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Which Board? Many choices

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February 13, 2002 3:38:18 PM

Ok, i am building a second box. It is going to be used as a sometimes server, among other things. I already have an XP 2000+ sitting around (dont ask... and no it isnt stolen, sort of a bad bet by a friend...) so now i need a board. I need raid (i think 4 40GB stripped), however if i need to drop in a controller card, i dont care. I also want the VIA266A chipset. Stability is also important. I have a Asus A7V266E and am very happy with it. But maybe there is something better.

Heres my first ideas
(another)Asus266E-raid
Abit KR7A-Raid
Soyo Dragon Plus
Gigabyte GA-7VTXH+ (plus raid card)

Cost is not an option, i am willing to pay whatever for a top notch board.

Also should i invest the cash and water cool this baby, or just MOD the hell out of the box and stick fans everywhere?

Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.

More about : board choices

February 13, 2002 4:12:32 PM

The Soyo would be a good choice.
Unless you plan on overclocking, you shouldn't bother with that water cooling solution.

<font color=red>Floppy disk?!? What the heck's a floppy disk?!?</font color=red>
February 13, 2002 6:46:52 PM

go with asus , have you read any articles by tom on best mob?
Related resources
February 14, 2002 1:46:32 AM

yeah i read them all. Benchmarks are great but I was hoping to hear from people who actually run on the stuff. Also some of the boards were not out at the time Tom ran his reviews.

Thanks for your advice though

Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.
February 14, 2002 2:00:26 AM

I have the Dragon+ and love it.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
February 14, 2002 2:11:14 AM

may i ask why you love it? I dont know anyone running it, and would very much like to hear about any specifics you might have.

Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2002 2:53:05 AM

I think Abit are the best overall. They are so easy to set up. Some other motherboards have jumpers that require carefull finger dexterity. With Abit motherboards you just use the soft menu that comes on your moniter to set CPU speed and such. I think it is a lot better. I've only had great experiences with Abit.
February 14, 2002 3:17:01 AM

Well, since it's your money were spending:

I'd opt for none of the above. If I had the cash to build a second machine right now with some server roles I'd pick up an ECS D6VAA dual PIII Motherboard and slap a couple of 1-gig pentiums on it and a good fault tolerant NIC. I'd then get a REAL RAID controller like a 3ware (yes, you can still find them) rather than this sissy on board crap you geeks like but only perform well in single tasking benchmarks because they suck the life out of the CPU.

This machine wouldn't do well in a sprint against newer processors on newer chipsets, but it would have a heck of a lot more torque and would't be obsolete next week.
February 14, 2002 9:40:50 AM

The board you have is pretty good and the Abit is up there also. I have the board and I like it, but not sure about the Raid. I hear it's slower then what it's supposed to be, think it's a VIA thing, but believe there is a fix at a VIA sight.
February 14, 2002 10:39:45 AM

From the boards you listed, the Abit KR7A-Raid is the best according to most review sites.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
February 14, 2002 11:04:14 AM

why go dual p3 xenon then a faster athlon XP? How much more proformance would i get out of that?

Also please keep it coming with the suggestions folks, i am not writing off the athlon yet

Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.
February 14, 2002 11:06:42 AM

so I see everyone likes the Asus and the Abit, are they the best? should i not even consider the dragon+ or the Ga7vtxh?

Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.
February 14, 2002 11:37:29 AM

Well, quite simply, this is the most stable machine even owned. I built it without any problem, everything was fine the first time. I'm using on-board sound and onboard LAN. For the sound, the quality is very good and the LAN do the job very well.

Sinse I've installed XP 2month ago, then not a single crash. The same with WIN2000, that I have in dual boot. I've tried Win98 too. Stable too, but I was testing a lot of drivers and messing with DirectX so I dont had the time to really 'use' it. The only problems I've got was a memory stick that was slowly dying. That caused me some lock-up and crash(that was I was trying all those drivers...I didnt know yet about the memory until the time that my machine simply refuse to boot.

Then I've tried one stick, not working, the other stick 100% stable.

I'm not using RAID so I cannot comment now.I use it with an ATI radeon 64DDR VIVO. Capturing and watching TV from my satellite reciever. I'm using it with the latest ATI multimedia center with the option 'mixed desktop' so I can watch the TV and working with my computer at the same time.

Well this is simply the most troublefree system I've seen to date. One of my friend has one too and it is the same for him.

I cannot comment about the other board, I've not seen them in use, but they should be good board too.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
February 14, 2002 11:48:52 AM

Hey O,

Have you read the lastest review on the MSI KT3 Ultra(Via KT333)? Looks very promising!

Peace Out...........tile

WHAT????? I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE ROAR OF MY CASE FANS! YOU'LL HAVE TO SCREAM!
February 14, 2002 11:54:06 AM

I second Pat's Dragon Plus assessment. I've owned ABIT boards, and happen to currently have a KT7-RAID. You can't go wrong with an ABIT.

But, my Soyo Dragon Plus is all that Pat said. Rock Stable (W2K). And I'm running RAID 0 (2 IBM Deskstar 20GB 7200 RPM) and boy is it fast. I don't have benchmarks on the RAID but trust me. It's a nice board.

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2002 12:20:15 PM

The abit kr7a is quite a bit more expensive than the soltek, and sadly I haven't been able to locate a soyo here in sthlm/sweden. Is the kr7a worth the extra cost? it has ide-raid and 4 dimm slots, is that enough extra value?

<font color=black><A HREF="http://www.menvafan.net/index_e.html" target="_new">1000 punkx, 1000 punx!</A></font color=black>
February 14, 2002 12:24:31 PM

Quote:
? it has ide-raid

So does the Dragon Plus

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
February 14, 2002 4:34:44 PM

The fastest machine I work on is a dual 866 Dell server that can sustain half a gig a minute file transfer speed when pulled from multiple sub P300 clients (Linux guys tell me this isn't even possible with NT 4.0). This while burning a CD at 16x and having a dozen SQL point of sale clients connected at the same time. If you want to try that with a single 2ghz Athlon and built in EIDE, go for it.

Like everything else on this site, Tom's reviews are good for determining how good your machine will be for playing Quake and running planar benchmarks that are limp wristed at best. If that's your goal, by all means get the fastest Athlon you can and go Asus. I've put together some of the latest Athlon based Asus boards and they are lightyears more stable and reliable than the first Athlon capable boards I worked with.

In the meantime, I'll stick to older and more tried and true MoBo combinations running SMP that works. Not as fast playing games as a state of the art >2ghz machine, but mine doesn't turn into a $%#@ boat anchor every time a process or errant Direct-X call pegs the processor at 100%, and I can do real work with it.

You asked for ideas :^)
February 15, 2002 3:29:44 AM

your right, the dual P3 solution sounds great but i allready have the XP chip (i didnt even remember that until just now)
Plus i dont want to totally burn down the bank (breaking is one thing......but to torch it and salt the ground afterwards is another......)

But thank you for the idea. Maybe someday for the 3rd box.
My soon to be wife will love that...... (wait she needs a new comp too!!!!! :)  )

Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.
February 15, 2002 3:37:41 AM

still though......you have a damn good point....damn

Putting the LAUGH back in SLAUGHTER.
!