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Advice Needed Please!

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Last response: in Motherboards
May 11, 2001 1:49:35 AM

This is my checklist for the new system I'm gonna get after getting YOUR ADVICE. See I totally TRUST and RESPECT everyone of you here. So please help this NOVICE(me) ok! =)


Asus, A7V133 Retail

AMD, Athlon ThunderBird K7 1.2GHz 266MHz FSB Retail

Alpha, PAL-6035MUC (Is this fan/heatsink quiet & good performance?)

Artic Silver Thermal Paste

Crucial, 256MB PC133 SDRAM (Gonna get 2 more 256mb sticks)

IBM, 30G Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Retail (gonna get another indentical one)

Plextor, PlexWriter 16x/10x/40x EIDE Retail

Poineer, 16xDVD/40xCD Retail

Iomega, Zip 250MB Ext/USB Retail

ATI, Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO Retail (Is this the best DVDs playback card?)

Creative, SB Live! Value

Enlight, MidTower ATX 7237 300W PS Dual Fans (is this gonna be ENOUGH for everything including the future upgrades?)

Logitech, Cordless Itouch Keyboard Retail

Logitech, Cordless Mouseman Wheel PS2 Retail

ViewSonic, EF70 (Any other sugesstions?)

Epson, Perfection Photo 1640SU USB/SCSI (maybe the 1240U)

NewQ, Platinum PC Audio Graphic Equalizer Retail

Altec, 4 speakers and a Sub


Is there any problem (WHATEVER PROBLEM will hurt its maximum performance) with this setup? I really want a rock solid system. I play a little bit of games. Watch a lot of DVDs and love to listen to Mp3z. So any suggestions will be really really appreciated! Did I say I'm going to order stuffs after getting YOUR ADVICE? Please! I "beg" you guys!LOL =). THANKS EVERYONE!

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by novice on 05/10/01 10:02 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : advice needed

May 11, 2001 2:54:43 AM

<b>First, here are my system specs:</b>

Asus A7V133

Athlon Thunderbird 850 w/200FSB OEM :frown: ...I choked...

Swiftech MC370-0A (This was the best cooler when at the time I bought it. A lot can happen in a month, though. LoL. But, if you wanna try the others, go for it. I still like this one due to the ease of installation. I recommend checking out the reviews and the forums for as much information as possible on the best cooler. BTW, this cooler that I have was about $44. I suggest this one for now, though.)

Arctic Silver II (I suggest this one, because you don't have to worry about mixing or anything like that. If you meant Arctic Silver II, disregard this part.)

<A HREF="" target="_new">Crucial 256MB SDRAM PC133 CL=2</A> (BTW, as of now, it's at $96.29... :smile: great price)

IBM DTLA-307030 30GB 7200RPM UltraATA/100 <b>OEM</b>(I suggest OEM because you don't need a manual. Just go to their online support pages and that'll tell you everything you need to know. Plus, screws that should come with your case should suffice.)

HP-CD Writer 9150i

Teac Floppy Disk Drive


Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! Value (I've just been hearing a lot of talk about this card used with the A7V133...and it's not good. Actually, I think the chipset was the problem, which I'll explain later. For me, it's been fine so far for the last 4 weeks.)

AVLogic MidTower w/300 watt PS (I should've looked into a better case. Make sure there is plenty of room for case fans. For your setup, if $$$ isn't an issue, can I recommend a Full Tower? I would get one, but I didn't plan on getting that many things. And, bump up your PS to perhaps 350-400 watts, and look for a PS with two on the bottom instead of the front.)

2x80mm High Speed Sunon fans (one bottom-front intake, one rear panel exhaust)

A couple more recommendations:
Whatever case you get, check how many fans it can hold, at what sizes, etc. Then, if you're lucky to have places for 92mm or 120mm fans, then get them. You'll want plenty of airflow. I say that you're lucky for bigger sized fans because then you can get lower RPMs, which reduce noise. Plus, your setup can get pretty hot.
Second, get a Compunurse. It's about $14.50 @ <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>. But, if you don't care to monitor your CPU temp, that's fine. Be forewarned that Asus Probe, the BIOS, and any other temp monitor will be wrong with this motherboard. Motherboard Monitor 5 will be good to download later because you can change the offset.

(There's more...)

Get case fans grills with your case fans. Maybe even for your heatsink (unless it already has one). Then, you don't even have to use screws to cover them. I used some plastic ties (you can buy them practically at any electronic store, except maybe Radio Shack, which I'm convinced stinks) to hold them in place, and they work great. Tacky, but whatever works.

Last thing. Get some rounded IDE cables. It'll help your airflow (I haven't tested this yet, but maybe when I buy some I'll post some results.) But, I want to get them for ease of movement. The flat cables are hard to put into some places (at least in my case).


Okay...the problems...
There has been a "bug" going around concerning VIA's chipset, such as the one used on this certain motherboard. Some people have been getting data corruption problems with their hard drives in the Primary IDE slot and using DMA under Windows. It concerns the South Bridge System PCIset = "686b". Plus, it supposedly goes bad if you're also using a Creative sound card. There's a patch at <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>, plus information. Hopefully, there will be another update on it soon. But, I only got data corruption once (maybe...maybe I choked it or something. I tend to do that.)

IMHO, I think you're setup is pretty darn good. But, I'm so sorry that was sincerest apoligies... :frown:

<i>OC...unless your computer's cheezy (is that a good rhyme?)</i> :eek: 
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2001 11:42:29 AM

Any particular reason you opted for the A7V133 which only supports PC133 over either the A7A266 which supports both PC133 and DDR, or even the A7M266 which is pure DDR and seems to be the fastest AMD platform?

DDR does cost a bit more, but from what I've seen, especially on the A7M266 using the AMD-760 chipset, as seen here on Tom's, there can be a significant performance boost.

The A7A266 seems to beat out the A7V133 even when just equipped with PC133, according to Tom's benchmarks, and does even better with DDR, though not as good as the A7M266.

If you truly want to maximize performance, get every last bit out that you can, I think the A7M266 and DDR would make a much better choice, or the A7A266 a somewhat better choice even if you stuck with PC133.

Check through the various benchmarks Tom's has made on the AMD760 chipset-based boards (including the ASUS A7M266 mobo) and the new review he just did of the Ali Magik chipset (including the ASUS A7A266 mobo).
Related resources
May 11, 2001 5:26:12 PM

Thanks for the advice guys! Is the A7A266 and A7M266 stable? Cuz I heard that those ddr boards are not mature yet. Actually I was going to get a K7-Master-S, but I couldn't find it anywhere on so I may go for whatever board that is STABLE & PERFORMANCE. Any suggestion guys?

BTW...Sorry for the A7V133 data corruption. I was gonna get an A7V133 but that scares me. Is there a lot of work to make it rock solid? I think a lot of people here actually have the A7V133 with a SB Live! Value but they have no problem at all. Some of the posters here even say it works right out of the box!
May 11, 2001 9:53:39 PM

Yeah, it basically did work right out of the box. The details of my bad experience (not that bad because I was smart enough to have a backup) is that I had a certain partition scheme set up. But, I didn't like it that way. So, using trusty Partition Magic, I merged some of the partitons back. After my computer rebooted, I ran scandisk. All the files that were merged were corrupted. I don't know why. Just before that though, I moved my IDE cable from the Primary IDE slot to the ATA100 slot. But now, after having my hard drive in the ATA100 slot, I haven't had any problems yet.

Basically, if you are careful with your settings in the BIOS and the slots you place everything in, you'll be just fine.

<i>OC...unless your computer's cheezy (is that a good rhyme?)</i> :eek: 
May 12, 2001 1:49:01 AM

What... motherboards are stable... when did that happen??? (heh heh heh) seriously, the KT133/133A boards are more likely to be more stable as they have been out longer and hopefully their big crash problems and been patched (ie a good reason to download every new BIOS update), I wouldn't touch a DDR board until it has had several months runtime and the inevitable patches have been produced b4 going near it (plus the performance gain isn't all that great... yet)

---It's the little things than can rise up and bite you... remember to wear lead pants !!!---