After changing my mind many times between P4 and AMD64, now I'm about to buy a Socket 939 ATHLON 64 3500+. The only motherboard I can but with this socket in my hardware store is the ABIT-AV8 whose chipset is VIA K8T800 Pro. Someone told that the Echo Mia, my soundcard doesn't work wth this chipset. Anyone has experience regarding this or I can buy without problems this MB?
I'm not sure about the Abit card, but my MIA doesn't run on the Asus A8V-Deluxe that uses the same chipset. It might be an Asus only thing, but I wouldn't risk it for now.
The two top nForce boards are the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (nForce3) and the Asus A8N-SLI-Deluxe (nForce4). Both have a demerit on the chipset - they use fans rather than passive heat sinks. Oh well. The MSI board has the advantage of being much cheaper, for now anyway. The Asus takes PCI-Express video cards, the MSI takes AGP. Gigabyte has a cheaper nForce3 board, but I'd choose the MSI - the price isn't all that different.
I went with the Thermalright XP-120 on my A8V-Deluxe, but that doesn't fit on the MSI board. I'm not sure about the Asus A8N-SLI. I'd go with the Zalman 7700-AlCu heatsink on those.
The nForce chips are nice. Too bad they ache for fans. Maybe ATI will leapfrog them all over the next generation or two.