Can't see the forest for the threes in the chipset market? Then head over to ExtremeTech for an overview of the latest chipsets from NVIDIA, Intel and AMD.
We often wrestle with our individual choices for CPUs and motherboards. It's also true, however, that the feature sets of modern motherboards are driven by the chipsets that lay at the heart of your system. That's not to say that motherboards are all alike, even those that use the same chipset. Motherboard manufacturers add value by adding key design elements, like I/O slot layout, the robustness of the power regulation, and BIOS design. Motherboard makers can also expand on the abilities of the core logic. For example, a motherboard maker may add external FireWire chips, or add another SATA controller for greater storage flexibility.
But the base feature set is determined by the core logic. The chipset determines what CPU you're going to use, the memory type (in the case of Intel chipsets), what type of multi-GPU technology is supported and so on.