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3 Motherboards, one choice

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July 9, 2008 12:07:48 AM

Hi all! I am new here and this is my first post. I recently upgraded to Ubuntu and love it - so much that I am buying a new computer! Was wondering if I could get some advice between these 3 different motherboards.

1. ASROCK ALIVENF7G S.AM2 GEF7050 HD MBOARD, ALIVENF7G-HD720P

Specifications:

* CPU: Socket AM2+ Support AMD Phenom X4/ Phenom X2/ Athlon 64 FX/ Athlon 64 X2/ Athlon X2/ Athlon 64/ Sempron Processor; AMD LIVE! Ready; Supports AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet Technology; Supports Untied Overclocking Technology; Supports Hyper-Transport Technology; FSB 1000MHz (2.0 GT/s)
* Chipset: nVidia GeForce 7050 & nForce 630A MCP
* Memory: 4x 240pin DDR2-800/667/533 DIMMs, Dual Channel, Non-ECC Un-buffered, Max Capacity 8GB
* Slots: 1x PCI-Express x16 Slot; 1x PCI-Express x1 Slot; 2x PCI Slots
* IDE/SATA: 1x ATA-133 Channel; 4x SATA2 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD
* Audio: Realtek ALC662 5.1-Channel Windows Vista Premium Level HD Audio CODEC
* Video: nVidia GeForce 7 Series (NV44) Graphics Controller, Max Shared Memory 256MB
* LAN: Realtek RTL8211B 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet Controller
* Ports: 10x USB 2.0 Ports (4 rear, 6 by headers); 2x PS/2 Ports; 1x Serial Header; 1x Parallel Port; 1x VGA Port; 1x DVI-D Port; 1x HDMI_SPDIF Header; 1x RJ45 LAN Port; 1x WiFi/E Header
* Power Connector: 1x 24pin Main Power; 1x 4pin CPU Power
* Form Factor: Micro ATX, 9.6 x 8.6 inch / 24.4 x 21.8 cm

$109.99 at Ascentech.us

2. ASUS M2A-VM AMD 690G DDR2 SATA2 PCI-EX, M2A-VM

Specifications:

* Mfr Part Number: M2A-VM(GREEN)
* CPU: Socket AM2 support AMD Athlon64 FX/ Athlon64 X2/ Athlon64/ Sempron processors; AMD Cool 'n' Quiet Technology; AMD64 architecture enables simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing; AMD Live! Ready; FSB 2000/1600 MT/s
* Chipset: AMD 690G & ATI SB600
* Memory: 4x 240pin DDR2-800/667/533 DIMMs, Dual Channel, un-buffered ECC and Non-ECC, Max capacity 8GB
* Slots: 1x PCI-Express x16 slot; 1x PCI-Express x1 slots; 2x PCI slots
* IDE/SATA: 1x ATA-133 channels, 4x SATA2 ports support RAID 0, 1 and 10
* Audio: ALC883 6-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
* Video: Integrated ATI Radeon X1250-based Graphics Controller, shared upto 256MB memory
* LAN: Intergated PCI-Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
* Ports: 10x USB 2.0 ports (4 rear, 6 by headers); 2x PS/2 ports; 1x Parallel port; 1x VGA port; 1x DVI-D port; 1x RJ45 LAN port; Audio I/O jacks
* Power Connector: 1x 24pin main power, 1x 4pin CPU power
* Form Factor: Micro ATX, 9.6 x 9 inch / 24.5 x 22.9 cm

$119.99 at Ascendtech.us

3. ECS KA3 MVP AMD 580X CROSSFIRE MBOARD, KA3 MVP 1.0A DUAL LAN

Features & Specifications:

AMD 580X Crossfire that is the first unrestricted 2x16 PCI Express soluction
Extreme overclocking and unprecedented control over system behavior
Socket AM2 supports up to dual channel DDR2 800
Supports SATA 3Gb/s and RAID 0,1,10 function
Supports Dual LAN & IEEE1394 connection
Supports high quality 8-CH IntelR High Definition Audio

CPU: Socket AM2 with AMD Athlon 64 FX/ Athlon 64/ Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core/ Sempron processor
Support for 64-bit extended operating systems
Support transfer rate of 2000/1600/1200/800/400 mega-transfers per second.
Highly overclockable and robust Hypertransport interface
CHIPSET: AMD 580X Crossfire%u2122
North Bridge: AMD 580X Crossfire
South Bridge: AMD® SB600
MEMORY: Dual-channel DDR2 memory architecture
4 x 240-pin DDR2 DIMM socket support up to 32GB
Support DDR2 800/667/533/400 DDR2 SDRAM
EXPANSION SLOT: 2 x PCI Express x16 slots
1 x PCI Express x1 slot
2 x PCI slots
STORAGE: Supported by SB600
2 x Ultra DMA133/100/66/33 device
4 x Serial ATA2 devices
RAID0, RAID1, RAID10 configuration
Supported by JMB363
2 x Ultra DMA133/100/66 devices
2 x Serial ATA2 devices
RAID0, RAID1& RAID 0+1 configuration
Support NCQ&eSATA & Hot plug&Port Multiplier
AUDIO: Realtek ALC883 8-channel audio CODEC
IEEE: 1394a VIA® VT6308P support 2 x IEEE1394a ports
DUAL LAN: Agere E1310I Gigabit LAN controller
Realtek 8100C 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet controller
REAR PANEL I/O: 1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors
4 x USB ports
2 x RJ45 LAN connectors
1 x Serial port (COM1)
1 x Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, Mic_in)
2 x Digital SPDIF (Optical & Coaxial) out
INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS & HEADERS: 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V connector
1 x Auxiliary 4-pin +12V connector
2 x IDE connectors
1 x FDD connector
6 x Serial ATA connectors
1 x Speaker header
1 x IrDA for SIR header
2 x 1394a headers
3 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 6 USB ports
1 x Front panel switch/LED header
1 x Front panel audio header
CD in header
1 x 26-pin LPT header
CPU / Chassis FAN headers
1x CPUFAN/1x SYSFAN/3x CASFAN connectors
SYSTEM BIOS: Award BIOS with 4Mb Flash ROM
Supports Plug and Play 1.0A, APM 1.2, Multi Boot, DMI
Supports ACPI revision 1.0 specification
FORM FACTOR: ATX Size 305mm*244mm

$159.99 at Ascentech.us

This PC will mainly be used for normal everyday tasks like internet, word processing, etc, and possibly some multimedia. I don't plan to use this as a gaming machine, but I would like to get the best quality, features and performance out of the 3 boards listed here. Thanks so much!

More about : motherboards choice

July 9, 2008 12:32:40 AM

Thanks, I appreciate the advice. Is there a reason why Asus would be a better choice? Does it support HD, and how would performance be rated over the others? I think the Asrock supports Phenom Quad Core Processors.
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July 9, 2008 12:58:53 AM

That's really great advice, I wasn't aware of that being their best chipset for onboard video. The only problem is that I ordered a budget system from ascendtech.com and those are my only choices. Video is great, and quite possiblty the Asrock has decent video, but really I would like to have the one that is the most upgradeable and supports the fastest processor. Unless I'm looking at things wrong, it seems the Asrock supports the fastest one being the Quad Core Phenom. Would that be right?

I'm also trying to stay with 64 bit architecture and this system will be running Ubuntu Linux.
July 9, 2008 1:11:37 AM

Make sure any mobo you choose has no nForce chipset
July 9, 2008 1:20:07 AM

kad said:
Make sure any mobo you choose has no nForce chipset

Is that because of driver hardware support? Because that's one of the reasons why I'm upgrading. My current Geforce fx 5200 doesn't seem to be compatible with desktop effects in Linux. I've even tried the latest driver and it gives a monitor out of range error. Just wondering if that's why you mention that.
July 9, 2008 1:36:32 AM

If you want to run Compiz/XGL style effects, and don't care about games get the AsRock board. From my experience with ATI graphics cards and Linux effects, it is a pain in the arse to setup.

Nvidia 6100/6150 onboard worked easily for Compiz setup, so I would assume the 7050 would also.

If you want any sort of gaming you will want a dedicated graphics cards. As far as cards that work in Linux, google for some results and pick one that works, or
July 9, 2008 1:39:45 AM

one thing you may want to double check is that the motherboard that you choose can handle the power requirements of the cpu that you use. The phenom 9850 and the x2 6000+ and some other power hungry processors are not compatible with all am2 motherboards.
July 9, 2008 1:51:04 AM

Gravemind123 said:
If you want to run Compiz/XGL style effects, and don't care about games get the AsRock board. From my experience with ATI graphics cards and Linux effects, it is a pain in the arse to setup.

You can say that again. :) 

Gravemind123 said:
Nvidia 6100/6150 onboard worked easily for Compiz setup, so I would assume the 7050 would also.

If you want any sort of gaming you will want a dedicated graphics cards. As far as cards that work in Linux, google for some results and pick one that works, or

Thank you very much, that was extremely helpful!

dozer63 said:
one thing you may want to double check is that the motherboard that you choose can handle the power requirements of the cpu that you use. The phenom 9850 and the x2 6000+ and some other power hungry processors are not compatible with all am2 motherboards.

Well, the company selling this allows for a X2 6400+, which is 125w and the phenon 9850 is around 140w I believe, so that's not too much of a difference. Although I'm not sure if 15w could make a difference, maybe that's possible. This was also very helpful, thank you!
July 9, 2008 2:10:03 AM

The Asrock board supports all of the current Phenoms, including the 9850 Black Edition, this information was found on the AsRock website.

Out of curiosity, what are the other specs of the computer besides the motherboard?
July 9, 2008 2:16:23 AM

I don't like ECS motherboards, I'd pay the extra money for a good brand like Gigabyte or Asus.
July 9, 2008 2:21:29 AM

Do not buy ECS, low quality, cheap products with minimal support.
July 9, 2008 2:31:33 AM

Gravemind123 said:
The Asrock board supports all of the current Phenoms, including the 9850 Black Edition, this information was found on the AsRock website.

Thank you very much again, I should have looked more into that.

Gravemind123 said:
Out of curiosity, what are the other specs of the computer besides the motherboard?


Here is a list of what they sent me. Some of the specs like the speakers are laughable, and the cdrw, which I only chose because they wouldn't allow for nothing. My current system is a Dell P4 2.4ghz with only 512 ram, so I'm hoping this will be somewhat of an improvement. I also have a Sony DRU 710a Dvd-Rw from my system now that's going into it. But for $360 I couldn't really beat it.

1 AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Dual Core System
2 ASRock ALiveNF7G S.AM2 GeF7050 HD MBoard
3 AMD Athlon 64 x2 S.AM2 6000+ Dual Core Processor
4 RECOMMENDED UPGRADE - HEAVY DUTY COOLER
5 1GB PC2 6400 800Mhz DDR-2 Dual Channel
6 160GB SATA 7200RPM INTERNAL HARD DRIVE
7 NVIDIA GEFORCE 7050 256MB SHARED DIRECTX 9 ON-BOARD VIDEO CARD ADAPTER
8 CD/R/RW - INERNAL CDRW BURNER DRIVE IDE
9 REALTEK 3D 6-CHANNEL STEREO SOUND CARD ADAPTER
10 BROADCOM AC131 10/100Mbps FAST ETHERNET ADAPTER
11 ATX Black MidTower Case W/ 400Watt PS
12 Standard Power Supply With Case Selected
13 High-Speed Case Cooling Fan 80mm
14 Standard Assembly Ships Out In 3-7 Days
15 Standard 104-Key Desktop Keyboard Black
16 Boka 400Watt PMPO 3-Piece Subwoofer Set
a b V Motherboard
July 9, 2008 2:33:55 AM

ASUS is the better quality of the 3 that you listed, but I have friends that use ECS, or ASrock in budget builds without issues.
a b V Motherboard
July 9, 2008 2:36:25 AM

And after looking at those Specs, I'd recommend buying a decent PSU (later).
July 9, 2008 2:42:19 AM

IH8U said:
ASUS is the better quality of the 3 that you listed, but I have friends that use ECS, or ASrock in budget builds without issues.

I read that AsRock was just a spin off of Asus, but that they may use lower quality parts.

IH8U said:
And after looking at those Specs, I'd recommend buying a decent PSU (later).


Power supply unit, yes indeed. That will be the first thing I'll check if anything ever goes out. Thank you.
July 9, 2008 3:26:23 AM

Yeah get the Asus it's a better board than the other 2.
July 9, 2008 3:42:26 AM

AsRock is a fine maker of budget boards, and to be honest, if you get the Asus you have to factor in the cost of a new graphics card for better Linux compatibility.

As far as power supply, just buy a new one from the start, a cheap power supply dying can take your system with it. The Antec Earthwatts EA500 and Silverstone ST50F are good budget power supplies that will allow for later upgrades and keep your system running.

As far as other comments, you will want to add another gigabyte of ram when you get it, as ram is cheap and 2GB can make things run a lot more smooth.
July 9, 2008 5:41:27 AM

Gravemind123 said:
AsRock is a fine maker of budget boards, and to be honest, if you get the Asus you have to factor in the cost of a new graphics card for better Linux compatibility.

As far as power supply, just buy a new one from the start, a cheap power supply dying can take your system with it. The Antec Earthwatts EA500 and Silverstone ST50F are good budget power supplies that will allow for later upgrades and keep your system running.

As far as other comments, you will want to add another gigabyte of ram when you get it, as ram is cheap and 2GB can make things run a lot more smooth.


Are you saying that a cheap power supply could possibly cause everything to go bad? I wouldn't want that to happen.

Definitely agree about more memory, I'll have to consider getting some more. Thanks.
July 9, 2008 6:29:49 AM

I believe the power supply is a Powmax 400 watt, which is on the AMD list of power supplies, however, I suspect it's not a very good one.



July 9, 2008 9:25:08 PM

Nope, Powmax is not a good brand, I'd keep it around for a rainy day or an old system, but would get a better one to put in the system ASAP.
July 10, 2008 9:37:15 PM

Gravemind123 said:
Nope, Powmax is not a good brand, I'd keep it around for a rainy day or an old system, but would get a better one to put in the system ASAP.

Cool, thanks. I'm going with the Earthwatts EA500 that you mentioned. A few days ago it was on NewEgg for $54.99 with free shipping, then went back up to around $70, and of course back down again. One reviewer (about a year ago) said he paid $35 after rebate. Does anyone know how low this one gets on NewEgg?

I also took your advice and added another gig of ram. And upgraded to the phenom 9850, which I can't wait to get!!!

Thank you very much for the help. I have really appreciated your suggestions and would be honored to send a donation through paypal if you would give me your information.
July 11, 2008 12:10:59 AM

The power supply prices fluctuate a lot around websites, with different companies going up and down. If you get a good power supply by Silverstone, SeaSonic, PC Power and Cooling, Corsair or Antec of about 450W you should be fine.

Heh, a donation, I'm honored you care that much about my advice, but I don't need money, I do this for fun. If you ever have any more questions, feel free to message me on these forums or via AIM/yahoo, where my screen name is the same as my username here.
July 11, 2008 3:13:22 AM

oh,my god,the pirce of mb in list is so high..u konw,in china,they are all sell 70$!!
but if u want me to make a choice,none of these, 780G&MCP78 chipset is best choice.espacially 780G .UVD & high performance .
!