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Gigabyte, Abit, or ASUS?

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
August 31, 2001 5:51:48 AM

I posted a question on here about a week ago entitled "What to Buy...What to Buy". I didn't get all of the answers I've been looking for. I'm in the process of building a new rig (for gaming, office applications, mp3 editing) and I'd like some advice on a motherboard. However, everyone who responded tells me to buy an Abit KG7-Raid. I've read a lot of reviews on this board and I have to hand it to you guys...it is a great board. However, I'd like to know why this board is considered to be so much better than the Gigabyte GA-7DXR or the ASUS A7M266? This may be an unfair comparison to the ASUS simply because the A7M266 does not have a RAID controller. The A7M266 is still one of my top 3 simply because of its speed and stability. But, why do people recommend the K7G-Raid over the GA-7DXR so much? The prices and stability are about the same, both support RAID, and (I think but would like to know for sure) both will be able to support the Palomino.

The only differences that I see are:

1. The Abit board has 4 DIMM slots and the Gigabyte only has three. However, from what I read the Abit board will only utilize all 4 if the DDR is buffered/registered, and onlt 2 if it is unbuffered/unregistered. The Gigabyte only has 3 DIMMS and can utilize all 3 if either all the DDR is buffered or all is unbuffered. This sounds better for me in that I plan on using sticks of DDR (probably from Crucial...any suggestions)in increments of 256 because 512 is too expensive. This brings me to another question....do either of these boards have trouble with double-sided DDR?

2. The Abit board has 6 PCI slots whereas the Gigabyte only has 5. Either or would work for me cause my case will hold 6 + 1 AGP, but I can't see where I'd need more than 4 or 5 for all of my components (soundcard, SCSI maybe, etc).

3. The Gigabyte may or may not (please let me know) run Athlons a little hotter than the ABIT, even if it is not overclocked. This may be a concern for me if it affects stability, however, my case will hold 4 fans and I plan on getting a really good heatsink fan so this should cool it down a little. I don't plan to overclock in the beginning but would like that option down the road maybe.

4. Adjusting the clock-multiplier of your CPU is done in the the bios for the Abit, but with jumpers/dipswitches with the Gigabyte. I've read some reviews saying that you need jumpers/dipswitches to truly overclock and just simply bios adjustments won't do it. Is this true?

5. The GA-7DXR has onboard audio that is pretty good (I know.....and I plan to buy a good soundcard however). But, I look at this as a good thing in case my soundcard craps out.

These are just some conclusions I've come to and by no means am I trying to downplay anyone's preference for the Abit board. If anyone knows of any other things I should know before I buy a motherboard please let me know. The rig I'd like to build is this:

Motherboard - who knows (hopefully this will help!)
CPU - 1.4 Ghz AMD Athlon (unlocked,retail preferrably)
Hard Drives - IBM 60gxp Deskstars (2 60 G's). Havn't
decided if I want to put them in raid at
first, and that's why the ASUS A7M266 is
still a possibility
Video Card - Geforce 3 - Either ASUS V8200 Deluxe or
Hercules Prophet 3.
Sound Card - Soundblaster Platinum 5.1 w/ Live Drive
DDR - one or 2 sticks of 256 (for now)
CD/RW - Plextor 24/10/40 or TDK VeloCD 16/10/40. Which is
Better?
DVD-ROM - 16x Pioneer

This brings me to another question. I hear that the Soundblaster Platinum 5.1 may not be compatible with some motherboards/system configurations. Can anyone elaborate on this? I only chose this soundcard because I'd have the option of hooking up my guitar to it and that it sounds great. Do any of these components have issues with any of these boards?

Also, for once and for all will someone tell me is any or all of these boards support the Palomino in the future? This is very, very important to me as I don't want to have to buy a new motherboard next year....hehe.

Well, there you have it. I've researched this thing so much that my head is spinning. Please, if anyone can help I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks

"If It Ain't Broke....Tweak It!!!"

More about : gigabyte abit asus

a c 435 V Motherboard
August 31, 2001 9:24:04 AM

If you want to try something new, I just noticed that an AZZA board with the new via ddr chipset for socket 478 is due out next week. The board with a socket 478 1.7 with run you about $360.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
August 31, 2001 1:23:15 PM

Commit yourself to the Gigabyte board
Related resources
August 31, 2001 1:58:02 PM

If you want to overclock, you will have to set the jumpers, even though the dxr comes with something called easy tune 3 which supposedly allows you to overclock from your computer. My athlon has never overheated or ran warm as near as i know. gigabyte has a pc health section in the bios i believe that will moniter your systems stats and tell what temp things are running at, and if the comp is too warm. if you are looking for stability go with a raid setup. i have 2 40 gig ibm deskstars mirrored and have no complaints with speed or performance.

stand up join us modern crusaders alive
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 1, 2001 7:57:37 PM

I can't believe nobody is giving any responses to this post!!!!

"If It Ain't Broke....Tweak It!!!"
September 2, 2001 12:43:48 AM

Abit KG7 is also available in a no-raid version (Abit KG7) and in a LITE version (Abit KG7 LITE). The no-raid version has no raid controller and the LITE version has only two DiMM slots.

As for Palomino-support I dont know but you could e-mail Abit, Gigabyte and ASUS and ask them if you want definitive answers. My guess is that they all will support it, if not for the moment then with newer BIOS they probably will.

All the boards that you mentioned use AMD´s 761 northbridge and Via´s 686B southbridge, this is because the 686B is a bit cheaper than AMD´s southbridge.

Now pairing up the 686B with a SoundBlaster Live soundcard of any model CAN be a road to hell and general chaos and extreme frustration. Data corruption, crackling sound and lockups are among the most common symptoms. This doesn´t always happen though, but if it does its a real b'tch.

For further elaboration on this subject visit www.viahardware.com


BTW people are not replying because
1: They are too lazy to read your long posts
2: They are lazy in general

_________________________________________
.your signature is wasting perfectly good bandwidth.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 2, 2001 3:37:32 AM

Now I'm all screwed-up!!!!!! The more reviews I read on all of these motherboards the more I'm thinking that intel has the upper hand (help me Lord)!!!!! Even after reading all of the posts concerning these boards on this site...all of these boards have some sort of downfall and they all give people headaches? Does anyone out there have a kick-ass board with all of these features THAT ACTUALLY WORKS and is pretty simple to set up with no headaches. Jeez, I thought I'd get some help on this stuff but it seems that nobody knows any answers.

"If It Ain't Broke....Tweak It!!!"
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 2, 2001 5:17:36 AM

Their is such a thing as information overload. You seem to be on a quest for the perfect no-risk board. Please keep in mind, that tech forums as this are usually used to help users iron out problems/bugs. How many people buy boards and have no issues with them? 95%? 99%? I don't know the number, but it's safe to assume that the majority of users do not post in this forum at all, let alone those who have no problems. EVERY product you will ever buy has the potential for problems, this is compounded even more in the PC sector due to the endless software and hardware configurations that these mobo's are subjected to. Not long ago I too, was in your same predicament. Considering the same boards too, as a matter of fact. All 3 of the boards you mentioned are fine products. Just pick one. Base your decision on the features you need, not on what "might" go wrong when you get it. It really is that simple. You have done ample research, you are aware all the boards have potential quirks, and you also know where to come and ask questions if you face those quirks. Do you need raid? Onboard sound? Onboard NIC? How much do you want to spend? Remember the difference of these boards performance wise, will be so small, that it is quite unlikely that you will ever be able to SEE a difference in their operation.
BTW I eventually ordered the ECS board with the SIS 735 chipset. The same, or better performance then the boards you've mentioned, Palamino compatibility, PC2700 compatible, and rumor has it it'll run the 333mhz FSB chips that will be coming soon. All for $65.00 Have a few people had trouble with this board? Yup. Will I? Maybe. But the odds are in my favor, just as they are yours.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 2, 2001 7:07:37 PM

There is good mention of the Asus board, and I had one in an older computer, then I installed the Microstar MS-6167 (it's an oldie now), but it worked flawlessly after I resolved some problems. I'm for Microstar. The Asus gave me problems. but Asus gave me better support, Microstar did not. But you can get good answers on these forums. Like I said, Microstar as far as I'm concerned.
September 3, 2001 1:11:32 PM

Hey UnitedGuy,
Great post man! This should help anyone looking for that Magic Perfect MotherBoard/or any other component. It is a bit too much sometimes, looking at all the data, and thinking......I should wait until that "Product X" comes out. In the meantime I end up missing out on using a great system right now. Thanks for helping me see a bigger picture!
Peace Out........tile


looking forward to a lifetime of tweakends
September 3, 2001 9:11:12 PM

Listen to Unitedguy. I agree with him. You are stressing about stuff that really is uneccessary to worry about. What you need to decide is how many dimm slots do you want and how many pci slots you want. Since all three of these boards will most likely serve your needs I would just compare price. All those boards are good.

<font color=red>Change the sig of the week!</font color=red>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 6, 2001 5:05:12 AM

Now I don't know what to do. I had my heart set on a Gigabyte GA-7DXR over the Abit KG7-Raid because a friend of mine builds computers for a living and he told me that he had bad experiences with Abit boards. But now I'm considering waiting until somebody makes a pretty good KT266a board. Then again, some people say that via will never beat the AMD 760 chippset while others say it will blow it away. So confused! Anyone have any suggestions?

"If It Ain't Broke....Tweak It!!!"
September 6, 2001 7:11:00 AM

Yes, I have a siggestion but its up to you to decide if it's good! :-)

My system looks like this:
Athlon 1.2 Ghz 133/266.
Asus A7V266 (Good, fast, stabil)
2*256 PC-2100 Veritech DDR-RAM (Running at CAS 2)
Asus Geforce 2 GTS 32 MB DDR V7700
2*IBM GXP60 40 GB hd's
Pioneer 10/40 DVD-ROM
Plextor 8432A Atapi cd-writer
Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Platinum (Live-Drive)
RealMagic Hollywood+ MPEG Card
RealMagic Remote for MPEG Card
32 Bit 100 MBit PCI ACPI compatible network adapter.
Aopen Hx08 hightower.
Logitec mouse.
Noname keyboard.
Noname / Coolermaster CPU cooler
No extra fans of any kind.
Round ATA100 Cables for better airflow in tower.

As you can see my components looks much like the ones you are planning to put in your new "box". I had some problems in the beginning with the ACPI shared IRQ's in W2K. The comp randomly rebooted or frooze. I tried installing Windows 98 but the system kebt crashing or displayed the message "Out of memory can't run...." I asked some peeps here at THP and I read alot about the ACPI function in W2K.
I found out (by reading the mobo manual) that PCI slot 1 and 5 share IRQ's by motherboard default. I then reseated my PCI cards so that the network card used slot 3, the SB Live used slot 4 and the RealMagic card used slot 5. I then reinstalled W2K. The system now ran perfectly stabil and without any problems except a some small choops in the sound and some strange sounds in winamp sometimes. I think it was the problem that everyone is talking about whenever SB Live! is mentioned.
I read some more about ACPI and checked all my manualls and in the bottom left corner of my network card with like text size 0.5 the text "This network adaptor is not compatible with the ACPI standard" was written. I ordered and installed a normal (read cheap) noname ACPI compatible network adapter and the sound problems was gone too.
My system is now running totally stabil, its fast as hell and i never experience problems with any programs (except Kazaa which sometimes exits without prompting me). I think this is a software error. My CPU is running at 56 degrees according to Asus PC Probe and the temp in the case is about 23 degrees. Note, that I do not have any extra fans in my case!!
If you read the test of 16 DDR mobos for Athlon here on THP you'll find that the motherboard is fast but a little overclocked by default. In most of the benchmark tests the Asus A7V266 is able to follow or run faster than the AMD and Sis chipset motherboards. So if you don't care if Asus overclocked their motherboard a little (I think it's 1-2 Mhz on the FSB) and you like a fast, stabil and generelly good motherboard I would go for the Asus A7V266. The only downside is the missing RAID controller. Note that the board has build in sound which I just disabled in the BIOS. The board comes with 5 USB ports and 5 PCI, 1 AMR and one AGP pro port.
Good luck with finding your new system.

My name is Jond, Bames Jond.

My ACPI incompatible network adapter killed my SB Live!
September 18, 2001 11:19:46 PM

Everyone is beating around the bush!!....neways let me help you out man...
first of all lets discuss comatibility...
the soundblaster live card is a complete pos....its a great card but doesnt work with anything it seems...i would suggest the turtle beach santa cruz or the phillips 5.1 acoustic edge which i have =-].....and save yourself time and hassle

I tried the gigabyte ga7dxr to begin with and had more problems with that board than any board i have ever bought in my entire life and I work for a computer place building pcs....
these problems include installation freezes...corrupted harddrive, just so unstable...with nothing installed except the cpu and the mem....i did a bios flash and tried several diff sticks of mem...and it wasnt the cpu because im using it in my kick ass machine now...
Now you may ask well what board do you have now...
The Abit KG7 Raid!!.... wouldnt think about getting another board eventhough i had some problems with it too until i flashed the bios with the latest kg7_4J revision.....and it runs like a champ...just make sure you get the latest highpoint raid drivers or your hd will run in msdos compat mode....we have had that complaint at our store a couple times....and get the latest 4 in one drivers and amd agp patch, ms usb patch and via usb patch...and you will be straight.!!...
ps...try to stay away from micron chips...try the crucial brand or mushkin wiht out micron chips

my specs:
kg7 raid
1.2ghz athlon 266@ 1350mhz
corsair pc 2400 @150 mhz =-]....
leadtek geforce 2 ultra
wd 60bb dma 100 hd
sony cdrw
52x cdromage
and cant forget the good ol floppy!...
oh by the way
get this case it kicks major ass
antec 840x...with the 412p power supply with 4 case fans ...nice and cozy for the cpu and hardware....because you can have the phatest cpu fan in the world but if you cant get that heat out what good is it

without soundcard
timedemo 1
219fps
with soundcard
176fps

soundcards kill =-[...oh well its 5.1 digital =-]..

good luck man it sounds like you will have a kick ass system
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 18, 2001 11:39:09 PM

I have Abit mobo's ranging from a P133 to a PII350 to a ABIT-KT7-Raid Tbird. I can tell you one thing: Softmenu!! it is the best way to overclock. AND you get onboard ide raid whitch i happen to like and use very much.

Sure ASUS is beginning to offer boards that *can* go OC as high as an Abit but it just doesnt compare. Abit has been releasing mobo's for OC'ers since the beginning. They test their rigs to go above and beyond.

If that's not enough to convince you that Abit is the best then let me reccommend them personally.

Btw, wait half a month and get the KR7-Raid, it beats all the boards you're looking at right now.

:eek:  <font color=blue>I for one run Quake 3 on a P133(No MMX)</font color=blue>I have no affiliatioin w/ Intel
September 19, 2001 2:04:20 AM

Go for Abit KG7.

All the boards have the same chipset, so the 686B + SB 5.1 compability issues will possibly aply to everyone of them.

Abit has prove to be the fastest and the easiest-highest to overclock. That's all.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 19, 2001 11:46:57 AM

I'm havin' great luck with KG7-Raid.

I can't say that means all that much since I am not experienced with the other ones, but for what it's worth...

PS: The news about Micron RAM in this thread is new to me. It does seem to go along with my experiences so far. I have Micron RAM and don't seem to be able to OC my FSB more than a couple MHz without instabilities... (I don't have enough experience to know what to blame the limitations of my system's ability to OC as far as many I see in here, but this makes sense with the symptoms I get on stability testing with higher speed settings)
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 19, 2001 6:53:55 PM

he bames, why don't you use a raid controller card. Or will it not perform good?
September 19, 2001 6:59:48 PM

I think it would. Believe me, the thought have crossed my mind a couple of times. Unfortunatly i don not have the 120 bucks which the controller approxemetly costs here in Denmark. :-(

My name is Jond, Bames Jond.

My ACPI incompatible network adapter killed my SB Live!
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2001 9:54:57 AM

Hi all,

GungaDin19, I'm also trying to make this decision. I had opted for the GA-7DXR as I don't have a sound card, it's also a bit cheaper over here (UK). This will be my first attempt at upgrading (from a PII 400), so I'm also worried about getting a board where I will struggle to get it all to work.

I think, like me, you worry too much about getting the best. They both seem to be good mobo's but people on this board seem to love the KG7 Raid. Also, the support here is great so any problems you get you have a good chance of finding the solution to.

If money wasn't such an issue, I'd go for the Abit.

I am intruiged to know more about the KR7 Raid though, any more info or links AlphaSan?

J
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2001 8:54:48 PM

Just want to make sure there's no misinformation propagating here, or that I'm the one who's misinformed! ;) 

Aren't the SDR/DDR SDRAM sold by crucial.com made by Micron Technology? One and the same, I believe.

Lance
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2001 9:03:32 PM

I know Corsair uses Micron. Just looked at the Crucial site (www.crucial.com) and they're not tellin'
September 21, 2001 5:42:00 AM

As a heads up, not all Corsair modules use Micron chips. The use of chips is actually pretty diverse. Some companies like Mushkin actually tell you in advance who's chips they are using on each PCB. Using Mushkin as an example, they make 4 different models of PC2100 DIMMs and each uses a different series of chips from different manufacturers. You should research this issue thoroughly before committing to any RAM as YES, there are differences not only in performance, but stability as well. Some modules work better with some boards. We prefer to simply buy the best for resale. Usually (...please note that word... )the hand picked Mushkin or Corsair modules. We avoid (like the plague) Kensington or any other "value RAM" product. Cheap Cheap Cheap.... The old saying, "You get what you pay for" is especially true in today's RAM market.

Steve Benoit


Stable Technologies
'The way IT should be!'
!