i am thinking of getting an a7n8x but i heard that a lot of people are having hard times with the mobo....is this really true? and is it one of those boards that would work flawlessly from the beginning?
I think that the A7N8X is an AVERAGE board, nothing more. Just from my experiences with the board and what I've read constantly over and over and over on forums and reviews, I would go with the Abit NF7-S rev. 2.0 board. You'll SATA, firewire, nVidia soundstorm audio (much nicer than the A7N8X on board audio!), and possibly even better overclocking results.
For me, the asus board had a lot of wierd quirks to begin with but when I figured out how to work around them and figure out what it likes and what it doesn't, it seems to be ok. It's not a bad choice and I am not trying to tell you NOT to get it, but I just think there are better choices, especially if you plan on going over 200fsb as much as possible *cough**cough**ABIT**cough*
I've had good result using the regular A7N8X as oppose to the A7N8X-E. For one, the reg. A7XXX runs much cooler. About -5*C difference. What is major plus are the mounting holes needed run a heatsink that uses an X-plate. I don't think the Abit mobo has this feature.
Yeah, that is a small negative on the abit board, I take it you are talking about the thermalright heatsinks? It is prettymuch just the SLK-947(u) that doesn't fit the mounting holes and you need the "neo" backplate to make it fit right. Most of the other good ones (SP-97...) will fit fine with the included brackets and such. The only other negative of the Abit board I can think of right now is that it does run a little hotter but if you are one of those people who love adding heatsinks to everything than it won't be a problem!
I have been happy with both my A7N8X and my A7N8X-E boards, but I haven't been able to push either of them past 200 fsb withouth major stability problems. Besides that I have been very happy with both boards, and with Asus customer service.
On the other hand, I wish I had done a little more research before I purchased the Asus, I would have gone with the NF-7, I haven't seen too many negative comments about that board.
For the most part, the A7N8X is a great board, sata raid, firewire, decent onboard sound, dual onboard lan (gigabit on the e model), but if you really want to push your oc, then go witht the NF-7.