I'm building a new system and have come to my weak spot: the mobo. So far this is what I've decided for the new system:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Box
OCZ Vanquisher Heatsink
HIS Radeon 3870 ICEQ3 Turbo 775/512
A-DATA Vitesta DDR2-667 1GBx2
Antec TruePower 550 (ATX12v)
I'll be carrying over my Sony DRU-810a (cd/dvd) and Audigy 2ZS.
As for the mobo I'm thinking about trying a mATX. I like the idea of the smaller cases.
So my mission is for a serious upgrade, but within a budget. So given all of this, any wisdom you could throw my way would be appreciated. By the way, i haven't bought anything yet, so feel free to critique or suggest.
Well an AM2+ MB is a no brainer. The problem is there are not alot of reviews on the smaller boards yet. So far the Asus and Gigabyte AM2+ MBs are getting great reviews. I am still waiting on a smaller DFI. TBH Asus is my favorite out of the box and the new Gigabytes are my favorite for tweaking with the dual bios options and good build. Its hard to say atm. I would wait another month and let more reviews come in. You are building a nice littel system that promises good upgrade options next year and for a few more years to come. The new AMD chipsets should be in stock soon on the AM2+ boards as well. Gratz.
Is your choice in ram based on your target OC for the 5000? What OS?
With the price of good performance 4 gig kits its almost silly not to install 4 gigs. Patriot has some great deals atm on newegg.
If it's a gaming machine, you may want to rethink the mATX board. An 8600GT was blocking one of the 2 PCE slots on an ASUS M2MPV-VM. mATX makes sense on a buisnes or media machine, the former to keep the price down and video/performance demands are minimal and the latter because of it's size. Unless space is a huge problem, you're better off with an ATX mobo
I was actually wondering that G-Paw. I guess I was thinking that most LAN gamers use mATX rigs and probably all have high end Vid cards so therefore they should fit. I would really hate to to get stuck like that. Anyone know of a mATX board that definitely has the clearance? If not, you may be right with going back to a regular ATX.
And Jersey, I'm still running WinXP-HE2. As for the memory, I am definitely going to go the full 4 gig route, just not right away. I am going to OC the 5000+, but only to about 3.0. It seems like it gets a little more unstable after that and I am pretty sure I would not notice a difference anyways with an extra .2 or so.
My real question on the mobo I guess comes down to what chipset to use. Which is where I am still sort of stuck and debating.
Definitely go for PC2-6400 RAM, especially on an AMD build where the performance is more sensitive to RAM.
I just put together an HTPC build with the GA-MA69GM-S2H (690G chipset). I'm very impressed with the quality of the board (my first Gigabyte). However, with a 5000+ black box you must be going for OC and this motherboard doesn't have any voltage adjustments, even on the RAM. There is a third-party F3a BIOS you can Google that will add voltage adjustments though.
In short, be sure to research mATX boards for OC capabilities because most are not built for it.
The ASUS 690G is a great gaming board. I just built 3 computers with that board. One is using an 8800GT 512, the other 2 a 3850 256 (single slot coolers) and works great. All remaining slots are still open and the board is a good overclocker (has cpu freq and voltage controls).
I am a big fan of mATX. 99.99% of the people I build for, my self included, do not need any more the 2 PCI slots.