confused about mobo selection

I used to come to tomshardware years ago to get information about the latest mobos, but I'm having trouble locating information about decent mobos that are a little old. Its tough to know which guides to read when you only know enough information to be dangerous. Anyway, here's what I got:

Thunderbird 800
Athlon XP1100 266MHZ
Asus KT7A

As you can see, I'm one mobo short. Currently I have the XP in the KT7A with 1.5GB PC133 SDRAM (enough, no?) with a CDRW and DVD+-RW and GeForce4 128MB DDR etc... Not a super great setup, but it does the trick. Anyway, I'm thinking of buying another mobo for one of the processors, but I'd like to keep my investment under $150 if possible - including RAM (pricewatch 512BM PC3500 ~ $70 currently). I have plenty of other stuff (CDRW, video card, etc...) to go along with the mobo, so that's not a problem. I'm not too concerned about overclocking or anything like that - I'm probably going to mostly do development on it anyway, so I need something fairly stable. I had been leaning towards an MSI or Amptron or one of those all-in-one mobos, but wanted to see if it was worth it to go that way...

I would assume that I move the fast processor to the new mobo and move the 800 back to the older mobo.

Anyone got any suggestions? If there is a guide i specifically missed, please feel free to point and laugh at me, but at least post the link.

Thanks in advance...

-Jared

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by jetsaredim on 01/06/04 11:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
7 answers Last reply
More about confused mobo selection
  1. I must be slippin'... I don't remember an XP1100+ chip... I thought the Palomino's started at XP1400+

    At any rate, it should fit just fine in most any of today's socket A motherboards. I'd recommend something with the nForce2 Ultra 400 chipset so you can replace that CPU at some point with something a little faster. The MSI K7N2 Delta-L is a nice board and can be found for about $75.

    Scout
    700 Mflops in SETI!
  2. Oh, and by the way, the K7N2-Delta L requires the additional 4 prong power plug so you may have to invest in a new power supply, depending on what you have now.

    If you don't want to have to upgrade your power supply, there are quite a few Athlon boards out there that don't require it... but they still require a good power supply to run stable.

    Scout
    700 Mflops in SETI!
  3. Actually, I think you're right about it not being an XP - I think it was just in between the normal Thunderbird and XP - the 266Mhz version of the Athlon - runs at 1.3Ghz. Anyway, I'm prolly going to have to buy a new case anyway, any suggestions there either?
  4. Abit's NF-7 is also a very nice board for $80. at newegg. It also has the 4 pin power plug. I think you can get adapters for old style psu's though.
  5. Here's a wierd suggestion then. You can grab an ecs K7S5A pro board for $41 from newegg. Get yourself a good case and psu now and use some of the sdram in the board, then when you have some more money, you take the sdram out of it's slots and put ddr ram in the other slots. That mobo has 2 slots for sdram and 2 for ddr ram, though you cant use bothe at the same time. The board is a power hog though. Requires a true 350 watt power supply. Best thing is the north and south bridges are bothe in one chip, so the board generates way less heat.
  6. OK... makes sense.

    I like Enermax cases. I found my latest case down at my local Fry's store for $45 including an adequate 300 watt Enermax PSU. But beware, you often find Enermax cases without their own PSU's inside.

    Basically, you need to look at the label on the power supply in whatever case you buy to see if it has adequate power on the 3.3 and 5 volt rails. Look for at around 30 amps or better on each rail.

    The suggestion about the ECS K75A is not a bad play either. I tried one of those boards and found it stable but kinda slow. However, if you're trying to pinch a few pennies... The performance is on a par with the old Via KT266a motherboards, which isn't all that bad. Some think the quality of ECS is poor, but I haven't used many so I donno. They're certainly some of the cheapest boards around.

    Scout
    700 Mflops in SETI!
  7. i'll weigh in against the ecs board. i had one that gave me nothing but trouble. i was the most unstable system i've ever had. if it were me, i'd spring the extra 30 for the quality abit board, which would leave room as another poster suggested for future upgrades.
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