I am debating whether to buy a penitum III 700 chip or an AMD Duron 700. This is the first computer that I will build, but have never worked with or even used AMD so am leaning towards Pentium. I was wondering what mobo would be best for using a pentium III 700 chip. If I decide to go with the Duron 700, I would likely try out the A7V. Here is what I will probably put into the rest of the system:
I would recommend an Asus CUSL2, which is based on the 815 chipset. You can wait for the DDR based chipsets to come out from Via, but for now, I don't think you could do better than this.
The CUBX, which is based on the older 440BX chipset has better memory management, but does not offer AGP 4X and relies on an added chip for ATA 66 support or support for 133 front-speed-bus. The CUV4X will offer AGP 4X support as well as 133 bus speed, but the memory management is not as good as the Intel chipset.
Just a side note for you...I bought my brother a P3 700 and new mobo for his b-day. That thing cost me $200 when I got it, my friend bought a duron 700 for $50 and the AMD machine spanked my brother's. I couldn't help but be a bit upset, but in the end I laughed about the situation. I can't believe Intel still can sell CPUs. Just a note, if you go Intel, the board mentionned in the previous post is a good one. Otherwise go with the Abit KT7 RAID for AMD.
If you want to learn a lot about getting a system to work right, buy an AMD-it will take a beginner MONTHS to figure out all the things that these guys already know about getting it to work right. The Abit KT7 seems to be the most stable/compatable for that right now. If you want to just put it together and load the software and have it work right without figuring it out (the "no brainer" solution), and you have an extra $100, build the PIII, use a 700E (99.9% of them will go at least 933) and a CUSL2, Micron memory from Crucial (garenteed to work right), slap it together, load the software, and it works! Then if you want to go faster you can bump the voltage up in bios to 1.70v, switch to 133/133/33, and you'll have a 933. Like I said, the price difference is only about $100 right now (Intel keeps dropping their prices)