Hump Day Hardware: Motherboards

January 21, 2009

In a few hours the ship will pull in to Puerto Vallarta where I’ll have a full day of activities as we reach the halfway point of the CorelDRAW Unleashed Boot Camp Cruise. Right now, I need to tell you about some of the best motherboards available for the Intel Core i7 chips we discussed last week.

I’ve always been a big fan of Asus motherboards and they seem to have the mother of all motherboards for the Core i7 chip. The Asus Rampage II Extreme board is loaded with features. Since the Core i7 chip supports tri-channel memory, this new board has six memory slots. Each one can hold 2 GB of memory for a total of 12 GB of RAM. Add in the 12 USB ports and all kinds of other connections for keyboards, hard drives, video cards and any other device and you have quite an amazing board. It also carries a premium price tag at over $400.

Another new and powerful board is the MSI X58 Eclipse. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the Asus board, but it is still pretty loaded. You’ll also save some money with this step down as it sells for around $350. To get the best bang for your buck, check out the Intel DX58SO Extreme Series. Once again, it doesn’t have nearly as many features as the previous boards. But it also carries a price under $270. So if you don’t need all the extra connectors and fancy features, this board could be a great choice for you. One of the least expensive boards designed for the Core i7 is the MSI X58 Platinum. It sells for under $230.

While some of the older motherboards will support the Core i7 processors, they won’t be able to take full advantage of the speed. And many of the older boards have only four memory sockets. This means you use three of them and the other goes unused. So while it is possible, I’d definitely suggest you look at getting one of these motherboards to get the most out of your new processor.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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