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Best Mid-Range Mobo for X2 4800 / General ideas

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July 23, 2006 2:13:05 AM

Hi there,

I've spent the past couple of weeks trying to get back up to speed on computer components as it's been a couple of years since my last build. However, I used to do two or three a year for friends and family and had no problems with any of them. It's time to upgrade and I'd like to not have to do it again for a few years, so I jumped on the recent AMD price drop and bought a 4800 X2 last night.

The main reason for upgrading is the Zen Vision:M that I bought for my wife. Converting movies is such a PITA on our current machine that the Zen is getting very little use. That and DVD authoring are pretty much the most processor intensive things that we do. We're not gamers or anything, so it's not a huge priority. However, I would like to use the TiVo Desktop server more often than we do now, too.

That said, what's everyone's favorite middle of the road motherboard for the X2 series? I've had good luck with MSI and Asus in the past, but haven't been able to find any "shootouts" between the current crop of boards. We're fine with on-board audio and heck, onboard video would be fine, too. The only thing I would definitely like would be a full size ATX board since I want as many old school PCI slots as possible (for some serial port related programs that I'm writing).

I would like for the board to have Firewire, but it's not an absolute requirement.

I'm planning to have 2GB of ram, use a Zalman cooler, get a nice big case with lots of airflow to feed it, and some big ol' SATA2 or 3G drives to store the data (haven't decided on whether or not to RAID them).

Other than the Zalman cooler, that's about the only brand name that I've really picked. Any specific recommendations for the above would be great!

I don't want to spend a TON of money to have the best there is, but I don't mind spending a reasonable amount for quality parts. We're definitely a best "bang for the buck" family.

So, there's my situation. Any help or pointers anyone would care to provide would certainly be very helpful. I know it takes time to share information and would very much appereciate any direction you all would care to provide.

Thanks,
Jason
a b V Motherboard
July 23, 2006 2:46:29 AM

Last night was the 21st. What price drop ? How much did you pay, and from where ?
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a b V Motherboard
July 23, 2006 2:55:30 AM

Quote:
Hi there,

I've spent the past couple of weeks trying to get back up to speed on computer components as it's been a couple of years since my last build. However, I used to do two or three a year for friends and family and had no problems with any of them. It's time to upgrade and I'd like to not have to do it again for a few years, so I jumped on the recent AMD price drop and bought a 4800 X2 last night.

The main reason for upgrading is the Zen Vision:M that I bought for my wife. Converting movies is such a PITA on our current machine that the Zen is getting very little use. That and DVD authoring are pretty much the most processor intensive things that we do. We're not gamers or anything, so it's not a huge priority. However, I would like to use the TiVo Desktop server more often than we do now, too.

That said, what's everyone's favorite middle of the road motherboard for the X2 series? I've had good luck with MSI and Asus in the past, but haven't been able to find any "shootouts" between the current crop of boards. We're fine with on-board audio and heck, onboard video would be fine, too. The only thing I would definitely like would be a full size ATX board since I want as many old school PCI slots as possible (for some serial port related programs that I'm writing).

I would like for the board to have Firewire, but it's not an absolute requirement.

I'm planning to have 2GB of ram, use a Zalman cooler, get a nice big case with lots of airflow to feed it, and some big ol' SATA2 or 3G drives to store the data (haven't decided on whether or not to RAID them).

Other than the Zalman cooler, that's about the only brand name that I've really picked. Any specific recommendations for the above would be great!

I don't want to spend a TON of money to have the best there is, but I don't mind spending a reasonable amount for quality parts. We're definitely a best "bang for the buck" family.

So, there's my situation. Any help or pointers anyone would care to provide would certainly be very helpful. I know it takes time to share information and would very much appereciate any direction you all would care to provide.

Thanks,
Jason


I currently use a MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum SLI for my 4800X2. I am considering buying this ASUS board when the price drops a little more. I currently do a little overclocking, use an Artic Freezer Pro cooler and do some video editing. I would like to upgrade to the ASUS A8N32-SLI, a Zalman Fatality cooler and an Audigy 2 soundcard would work for me. The 4800X2 was a good choice especially with the price drops. FX is the next stop for 939.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

This is an SLI board and it has fewer PCI slots so it may not work for you. In that case you might choose a board with the Nforce4 chipset. The 4800X2+ and the Nforce4 are a very powerful match. Hope this helps.
July 23, 2006 3:19:10 AM

Best or Mid Range...
You need to make your mind up on the terms.

Best MB imho is always DFI.

Best air coolers are Thermalright (I use the SI-120 but they just came out with a improved ver for dual cores)....my 146's are OC a full Ghz and run 2C over room temps.

Best cases are Coolermaster.

Best fans are Silverstone FM-121.

And above all...the best PSU's are PC Cooling!
I found that these PSU let my builds hit high OC WITHOUT haveing to raise the voltages at all as they are output rated @ 50C rather than 22-25C like all other supplys.

Z

EDIT: If price is not an issue then get the Optron 180 as it has 2 times the L1 of all the other AMD cpu's.
July 23, 2006 4:04:58 AM

Quote:
Any help or pointers anyone would care to provide would certainly be very helpful.


I've had good luck with Asus and DFI mobos for S939CPUs. Don't buy an SLI mobo since you don't plan to do SLI. My favorite case right now is the Lian Li 60 PlusII.. For the stuff you list, I recommend this fine power supply from mushkin. I've had good luck with OZC and mushkin DDR500 although even on sale, the mushkin is pricey unless you want to overclock. You can get some DDR400 OCZ for a great price if you shop around. I recommend 2x1GB.

Good luck!
July 23, 2006 10:36:00 AM

Thanks, everyone. It's good to have a little more direction in the sea of options.

That Mushkin PS is sharp. I hadn't planned on spending that much, but might just cough it up. :-) You kind of read my mind about the OCZ ram, too. There are some attractive rebates on that right now. A guy here at work also recommended the Lian Li cases. Very nice, but I wonder how it would look after being around my son for a few months.


I bought the retail CPU from Monarch for $320, so it was around $325 shipped two day FedEx. Thank goodness, for once in my life, I seem to have waited until just the right time. :) 
July 23, 2006 2:00:50 PM

Quote:
A guy here at work also recommended the Lian Li cases. Very nice, but I wonder how it would look after being around my son for a few months.


You ought to see what kids do to cases with flimsy plastic all over the front...
July 23, 2006 2:40:19 PM

The X2 4800+ for $320? When I got mine a year ago I paid more than $800! :lol: 
July 25, 2006 11:16:57 PM

Well, I think I've narrowed down the motherboard choice to the ASRock 939SLI32-eSATA2. After much research and this Review at AnandTech, I think it gives the best bang for the buck and possibility for future expansion (AM2 CPU and SLI). Even though I'm not doing it now, it would be nice to know that the SLI option is there, if need be. I really like the external eSATAII connectors, too...might prove handy with an external drive for the TiVo Series 3.
!