Both motherboards, Chaintech 7NJS and Asus A7N8X Deluxe, lock the PCI at 33MHz. This is important because it is necessary for the PCI bus to be kept at a low frequency in order to avoid Hard drive Corruption when operating the FSB at high speeds, 400MHz DDR FSB for example. Motherboards without the PCI LOCK are not recommendable for future upgrades to 400MHz DDR FSB Barton processors. The motherboards which don't lock the PCI bus at 33MHz would have to implement a 1/6 divider in order to support future 400MHz DDR FSB Barton processors.
Nforce2 motherbard "PCI LOCK" Assurity Table
Asus A7N8X: Yes
Epox 8RDA+: ?
MSI K7N2-L: No
Chaintech 7NJS: Yes
Leadtek K7NCR18D: No
Abit NF7-S: Yes
The A7N8X Deluxe has Soundstorm, the 7NJS does not. That is, the 7NJS has NO NVIDIA SOUND!!! Just C-media. Chaintech would have to pass testing that NVIDIA and Dolby perform in order to get Soundstorm. They didn't try to pass the test. A free test mind you. The fact that the A7N8X Deluxe has superior audio cababilities is enough to make me pick the A7N8X Deluxe over the chaintech board.
I like the fact that the 7NJS includes ATA RAID. HOWEVER, it has SINGLE-CHANNEL RAID?!?! Therefore, with one ATA drive as master and another as slave, you will suffer a performance hit. RAID 0 with two drives may be slower than a single drive.
Both have excllent overclocking features. Both lock the PCI bus at 33MHz. But, the A7N8X Deluxe has superior audio. Two-channel ATA RAID would have been nice to help the 7NJS's case, as the A7N8X Deluxe doesnt have ATA RAID (Serial ATA only), but they chose single-channel ATA RAID - poor RAID 0 performance. Without soundstorm and two channel ATA RAID, the A7N8X Deluxe wins hands down. :wink:
if for nothing else i would go with Asus for it's passive cooling and sound system.
if serial ATA isn't important for you then i can suggest EPoX as well. it seems that it lock the PCI bus at half of the AGP.
It seems to be a great board with excellent value.
award winner mobo for value in <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com</A>
check the nforce2 review there and good luck.
Greetings, Hadi. The Epox boards are very good but it has not been confirmed whether or not the Epox nForce2 mobos have a PCI Lock - important for overclocking and future upgrades. So, I highly recommend the Asus A7N8X deluxe. Cheers!
cheers! here in Australia i should pay US$190 for A7N8X Deluxe.
add to this the fact that there is no sign of radeon 9500 pro here yet and the conlcusion is: I should spend the Xmas with a celeron 900 and sis 305 card that score in 3Dmark 2001SE about 800 !!!!!!!