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help on mobo

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April 11, 2003 7:58:21 PM

I have a pentium 4 2.4ghz processor, 1 strip of kingston hyperx cl2 ddr400 ram right now, what combination of motherboard and chipset can i use?

i was looking at the msi6585 and sis648 chipset recommended by this website but the when i contacted a dealer he said it could only support up to ddr333, numerous other websites have mentioned this.

please advice, thank you as this is the first time im making a diy pc.. :) 

More about : mobo

April 11, 2003 8:08:33 PM

You could go for the 655 chipset. (MSI, Gigabyte and Asus all have this) It can support the use of DDR400. If you get one more stick of memory (must be the same as what you have now) You can then take advantage of the Dual Channel technology that the 655 chipset offers. Depending on what features you want you can get the board as low as $115 or so (for the gigabye model). I personally have the Asus P4SDX and highly recomend it. I paid $138. You can go to www.motherboards.org and find out what online shops offer and for how much.
April 11, 2003 8:16:12 PM

oh man, so thats a definate no for the sis648 and msi648? cause they were part of the budget at 80dollars.. crapz..

wat processor are you using now? intel or amd?
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April 11, 2003 8:29:48 PM

You can go with what ever you like really. You wanted suggestions. If you really want that chipset then go for it. :)  I'm sure there is a review somewhere on this site about that chipset... If you have DDR400 ram, doesnt mean it has to run at DDR400...

I'm running same as you Intel p4 2.4
April 11, 2003 8:43:56 PM

Agreed, the RAM won't deter you unless you go with a crappy board. The only thing that will happen is that the RAM will underclock to fit the board.

<font color=blue> Computer fans are really cooling fans for the user. When they run, the user is cool, but whenever they break, the user starts sweating!! </font color=blue>
a b V Motherboard
April 12, 2003 3:47:39 AM

The only boards I've seen with the 648 chipset that was completely stable with DDR400 or AGP8x cards have been the Gigabyte versions. Of course you could get a 655 chipset board and buy an additional module later for Dual Channel operation, in which case MSI boards would be fine.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
April 12, 2003 11:32:57 PM

would anyone mind reading this http://www6.tomshardware.com/mainboard/20020720/index.h...

this was the review that prompted me to go with the sis648

but lotsa other sites and you guys say it dont work :) 

agree and i know abt the wont hurt the ram, but that kinda defeats the purpose of me paying for a pc3200 n running it at 2100 rite? :) 

pls advice
thank you
April 12, 2003 11:36:47 PM

just for the heck of it, what combination would you all recommend excactly?

thank you
a b V Motherboard
April 12, 2003 11:53:12 PM

OK to begin with, that was an early review, not comprehensive on a complete line of boards. The Asus P4S8X seems to have the greatest difficulty running either AGP8x or PC3200, and especially both. The Gigabyte GA-8SG667 seems to have the fewest problems with these. Other brands fall in the middle.

Gigabyte has a newer version of the 8SG667, called the 8SG800, which offers improved features, but I don't have complete data on it.

That's the 648. Above that is the 655, which offers support for dual channel PC3200. Of those, the MSI 655 Max series seems to be the fastest. Of course, the 655 can also be used single channel.

Either of these chipsets can run PC3200 at slower speeds if needed. PC2100 speed isn't your only option, there are several in the middle including PC2700 speed.

Your best bang for the buck is probably the MSI 655 Max-LS. If you need Hyper Threading support, the MSI 655 Max-FISR is a full featured board available with ($180 for the board) or without ($160 for the board) HT, and it's a fully loaded board with many more features than the LS version.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
April 13, 2003 7:52:11 PM

mind explaining what dual channel mean? not exactly a pro here :) 

i've a p4 2.4ghz,dont think it has hyper threading right? so fisr would probably not be needed.
a b V Motherboard
April 13, 2003 8:07:49 PM

Dual Channel makes two 64-bit DDR SDRAM modules act like one 128-bit module of twice the size, by running the two channels parallel. With a P4 offering 4.2GB/s of bandwidth, this is the only way to get DDR up to full speed on the P4. Two PC2100 modules also provide 4.2GB/s when used in dual channel, while a single PC3200 module only offers 3.2GB/s.

Of course operating the memory at higher speed offers reduced latency, which is why the SiS 655 chipset works best when used with two PC3200 modules.

All current Dual Channel DDR boards are also capable of single channel mode, should you decide not to use pairs of modules.

As for the MSI 648 Max, I've heard fewer complaints about it than the P4S8X, but I can't be sure whether that's due to it being a better board, or due to it being a less popular board. The only 648 board manufacturer I can recommend is Gigabyte.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
April 14, 2003 1:34:55 PM

wait a sec.. this are the stats of my ddr ram:

KINGSTON HyperX Series 184-pin 256MB DDR400 (PC3200) 32X64 DDR RAM modules, Model# KHX3200/256
Specifications:
Type: Kingston HyperX
Capacity: 256MB
Speed: DDR 400 (PC 3200)
Latency: CAS Latency 2 (2-2-2-6-1T)

dont really get all that modules and channels thing, does it mean using two strips of ram instead of one strip?

and to my previous post about the FISR, am i right in that i dont need it since HP is not present in p4 2.4ghz?

so to boil it down you're recommending MSI 655 Max-LS and the SIS 655 combination for the p4 processor and ddr400 ram?

again, if i can avoid it, i really dont want to run the ddr400 at below its optimal speed.. :) 

thanks
a b V Motherboard
April 14, 2003 2:18:56 PM

Yes, neither the P4 2.4 nor the current LS model support Hyper Threading, which means you can get the LS model at a very reasonable price. And you can run it with one stick of PC3200, giving you about the same performance as the 648. You'll get a performance boost if you use two modules in dual channel mode.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
April 14, 2003 2:25:21 PM

You mentioned budget was a concearn early on in this thread, so that will always determine what your final decision would be. If you are going to go with the 648 chipset I would listen to Crashman's advice and go with the gigabyte board...

If you want to use your DDR400 at full speed then go with the 655 chipset. I think what Crashman was trying to get at is that you will benifit more if you get another stick of DDR ram (the same as what you have now). You can use the Dual Channel Feature of the 655 chipset. You DONT have to, you could use just the one you have now and run the RAM at its DDR400 speed. But with the 655 Chipset, and with 2 of the same DDR Ram modules installed in the board, you will get amazing memory bandwith results (better than just having one stick of ram installed) and the prices of the board are very good for the performance you get.

If you decide to go with the 655 You can go with Crashman's suggestion with the MSI board. I personally have the Asus board, which I think was just a tad bit slower than the MSI in certain benchmarks, however doubt you would even notice unless you are running the bencmark tools and seing the small differences :)  I didnt like the Gigabyte board for this chipset personally, however there are people here who have the board and like it. I have always been an ASUS buff and have never been disapointed with their motherboards.

decisions... :) 
April 14, 2003 8:21:19 PM

thanks for all that, would you or crashman happen to know any reviews on the MSI655 and the SIS655 chipset? not that i doubt you all but would like to know more about them first.
thank you
April 14, 2003 8:37:07 PM

hey, i was reading this thread http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

im a total stranger to all there 2-2-3-5 numbers, my ram has a CL of 2, so would i be facing all these problems if i get the MSI 655 Max-LS with the SIS655 ? i;ve absolutely no experience fiddling with the bios except for one time when my previous Athlon 1ghz somehow jumped to 750mhz and i had to manually change the frequency to 133mhz den everything was fine again :) 

also, one weird thing is most of the retailers put on their product description that the 655 can only support up to ddr333 while there are some who put in 400.

please advice
thank you
April 14, 2003 8:37:59 PM

one more thing is i think i can up the motherboard allocation to around 115 if the MSI655 is the one :) 
April 15, 2003 1:48:23 PM

wait, let me get this clear :)  does Dual Channel just means using 2 strips of ram?

check out the post before this from phantasm, was the giga board you mentioned that one?

thank you
April 15, 2003 3:46:31 PM

well to put it simply yes dual channel means you are using 2 sticks of RAM. But its the technology behind it. Its how fast the CPU and Ram can exchange info...its not like have a normal board and placing 2 sticks of RAM in it. The dual channel boards have a total of 4 slots for ram. 2 slots are for channel A (slot 1 slot 2) and 2 for Channel B (slot 1 slot 2). To get Dual Channel technology to work, You place a stick of Ram in Channel A slot 1 and in Channel B slot 1. (these are defined in the manual of the mobo). Anyway you can read the review here to get all the tech info on it.

Yes most of these board offically claim they support up to DDR333 but you can run DDR400 on them. (all the reviews on these boards run with both types) The BIOS even has a selection on what Speed of Ram. You can have it set to auto detect or Specify (DDR 266, 333 400).

And yes there is a bit of an issue with CAS timings with this board. but dont let this deter you from buying it. All you have to do is chage a setting in the BIOS. The nice thing with the Asus P4SDX is if you specify somehting that the PC doesnt like and it doesnt boot after, just power it off for a few seconds and turn it back on. It will reset to defaul values. With DDR400 for good stability and Performance you can set your memory timings to: 2.5-3-3-6

Might seem a little low, however even with this laid back settings the board still performs with excellence.

Read up on it. If you still have quesions after you've read up on it, we'll help you out. Trust me tho, its a good chipset. What brand you go with is totaly what ever flavor you like best. Me peronally, An Asus fan so I will usually buy their mobos. I went with the Gigabyte (8sQ800) and had some issues and found reseting the BIOS to be a royal pain...
April 16, 2003 7:50:05 PM

hahaha.. "And yes there is a bit of an issue with CAS timings with this board. but dont let this deter you from buying it. All you have to do is chage a setting in the BIOS. The nice thing with the Asus P4SDX is if you specify somehting that the PC doesnt like and it doesnt boot after, just power it off for a few seconds and turn it back on" sounds like you're recommending me to get the asus board instead :) 

erm, to sum it up to this newbie :) 
the ASUS P4SDX with SIS655 is recommended by you because you are an Asus fan and you think its great the way it resets to default by itself.

crashman thinks the MSI655 Max-LS is a good deal for the money but it has a problem with the latency settings which would require this computer illiterate to meddle with bios :) 

does anyone else have any suggestions?

i dont think the giga is such a great idea since it needs adjustments to the settings AND adjusting is such a pain according to melvin13 :) 
April 18, 2003 7:45:26 PM

hey

does the raid on the msi tips the balance in its favor from the asus in anyone's opinion?

or does asus' easy adjustment,HT compatitble makes it win?
!