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First-time PC builder using Chaintech 7NJL6. Please save m..

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August 4, 2005 6:48:36 PM

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

I'll try not to bore you with the whole sordid story, but I'm an
all-Mac, all-the-time ex-graphic repairman who now owns a retail biz
(hobby shop), and am forced, for technical reasons, to go to the Dark
Side (sorry -- Windows gives me the creeps, but ya gotta do what ya
gotta do). Having for many years worked as an electronics assembler
(and NASA-certified solderer) in the aircraft industry, I thought
putting a mere computer together would be the proverbial piece o' cake.
Well, I was wrong -- I made the mistake of buying one of TigerDirect's
offcast Soyo K7VME barebones kits, the one with the case air
circulation problem. After several attempts, one dead motherboard, one
trashed power supply, and one dead Athlon XP2800+, I decided to go with
a better box and board to go with the Athlon XP3000+ I got after I
RMA'd the 2800.

So, I got a nice big aluminum Skyhawk server case, a ThermalTake
PurePower 420W PS,the Chaintech 7NJL6 and the following stuff:

Athlon XP3000+ Barton (NOT mobile)
ThermalTake TR2-M2 CPU cooler
Ultra PC3200 DDR 400MHz 1GB x 2
Chaintech GeForce FX 5700 / 256MB DDR / AGP 8X
Western Digital Caviar 200GB HD
Megastor (NEC) Dual Layer DVD Burner combo drive
Mitsumi FDD/multi-media reader
Oh yeah, and Windows (shudder) XP Home...

The use this box will be put to is POS, accessing a couple of my nitwit
distributors who use Windows-only online ordering systems, and -- the
one area I will readily admit PCs have it all over Macs -- games;
especially Grand Prix Legends.

I've been using mechBgon's guide to building your first PC from parts:

http://www.omnicast.net/~tmcfadden/guides/build/

which is a great help, but I REALLY don't want to go through the hell I
experienced with the Sorry Soyo, so any upfront advice you could give
me to make this box actually work would be greatly appreciated. I don't
want to overclock the thing, I just want it to work and be stable.

You can reply here or by email:
wingswheels@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Bart

More about : time builder chaintech 7njl6 save

August 4, 2005 10:38:31 PM

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

Well, THAT's heartening news! My experience with the K7VME was the
opposite: I could get all the fans whirling and the pretty lights
blinking, but no POST whatsoever, and this was with the mainboard lying
prostrate off the side of the case (on a non-conductive surface, of
course), far away from the impinging PSU, and with a clean, even, and
light application of Arctic Silver 5 to the beautifully-lapped copper
core of the Thermaltake TR2-M2 cooler.

I'm spoiled, I guess -- all these years (16 now) of using Macs, where
you open up the box, plug it in, and off you go -- I even have an old
SuperMac S900 that I upgraded (against Apple's advice, of course) with
a ZIF G3 daughtercard, a full Gig of RAM, and an Initio Miles RAID
controller running two Seagate Barracudas in RAID 0. Plugged everything
in, fired it up, and it ran immediately with no hiccups whatsoever.
Seven years and many OS versions later, it's STILL running hiccup-free.

Has ANYONE gotten a Chaintech 7NJL6 to actually work as advertised?
Frankly, I bought it because A) NewEgg had a good deal, and B) I
already had a Chaintech GeForce video card and thought -- probably
naively -- that having the video card and mainboard from the same
manufacturer might smooth things out a little.

Is my best bet to RMA the 7NJL6 and look for a board that might
possibly work? I was looking forward to 400MhZ FSB, Hyper-Threaded
Hooey, and twice-pipes DDR PC3200 RAM, now that I ended up with a
Socket A XP3000+ chip (the K7VME didn't support any of that stuff,
AFAICT) -- should I just send the whole mess back and buy a nice old
286?

I have to say that with all the hanky-jiggled over-clocked
nitrogen-cooled systems I read about ripping through Quake and Doom in
quadruple-time, I thought it wouldn't be beyond the capabilities of a
moderately skilled person (I'm also a journeyman experimental
machinist) to put a simple WinBlows PC together. I go to all the
hardware sites -- Anand, Tom's, Sharky Extreme -- and all I see are
Athlon 64 rigs (I don't like Intel). Yes, Socket A/462 is NOT the
current state-of-the-art, but it's at an excellent price point and all
I need for my meager tasks -- MORE than I need, really, but I DO like
racing sims, and I'd like a decent framerate.

I'm open to any advice. I probably should've bought one of those
$129.00 ISellSurplus Dell PIII pancakes and just said to hell with it.

Discouraged

Bart
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
August 5, 2005 3:42:04 AM

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

Bart wrote:
> I'll try not to bore you with the whole sordid story, but I'm an
> all-Mac, all-the-time ex-graphic repairman who now owns a retail biz
> (hobby shop), and am forced, for technical reasons, to go to the Dark
> Side (sorry -- Windows gives me the creeps, but ya gotta do what ya
> gotta do). Having for many years worked as an electronics assembler
> (and NASA-certified solderer) in the aircraft industry, I thought
> putting a mere computer together would be the proverbial piece o' cake.
> Well, I was wrong -- I made the mistake of buying one of TigerDirect's
> offcast Soyo K7VME barebones kits, the one with the case air
> circulation problem. After several attempts, one dead motherboard, one
> trashed power supply, and one dead Athlon XP2800+, I decided to go with
> a better box and board to go with the Athlon XP3000+ I got after I
> RMA'd the 2800.
>
> So, I got a nice big aluminum Skyhawk server case, a ThermalTake
> PurePower 420W PS,the Chaintech 7NJL6 and the following stuff:

I teach an A+ certification class at a local college and we tried to use
the Chaintech 7NJL6 motherboards with the AMD Sempron 2800+ CPU's.

We had no success at all. Several systems were no POST, one blew up a
power supply, the CPU and the RAM.

We wound up RMA'ing all of them, replacing the motherboards with MSI
boards that work fine.

It seems that there are some 7NJL6's that are OK, but if you get a bad
one - you are screwed.

It's funny, I have the Soyo K7VME system you describe with an Athlon
XP3000+ and it works just fine. This was the one that was $20 after
rebates for the barebone system. I had to add CPU & heatsink, RAM, HD.
Been using it for about a year, added an additional case fan to improve
airflow and I've been very happy.

Good luck!

John
--
John P. Dearing
A+, Network+, Server+
To reply: Just drop "YOURPANTS" in my address! 8-)
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
August 5, 2005 9:55:37 AM

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

"Bart" <wingswheels@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1123205911.496574.163390@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
SNIP

>
> I'm spoiled, I guess -- all these years (16 now) of using Macs, where
> you open up the box, plug it in, and off you go -- I even have an old
> SuperMac S900 that I upgraded (against Apple's advice, of course) with
> a ZIF G3 daughtercard, a full Gig of RAM, and an Initio Miles RAID
> controller running two Seagate Barracudas in RAID 0. Plugged everything
> in, fired it up, and it ran immediately with no hiccups whatsoever.
> Seven years and many OS versions later, it's STILL running hiccup-free.
>

If you want that kind of experience get a Dell. You can open the box plug it
in and go. I have an old Gateway with a Pentium II that is still
operational, although it really can't run new versions of Windows (it does
run Linux reasonably well).

Last time I checked no one was building barebones Mac systems. Is it even
possible to build your own Mac PC? One of the reasons you had a good
experience with Macs is because you paid a premium price for a ready made
system controlled by a single company (Apple). Unfortunately (or fortunately
depending on how you look at it) in the Windows world Microsoft decided that
common, cheap hardware was better than overall system reliability and
functionality.

> Has ANYONE gotten a Chaintech 7NJL6 to actually work as advertised?
> Frankly, I bought it because A) NewEgg had a good deal, and B) I
> already had a Chaintech GeForce video card and thought -- probably
> naively -- that having the video card and mainboard from the same
> manufacturer might smooth things out a little.
>

In theory having parts from the same manufacturer is a good thing as far as
compabability, but not always.

> Is my best bet to RMA the 7NJL6 and look for a board that might
> possibly work? I was looking forward to 400MhZ FSB, Hyper-Threaded
> Hooey, and twice-pipes DDR PC3200 RAM, now that I ended up with a
> Socket A XP3000+ chip (the K7VME didn't support any of that stuff,
> AFAICT) -- should I just send the whole mess back and buy a nice old
> 286?
>

So did you read the specs on the K7VME board or did you just ignore them?

> I have to say that with all the hanky-jiggled over-clocked
> nitrogen-cooled systems I read about ripping through Quake and Doom in
> quadruple-time, I thought it wouldn't be beyond the capabilities of a
> moderately skilled person (I'm also a journeyman experimental
> machinist) to put a simple WinBlows PC together. I go to all the
> hardware sites -- Anand, Tom's, Sharky Extreme -- and all I see are
> Athlon 64 rigs (I don't like Intel). Yes, Socket A/462 is NOT the
> current state-of-the-art, but it's at an excellent price point and all
> I need for my meager tasks -- MORE than I need, really, but I DO like
> racing sims, and I'd like a decent framerate.
>
> I'm open to any advice. I probably should've bought one of those
> $129.00 ISellSurplus Dell PIII pancakes and just said to hell with it.
>

Overclockers tend towards AMD processors since they tend to overclock better
than some Intel chips .The idea of overclocking is to get more performance
out of the CPU without having to pay high prices for faster parts.
Overclocking is NOT for the amateur which, with all due respect, you sound
like. There are lots of guides and sites that offer great information on
OC'ing but in the end your success is a matter of luck, magic and and
hundreds of BSODs and reboots.

As for getting better graphics performance you would do well to go back to
Tom's Hardware and AnandTech and read up on the video card reviews.
Optimizing video performance is a combination of having a fast CPU combined
with a fast GPU. If they're not paired properly you'll either get poor video
performance or you'll have a lot of graphics horsepower going unused.

My advice to you is to go out and spend about that same amount as a Mac and
get a ready made system that will run Windows and give you the gaming
experience you are looking for. You could probably get a decent system put
together for under $2,000 (USD).

Cheers
TC
August 5, 2005 6:28:26 PM

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

TC ejaculated:

"Is it even possible to build your own Mac PC?"

Not without using most of the same Apple-branded components you'd get
if you bought a Mac. It IS possible to reconfigure a Mac, update an
older Mac, and generally do many of the things PC builders -- rank
amateur and otherwise -- do when they build a WinBloze box. The
difference is that Apple's stricter (by several orders of magnitude)
compliance standards generally result in something that works without
hours or weeks of user fiddling about.

" Overclocking is NOT for the amateur which, with all due respect, you
sound like."

And which I admitted upfront that I *am*. I also said I had no interest
in overclocking.

"So did you read the specs on the K7VME board or did you just ignore
them?"

As I said, I started out with an Athlon XP2800+. By the time I found
that the CPU was DOA, I'd already found out that not only was the Soyo
K7VME also DOA, but that the reason TigerDirect (aka "NeverAgain") was
dumping these Soyo barebones kits for 20 bucks or whatever was because
the idiot mid-tower design put Soyo's No-Namo PSU right on top of the
CPU, concentrating heat in the worst possible area. Many people shared
their Soyo barebones horror stories with me, and even Soyo tech as much
as admitted that the case design was an embarrassment to everyone
involved. After all THAT enlightenment, I decided to abandon the K7VME
for something which would give me a little better performance -- a
hopeful aspiration that has so far proven to be illusory at best. So
can you read?

"As for getting better graphics performance you would do well to go
back to Tom's Hardware and AnandTech and read up on the video card
reviews."

Fortunately, I don't have to read things much more than once to
understand what they say -- I actually went with the Chaintech graphics
card as a result of reviews on several sites, including AnandTech and
Tom's. I'm sorry to find out at this juncture that they don't know what
they're talking about. Live and learn.

"or you'll have a lot of graphics horsepower going unused."

Call me crazy, but that particular possibility didn't rank high on my
list of priorities. As I said, I'm well aware that Socket A boards
aren't the high-end of the spectrum this week, but I was fairly
confident -- apparently due to my own rank amateur stupidity -- that
the Barton-core Athlon XP3000+ was a couple notches above a Sinclair
ZX80, and that the nVidia GeForce FX 5700 was still considered a
modestly capable graphics processor. Silly me.

I'm delighted you felt free to impress me (or somebody) with your
command of acronyms and such, but since you didn't seem to really get
the gist of my original message -- my poor communication skills are the
culprit, I'm sure -- your advice missed the mark by a couple
parasangs, I'm afraid.

My first mistake was in assuming that Chaintech actually made a product
that worked as advertised and as reviewed by many folks a lot smarter
than I am. What I failed to take into account was that neither
Chaintech nor any of Anand's, Tom's, or Sharky's reviewers were as
smart as you. I'm still curious though, that so many ostensibly
knowledgable people could be wrong about the same thing. More curious
still, I can't shake the feeling that somehow, both Chaintech's 7NJL6
motherboard and GeForce FX 5700 graphics have actually worked, possibly
even TOGETHER, in somebody's box.

My second mistake was exposing my ignorance on this DL. That won't
happen again.
August 10, 2005 12:34:03 PM

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

"Bart" <wingswheels@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1123205911.496574.163390@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Has ANYONE gotten a Chaintech 7NJL6 to actually work as advertised?

Mine is running fine with AMD Athlon XP 3000+ and 512M dual-channel DDR
at 400MHz FSB. Even the SATA drive works - as advertised!

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Cary, NC USA
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