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Best 266MHz XP mobo?

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 7, 2001 8:43:40 AM

So chaps.

Thinking about upgrading with a new mobo/cpu/ram combo and can't decide on mobo so i thought i'd start a discussion on the subject, i'm sure there are others in the same quandry.

Up till now, my 1st choice has been the GA-7DXR, its got lots of extras (including a dual bios, which is nice) and gigabyte have always been good to me.

I want something 266MHz compat (since its all getting pretty cheap and i can get the cpu and RAM for like £80!), but i want it XP compatible too for the future.

But then I hear about this new Nvidia nforce chipset. Although no mobo's are available in the UK yet with it, i'm prepared to wait if its worth it.

Then I start thinking about Asus for quality and my head starts hurting.

Be very interested to know what you guys think.

Cheers

<b>If it were up to me, twinings would make coffee</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by elphls on 11/07/01 02:41 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : 266mhz mobo

a c 435 V Motherboard
November 7, 2001 10:18:46 PM

I'm using the shuttle ak31 version 3.1, and the performance is very good. I had to use the cmos jumper to get it to boot up with the xp, but no problems after that. It will run at 145 fsb, but with 2 different brands of ddram, I set it back to 138 for better stability. If I had the bucks I would get the Asus A7V 266-E.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 8, 2001 6:04:05 AM

Cheers, hadn't considered that one. Had a look at <A HREF="http://www.asus.com.tw/products/Motherboard/ddr266/a7v2..." target="_new"> the specs </A>. Its got RAID, 100LAN, proAGP, etc.

The only thing that the Gigabyte beats it on is the dual bios. Maybe I don't need it, but i did destroy my GA-71XE six months ago, i think because of a faulty flash prog.

Cheers for the suggestion matey :wink:

<b>The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.</b>
Related resources
November 8, 2001 4:51:11 PM

No arguement that dual BIOS is a nice feature (which only Gigabyte seems to offer), but at this point in time, KT266A is a smarter choice than AMD760. So why not consider <A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/products/7vtxh.htm" target="_new"> this</A>?

<b>God bless the <font color=red>U</font color=red><font color=white>S</font color=white><font color=blue>A</font color=blue></b>
November 8, 2001 8:10:38 PM

There is a lot of manufacturer going to come out with their KT266A offering. I will wait for review from tomshardware before I decided which one to buy.
November 9, 2001 1:53:10 AM

my GA-7VTXH is on its way. i was thinking about the GA-7DXR too but i saw a horde of posts that had it in the title and i thought bugger that...

7VTXH is only missing raid as i can see, and i read somewhere youre a lot better off getting a seperate Raid controller card (and i dont want it yet anyway).

edit:
"but i did destroy my GA-71XE six months ago, i think because of a faulty flash prog." - you might be able to fix that, if its an AMI bios DL the correct flash rom and rename it AMIBOOT.ROM, stick it on a floppy and switch on... should flash the bios, i had to do that on the comp im on now (see a post about a week or two ago by me "beep beep beep comp dead" or something).



"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by DaveGOD on 11/08/01 11:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 9, 2001 9:33:36 AM

pvsurfer: cheers, that's a good alternative. I'll check out if the bios updates are fixing anything important and if not, i don't need them or a dual bios. Flashing scares me since my "incident".

DaveGOD: I sorted it by sending it back to Giga-byte who replaced the bios chip and flashed it with the latest version for me. I'll remember that suggestion for (god forbid) next time though.

I am confused though by <A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/products/7vtxh.htm" target="_new">the giga-byte specs</A>. I must be being stupid, but how come it supports a 266MHz CPU and the bus speed on this board says "FSB adjustable by BIOS up to 161MHz", is it just that i'm forgetting about the multiplier?

<b>The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.</b>
November 9, 2001 6:26:13 PM

im no expert but i think 266 is on the cpu, and the 160 is the mobo bus... different things. i was reading something recently thatd explain it well but no idea where... i think the 160 is normally 100? uh maybe lol

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 10, 2001 11:19:18 PM

Quote:
...how come it supports a 266MHz CPU and the bus speed on this board says "FSB adjustable by BIOS up to 161MHz"

Before OC'ing, the FSB is actually 133MHz, but when 'double-pumped' (DDR) it becomes (in essence) 266MHz.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2001 7:15:44 AM

Yeah, nice board. I especially like the 4 IDE ports. That means I can have my two HDDs, DVD and CDRW all on seperate IDE ports, that should speed up things a bit (especially on-the-fly burning).

I still don't quite get this FSB thing. So, the FSB is at 133, but because the mem is DDR, it goes at 266. But that just means the mem gets written to and from at 266, doesn't necessarily mean the FSB can handle 266 transactions between that memory and the CPU for instance.

Is my logic flawed?

<b>The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.</b>
November 12, 2001 8:40:44 AM

The new 266A Abit board is a full $100 more then the others. Might as well just get an Epox then, since the whole idea of getting an AMD is to get max speed while saving $$$.
November 12, 2001 9:04:13 AM

Here's a short explanation of the DDR thing... Normally, memory sends signals at a rate of one per clock cycle. This is refered to as SDR (Single Data Rate). DDR is an old technology that's just now being applied to the desktop computer. With DDR (Double Data Rate) the memory sends signals on the rise AND fall of the clock cycle. So even though the clock says 133MHz, the memory is operating essentially at 266MHz. Does that clear up the confusion a little bit?
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2001 9:08:01 AM

Just seen a post on the cpu area slating the KT266A.

I'm swinging back toward the 7DXR. The <A HREF="http://www.epox.com/html/english/products/motherboard/e..." target="_new">Epox EP-8KHA+</A> seems good, but i've had no experience with Epox boards and it just doesn't have the features of the gigabyte. Plus, i'm still concerned about <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">this post</A>.

<b>The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.</b>
November 12, 2001 9:30:31 AM

I would tend to agree with you on shying away from the Epox. It really doesn't have all that much to offer anyway. Have you looked at the Abit KG7-Raid or KG7-Lite? Those are both great boards also. They're using the AMD761 chipset though instead of KT266A. I personlly like having onboard RAID. It realy speeds things up.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2001 9:42:46 AM

Raskall: IC, that makes it more clear. But i'm still dubious. I can't see how it is an advantage to have the mem running at 266 when it can't be used at that speed cos the buss is at 133, the CPU can't tell it to execute 266 operations a second, so what's the point?

Thanks for the ABit tip, I'm edging toward the <A HREF="http://www.abit-usa.com/eng/product/mb/kr7a-raid.htm" target="_new">KR7A-RAID</A> now, looks like a heck of a board!

<b>I never <i>was</i> that good with hardware theory</b> :eek: 
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2001 9:48:11 AM

ps.

Has anyone actually <i>got</i> one of these mobos and is running XP on it? It'd be nice to know that they are currently compatible as i've seen a few stories of incompatibility. They seem like individual mobo unit problems, but just in case. Anyone?

<b>I never <i>was</i> that good with hardware theory</b> :eek: 
November 12, 2001 10:09:44 AM

A little more on DDR. Maybe this will help a little more... This is where the North and South bridge come into play. The North bridge is the one your CPU and memory is on (also called frontside bus). By speeding it up, you're letting the CPU move the information from the L1/2 cache (which is just temporary storage)to the main memory. Normally, there's a bottle neck when the CPU has done tons of calculating, because it needs to wait for clear cache to store the results of calculations in. So by speeding up the FSB, the cache can move stuff to memory faster, preventing the CPU from needing to wait for cache to open up.. Clear as mud? =)

You can't go wrong with Abit. Enjoy your upgrade.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2001 11:14:57 AM

Ok, I think I see. So the CPU works at 266MHz, the mem works at 266MHz and the FSB is (in old speak) a 133 (which is what the manuf quotes) but it actually <i>is</i> 266, because its able to shift data twice in every clock cycle?

So why don't the manuf start quoting FSB speeds of 266?

Cheers for the luck

IF(fix_car)<=£400
fix_car;
buy_mobo;
ELSE fix_car;
cry;
END

<b>I never <i>was</i> that good with hardware theory</b> :eek: 
November 12, 2001 12:38:10 PM

Lol, that's a nice little function... The reason they don't say it's a 266Mhz bus is that the bus is still only clocked at 133Mhz. So is the the memory and CPU technically. If you imagine the clock as making a sign wave (up down up down) normally the CPU just sends stuff to momory on the "up". With DDR it's sending stuff on the "up" and "down", but the clock is still beating at the same pace, hence it's still 133Mhz.

IF(fix_car)<=£400
fix_car;
buy_mobo;
ELSE buy_mobo;
buy_more_memory;
walk_to_work;
END

;) 
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2001 4:37:26 PM

LOL, 10 miles is walkable, but i'm not sure i'd keep this marvelous belly!

<b>I never <i>was</i> that good with hardware theory</b> :eek: 
November 12, 2001 6:55:18 PM

Yeah, the Abit board looks good...but as I said before, it's like $199. Search for it on Pricewatch.

If you're gonna spend that much, might as well get a nForce board that comes with the best sound card out there. Not like you can hear much difference with it though, but still...it's one less thing to buy.

yea.
November 12, 2001 10:30:54 PM

i have the gigabyte ga-7vtx-p w/ xp1700(volcano 6cu). it's a nice setup, i like it. the only thing i would like is a bit more features in the bios, more contorl over pnp, acpi. personally the only board that looks to be coming out or is out with the kt266a that i would take over this is maybe, maybe asus's a7v266-e. but this is setup fine, so i ain't gonna touch it.

well if luck is a lady, it explains why i have no luck :frown:
November 12, 2001 11:54:15 PM

Bgates: If you're gonna spend that much, might as well get a nForce board that comes with the best sound card out there. Not like you can hear much difference with it though, but still...it's one less thing to buy.
I'm waiting for people to say me that, nForce finally doesn't differentiate a great deal from other chipsets, to spent my money on Abit. But I hope to be wrong ;) 
A.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 13, 2001 1:06:02 AM

What is the difference between kt266a and nforce chipset? which is better?
for the kt266a, my choice is Abit or Asus.



I know Intel is good, but I have no money. So I love AMD.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 13, 2001 6:28:45 AM

NForces arn't out in blighty yet and probably won't be until Q1_2002.

If I buy, it won't be till then anyway, so I may, but i'm assuming the retail price of a board with integrated GeForce Video is going to be steep. But then I need to upgrade my Geforce 256 DDR anyway.

How much they selling for?

<b>I never <i>was</i> that good with hardware theory</b> :eek: 
November 13, 2001 6:48:24 AM

Um, they're out this week...$185. The onboard graphics kind of outdated, a GF2. You'd be essentially buying the motherboard for the sound card.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 13, 2001 7:38:29 AM

Let's push Tom's to do full test for all kt266a motherboard, ok? I really want to know which is best?
If you agree, please follow the post.

I had seen from some sites that Epox 8KHA+ is good. Is it right?

I know Intel is good, but I have no money. So I love AMD.
November 13, 2001 7:41:38 AM

Yeah, supposedly the Epox is good.

I'm looking at the Shuttle 266A board right now...only $81 (bout 20-30 cheaper then Epox). So that's looking better.

Yea, I need someone to guide my confused ass.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bgates on 11/13/01 04:42 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 13, 2001 8:27:33 AM

If the NForce only has a Geforce2 on it, its probably not worth it. Know what G2 it is?

<b>I never <i>was</i> that good with hardware theory</b> :eek: 
November 13, 2001 8:34:12 AM

Hey, I got a 56k connection here....go look it up on this site yourself, it's around here somewhere!

Point is...it's a decent card, but it's outdated. It may be faster then a normal Gf2 though, since it's intergrated with Nvidia's special thingy's.

-¤ Shut the f**k up or go AMD! ¤-
November 13, 2001 8:41:58 AM

Looks like it'll cost a pretty penny.

-¤ Shut the f**k up or go AMD! ¤-
November 13, 2001 10:24:51 PM

luofei:
What is the difference between kt266a and nforce chipset? which is better?
Well, the people are right here, the most interesting feature is audio engine. But not only because it's good. With 8 voices it utilizes three times less CPU than a SB Live and forteen times less with 32 voices. No IRQ use. Same for onboard LAN. The cool thing could also be the unique operation to install/update four different parts (audio, video, Ethernet, chipset) and get a reasonable hope for general compatibility.
November 13, 2001 10:49:02 PM

Don't know yet, we'll have to wait for a review.

-¤ Shut the f*ck up or go AMD ¤-
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 14, 2001 12:52:14 AM

Alexis,
I have seen nforce's features from some websites.
It integrates video,audio and ethernet. But the video is Geforce2 only. What a pity!
Nvidia is a good company on VIDEO. So the most attractive things shall be: give us a best solution for integration of chipset and video. That is enough!
My wish is: nforce quality= kt266a+Geforce3 or higher
But the price: nforce << kt266a+Geforce3 or higher

Do you agree?

I know Intel is good, but I have no money. So I love AMD.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 14, 2001 1:02:16 AM

Told by others, if you choose Epox 8KHA+, you must refresh your bios with latest one. And some boards maybe not compatible with your some hardware. It is up to your luck.

I know Intel is good, but I have no money. So I love AMD.
November 14, 2001 2:22:55 AM

I thought the NForce was going to have a GF3 on it? Maybe I'm just remembering wrong though... Either way, I really don't like integrated anything. I upgrade and change my system so much, it's just a hassle to have to disable the onboard stuff. I guess it's all personal preference.

I'd really like to see Tom do a comparison of 3 or 4 KT266a boards vs some NForce boards. It would be interesting to see who comes out on top.


<b>Computers are really simple... once you can speak binary</b> :wink:
November 15, 2001 2:16:32 AM

Paradoxically, video is not nForce's hottest feature and should be disabled by most of the gamers. Personnaly, I'd replace it by a dual-monitoring Matrox card. And of course, a comparison article from Tom's is highly awaited.
November 15, 2001 5:29:44 AM

Hmmm maybe I misread something. I thought the strength of the NForce chipset was in the extra speed made possible by all the integrated components... if not, what's NForce good at?

<b>Computers are really simple... once you can speak binary</b> :wink:
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 15, 2001 11:12:34 PM

How about the SIS745?

I know Intel is good, but I have no money. So I love AMD.
November 16, 2001 12:00:49 AM

i thought there was going to be two versions of nforce initially, one with the good sound and one with ok sound, but not proper dolby 5.1. on top of this there are OPTIONS (that most manuf arent taking) such as some network thing that can use your home phone sockets as a LAN, plus eithernet and some others on board. also a lot of boards are basically baby-AT. graphics are -im told- GF2 MX 400.

I have to ask why bother, really should be GF3Ti200, only then is it truly worth the graphics. Also it is meant to be expensive, UK£180 was what somebody said. you can get almost any mobo u like plus a good sound card for that. I note a lack of RAID too, and wheres USB2...i expect an updated version with better graphics and maybe raid/usb too will appear not TOO long afterwards - presuming nVidia apply their usual regular big performance jumps anyway.

- i could well be wrong with regard to all of that.

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 16, 2001 4:51:53 AM

That is a pretty cool one, but only 3 DDR slots... Need all 4 to be a great board...

<b>Computers are really simple... once you can speak binary</b> :wink: ~ me
November 16, 2001 6:12:48 AM

4 for what? can't put anything in 4 that you can't put in 2 or maybe 3. if i ever got to the point i had to use the fourth slot, i'd be upgrading by then anyways.

well if luck is a lady, it explains why i have no luck :frown:
November 16, 2001 7:54:03 AM

Nice board, but it'll probably cost $200. That is if money is a factor for you.

But seriously, why not get a 266A chipset when it's proven to be the fastest of all the AMD chipsets.

-¤ Shut the f*ck up or go AMD ¤-
November 16, 2001 1:35:44 PM

And What u guys think about this ALI chipsets??
Are they good??
November 17, 2001 12:06:03 AM

raskall: Hmmm maybe I misread something. I thought the strength of the NForce chipset was in the extra speed made possible by all the integrated components... if not, what's NForce good at?
It's good to have choice. Not everybody needs high end graphics though demands for speed and stability. For the people who don't use two monitors, the onboard video should be OK.
November 17, 2001 12:36:42 AM

a central performace booster of the nforce is it has double bandwidth on memory thanks to twinbank thing, faster archetecture (not so much more mhz but faster DESIGN) and the integrated lan and sound means theyre a touch quicker plus use less cpu time. the onboard graphics im told are essntially GF2 MX 400 but due to being wired in theres less of the bandwidth problem. i still expect graphics capability to be well under a KT266A with GF3Ti200. however remember one of the selling points is meant to be that its easy to disable all onboard items.

as i see it nforce is a fast chipset with good onboard features but needs a addon graphics card. its apparent the thing is intended for gamers, if not the 100% hardcore variety.

but then look at the other advancements nearly here - and some already: faster drr with lower cas, RAID, USB2, ATA133... this sort of stuff will knock off nforce's extra performance quite quickly. it would make a good low cost relative to performance solution IF it had better graphics! it just seems so stupid to be only GF2. and forget about the worst of the two main versions, pants.


toms (old) article on nforce:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/mainboard/01q2/0106041/ind...

"Bring out the dead..."
"I'm not dead yet!"
"Yes you are!"
November 18, 2001 5:59:24 AM

That's what I figured. NVidia has done some really great things with graphics cards, but their NForce doesn't seem to meet the requirements that thier target customers are looking for. It's cool that it's easy to install and everything, but I'd rather just not have the on board components than have to hassle with disabling them... If they would just put better stuff on board, I might consider it... Thanks for the info.

<b>Computers are really simple... once you can speak binary :wink: ~ me</b>
!