Hey all, I'm building a semi-budget system for a friend of mine. They don't really do any gaming or anything intensive like that, just the web and word processing. I've settled to go with an Athlon XP, either the 1800+ or 2000+. I've been looking at some mobo's and have narrowed down a list, and was wondering if anybody has had any experience with any of these boards or if they know if any of these are crap or which ones whould give me the most bang for the buck (prices from newegg). I'm not sure if I want to go integrated video or not yet, so I picked 5 with and 5 without. Here they are:
w/o integrated video
Biostar M7VIP (kt333) $65
Aopen AK77-333 (kt333) $70
Albatron KX400+Pro (kt333) $71
Biostar M7VIT (kt400) $73
Albatron KX400-8x (kt400) $79
I just built the asus system for my friend and had no problems whatsoever. Integrated video is good. If your friend really needs usb 2.0 , he can just go buy an addon pci card. You can get a 4 port USB 2.0 pci card for about 30-40 dollars. Check <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com" target="_new">http://www.newegg.com</A> and look for this board. Then check out the reader reviews there. Almost everyone has had no problems with this board.
just step it up a bit and go nForce2. newegg has the <A HREF="http://www.leadtek.com/motherboards/nforce2/k7ncr18d/k7..." target="_new">Leadtek K7NCR18D</A> for $92 free shipping. It's got everything on board except video. If you want to go onboard video then get the G-Pro version of the same board for $125 at newegg. I know these prices are a slight bit higher than you posted, but They've got USB 2.0 which another poster suggested you spend $30 - $40 on, and it's the latest and best Athlon chipset. Pennywise and pound foolish, as they say.
<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
I would go for the MSI 745 Ultra. Its very stable, and performs about the same as the KT266A, so would be perfect for a non-crashing system with DDR. It has upto 6 USB ports, but unfortunately doesnt have onboard video or network.
I know these are only theoretical benchmarks and could be wrong but even if they were for a budget board someone is usually looking for stability not for absolute speed which is why I would reccomend SiS 745 Chipset.
I have had the asus a7n266-VM and an albatron kx400+ pro.Both are very good but very different boards.The asus has everything onboard and the video is very good but the albatron has ddr333 support and great overclocking options (although i see that oc'ing is not relevant here).For this kind of lower end use i would agree with the others and say that the Asus is the way to go.
no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]