So my whole intial plan was to buy an ASRock Dual ATA motherboard so that I could keep my ATI Radeon 9800pro until I was ready to upgrade to a better graphics card. But after reading the reviews of that mobo, and checking the forums, I think that board is beyond the likes of a beginner like me.
So I'm going to go ahead and buy the new card now...but I need help picking out a motherboard. Here's what my setup will look like (there are some budget items in there, I know...I'm not loaded):
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz HT 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor
eVGA Geforce 7900GT CO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16
CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 ( I plan to double this soon)
Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive
Antec TRUEPOWERII ATX12V 550W Power Supply
Antec P180 Advanced Super Mid Tower Case
All I need is something to plug it all into...
Any suggestions? I'm just wingin' it here, seat of my pants style.
(BTW, I already bought the case and the hard-drive, so any opinions on those are moot.. :wink: .)
I would call that a very nice system. Couple of recommendations:
1. If the RAM you are buying is 2x512MB and you plan on upgrading to 2GB of RAM soon, then do it now. A RAM config of 2x1GB is better than 4x512MB. You will be able to keep tighter timings and a 1T command rate with the 2x1GB setup.
2. If you want to save the money on the video card right now, then go ahead and get the Asrock 939Dual SATA. It is very inexpensive and good quality. Switching from AGP is a simple process so don't let that intimidate you. You could either take the extra cash and upgrade to a 3700+ and 2x1GB or put it in the bank and let it be the beginning of your GPU upgrade funds. I think the 3500+ is almost a waste...you could get a 3200+ Venice and easily OC it to 3500+ speeds.
If you're going to buy a PCI-e card now, you won't need to get the ASRock dual board. So, I'd do better on the board than ASRock. You can get a better board for only a little more money. Take a look at Foxconn, Epox, and Gigabyte.