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Mobo / Memory Selection... a few Qs? HELP

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  • Homebuilt
  • Memory
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
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February 15, 2007 3:02:19 PM

Pardon the simple natured questions, but I've been out of the loop for a few years.

I'm looking to upgrade(mb, proc, vid, memory, power?) my 4 year old system and have a few questions..

I'm trying to figure out what hardware is best suited for each other. I already purchased an AMD 64 X2 5200+ retail for $229 and a BFG 7600GT 256MB PCI-EX-16 for $92.99 AR from newegg.

I was about to purchase memory and a motherboard but decided to hold off and so some more research. I need an AM2 mobo, no video, onboard firewire, SATA RAID, sound, 2+ pci slots, etc... My brands of preference are ASUS, then MSI and Gigabyte.

I did a power search on newegg and came up with the following list: list I would like to spend <$120. I would never need SLI, so thats not important to me.

Options are (increasing price):
GIGABYTE GA-M55SLI-S4 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX
ASUS M2N-E SLI Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 500 SLI MCP ATX
GIGABYTE GA-M57SLI-S4 Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX
MSI K9N SLI Platinum Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX
MSI K9A Platinum Socket AM2 ATI CrossFire Radeon Xpress 3200 ATX
ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX

As far as which chipset (nForce4, 500, 570) goes i'm clueless. The reviews on newegg are really misleading as well since they are individual. I'm just looking for an all around reliable well built board that I will probably never overclock (but the option is nice to have).

The last question is related to memory:
I noticed some memory has a certain voltage range that doesnt appear to be compatible with the motherboard. Some range from 1.8V fixed to 2.2V fixed. What do I need? 4-4-4-12 timing seems fine for my purposes. Here is the filtered list on newegg. Do I need DDR800? Would DDR667 be a bottleneck? How is OCZ memory?

And lastly.. with this configuration do I need a new power supply (right now I have a 450W ? On top of this i've got dual Seagate SATA 320GB drives, an IDE 200GB drive CDRW/DVDRW drive and 3 case fans. With my video/memory/mobo combo and i pushing the limit?

Sorry for the lengthly post, i just want to make the right decision. Please share all as much as possible. Thank!

More about : mobo memory selection

February 15, 2007 4:20:36 PM

570's are artificially performance hindered to prevent high overclocking, so if thats your game, then no way.

If not any of those boards would suit fine.

Whatever the board standard is for RAM would be best, so if its DDR2 800 -- grab it. Just try to avoid crucial right now, been having some issues with certain motherboards and their voltages lately.

PSU might be alright, its not necessarily about wattage.

What brand & series PSU do you have right now?
February 15, 2007 6:01:36 PM

Quote:
A 350W PCI Express compliant system power supply (with 12V current rating of 20A or more)

http://www.bfgtech.com/7600GT_256_PCIX.html

If the specs on the sticker on the psu meets or exceeds these requirements, it's fine. Better list the brand & model.

IMO, the best AM2 overclocker would be nForce 590. If you're sure you won't overclock, get yourself this:

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

& any Kingston (guaranteed to work out of the box) or Samsung ddr2 667 ram. Best check their websites for compatibility with the mobo.
Related resources
February 15, 2007 6:21:35 PM

Quote:
A 350W PCI Express compliant system power supply (with 12V current rating of 20A or more)

http://www.bfgtech.com/7600GT_256_PCIX.html

If the specs on the sticker on the psu meets or exceeds these requirements, it's fine. Better list the brand & model.

IMO, the best AM2 overclocker would be nForce 590. If you're sure you won't overclock, get yourself this:

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

& any Kingston (guaranteed to work out of the box) or Samsung ddr2 667 ram. Best check their websites for compatibility with the mobo.

Thanks for pointing that out about the video requirements. I will look up the specs on the power supply tonight.

The link you sent is for the ASUS M2N-E. No firewire :(  Aside from that there is an entire thread on anandtech when the board came out regarding tons of bios issues and whatnot. Plus there are a few comments on newegg to this nature:
Quote:
Cons: This motherboard does not allow you to set your RAM voltage higher than 1.95v, so you cannot use RAM that requires a higher voltage, it will become unstable and cause random reboots and BSOD's. Most ddr2-800+ speed RAM requires a voltage of 2.1v, so you will have to set the speed to DDR2-533 to use the ram with this board, losing alot of performance. Asus refuses to acknowledge this as a problem, and will not fix it.



Thanks for the info!
February 15, 2007 10:05:47 PM

They're not wrong. The early AM2 boards had issues with 2.1v ram like ocz. Like I said, if you don't overclock, doesn't matter which board to get. Firewire card can be had for 10 bucks. 3 ports to boot. Onboard IEEE isn't bad, but most mobo makers won't ship an extra IEEE bracket in non-deluxe versions for use with the onboard connector. So most people won't bother making use of it. That would be one ieee in the i/o plate.

Also, Kingston & Samsung default to 1.8-1.9v.
February 16, 2007 1:06:04 AM

I checked my existing power supply.

It's an Austin DR-B450E about 4 years old

Output: +5V@50A, +3.3V@28A, +12V@18A, -5V@0.8A, -12V @1A, +5VSB@2.5A

I assume that the video card needs a separate 12V 20A rail all for itself any my PS only puts out 18A 12V on a single rail.

Should I risk it and see what happens or just spring for a new p/s?

Thanks
February 16, 2007 5:38:40 PM

Very good psu choice.
!