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Intel convert needs help picking out AMD motherboard

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January 9, 2006 4:01:42 AM

I've always in the past purchased Intel Chipsets and Intel Processors, and usually Intel Motherboards. Looking to put together my first AMD board since the early 90's and I don't know which Mobo Manufacturer or which chipset to get. Going with the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ and need to know what mobo to get. I don't overclock and I want a stable machine. I don't do any gaming on my pc. Price really isn't a concern, but would like to keep it under $250. Going to be putting into an Antec p150 so I need to be able to put up 2 usb and one firewire to the front. Would like to have PCI express for the video. Dual Channel memory would also be key.

Thanks in advance.
January 9, 2006 7:37:56 AM

The Foxconn NF4UK8AA-8EKRS is a very nice, stable, and reliable board that would suit your needs nicely I think. You don't need to be spending a ton of money on RAM either since no serious gaming or overclocking. We use Wintec memory nearly exclusively, and I think their AMPO would be fine for what you are doing. Check it out here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
Newegg does not have the Foxconn board, you would have to check around for it, but it is a good board.
January 9, 2006 8:15:51 AM

Quality mobo companies:
Asus
MSI (Micro Star International)
Abit
DFI High end models (Diamond Flower Int or Inc)

Basically any company that puts some R&D time into their products and uses Rubycon capacitors generally makes good boards.

If your not going to be playing games, there is no need for an SLI enabled board, unless there is an option on that board you want and it happens to be SLI enabled.

I suggest going with an nForce4 Ultra based board, it has good performance and all around good features.

There is no need for a bleeding edge technology motherboard, if fact I'd discourage it for your needs. I'd suggest something a little older, more mature, that has had the BIOS bugs worked out so that shipping models are problem free out of the box. Also the newest models comming out right now are still in tight supply, you'd have to do some searching and waiting.

As for memory, I'd suggest at least 512MB, I recommend 1GB to everyone though, even non-gamers. Especially using Windows XP. The entire Win32 API is a memory hog, since Windows XP can make EFFECTIVE use of 2GB of memory, address 4GB, might as well drop a 1GB in there. Only use a MATCHED pair kit of quality RAM, especially for Dual Channel. It will alleviate quite a few headaches. You'll want PC3200 for sure, that was the CPU and RAM are speed sycnhed, lowering subsystem overhead and latency. Try and avoid filling all your memory slots, the best configuration is using only 2 sticks for Dual Channel. More then that and it increases incompatibility and command timing (1T to 2T), which will effect performance noticeably.

Specific models:

Asus A8N-E - Solid board, good price, a little mature so should be very stable.

Abit AN8 Ultra - Very solid board, I've used Abit for awhile. Been around awhile, well known stable board in my circles.

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum - Very solid board again, good array of options, built several customer systems with this board, never any problems.

DFI - No models to recommend, they used to be third-tier garbage OEM direct stuff, bit in the last few years they've been making better stuff, trying to make their name better. I've heard several good reviews of their higher end models.
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January 9, 2006 8:40:51 AM

I'd go with the MSI K8N Neo4-F Platinum I have the standard one and had no problems. Its a very stable and reliable motherboard and the platinum has some extra things that are very useful and its got all the things you wanted your mobo to have! :) 
January 9, 2006 8:47:02 AM

If you want the ultimate in reliability and stability, find a Fujitsu-Siemens motherboard. You will not find a board with a lower failure rate. http://www.fsc-america.com. You probably could come in around $250 if you kept your memory cost reasonable, say $75 for 2x512mb.
a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2006 9:00:53 AM

Personally iv had no luck with MSI - every product iv owned from them iv had issues with - dead cd drives, overheating video cards, boards dieing.

Iv never seen an MSI product live to see an upgrade or even pass its waranty - they all died before 12 months (except my overheating video card).

On the other hand iv had plenty of Gigabyte and ASUS boards that just WILL NOT DIE.

Oh, and get a Nvidia based board - nothing from VIA.
!