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Mobo Selection Confusion

Last response: in Motherboards
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May 2, 2003 4:16:36 PM

Yes, another question about mobo selection. I'm blery eyed and totally confused after spending hours reading posts about this or that mobo, without any concensus. I didn't see my question addressed however, so please be patient.

I'm building a stock trading PC that will run a very complex trading application that has brought my current PC to it's knees.

I need the mew one to be:
1)Very stable!: I cannot have it crash when I push it hard! It will be constantly receiving data and doing calculations and I will be switching windows, entering orders, etc.

2)Upgradable to newer processors, etc.: I "saved" money once by getting an old generation board.

4)Relatively inexpensive: I'm on a fixed income and the market isn't helping much.

I've always used Intel CPU's but am open to AMD if the above can be met. What I've read about the new Intel FSB and the future processor with 1G cache sounds great, but out of my price range.
May 2, 2003 5:16:25 PM

Can't help much on specifics, but start with this. AMD has announced their next generation processors, and they're not going to run on <i>any</i> current motherboard; they've changed the socket! That's not to say that current AMD systems are obsolete. I just bought an A7N8X-DX myself. It does mean that the Intel socket design will likely have a longer upgrade path in the future. As for stability, only the Intel and current nVidia chipsets appear to be business-class setups (incidentally, this has held AMD out of the business market for years!), but I'm a gamer, so don't bank on my research!

Given your decision to build an upgradeable system, I'd blow the budget on a motherboard to the detriment of the other hardware, without making the system completely unusable. Long story short? nForce2 = best bang for the buck today (and likely the next few months, at least), but Intel currently has the best long-term upgrade solutions.

<font color=blue>Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself.</font color=blue><font color=green>
<i>Canadian Flight Safety periodical, ~1987</i></font color=green>
May 2, 2003 5:21:49 PM

Duh. I forgot to ask; what is your current system that has been brought to its knees? If you're running anything under 1GHz, you can't buy a new machine that'll be slower (except maybe a C3 system), so a nForce2 board might be the way to go...

<font color=blue>Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself.</font color=blue><font color=green>
<i>Canadian Flight Safety periodical, ~1987</i></font color=green>
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May 2, 2003 5:57:58 PM

Give us a price range to work in, what kind of system do you currently have? Are you going to carry any components over from the old system to the new? Need monitor, mouse, keyboard, ethernet, cd-r, dvd-r&rw/+r&rw/ram? Tape drive? We need info man!

Shadus
May 2, 2003 8:08:07 PM

Sorry about that... I'm trying to hold it down to $1000 and "all" I need is a mobo, cpu, video and a Wide SCSI card.

It will replace a data server I built in Feb 1999 with the following:
ASUS P2B-2DS mobo
2 - PII 400Mz cpu's
2 - Quantum 18.2GB Wide SCSI Drives (QM318000TD-SW)
Plextor PX-40TW SCSI CD Rom
SoundBlaster AWE64 sound
ATI 3D Rage video
3Com Network card
Addtronics server case
PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 400W
Windows 2K Server (10 seat)

I was a SQL Server developer (now retired) and just after I built it, I got a long term on-site contract and hardly turned the thing on until 2 weeks ago when I tried to use it for trading. My other trading PC's are matching Dell 1 Gz PIII's. Good for a lot of stuff, but not TradeStation 7.
May 3, 2003 12:19:08 AM

Here's my two cents: You may want to take careful notes and do research online to back up the opinions you may hear. From what I've followed in the last couple of years, Intel likes to change their platform every few months for reasons beyond my knowledge. AMD has, up until this coming fall, managed to keep their socket the same for the last three years or so. If you're serious about future upgradability, your best chance is to wait it out 5 or 6 months until the new AMD product come out. On top of that, it's gonna take a few months for the prices to come down.
Doesn't sound so hot, huh?
As for what I think you can get away with right now at your set budget, here goes:
-ASUS (always a solid, stable choice)<A HREF="http://www.asus.com/prog/spec.asp?m=a7n8x deluxe" target="_new"> A7N8X basic</A>
-AMD XP1800 or above (all the way up to soon-to be released XP3200)
-1GB DDR 400 - <A HREF="http://www.corsairmicro.com/main/products/specs/twinx10..." target="_new">Corsair TWIN 1024 PC3200LL</A> suggested (also for it's performance and stability)
-nVidia or ATI graphics card that will support dual monitors (definately the best setup for online trading - I've seen it done) and have 64MB RAM or more. You're not doing intense gaming or video editing, so keep it under $200.
Everything else should transfer over from your old system.
All-in-all, this should run you less than $800 if you shop around.
I hope this helps a little. I wish I could type faster, I'd throw in more!! send me a message and I'll bombard you with more specifics later if you like.

<A HREF="http://rebturtle.com" target="_new">rebturtle</A>
<A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/rebturtle/TurtleTech.html" target="_new">My System</A>
a b V Motherboard
May 3, 2003 2:56:49 AM

I'll get you started! I'll trade you a 3 Channel SCSI RAID card (AMI MegaRaid Enterprise 1400) with 64MB Cache for your old board, and give you $40 for your two CPU's.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
May 5, 2003 6:09:16 AM

I'm sure your AMI card is swell, but I have to pass on that offer for now. But, how much for the whole server? Remember those drives cost me $750 each!

Based on the response from rebturtle and my own reality check, I am stuck with older technology by my current budget. Because of that, and reading that Intel cut their P4 prices, I made another visit to the Dell web site.

I can get what appears to be an OK complete PC for $450. Well, OK is in the eye of the beholder. It's a P4 2.2GHz with a 400Mhz FSB. The alternative is $770 for a 2.66GHz and 533MHz FSB.

For a memory intensive application like mine, does a 33.25% faster FSB & .46GHz faster cpu warrant paying 71% more money?

I'd appreciate some advice here, if anybody's still talking to me after mentioning a cookie cutter manufactured PC. :smile:
a b V Motherboard
May 5, 2003 6:26:11 AM

You should buy the cheap PC so you can afford my card. I really need the money, I'm unemployed and computer business is not treating me well at all.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
May 5, 2003 5:33:42 PM

Crashman, I do understand. I am retired on a fixed income and the stock market hasn't been good to me for over 2 years. My optimism tells me the market is beginning to turn around and the economy will follow shortly. Hopefully that will include your particular business.
!