I replaced my motherboard Tuesday night with a DFI LanParty NFII Ultra. This is a great motherboard. The dual-channel memory access makes a noticeable difference in the speed of memory-intensive operations. The board is stylish, too, which is great if you have a windowed case (I don’t – I have a monster full-tower case and I have yet to take a dremel tool to it). It came with a “FrontX” connection box that goes in a drive bay and lets you put USB, FireWire, audio, etc — just about anything — in the front of your case in a clean manner, which is great for a custom computer. This board has some other nice touches, too — such as power and reset switches on the motherboard that you can use before you hook up the case switches, and POST diagnostic LEDs right on the board that let you know what’s going on. And the NForce 2 Ultra is the hands-down best chipset available for AMD CPUs. I rate this mobo 9.5/10.
Changing a motherboard is probably the most labor-intensive computer upgrade task. Everything connects to it — what a pain. It’s better to build a new computer from scratch than to change its mobo, but that wasn’t an option for me at the time.
As for my old mobo, the BIOS chip that went brain-dead can be replaced for $20 (and who knows how long it will take to get here), so it looks like I have a part for a new computer for a kid or something.