It use be I'd count all the features a motherboard has when I'd shop for a motherboard. Then I discovered how much heat some boards make than others. I started counting MOSFETs and VRMs as a measure there would be enough power control.
Nawww, If there isn't quality built into the board, it's as useless as buying a the cheapest board available. Bawh.
I began reading what boards other people had that were reliable, cool and ran pee-chee. A lot of research. Then again, what isn't? I lost a new computer to a bad power supply. A reputable company, too. And every year, I learning stuff that I never see in reviews.
Don't get me wrong, reviews are important. It's the combination of reviews, features, quality, price, user experience and reputation. And if the products been around a year or two, the reliability of how well it still performs and runs are gems to be counted.
What do I need or what do I plan to do with the machine I build around it? That's a good question too. I seem to over spend on computer testosterone to just get bragging rights. Now I just build for the application, like beating the rich kid online who has the monster computer with game cheats on daddy's credit card (a feel good thing).
It sure is a good thing to read Tom's Hardware. It makes manufacturers accountable to computer world. Helps us older guys keep an edge.