We’ve recently realized that we need to get a new motherboard for our home computer. The one we have was graciously donated by a friend who had upgraded, but this machine just isn’t doing what we need it to do. We can’t even watch DVDs on it; every time we want to watch a DVD we need to use my laptop, and that’s getting kinda old.
In addition, the studio computer is still chugging along. It’s a nice motherboard, but it’s just not well-suited to serious audio production work. I’ve managed to make it workable, but it’s not ideal.
So we’ve decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. I’m going to upgrade the motherboard in the studio computer, and then use that motherboard in the home machine, where it will be MORE than adequate (read: by far the most kickass home computer we’ve ever had).
So now, in order to upgrade, I have to do some serious research on motherboards for a DAW. A friend of mine works for AMD, and also runs Sonar (the same program I use), so I asked him. He recommended that I use Asus motherboards, and to avoid VIA chipsets, so my challenge is to find a model that does not use VIA chipsets, and has the features I need (ie, an AGP slot for the video card I use, onboard USB 2 and Firewire, etc).
The first contender is the Asus K8N. This board, along with a AMD Athlon 64 3400+ 1600MHz HT Socket 754 Processor and 1 GB of Corsair memory would run just under $300. This is a first step; I imagine there will be further updates to this post as I continue investigating.
UPDATE: People in audiogeekland are raving about the Gigabyte GA-K8U-939 board as well. Another option.