Asus M4N78 SE 720D AM2+

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This is a fairly solid board for a novice system builder or 1st time overclocker to work with. Comes with software that allows you to keep an eye on temperatures on the motherboard and cpu, this should help stop you overcooking things if you decide to play around.
Being a socket AM2+ you can use the latest Phenom II and Athlon II processors, but it is also back compatable with older Athlon 64 single and dual cpu's. Because it also uses DDR2 memory it could be a good choice as a replacement board for those who still have all their old parts after their old mobo has failed.
I'm useing an AMD Athlon II X2 240 with 2gig DDR2 800mhz ram. It runs stably with a 50mhz overclock on the FSB giving processor and ram speeds of 3.5 Ghz and 1000mhz respectively with an aftermarket cooler on the processor.
Unfortunatley this board has no onboard graphics so is not ideal for a media system or office work horse, and you'll have to have a graphics card handy straight away. With a large cooler on the processor it is difficult to fit and remove memory from one of the slots.
At around the 50 quid mark this isn't a super cheap board and just a tenner more will get you a mini ATX Asus M4A78 EM which will fit in just about any size case. It also has onboard HDMI graphics, can handle twice the memory (16 Gig) and comes with an AMD 780G chipset which with the right bios can allow the unlocking of dormant Phenom II X2 and X3 cores.
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