Hello I posted over on the CPU board asking for some advice on a new system I was planning on building. Thought I'd post a simliar post here asking for some advice.
The situation is that my old computer is getting a bit too slow for me and I plan on getting rid of it.
The problem is, it was a P3500mhz. I don't want to simply upgrade again in the line of P3's and I havn't heard great things about the P4. (Sure in the future the code might be optimized for P4's, but by the time it REALLY makes a difference I'll probably be ready to buy a new computer anyways.)
What I'm looking for is a nice speedy system which doesn't compromise stability for clock speed. (who cares about that extra 4 FPS)
I havn't finalized the entire system but this is an idea of what I want.
CPU: Athlon 1.2ghz Thunderbird-C.
Ram: 200+MB of Crucial/Kingston DDR-RAM.
HD:Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40
CD-ROM/DVD Drive:Might get or might not get one, depending on a few things.
SoundCard:SBLive 5.x. Probably the gamer version.
Video Card:Asus GeForce3.
So the problem I have is that I've never bought an AMD Product. I've heard that Athlon systems can be hard to set up, with all the cooling and everything. (I just planned on buying a nice heat sink and putting 3-4 case fans in.)
So the biggest problem would be the motherboard. I've been told that the ASUS A7A266 is rock solid, but uses the older Ali Chipset and isn't as fast as the new AMD760 chipset.
I also noticed that it doesn't use Via's 686B southbridge chipset. From what I've heard Athlon systems often have conflicts when you put 2 HD's in on one IDE line and have an SBLive in the PCI slot. I've also heard of numerous problems when installing GeForce3 cards into the system.
Should I avoid the new AMD760 based chipsets due to the seemingly crappy Via 686B southbridge chipsets found on them?
Should I go with the A7A266, regardless of it being a bit older technology?
If the difference is nominal (less than 5% speed increase), then I'd definately go for the rock stable Mobo.
Does anyone know about Athlon conflicts and how/where I should go for cooling advice?
I guess A7A266 is the best mobo around, you might wait for Magik's revised (B0 stepping) chipset to arrive, its supposed to clear the memory latency issue that caused the performance lag with ALi Magik.
<font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
About this latency issue, is it major? Will the BO stepping dramaticly increase performance?
If the difference between waiting another few months is just another 2-4% increase in speed. I think I'd rather get the MoBo now, and wait 5-6 months and then upgrade to a more efficient Mobo.
Thanks for the info.
But what I want to know is that if Athlon systems have had any well known conflicts between the incident with the 686B southbridge and the SBLive sound cards.
I own an A7M266 and it works fine with my geforce 3, two hard drives and 2 cd rom drives filling up all IDE slots, AND I had a sound blaster live for a month until I got a Herculese Game Theater XP. I havn't had a single problem with it, and the only time I've gotten the infamous blue screen of death was when I tried to overclock wrong, and when I got ctrl-alt-del happy after playing half life engine game. Besides that its the most rock solid computer I've ever had.
If you don't want AMD761-686B combo get one of the newer boards that has a different south bridge. The Chaintech 7KJD has a different south bridge, and it comes with 5.1 sound support built onto the mobo, I'm gonna build a computer for my friend with this motherboard and a 1.2 Tbird I'm pretty sure.
I think www.digirex.com sells it for around $114 so its a very nice price and it even out does the A7M266 in several nice benchmarks. I might get one for myself to replace my A7M266 because it has CPU multiplier adjustment on board, AND FSB adjustment so its overclocker friendly (more so than any other AMD761 chipset board)
I am currently using a FOP32I cooler and am at 34 C with a T-2 1.2 gig CPU on an Epox 8kta3 plus, works great easy to install, first AMD chip and no problems so far, no problems with compatability either so far.
I use the Fic AD11, with no problems. My video card is the ATI Radeon Le with 32 megs ddr overclocked to 200 with the powerstrip shareware. The AMD 761 chipset is the smoothest I have ever used. My 1.2 will run at 1380 with the right heatsink. I only paid $105 for the mb, so I was able to buy extra DDR. Otherwise, I would wait a few more weeks for the new Sis chipset.