The AMD AM3 platform appears to be the way to go for budget-minded users, and best of all there's a huge range of affordable motherboards to choose from. Because of the way AMD has been forced into playing their cards, it is easy to find and purchase an AM3 motherboard capable of supporting even the latest Phenom II X6 processor for less than $100. Many of these motherboards also boast newly released technologies such as SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0, making them even more attractive.
Today we are putting together a few of these affordable AM3 motherboards to see just how much bang for your buck they offer. The contenders include the Asrock 880GMH/USB3 ($85), Gigabyte 870A-UD3 ($95) and MSI 870A-G54 ($90).
Also as part of our evaluation, we will attempt to unlock the Phenom II X2 555 processor ($100) on each board, essentially obtaining the performance of a $160 part without shelling out the extra cash for it.
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