I've decided to get a new motherboard, as my M2NPV-VM has been giving me fits with network drops, raid crashes, lockups, etc. I have spend a lot of time looking through the wiki and I also wanted to get experiences and opinions on some of the boards I'm looking at - as well as suggestions of other boards.
To keep things as cheap as possible, the folowing criteria is what I'm aiming for:
-As much as possible on-board both to keep cost down and keep expansion slots free (onboard video, audio,lan,etc)
-I would like 6 SATA ports. In the past, 4 ports has limited my on-board software RAID to about 2GB as Raid5. I would like to grow this, as well as have a hot spare.
-Many PCI slots. I would like more than 2 PCI slots - its just so limiting
-Socket AM2 so I can re-use my BE-2400 processor
-ATX and MicroATX form factors are fine - i have plenty of room
Here are the boards I am looking at:Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe
- 6 SATA Ports
- 3 PCI slots
- Dual on-board gigabit
- Digital Audio Out
- Has been reported as stable with LinuxMCE
- No onboard video (though this is somewhat negated by the dual gigabit lan and plenty of expansion slots)
- Reports of ASCPI issues in the wiki (but others report not having the issues)
- Asus product (after my M2NPV-VM experience, i'm not sure if I want another ASUS product)
- 6 SATA ports
- Onboard Gigabit Lan
- Onboard Geforce 8200[\li]
- Untested with LinuxMCE
- 2 PCI Slots
- Appears to have no optical audio header
- Unsure about onboard Geforce 8200 with LMCE
- 6 SATA Ports
- 3 PCI SLots
- Onboard Geforce 8200
- Onboard gigabit lan
- Untested with LMCE
- Unsure if it has optical audio header. I see it has a coax though...
- Unsure about stability/performance of onboard geforce 8200 with LMCE
Also - As I've never changed out a motherboard under LMCE - will it require a full reinstall, our should the hardware changes detect automatically?
Thanks for any help tips and advice