I need to be able to upgrade in the future and I want to have a pretty fast system. I will overclock but I won't be unlocking any chips. I have a 1.2 ghz amd tbird that I can use for now and upgrade the cpu in March with around $300 or I can get it now for $200 and get a $300 video card in March.
***The Main Question***
I am confused on what ram to get for these boards. There are so many different speeds and some say they support the ram and others don't I just need to know what is the fastest ram I can officially or unofficially put in them. The ram sticks I have been looking at are the: Samsung, Geil, and Corsair verisons of the PC2700, PC3000, PC3200. Price differences don't matter I just want the best of these that will work with my board.
What are your impressions of these combos, (i.e. if I gave you the money to buy one for yourself what one would you buy)?
I already have video + sound + LAN, so if it has them, it doesn't matter but if it doesn't have them it doesn't matter either but I would like good performance.
"Oh look at that one. It looks delicious." - Cartman
The i845PE with 533MHz FSB doesn't support DualDDR while nForce2 with 333MHz FSB is DualDDR enabled. So, if you are using i845PE, just get single stick of DDR333 and two sticks for nForce2. Why DDR333? Because the speed, compatibility and stability ratio of DDR333 is better than DDR400. So, I would put one stick of Corsair XMS2700 into i845PE while two sticks of Corsair XMS2700 into nForce2. Though you can put DDR400 (PC3200) into your system theorically. For the secondary question, I would go for Asus P4PE + Pentium 4 2.4GHz with 533MHz FSB.
I would get Corsair DDR 370 PC-3000 CAS/CL 2.0 Because if you do overclock that means you can do pleanty of overclocking and not void the waranty on the ram if it doesnt go above 185Mhz. I know its small but it is one less thing to worry about. Plus they are rock solid. I am currently running mine at the hardest possible memory timings I can set on my Epox 8k5a2+ running the ram at 185Mhz and it is rock solid. Anyway for you I would go the Epox 8RDA+ as you have there with the 2400+ CPU. You will notice it will go slightly faster than the P4 in nearly all programs and it is cheaper too. Plus you have an upgrade path for the future possibily up to 4000+. The P4 you do not have that upgrade path above 2.8gig. And the Epox boards all have fantastic overclocking abilities. And they are very reliable as I said. So to sum up you want Epox 8RDA+ Mobo the AMD 2400+ CPU and 2 Corsair DDR-370 CAS2.0 512Meg dimms and run them in dual channel mode and you cant go wrong. Just stay away from the intel crap. Oh and if you did give me money to buy one of these Mobo`s (Sigh. I wish) I would get the Epox 8RDA+. But you proberly figured that out on your own.
here is my suggestion:
albatron mobo (it kicks butt!)
xms corsair pc 3200 (read anandtechs review on this one take my word....it ran all three banks occupied and overclocked to 166fsb stabley =] )
if you do go with the albatron I would suggest getting the special silver edition mobo the proII from www.newegg.com, they are the only people carrying this edition that I have seen so far...its a sweet mobo