I'm going to build my first machine. I need it to run 2D graphic apps. My first choice is the new Abit KG7 raid. That mobo is just being released and since no one has used it, I think I may be in trouble if I need assistance. My other choices are the Abit KT7A raid or the Iwill KA266 raid. I think the advantages to the KT7A board is that it uses SDRAM which is very affordable now. The advantages of the Iwill board it has the ALi® MAGiK chipset which from what I've read is the most stable of the Athlon chipsets although the slowest. Just how slow? Will anybody notice the speed difference. I'm just looking some input on these choices or others. I would like to order the parts and get started right after the fourth. Thanks.
The reason to go with the ALi chipset is quickly disappearing, because many other DDR chipsets are now mature enough. VIA's KT266 used to be unstable and underperforming, but the latest batch of revised and new mobos shows that it's as stable as ALi and is overtaking AMD760 in performance (just make sure you don't end up with an old model still in retail). It <b>has</b> matured already.
However, if you are willing to wait till August, you might want to check out SiS 735 based mobos. The SiS reference board is currently the untouchable benchmark champion (for the lack of nForce boards to test against). Or nForce based mobos by September.
First off the A7A is anything but slow. So I wouldn't overlook it as an option. Second if your willing to spend a little more on ram I would suggest you buy a A7M which to my knowledge just supports DDR. Both boards are within an affordable price range.
I was reading your reply and it fit my dilema I also was having. so if you don't mind I'd like to ask a couple of questions. What is the advatage of going with the a7m266 over the a7a66 since they both acn use ddr memory.
ARe the chipsets a factor in deciding. I cannot decide if its worth spending $40.00 more to get the A7m266 and spending $20.00 more on memory since it only supports ddr memory. Will the performance be that great. I also considered the Msi K7 mobos.
I would appreciate your input. Thanks
First the chipset is what have the board run correctly: bad chipset = a lot of problem (and you cannot fixe them easily)
Thats why I am looking for a great web site that talk a lot on all the chipset on the market.
The DDR memory is faster then ordinary SDRAM and all the CPU will now support this memory (this include all P3, P4 and of course all AMD), I think that this memory will replace other type (at least for now).
My thoughts on the DDR/SDR debate is that if you have SDR now and are upgrading from a slower (say sub 400Mhz) system then going to a near 1Ghz+ system would provide enough of a performance boost with SDR to keep you happy. undoubtedly DDR is faster than SDR, but if you already have 128Mb of SDR, why pay another £30 ($50?) for 128Mb DDR (or better yet go for 256Mb), keep the SDR and upgrade to DDR later when you've got the spare cash...That is if you go with a board that accepts both like A7A. Memory prices are still falling (go check out <A HREF="http://www.dramexchange.com" target="_new">http://www.dramexchange.com</A> ) and I reckon that there will not even be a chane of a rise for at least another 6 months.
So, to me, I would not say that an extra $60 is worth it for the performance increase, when you can get almost the same increase later by paying half that amount for DDR.
I would also say that I wouldn't go for a board that ONLY allowed SDR memory, DDR is here NOW, it is equally priceed and a better performer, SDR will soon dissappear I reckon.
I went with the A7A pretty much with my above thought lines, but whats right for me, may not be right for you.
LeoKor: I would really like to know how do you know that SiS 735 is going out in august and nForce in September? It's very important for me to know if it is a guess or this is based on solid information because I don't know if I will buy my system now or wait for better chipset. Thanks!
TopherBear: I would like to know how you know that memory prices will never go up for at least 6 months. If you have a solid source, may we consider that costs of other parts of systems may not rise too? It's because I believe that computers prices are always getting up from fall to christmas when they finally are in real sales... thank you for ansewring me, it's very important for me!
It's a guess based on daily checking the news that leak on different hardware sites (because I'm waiting for nForce as well! and I'm not settling for anything less). If you were checking them out on a daily basis as I do, you would have known about Asus' A7N266 and MSI's MS-6373 already. Here is another bit of info about Abit, the most recent one:
How slow? The ALi is about 2-3% slower than the AMD761/VIA686B combo found on the fastest boards. Anyone who considers that to be "slow" is insane, a looser, or a showoff. You can't actually see 2-3% on modern computers. The ALi has the advantage of being the only current chipset for Athlons with 100% compatability with all known PCI devices (as seen so far).
That site is great! Do you have site similar for Asus and MSI? I knew those card, but the shipping date are unknown for me except for the A7N266 which is said on the ASUS site that it will be available on Q3 which is not what I would call a precise date!!
It's not like they're covering only Abit related news. That same day, they had a word about MSI's nForce mobo, too. There are many hardware sites like that.
There are two reasons I come to this conclusion:
1. The price of DRAM fell some point last year, and then rose again. At the time it started to rise in the financial markets (check the website I posted dramexhcange), I decided to buy a new 64Mb for my system, only the price in the shops continued to fall for a few months after...so the price on the exhanges seem to take a little while to feed through to us. And at the moment the prices are STILL falling.
2. I am a Bear! In the financial markets I believe that the economies of the world are falling, and for the time being this means falling prices. In the PC industry in particular there is a problem. PC sales are down, yet DRAM makers are still pumping out chips at the same rate, thus flooding the markets and brining down the prices. Now I also beliieve that we are about to enter a winter of discontent and things are going to get ugly (many technical reasons why this is so, but this is a computer board not a financial board) and that is why I say 6 months at least.