Upgrading - So many motherboard choices - Help!


Please excuse my long post. :)

My current system, a home-built Soyo SY-5EMA+, AMD K6-3/450 (100Mhz FSB, 4.5x), 256m ram, 14.2g HD, and ATI Xpert 128 PCI Video, is getting a bit long in the tooth.

While it still runs acceptably, it's beginning to show its age, seriously. The cheap case/PS combo ($30 eBay doohickie, yeah, yeah, I know..) has long outlived its life. The side panels got stepped on and warped, and the PS fan has burned out, so now a pedestal fan sits next to it providing cooling.

While it still does run what I need it to (Games included), I've started a new job, and as a reward, want to build myself a new system. I've done some reading on THG and other sites, but I've been out of the loop for so long that current tech is wildly faster (and more complex) than what I have now.

So far, I have decided on a case and power supply, both from Antec. Where I live, the power isn't very steady (frequent outages, lasting from seconds to minutes), nor is it very clean. (Frequent brownouts - Lights dimming, monitor occasionally tripping off and back on, etc..)

Because of that, my next system will be hooked up to a UPS full time. I've heard nothing but raving reviews of APC products, and will be looking into them.

What I've chosen so far is thus:

Antec TrueControl 550
Priced at $110.42 via THG Price Finder - Page Computer(s)
MSRP of $171.01 - Savings of $60.59

Antec PLUSVIEW1000AMG ATX Full Tower Case
Priced at $70.06 via THG Price Finder - ebuyer
MSRP of $124.99 - Savings of $54.93

While these might seem to be serious overkill for a home system, I want a rock-solid system, one that I shouldn't have to upgrade for at least 5 years. (Meaning that it will still have the durability, stability, and horsepower to run whatever I throw at it in 5 years..)

When I got to reading motherboard reviews, the tech boggled my mind. My K6-3 and SY-5EMA+ motherboard/processor, I could understand.. But the new stuff, no way. I've been away for too long!

Within my $1,000 budget (Which I'm willing to adjust upwards, if need be..) what would be a quality stable, high-end system, spec wise? Any info/links to appropriate products would be helpful too. THG's pricing finder is quite the handy thing.. Saved me over $115 (including estimated s/h) on the Antec components, hopefully it can do the same for the other parts.


7 answers Last reply
More about upgrading motherboard choices help
  1. You going with AMD again? Or try Intel?
  2. With your budget, I'd recommend getting an AMD 64 2800+ or 64 3000+ proc, team it up with the cheaper Chaintech Nforce chipset board or the awesome MSI K8N Neo Platinum. The AMD 64 is more future-proof than the P4 (especially for 5+ years later), and the lower-clocked ones are not too pricey. This should be a nice system for now, good later, and even upgradable to a faster proc later if need be.


    if you are willing to spend more and are really serious about a system that is still good in 5 years, you could wait for the new socket 939 motherboards with PCI express and DDR2. These are cutting-edge now, but then you'll be building a PC at the very beginning of 3 new technologies, which should make it very, very upgradable for the future.

    "The only way to overcome temptation is to yield to it" - Oscar Wilde
  3. I plan to go with AMD again, as they appear to have the most bang for the buck.

    How long until these socket 939 motherboards come out, and will they have the bugs worked out of them sufficiently to make them my primary system?

    Any ideas on what it would cost to get a high-end 939 board and compatible high-end processor?

    I'm also looking for info on the Ram and video (I'll bet doughnuts to dollars that it takes newer, more expensive ram, and that my current video card will be woefully outdated..)

    I plan to make this system as high end as I can - Maxed out RAM, top notch video card, etc. Since the pieces can be bought over the next few months and set aside for assembly, I'm not too worried about my budget, though $1,000 is my ideal target.


  4. Quote:
    How long until these socket 939 motherboards come out, and will they have the bugs worked out of them sufficiently to make them my primary system?

    You can already find socket 939 board on pricewatch.com. You should not be concerned about bugs, because Socket939 boards will mostly be modified Socket939 boards. All Athlon 64 MB us the same chipsets, the main difference is the Socket. Since Athlon 64 boards are out for more than a year, there should not be BUGs in MB, or nothing that a BIOS update can't correct.

    If you buy a Socket939 board and you are not overclocking, you gcan safely VIA K8T800 PRO based board or a nForce3 250 board. If you plan to overclock nForce3 250 is the only real choice you have, sinve VIA chipset have problems with their AGP/PCI lock feature.

    What's the <b><font color=green>AMD Mobile Athlon 64</font color=green></b> overclocking potential? <b>It's huge!</b> Humm... Maybe not that huge...
  5. Can you suggest a socket 939 Mobo? I'd wanted to go with the MSI Neo Plat. (socket 754), but if there are good 939's out, I'd probably go with that in its stead. The only 939 I know of right now is the ASUS A8V board/s.

    Is the difference between the Neo Plat. and the benefits of a 939 socket worth passing the Neo up for?
  6. If you really want to buy now and don't plan to overclock much, the Asus A8V is a good choice. But, if you plan to overclock or want to be future-proof. Wait a bit for PCI-EXPRESS version of those Socket939 boards.

    If you buy today's Socket754 or Socket939 board, you will not have a PCI-EXPRESS slot. But, if you plan to get an AGP X800/6800 right now, you might not suffer from the lack of PCI-EXPRESS slot. Because, by the time your GPU will be obsolete your MB/CPU will probably be too!

    What's the <b><font color=green>AMD Mobile Athlon 64</font color=green></b> overclocking potential? <b>It's huge!</b> Humm... Maybe not that huge...
  7. I am also building a new system from scratch. I have gotten many tips and ideas from the helpful people on this forum. I have also looked over various ratings and review sites, buyer reviews on the new egg site and so forth.

    What people have referred me to on this forum regarding my questions about athlon xp/athlon 64/p4 motherboards:
    athlon 64- already covered in posts above. As a little added enticement zipzoomfly and new egg both throwing in a free copy of the game "far cry" with athlon 64 cpu + select board purchase:
    <A HREF="http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/showcase/AMD_showcase.jsp" target="_new">zipzoomfly</A> msi k8n neo platinum is on this list-as well as the more economical and also highly recommended chaintech vnf3 250 both recommended by trooper and others (especially the msi board that just came out last week)
    <A HREF="http://images10.newegg.com/uploadFilesForNewegg/farcry.htm" target="_new">new egg</A>

    athlon 64 3400+ too pricey in my book. The athlon 64 3200+ is $136 less. The athlon 64 2800+ is $100 less than that.
    p4-- <A HREF="http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=240121" target="_new">abit is7</A> board--recommended by crash, boss and others.
    Nice price, features and performance on this board.
    2.8c (northwood core 800mhz fsb) seems to be in the "sweet spot" for p4s as the 2.6/2.4 are about the same price and in some cases even a couple $ more.
    xp: 2500+ mobile barton (and ocing? to 3200+ performance?)
    abit <A HREF="http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=240109" target="_new">abit nf7-s</A> version 2 :also recommended by crash and others
    asus a7n8x-??? I can't remember which version was recommended.
    -not sure on the memory-looking at this <A HREF="http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=80097-17" target="_new">corsair xms c2 platinum</A> but still asking questions and looking at review sites.

    I have already purchased most of the common components including:
    <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-161-109&depa=1" target="_new">video card</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=27-152-012&depa=1" target="_new">dvd</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-160&depa=1" target="_new">hard drive</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=21-103-116&depa=1" target="_new">floppy</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=35-100-007&depa=1" target="_new">arctic silver</A>
    and a case which you don't need of course, but I'll stick it in here anyway as I searched through alot of pictures, user reviews and descriptions to find what seemed the best decent looking case for the $. My main requirement for the case was that it have a "decent" power source I could use to run the old comp when I built the new one. Perhaps someone else will find it helpful:
    <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-156-133&depa=1" target="_new">case</A>
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