I'm setting up a new backend Linux server, so I picked what I thought would be a stable reliable board, an Intel DG965RY. It's a workstation oriented board, not server, but for my home Linux server uses, that's not a problem. Even though it's a server now, I thought in the future I might use it as an HTPC client.. the intel X3000 video on the board has some nice video decoding capabilities that may be available in Linux with future open source driver development (intel is working on the API / driver, but it's not available yet). That's the main reason I ended up with this board, I wanted Core2Duo support, at least 4GB RAM support, and X3000 video. But, I apparently overlooked something more critical..
The main issue with these boards is that they eliminated the PATA (Parallel ATA, Standard IDE) ports from the new intel chipsets. They do have a single PATA connector on the board, but that is run by another chip, a Marvell PATA controller. That chip seems to be poorly supported in Linux, and is not recognized by the installers for the various Linux distributions I've tried (Ubuntu Feisty, Fedora 7).
This problem is fairly well known.. there are even messages on the kernel mailing list from Linus himself talking about this. And I thought it had been addressed in the 2.6.20 or 21 kernels. But, I'm still having all kinds of problems with my board.
I tried adding kernel options on boot ( all-generic-ide irqpoll pci=nommconf ), but that didn't help. I tried adding a PCI IDE controller card and hooking the CD to that, but the board didn't give the option to boot from that drive. I also tried booting from a USB connected CD drive, but that was a no-go as it appeared to not like the USB/drive.
My next workaround attempt will be to put a SATA DVD drive in it.. we'll see if some other problem comes up then.
So, for others looking at Linux systems for HTPC or other use, I would avoid the DG965RY for now.