If you're looking for a no-nonsense basic Athlon64 motherboard today, I would suggest the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra Value Edition. You get all of the cool features of the nForce4 platform including SATAII support, dual-core CPU (Athlon X2) support, and the performance of the highest performing chipset for the Athlon 64 platform on the market. Price-wise, the VNF4 Ultra can't be beat. For $84 retail price online, the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra is the least expensive nForce4 Ultra board on the market, bar none. At the moment nForce4 motherboards are retailing on PriceWatch for $81. The Chaintech nForce4 is well worth the extra $3 USD for the board, as you get the improved features and performance over the regular nForce4.
Motherboards.org has a tried and true rating system for motherboards that get an Editor's Choice award. Boards have to score 90+ points on our rating system to get an award. Today, the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra is the first motherboard to ever deserve such an award without reaching that plateau of scoring. I feel the solid performance, bundle, features and the fact that it is the lowest priced nForce4 Ultra motherboard available; make the board worthy of a serious recommendation to those seeking a budget, yet worthy board. Add to that the non-standard layout, where Chaintech actually made an effort to give clearance for the memory from the video cards and the board would be in my personal system if I were using a nForce4 Ultra system as my personal computer. All in all a winner from the folks over at Chaintech keep up the good work.