New setup - what mainboard?

Hi all!

Though I'm new to the forum, I've been reading THG for quite some time. The prob is that I quite lost it when all the AMD64 fuss began...

I want to upgrade my current setup to run HL2 & D3, and to arrange my hardware a bit better (got a 40g, 80g and 120g hd, running low on space).

I was thinking about a system with a recent AMD processor (for gaming, I don't use that much office apps). I'd like to get a S-ATA Raid setup too. Memory not a prob, I got tons lying around.
Now, what do I look for.

I think my only option, $ concidered, is the 754 socket. Is the Athlon64 2800+ a good one?

For the mainboard, I'm a bit in doubt - should I go for the MSI K8T800 (neo FIS2R sata+audio) -or-
MSI K8N Nforce3 NEO Plat DDR400,SATA,Raid, 7.1aud, Glan -or-
Asus K8V Deluxe -or-
Asus K8N-E Deluxe?

I havn't got any experience with onboard raid, and was thinking about getting a PCI card offering SATA Raid, after reading the 'Raid 5 tests', I was interested in the Promise FastTrak s150 - are the benefits of this card enough over onboard raid?
Also important - what drives should go with the RAID, is the Raptor really worth the price, as I can get 2 80GB HDD for the price of 1 36GB Raptor...

For a case I was thinking about a Chieftec Matrix, to accomodate my HDD & Plextor SCSI burner, and maybe a 2nd PSU (don't yet know how to hook 2 psu, will do some research, maybe someone can give me a link?)

I think I'm going to keep my GeF FX 5200 until the new cards are released, the 6600 looks nice with a good price.

This was just an idea, composed from my experience with my boards & what I think will perform well.. I got a good base setup, good 19" Flatron monitor, all peripherals and memory I want, I just want a mainboard, CPU and storage that will keep me going for quite a while. I don't favor any brands that much, and would rather take a more 'stripped' mainboard, as I got enough peripherals myself - like PCI Gigabit, PCI surround (both professional and multimedia, I work as IT manager in an IT/audio environment) - what are advantages of onboard/pci? I thought the PCI cards took calculating power off of CPU...
So, do feel free to suggest whatever you want, change whatever I said, it's my $ and I don't want to spend it wrong!

(I got a ASUS a7v8x, A-XP 1800+, 2* apacer 512 pc3200, GeForce 5200 128Mb, Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS, Plex 40x SCSI & generic DVD Ram writer, and generic case modded with 2 exhaust pipes sucking air away from cpu & vid, makes noise like a heli tho :s still, this would still serve me right for other purposes, no?)

And, last but not least : thanks in advance for reading through my blabla and taking the effort to reply!

Also, sorry for double post, but I want both sides of this issue - if there is an other way, please do delete this post and inform me!
6 answers Last reply
More about setup mainboard
  1. Oh, almost forgot: is it really worth it to go for the 939pga mainboards already? I don't want to pay 400€ for a processor just yet, and don't know when they're going to drop in price!
  2. I made up my mind, I'm going for 745 socket. I will want to upgrade my mainboard too when I want a faster CPU anyway... Now the question remains about brand of mainboard & RAID setup! Can't anyone help me with this?
    Thanks in advance!
  3. Onboard RAID - if your motherboard dies say goodbye to all your data (or if you wish to upgrade boards)... PCI card Raid is better - it gives you the option to change systems easily... as for 'security' - when you have two drives with data if one drive dies all is lost (doubles the risk)... By the way you can make a software RAID drive through windows XP pro / 2000 without a raid card (just two hdd's)...

    WD Raptors... there good with raid if your willing to pay, they spin at 10,000 rpm rather then 7200rpm, and have really good permance - if you have the cash, get them.
  4. Nah, too costly! I thought that rpm was sweet too, but hey, there's always next upgrade :p And my boss just suggested that he can pay me out in hardware as a bonus, so this comes in handy!

    Didn't look at it that way with onboard RAID, good point - although I think the mainboard lets you rebuild if one drive crashes, there do is redundancy right?
  5. Nice boss!!
    Personal opinion is Asus K8N-E Deluxe- socket 754. The A64-3000+ is the sweet spot right now, but the A64-3200 is also a very good deal.
  6. Hm, I've read up a bit, I'm going for the Asus K8N-E Deluxe Nforce3 SATA/Raid/1394/G-Lan . Now, has anyone got any experience on onboard Raid vs PCI Raid? The PCI raid solutions aren't that expensive any more, and my retailer has quite some options...
    The great thing about PCI RAID is the possibility to switch it from one system to another, without rebuilding etc, just plug the connectors in the exact same way!

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