I’m a newbie trying to buy a new motherboard to reuse a bunch of components I have from a few other systems I’ve torn down. My end goal is to build a XP Media Center (not that its particularly relevant).
I’ve done a bit of browsing and have found one mobo that seems like it is a good fit. Questions:
1) From what I detail below do you agree this is a good selection? What problems do you foresee I should be aware of (remember I am a total newbie)?
2) Is there another mobo you would recommend more (and if so why)?
_Like to have additional specs:_
- Prefer ASUS (purely emotional…)
- Ideally 8 channel audio output
- SPDIF Out
- USB 2.0 – 8 connectors
- 4th IDE drive (without having to use an add in PCI card or RAID [because I don’t know what RAID even is and prefer not to have to learn... ;-)])
- Ability to drive front panel accessories (like play/pause, left/right/up/down/OK, volume)
- Ability to hook up front panel inputs (like S-Video, Composite Video, RCA Audio, 1394, USB2.0).
How's their support and documentation? I have never before put together my own system…
One thing I really like about ASUS is they have this nice Windows utility that fetches the most recent BIOS for your system automatically over the internet and does the update on fly. How’s that for a silly reason to favor them?
Meanwhile if you look at my specs would either the ASUS P4P800 Deluxe or the Abit IS7-G be a good choice? Am I overlooking anything or are there gotchas I don’t appear to be considering?
The IS7 supports RAID via intels ICH5R which is not hardware (although some people will make you believe it is), in fact I know of NO desktop boards which support hardware RAID... Any RAID controllers such as the Sil3112a are NOT hardware RAID they provide an interface but the actual splitting/mirroring of data is still handled by the CPU. (this is why you see hardware RAID cards costing upwards of $200 while software RAID card will set you back $30).
You have never heard of Abit? The IS7 is one of the best price/performance ratio boards money can buy (according to a lot of ppl on this forumn). I have the AI7 (newer version of IS7) and its great...and apparently not as good as the the cheaper IS7.