No motherboard knowledge, need some help please

Hello, I just registered here because everyone seems pretty knowledgeable (sp?) and everyone at the computer stores has been telling me different things, so I want to be sure I am not being sold something I don't need.

My hubby and I are going to purchase a new computer next weekend, well just the tower and inside components actually. I know a little bit about everything except motherboards. Is the motherboard for a 1.5G CPU different than one for a 1.7G CPU? I need one that will be able to eventually be upgraded to a 2G CPU. Also my husband is very into Evercrack I mean Quest and so he wants a Soundblaster Live Gamer or MP3 card and a GeForce 2 video card, so we need a motherboard that will be compatible with those. Also I'm confused between the RDRam and the new DDRRam. I was told the RDRam has to go in sets, so we'd have to get minimum 256. True or False? Also which Ram is better and why? Which motherboard manufacturer is the best and why? My hubby wants to go for speed and clarity, my only want is a big hard drive, this 6.4 sucks.

Thanks in advance for your help!


Time is never wasted when you're wasted all the time.
7 answers Last reply
More about motherboard knowledge please
  1. 1 - You're considering buying a Pentium 4 CPU (socket 423).

    2 - The P4 mobo will support from 1.3 GHz to 2 GHz CPUs - there is no difference in the mobo, just the CPU multiplier. Although upgrading to 2G would improve your performance, by the time you start thinking in upgrading 2G will seem way too slow. The socket 423 mobo will not be compatible with the next generation of P4 so count your upgrade path as very short.

    3 - Both the SoundBlaster and GF2 card are compatible with all reputable modern motherboards.

    4 - All current P4 motherboards are RDRAM only. They have to be installed in pairs therefore, although you could install only 128 MB (2 x 64 MB RIMMs), this would not be a good decision - modern OSs and programs like much memory - 256 MB (2 x 128 MB) is a better choice. Whether RDRAM or DDRAM is better is a matter of great discussion (and very irrational on the behalf of some participants :wink: ), but IMHO the much lower price of DDRAM gives it a definitive advantage. Anyway, as you're are buying a P4 platform it is a moot point, as, for now, you're RDRAM bound.

    5 - MSI, ASUS and Abit are good motherboard manufacturers. Of course that there other good ones.

    6 - Finally, a small (probably unneeded) information - the higher clock rate of P4 doesn't translate necessarily into better performance than its AMD counterparts. A 1.4 Ghz Athlon beats every but the fastest P4 (the 2 Ghz) in most applications.

    How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise
  2. If you can wait 1-2 weeks, new boards for the pentium 4 socket 478 and the via kt266a boards for the Amd thunderbird will be out. Right now, the socket 478 selection is limited to the Abit TH7-II, which is about $190. The newer via chipset for the athlon looks very promising. Rdram is still the fastest memory, but more expensive, and you have to run it in pairs on the p4 motherboards. As was pointed out to you, socket 423 pentium 4 boards have no upgradability, but dealers are closing them out, and the price may be more attractive. With pentium 4, you need a different power supply with the 12 volt plug. But if you buy a barebones setup, it will come with it. I would check pricewatch for system specials. The 1.7 socket 423 systems are coming way down in price. But I will give you one warning, do not buy any pentium 4 system that uses the new intel 845 chipset with sdram memory. Those systems are about 20% slower than the rambus memory systems.
  3. If I were you, I would wait on the socket 478 P4's to come out. They are making a socket 478 1.7 ghz P4. Just my opinion, but I would also wait on asus' P4T-E mobo. It will support socket 478 and RDRAM. Another suggestion, If I were you I would go ahead and get a 1.8 ghz P4, as there is only about $60 difference. Oh yea, don't let anyone talk you into a sdram board for the P4. Its kinda like putting a 4 cylinder in a corvette. Before I did that, I would go with an AMD. Anyone who would buy an SDRAM P4 board is being very foolish because the whole idea behind it is make the P4 systems more affordable. If Im looking for affordable, an AMD system would still be cheaper than a P4/sdram solution and probably perform just as well. Just wait a couple of weeks for the P4T-E and get a 478 socket P4 proc. If you would like to look other Manufacturers' boards, just look for i850 chipset, stay away from i845 as it is an SDRAM supporting chipset. Hope that helps a little.

    There are two theories to arguing with women........neither of which work.
  4. Christ, there are always these kinds of responses. Wait for this, wait for that. There is always one more big thing just around the corner and if I were you, I'd wait for it. Christ.

    Anyway, I'd advise that you ditch the P4. It is overpriced, and the Athlon will smoke it in most every situation you may find yourself in. Also, bear in mind that the only real difference between the different Soundblaster cards (Value, X-Gamer, etc.) is the software that comes bundled with it. Make sure you pick up a 5.1, also.

    Other than that, best of luck.

    Tool of choice for computer repair: hatchet.
  5. You should wait for a DDR based P4 motherboard to come out.
    Don't even think about getting an SD-RAM based P4 motherboard.
    If you want to go the Athlon way, you should wait for Asus or another top-tier motherboard maker releases a SiS735 based motherboard. The ASUS A7S266 should be out in a month or so (I hope), so you might want to wait for that.
    I am personally waiting for that motherboard myself. The SiS735 chipset looks way more promising than any current VIA chip.
    You should either wait for a DDR based motherboard for the Pentium 4 or wait for a top-tier motheroboad maker, like Asus, to release a SiS735 based motherboard for the Athlon.

    See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="" target="_new">here</A>!!!
  6. Who's idea was it to get the P4? yours or the salesman..
    if youre thinking of upgrading from 1.5 to 2 itll be outdated by a long shot in 2 years. if youre not set on what brand you have to get and are having the system built for you maybe you should consider a cheaper processor and a faster hard drive and a better graphics card, that is where you would notice most of your performance gain.
  7. My advice is simple. Dont buy an Intel P4. If you are going to buy a system right now buy a AMD Athlon 1.4GigHz with a good MB (from MSI, Abit, ASUS or Gigabyte)and with 256MB of ram. You might consider as well another sound card like the Santa Cruz as their have been some isues with the Live and the Via southbridge(used in most current socket A boards). You will get much more bang for your buck with this system.

    Hope it helps.


    Why do I use LINUX ? Cause its the BEST OS
    Why do I use Windows? Cause its the BEST Nintendo..
Ask a new question

Read More

Motherboards CPUs