Have A Merry, Merry Motherboard
Got your CPU? Good. Now it's time to find a motherboard fit to carry it. Here's a list of our favorite mainboards from the past year for both AMD and Intel platofrms, arranged from least expensive to most.
Asus LGA1156 P7P55D-E Pro - $179
MSI Big Bang XPower - $299
Asus CrossHair IV Formula - $220
AMD has a new 6-core processor out there, and there's not much one can do with a CPU without a supporting motherboard to go along with it. Asus is more ready than ever to help out, with the introduction a new mainboard based on AMD's latest 890FX chipset. The new Republic of Gamers Crosshair IV Formula is making our cut. One-click overclocking is available, with the Turbo Unlocker smartly adjusting CPU clock speeds based on application workload. When running optimized single-core applications, Turbo Unlocker dynamically adjusts clock speed on a single processor core to ensure maximum performance. For multi-threaded applications, all processor core speeds are dynamically increased to attain the highest performance available.
Gigabyte X58A-UD5 - $282
Based on the Intel X58 and ICH10R chipset for Intel's LGA 1366 Core i7 processors, the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 delivers plenty of next generation features that gaming enthusiasts and power users have been waiting for. The GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5 includes GIGABYTE's 333 Onboard Acceleration features, incorporates USB 3.0, Serial-ATA Revision 3.0 (6Gbps) and a 3x USB Power Boost, as well as multi-GPU support for NVIDIA 3-Way SLI and ATI CrossFireX. If your Secret Santa demands more than this...well, call 'em Scrooge.