August 21st, 2003, 09:19 AM
Someone had to...
Yay, first post.
But I did have a question: I'm looking at mobo's for athalon xp's, 2800+ and up. I don't want to spend more than $100 US or so. There are just so many choices available. So I was hoping people with personal experience could:
1. Recommend specific motherboards
2. Say what kind of things to look for (I'm looking for the nForce2 chipset, and I want lots of USB support, firewire, and onboard sound and LAN. Is this enough?) What sort of things should I consider?
3. Give any brands to stay away from, and why.
Last edited by karsh44; August 21st, 2003 at 01:48 PM.
My hobby: collecting US coins
August 21st, 2003, 02:44 PM
I'm using a Soyo Dragon KT333 (a year old). I'm relatively happy with it, and it was a feature-filled board, but a little pricey. According to recent articles I've read, nForce2 offers superior performance at mid-to-top dollar prices, but are generally lacking in the features department. The Via KT600 chipset has a lot more stuff thrown on the board for $100 or less, but you'll be down a couple percent in the raw performance spec (does a it really matter?). Since it's a single-channel memory config unlike most nForce boards, you can get memory cheaper and it has lower latency, but also lower bandwidth.
I've heard good things about Gigabyte, Abit, and even DFI. No lemons to report. I suppose the easiest bet is:
get readin' !
August 21st, 2003, 03:05 PM
I've been reading both those sites pretty much daily. (gotta love a job where I can do that at work). The only thing I've noticed about soyo boards is that they only have 2 usb ports on the back of the board, and I'd really like 4. It also looks like the kt600 doesn't have integrated firewire and gigabit LAN support, which I would like. Thanks for the info though, I'll continue to look into it
edit: Glad I kept reading: The kt600 southbridge doesn't have native firewire, but the motherboards have firewire controllers installed, so its all good.
More edit: According to a head to head review here, the nforce beat an early kt600 by 4-8% in benchmarks. I'm sticking with nForce
Last edited by karsh44; August 21st, 2003 at 03:33 PM.
August 21st, 2003, 10:00 PM
Suit yourself. I haven't done any looking, but I wouldn't be surprised if you were unable to find an nForce board with all of the following: 4+ USB, 1+ Firewire, 10/100/1000 ethernet. Granted, I'm not sure I've seen firewire and gigabit ethernet on any AMD board, but I'm a much bigger fan of features than performance.
I'd be hard pressed to care about 4-8%. I do a lot of video editing and encoding, and if I can do it at 32fps instead of my current 30, it saves a few minutes for something that gets idle priority and generally happens overnight. I guess the big deal is so much of a computer's time is spent idle that it just doesn't seem to pay. Then again, I guess the big deal is games, where 5% could judge playability. I just don't play anything pushing anymore. Maybe D3 or HL2 will change that.
All that said, 4-8% is a pretty impressive difference for two modern, leading chipsets. Like one of the anandtech articles said, performance crown has been made, it's down to price. If you read Anandtech, then you probably know at least as much as I do, so I'll quit harassing you.
Andrew - Perl (and VB.NET) Monkey
Never underestimate the bandwidth of a hatchback full of tapes.
August 22nd, 2003, 08:05 AM
I'm not trying to harass you, icrf, or point out errors, but if anyone is looking for good nForce2 mobo's, check this review. Most of them have 4 usb and firewire, as well as SATA, onboard sound, and LAN. Just a helpful reference
My hobby: collecting US coins
August 25th, 2003, 12:02 PM
*open mouth, insert foot*
harass all you want, I'm a big boy