What's up with motherboards?
After selecting a CPU, most people pick up the motherboard as an afterthought. The basic motherboard, once considered merely a detail in the computer upgrade scheme, is now one of the most scrutinized categories for the do-it-yourselfer. If the CPU is the heart of the system, then the motherboard is the body.
Most comparable motherboards now score within a few percentage points of each other in performance benchmarks such as Winstone. Performance shouldn't be an issue unless a motherboard is really mediocre.
So now you're asking, wait, how am I going to choose a motherboard without benchmarks? Calm down, you can still use benchmark scores in your selection process, but we feel that there are more important factors to consider now that performance has evened out. When choosing a motherboard you have to consider the manufacturer, price, included features, stability, and its ability to overclock.
Constant advancements on the CPU front, along with Intel's little proprietary format games, give current motherboards poor future upgrading prospects. Most likely, the next CPU you purchase will not be compatible with your current motherboard. Now, people should include the price of a new motherboard along with the cost of a CPU upgrade. But first, what do we look at when considering a motherboard purchase?