I’m looking for Socket 939 motherboard to go with an AMD chipset I plan on purchasing (99% will be the 3700) I’m looking to play video games and have a media center, since my tv can also double as my monitor. Cheap is good, which is why I have decided on this:
ECS K8T890-A V1.0A motherboard which can be found here.
I wouldn’t get that if I were you. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that in te PC world, cheap is not good 90% of the time. Which isn’t to say you need to get a $300 mobo, but a mid-range one around $100 is generally the best bang for your buck.
I’m not a fan of the VIA chipsets, I think the nForce ones are much more stable.
My current computer has an ECS K7S5A with a Duron chip on it. I bought it because it was cheap, and I’ve never had any problems with it in the 3+ years I’ve been using it. I also built a computer for my mother (using the same board and proc), which ran fine until the power supply she had blew and fried it.
I’ve used several cheap ECS motherboards (mostly the K7S5a mentioned by ftg), in both my own computer and those of friends. (Fry’s was practically giving them away.) Three of them went bad within a couple of years, though they all lasted at least a year. Back when I was a student, minimizing cost was always the top priority, and I’d still rate these a worthwhile investment in that case. Now that I can afford to spend a bit more, reliability is worth more to me and I wouldn’t buy another one.
If you really need to save money, a cheap ECS is not a bad way to go, but otherwise I’d spend a bit more for something better.