Yeah, I know, it sucks to ask such a vague question, but all the talk these days seems to be between the Asus Nforce 2 and KT400 boards. I'll try and detail as much as I can... Most people here have opinions and I look forward to hearing them.
I have a GA-7VRXP rev 1.1, and have recently bought a XP2700+, so I need a board that can handle a 166fsb. I also have 2x512 of PC2700. I am going to be getting a GeforceFX when they arrive, to update my Geforce3.
I have managed to blow my Audigy Player in the process of putting in the new processor.
I also got some reasonable fsb overclocking from the 7VRXP.
So I guess I'd like to understand what the onboard sound is like for new boards... I see nforce2 has 5.1 onboard, but the Audigy gives me EAX2 (I use 4.1 speakers at the moment).
Unless the onboard sound is comparible to Audigy, then I am not bothered about onboard sound, I'll just get an Audigy. Likewise Networking, I need a nic, but doesn't have to be fancy. No need for on board graphics.
I'd like flexible overclocking options, I'd want USB2.0 (as many as possible), I want AGP 8x, I want raid 1 cabability, with standard ATA100 drives upwards.
I'd also like not to have to buy a new board for a while
For KT400, Tom rates the Asus board. For Nforce2, people seem to rate the Asus board. Are there any other contenders? The KT400 vs nForce2 comparisons doesn't seem to favour either one particularly.
So what do you think? Gut feel or whatever, I am happy to listen.
Ok, first of all, please read the reviews on the GeForceFX at several sites includinng Anandtech.com. That graphics card is complete garbage. Don't buy it. They're only releasing a few thousand most likely anyways.
Second, read the 6 board roundup of Nforce2 motherboards over there. I think it'll answer most of your questions.
I built a system using the A7N8X and was pleased. The onboard sound is comparable to the Audigy so unless you want better sound, use the onboard provided. The onboard LAN is fine (the deluxe board has dual LAN).
As for RAID, I think you'll have to get a seperate card. The A7N8X offers SATA raid, but if you want ATA raid you'll have to add a PCI card. There might be a Nforce2 motherboard out there that has better raid, but I didn't look into it.
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Yeah, I see your point about the GeForceFX. It isn't garbage, but it isn't as good as it should be. Especially with the new Radeon around the corner. I am watercooled aswell to reduce sound, so hanging a hairdryer off the back of my PC makes that pointless. I am guessing there aren't any blocks available for it yet.
Ok, I'll keep the Ge3 and maybe look at the R350 when it comes.
So. I could get a couple of serial ATA drives for main storage as raid 1, and still use the existing IDE stuff I have (2xhd, cd, cd-r)? I can't see the s-ata connectors on the motherboard image... Where are they?
I think the onboard sound should suffice. As my audigy is stuffed, I could get one if the onboard sound wasn't to my liking.