Jonathan Brooks wrote on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 8:57 PM::
Thanks for all the feedback - it's only going to be a regular PC, not a server/workstation so I think I'll go with my initial thought which was to go with Asus (A8N-SLI Deluxe). I may end up running Linux through VMware anyway, so the hardware is sort of irrelevant....
The only thing I would add to others' comments is that I used to have an A8N-SLI Deluxe and was really happy with it, but the chipset heatsink/fan dislodged (without any help from me!), frying the chipset. Subsequent examination showed that the clamps were really flimsy. I upgraded it to the A8N-SLI Premium which replaces the HSF with a heatpipe & haven't had any problems.
Over the years, most of my hardware problems have been due to dying fans, so the elimination of the fan can only help reliability (and makes for a slightly quieter PC too).
I think it was well worth the tiny (~5%) additional outlay for the extra reliability.
Just looking at the Asus website, you might also consider the newer A8N32-SLI Deluxe which is also fanless (the 32 refers to the 2x16 bit PCI-E bus - double the width of the A8N). It also appears to have a few other improvements (e.g. faster memory bus, more efficient power use leading to lower temperatures) It appears to carry about a 20% price premium (which is still tiny compared to the combined cost of mobo+cpu+ram).