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several A8N-SLI Deluxe pre-purchase questions

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 3, 2005 3:56:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I'm finally thinking about upgrading (my AMD750 is finally getting flaky) so
I've just started looking at Toms Hardware, AnandTech, etc. to see what the
current technology is. Looks like I should get a 939 MB (I want to stick
with AMD) and the A8N-SLI Deluxe looks fairly nice. I doubt any of my old
components would be of much use other than a recently acquired CD/DVD
burner, so the rest of what I buy will be new too (2 Gig ram, new PSU, etc)

So, here are my questions:

1. I really don't have any need for SLI (dual cards for a single 3-D
output). What I would like is to move to being able to have multiple
monitors because I think that would make my work easier. Does this MB allow
me to have a main card for 3-D games and whatnot, and another cheap card to
power just my office applications in 2-D? The power card would probably also
be used to render video (DVD playback, etc) as well.

2. Is there a certain board revision I should get, at minimum? If I'm
ordering online (newegg, for example) will they let me specify the minimum
board revision I'm willing to accept?

3. What is the current price/performance sweet spot on CPUs for the 939
socket? I'm not planning on overclocking anything, I want a very stable
machine. Also willing to consider a dual-core CPU if they are priced
accordingly with their performance, but my guess is they are too new and
will be above the sweet spot.

4. I've never needed RAID before, don't think I suddenly need it now. Any
issues with just leaving the HD's running as separate drives?

5. I do have a Soundblaster Platinum from some years back- is the sound
system on the MB comparable, or should I plan to switch the SB Platinum over
to the new system? I'm not an audiophile, but I did kinda like having the
midi ports. I could live without them, but if the SB Platinum is better,
that would be one more reason to switch it over to the new box if it even
fits the slots (I don't remember what it is, offhand, but I think it is
PCI).

6. How easy/hard would it be to set the MB up with multiple boot drives, so
when I need to work on older stuff (I have to develop some stuff on
Win98/Office97 for backward compatability, because that is a boatload easier
than me learning how to late bind my VBA code) how would I set it up so I
could /easily/ select what drive to boot from, WinXP Pro on the main drive
and Win98 on an alternate drive? They have to be physically separate drives
because sometimes I take the Win98 HD to another location. Alternative: keep
my old PC in the corner and use it when I have to, with a lot of hassle
switching out cables and stuff.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start assembling the order, but your
answers on these will at least let me know whether I'm making the right MB
choice for my current needs.

Thanks!!
Keith
May 3, 2005 5:15:16 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I have answered some of your questions inline below.
- Tim

"K Ruck" <nospam@nospam.edu> wrote in message
news:u6zde.422$6E.410@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
> I'm finally thinking about upgrading (my AMD750 is finally getting flaky)
> so
> I've just started looking at Toms Hardware, AnandTech, etc. to see what
> the
> current technology is. Looks like I should get a 939 MB (I want to stick
> with AMD) and the A8N-SLI Deluxe looks fairly nice. I doubt any of my old
> components would be of much use other than a recently acquired CD/DVD
> burner, so the rest of what I buy will be new too (2 Gig ram, new PSU,
> etc)

> So, here are my questions:
>
> 1. I really don't have any need for SLI (dual cards for a single 3-D
> output). What I would like is to move to being able to have multiple
> monitors because I think that would make my work easier. Does this MB
> allow
> me to have a main card for 3-D games and whatnot, and another cheap card
> to
> power just my office applications in 2-D? The power card would probably
> also
> be used to render video (DVD playback, etc) as well.

Considered the A8N-E board? It does not have SLI so is bound to be less
expensive. Many graphics cards are dual monitor these days, so rather than 2
cards and the potential issues there keep it simple.

> 2. Is there a certain board revision I should get, at minimum? If I'm
> ordering online (newegg, for example) will they let me specify the minimum
> board revision I'm willing to accept?

> 3. What is the current price/performance sweet spot on CPUs for the 939
> socket? I'm not planning on overclocking anything, I want a very stable
> machine. Also willing to consider a dual-core CPU if they are priced
> accordingly with their performance, but my guess is they are too new and
> will be above the sweet spot.

3500+ Winchester core seems to be the sweet spot for the moment - but shop
around. The dual core 939pin chips won't be out for a while yet and are
likely to be expensive when they first appear. I would leave that as an
excellent future upgrade option.

> 4. I've never needed RAID before, don't think I suddenly need it now. Any
> issues with just leaving the HD's running as separate drives?

No - this is fine.

If you value your data, consider RAID 1 - Mirroring. RAID is not a
substitute for backups. Be aware of the repercussions in terms of RAID
volume accessability if you are running Win98.

> 5. I do have a Soundblaster Platinum from some years back- is the sound
> system on the MB comparable, or should I plan to switch the SB Platinum
> over
> to the new system? I'm not an audiophile, but I did kinda like having the
> midi ports. I could live without them, but if the SB Platinum is better,
> that would be one more reason to switch it over to the new box if it even
> fits the slots (I don't remember what it is, offhand, but I think it is
> PCI).

> 6. How easy/hard would it be to set the MB up with multiple boot drives,
> so
> when I need to work on older stuff (I have to develop some stuff on
> Win98/Office97 for backward compatability, because that is a boatload
> easier
> than me learning how to late bind my VBA code) how would I set it up so I
> could /easily/ select what drive to boot from, WinXP Pro on the main drive
> and Win98 on an alternate drive? They have to be physically separate
> drives
> because sometimes I take the Win98 HD to another location. Alternative:
> keep
> my old PC in the corner and use it when I have to, with a lot of hassle
> switching out cables and stuff.

Consider getting MS Virtual PC (or VMWare) - this enables you to run other
OS inside a virtual machine while running XP . You will need to budget on
RAM usage if you are going to run VPC a lot - say you configure it for 512MB
Ram for Win98, when it is running it will take 512MB out of the Windows RAM
quota. I am not sure of the price of Virtual PC - but it can be purchased
online with download directly off MS and I recall something around $100 US.
Obviously with this option, you would lose the portability of your Win98
system. However if there are few installations, you could have a copy of VPC
at each and simply take the Virtual Disk Drive with you (it is an ordinary
disc file).

Dual booting in itself is not an issue. The best way to get this working is
to install Win98 first to its own HDD then XP - the XP install process will
detect the Win98 install and automatically create a Dual Boot config for
you.

There may be repercussions in that driver support for Win98 is likely to be
scant with such a modern motherboard. You may have difficulty getting
network or sound drivers etc. for Win98. Virtual PC eliminates this issue. I
suggest you do some thorough research on what devices you want to use in
Win98 and what is available. EG there are not likely to be RAID drivers if
you chose this option at a later date.



> I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start assembling the order, but
> your
> answers on these will at least let me know whether I'm making the right MB
> choice for my current needs.
>
> Thanks!!
> Keith
>
>
May 4, 2005 3:05:23 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

In article <u6zde.422$6E.410@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com>, "K Ruck"
<nospam@nospam.edu> wrote:

> I'm finally thinking about upgrading (my AMD750 is finally getting flaky) so
> I've just started looking at Toms Hardware, AnandTech, etc. to see what the
> current technology is. Looks like I should get a 939 MB (I want to stick
> with AMD) and the A8N-SLI Deluxe looks fairly nice. I doubt any of my old
> components would be of much use other than a recently acquired CD/DVD
> burner, so the rest of what I buy will be new too (2 Gig ram, new PSU, etc)
>
> So, here are my questions:
>
> 1. I really don't have any need for SLI (dual cards for a single 3-D
> output). What I would like is to move to being able to have multiple
> monitors because I think that would make my work easier. Does this MB allow
> me to have a main card for 3-D games and whatnot, and another cheap card to
> power just my office applications in 2-D? The power card would probably also
> be used to render video (DVD playback, etc) as well.

Tomshardware tested a two card quad head configuration. The
important thing to note, is the OS recognized the two cards,
meaning you can use two separate video cards in x8/x8 mode.
(Which means the two card hardware config enumerates properly.)
But spanning did not work properly, across the two cards,
which could be a driver issue. You'll have to look in the
private forums, to see if any progress has been made on
this issue.

http://www20.graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20041123...

Many single video cards support dual heads on their own, and that is
the configuration I would try.

>
> 2. Is there a certain board revision I should get, at minimum? If I'm
> ordering online (newegg, for example) will they let me specify the minimum
> board revision I'm willing to accept?

Generally, retailers are not set up for "cherry picking". The
outside of the motherboard box does not show the board revision.
The outside of the box shows a serial number, and the first two
characters are the manufacturing date (i.e. 52 = 2005 Feb). But
when a particular rev. might have started shipping is anyone's
guess. My solution to this, is to buy the motherboard from a
local computer store, and have them open the box and verify.
When I needed a rev.5 P4B motherboard, that is what I did.

For revision info, you'll need to visit the private forums.
Try a search for "A8N-SLI" on altavista.com and that will
lead to many of the private forums. I know that revision 1.02
exists, but it might have been the first shipping revision.
There might not have been a 1.01 .

> ...
> 5. I do have a Soundblaster Platinum from some years back- is the sound
> system on the MB comparable, or should I plan to switch the SB Platinum over
> to the new system? I'm not an audiophile, but I did kinda like having the
> midi ports. I could live without them, but if the SB Platinum is better,
> that would be one more reason to switch it over to the new box if it even
> fits the slots (I don't remember what it is, offhand, but I think it is
> PCI).

It depends on the usage for the sound card. If you listen to
classical music, that has quiet passages (high dynamic range) then
a separate PCI sound card is always a good idea. Motheboard sound
usually has a poor noise floor (mouse noise, disk access noise etc.).
- you might notice the noises when the volume is turned up on the
stereo. You paid for the PCI sound card, might as well use it.

Exceptions to this rule would be if built-in sound has special
features, such as hardware support for AC3 encoding, to pass 5.1
sound via SPDIF. Otherwise, a good PCI card will have many of the
same features.

>
....
>
> Thanks!!
> Keith

HTH,
Paul
Related resources
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
May 4, 2005 4:55:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

Tim - thanks for the info.
I had done some reading a few months ago about MS Virtual PC, and what I
read at the time didn't sound promising- sounded like there were a lot of
issues with what I understood to be the simulated environment of the
middleware (although in retrospect, that might have been issues for
developers, although that still would affect what I need the box for). I
was trying to avoid it if possible just by having completely separate HDs,
like the old program bootmagic that used to come with partition magic, where
you could select which HD to boot from, each with it's own OS. I wasn't sure
if today's hardware had that kind of functionality 'built in' or if I was
still looking at a software solution.

So it sounds like SLI is only for hardcore graphics? I definitely don't need
that, anything will be an improvement from my current 8 Meg generic card ;) 

Will the A8NE (K8NE?) board be just as upgradable for dual core processors
later on?

Thanks!!
Keith

"Tim" <Tim@NoSpam.com> wrote in message news:D 56irm$lg7$1@lust.ihug.co.nz...
> I have answered some of your questions inline below.
> - Tim
>
> "K Ruck" <nospam@nospam.edu> wrote in message
> news:u6zde.422$6E.410@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
> > I'm finally thinking about upgrading (my AMD750 is finally getting
flaky)
> > so
> > I've just started looking at Toms Hardware, AnandTech, etc. to see what
> > the
> > current technology is. Looks like I should get a 939 MB (I want to stick
> > with AMD) and the A8N-SLI Deluxe looks fairly nice. I doubt any of my
old
> > components would be of much use other than a recently acquired CD/DVD
> > burner, so the rest of what I buy will be new too (2 Gig ram, new PSU,
> > etc)
>
> > So, here are my questions:
> >
> > 1. I really don't have any need for SLI (dual cards for a single 3-D
> > output). What I would like is to move to being able to have multiple
> > monitors because I think that would make my work easier. Does this MB
> > allow
> > me to have a main card for 3-D games and whatnot, and another cheap card
> > to
> > power just my office applications in 2-D? The power card would probably
> > also
> > be used to render video (DVD playback, etc) as well.
>
> Considered the A8N-E board? It does not have SLI so is bound to be less
> expensive. Many graphics cards are dual monitor these days, so rather than
2
> cards and the potential issues there keep it simple.
>
> > 2. Is there a certain board revision I should get, at minimum? If I'm
> > ordering online (newegg, for example) will they let me specify the
minimum
> > board revision I'm willing to accept?
>
> > 3. What is the current price/performance sweet spot on CPUs for the 939
> > socket? I'm not planning on overclocking anything, I want a very stable
> > machine. Also willing to consider a dual-core CPU if they are priced
> > accordingly with their performance, but my guess is they are too new and
> > will be above the sweet spot.
>
> 3500+ Winchester core seems to be the sweet spot for the moment - but shop
> around. The dual core 939pin chips won't be out for a while yet and are
> likely to be expensive when they first appear. I would leave that as an
> excellent future upgrade option.
>
> > 4. I've never needed RAID before, don't think I suddenly need it now.
Any
> > issues with just leaving the HD's running as separate drives?
>
> No - this is fine.
>
> If you value your data, consider RAID 1 - Mirroring. RAID is not a
> substitute for backups. Be aware of the repercussions in terms of RAID
> volume accessability if you are running Win98.
>
> > 5. I do have a Soundblaster Platinum from some years back- is the sound
> > system on the MB comparable, or should I plan to switch the SB Platinum
> > over
> > to the new system? I'm not an audiophile, but I did kinda like having
the
> > midi ports. I could live without them, but if the SB Platinum is better,
> > that would be one more reason to switch it over to the new box if it
even
> > fits the slots (I don't remember what it is, offhand, but I think it is
> > PCI).
>
> > 6. How easy/hard would it be to set the MB up with multiple boot drives,
> > so
> > when I need to work on older stuff (I have to develop some stuff on
> > Win98/Office97 for backward compatability, because that is a boatload
> > easier
> > than me learning how to late bind my VBA code) how would I set it up so
I
> > could /easily/ select what drive to boot from, WinXP Pro on the main
drive
> > and Win98 on an alternate drive? They have to be physically separate
> > drives
> > because sometimes I take the Win98 HD to another location. Alternative:
> > keep
> > my old PC in the corner and use it when I have to, with a lot of hassle
> > switching out cables and stuff.
>
> Consider getting MS Virtual PC (or VMWare) - this enables you to run other
> OS inside a virtual machine while running XP . You will need to budget on
> RAM usage if you are going to run VPC a lot - say you configure it for
512MB
> Ram for Win98, when it is running it will take 512MB out of the Windows
RAM
> quota. I am not sure of the price of Virtual PC - but it can be purchased
> online with download directly off MS and I recall something around $100
US.
> Obviously with this option, you would lose the portability of your Win98
> system. However if there are few installations, you could have a copy of
VPC
> at each and simply take the Virtual Disk Drive with you (it is an ordinary
> disc file).
>
> Dual booting in itself is not an issue. The best way to get this working
is
> to install Win98 first to its own HDD then XP - the XP install process
will
> detect the Win98 install and automatically create a Dual Boot config for
> you.
>
> There may be repercussions in that driver support for Win98 is likely to
be
> scant with such a modern motherboard. You may have difficulty getting
> network or sound drivers etc. for Win98. Virtual PC eliminates this issue.
I
> suggest you do some thorough research on what devices you want to use in
> Win98 and what is available. EG there are not likely to be RAID drivers if
> you chose this option at a later date.
>
>
>
> > I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start assembling the order, but
> > your
> > answers on these will at least let me know whether I'm making the right
MB
> > choice for my current needs.
> >
> > Thanks!!
> > Keith
> >
> >
>
>
May 4, 2005 6:04:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

Keith,

For a free boot loader check out XOSL. I used this for quite a while and was
more than happy with it.
The multi boot setup when XP is installed after Win98 is already present is
fine for most people - you do not need a boot loader in this config. The
advantage of XOSL is that you can hide partitions you do not want visible to
the OS while it is running. So, you can also have multiple Win9x systems all
thinking they are on the C drive.

A Virtual PC Client OS runs in a Generic hardware environment in that when a
Client OS starts an emulation BIOS is started and this provides to the
Client OS a view of a specific set of hardware which is constant across
systems IE you may have a realtek this and a Marvel that, but in the Client
OS you will always have the same sound card and NIC. The constant-ness of
the emulated hardware is one of the great advantages of a Virtual Machine in
VPC (and Virtual Server, VMWare and others) as you can pick the Client OS
virtual machine files up and take it to another quite different machine (EG
from a P3 400 to a dual XEON system) and it will work just the same.

I don't have VPC installed at the moment as I also have Virtual Server and
have been testing out a lot of stuff. The 'Generic Environment' is something
like an IDE based system with a stock sound card, mouse, keyboard, monitor
etc emulated along with a stock Network card (optional). Stock meaning 'dead
common across OS with good support'. VPC will also run Linux versions. It is
excellent for testing software across different OS (my use).

With VPC you can map network drives to NTFS discs on the Host OS and so not
have to retain any FAT partitions just 'cos you need Win9x.

I suggest you download the trial version of VPC from MS at:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.mspx there is also a
chunk of info there...

IMHO, VPC runs really well and is more than good enough for software
testing. You requirements are obviously different, but I doubt you will run
into any issues at all unless you have to have specific hardware present
that VPC does not provide for.

You say " what I read at the time didn't sound promising- sounded like there
were a lot of issues with what I understood". I can't imagine what that was
about and suspect a test drive will leave a smile on your face. I
participated in the VPC and Virtual Server beta's and throughout found the
starting beta to be good as it was - with only improvements after that - the
products originated from a company called Connectix and were successful
products in their own rights before MS bought them out.

SLI for Hard Core Graphics users? I agree although many have been buying the
A8N-SLI regardless. The A8N-E seems to be doing a bit of a disappearing
act - it is not on the Asus.com.tw site at the moment, I can't buy it in NZ,
but can be purchased off Newegg and others. If it has been 'pulled', I would
find out why before purchasing.

- Tim


"K Ruck" <nospam@nospam.edu> wrote in message
news:s4Vde.1203$Jz2.1012@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
> Tim - thanks for the info.
> I had done some reading a few months ago about MS Virtual PC, and what I
> read at the time didn't sound promising- sounded like there were a lot of
> issues with what I understood to be the simulated environment of the
> middleware (although in retrospect, that might have been issues for
> developers, although that still would affect what I need the box for). I
> was trying to avoid it if possible just by having completely separate HDs,
> like the old program bootmagic that used to come with partition magic,
> where
> you could select which HD to boot from, each with it's own OS. I wasn't
> sure
> if today's hardware had that kind of functionality 'built in' or if I was
> still looking at a software solution.
>
> So it sounds like SLI is only for hardcore graphics? I definitely don't
> need
> that, anything will be an improvement from my current 8 Meg generic card
> ;) 
>
> Will the A8NE (K8NE?) board be just as upgradable for dual core processors
> later on?
>
> Thanks!!
> Keith
>
> "Tim" <Tim@NoSpam.com> wrote in message
> news:D 56irm$lg7$1@lust.ihug.co.nz...
>> I have answered some of your questions inline below.
>> - Tim
>>
>> "K Ruck" <nospam@nospam.edu> wrote in message
>> news:u6zde.422$6E.410@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
>> > I'm finally thinking about upgrading (my AMD750 is finally getting
> flaky)
>> > so
>> > I've just started looking at Toms Hardware, AnandTech, etc. to see what
>> > the
>> > current technology is. Looks like I should get a 939 MB (I want to
>> > stick
>> > with AMD) and the A8N-SLI Deluxe looks fairly nice. I doubt any of my
> old
>> > components would be of much use other than a recently acquired CD/DVD
>> > burner, so the rest of what I buy will be new too (2 Gig ram, new PSU,
>> > etc)
>>
>> > So, here are my questions:
>> >
>> > 1. I really don't have any need for SLI (dual cards for a single 3-D
>> > output). What I would like is to move to being able to have multiple
>> > monitors because I think that would make my work easier. Does this MB
>> > allow
>> > me to have a main card for 3-D games and whatnot, and another cheap
>> > card
>> > to
>> > power just my office applications in 2-D? The power card would probably
>> > also
>> > be used to render video (DVD playback, etc) as well.
>>
>> Considered the A8N-E board? It does not have SLI so is bound to be less
>> expensive. Many graphics cards are dual monitor these days, so rather
>> than
> 2
>> cards and the potential issues there keep it simple.
>>
>> > 2. Is there a certain board revision I should get, at minimum? If I'm
>> > ordering online (newegg, for example) will they let me specify the
> minimum
>> > board revision I'm willing to accept?
>>
>> > 3. What is the current price/performance sweet spot on CPUs for the 939
>> > socket? I'm not planning on overclocking anything, I want a very stable
>> > machine. Also willing to consider a dual-core CPU if they are priced
>> > accordingly with their performance, but my guess is they are too new
>> > and
>> > will be above the sweet spot.
>>
>> 3500+ Winchester core seems to be the sweet spot for the moment - but
>> shop
>> around. The dual core 939pin chips won't be out for a while yet and are
>> likely to be expensive when they first appear. I would leave that as an
>> excellent future upgrade option.
>>
>> > 4. I've never needed RAID before, don't think I suddenly need it now.
> Any
>> > issues with just leaving the HD's running as separate drives?
>>
>> No - this is fine.
>>
>> If you value your data, consider RAID 1 - Mirroring. RAID is not a
>> substitute for backups. Be aware of the repercussions in terms of RAID
>> volume accessability if you are running Win98.
>>
>> > 5. I do have a Soundblaster Platinum from some years back- is the sound
>> > system on the MB comparable, or should I plan to switch the SB Platinum
>> > over
>> > to the new system? I'm not an audiophile, but I did kinda like having
> the
>> > midi ports. I could live without them, but if the SB Platinum is
>> > better,
>> > that would be one more reason to switch it over to the new box if it
> even
>> > fits the slots (I don't remember what it is, offhand, but I think it is
>> > PCI).
>>
>> > 6. How easy/hard would it be to set the MB up with multiple boot
>> > drives,
>> > so
>> > when I need to work on older stuff (I have to develop some stuff on
>> > Win98/Office97 for backward compatability, because that is a boatload
>> > easier
>> > than me learning how to late bind my VBA code) how would I set it up so
> I
>> > could /easily/ select what drive to boot from, WinXP Pro on the main
> drive
>> > and Win98 on an alternate drive? They have to be physically separate
>> > drives
>> > because sometimes I take the Win98 HD to another location. Alternative:
>> > keep
>> > my old PC in the corner and use it when I have to, with a lot of hassle
>> > switching out cables and stuff.
>>
>> Consider getting MS Virtual PC (or VMWare) - this enables you to run
>> other
>> OS inside a virtual machine while running XP . You will need to budget on
>> RAM usage if you are going to run VPC a lot - say you configure it for
> 512MB
>> Ram for Win98, when it is running it will take 512MB out of the Windows
> RAM
>> quota. I am not sure of the price of Virtual PC - but it can be purchased
>> online with download directly off MS and I recall something around $100
> US.
>> Obviously with this option, you would lose the portability of your Win98
>> system. However if there are few installations, you could have a copy of
> VPC
>> at each and simply take the Virtual Disk Drive with you (it is an
>> ordinary
>> disc file).
>>
>> Dual booting in itself is not an issue. The best way to get this working
> is
>> to install Win98 first to its own HDD then XP - the XP install process
> will
>> detect the Win98 install and automatically create a Dual Boot config for
>> you.
>>
>> There may be repercussions in that driver support for Win98 is likely to
> be
>> scant with such a modern motherboard. You may have difficulty getting
>> network or sound drivers etc. for Win98. Virtual PC eliminates this
>> issue.
> I
>> suggest you do some thorough research on what devices you want to use in
>> Win98 and what is available. EG there are not likely to be RAID drivers
>> if
>> you chose this option at a later date.
>>
>>
>>
>> > I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start assembling the order, but
>> > your
>> > answers on these will at least let me know whether I'm making the right
> MB
>> > choice for my current needs.
>> >
>> > Thanks!!
>> > Keith
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>
>
May 5, 2005 3:18:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

On Tue, 3 May 2005 13:15:16 +1200, "Tim" <Tim@NoSpam.com> wrote:

>I have answered some of your questions inline below.
>- Tim
>
>"K Ruck" <nospam@nospam.edu> wrote in message
>news:u6zde.422$6E.410@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
>> I'm finally thinking about upgrading (my AMD750 is finally getting flaky)
>> so
>> I've just started looking at Toms Hardware, AnandTech, etc. to see what
>> the
>> current technology is. Looks like I should get a 939 MB (I want to stick
>> with AMD) and the A8N-SLI Deluxe looks fairly nice. I doubt any of my old
>> components would be of much use other than a recently acquired CD/DVD
>> burner, so the rest of what I buy will be new too (2 Gig ram, new PSU,
>> etc)
>
>> So, here are my questions:
>>
>> 1. I really don't have any need for SLI (dual cards for a single 3-D
>> output). What I would like is to move to being able to have multiple
>> monitors because I think that would make my work easier. Does this MB
>> allow
>> me to have a main card for 3-D games and whatnot, and another cheap card
>> to
>> power just my office applications in 2-D? The power card would probably
>> also
>> be used to render video (DVD playback, etc) as well.
>
>Considered the A8N-E board? It does not have SLI so is bound to be less
>expensive. Many graphics cards are dual monitor these days, so rather than 2
>cards and the potential issues there keep it simple.
>
>> 2. Is there a certain board revision I should get, at minimum? If I'm
>> ordering online (newegg, for example) will they let me specify the minimum
>> board revision I'm willing to accept?
>
>> 3. What is the current price/performance sweet spot on CPUs for the 939
>> socket? I'm not planning on overclocking anything, I want a very stable
>> machine. Also willing to consider a dual-core CPU if they are priced
>> accordingly with their performance, but my guess is they are too new and
>> will be above the sweet spot.
>
>3500+ Winchester core seems to be the sweet spot for the moment - but shop
>around. The dual core 939pin chips won't be out for a while yet and are
>likely to be expensive when they first appear. I would leave that as an
>excellent future upgrade option.

I think that answer is right on, but I believe that anyone buying
today should consider a 3500+ Venice-core. I'd think about a 3800+
Venice, but I can't find one yet. The 3500+ Venice is already
available at Newegg.
Advantages of the Venice vs. the Winchester:
-- SSE3 multimedia instruction sets
-- Additions and enhancements to the Integrated Memory controller
-- Mismatched DIMM support (ability to configure and use different
size DIMMs on the same channel)
-- Improved memory mapping (more efficient use of memory space)
-- Improved memory loading (fully populating the memory with
double-bank DIMMs no longer requires the memory controller to run @
DDR333)
>
>> 4. I've never needed RAID before, don't think I suddenly need it now. Any
>> issues with just leaving the HD's running as separate drives?
>
>No - this is fine.
>
>If you value your data, consider RAID 1 - Mirroring. RAID is not a
>substitute for backups. Be aware of the repercussions in terms of RAID
>volume accessability if you are running Win98.

I agree again. Forget RAID 0 -- extra expense, extra risk of data
loss, but with insufficient improvement in day-to-day performance to
justify the expense and risk. RAID 0 is a foolish extravagance for
the vast majority of home users (note that I didn't say "all").
>
>> 5. I do have a Soundblaster Platinum from some years back- is the sound
>> system on the MB comparable, or should I plan to switch the SB Platinum
>> over
>> to the new system? I'm not an audiophile, but I did kinda like having the
>> midi ports. I could live without them, but if the SB Platinum is better,
>> that would be one more reason to switch it over to the new box if it even
>> fits the slots (I don't remember what it is, offhand, but I think it is
>> PCI).
>
>> 6. How easy/hard would it be to set the MB up with multiple boot drives,
>> so
>> when I need to work on older stuff (I have to develop some stuff on
>> Win98/Office97 for backward compatability, because that is a boatload
>> easier
>> than me learning how to late bind my VBA code) how would I set it up so I
>> could /easily/ select what drive to boot from, WinXP Pro on the main drive
>> and Win98 on an alternate drive? They have to be physically separate
>> drives
>> because sometimes I take the Win98 HD to another location. Alternative:
>> keep
>> my old PC in the corner and use it when I have to, with a lot of hassle
>> switching out cables and stuff.
>
>Consider getting MS Virtual PC (or VMWare) - this enables you to run other
>OS inside a virtual machine while running XP . You will need to budget on
>RAM usage if you are going to run VPC a lot - say you configure it for 512MB
>Ram for Win98, when it is running it will take 512MB out of the Windows RAM
>quota. I am not sure of the price of Virtual PC - but it can be purchased
>online with download directly off MS and I recall something around $100 US.
>Obviously with this option, you would lose the portability of your Win98
>system. However if there are few installations, you could have a copy of VPC
>at each and simply take the Virtual Disk Drive with you (it is an ordinary
>disc file).
>
>Dual booting in itself is not an issue. The best way to get this working is
>to install Win98 first to its own HDD then XP - the XP install process will
>detect the Win98 install and automatically create a Dual Boot config for
>you.
>
>There may be repercussions in that driver support for Win98 is likely to be
>scant with such a modern motherboard. You may have difficulty getting
>network or sound drivers etc. for Win98. Virtual PC eliminates this issue. I
>suggest you do some thorough research on what devices you want to use in
>Win98 and what is available. EG there are not likely to be RAID drivers if
>you chose this option at a later date.
>
>
>
>> I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start assembling the order, but
>> your
>> answers on these will at least let me know whether I'm making the right MB
>> choice for my current needs.
>>
>> Thanks!!
>> Keith
>>
>>
>

Ron
May 5, 2005 3:32:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

Thanks - I was wondering what Venice was all about and where this new SSE3
support was!
Time to hold off on purchasing yet again.

Do you know whats happening to the A8N-E? It seems to have disappeared off
the Asus web sites.

- Tim

"milleron" <millerdot90@SPAMlessosu.edu> wrote in message
news:1ili71hi1qpd75i54306b0m0sv637eapk3@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 3 May 2005 13:15:16 +1200, "Tim" <Tim@NoSpam.com> wrote:
>
>>I have answered some of your questions inline below.
>>- Tim
>>
>>"K Ruck" <nospam@nospam.edu> wrote in message
>>news:u6zde.422$6E.410@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
>>> I'm finally thinking about upgrading (my AMD750 is finally getting
>>> flaky)
>>> so
>>> I've just started looking at Toms Hardware, AnandTech, etc. to see what
>>> the
>>> current technology is. Looks like I should get a 939 MB (I want to stick
>>> with AMD) and the A8N-SLI Deluxe looks fairly nice. I doubt any of my
>>> old
>>> components would be of much use other than a recently acquired CD/DVD
>>> burner, so the rest of what I buy will be new too (2 Gig ram, new PSU,
>>> etc)
>>
>>> So, here are my questions:
>>>
>>> 1. I really don't have any need for SLI (dual cards for a single 3-D
>>> output). What I would like is to move to being able to have multiple
>>> monitors because I think that would make my work easier. Does this MB
>>> allow
>>> me to have a main card for 3-D games and whatnot, and another cheap card
>>> to
>>> power just my office applications in 2-D? The power card would probably
>>> also
>>> be used to render video (DVD playback, etc) as well.
>>
>>Considered the A8N-E board? It does not have SLI so is bound to be less
>>expensive. Many graphics cards are dual monitor these days, so rather than
>>2
>>cards and the potential issues there keep it simple.
>>
>>> 2. Is there a certain board revision I should get, at minimum? If I'm
>>> ordering online (newegg, for example) will they let me specify the
>>> minimum
>>> board revision I'm willing to accept?
>>
>>> 3. What is the current price/performance sweet spot on CPUs for the 939
>>> socket? I'm not planning on overclocking anything, I want a very stable
>>> machine. Also willing to consider a dual-core CPU if they are priced
>>> accordingly with their performance, but my guess is they are too new and
>>> will be above the sweet spot.
>>
>>3500+ Winchester core seems to be the sweet spot for the moment - but shop
>>around. The dual core 939pin chips won't be out for a while yet and are
>>likely to be expensive when they first appear. I would leave that as an
>>excellent future upgrade option.
>
> I think that answer is right on, but I believe that anyone buying
> today should consider a 3500+ Venice-core. I'd think about a 3800+
> Venice, but I can't find one yet. The 3500+ Venice is already
> available at Newegg.
> Advantages of the Venice vs. the Winchester:
> -- SSE3 multimedia instruction sets
> -- Additions and enhancements to the Integrated Memory controller
> -- Mismatched DIMM support (ability to configure and use different
> size DIMMs on the same channel)
> -- Improved memory mapping (more efficient use of memory space)
> -- Improved memory loading (fully populating the memory with
> double-bank DIMMs no longer requires the memory controller to run @
> DDR333)
>>
>>> 4. I've never needed RAID before, don't think I suddenly need it now.
>>> Any
>>> issues with just leaving the HD's running as separate drives?
>>
>>No - this is fine.
>>
>>If you value your data, consider RAID 1 - Mirroring. RAID is not a
>>substitute for backups. Be aware of the repercussions in terms of RAID
>>volume accessability if you are running Win98.
>
> I agree again. Forget RAID 0 -- extra expense, extra risk of data
> loss, but with insufficient improvement in day-to-day performance to
> justify the expense and risk. RAID 0 is a foolish extravagance for
> the vast majority of home users (note that I didn't say "all").
>>
>>> 5. I do have a Soundblaster Platinum from some years back- is the sound
>>> system on the MB comparable, or should I plan to switch the SB Platinum
>>> over
>>> to the new system? I'm not an audiophile, but I did kinda like having
>>> the
>>> midi ports. I could live without them, but if the SB Platinum is better,
>>> that would be one more reason to switch it over to the new box if it
>>> even
>>> fits the slots (I don't remember what it is, offhand, but I think it is
>>> PCI).
>>
>>> 6. How easy/hard would it be to set the MB up with multiple boot drives,
>>> so
>>> when I need to work on older stuff (I have to develop some stuff on
>>> Win98/Office97 for backward compatability, because that is a boatload
>>> easier
>>> than me learning how to late bind my VBA code) how would I set it up so
>>> I
>>> could /easily/ select what drive to boot from, WinXP Pro on the main
>>> drive
>>> and Win98 on an alternate drive? They have to be physically separate
>>> drives
>>> because sometimes I take the Win98 HD to another location. Alternative:
>>> keep
>>> my old PC in the corner and use it when I have to, with a lot of hassle
>>> switching out cables and stuff.
>>
>>Consider getting MS Virtual PC (or VMWare) - this enables you to run other
>>OS inside a virtual machine while running XP . You will need to budget on
>>RAM usage if you are going to run VPC a lot - say you configure it for
>>512MB
>>Ram for Win98, when it is running it will take 512MB out of the Windows
>>RAM
>>quota. I am not sure of the price of Virtual PC - but it can be purchased
>>online with download directly off MS and I recall something around $100
>>US.
>>Obviously with this option, you would lose the portability of your Win98
>>system. However if there are few installations, you could have a copy of
>>VPC
>>at each and simply take the Virtual Disk Drive with you (it is an ordinary
>>disc file).
>>
>>Dual booting in itself is not an issue. The best way to get this working
>>is
>>to install Win98 first to its own HDD then XP - the XP install process
>>will
>>detect the Win98 install and automatically create a Dual Boot config for
>>you.
>>
>>There may be repercussions in that driver support for Win98 is likely to
>>be
>>scant with such a modern motherboard. You may have difficulty getting
>>network or sound drivers etc. for Win98. Virtual PC eliminates this issue.
>>I
>>suggest you do some thorough research on what devices you want to use in
>>Win98 and what is available. EG there are not likely to be RAID drivers if
>>you chose this option at a later date.
>>
>>
>>
>>> I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start assembling the order, but
>>> your
>>> answers on these will at least let me know whether I'm making the right
>>> MB
>>> choice for my current needs.
>>>
>>> Thanks!!
>>> Keith
>>>
>>>
>>
>
> Ron
!