So, my Asus laptop that I horribly overpaid for may have bit the dust after only 2 years of use (hard use, admittedly). Being technically semi-competent, I believe it to be a problem with either the power supply or the motherboard. And since Asus might reneg on the supposed 2 year warrantee it came with, I might be out in the cold.
Now, I've had one motherboard go out on me before (I got stuck with one of those corporate Dells with the bad capacitors, which fried my poor mobo), so I have an idea how expensive they can be to replace. I imagine doubly so for a higher end laptop motherboard.
Which brings me to the point of this thread. After my last two computers konked out on me earlier than they should have due to defects (which I can only assume when my motherboard dies after less than 2 years), I've decided to give the middle finger to manufacturers and build my own. I had done a fair bit of upgrading to my old Dell desktop, so I'm pretty confident I can assemble one using documentation found on teh internets. I'm also pretty good with components, as I had put probably $400 worth of upgrades into the Dell before it went boom.
The one thing that I'm totally incompetent in are motherboards. Upgrading the motherboard is never something I considered, so I'm a complete layman when I see all the options available. I don't have a bloody clue what a north or southbridge is.
So I figured I'd ask. What should I look for in a mobo? I know I'm going to be going Intel for the processor, probably a midrange i7 (I refuse to spend 500 bucks on a cpu). I'm looking for something in the middle of the upper tier. Any halp would be appreciated.