motherboard selection

I am going to buy an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ CPU. My question is which mother board to purchase (specs. on both of the following seem very similiar):
MSI K8N Diamond Plus ,1 GHz,2000HT/s, nForce4 SLI x16 (price ~$180.00).;or:
ASUS A8N-SLI Premium nForce4 SLI,1600,2000HT/s (price ~$160.00).
Note: Price differential not a consideration. OS:Windows XP Home Ed.
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PCBONEZConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'll no doubt take some heat for saying this but I'm really not impressed with Asus's reliability the last few years.
DEFINITELY steer clear of ASRock which is basically a PcChips manufactured board in an Asus box.
(They intentionally don't publicize this fact but there's enough on it to Google it if you want.)
Betwixed Asus and MSI I'd go MSI every time.
the two boards you picked are not quite the same. while they both support sli, the chipsets are different. the asus shares x16 between the two cards, effectively reducing each to x8 when running sli. the a8n32-sli deluxe would be a more comparable board to the msi you've chosen.

between the two you've named, i'd go with the msi; but throw a comparable asus board in the mix and that'd be the one i choose. little better board layout, game port (yes, i still use one), and extra pci (although with two large video cards installed, you're basically down to one pci slot on either board).

other than that, there are minor differences which may or not be significant to you, such as the msi supports 6 3gb/sec sata drives, either asus supports 4 (the a8n-sli premium also has 4 slower 1.5gb/sec connectors, for 8 sata drives total). the a8n-sli also has a slot cover bracket that supports externally connected sata (convenient for backups), the msi includes a serial port on the board, while both asus boards use a slot cover bracket for it, and the msi uses a creative chip for onboard audio (although from what i've read it's not nearly the same as having a "real" audigy card).

read more about the msi here
and the a8n32 here

gene1945Author Commented:
As an addendum to a question I posed last week re: which of two motherboards that I was considering upgrading to (MSI K8N Diamond Plus or ASUS SLI Premium;etc.), plus the CPU to an A64 X2 3800+.I received what I consider good answers re: the motherboards ( setting the CPU aside for the while).However,it seems that I will now have to buy a new hard drive (mine is at present an IDE drive).The aforementioned motherboards have IDE connections aboard--what gives here?MSI tech. supp. said the system wouldn't boot,not to mention the re-installation of my OS (Win XP/Home Ed.).There seems to be no simple solution to what now I consider somewhat of a dilema.I would very much appreciate some sound,sage advice--I just seem to be going around in circles.Thank you in advance.
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