"What’s the best motherboard for building a Core-2-Duo based computer system?"
Mike - Seattle, WA
Good question. Depending on your budget and future expectations, the right motherboard for you might not be right for the next guy. In addition to selecting a processor, you also need to choose what type of memory, which chipset, and what extra features you’re looking for. Needless to say, it all gets pretty complicated pretty fast.
If you’ve got money to spend, I’d start by checking out Intel’s recently released P35 chipset, designed to replace the older P65 chipset for all of its Core 2 Duo and Quad processors. Though some time off, DDR3 memory is emerging as the next memory standard, so the most 'future proof' motherboard is the P35/DDR3. Of course, it's also the most expensive.
On a moderate budget you can pick up a P35/DDR2, and for as little at $100 don’t overlook the P65/DDR2-based motherboard, which is still a very capable board with plenty of life left in it.
Other respected manufacturers include Asus, Abit and Gigabyte, each offering numerous models across the pricing spectrum.
Hope this helps!