Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

Tom's Socket AM2 Motherboard Summer Slam

Tags:
  • Memory
  • World Of Warcraft
  • Socket
  • Motherboards
Last response: in Memory
September 19, 2006 10:59:49 AM

The wow factor plays a big part in the latest crop of premium feature-packed AM2 boards. We look at eight of the hottest.

More about : tom socket am2 motherboard summer slam

September 19, 2006 2:47:09 PM

So I have found one distinguishing feature that is going to keep me away from ASUS motherboards for life - at least until they fix it. As you concluded - all the motherboards performed the same, so I dont think I hurt myself by excluding them.

I recently did a home-build gaming rig for a friend. As it was my first I decided to play it safe and paid extra for an ASUS case to match my ASUS motherboard. The case came with front audio connectors for mic and speaker. The motherboard didn't have a connector for the associated cable. This new crosshair motherboard *also* doesnt have this connector.

It seems stupid but it hurt the overall image of the finished products to have non-working ports on the machine I delivered. I also know that I use these ports all the time on my various machines so it was a big deal for me. I now take a long hard look at the motherboard PDF and dismiss anything which doesnt have this connector!
September 19, 2006 2:50:55 PM

Quote:
The wow factor plays a big part in the latest crop of premium feature-packed AM2 boards. We look at eight of the hottest.


Consistency and reliability can be major factors in purchasing new computers to me. Unfortunately, I still have a more-than decent Socket 939 solution at the moment, and have no plans of upgrading for probably at least one year. Heh, AMD's reliable chipsets may actually lose them market share in the long run, as people like me won't have to upgrade every year.

Still, I think AMD has a chance. I must say the tendancy in the past that Intel and AMD had made me perhaps a little biased towards AMD, but Intel does currently have the overall performance advantage at the moment. Still, AMD has more than attractive prices, and in today's market, competitive pricing is becoming more and more important.

QUESTION: ASROCK has some pretty attractive AM2 mobo's out there as well, and for a much lower price. The Asrock in my sig. had lower performance than other 939 solutions, but it is more than reliable. Can anyone from THG tell me if the Asrock AM2XLI-eSATA2 is good performance-wise? Why wasn't it reviewed? If the answer is: it is too cheap, what MAKES it cheap? Does it suck tremendously, or is it just as good but just not big enough of a brand name? EDIT: Oh, and the ASROCK has *TWO* ATA133 connectors, which is more than reason enough for me personally to have preferred it over these "premium" boards.
Related resources
September 19, 2006 3:24:46 PM

Can we get a Mod to reprogram the pschimd bot to post in the correct sections? Or at least into Offtopic? That way we can all look there for the article adverts.
September 19, 2006 10:22:04 PM

Why did they not review DFI LP UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G? This board is the way to go if you want to overclock, and have a nice stablie computer! Heck the DFI INFINITY NF ULTRAII-M2 is also a vary nice board to use! Is dfi not a vary popular board here?
September 20, 2006 12:55:37 AM

And what about the ABIT Fatal1ty AN9 32X or KN9 SLI. Both of witch are good boards.
September 20, 2006 4:24:36 AM

While it would have been nice to review every AM2 board out there in one article, I think the message is pretty clear: performance is pretty much equal, regardless.

Just shop for the best features that suit your needs, and keep an ear to the ground if there are any boards with a bad rep out there...
September 20, 2006 4:43:52 PM

I don't want to be picky but the Vitesse VSC8601 you quote as Gigabit controller, ie the MAC, used in the MSI K9N SLI Platinum is simply the PHY and not the MAC... as verifiable on Vitesse own web site http://www.vitesse.com/products/product.php?number=VSC8....
It would not really make sense to buy another Gigabit MAC while the Nvidia 570 chip already contains two ?
September 20, 2006 8:40:11 PM

There is something important missing from this AM2-mobo roundup:
namely 95% of the marktet of potential readers... :cry: 

These are all SLI-mobos,
and as far as I know, hardly anyone in the world uses SLI.
Yes, I know that many hardcore gamers probably use it,
but they account for what? 5% of the mobo/vga-card/CPU market?

I am looking for a top-notch AM2 mobo,
but I'm not at all interested in SLI,
and prefer to have 1 more PCI or PCIE 1x port,
rather than a second PCIE16x slot which is completely useless to me...
and to 95% of the rest of the buyers' market.

Most hardware-sites seem to make this mistake:
They seem to think that everybody is interested in seeing how an Athlon FX or Pentium EE,
Top of the range SLI video cards, overclocked RAM etc.
perform together
with all quality settings in the games put to the max, or close.

I am part of the other 95% of the market,
who would buy a good quality NON-SLI mobo,
put an mid-range CPU like an Athlon 64 3500 or so on it,
take a Geforce 6600 or another standard mid-range video card,
and lots of 800Mhz DDR2 quality RAM, but nothing overclocked.

My opinion: If they really want to show the world what performance you could get from hardware which 95% of the market buys,
then they should take a system like the one described above,
put several CPUs in it, from budget CPUs up to the mid-range CPUs,
put several budget to mid-range graphic cards in it
and then test these configurations in games with STANDARD quality settings, and other software like video-encoding etc.
You would be surprised to see how fluid modern games like Quake 4 and later can run with standard quality settings, even on a Sempron with a standard non-GT GF6600 or so.
And THAT, I think, is what 95% of the world would like to know.

I for one would like to know what I can expect from a fast Sempron or a mid-range Athlon 64 single-core when it comes to video-recoding,
eg. recoding the AVI-files from my Mini-DV videocamera into 6Mbps MPEG-2 files, or shrinking DVDs to single-layer DVDs.
Or playing games at standard settings...
These things are what 95% of the market does on Budget- to mid-range computers, so that's the kind of tests that 95% of the market would like to see, just to see how an affordable new pc would improve things over their current pc, which was also a mid-range pc when they bought it.

By not performing tests like these, but only testing the high-end, I think that most hardware-sites are testing things 95% of the market isn't interested in.
I am not stupid enough to buy high-end Extreme Edition factory overclocked $500-costing CPUs and so on.
This is not meant as criticism to anyone, or you can see this as "constructive" criticism if you like.
So please folks: don't forget to show the masses what the hardware THEY buy can do. Don't just show those very rare hardcore-gamers with big budgets what high-end machines can do.
Also show the masses what budget- to midrange-pcs can do,
and you may increase your number of readers by 2 or more!

I am a normal guy - an Oracle Database Administrator in real life -
who buys normal budget- to mid-range hardware to do fun stuff with, including playing games.
But tests like these are a waste of my time.
I'm not interested in SLI mobos, factory overclocked CPUs, high-end video cards etc., and neither is 95% of the rest of the market.

I don't want to criticize anybody,
I just think that I have a point.
A point which could make you double your amount of regular readers.

Best regards;
Carl

For information, my current pc is a:
Athlon XP 2800+
1Gb RAM
ATI Radeon 9600 (non-Pro or XT)
And I wonder what, say an Athlon 64 3500 with a current mid-range video card, would improve over this system when doing video encoding, playing games at normal settings etc.
I cannot find any hardware-site which answers that question.
It's strange that they all focus on just 5% of the market...
Or when they Do test mid-range video cards, they test them on a high end CPU lik an Athlon FX...
a ridiculous combination which NO ONE buys, not even the hardcore gamers.
So, either test high end video cards with high end CPUs,
or test cheaper video cards on cheaper CPUs,
but son't mix this, because no one buys those mixed combinations of a cheap video card with a high end CPU, or vice versa.
September 20, 2006 8:42:21 PM

There is something important missing from this AM2-mobo roundup:
namely 95% of the marktet of potential readers... :cry: 

These are all SLI-mobos,
and as far as I know, hardly anyone in the world uses SLI.
Yes, I know that many hardcore gamers probably use it,
but they account for what? 5% of the mobo/vga-card/CPU market?

I am looking for a top-notch AM2 mobo,
but I'm not at all interested in SLI,
and prefer to have 1 more PCI or PCIE 1x port,
rather than a second PCIE16x slot which is completely useless to me...
and to 95% of the rest of the buyers' market.

Most hardware-sites seem to make this mistake:
They seem to think that everybody is interested in seeing how an Athlon FX or Pentium EE,
Top of the range SLI video cards, overclocked RAM etc.
perform together
with all quality settings in the games put to the max, or close.

I am part of the other 95% of the market,
who would buy a good quality NON-SLI mobo,
put an mid-range CPU like an Athlon 64 3500 or so on it,
take a Geforce 6600 or another standard mid-range video card,
and lots of 800Mhz DDR2 quality RAM, but nothing overclocked.

My opinion: If they really want to show the world what performance you could get from hardware which 95% of the market buys,
then they should take a system like the one described above,
put several CPUs in it, from budget CPUs up to the mid-range CPUs,
put several budget to mid-range graphic cards in it
and then test these configurations in games with STANDARD quality settings, and other software like video-encoding etc.
You would be surprised to see how fluid modern games like Quake 4 and later can run with standard quality settings, even on a Sempron with a standard non-GT GF6600 or so.
And THAT, I think, is what 95% of the world would like to know.

I for one would like to know what I can expect from a fast Sempron or a mid-range Athlon 64 single-core when it comes to video-recoding,
eg. recoding the AVI-files from my Mini-DV videocamera into 6Mbps MPEG-2 files, or shrinking DVDs to single-layer DVDs.
Or playing games at standard settings...
These things are what 95% of the market does on Budget- to mid-range computers, so that's the kind of tests that 95% of the market would like to see, just to see how an affordable new pc would improve things over their current pc, which was also a mid-range pc when they bought it.

By not performing tests like these, but only testing the high-end, I think that most hardware-sites are testing things 95% of the market isn't interested in.
I am not stupid enough to buy high-end Extreme Edition factory overclocked $500-costing CPUs and so on.
This is not meant as criticism to anyone, or you can see this as "constructive" criticism if you like.
So please folks: don't forget to show the masses what the hardware THEY buy can do. Don't just show those very rare hardcore-gamers with big budgets what high-end machines can do.
Also show the masses what budget- to midrange-pcs can do,
and you may increase your number of readers by 2 or more!

I am a normal guy - an Oracle Database Administrator in real life -
who buys normal budget- to mid-range hardware to do fun stuff with, including playing games.
But tests like these are a waste of my time.
I'm not interested in SLI mobos, factory overclocked CPUs, high-end video cards etc., and neither is 95% of the rest of the market.

I don't want to criticize anybody,
I just think that I have a point.
A point which could make you double your amount of regular readers.

Best regards;
Carl

For information, my current pc is a:
Athlon XP 2800+
1Gb RAM
ATI Radeon 9600 (non-Pro or XT)
And I wonder what, say an Athlon 64 3500 with a current mid-range video card, would improve over this system when doing video encoding, playing games at normal settings etc.
I cannot find any hardware-site which answers that question.
It's strange that they all focus on just 5% of the market...
Or when they Do test mid-range video cards, they test them on a high end CPU lik an Athlon FX...
a ridiculous combination which NO ONE buys, not even the hardcore gamers.
So, either test high end video cards with high end CPUs,
or test cheaper video cards on cheaper CPUs,
but son't mix this, because no one buys those mixed combinations of a cheap video card with a high end CPU, or vice versa.
September 20, 2006 11:38:28 PM

I've been gone for some time now, as you know. I find it very odd to review all these motherboards and expect some type of performance increase/decrease.

The only reason to review them would be to compare the cooling/slots available/layout/inputs. A picture could've done the same thing. No offense, but...

And what is this with NO OC'ING at all? Where am I? I would've liked the DFI board as well, but if you aren't OC'ing it is basically the same. OC'ing would've really helped this lukewarm review.

I've got to know one or two motherboards better, but, frankly, I expected more.

Slightly disappointed.

@Frisbee

The high-end hardware brings out any faults that the motherboard might have, but it is a tad excessive.

~Ibrahim~
September 23, 2006 8:22:58 PM

well, features are important things. especially if you note e.g. that there are actually four ASUS MBs with 590th SLI chipset:
1. CROSSHAIR
2. M2N32-SLI Deluxe
3. M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wi-Fi edition
4. M2N32-SLI WS Professional

* the latter one "features" 2 PCI-Ex16, 1 PCI and ... 2 PCI-X slots.
* the 2nd/3rd ones feature 'server airflow orientation' of DDRII slots
* 1st one essentially features only bells and whistles
September 24, 2006 12:19:12 AM

I agree with some of the aforsaid posts: test items with overclocking, real world tests, ease of instillation, etc.
I for one, play some "intense" games, but I haven't needed anything SLI, in fact, I run an overclocked Radeon 7500. Cooled quite nicely, but it's time for an upgrade. They could have possibly tested these mobo's with temperature increases with loads and OCing.
September 24, 2006 3:04:58 PM

This review was practically useless since they missed on very important mobos.
One for EACH variety of the NF500 chipsets. This would have been helpful for alot of ppl not looking for an SLI mobo and on a budget.
And two very important overclocking motherboards the Epox with the 570 chipset and the DFI with the 590 one.
The Asus with the 3200 chipset was also missing.
More overclockabilty should have been review too.
September 24, 2006 7:15:41 PM

Quote:
well, features are important things. especially if you note e.g. that there are actually four ASUS MBs with 590th SLI chipset:
1. CROSSHAIR
2. M2N32-SLI Deluxe
3. M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wi-Fi edition
4. M2N32-SLI WS Professional

* the latter one "features" 2 PCI-Ex16, 1 PCI and ... 2 PCI-X slots.
* the 2nd/3rd ones feature 'server airflow orientation' of DDRII slots
* 1st one essentially features only bells and whistles


Thanks for the info, I actually had no idea about those types.

~Ibrahim~
December 19, 2006 11:45:05 PM

I for one bought the FOXCONN C51 the features are great, it overclocks well. I am not an expert at this. I also have the corsair pc8500 memory, with an X2 4800+ with this setup I can only get about 2540 Mgz from cpu and 1016mgz from memory.
What I would like to see is the Memory and CPU configurations with higher mgz memory and what settings for what cpu clock.
As it is now, I still (can't- Don't Know how) to get the 1066 mhz out of this pc 8500, it seems the 4800+ and this memory have a math problem..
I teach construction not mathamatics.

I should have asked more questions.