I was planning a quad core video editing machine using the Intel P35 Northbridge chip with either a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard (772 reviews on Newegg) or Abit IP35-PRO (549 reviews). Some other boards look good too, like Asus P5kE, Asus P5K, Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6, etc. I don't need crossfire, thus the P35, and overclocking isn't something I would plan to do with a video editing machine.
Problem is, after reading reviews on Newegg, it seems that about 20% of these boards have really BIG nightmare stories, like boards that are DOA, component failures, raid not working, unstable operation, and worse - failure after 30 days. Not to mention the pain of bios upgrades to get the boards to work properly; horrible MB customer support, slow response from mb manufacturers, etc
I don't mind the work/time involved in a build - in fact it would be fun. I just think I would wind up being one of the unlucky 20% that gets bad hardware.
And now, I found this favorable review of the new Dell XPS 630 on HotHardware. So, my DIY doesn't look as good to me as I first thought.
It is my opinion that some of these failures are caused by the user error. Improper handling of the motherboard and/or RAM is not uncommon.
I do PC Consulting for a living and I have taught A+ classes where the students assembly their own PC as part of the class. Many horror stories and lots of dumb questions/comments later you can see that people need training in this area and don't always get it.
In one class (not mine), the instructor walked out for 2-3 minutes for a bathroom break. While he was gone somebody asked "which screws are best to install the hard drive?" ONE person (out of 24) announced that he had just finshed doing that and had used the LONGEST screws. At that point about 18 others also used those screws and when the assemby was done and the computers turned on, we had 19 dead hard drives!
Nobody questioned this person even when you could turn the drive over and see that the screws were digging into the circuit board.
We joked for months that if somebody would of had 4 inch drywall screws those would have been used too.