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4 motherboards to choose from - any particularly good/bad

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July 5, 2006 11:22:46 AM

Experts,

I have been reading reviews like crazy of the following mobos:

MSI K8N Diamond
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
Abit AN8-32X
DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-DR

I just cannot find anything significant to separate them. I want to buy one today/tomorrow, but was looking for anything good/bad that might separate them.

Anyone?
July 5, 2006 11:41:08 AM

What are you planning to do with your computer? How much experience do you have?

If you want to overclock a lot, get the DFI. The Abit would be the second best overclocker, followed by the Asus and then the MSI. Of course, these are just estimates. DFI boards are made for overclocking, but that particular Asus could overclock very well, for example.

Just out of curiosity, why aren't you getting an AM2 motherboard? I bought the Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe and a dual-core 3800+, and aside from a bad IDE cable it's worked flawlessly. I've never owned a 939 system, so I can't comment on the differences between the two, but I have no qualms.

Go AM2, it'll put you in a better position to upgrade later.
July 5, 2006 12:11:10 PM

im running off a k8n diamond very nice bored have had 0 problems with it have managed a 15% OC on my 3500 on air would prob do better with some better ram, i would def recommend
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July 5, 2006 12:32:13 PM

Well, I am not an expert overclocker but I would like a basic 'Turbo & Loud' or 'Slow but Quieter' overclock option. In my experience, the Abits provide that...

But your AM2 suggestion piqued my interest. Would an AM2 board work with my current socket 929 Athlon X2 CPU? If so, apart from future-proofing, what benefits would I get right now from this type of board?
July 5, 2006 12:51:08 PM

Asus AN832SLI is an excellent MB for 939 socket...if you already got you 939 cpu ... quiet , good overclocker and for SLI... 2 16X PCIExpress... solid components installed...a MB for a long time (while specs of 939 resists)... if you did not get the CPU yet... AM2 would be wiser... or even Conroe... but for 939...really impressive product from ASUS... do not take ABIT...this one still made in bad times of ABIT (before universal ABIT) ... DFI is fine , but tricky to OC (but OC better for those real OC experts )...
July 5, 2006 1:09:27 PM

I bought the Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe for AM2. Silent board because of the heatpipe cooling. Only thing to be wary of is that you can't use it in a reversed ATX case like the Lian Li PC-V-series cases, where they're ATX spec but are mounted upside down. Because of the way the heatpipe works, the heat won't be carried away and your northbridge will run much hotter.

My motherboard has a self-overclocking option, where you can choose a percentage overclock up to 10% over stock, but you can also manually edit the FSB and other overclocking options. I haven't bothered to test them, but it looks simple enough to choose a percentage.

No, the 939 CPU will not work in an AM2 motherboard. If you already bought the CPU, get the A8N32-SLI from Asus, it's pretty much the best 939 motherboard available. If you haven't bought the CPU or RAM yet, buy the M2N-SLI Deluxe. Or, the highest-end option, get the M2N32-SLI Deluxe, which can run SLI in x16 + x16 mode. Since I don't plan on SLI any time soon, I decided to save money and get the one right below top-of-the-line. :wink:
July 5, 2006 2:02:26 PM

Thanks for the help guys. I already have processor and RAM, so the AM2 is out of the question.

Reading your replies it seems like the Asus A8N32-SLI is the best option, with the MSI K8N Diamond a close second. I will go for the Asus.

:) 
July 5, 2006 3:31:40 PM

Quote:
Well, I am not an expert overclocker but I would like a basic 'Turbo & Loud' or 'Slow but Quieter' overclock option. In my experience, the Abits provide that...


The ASUS A8N32-SLI will give you similar options. A very nice board IMO (maybe because I own one :wink: )
July 5, 2006 3:44:27 PM

Quote:
do not take ABIT.

The AN8 32X is an incredibly stable board as all the reviews have stated (& in my experience too), indeed we've had more than a few defections from the Asus A8N32.
It's certainly been less troublesome than the A8N32 (although I believe that the latest BIOS sorted most of it's problems).
July 5, 2006 4:04:53 PM

Meh. All boards are buggy if they aren't flashed to the latest BIOS. Of course, when I flashed the BIOS on my old Dell notebook I found it wouldn't install any distro of Linux...which was odd. I may try fiddling with it later if the new owner of the notebook wants to try Linux.
July 6, 2006 12:20:50 PM

Quote:
Experts,

I have been reading reviews like crazy of the following mobos:

MSI K8N Diamond
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
Abit AN8-32X
DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-DR

I just cannot find anything significant to separate them. I want to buy one today/tomorrow, but was looking for anything good/bad that might separate them.

Anyone?


The Asus, Abit, and MSI kits are not saddled with the cheap active-cooling chipset fans that the DFI comes with. That can, and likely will, positively affect their durability and your headaches while reducing noise. Inferring that you'll be using a reasonably cooled case I'd strongly recommend considering passively cooled solutions as they suggest higher build quality from that standpoint. ...but if noisy, less durable, sleeve-bearing fans don't really concern you right now then disregard this opinion.

P.S. I've not read all the other posts above, so if this has already been mentioned, my apologies.
July 6, 2006 12:46:16 PM

Quote:
Experts,

I have been reading reviews like crazy of the following mobos:

MSI K8N Diamond
Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
Abit AN8-32X
DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-DR

I just cannot find anything significant to separate them. I want to buy one today/tomorrow, but was looking for anything good/bad that might separate them.

Anyone?


If you're not certain you need SLI, then don't get an SLI mobo. The DFI nF4 Lanparty is a solid board that will save you bucks over an SLI mobo. That said, I have an Asus A8N32SLI Dlx and it has worked well so far.
July 6, 2006 1:50:29 PM

Do you mean the LanParty Ultra-D, which has two PCIe slots but conspicuously lacks a *stock* SLI chipset?

Yes, that's a good board, but for only a few dollars more he could get an SLI board, which would let him implement SLI physics (sounds better than Ageia's plan, I think - modular is better) at a later date.
July 6, 2006 2:17:44 PM

Quote:
Do you mean the LanParty Ultra-D, which has two PCIe slots but conspicuously lacks a *stock* SLI chipset?

Yes, that's a good board, but for only a few dollars more he could get an SLI board, which would let him implement SLI physics (sounds better than Ageia's plan, I think - modular is better) at a later date.


Yes, I meant the Ultra-D. Even though I'm piddling with XFire, I don't really believe the future of gaming PCs is with SLI/XFire setups and also believe that people that start with one GPU and plan to SLI a second later on are often spinning their wheels.
July 6, 2006 2:34:04 PM

I like to leave options open if both are in the same price range. If you call my having more options "spinning my wheels," then mud is spraying out from under the tires.
July 6, 2006 2:41:46 PM

Quote:
I like to leave options open if both are in the same price range. If you call my having more options "spinning my wheels," then mud is spraying out from under the tires.


What I mean is this: I see sigs and posts about SLI'ing inexpensive GPUs all the time. I've read the benchmarks for those setups and know that one does not extract as much value as one would by just purchasing one card at the sum value. I realize that the sequential inexpensive GPU SLI allows incremental spending, money is tight and all that. But I try to spend smart. For example, I had a 6800GS sitting unused when I built my son's game box a few months ago and was on the verge of buying another to SLI in his rig. But I did my homework first, saw the specs and bailed on that plan. I got him a 1900XT on sale with a MIR and in the end, I believe I came out ahead. One can buy an inexpensive GPU then sell it on ebay later. Good quality inexpensive PC parts sell pretty well there.
July 6, 2006 3:29:35 PM

Things will change with SLI physics. Say, around next year when I upgrade to a GeForce 8xxx-series card. Still have that "old" 7900 GT just lying around. I say to myself, "Hmm, what can I use this for?" Ah, yes, SLI physics! That card will be plenty powerful enough to put in SLI mode with a new card, I just make the new card do the rendering and set the old card to calculate physics.

I have a hunch that since physics isn't a part of DirectX or OpenGL, it won't matter that the older card can't support all of DirectX 10's new features, since the newer card will be doing all of the graphics math.

Or if it turns out that that isn't the case, I could just buy a new card and pawn off the old one, then use the funds to buy another part, perhaps more RAM or even a cheap 8xxx card to do the physics math. I'm not out anything buy spending a few dollars more on an SLI board, but you get so many more options.

With the next big driver update, the economics of SLI will improve considerably, and the people with dual inexpensive video cards may see more improvement then you thought, simply because SLI in its current incarnation just isn't using the full power of the cards.

So what if some people buy two cheaper video cards and SLI them? Let them do what they want. All I'm saying is that more options is a good thing - and if people want to abuse those options then let them. More money for nVidia because they sell more GPUs, and then they feel more encouraged to increase the efficiency of the current technolog to sell even more.

If you disagree, just make your recommendations and sit back and let them buy what they want. Just smile and nod. Then, if they surprise you with better performance than you expected, accept the new information and move on.

Remember the story with the reeds and the tree in the wind? The tree stayed stiff and strong, and the wind toppled it over. The reeds bent and swayed, and they all survived. Be the reed, man. Be the reed.
July 6, 2006 11:14:21 PM

Quote:
So what if some people buy two cheaper video cards and SLI them? Let them do what they want.


Sure, it's a free world, go for it. But if a guy hasn't bought yet, so it's not too late for him to read more benchmarks and get the data.

Quote:
Remember the story with the reeds and the tree in the wind? The tree stayed stiff and strong, and the wind toppled it over. The reeds bent and swayed, and they all survived. Be the reed, man. Be the reed.


Sorry, but I'm not a tree nor a reed. I go inside when it gets too windy.
July 7, 2006 9:46:02 AM

Well - I went for it and bought the Asus A8N32SLI Deluxe. Fitting it tonight. But I tell ya, this looks like one quality board! Included accessories are pretty nice as well, and best of all, the manual *almost* seems like it has not been translated from Urdu!

Pairing it with a Gainward 7900GT 512Mb, and 3Gb of system RAM, and gonna OC the whole lot. Will let you know how I get on.
July 7, 2006 9:57:31 AM

Quote:
Well - I went for it and bought the Asus A8N32SLI Deluxe. Fitting it tonight. But I tell ya, this looks like one quality board! Included accessories are pretty nice as well, and best of all, the manual *almost* seems like it has not been translated from Urdu!

Pairing it with a Gainward 7900GT 512Mb, and 3Gb of system RAM, and gonna OC the whole lot. Will let you know how I get on.


It doesn't just look like a quality board, my friend. As you gaze upon it you're looking at, what is arguably, the best S939 motherboard that has been made. It may end up in the Smithsonian's Museum of National History as a testament of what mankind is capable of.

LOL. Just kidding, you do, however, have arguably one of the best mobos produced. Enjoy.
!