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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 10, 2004 9:08:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

My system at the moment is a 1.3 AMD Duron, 256MB Ram, TNT2 Riva.
I'm trying to update my aging PC. I've fallen way behind on my knowledge of
PCs. It was so simply before: either voodoo or tnt!

I'm thinking of purchasing the following:

Asustek A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard http://tinyurl.com/274rp

Kingston 512MB PC3200

Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB AGP8x

My question is regarding the motherboard, from the specs, I gather it will
support my current processor.
I'll probably update the processor in six months time. Is the motherboard
able to accept the latest amd processors (64 bit type).

I know the question does seem foolish as the specs are stated on the
website, but I'm finding all the differing specs confusing.

Finally, are my hardware choices any good? I'm looking to play the latest
games.

Thank you

More about : upgrade

April 10, 2004 9:08:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

An AMD64 processor has a different pin-out, so no, the A7N8X-E won't work,
you need a motherboard that specifically supports the AMD64 (e.g., Gigabyte
K8VNXP, Abit K8V-MAX3). IOW, any motherboard that supports the new "K8"
series (the Athlon and Durons are "K7").

As far as product choices, that's very subjective. In general, AMD is
considered the better gaming environment, and among AMD choices, NForce2
seems to be preferred. So as far as the A7N8X-E, you have nestled yourself
in the right ballpark. Many people are also using the Abit NF7-S v2 board,
a real bargain, great on-board sound (due to NForce2 MCP-T support, aka,
SoundStorm), and highly overclockable. But in either case, these are
strictly 32-bit AMD cpu boards ("K7").

If you want to go w/ AMD64, the K8 boards are the way to go. But they and
the processor are considerably more expensive, and considering the fact that
we still don't have a 64-bit Windows OS at this point, the benefits are
dubious. I've seen good results here, and not so good results there. You
probably need to do a little research on Yahoo or Google. I'd focus on K8
motherboard reviews and see what they are finding for real world results.
Then decide if that's for you. For my money, 64-bit computing is in its
infancy, and until Windows supports 64 bit, it seems pointless. Yeah,
you'll benefit in those areas that are NOT Windows dependent, but the OS is
so dominant, it will always prove a bootleneck. Frankly, I'm not even sure
a 64-bit Windows will prove THAT much better than the current 32-bit
Windows. Nor when we can truly expect to see 64-bit Windows. Again, your
choice, but for me, I'm waiting for ALL the new improvements before jumping
on the 64-bit bandwagon (PCI Express, BTX, wide adoption of SATA, maybe SATA
2.0, etc.).

As far as the specific components, I have seen very good reviews of that
Sapphire card, although you might want to hold off a few weeks, maybe days,
since new cards are expected to be released by ATI and NVIDIA very soon, so
we'll probably see a significant price drop soon as well (particularly at
the high-end, pushing the ATI 9800 Pro and XT, for example, down quite a
bit).

Asus is consistently among the most reliable (I prefer Abit myself), and I
use Kingston HyperX KHX3200AK2/1G myself, very stable, no problems at all on
my Abit AI7, OC's to 218MHz without a whimper (2-3-2-5-1). Kingston is a
nice, middle-of-the-pack selection. I would suggest, whatever you do, that
you "split" the memory into two modules (2 x 256, 2 x 512, etc.) so just in
case you end up w/ a dual channel motherboard, you'll be able to exploit it.
Even if you don't, almost any modern motherboard will support memory
"interleaving", which can improve overall memory performance.

But don't drive yourself crazy over specific choices, as long as you stay w/
quality brands, the differences are really trivial. It's the broader
questions that are far more important, such as do you want 32-bit vs. 64-bit
processor, chipset (Intel 865/875, NForce2, VIA PT880), do you intend to OC,
even getting a high-quality power supply is far more important than most
people suspect, often overlooked.

HTH

Jim


"OVS" <aqpnSPremoveAM83@dsl.pipex.com> wrote in message
news:zwuytfs9p0jf.pt5fvan3gjru.dlg@40tude.net...
> My system at the moment is a 1.3 AMD Duron, 256MB Ram, TNT2 Riva.
> I'm trying to update my aging PC. I've fallen way behind on my knowledge
of
> PCs. It was so simply before: either voodoo or tnt!
>
> I'm thinking of purchasing the following:
>
> Asustek A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard http://tinyurl.com/274rp
>
> Kingston 512MB PC3200
>
> Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB AGP8x
>
> My question is regarding the motherboard, from the specs, I gather it will
> support my current processor.
> I'll probably update the processor in six months time. Is the motherboard
> able to accept the latest amd processors (64 bit type).
>
> I know the question does seem foolish as the specs are stated on the
> website, but I'm finding all the differing specs confusing.
>
> Finally, are my hardware choices any good? I'm looking to play the latest
> games.
>
> Thank you
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 10, 2004 10:32:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Thanks Jim for your reply. I really appreciate it.
All these hardware specs are slowly becoming clearer (not by much though!)
From what you said regarding 64bit, I've decided to write off the idea of
that path all together.

The Abit NF7-S v2 interests me, as it would cut the expense of purchasing a
soundcard, although so far I've not been able to find a uk supplier. Dabs
has a host of a bit motherboards but none seem to match the model name of
the one you recommend.

http://www.dabs.com/uk/channels/components/motherboards...


You're right regarding spending ages over specific choices, after a while
you get dizzy with all the model numbers.

Thanks again
Oz
Related resources
April 10, 2004 10:32:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

You might have better luck starting at the Abit UK site, and finding
retailers through there ("Where to Buy"):

http://www.abit.com.tw/page/en/where2buy/where2buy_reta...

And here's the Abit NF7-S specs on the UK site:

http://www.abit.com.tw/page/en/motherboard/motherboard_...

For some reason, the motherboard listed on Dabs show NF7-S, but when you
follow the links, it reads as NV7-S (??), not sure what's up with that,
maybe just a typo, but it sure READS and LOOKS like the NF7-S (
http://www.dabs.com/uk/channels/components/motherboards... )
..

As far as chipsets, as Anon said, this is the nervous system of the
motherboard, so to speak. It normally consists of two chips, called the
Northbridge and Southbridge. These are responsible for tieing all the
subsystems together and making them work harmoniously (CPU, memory, various
buses (PCI, AGP), on-board sound, on-board LAN, etc.). Like any other
component, the features and speed of the chipset determines its value
compared to other chipsets. Intel builds it own chipsets, while AMD *use*
to build its own, but doesn't anymore. VIA and SiS are also players,
although they've each struggled in recent years w/ Intel and NVIDIA chipsets
dominating the market. VIA and SiS provide chipsets for both Intel and AMD
processors, SiS being particularly targeted at the budget crowd. NVIDIA got
into the chipset arena a few years ago, and is now introducing its third
generation NForce3. The NForce2 has pretty much run its course, but is a
very solid, popular chipset in the gaming community. If you are seriously
considering the NForce2, it might make sense to look at what NForce3 has to
offer (just to cover the bases). But you can't go wrong w/ the NForce2,
very stable, mature, well priced, and well liked.

The only thing you have to be careful w/ the NForce2 boards is, not all
motherboard manufacturers *use* the built-in SoundStorm provided by the
chipset to provide on-board sound!!! To save licensing fees to NVIDIA, they
take the cheap route and employ a third-party chip on the mobo, such as a
Realtek! Not nearly as good. The thing to watch for in the spec is "MCP-T"
on the Southbridge, if it states that specific support, you're getting the
NVIDIA SoundStorm, which is what you want. Be careful if you wonder from
the Abit NF7 series (which *does* support MCP-T). Usually the mobos that
provide third-party sound solutions only mention MCP (no "T").

HTH

Jim


"OVS" <aqpnSPremoveAM83@dsl.pipex.com> wrote in message
news:14h3c9i3ll62s$.19renswk4si7p$.dlg@40tude.net...
> Thanks Jim for your reply. I really appreciate it.
> All these hardware specs are slowly becoming clearer (not by much though!)
> From what you said regarding 64bit, I've decided to write off the idea of
> that path all together.
>
> The Abit NF7-S v2 interests me, as it would cut the expense of purchasing
a
> soundcard, although so far I've not been able to find a uk supplier. Dabs
> has a host of a bit motherboards but none seem to match the model name of
> the one you recommend.
>
>
http://www.dabs.com/uk/channels/components/motherboards...
>
>
> You're right regarding spending ages over specific choices, after a while
> you get dizzy with all the model numbers.
>
> Thanks again
> Oz
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 10, 2004 10:39:47 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

One aspect I'm not completly clear on is the chipset. What exactly does it
mean? I assumed it was either intel or amd, but you mention chipsets Intel
865/875, NForce2, VIA PT880
April 10, 2004 10:39:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"OVS" <aqpnSPremoveAM83@dsl.pipex.com> wrote in message
news:139cr2duwoaiu.ldffmqk65wrl.dlg@40tude.net...
> One aspect I'm not completly clear on is the chipset. What exactly does it
> mean? I assumed it was either intel or amd, but you mention chipsets Intel
> 865/875, NForce2, VIA PT880
>

Ok, there are motherboard manufacturers (abit, asus, epox, gigabyte, to name
some good ones), chipset makers (nvidia, intel, amd, sis, via) and then
there are CPU makers (intel, amd, via). The best chipsets are usually (but
not always) made by someone OTHER than the CPU maker. For Intel CPUs, Intel
chipsets are good, but they have some very strong competition from SIS and
others. For AMD CPUs, nvidia (nforce 2/3) is probably the best, although
there are some other good chipsets out now that are slightly faster made by
SIS and VIA.

The chipset is like the nervous system of a computer. The chipset is the
most significant component(s) on your motherboard other than the CPU.
Usually, you should decide what CPU you want, then research the chipsets
that support it, then find the best motherboard with that chipset. Or if
you want to keep it simple, just go with an AMD Athlon XP CPU on an nvidia
nforce2 board made by abit or epox or asus. That should be good for just
about anybody right now. -Dave
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 11, 2004 1:29:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Thanks to you and anon.
I'm much clearer now on the details. Now only left to do is to shop!

Thanks
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 11, 2004 6:36:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I've more or less now decided on my upgrade thanks to the people here

---Abit NF7-S v2 board

---Kingston 512MB PC3200

---Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB AGP8x

I've also decided to upgrade the processor. I'd originally decided on AMD
XP2500 Barton. The problem is I keep hearing that recent supplies of the
processor are multiplier locked and can't be overclocked.

Is it possible to tell from the description of the product if this is the
case.

The two choices I have are :
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...

The retail box is only a coupler of pounds more, but has a 3 year warranty
and fan. But is the retail version more likely to be locked?

Thanks
April 11, 2004 6:36:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

There's no sure-fire way to tell if the processor is multiplier
locked/unlocked. I buy a lot of my stuff from http://www.newegg.com, and
depend on other people's comments/reviews to tell me which stepping
*appears* to be more likely to be unlocked than locked, but even then,
you're never 100% sure that stepping is the one you'll receive.

To the degree you can determine the CPU stepping *and* know from your
research which steppings are more likely to be unlocked, you can increase
your chances *assuming* the purchasing process gives you the opportunity to
be so selective, most of the time this isn't the case, so it remains a roll
of the dice. Of course, the older the CPU, the more likely it will be
unlocked in the first place.

Buying online, not retail, makes it more difficult. In the store, you could
at least peak at the packaging and note the stepping (it's sometimes
mentioned, sometimes not, Intel normally does mention it on the outside
label, but then their CPUs are *always* locked, so the point is moot). For
online retailers, I've only seen the stepping mentioned occasionally,
particularly if the site is dedicated to mod'ing, OC'ing, or the enthusiasts
market. Sometimes they charge a premium, they see it as a "service". Or
sometimes just by examining the reviews, you'll see the stepping mentioned
and lots of people getting unlocked CPUs. If recent enough, it might
indicate a greater likelihood of getting one for yourself (i.e., you'll be
dipping into the same batch). The only other alternative is something like
an auction (i.e., eBay), where someone has previously owned it and knows it
to be unlocked. I suppose that's the *only* sure-fire means to know.

The bigger question is, does it really matter? It's nice to have, but
frankly, at these performance levels, I'm not sure it's all that important
anymore. At 200MHz, every multipler increase is quite a leap, esp, if the
CPU is already near it's maximum potential. You always have the FSB
available for OC'ing, and this provides finer control anyway. If I could
assure myself of a good stepping w/ minimal effort, I'd do it, but I
wouldn't go crazy over it. If it meant that much to me, I'd seriously
consider an auction, of course, you may not get as good a deal since good
stepping increases its value!

As far as retail vs. oem, retail usually makes more sense since, as you
said, the price difference is negligible. But in terms of locked vs.
unlocked, I've never seem a difference. It's the stepping that counts
(i.e., when it was made), and I see no more likelihood of one stepping over
another, regardless of oem or retail.

HTH

Jim


"OVS" <aqpnSPremoveAM83@dsl.pipex.com> wrote in message
news:p c1dr7tvhqaw$.1t06gfcrh69k2.dlg@40tude.net...
>
>
> I've more or less now decided on my upgrade thanks to the people here
>
> ---Abit NF7-S v2 board
>
> ---Kingston 512MB PC3200
>
> ---Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB AGP8x
>
> I've also decided to upgrade the processor. I'd originally decided on AMD
> XP2500 Barton. The problem is I keep hearing that recent supplies of the
> processor are multiplier locked and can't be overclocked.
>
> Is it possible to tell from the description of the product if this is the
> case.
>
> The two choices I have are :
>
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...
>
>
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?acti...
>
> The retail box is only a coupler of pounds more, but has a 3 year warranty
> and fan. But is the retail version more likely to be locked?
>
> Thanks
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 11, 2004 9:21:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

One last question... I promise..

I forgot all about the PSU.
I gather I need a PSU of about 350W plus rating.
The problem is the monitor I have needs a PSU with a Monitor power input.
From the photos I've seen none seem to have the monitor input.

Question is , do the average PSUs have a monitor input. WHat would I need
to see on the specs sheet to know it has one.
April 11, 2004 9:21:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

First, regarding the monitor, I assume you mean that the end of your
monitor's power plug has the shrouded AT-type connector. Whatever you do,
don't let *that* drive your PSU decision! You should be able to fix that
with a simple adapter!

Here's an example of an extension cord for that type of monitor:

http://www.directron.com/monpowcorwco.html

I'm using this only to clarify that you indeed have this type of connector,
the end of your plug probably looks like the shrouded end of that extension,
correct?

Since that is an AT style power cord intended for an AT style PSU, you're
not likely to find this on any new ATX PSU. I wouldn't say impossible, but
I haven't seen one in a loooooong time. But again, that should be a trivial
thing to fix w/ an adapter/extension:

http://www.digiconcepts.com/cables_power_06.htm
http://www.digiconcepts.com/cables_power_08.htm

Not sure what's available in the UK, but any decent computer store should
have something similar. The last thing you want to do is having something
silly like the monitor's plug restrict your PSU selection.

As far as the PSU itself, I'm a big believer in the Antec TruePower line.
It has one feature that is quite unusual. Normally, the spec'd power output
(let's say 350W) is divided among the various "rails" (3.3v, 5v, 12v). The
way the power rating is calculated is based on summing of all the MAXIMUM
power available across those rails. For example, let's say PSU "X" (350W),
and supports a maximum of 200W on the 12v rail, 100W on the 5v rail, and 50W
on the 3.3v rail. You add them up, you get 350W! The key point here is,
even though you have a 350W PSU, you're always limited by the maximum on any
given rail. So suppose you have nothing using the 5v and 3.3v rails (not
realistic, just keeping it simply for illustration purposes), but have
exhausted the 12v rail's 200W w/ all your HDs, optical drivers, etc. Even
though you have 150W of reserve power over the other rails, it's USELESS to
the 12v rail. You can't add any more 12v devices, even though you have 150W
of reserve power untapped!

The Antec TruePower line of PSUs don't work this way. When it says 430W,
that 430W is available to ALL the rails! That's why it's called
"TruePower", get it?

http://www.antec-inc.com/us/support_productInfo_details...

If you follow the above link, go to the bottom, on the FAQ, #3, it basically
is describing this feature, comparing the TruePower line to their other
economy line (SL Solutions) w/o this feature.

Of course, it makes for a more expensive PSU (mine cost $80 US on sale).
But I'm a big believer in not skimping on the power supply. Once your
system is underpowered, or isn't being supplied a strong, steady stream of
power with few fluctuations, everything else becomes suspect once problems
creep in. If I had to, I'd rather buy a smaller Antec than a larger
non-Antec model. IOW, I consider 430W a nice, middle-of-the-pack choice
among the Antec TruePower line, but if I found the 430W too expensive, I'd
drop back to 380W before looking to another brand w/ 430W. The fact that
ALL the rated power is still available on ALL rails makes this much less of
a problem/concern.

http://www.antec-inc.com/us/pro_powerSupply.html

Basically, the TruePower goes from 330W to 550W. For most people, the 430W
is perfect. To save a little, the 380W would be fine too, heck, even the
330W will outclass most standard 380W models. If you're really in economy
mode, the SL series is good too, it just doesn't have quite the same
features. But all the Antec PSUs are VERY well built and perform well.

The only other brand I highly recommend is the Enermax line. Very well
built too, I have a 350W model myself (
http://www.alienrock.com/enposuegf350.html ), in my wife's PC. It's not for
gaming, and isn't all that heavily loaded anyway. It performs flawlessly,
but again, doesn't have the features of the Antec TruePower I described
above. For gaming, I'd probably go a little higher, maybe 380W or so.

But if you ignore all this advice and simply go for something else, I would
not go below 350W, ever, at this point, 350W is my bottom. Every day the
power demands get greater and greater. Intel only recently introduced the
Prescott P4, this darn thing is already requiring 20-30% more power than the
last model! Everyone who is running Intel and already marginal on power
will be in for a surprise if/when they decide to upgrade.

HTH

Jim


"OVS" <aqpnSPremoveAM83@dsl.pipex.com> wrote in message
news:rlfy7efyqsin$.16aglg1chpbdn$.dlg@40tude.net...
> One last question... I promise..
>
> I forgot all about the PSU.
> I gather I need a PSU of about 350W plus rating.
> The problem is the monitor I have needs a PSU with a Monitor power input.
> From the photos I've seen none seem to have the monitor input.
>
> Question is , do the average PSUs have a monitor input. WHat would I need
> to see on the specs sheet to know it has one.
>
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 11, 2004 9:21:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

"Jim" <null@null.com> wrote in message
news:Jjfec.6937$HN3.6323@fed1read07...
> First, regarding the monitor, I assume you mean that the end of your
> monitor's power plug has the shrouded AT-type connector. Whatever you do,
> don't let *that* drive your PSU decision! You should be able to fix that
> with a simple adapter!
>
> Here's an example of an extension cord for that type of monitor:
>
> http://www.directron.com/monpowcorwco.html
>
> I'm using this only to clarify that you indeed have this type of
connector,
> the end of your plug probably looks like the shrouded end of that
extension,
> correct?
>
> Since that is an AT style power cord intended for an AT style PSU, you're
> not likely to find this on any new ATX PSU. I wouldn't say impossible,
but
> I haven't seen one in a loooooong time.

The Vantec power supplies have it, I believe. From what I've read, they
aren't real silent, but I've looked at pictures of them, and they appear to
have the right connector. -Dave
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 11, 2004 9:49:18 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

On Sun, 11 Apr 2004 08:56:56 -0700, Jim wrote:

> There's no sure-fire way to tell if the processor is multiplier
> locked/unlocked. I buy a lot of my stuff from http://www.newegg.com, and
> depend on other people's comments/reviews to tell me which stepping
> *appears* to be more likely to be unlocked than locked, but even then,
> you're never 100% sure that stepping is the one you'll receive.
>
> To the degree you can determine the CPU stepping *and* know from your
> research which steppings are more likely to be unlocked, you can increase
> your chances *assuming* the purchasing process gives you the opportunity to
> be so selective, most of the time this isn't the case, so it remains a roll
> of the dice. Of course, the older the CPU, the more likely it will be
> unlocked in the first place.
>
> Buying online, not retail, makes it more difficult. In the store, you could
> at least peak at the packaging and note the stepping (it's sometimes
> mentioned, sometimes not, Intel normally does mention it on the outside
> label, but then their CPUs are *always* locked, so the point is moot). For
> online retailers, I've only seen the stepping mentioned occasionally,
> particularly if the site is dedicated to mod'ing, OC'ing, or the enthusiasts
> market. Sometimes they charge a premium, they see it as a "service". Or
> sometimes just by examining the reviews, you'll see the stepping mentioned
> and lots of people getting unlocked CPUs. If recent enough, it might
> indicate a greater likelihood of getting one for yourself (i.e., you'll be
> dipping into the same batch). The only other alternative is something like
> an auction (i.e., eBay), where someone has previously owned it and knows it
> to be unlocked. I suppose that's the *only* sure-fire means to know.
>
> The bigger question is, does it really matter? It's nice to have, but
> frankly, at these performance levels, I'm not sure it's all that important
> anymore. At 200MHz, every multipler increase is quite a leap, esp, if the
> CPU is already near it's maximum potential. You always have the FSB
> available for OC'ing, and this provides finer control anyway. If I could
> assure myself of a good stepping w/ minimal effort, I'd do it, but I
> wouldn't go crazy over it. If it meant that much to me, I'd seriously
> consider an auction, of course, you may not get as good a deal since good
> stepping increases its value!
>
> As far as retail vs. oem, retail usually makes more sense since, as you
> said, the price difference is negligible. But in terms of locked vs.
> unlocked, I've never seem a difference. It's the stepping that counts
> (i.e., when it was made), and I see no more likelihood of one stepping over
> another, regardless of oem or retail.
>
> HTH
>
> Jim
>
Thanks Jim,
I think I dwelled to much into the overclocking aspect (especially as my
knoweldge on the subject is zero). I'll still be getting a 2500 and set the
FSB to 200. That should be enough for me.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
April 12, 2004 4:32:00 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Thanks for the great advice and information, Jim.
For some reason it never crossed my mind that I could get an adaptor for
the monitor lead! duh!
That makes purchasing a PSU much simplier.

Thanks again for all your help.
!