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Confused about which mobo.

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March 24, 2006 6:34:31 AM

Hey,

I will be building a new system in the next couple of weeks and need some help deciding on the mobo.
Things that I have narrowed down already....

-CPU will be AMD 939 (either a 4200+ x2 or o/c 3700+) I might end up flipping for that one ;) 
-I will be running a single PCI-e card. (7900GTX)
-I want at least a single Gb LAN onboard
-Wouldn't mind WiFi on board
-I will be buying 2 new drives to run in RAID 0 and was thinking SATA2 would be the go, so SATA2 onboard.
-IDE for my optical drives and existing PATA HDD.
-The case I want has 6 USB at the front, so 6 usb2 by cable from the board.
-I have an OK soundcard so not fussed there.

I guess what I am hoping for is a run down of what chipset options I have and feature/benefit differences between them.
like, whats the diff between NF4, NF4-ultra, NF4 -neo etc.

Hmmmm. What have I forgotten?


any advantage keeping Mobo and vid card the same brand?

Cheers,

More about : confused mobo

March 24, 2006 12:33:35 PM

The difference between the chipsets is features - hit the nVidia website for a breakdown. Even if a chipset does/does not have features, the mobo mfr can decide not to implement chipset features or add features to their board that are not in the chipset. The best thing to do when researching mobos is to write your list of required features and then look for boards that meet your needs. nVidia, ATi and ULi all have good chipsets - I would stay away from VIA. Here are a couple of good options based on your required features:
1. Abit KN8 Ultra
2. Epox 9NPA+ Ultra

SATA II: Better theoretical speed, but modern HDDs can't even utilize the full speed of ATA133 or SATA. Don't spend extra money now for just SATA II - it's a marketing buzzword.
March 24, 2006 2:48:39 PM

"but modern HDDs can't even utilize the full speed of ATA133 or SATA."

You are correct for individual ATA drives being unable to saturate an ATA133 channel, as most are limited to 60-65 mb/sec sustained throughput...(I use one myself, as I got a 250 gb/16m cache unit for $59 at CompUSA a few months back!)

But as he wants RAID 0, might as well get a mb with integrated SATA RAID controller, and opt for SATA drives. (the 150/300 spec is irrelevant, as many SATA150 drives can outperform sata 3 gb/sec drives...)
Related resources
March 24, 2006 4:50:06 PM

If you take a closer look at my post, you will see that I recommended he avoid paying extra just for SATA II. Additionally, if you look at the boards I recommended, then you will see that both have SATA RAID. :smile:
March 25, 2006 1:21:30 AM

Thanks for your comments.

2 specific questions....

Any disadvantage going for SATAII? I figure that the drives I buy now will be with me in my next system too and if SATAII is beneficial in 2 years time I wouldn't have to replace them....

Other than being able to do SLI, does the NF4 SLI chipset have any performance advantage over NF4 or NF4 ultra?


Cheers.
March 27, 2006 8:59:00 PM

1. There's no DISadvantage to going SATAII unless you're paying more money for it. :wink:

2. Typically the SLi chipsets are made from the best of the silicon and have the potential to be more stable when OC'd. Typically this chipset would go into a higher-end board - more features and more cost.
March 27, 2006 11:48:36 PM

Quote:

2. Typically the SLi chipsets are made from the best of the silicon and have the potential to be more stable when OC'd. Typically this chipset would go into a higher-end board - more features and more cost.


OK, I was wondering whether the 2nd x16 (or x8) PCIe slot could be used for some other card that would make use of the x16. Not that I can think of such a card! :lol: 

Thanks.

I do like the look of Abit AN8-Ultra More for the passive cooling on the chipset than the SATAII but my main supplier doesn't stock. :( 
March 29, 2006 1:25:49 AM

OK. I can't see myself using an add in PCIe card as a controller - I will stick to onboard SATA.

Would a dual PCIe x16 SLI with only one x16 slot used allow for the onboard SATAII to have more bandwidth if I was running a full 8 drives?

I have been searching and searching for NF4 or NF4-Ultra with passive cooling on the chipset, but can only find boards with SLI like this. Any suggestions?
March 29, 2006 1:22:50 PM

Quiet was one of the goals when I built the rig in my sig. The GA-K8NF-9 has all of the features you wanted except SATAII and uses a passive cooling solution for the chipset. It is very stable and runs my rig 24/7 with a 15% OC on the CPU and 100% CPU utilization (THGC Folding@Home). It's not the best for high-end OCing, but it has been a great little board for my usage.
April 10, 2006 6:53:17 AM

Quote:
Quiet was one of the goals when I built the rig in my sig. The GA-K8NF-9 has all of the features you wanted except SATAII and uses a passive cooling solution for the chipset. It is very stable and runs my rig 24/7 with a 15% OC on the CPU and 100% CPU utilization (THGC Folding@Home). It's not the best for high-end OCing, but it has been a great little board for my usage.


Thank you.

Seriously looking at this board now.
But also looking at the K8N Pro SLI or the K8NF-9 Ultra and can't workout if I want an extra PCI or an extra PCIx 16.
April 14, 2006 12:06:19 AM

ty for the suggestions about the abit kn8 ultra, i think im gonna go w/ that now since i already have a good pci sound card and i def dont want sli :p 
!