Well, I was helping a friend with a rootkit on his PC, and had to plug his HDD into my IDE channel to get at the stuff, and my system wouldn't post again after removing it (Yes, it was turned off when I added/removed the drive, I'm not a moron). Turns out the memory controller fried, because I can still get it to run with any 3 of my 4 sticks of memory, in any 3 of the 4 slots, as long as not all 4 slots were filled, and it's always complaining of overclocking failures and resetting the BIOS to not support my RAID array... must have fried the chipset or something with a static discharge.... Long story short, I need a new mainboard.
The mainboard I have now is the MSI P6N SLI Platinum. It's currently running beyond capacity, since it has only 4 SATA ports, and I'm using 6 (2 of them through a really finicky PCI controller) It also doesn't have enough USB headers, at only 2, with 4 rear-panel USB ports. It is also currently limiting my OC ability with the 650i SLI northbridge.
On it I'm running 4x 250GB HDDs in RAID0 for the system drive, a 1.5TB backup drive, a Blu-ray drive (all SATAII), a double-wide PCIe x16 GPU (GTX260-C216 OCE), a PCI sound card, a PCI wireless card, PCIe x1 SATA card, floppy (yeah, I know...), 4GB (4x 1GB) DDR2 800, E6600 @ 3.2.
I can't afford to upgrade my CPU and memory along with the board, since the mainboard failure came too soon and is forcing me to do it now...
I need an LGA775/DDR2 board that will support my current memory and processor. Ideally I want one that will also support a 45nm wolfdale or yorkfield so I can still upgrade my CPU later.
either 6 onboard SATA ports AND 2 eSATA ports, OR 8 onboard SATA ports
enough expansion slots to support a PCIe x1 sound card, PCI wireless card, and still have spare PCI/e slots after a double-wide PCIe x16 GPU. Ideally I want to also have a PCIe x4 or PCI-X for a good RAID card.
lots of USB ports. Ideally I want 6+ rear panel ports plus 3+ headers for another 6 ports on the front panel.
At least one IEEE1394b, either rear-panel or header.
A good, solid, overclockable northbridge chipset, with decent cooling.
NO nVIDIA southbridge chipsets!
Solid caps is possible.
There are a number of boards I'm looking at from various price ranges, though would like to keep it below $300...
Top three on the list are:
Newegg.com - ASUS P5E WS Professional LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
Newegg.com - ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
Micro Center - P5QC P45 775 ATX Motherboard
I'm also considering:
Newegg.com - ASUS P5Q-E LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS5 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
Newegg.com - ASUS Maximus II Formula LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
With these though, I'm not sure on the memory requirement... would they have trouble running DDR2 800?
Given what I'm looking for and anyone else's experience here, what do people recommend?