PC Review has a new article - a beginners guide examining that vital component, the motherboard. Here is an excerpt:
Two of the biggest makes of CPUs at the moment are Intel and AMD, yet you cannot buy motherboards that support the use of either: it will support one or the other, due to physical differences in the connectors. This is often referred to as a type of 'platform'; for example, an 'Intel platform motherboard' means a motherboard with an Intel CPU. Furthermore, you must choose a specific type of processor; for example, an AMD Athlon 64 or Pentium 4. Therefore, you must choose which CPU you want before you can choose your motherboard. Both Intel and AMD processors are capable of running the same applications, but there are differences in price and performance depending on which one you choose..