Looking for new board: Suggestions?

Hey guys, im looking for a new board, heres my specs:

Win98 SE
Epox 8KHA+
AMD XP 1800+ @ 1.533
3x 256 PC2100 Crucial @ 2.5-3-3
1x *CRASHED* IBM Deckstar 60gxp 40 Gig 7200RPM
1x WD *.crap @ 5400rpm
ATI Radeon 9500np (Currently 3dfx Voodoo 5 5500AGP)
Soundblaster Live
Samsung DVD SD-608
Memorex CRW-1622

Anyway, as soon as i do somemore reasearch on some harddrives, and get a few suggestions from the HD forum, i will know exactly what i need, or can get, but heres what id like for support:

I would like something that supports my 1800+, but can be upgraded to say, a new, low end barton (XP 2500+ 333.) I would also like something that supports my ram, but also an upgrade to Dual Channel PC2700. Something with RAID and Serial ATA support would complete the bill.

That said, and my complete inexperience with any new boards at all, i doubt thats even possible. I just *NEED* a new board here soon, to return my computer to a moderatly stable operating platform. However, i dont want to spend $1500 all in one single blow to do it.

Heres what i figure its going to cost on the main components, roughly:
Motherboard: 150
Processor: 250
2x512 Ram: 300
Harddrives: 350
Power: 75
Cables: 50
Cooler: 75

So you can see why id rather take steps in building it, by migrating my platform to a new motherboard, and upgrading one component at a time.

Any suggestions from you guys would be appreciated. I hear the NForce chipset is supposed to be a real leader over the others. Ive never overclocked before, but something with the option couldnt hurt any either.

If you guys can spare the time, or some info for me, it would mean alot.

3 answers Last reply
More about looking board suggestions
  1. Okay, well I take it your Epoxy board is crapping out, so the first part you probably want to look into is a good new motherboard. The Nforce2 platform is currently the premier chipset to use for AMD, so i'm going to reccomend that. If you need to get some Raid and serial ata, you're stuck to 3 ide channels max and 2 sata channels (none of the Nforce2 boards can to parallel ata raid). My suggestion would be an MSI K7N2G-ISLR, it has sata raid, 1 extra parallel ide connector, on board ethernet, and pretty much all the features you need (plus the added video build in for backup if you want it)

    For overclocking a processor, at the moment, the champ for AMD is the 1700+ Throroughbred B, which starts at 1.46Ghz, but can usually do anywhere from 2.1 to 2.4Ghz on air cooling. Mine is doing 2.4Ghz at 166bus with an Alpha Pal8045t heatsink and a 2200 rpm Coolermaster 80mm fan. I highly reccomend one, with 2 sticks of Pc3200 or Pc3500 Corsair XMS Ddr.

    Hard drives, Western Digital, Maxtor, or Seagate are the way to go.

    Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
  2. I do suspect its the board.. another thing is, ive just basicaly outgrown it. I new to RAID, and even more so to serial ATA, but with a recent harddrive crash, i might as well replace it with one of the best and most secure drive setups i can get right?

    Looking at that board, it looks like there are 3 IDE channels. I am not familiar with the SATA connector yet, and the only picture i have of tha board is quite small, so i cant identify them. You say im stuck to 3 IDE channels + 2 SATA channels: 3 ATA channels would equal 6 IDE + 2 SATA devices? I dont have any problem with being stuck with more than i can do right now. :P

    You say none of the Nforce2 boards can PATA RAID Im afraid i am not familiar with what you are refering to in that case. Can you please elaborate? Or am i to assume that these boards do not offer single channel (2 device) ATA-RAID (That would be a nice feature too, but not necessary i suppose if i had SATA RAID)

    Is this the ONLY board that offers Nforce & SATA+RAID? I can find a bunch of other boards, but none of them list specificaly that they support RAID, even tho Tom's has reviewed some of them, and says they do.. They all seem to be ATA-RAID however. Im a bit confused.

    I suppose i could stick with this board, for some reason i have a bad feeling about it, even tho it has lots of nice features. Pricewatch only had one listing for this board.. surely more companies are selling it?

    Anyway, im doing the research, but any help you can provide would be great. I can look at articles all day long, but some feedback from live people does tend to sway ones decisions.


    EDIT: After looking at availability and pricing of SATA drives, it is not out of the question that i might stay with IDE driven models for a bit longer. Depending on what kinds of prices i can find. Currently only one place sells a 6Y120M0 DiamondMax Plus 9, and its selling for nearly $200. But then again, all of the other preformance ATA drives are selling for 150-175. The question as always, is how deep is ones pockets.

    A great harddrive dosnt really make my experience any more enjoyable, not by a very noticable margin anyway, but a cost like that does take one a serious time to recover from.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Ratha on 03/17/03 03:30 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  3. yeah, the only real problem with the Nforce2 boards is they can't do regular Ata raid (parallel, being Ata100/133, ect hard drives), they can only do serial Ata raid. The other boards that can do this kind of sata raid is the Abit NF7-S and the Asus A7N8X (I think the Chaintech might be able to, i'm not sure, the 7NJS). If you really want to save some money though, get an Nforce2 board and a PCI 2 channel raid card if you "need" raid. They're not too expensive ($60-100) and you can increase the number of hard drives you can use. plenty of companies sell the board, just look around, and use resellerratings.com

    Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
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