still availability for DDR2 modules. As for which brand to recommend, Kingston is still a safe bet , but other companies such as Corsair should not be ignored.. An important detail: 2 GB of RAM should be the absolute minimum and non-negotiable. There are 2 x 1 GB Corsair XMS3 kits (€ 70-75), but it is also possible to buy 2GB Kingston DDR 3 modules (€ 67-75) which will work very well. Do not forget that, if you install more than 4 GB on the computer, you will need an operating system capable of detecting and using all that memory. The most obvious example of this is Windows . It is recommended that 64-bit versions be installed for systems with 4 GB of RAM or more, since 32-bit editions cannot take advantage of all the memory installed. I have seen incidents (literally speaking) very bitter in some computer stores due to the fact that users ignore this very important fact.