The Top 5 Best Motherboards of All Time

AceGoober

Live! Laug[H]! Overclock!
Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Messages
22,584
I still hold preference to my Abit IC7-Max3. Board was rock solid and I still have it. Ran a 3.4Ghz P4 @ 3.8 on air with a set of OCZ PC3200 Platinum 2 x 512MB (1GB) RAM. Never had an issue with the one I own and many others I sold to customers.
 

Burticus

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
4,341
If you were really cool, you sprung for these:

clear440.jpg

I think I had a shiny one like that, otherwise I just "made" my own with a razor and some small ziptipes. By the time the motherboards started coming with rounded cables I was pretty much done with IDE except for optical.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
1
I didn't have the BE, but had the R3E. Rock solid and stable, despite the fact that at one time I had a GPU waterblock leak all over it. It was my fault though, I didn't properly make sure the rubber seal was fully secured. Reason I am still partial to the Rampage boards.
 

Romir

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
335
The Abit IC7-Max3 was what popped into my head when I read the headline. I sold mine in 2008, 4.5 years after it came out for 78% of what it launched for!
 

BrainEater

Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
1,017
I've got a vote for this.

The ASUS P3V4X .
-----
I have one right beside me running as we speak.It has an Intel coppermine 800 in it.
A little history on this motherboard : (some of you will remember this). This is the mobo/ram/cpu that I used in the "thinktank" submersion rig I built in 2003/4.
This motherboard spent 4 months in MIDEL 7131 transformer oil.
Then I cleaned it off with boiling isopropanol like 5 times.
I then made it into my current PfSense router, it's approaching 120,000 hrs uptime(and counting).I just looked inside, it has hair again, looks like it's time to clean it.

:p
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,022
I've got a vote for this.

The ASUS P3V4X .
-----
I have one right beside me running as we speak.It has an Intel coppermine 800 in it.
A little history on this motherboard : (some of you will remember this). This is the mobo/ram/cpu that I used in the "thinktank" submersion rig I built in 2003/4.
This motherboard spent 4 months in MIDEL 7131 transformer oil.
Then I cleaned it off with boiling isopropanol like 5 times.
I then made it into my current PfSense router, it's approaching 120,000 hrs uptime(and counting).I just looked inside, it has hair again, looks like it's time to clean it.

:p

I worked on a couple systems back in the day that used that board. I found them unusually quirky and unreliable myself.
 

CharonPDX

Gawd
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
718
Woo! Love the love for the Providence! I worked in Intel's "Enterprise Server Group" at the very end of Providence's support life, as the "only point of escalation" for it and a couple other similar-era boards. Odds are if you called Intel for support on the Providence in late 1999, early 2000, you probably talked to me.

Later, I worked for the desktop motherboard group when the Skulltrail came out! Still have my Skulltrail sitting in a box somewhere - never had the heart to dump the motherboard after I upgraded. Sitting there with its dual 3.2 GHz CPUs and 8 GB RAM (that doesn't work with any of my other motherboards.)
 

BitMaster

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Messages
367
I somehow miss one with the 440BX chipset.. ???

Maybe one of the most stable chipsets I ever came across ..and long used "virtually" in VMware iirc.
 

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
4,570
Definitely can get behind your vote for the Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX. This was my first mini-ITX build and I was hesitant thinking it wouldn't perform as well, voltage distribution would be bad, it would be hard to work with etc. -- man was I wrong. The board was solid as a rock and had everything you needed.

Importantly, it was the board that proved to me you could have a full-performance, small form factor gaming box and you don't need 15 SATA ports, a DVD drive, 4 PCI-E slots, 6 fan headers, fancy audio card etc -- 2/3 of which will remain unused. I think I've only gone back to a full ATX board once since, and certainly would never buy a top-end ATX "gaming" (read: overpriced) board again. Bonus that the board had one of the easiest to work with layouts I've seen, you could even fit pretty much every full-size CPU cooler on that sucker depending on your case clearance.
 

/dev/null

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 31, 2001
Messages
14,964
My dad first started his ebay business on a PR440FX....back in the good old days. LOVED those boards...
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,022
Woo! Love the love for the Providence! I worked in Intel's "Enterprise Server Group" at the very end of Providence's support life, as the "only point of escalation" for it and a couple other similar-era boards. Odds are if you called Intel for support on the Providence in late 1999, early 2000, you probably talked to me.

Later, I worked for the desktop motherboard group when the Skulltrail came out! Still have my Skulltrail sitting in a box somewhere - never had the heart to dump the motherboard after I upgraded. Sitting there with its dual 3.2 GHz CPUs and 8 GB RAM (that doesn't work with any of my other motherboards.)

I may have actually talked to you at one point. I still have both my PR440FX and my D5400XS's. Both still have their CPU's. Dual Pentium Pro 180MHz's CPU's @ 200MHz and dual QX9775's. I don't usually keep hardware out of nostalgia, but those bad boys I've still got in my office.
 

AK0tA

Gawd
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
813
My Epox 4BDA2+ is still running strong. I may upgrade with the next chips that come out though. Got to keep somewhat current ya know. Danger Den water blocks still keep that mobo crispy cool.
 

csgill75

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 4, 2012
Messages
126
I would still be buying Abit boards if they were still around. Really loved the IC7-Max3.

I still have mine. It's in the box with a Prescott on it. I still have the rounded IDE cables and sata adapters for ide drives I bought with it too. I imagine it will still post and run but it's been in the basement since I upgraded to a Core 2 system. I thought the cooling setup back then was exotic and it worked well back then.
 

OldGator

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Messages
129
Thinking back from 1997 until now I would agree: BX-6r2 is the best overall board that I used in terms of what it offered, what it supported, and how long in terms of CPU support I was able to keep one around.
 

parityboy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 13, 2010
Messages
390
@thread

heh, this article brought back a few memories. :D I remember upgrading from an Pentium II -based Gateway machine to a self-built "one gig" system: ABIT VP6, dual PIII @ 700MHz OC'd to 1Ghz and 1GB of DDR RAM. :D Those Golden Orbs got warm...only issue with the VP6 was the caps were cheap and only lasted two years - luckily I found someone to replace mine. :)
 

Qrash

Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
991
@thread

heh, this article brought back a few memories. :D I remember upgrading from an Pentium II -based Gateway machine to a self-built "one gig" system: ABIT VP6, dual PIII @ 700MHz OC'd to 1Ghz and 1GB of DDR RAM. :D Those Golden Orbs got warm...only issue with the VP6 was the caps were cheap and only lasted two years - luckily I found someone to replace mine. :)

I think Abit was the only motherboard maker that admitted there was a problem with failing capacitors and offered to service affected customers.
 

Killahurtz

Gawd
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
646
I think that the VP6 I posted earlier in the thread is the one I recapped (all of them) for the hell of it...I have a couple more but that one runs great and has been flawless since the cap job.
 
Last edited:

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,022
I think that the VP6 I posted earlier in the thread is the one I recapped (all of them) for the hell of it...I have a couple more but that one runs great and has been flawless since the cap job.

As I said, the BP6 and VP6 couldn't be considered due to the capacitor issues they suffered. Aside from that, both were excellent motherboards. I had a BP6 and while it worked it was fucking amazing.
 

RazorWind

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
3,745
As I said, the BP6 and VP6 couldn't be considered due to the capacitor issues they suffered. Aside from that, both were excellent motherboards. I had a BP6 and while it worked it was fucking amazing.
Were the capacitor issues actually a thing at the time? I see lots of them on ebay saying that the caps are bad, but I always assumed that's just because they're ancient at this point.

I don't remember the caps being a problem until two or three generations later, like 2003-2005 time frame.
 

Qrash

Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
991
Were the capacitor issues actually a thing at the time? I see lots of them on ebay saying that the caps are bad, but I always assumed that's just because they're ancient at this point.

I don't remember the caps being a problem until two or three generations later, like 2003-2005 time frame.

A Google search for "capacitor formula industrial espionage" leads to several articles on this topic including "Capacitor plague" on Wikipedia.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,022
So I guess it went back farther than I remember? I just remember the BP6 from when I was in high school, and then having problems with bad capacitors later, when I was in college.

This quote from the capacitor plague entry on Wikipedia is pretty accurate: "Most of the affected capacitors were produced from 1999 to 2003 and failed between 2002 and 2005. Problems with capacitors produced with an incorrectly formulated electrolyte have affected equipment manufactured up to at least 2007." I was working part time for extra cash in 2005/2006 in a local computer tech shop and I can't tell you how many devices kept coming in that should have been manufactured well after the public attention had been called to this issue around late 2002. In 2005/2006 I saw a few newer (at the time) iMacs come in with faulty capacitors on them. They were failing in only a year or two. Years later I'd occasionally run into stuff made up to about 2007 that had the issue as the Wikipedia article suggests.

Specifically, the ABIT BP6 and VP6 were produced in the effected time frame. Thus, neither was eligible for this list.
 

Qrash

Gawd
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
991
I found the Investigation section at the end of the Wikipedia article especially insteresting. I knew the failures were blamed on a faulty or incomplete electrolyte recipe, but the findings of investigators describe such a basic (no pun intended) lack of understanding of the chemical processes within aluminum capacitors. It's hard to believe this actually happened and that flawed capacitors continued to be manufactured for over a year.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,022
I found the Investigation section of the end of the Wikipedia article especially insteresting. I knew the failures were blamed on a faulty or incomplete electrolyte recipe, but the findings of investigators describe such a basic (no pun intended) lack of understanding of the chemical processes within aluminum capacitors. It's hard to believe this actually happened and that flawed capacitors continued to be manufactured for over a year.

As the article stated, bad capacitors continued to go into hardware manufactured until 2007. This was largely, if not completely eradicated from the computing industry by then but those capacitors continued to see use well after this issue came to light.
 

Audiochris

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2000
Messages
1,290
I would still be buying Abit boards if they were still around. Really loved the IC7-Max3.

I hear you. I had an Abit KT7 Raid board with a Duron 600 that was flaswless. Great overclocker as well.

I think my all time favorite board has been the Iwill XA-100 Plus with a K62-400. Man I loved that board. Dragged it to a ton of LAN parties too!
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,022
I hear you. I had an Abit KT7 Raid board with a Duron 600 that was flaswless. Great overclocker as well.

I think my all time favorite board has been the Iwill XA-100 Plus with a K62-400. Man I loved that board. Dragged it to a ton of LAN parties too!

I had the KT7 RAID and the KT7-A RAID. Both were shitty. I bought an ASUS A7V-133 and never looked back.
 

Audiochris

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2000
Messages
1,290
I had the KT7 RAID and the KT7-A RAID. Both were shitty. I bought an ASUS A7V-133 and never looked back.

I guess my experience was a bit different. The only real issue i ever had was the crappy fan they put on the northbridge. I kept that system around way longer than I should've.
 

noko

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 14, 2010
Messages
5,576
Dan, you are a walking motherboard historian. Great read! Including all thread comments as well.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Messages
21
I've got several of the best mobos on my list, but the 3 that stand out as being THE best for me are:

MSI KD7 Master L- This was my very first at dual CPU and was just building a Folding farm. I had 2 green ones and a the red one and they were all rock steady stable. Not 1 single issue with them ever. I had a pair of bartons in the red one and cooled with a pair of DTek waterblocks. Man I always loved that board!

Epox 8K7A+ - This sucker was one of my favorites during the socket A days. Alot were plagued with capacitor problems, but the ones I had were rock steady stable right up until retirement.

Asus P4C800-E Deluxe - This sucker, with voltage mods was able to take my Prescott past the 4.5Ghz barrier with a Prometeia Mach II GT. I think I may still have pictures :D

Those were the golden years for me. Fun times, fun times.

Found them-



K7D was great!!!!!!
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2011
Messages
21
Found them-[/QUOTE]
I still have an iP35-Pro with a Q6600 and some DDR2-1066 Corsair Dominator RAM from that time. The BE6-II rev 2.0 was my first taste of 1.0+GHz as I had a golden 700e that would hold 166fsb. I used nothing but Abit and shed manly tears when they closed shop.


I still have one running also.
 

Nebulous

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
1,449
I think I had a shiny one like that, otherwise I just "made" my own with a razor and some small ziptipes. By the time the motherboards started coming with rounded cables I was pretty much done with IDE except for optical.

I still have 4 pairs of the silver ones!
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
552
You're all making me want to break the BP6 out of storage and do something with it once again, but I'm out of ATX computer cases.

Yes, it still works; caps haven't given up the ghost just yet. I just need another case, a PSU more suitable for earlier, 5V-heavy systems, and a good idea of what OS to throw on it since Win9x can't use both CPUs and NT/2000/XP brings all sort of game incompatibilities over 9x.
 

CharonPDX

Gawd
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
718
I may have actually talked to you at one point. I still have both my PR440FX and my D5400XS's. Both still have their CPU's. Dual Pentium Pro 180MHz's CPU's @ 200MHz and dual QX9775's. I don't usually keep hardware out of nostalgia, but those bad boys I've still got in my office.

I can also near-guarantee that if you reviewed the DX58SO, my hands were the last to touch it at Intel before it got sent out... (There were two of us doing pre-review validations, and I handled about 90% of the DX58SOs.)

Edit: Searching, I can't find the [H] review of the DX58SO, only the SO2... Did you guys not get the original?
Huh. Anyway, I also most likely handled the DX48BT2 and DG45ID that Morry reviewed. I *HATED* the DG45ID. Not because the board itself was bad, but because manufacturing sent them to us missing BIOS firmware chips. We in the preval/testing group had to put in blank ones, flash them, then assign serial numbers and MAC addresses. When we were given the procedure, it took about 45 minutes per board, and was prone to error. After a couple hours dealing with that, I spent a couple hours developing a scripted procedure for it that took only about 5 minutes of technician-time, and was near-errorproof. The board itself I liked so much I bought a full production one to use as my HTPC for many years. The DX48BT2, one got returned after review so damaged it was a total loss. I swear the shipper used it to play football. It had two Radeon 4870X2 cards in it, so I snagged them before throwing the system away. One had all its video output ports ripped off, and the heatsink was askew, the other had one DVI port broken halfway off. But the "no outputs" one worked as the secondary card in CrossFire just fine. I used them on my personal DX58SO for a few years before the "no outputs" card finally gave up the ghost completely.
 
Last edited:

Mr. Perfect

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
226
I had the Asus A7V133, A7V333 and A8NSLI Premium. I still have them now, in fact, and almost a year ago re-loaded operating systems on all of them just to see how they worked (and if they still worked).
The '133 got Windows XP because WIndows 7/10 would not install, the '333 got Windows 7 32bit and the A8N got Windows 10 32bit. (For some reason Windows 10 64bit hung during install.)

I'm a bit late to the party, but as far as the A8N-SLI Premium board not doing Windows 10 x64, it's because it doesn't do NX Disable bit. The CPU does, but it must not be exposed via the motherboard. The 64bit versions of Windows 8.1 and 10 require that to install. The 32bit Windows versions don't care. When I tried installing Windows 10 on my A8N-SLI Premium Windows at least had the courtesy to tell me why. :banghead:

Anyhow, the A8N-SLI Premium was a great board. It didn't have any of the issues the A8N-SLI Deluxe had. No Chipset fan, no SLI paddle. To top it all off it was compatible with the Socket 939 Opterons! I've still got one with 4Gigs of DDR400 and an Opteron 175 at home as a backup rig. All of my older systems eventually stopped booting, but this one inexplicably still works (probably just jinxed it though). I'm sometimes tempted to give it a SSD just to see how it does, but the drive would be worth more then the PC...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Azrak
like this

SonDa5

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Messages
7,405




DFI Lan Party P45 T2RS JR . Loved it. Moved me electrically in many ways. Its beautiful frequencies are still alive in my life.
 
Last edited:

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
57,022
I can also near-guarantee that if you reviewed the DX58SO, my hands were the last to touch it at Intel before it got sent out... (There were two of us doing pre-review validations, and I handled about 90% of the DX58SOs.)

Edit: Searching, I can't find the [H] review of the DX58SO, only the SO2... Did you guys not get the original?
Huh. Anyway, I also most likely handled the DX48BT2 and DG45ID that Morry reviewed. I *HATED* the DG45ID. Not because the board itself was bad, but because manufacturing sent them to us missing BIOS firmware chips. We in the preval/testing group had to put in blank ones, flash them, then assign serial numbers and MAC addresses. When we were given the procedure, it took about 45 minutes per board, and was prone to error. After a couple hours dealing with that, I spent a couple hours developing a scripted procedure for it that took only about 5 minutes of technician-time, and was near-errorproof. The board itself I liked so much I bought a full production one to use as my HTPC for many years. The DX48BT2, one got returned after review so damaged it was a total loss. I swear the shipper used it to play football. It had two Radeon 4870X2 cards in it, so I snagged them before throwing the system away. One had all its video output ports ripped off, and the heatsink was askew, the other had one DVI port broken halfway off. But the "no outputs" one worked as the secondary card in CrossFire just fine. I used them on my personal DX58SO for a few years before the "no outputs" card finally gave up the ghost completely.

We didn't get the original. The DX58SO2 was the last Intel board I've looked at. Or at least, I'm fairly certain it was.
 
Top