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upgrading my cpu and motherboard

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March 12, 2004 6:56:59 PM

I'm looking into buying the best cpu and mother board for my comp.

Right now my cpu is a P4 1.60GHZ and I have a ASUS P4B motherboard.

I don't want any choppy framerate for my games. I use my comp mostly for games and to go on the net.

Can some suggest me the best cpu and motherboard? What's the most powerful cpu and motherboard?
March 12, 2004 8:35:47 PM

Any idea how much you are looking to spend? The "best" CPUs on the market currently run about $750 for the Athlon64 FX-51 and $950 for the Pentium 4 EE 3.2. Mobos for these chips can run $100 to $250. You need to have a clue for what you want to spend because you are probably going to need ram and a new vid card to see a high performance increase.
March 12, 2004 9:00:54 PM

Quote:
I don't want any choppy framerate for my games. I use my comp mostly for games and to go on the net.

What's your current video card? You'll still get choppy framerates if you're using something like a GFFX 5200 with the fastest CPU available.

<b>Qui habet aures audiendi audiat</b>
Related resources
March 12, 2004 9:23:25 PM

Currently these are my specs:

P4 1.60GHZ
Audigy 2 zs platinum pro
Radeon 9700 pro
768mb of ram

I'm playing Grand Theft Auto Vice City and sometimes it gets choppy. I want to COMPLETLY STOP choppy framerate in my single player games. For GTA VC I installed the no-cd crack and I still sometimes get choppy framerate. So it's maybe my cpu that is too slow. I will spend WHATEVER I need to spend. I just want to COMPLETLY stop choppy framerate in my games.
March 12, 2004 10:07:20 PM

Well you could get:
Radeon 9800XT
P4 3.2EE
Abit IC7-Max3
2x74g WD raptor drives in RAID 0
1GB OCZ PC4400 gold

But we are talking huge ammounts of money here for a system that wont perform much better than one that will cost you half the ammount.

GTA3 and vice city are PS2 ports as far as I know, which means that the run slowly because they are not optimised for PC's, a faster CPU will help this game but for most others the graphics card is the important thing.

[Insert witty comment here]
March 12, 2004 10:12:52 PM

Well, your Willamette P4 paired with PC133 SDRAM is honestly very slow. Honestly, Your not really any better off than TBird 1.2GHZ or PIII 1.0GHZ systems. I only say this to caution you into not going way overboard thinking you need the very fastest chip money can buy. Any system I mention below will absolutely blow your system away. Anyway, Your Video card will not needed to be upgraded as it is still considered high end.

Since money is no object I'll rule out the NF2/ XP2500+. IT is a great value! But since you want a FAST CPU and almost any cost, the faster Athlon Xp's make no sense as P4's offer much better performance for the same price.

You have two reasonable alternatives that offer much better performance. Basically, you want either a Pentium 4 i865pe or i875 motherboard with at least a 2.8C processor. Look only at the "C" chips. The 2.8C is the best value in a P4 now, but it sounds like you are a candidate for a 3.0C or 3.2C. Mind you, you are paying a premium for a little boost in performance.

Next option is the Athlon 64 3000+ or 3200+ chips. Without considering the super expensive P4 EE or the Ahtlon 64 FX 51, these are currently offering the most speed for gamers and a bonus of having a 64bit chip. Problem with these is that there will soon be a new socket 939 version with new chipsets and better motherboards. I know I will be waiting until probably June let these new options come out before I go the Athlon 64 route. They are fast for gaming. But if I may use a little sportscar comparison, it would be like buying a new Corvette in July for full price, when you already know that the next model is soon coming out sporting many improvements. Tough to justify. But since you mentioned it is for Games, An A64 really will currently win the drag races against all but the exotics. ie, most gaming speed in the sub $300 CPU range. But it won't be as polished and nice to own as some of the other choices that are 1-2 car lengths behind. Forgive the analogy, It just seemed to make sense right now. There are other areas that the Pentium 4's are faster than the A64, but gaming isn't one of them.

I can't really recommend an Athlon 64 motherboard for you as I am avoiding them for now. But the ABit IS7 is an outstanding 800 bus Pentium 4 motherboard that is fast and stable. I have built many of these systems and they never have dissappointed me once, nor have I had one come cack with any issues needing my attention. That is worth $$$ right there. The Abit NF7-S is a great choice if you want to save some money and buy an Athlon XP/ NF2 system. But for you, only go this route to save money and if you are willing to overclock for some more free speed. With either of these, you want to go with some good PC3200 or higher dual channel DDR.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 13, 2004 12:49:07 AM

Since money is not the issue. Get a 2.8C with 875PE chipset, 1GB of DDR533 and a case with phase change cooling and OC the hell out of it.

A fine day!
March 17, 2004 6:53:53 PM

I think I'm going to get the ABit IS7

But now I can't decide if I should get a 2.8C a 3.0C or 3.2C cpu. Will future games, maybe next year. Will they need a 3.2C cpu?

Will my Dimm memory sticks fit in the ABit IS7 motherboard? I already have 768mb of ram.

Oh and I played Call of Duty in single player with the same specs and sometimes the framerate was droping. Graphics and sound where at full. Is my cpu causing these drops in framerate?
March 17, 2004 8:11:01 PM

The performance difference between a 2.8 and a 3.2 is diffinatly not worth the money. Your graphics card will be far more important than your CPU. Just make sure you get the C version on the 2.8 and for the love of God dont get a 2.8e

If you want you could even over clock the 2.8 a little, apparently they overclock pretty reliably on stock cooling. As long as you dont go mad.
My recommendation:
Abit IS7 or AI7
P4 2.8c
Geil 2x256Mb PC3500/3700

BTW I think the RAM you have in you current motherboard is SD RAM, if this is the case if wont work in your new MB (no matter which MB you get). Anyway even if you could use it PC133 has a thoertical bandwidth of 1064Mb/sec compare that with the 6400Mb/sec bandwidth you can get with dual channel DDR400.

[Insert witty comment here]
March 17, 2004 8:17:24 PM

Wow a Abit IS7 is just 90$ US? And a Intel Pentium 4 w/ HT Technology - 2.8C GHz Processor is only $179.00US sweet

What's the pin size of the memory you recommend. I'm trying to do a google search and I can't find the price.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Zemuron on 03/17/04 05:26 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 17, 2004 8:45:11 PM

What you want is 2 matched 256MB DIMMs, this allows you to use the memory in dual channel mode (twice the speed). Ok if your going to overclock you want PC3500 or faster, if not the get some PC3200. Cosair, OCZ, Kingston and Geil all do high performance memory as well as selling matched pairs speciafically for dual channel boards.
I live in the UK so I cant really link you to any US sites because I dont know any.

[Insert witty comment here]
March 17, 2004 9:21:13 PM

Corsair, Geil, and Crucial have all worked well in Dual channel for me on an IS7.

If you don't want to overclock than these have worked very well and are priced low.

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...;/A>

I agree with jd that if you are at all considering overclcocking, buy PC3500 or faster as that geil PC3200 (DDR400) seems to max out around 204fsp (408MHz) setting when i tried it. For Intel P4C oc'in, I'd lean toward PC4000 and up as you really want to keep that 1:1 cpu/ram ratio.

And the 2.8C is a much better deal than a 3.2 now. Everyone is different, but i hate spending alot more for a small performance increase. I'd ratrher put that extra money into buying 1GB ram kit instead. Anyway, don't go 3.4C at least, way to overpriced. You could always buy the higher speed ram so you can OC someday, or maybe even upgrade the CPU way down the road instead if they are still available and the prices fall bigtime. The performance difference with an IS7/2.8C compared to your current setup is night/day.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 17, 2004 9:31:05 PM

Oops, forgot. get a real IS7 not an IS7-E. Priced so close, the plain IS7 outfeatures the lighter E model.

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti...;/A>

Last thought and only warning about an IS7. You may not be happy with the integrated sound. Usually gamers want to avoid it anyway as integrated sound robs performance. But you may find some background noise in the integrated sound. I have always used an Audigy 2 or Santa cruz, but a friend of mine tried the onboard and had some weird noises that could be heard during mouse clicks and such. real annoying. His problems went away with a $31 SB live 5.1. Just a warning, so you budget a little for an SBLive!, Audigy 2, SantaCruz, etc. You'd be better off in a gaming rig just going that route anyway.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 17, 2004 10:53:18 PM

Like I said above when I listed my specs. I already have a audigy. It's a audigy 2 zs platinum pro.

So should I still buy an IS7 motherboard? Huge gamer here remember. I don't want crap. But I still don't want to go to much overboard.
March 18, 2004 12:28:54 AM

Shoot, my bad. I checked your initial post, but missed your system specs down lower. So the IS7's biggest downfall won't matter to you. Good deal. Not sure if it is still the case, but all the plain IS7 mobos I have bought have come with the 3Comm gigabit ethernet like the G model as an unadvertised added bonus. Not sure if you still get that lucky now.



ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 18, 2004 1:00:44 AM

Will upgraging my cpu, motherboard and memory to the ones you guys recommended. And with the audigy 2 zs platinum pro and the 9700 pro. Will there still be noticable framerate drops sometimes with max graphics, sound settings in the single player mode in games being released?

I was thinking maybe there will still be noticable drops of framerate because of a game not being fully optimized even with the best rig.
March 18, 2004 1:35:30 AM

I don't think even the very best video card... the 9800XT, can play every game at max resolution and details and remain playable. But with your card you'll be much better off than most people.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 18, 2004 4:50:55 AM

me personally would stay away from Abit, especially IS7.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
March 18, 2004 7:57:53 PM

Blah, why do you say that?

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 19, 2004 2:09:47 AM

I don't think you guys understood. Not just with the best video card. But with the best sound card, memory, cpu etc (the best gaming rig). Will there still be noticlable drop in framerate in the new single player games?
March 19, 2004 2:29:22 AM

Wth an A64-FX53 and a Radeon 9800XT, maybe only a little.
March 19, 2004 7:27:52 AM

Why would you stay away from the IS7?

[Insert witty comment here]
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
March 19, 2004 10:11:27 AM

Some games are coded poorly. So no matter what comp you have it will still lag somewhat, If you turn all graphics detail to max.



I aint signing nothing!!!
March 20, 2004 1:39:11 AM

"me personally would stay away from Abit, especially IS7."

Why stay away from it?
March 20, 2004 2:26:32 AM

Maybe cause he's Blah,, doesn't like performance.
March 20, 2004 4:03:41 AM

If you really want the best for gaming, just check out the FX53 reviews. The top gaming chips are there.
March 20, 2004 7:03:11 PM

For the FX53, what is the rest of the name of that motherboard?

I want pics and info on it. I need to know the rest of the name so I can make a google search.

Are you sure it's a kick ass motherboard for gaming? Click this link:

http://www.epinions.com/cmhd-Motherboards-All/show_~top...

It's not in the top 10 list.
March 20, 2004 9:42:00 PM

If you want a better mobo for FX53 or A64, you need to wait a little while. The current selection isn't really mature yet. The chips are screaming gamers though.



ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 20, 2004 10:34:31 PM

What do you mean by "The current selection isn't really mature yet"?
March 21, 2004 2:05:51 AM

What kind of motherboard is the best for gaming with the FX-53 cpu. Is it the IS7? What kind of cooling should I get? And the memory, I'm confused, what is the best memory?

"phase change cooling". Does that work with the FX-53 cpu?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Zemuron on 03/20/04 11:12 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 22, 2004 5:44:04 PM

Can someone answer my question please?

A liquid cool FX-53 cpu. Will this work?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Zemuron on 03/22/04 02:47 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 28, 2004 10:11:26 PM

Where is the best place to buy or order a FX-53 cpu and a IS7 motherboard? I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

My Ati Radeon 9700 pro is into a AGP 4X bus I think. What difference will it make if it's into a 8x AGP bus?


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Zemuron on 03/28/04 06:16 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 29, 2004 1:56:08 AM

Wow, slow down. Sorry I missed your posts lately. The Abit IS7 is a Pentium 4 motherboard with an i865pe chipset. If you want to go with a Pentium 4 2.8C, the IS7 is a great motherboard. If you want to go with an AMD FX53, you need a socket 940 motherboard. Now if you can find an FX53, it will cost you $850 US, for the processor alone. Kinda a joke to talk about IMO. Getting back to the real world options, If you want to go with an AMD Athlon 64 which FOR GAMES is the fastest affordable CPU, you currently need a Socket 754 motherboard.

Very important to buy the right motherboard for cpu you want to buy. My suggestions are Abit NF7-S for Athlon XP Processors (XP2500+ or mobile XP 2500+ best deal now), ABit IS7 for Pentium 4 (P4 2.8C best deal now), And waiting just a bit longer for an NForce3-250 motherboard to become available and pair it with an A64 2800+ or 3000+. NF3-250 is almost available and a better option than the NF3-150 or K8T800 motherboards. Again, those are all different chipsets that currently support Athlon 64 (A64) processors. Chipsets/motherboards/cpus can get confusing, but you must grasp the concept before ordering anything, or at least post exactly what you want to buy and ask for help as to whether it is compatible.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 29, 2004 4:35:23 AM

I want the AMD Athlon 64 because it's the best for games.

What's the name of the best Socket 754 motherboard for that cpu? It's the NF3-250 right? And I have a audigy 2 zs platinum pro and a 9700 pro. So those cards need to fit in the motherboard.

With all the best MB, cpu's etc... I proprebly going too buy. Will I have to much speed??? Will games next year need that speed?

With my specs now I'm having some slow framerate in single player CoD, GTA VC, BF 1942 when # of bots are at max.


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Zemuron on 03/29/04 02:32 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 29, 2004 10:03:28 AM

>The current selection isn't really mature yet.

I really have trouble with people saying this over and over, with nothing to back it up. You don't like VIA ? Fine, don't buy those K8T800 boards, even though I still need to hear the first credible report of any chipset related issues with it. Care to throw me a link ? I don't like VIA anymore than anyone else, I've lived though Apollo Pro and KT133 chipsets, but those where known to be crap, unlike the K8T800 which seems to be a rocksolid chip. People don't diss the Athlon because the K6 was crap, nor do they diss the 865 because the 820CC was f*cked. SiS sold tons of crap chipsets in the past, that doesnt mean their current offering should not be considered.

People also diss the nForce150 because its not quite as fast as the VIA solution.. so what ? A few unnoticable percent performance drop over the K8T800 still make it a very fast solution, especially for gaming, it still kills an equivalent 875+P4C. So what is the problem ? that something even faster (nForce 250) is just around the corner ? That is always true, you can wait and and wait forever. Is the 865/875 "immature" because the 915 or whatever its name would be faster ? reality is both k8T800 and nForce3 150 are good chipsets, and in combination with A64's, stellar gaming platforms. Both of them. Sure, even better things are around the corner, as always, but if I where stuck with a SDRAM willamette today, I wouldnt wait a single second and order my A64 today.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 29, 2004 6:10:07 PM

Why get tired of us saying that when the experts seem to all agree? I am yet to see anyone say that the K8T800 or NF3-150 are truely wonderful platforms to base a cutting edge machine on. NF3-250 boards are so close to being available, (maybe you'd buy today) I wouldn't think about buying today.

Anand starts his first NF3-250 review with this statement: (does he need to point to links also?)

"At launch, there were really just two Athlon 64 chipsets - the nVidia nForce3 150 and VIA K8T800. As we have discussed in reviews of boards based on these chipsets, neither one really meets the specifications that we would like to see in Athlon 64 chipsets."

Just read here, or at least the first two paragraphs. If you want more info, check all the past A64/ Socket 754 reviews. It's really not AMD/NV/Via bashing, it's just wanting a true enthusiast mobo for A64. A cpu that good deserves it.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=2004" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=2004&l...;/A>

If you have taken the time to read about the A64 and current mobos, it's pretty common knowledge that NF3-150 and K8T800 boards are NOT the enthusiasts dream motherboards.

Again, that is why many here say if you are going to spend the money on cutting edge CPU performance, why settle for a mediocre chipset/motherboard? I'd still recommend waiting a couple weeks.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 29, 2004 8:29:46 PM

here is the quote of the original article:

Quote:
While VIA performs at the specified 800 Hyper Transport speed, it is hampered by lack of a real means to fix AGP/PCI lock. This severely limits the ability of VIA chipset boards to<b> overclock, and is the most important complaint we have had with this chipset</b>


PCI lock matters <i>zilch</i> when you're not an overclocker. Enthousiast or gamer <> overclocker, I never said current A64 boards are overclocker dreams, especially not the K8T800's.

As for the nForce2 150 being "slower", here is Anand again:

Quote:
The practical reality is these differences in the nForce3-150 and VIA K8T800 have been impossible to measure at stock performance speeds


IOW, if you don't like VIA cause its not an American company, get an nForce 150 instead. Sure, the 250 might be 1 or 2% better (if that much), big deal. Wanna wait for it because of those 2% ? Be my guest, but it doesnt make a lot of sense when you are increasing your performance with over 100% over your old rig.

What else does nForce3 250 bring that the 150 doesnt offer and would be worth waiting for ? gigabit ethernet with integrated firewall if you pay extra for the GB version. Nice, but useless if you already have a hardware firewall, and/or GB ethernet card. Not to mention no P4 chipset I'm aware off currently offers this, so when recommending a P4 instead because A64 boards "are immature" this is really a total non argument.

What else.. native SATA RAID ? WHo cares, current boards offer SATA RAID just as well with an external chip. Those chips might well be better, remains to be seen. It matters a lot if the board has it, wether or not it is integrated is not my concern, its only a concern for the MB oem.

1 GB HTT, 16 cpu SMP support, and most other new features are useless on a single cpu S754 board with an AGP card, they are meant for either future cpu's, boards and markets.

> it's pretty common knowledge that NF3-150 and K8T800
>boards are NOT the enthusiasts dream motherboards.

They may not be overclockers dreamboards, but they they sure come close to a gamers wet dream currently playing on a 1 GHz performance level system. Please explain what you meant with 'immature'.. Not great overclockers? Agreed. Better things around the corner ? of course, always.

But rock solid, feature rich and lightening fast boards they still are. And they are affordable too.

> I'd still recommend waiting a couple weeks.

One can argue wether or not it is worth waiting for PCI-X, for S939, etc. I don't think it is worth it, but to each his own. However, my main gripe with your post is "immature" statement, which was true for KT133 and lots of other boards, but the only problem with current A64 boards is that even better boards are on the horizon. Thats it.


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 29, 2004 9:06:49 PM

I don't know the speed of my motherboard. How can I tell?
March 30, 2004 4:59:16 AM

immature as in first releases seen as lacking in more than one area. AGP/PCI lock for overclockers, pretty lame memory support, expected features dropped last minute. I just find the first batch of AMD motherboards as immature... nothing to get excited about. In contrast to when the ABIT IS7 was released. With gaming enhancement it was just as fast and sometimes faster than the more expensive canterwood boards. Rock solid stability. Performace with the new 800 bus chips was a clean sweep over previos P4's and athlon XP's. Those were mobos to get exited about and paired with 800bus p4's, WOW. In contrast to A64, who yes is a super fast gaming chip, but besides that you have jump on a first release mobo and give up features that WERE expected and Promised. You have to wonder what ram and wether 2 sticks of ram will work, and you now have to consider that better solutions with more features and PCI/AGP lock are so close. I hate buying something for top dollar just before something better is released. I've used/owned plenty of Via's. I'm not purely against Via, although most of my troubleshooting time wasted was on via KTxxx mobos. How many KT400 owners wished they had an NF2? How many K8T800 or NF3-150 owners will be wishing they'd waited a bit too?

Look(again?) at the link below.
<A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20040112/memory..." target="_new">http://www.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20040112/memory...;/A>
Does this conclusion (added to all the other small complaints from prior reviews) mean nothing to you? Does this sound like an ideal way to start a new cutting edge build? No thanks. Better motherboards are worth the wait and more important to me than an immediate few extra fps. Maybe you will dump your current A64 board for a newer one in 6 months if you see something better come out that you want. But for some people that isn't an option, or at least not one they want to pursue. And they are being sold on a cpu ready for the future 64-bit revolution? The start of this thread was best CPU and Motherboard. I'd be ticked if I was told NF3-150 or K8T800 without also being told about reasons to wait or pick a different platform.



ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 30, 2004 5:16:42 AM

Also, remember KT133's problems took a while to be fully discovered. Still haunting me til this day. SO you aren't totally safe with any first release board.

Anyone using a willamette like this guy would drool at a P4 2.8C / IS7 also. And it's a time proven motherboard/platform. And for $100 with 3Comm gigabit ethernet and sata raid too. I am not saying he should not consider A64. If Games are your #1 reason for building a new computer, of course you should consider A64. But Socket 754 NF3-250's still look to be very welcome and for some enthusiasts, the missing link to jumping on A64. I honestly can't believe you have kept up with actual hardware review sites (as apposed to average joes hooting 3dmark scores) and still think NF3-250 has nothing to offer but a 1% speed increase and some useless features. Most of the experts seem to be pretty pleased with the chipset and anxious to get their hands on actual consumer mobos.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 30, 2004 7:34:01 AM

>AGP/PCI lock for overclockers,

K8T800 offers this, but like I said, for anyone not overclocking, this is a non issue. even for moderate overclockers, this is hardly a concern; its not like the cpu's are stellar overclockers anyway.

> pretty lame memory support,

Dual channel DDR400 can be problematic on any platform. Would you say 865 is immature ? Lets quote Anand for a change:" <b>To give you an idea, both Intel's 865PE and ABIT's 865PE motherboards would not reliably install Windows with Corsair's XMS3200 DDR installed and the timings set to automatically configure via SPD in the BIOS. Instead we had to increase the CAS latency to 2.5 and tinker with the Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, and Active to CMD settings in order to setup a stable system.</b>" (<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=1823&p..." target="_new"> link </A>)

The problem seems to be more the memory vendors picking too optimistic CAS timings than anything else. The solution is simple though, adjust SPD timings manually -its not like there is a lot of performance to be lost anyway- and/or stick to memory modules tested and qualified by the MB vendor. This is true for any platform, THG just made an ass out of themselves by blaming the A64 boards without even testing on anything else or manually tweaking the SPD settings.

> expected features dropped last minute.

What features are lacking on current A64/FX boards ?

> In contrast to when the ABIT IS7 was released. With gaming
>enhancement it was just as fast and sometimes faster than
>the more expensive canterwood boards. Rock solid stability.
>Performace with the new 800 bus chips was a clean sweep
>over previos P4's and athlon XP's.

Again, you can't see the motherboard performance independant of the cpu. ALI could come up with a uber Pentium 2 chipset, but it still wouldnt make a desireable gaming platform. Current A64 boads wih A64 cpu's offer pretty much what you claimed the IS7 offered: rock solid stability, and a clean sweep over the P4 and AXP in gaming performance.

>In contrast to A64, who yes is a super fast gaming chip,
>but besides that you have jump on a first release mobo

K8T800 and nForce3 boards have been shipping for 9 months or so, and they have been ready for over a year. First release athlon boards sucked big time, especially the non AMD chipset based, but A64 boards have been completely trouble free from any report I've read (memory issues aside, which are just that, memory issues, and they exist on about every platform).

>and
>give up features that WERE expected and Promised.

You don't give up anything. You get what you buy, as advertised, period. Seriously, this is really a poor argument for not getting or recommending a A64 board.. "they promised even more".. pff.

>You have to wonder what ram and wether 2 sticks of ram will
>work,

Yep, just like on i875 boards. Either that, or you'll might have to relax memory timings.

> I hate buying something for top dollar just before
> something better is released

So, you never buy anything "for top dollar" ? BTW, A64 boards from top oems start as low as $80, A64 chips can be had for $131 (2800+ pricewatch). Hardly "top dollar" in my book. $211 doesnt buy you much better than a P4 2.4C with decent MB.

> How many KT400 owners wished they had an NF2?

I've had both, and honestly, both where completely satisfying my needs. I preferred the NF2 because of the soundstorm. But I preferred my SiS745 even more for its extraordinary IDE performance and low price

>How many K8T800 or NF3-150 owners will be wishing they'd
>waited a bit too?

Not many I think. Honestly, I don't see anything in nForce2 250 that really excites me. What exactly will a K8T800 owner be missing ? Sure it will be better than nForce3 150, and it seems to performs on par with K8T800. nVidia is just playing catch up this time.

> Better motherboards are worth the wait and more important
>to me than an immediate few extra fps

Define "better". There are basically three or four things here:
1) stability. Current A64 boards leave little room for improvement here, wether it is a VIA or nVidia based solution.
2) features. everything I could possible wish for is already available. SATA Raid, USB2, Firewire, 6.1 sound, cool & quiet, GB ethernet, you name it.
3) performance. If nForce3 250 outperforms K8T800 by more than 2-3% overall in actual applications or games, i'll eat my keyboard.
4) Future proofness. PCI-E, S939. Well, if you don't want current boards because they are "first generation", I doubt you'll want a PCI-E board anytime this year.

Sorry, I still can't see any reason not to recommend a A64 system today. Its plain simple the best available gaming platform money can buy today (even on a budget with the arrival of 2800+'s), the fact it will be even better over the next 6 months with nForce3 250, PCI-E, S939, faster cpu's, etc doesn't change this any more than your idea you where "promised more".

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 30, 2004 7:36:46 AM

In all the threads I've read in the past few months:
<b>Recommendations for Abit motherboards in general, particularly the IS7:</b> <i>hundreds</i>
<b>Recommendations AGAINST Abit/IS7:</b> <i>one</i>

speaks for itself really :smile:

I agree with everyone else. Abit IS7 with a P4 2.8C
if you use the savings on the P4 (as you're not getting a 3.0C or above) to get nice fast RAM, you can then overclock the P4 to beyond 3Ghz anyway. all I would suggest is to get 1Gb of RAM, at least PC3500 but preferably faster - I have 512Mb and some of the more recent games have no problems eating it all up.

<b>[EDIT]
Aw, crap, something went wrong there... seems I missed a whole buncha posts for some reason.. looks like my browser must've been showing me a saved page from yesterday or something :eek:  ....

seems You've decided you probably want an A64 - 2 minutes while I catch up on all these posts...
[/EDIT]
</b>

---
Epox 8RDA+ rev1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @205x11 (~2.26Ghz), 1.575Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 420/744<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ChipDeath on 03/30/04 08:41 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 30, 2004 8:14:42 AM

Well regardless of the maturity or immaturity of current A64 boards, I would still say it at least makes sense to wait until there are a couple of nforce3 250 boards to choose from, seeing as they're so close to release. As Anand's recent second part of their nforce3 250Gb reference board says in the conclusion:
Quote:
If we were in the market for a top Athlon 64 today, we would search for a high-end nForce3-250Gb board - which you should be able to buy in a couple of weeks.


Full review <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=2009&p..." target="_new">here</A> of course this is just a reference board so We'll have to wait and see what the production models are actually like. even better would be to wait for Socket 939 and see what performance is like then.

---
Epox 8RDA+ rev1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @205x11 (~2.26Ghz), 1.575Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 420/744
March 30, 2004 8:30:00 AM

Sure you can wait and wait, and wait forever. I have little doubts nForce3 250 will be the platform to get once its here, but its not here. I have little doubt S939 will be the socket to get once its here, but again, its not. Same about PCI-E and DDR-II once it reaches >533 MHz for a reasonable price.

So if you are buying *now*, it makes no sense to get a P4 instead, only because A64 will get even better as it already is. And it is already damn good. Its already the best gaming platform, period.

If you can wait, it may or may not be worth it to wait for S939 for better upgrade options, but by the time a S754 A64 3700+ (likely fastest s754 chip) is obsolete, you'll likely want a new MB anyway.

Really, all those posts, and still I need to see anyone post a real good reason to wait for nForce 250 for anyone but hardcore overclockers with an allergy against VIA boards. And if you are waiting for S939, you'll probably want to wait for PCI-E as well, and then for DDR-II, and then for the next chipset revision, etc, etc, etc,..

Short story long; wait for it if you want to, but stop saying current boards are no good, let alone recommend a gamer / non fanatical overclocker a 32 bit only, more expensive, slower (gaming), hotter, less secure P4C instead because of its "superior boards".

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 30, 2004 8:34:49 AM

Tom's benchmarks are such a wonderfull thing <A HREF="http:// http://www.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20040105/athlon... " target="_new">http:// http://www.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20040105/athlon... </A> If you actually look at the results, the nforce boards won way more than any other. I gave 4 points for a win 3 for second etc. Nforce got 76, sis 54, via got only 48 and ali at the bottom got 36. This is the " bad" nforce3 150 chipset. Only beating second place by 50% may be a little dissapointing to some, but I dont see it. If you look to the facts, the nforce3 is a great chipset.
Lets talk about the 865 chipset in comparason The only gripe I hear about those chips is a problem with LL ram. Oh well you say, the P4c doesn't need LL. Why? Because it's memory starved right.
The A64 coupled with an Nforce3 150 board is the best by far setup for today's gamer. The Nforce3 250 may well be an improvement, but that is all.
March 30, 2004 8:39:15 AM

btw,

>XP1700+ @205x11 (~2.26Ghz), 1.575Vcore

nice overclock you have there. Is that a mobile chip, or where you just born so lucky you can hit that high frequencies with not even 1.6v :)  ?

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 30, 2004 8:56:37 AM

I'm lucky. :cool:

I just can't get it to go any faster though, even with up to 1.9V! :eek:  It bugs me....

I suppose I might be able to squeeze more speed from it if I could get >205FSB, but my board can't take it - I was stuck at 196 until I glued a huge old aluminium cooler to the nb (no fan though, still passive). I am sorely tempted to buy a new mobo and a XP-M 2500+ though, just to play :smile: .. Can't do any more tinkering with my rig, it's pretty much maxed out :frown:

---
Epox 8RDA+ rev1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @205x11 (~2.26Ghz), 1.575Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 420/744
March 30, 2004 9:03:51 AM

Quote:
Sure you can wait and wait, and wait forever

Well yeah, but if it's only a few weeks, and he <i>does</i> have a working 'pooter at the moment, then it would make sense to just wait for the first few boards, just to broaden the available choice. if it was 3 months away, then it might make sense to buy now, but I'm sure he can cope with waiting such a short space of time.

---
Epox 8RDA+ rev1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @205x11 (~2.26Ghz), 1.575Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 420/744
March 30, 2004 9:24:14 AM

a few weeks b4 the first boards arrive (this has been said for several months btw, this chipset has been coming 'real soon" since the end of last year), maybe a month or a few months until the boards with the feature set he wants from his preferred oem become available ? And to get what ? 3% better performance @640x480 and <1% at actual gaming resolutions ?

If he is dying to hook up 4 SATA drives and configure a RAID, he could probably save a few pennies by waiting and getting a nForce 250 (pro ?) over a 150 + SATA/RAID chip. sure. well, rather maybe. pricing remains to be seen. quite possible nvidia charges more for this than promiseor fasttrack.

Really, nForce 250 looks good, but its nothing anywhere near a quantum leap worth waiting for, neither over nForce 150 or K8T800 (or even SIS755 for that matter). What made me look forward to nForce 250 was soundstorm, but that is not going to happen. Now the only thing that excites me about nForce 250 (Pro/GB) is not S754 desktop or gaming boards, but the prospect of having another S939, PCI-E, 1 GHz HTT chipset in the future, and even more chipworkstation/server boards based on it. For a non fanatical overclocker and gamer, I expect it will make precious little difference over existing offerings, mostly because the 150 is already as good as it is. It just has a reputation problem because of its lower HTT speed (which matters zilch for gaming) and lack of PCI/AGP lock which hardly matters, and not a thing when you don't overclock

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
!