ASUS "A8V Deluxe" or MSI "K8N Neo2 Platinum"
I am gonna order either the ASUS "A8V Deluxe" board or the MSI "K8N Neo2 Platinum". I am gonna put a 939 90nm A64 3200 or 3500 in it. Not sure which to go with, have heard mixed things about each board. Any opinions that are backed up by fact. Also, will both boards work out of the box with either of these CPU's without needing a BIOS update? I noticed the ASUS board doesn't have a floppy controller so I don't know how I could update its BIOS if it didn't work. I don't have an older compatible CPU laying around. Also, I noticed on the MSI site, that the board is slowed down by having 2 512M sticks in it in dual channel mode if the RAM is double sided. I believe the Mushkin or Corsair or OCZ RAM I am looking at is all double sided. I just don't want to have any issues with compatability once I order my parts. Any input would be greatly appreciated..
I just recieved the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum. I may have purchased this board too soon, cuz I didn't see the complete specs about the memory capacity vs speed. I've looked into this and as far as I can see from reading specs in the manual, online at MSI, (which is the same as the manual exactly) different memory company sites and different posts on various forums the only problem with double sided mem modules is if u wanna run more tahn 2GB of them at DDR400. (it will run 4GB in DDR333) As far as which one is better I dunno, haven't ran mine yet. (still waiting for 90nm 3500 to come in at newegg) I went by different reviews, one of them giving it "Gold" status. Also its stats are great besides the mem thing. I've seen one post of no problems with the Winchester core (90 nm) being recognized in the MSI board. I don't believe you could flash the BIOS without the processor onboard. I would jsut have my local comp store flash it with a recognized CPU.
What I wanna know is if you run 4GB at DDR400 on the MSI, will it: 1. Run at all. 2. Run but only recognize 2GB like the manual and Kingston site seems to say. - Or - 3. Recognize it all at DDR400 in quad (yea baby!) channel, just run hot and/or have mem errors. I'm hoping the last senario minus the errors is possible. I have to admit, I won't have 4GBs in this board any time soon. I just don't wanna shell out over $500 for 2GB low latency high end memory and therefore lose the option to use 2GBs more at 400 in the future. (I realize I may have already sealed my coffin by purchasing this board before seeing this problem)
i have the msi board in question with an athlon 3200. only thing i have noticed is on very rare ocasions when i am messing with stuff it will recognise my ram (2 512 meg sticks of corsair 3200) as 2700 speed. other than that the board has been rock solid. havent tried any over clocking, just once i overclocked it and it wouldnt boot but i never got back to it. its plenty fast enough right now, ill over clock later instead of upgrading.
this is my boomstick!
I would go witht he Asus board, go to hardocp.com. They did a review on the Abit, Asus and MSI boards and the Asus won the Hardocp editers choice award. Although you MUST make sure you get Rev. 2.00, Asus originally did not include a FSB lockout, which is a BAD idea, they realized that and added the feature to the A8V deluxe 2.0. You can get it at www.zipzoomfly.com or www.newegg.com . Newegg does NOT specify which version they carry buy my buddy just ordered one form newegg and he got the 2.0 with the FSB lock. Also Anandtech did a review and the Asus A8V overclocked as high as the MSI board with the Nforce 3 chipset!!!! Via chipsets ususally don't oc quite as high as Nvidia, but that's saying something about Asus baord if it can match the Nforce chipset OC makeing it one of two highest OCing A64 boards. But you will be happy with either. The only drawback about the Asus board is the onboard Audio, it uses up to 10% of the CPU power, however hardocp also reported that it has some of the best sounding audio they've heard. Of course that only matters if you use onboard audio, most ppl that are building a system like that use Audigy 2 ZS because it has awesome quality and uses almost not CPU power. But with a system that fast i don't think the audio chip is going to make a big difference. In the benchies even with the hoging audio the A8V actually scored the highest in a few benchies, others it was in the middle ofthe pack(i'm talking 1~3 fps difference when they are running like a 150 fps, so its negligable). Either way you'll be happy with MSI or Asus. Its mostly up to you which company you trust more, I personally trust Asus more(especially because they are the MOST popular board maker, if you don't believe me just look at favorite mobo maker polls, floating around somewhere here on tomshardware). They offer very solid mobos, they are always tweaking BIOS's and drivers to get more out of the mobo and good service, but their techsupport is understaffed so it takes along time to get ahold of someone in the event you needed to.
P4 2.6c@3 / 1GB OCZ DDR533 / Abit IC7-Max3 /
BFG Geforce 6800 GT @ 410/1100 /
Baracuda 7200.7 120 GB SATA / Lian-Li PC-65 Case
/ SyncMaster 700nf Monitor / 3DMark03-12100
Speaking of revisions, anyone know if there's more than the first revision of the MSI board? as I stated earlier I just recieved mine and it says big ol 1 between the PCI slots. actually it doesn't, just says "Revision 1" heh. Reason being, maybe the newer revision could handle 4GB double sided in quad channel at DDR400.
Man, I really shoulda done more homework on this board. Haven't had time to email MSI yet, but there is a little confusion for me when it comes to ECC and/or non ECC memory in this board. The manual and website aren't clear on this, they just say up to DDR400, altho they also have a short sentence "maximum of 4GB with ECC" (ok, now I can't find where I saw this, I think it must be on their Taiwan site vs the american one) yet all the reviews haven't specified anything but unreg DDR used. (actually they didn't specify unreg DDR, but I assume thats what they used cuz otherwise wouldn't they have stated it if they used ECC mem?) This creates even more indecision when it comes to which mem to purchase. (I haven't purchased any for this board yet and don't feel like trying to overclock my DDR2100, lol) The reason being if I want to do both highend 3D gaming (HL2, Far Cry, Doom3) and 3D modeling and rendering, the ideal mem would be atleast 2GB dual channel at 2,2,2,5 (would be nice, I know) latency timings. (I know, can't have yer cake and eat it too, errr actually why can't u?!) anyway I'm getting at that I found 2GB ECC at 2.5,3,3,7,1T by Kingston (it's thier HyperX line for ECC) and so far that's by far the lowest timed 2GB dual channel mem I've seen. Otherwise Corsair XMS 2GB dual chan is 3,3,3,8 (and one irritationg thing bout Corsair is I can't find any documentation of the last rating, the 1T 2T, forget what it's called but I know it's actually a big performance indicator aside from the CAS) Actually I think I saw 3,4,4,8 if with a 939. Ok nuff brainstrain hope this post wasn't too confusing, lol. Think I'll put some of this in the memory category.
O, and I'm no stranger to THG, but I am strange. (refering to the number of posts description, which will change soon)
Just got off th ephone with MSI tech support and they say the board will boot with the Winchester core CPU (90nm A64) it just might not recognize the memory. (I realize this could be a big prob, but the chances of people getting hands on diff memory to try is pretty good vs another 939 CPU) So if the memory is recognized tehn obviously u can flash the BIOS. I also asked about whether it's an ECC only board, dude said it was unreg memory, but u could use ECC emm if want.