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It's down to two; help me decide...

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 5, 2001 2:21:50 AM

OK, my extensive research on current motherboards has
filtered down to two runners-up; help me decide the
winner for my upgrade. I'm getting an Athlon XP 1500+
and 256MB ECC RAM (what is ECC, anyway?). I'm now trying
to decide between the two following boards:

Soyo DRAGON+ (KT266A chipset)
Elite K7S5A (SiS 735 chipset)

I gather from Tom's reviews that the KT266A set is the
current leader among chipsets, but the Elite is ~$80
cheaper than the Soyo, so if the performance difference
is trivial I'll take that money and put it into more
RAM. Anyone know how big the performance gap is? Also,
in Tom's reviews, they used an Athlon 1200, not an Athlon
XP, in the Elite board. Anyone know how well the Elite
handles the XP? Is the Soyo board better for temperature
monitoring/management?

Thanks for any help!

More about : decide

December 5, 2001 2:37:36 AM

the ECS smokes with the athlon xp.
not literally smoking, as in heat/fire....
my friend had the same processor as i did, the athlon 900, on the ecs, and then he decided to do some massive upgrading...
he bought an athlon xp 1600+, a 120gig wd hd, and another 256 megs of ddr, which is REALLY cheap right now...
his system is SOOOOOO fast...
the only difference btwn my system and his is he has a bigger hard drive, but mine is faster, he has an athlon xp 1600+, and he has an extra 256 megs of ddr..
i would suggest the k7s5a, and another 256 megs of ddr...
you will be very pleased with the performance, and the stability.
as long as you dont get a rev.4 board.
those seem to be where most of the problems come from.
i have a rev.5...
but i have had the rev.3 (NO problems, other than the onboard lan died on me)
i had the rev.4 (which worked just as great, but then i thought i fried something, which it ended up i didnt, but i had already returned it)
and now i have the rev.5 board.
and this one is working just as great as the others.
my friend has the rev.3, he bought his at the same time as i did.
i have worked with 4 different ECS k7s5a's, and they have all been great...(minus the rev.3 i had with the faulty onboard lan)
and fry's electronics said that the board is a very reliable and stable board...and they were using it as a test bed for their return area...meaning that when people brought computers in, and were saying that there was a problem, they would try the components out on the ecs.
great board overall.
and the pcb is black, looks sweet as hell!
the only other board that i think looks as cool is the msi boards that have the red pcb...
looks way cooler than just plain old yellow or green.
but that isnt the only reason to buy something like this...because it looks cool.
you have to look at performance...and this thing performs.
like right now, i just benched the memory, with this window open (IE explorer), morpheus, downloading stuff, and the anti virus real time scan running....and i got an 1134/1098 (int/float)
that aint a bad score in my eyes..
and my friends xp get wayy higher...and we both have generic (most likely CL3) 2100ddr.

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
December 5, 2001 3:08:39 AM

hehe, how many boards was it for you? 2 or 3? and you still recommend it? glutton for punishment i guess :lol: 
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December 5, 2001 3:13:41 AM

Two different people I talked to have the Soyo Dragon Plus and each liked it and would not trade for any other board. I am awaiting the Dragon Ultra, if I can wait a little while lonnnngggggeeeeerrrrrr. I am really getting impatient and may opt for the Plus.
I will see how my "little" computer upgrade project goes with a refurbed Newegg Gigabyte GA-DX7 ($45) and a Duron ($38). If I can squeek thru that without too many problems using only downloads, then I may go skinflint and use refurb AMD 761 on my "big" computer too, instead of waiting forever on the Dragon Ultra. The AMD 761 in the ABIT KG7 is the one I am refering to. I have heard the AMD 761 is a nicer overclocker and stable to boot (heh). That is, than the VIA.
Oh well, Good Luck, and I would go with the Dragon.
Take-Out

"We killed OUR Hitler" - attributed to Paul McCartney (If so, then well done, sir)
December 5, 2001 3:21:50 AM

well, that was three, but it would have been two, had i figured that i didnt need to take the second back.
that one was my fault.
and the first one i dont know what caused that....ecs hadnt heard anything about anyone else having that problem with the board, neither had fry's.
no one had heard of an onboard lan dying without the mobo dying.
AND, NONE of the motherboards had problems with memory errors.
sooo...since one time, i didnt even have to return the board, and the other time, it was a problem that hadnt been reported yet, i think that the board is still recommendable.
it works great, and you cant beat the cost.....
and these boards have been selling like hot cakes..
fry's has three HUGE stacks of them on the shelf...like we are talking three 6' tall stacks!
that is a lot of motherboards...and the ones that are down on the shelf are constantly being picked up by customers.
so i think that there is a high number of people with problems, but there is an even higher number of people out there with good boards, that are quite happy with their mobo.


-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
December 5, 2001 4:26:45 AM

Dude, I hope you're right about it. I'm thinking of using it for a couple of computers I'm gonna build for a friend and my cousin. I was gonna get it from Newegg, but did you get yours from the Fry's in Burbank? I wonder if I should just get it from there. Hmm...

Please check out <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/btvillarin/" target="_new">My Website</A> - last updated 12/4/01
December 5, 2001 5:26:29 AM

got mine from the fry's in woodland hills.
that is the only one i have been to.
and if the boards that you get are the ones that are bad, which is very unlikely, fry's is pretty good about returning them...at least they were with me.
the only time they gave me a problem was because they thought that i wanted to get my money back, but then i said that i wanted to just trade it for another of the same exact thing.
and then they were all cool.
but i am not the only person who praises this board as being a value.
the price should be the same at the burbank one.
they might even have a bundle deal going, like an athlon with the k7s5a.
they had an athlon xp 1600+ with the k7s5a for about the same i paid for the k7s5a and an athlon 900, only a week and a half after i bought mine!!!!!
that kinda pissed me off, but there was nothing i could do about it.
oh well.
if they have a good deal going, then i would say go for it.
fry's is pretty good sometimes with their deals and such.

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 20, 2001 3:08:11 PM

i'd go with the sonyo board main reason being that it has a via chipset. as far as i am concerned, anything made by SIS completley sucks.
December 20, 2001 3:37:00 PM

Don't get ECC ram. It stands for error checking and correcting. And it will slow your performance a little. And unless your working with very critical data, it's completely useless. Stick with non-ecc for maximum performance.
December 20, 2001 6:45:53 PM

Don't listen to that david guy, he's a VIA whore.
You wouldn't notice the performance difference between the two in everyday apps....only during benchmarks would you see the marginal performance lead by VIA board. Save yourself the $80 and buy a better graphics card or more RAM (or you can just send the money to me).
BTW-Anything made by VIA sucks!

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
December 20, 2001 6:57:49 PM

And Stick_e_Mouse is an SiS whore :)  J/k

BTW, don't ever trust anyone who can't speel correctly. Er- spell corectely. Never mind.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
December 20, 2001 8:23:03 PM

Ah. Getting all nit-picky, are we?
BTW--I'm nobody's whore! I see things the way they are!
At least I don't give recommendations on parts just because I own them! =)

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
December 20, 2001 8:43:17 PM

I just thought it was funny that you said he's Via's whore, then you went on to say "Anything by Via sucks". And I didn't even realize you'd misspelled something until after I made that post :) 

Why shouldn't I recommend things when I own them? If I own several different varieties of something, do I not have a right to recommend the one I think is best?

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
December 20, 2001 9:11:08 PM

>>I just thought it was funny that you said he's Via's whore, then you went on to say "Anything by VIA sucks."
In case you didn't get it, I was just mocking the guy.

>>Why shouldn't I recommend things when I own them?
Your probably right on this one. Its just that I see too many kiddies saying you should buy X because i bought it too! It's the best! It kicks everything else's ass! It's better than slice bread!....You get the point.

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
December 20, 2001 9:55:14 PM

I try to only say "I've had good experience with this." or "I've used this, this and this, and this was the best."
But I totally know what you mean. The Sound Card forum is usually the worst, with ycs recommending the Santa Cruz to everyone, without even explaining anything about it. He's never even used one...
Or lapdog, who owns stock in Creative Labs. Mysteriously, he recommends only the Audigy. Wonder why...

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 1:30:50 AM

i'd go with the ECS board main reason being that it has an SiS chipset. as far as i am concerned, anything made by VIA completley sucks

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 2:04:25 AM

I don't get a lot of the K7s5a boards returned.. I'm happy with mine own that I use. A colleague of mine uses three of em.. no probs on various OSs. It's been a very good board for the money. SIS did something good.

***check the jumpers 1st then check em again***
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 2:08:33 AM

Yes, it's a good design. But they do have a higher than normal defect rate. Probably around 10%. And those defects are covered under warantee. Good value.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 2:14:26 AM

not from my RMA dept

***check the jumpers 1st then check em again***
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 2:14:28 AM

not from my RMA dept

***check the jumpers 1st then check em again***
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 3:10:49 AM

2/3 of my PC-Chips boards have had bad keyboard connectors.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 3:11:23 AM

2/3 of my PC-Chips boards have had bad keyboard connectors.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 5:50:52 AM

what's that got to do with SIS?..

***check the jumpers 1st then check em again***
December 21, 2001 8:25:59 AM

PC-Chip uses the same k7s5a motherboard by ECS, just under a different name--or something like that.

See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/stick_e_mouse" target="_new">here</A>!!!
December 21, 2001 1:32:12 PM

word of warning...

a freind of mine had a dud soyo mobo on delivery.
it was replaced with a second dud.

was then replaced with an epox which worked fine.

that was NOT a ringing endorsement for a soyo mobo.


- Know thyself
- Seek
- Love
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a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2001 2:34:33 PM

What Stick-e-mouse said.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
December 22, 2001 1:10:50 AM

proof it.. give me a pcchips link to that board that as you say is "same k7s5a motherboard by ECS, just under a different name--or something like that". I don't like to see a company's name get associated with PCCrap boards just because they are lower cost no frills. PCChips has a lacky quality control. If they didn't, I wouldn't mind pushing their (L)ow (M)anufacturing (R)eproduction boards. I move about 25-50 or more ECS k7s5a boards a week depending on stock availability (this does not include the other ECS models we sell). This is a hot board meaning when were out there is no ETA status. I have a low return rate considering the amount of boards we're moving.

***check the jumpers 1st then check em again***
a b V Motherboard
December 22, 2001 2:56:13 AM

All I saw was a webpage showing PC Chips to be a distributor for ECS. They use the same design, several people have shown evidence that they're manufactured on the same line. I'm not totally sure. But enough people have gotten a bad unit in here (later replaced by a perfect unit) that I have to say that they do in all likelyhood have a similar problem with quality controll.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
!