I would appreciate motherboard recommendations from users with some experience building workstations using Pentium III cpu’s and Intel chipsets.
I do not want to debate the pros and cons of using AMD vs. Intel. My home system I built is an AMD machine and great for tweaking, graphics, etc. However I need to build a number of systems that will be networked using NT and running a retail POS system, so they need to be rock solid the day they are built and thus will be intel based systems.
Please suggest motherboards that you recommend I explore. I am assuming that I will use an 815 chipset, and will be using a 750-933 PIII. I would prefer a mobo with integrated graphics and sound (or no sound for that matter). I do not need cutting edge technology, but rather stability and low costs and would rather not have to add extra pci cards. 2 systems will have modems, all will have cd-roms, floppy, and parallel pro cards for extra lpt connections. 2 will likely have cdrw’s for backup (replacing standard cdrom on those machines) and each will have one hard-drive. Two will have data/fax modems.
I would recommend the Asus CUSL2 if you REALLY want onboard video, or the CUSL2-C if you might consider using a card instead. The price difference is $20-$30.
If you don't want to overclock, the best deal for price/performance right now is the PIII 933, but if you would consider overclocking, the 700 is the best choice as it will do 933@133 for 1/3 less money.
At any rate, if you are definately not overclocking, get a 933 or 866, as these have a 133MHz FSB, whereas the 850 has a 100MHz FSB, which means much slower memory performance.
And if you are going to overclock, get the 700 and take it too at leat 933@133FSB. The 750 or faster would be a bad choice for overclocking as many will not make it to a 133MHz FSB.
Remember that the CUSL2 (with onboard video) disables video automatically when you install an AGP card, so it is a viable option if you later decide to upgrade your video. But you could save money by getting the CUSL2-C (no onboard video), and then use the money you saved to purchase a better video card.
Thanks Crashman. Appreciate the info. Definitely not overclocking these. And video is a non-issue. These basically get used as cash registers. Don't need sound and only basic VGA. Essentially these are throw-aways in 5-6 years.
If stability and compatibility is what you need, nothing will beat an intel motherboard. If you need a cheaper alternative, get a gigabyte. For the best most stable setup, i would personally recommend the following:
Ibm drives run flawlessly.
Intel ethernet cards run flawlessly.
Intel boards run flawlessly.
3Com modems run flawlessly.
HP writers are solid all in one drives. If you plan on doing a lot of cd-writing, however, do consider a plextor or yamaha. These drives while a little more flaky when it comes to cd-reading, will stand the test of time under intensive "burning" conditions.
Crucial memory is simply the best memory for the dollar(cheap ram dramatically effects system stability).
If you can't afford ibm drives, go with western digital.
Thanks much to all of you. I really appreciate the wisdom of your experience.
These do have to be rock solid as they run the Point-of-Sale system in a retail environment, and if they are down even for an hour, I'm so much dead-meat.
I can deal with down for hardware failures, but I don't want to be spending days and weeks sorting out incompatibilities. I've done enough of that with my AMD/VIA home system.
Thanks again, experience reigns supreme over hardware review reports.