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Suggested Board and Chipset for AMD 2200+

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January 2, 2003 6:51:26 PM

I believe it takes alot of planning and the right combination of components to create the most efficient and effective computer system. I purchased the amd 2200+ recently and almost walked out the door with a SOYO 333 platinum ultra board with cheesy memory. I figured I might ask for suggested combinations of board and chipset along with memory recommendations to narrow down my options. This computer will be used mainly for online gaming as I have this current one to perform all my work. I would appreciate any feedback from some of the more experienced system builders on this matter. I've read that the 2200+ did not do too well with overclocking, but I would consider doing it a tad bit. :-) I suppose it depends on all the other components on the system to determine the best route. Thanks to all for your time.

HavoK
January 2, 2003 7:40:40 PM

I have been very happy with the A7N8X Deluxe. Right now it seems that the nForce2 boards are the way to go for an Athlon. I would recommend 512 MB of 3200 Corsair CAS2 memory. :smile:

<font color=red>The solution may be obvious, but I can't see it for the smoke coming off my processor.</font color=red>
January 2, 2003 8:19:38 PM

What about the Gigabyte KT400 or the Asus KT400 boards.
THG gave them both good reviews, and there is a bit of a price savings. Its a bit concerning that the Asus A7N8X needs its own thread, does this mean that its has 'issues'?
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January 2, 2003 8:51:46 PM

The A7N8X beats the KT400 boards and you don't have to deal with VIA. Not that automatically implies trouble. I guess other than price I don't see any reason to consider the KT400 boards over the A7N8X.

<font color=red>The solution may be obvious, but I can't see it for the smoke coming off my processor.</font color=red>
January 2, 2003 10:53:46 PM

For me the only chipset maker I would use right now for an AMD processor would be SiS.

I don't deal with VIA anymore. Not after all of their past failures and still current problems.

I'm not going to help Nvidia take over the entire computer market and become the next microsoft. It is one thing to make video cards, it is another to start making motherboards, moving into the notebook area, and other signs of "expansion" into producing every kind of product. Besides their nForce boards have had some trouble. IMO they made a foolish decision to use integrated video in the nForce original boards. Now people are speaking of problems using the nForce 2's with Windows 2000.

That stated there are really no other chipset makers left. There's ALi, but uh, that's just the Acer company bought over (ALi stands for Acer Labortories Incorporated). ATi has made a few motherboard chipsets, but I would never touch those. Strangely AMD is capable of making great processors, but not so good motherboards (as in the Irongate 760 series).

I respect SiS in the fact that they've always been unique, and have never made any attempt to steal technology such as VIA has. Their 735's outperformed the 266's until VIA released their "A" revision. Whenever they have used memory HUBs to connect their north and southbridge, their transfer rates have always been ahead of the competition. Their previous MuTIOL was running at 533MB per second, while VIA and their V-Link was still stuck at 266MB. Now their new HUB is 1.2GB per second which is beyond Nvidia's Hyper Transport at 800MB per second.

They are one of the only companies to still use single controller chip technology (no southbridge). They made some mistakes when they first started, they had some compatibility problems and were big on integrated video. Though since the modern computer era they have been doing well.

The Xabre's drivers are still being tuned, and they aren't designed to be the fastest vid card out there, they are decent at a low price.

SiS hasn't been so popular I feel because they haven't had a very big market share in the US, or Europe. I believe that's another story in Asia. Also they haven't gotten as much publicity. Not every common Joe even knows about them.

You may want to wait until there is a good SiS 746 board out. ECS does alot of vendoring for SiS, and ASUS and as well as MSI works with them. In fact I have an MSI 745 Ultra on the way to replace my current 266A by Abit.

Corsair makes great memory IMO

-----

Benchmarks don't lie :-)
January 3, 2003 12:01:32 AM

Hi Paul,

First, let me thank you for your input, I took it in mind. I do have a question that perhaps you may be able to answer or anyone reading this for that matter. Is there performance advantage over using two 256MB memory to take advantage of the board's dual DDR capabilities?

From the reply's so far, looks like the memory to go with is Corsair. I found some prices at:
http://www.atacom.com/program/atacom_new.cgi?KEYWORDS=c...

if anyone can suggest a better priced site, please do refer it.

Currently, I'm researching various web sites on the boards suggested. though the concensus seems to be that 400 is the way to go and not 333, can anyone explain this? is it to keep up with the tech or is there an advantage shown in a comparison some where, of which I have not found?

HavoK
a b V Motherboard
January 3, 2003 12:51:24 AM

There are only TWO boards I can recommend, the A7N8X at the top and the MSI 745 Ultra on the cheap. Both boards are so great that I feel nothing in the middle is worth considering.

<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
January 3, 2003 12:53:36 AM

There's not *too* much performance difference between 333 and 400 DDR RAM. Most memory interfaces on motherboards have not been tuned well enough to take advantage of the new speeds, and most companies are still messing with DDR 400; Corsair is one of the companies that has modules currently running with CL times of 2.0 (I'm not sure any other memory vendor has accomplished this yet).

DDR 400 is nice, but considering the price, and that the performance isn't too much better, I don't think it is worth it. If you happen to wind up with a motherboard that supports it, that's cool, but I wouldn't buy a chipset that supports DDR 400 memory if it lacks other features which motherboard with lower memory bus have.

-----

Benchmarks don't lie :-)
January 3, 2003 3:18:25 AM

Hi Clarentavious,

I found this nice deal at:
http://www.atacom.com/program/atacom_new.cgi?KEYWORDS=c...


ASUS A7N8X DELUXE+AMD XP2600+/333(OEM)+Corsair 512MB(256x2) DDR400 C2

Looks just like what I had in mind, alls I need to do is return the 2200+ to CompUSA and get back my $200 to put it towards the $671 that this combo special calls for. I can manage that at this point, but is it the smartest thing to do? I know for sure now that returning that 2200+ is the first thing I should do, having found it much cheaper at these web sites. Hey, can you blame me for being a bit antsy after having my computer freeze or crash or even do a complete memory dump of a sort at least twice a day? :-) Well, we all learn from our mistakes don't we?

Please do share your thoughts about this combo, perhaps you can offer another approach. Thanks.

HavoK
January 3, 2003 8:17:58 AM

My MSI 745 Ultra is really great! Even running toast on high priority for 3 hours wouldnt make it crash :)  I can also overclock with stability, so far Ive got my AXP 2000+ to 2200+ levels, not bad for a three minute overclock.
January 3, 2003 9:11:44 AM

I just got the Corsair CMX256A 3500 C2 256MB DDR433 from googlegear.com for 109.00 each(i bought 2 for my system). It's a little cheaper and I got free 2nd day shipping and they also filled the order fast!. It also only offers around 4.5% on my system better performance over my last(A7N8X vs my old KR7A). A boost, but nonetheless, nothing to do backflips over. Better is better though.

:cool: Save heating costs on your home, overclock your PC!!! :cool:
January 3, 2003 5:06:19 PM

Hello Victory,

I don't know how the memory Mhz fits in the whole scheme of the thing. You say you got some improvements in performance by using 433Mhz memory on the A7N8X? I was under the assumption that matching them up (mhz) would yield better performance to stability ratios than would the unmatched components. Can you share a bit about the theory here? Thanks for the feedback.

HavoK
January 4, 2003 2:00:52 AM

well I'm running the memory and fsb at 147(as I was with my old KR7A). Except for ram and mainboard it's the exact same system. What the 433 is for, is for future processor support. Although my current XP has 266FSB, the 2600+ and ups support 333FSB(166x2). My performance boost of 4.5% is from the twinbank technology of the new nforce2 boards. In essence it goes from a 64bit channel to 128bit channel for sending data. Think of it as having a pipe flowing at half stream, then pushing up the water pressure to add a full stream. For a more detailed explanation look at <A HREF="http://www6.tomshardware.com/mainboard/200106041/nforce..." target="_new">http://www6.tomshardware.com/mainboard/200106041/nforce...;/A> or do a search for Nforce Twinbank.

The faster Mhz ram is only for a better chance of overclocking, and for a future processor that may have a 166, 200 FSB rated speed(333,400 DDR).



:cool: Save heating costs on your home, overclock your PC!!! :cool:
January 4, 2003 4:24:37 AM

Victory,

Thank you kindly for the elaboration. From what I can gather then, the combo deal I posted earlier seems like a good setup to go with.

ASUS A7N8X DELUXE+AMD XP2600+/333(OEM)+Corsair 512MB(256x2) DDR400 C2

that's the 2600+ you mentioned and the memory can probably be upgraded on this thing as well. All in all though, I might be well off with the DDR400. Or what are some advantages to uping to DDR433, besides the overclocking itch i'm starting to feel? I figure that this system will be good for a few, err couple of years and by then, the memory will have changed along with everything else. Maybe I should leave well enough alone? Guess this is the right place to be bringing up these ponderings and speculations. Any more feedback you can offer, or anyone for that matter, will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

HavoK
January 4, 2003 1:11:13 PM

HavoK,


Well last time I bought ram I got the XMS2400 corsair and it was actually going bad on me. Lifetime warranty though so I'm waiting for a replacement. In essence its PC150 ram, so I expected a longer life out of it. I'm sure it'll also run 166 FSB.

Your setup sounds great, I will be getting a new CPU @2400 or higher when the prices drop a little more. Also rumor is that the Bartons due out this year, will use the same socket and run at 200FSB(400DDR). This board, KT400's and a few other boards should allow the new Bartons to plug right in. I had a KR7A, that stopped at 2200. SO I wanted a future upgrade path. I just built a budget system for a friend with a MSI 6378(rev 3.2) that supports only Sdram, but will support a 2600+. Go figure, why a cheap board will run the latest, but an ABit high end(a year ago) wont. So what I'm trying to say, NO ONE on the outside truly knows what the next wave will be. Maybe the Bartons may ramp up to 533FSB, but for a minimal price increase, I bought great ram, that allows for hopefully future processor FSB speeds. Considering it's a few dollars more, why not get the 433?

It's sounds like a great setup though, although I bought the standard and not deluxe. I'm opting to use the onboard sound vs my audigy, and since I have onboard lan now, I've got all my pci slots open. So if serial ATA comes around soon for HD's and it's a big boost, I try an expansion card model. As for the onboard RAID, well Raid 5 is truly the only way to go, RAID 0, or 0+1 is better than a plain old IDE, but no where near the performance of 5.

I could go on and on here, but it'll just get long winded and boring. Buy the fatest ram with the best latencies and timings you can find. The next gen of AMD seems to be looking at 200FSB(400DDR). The XMS3500 C2 will run that, and still give you a little room to increase the FSB of bartons if all holds true. Twinbank Nforce2's offer a minimal gain over a single channel setup. It's a good way to go at this moment. Plus you'll have enough speed to last you at least 2 years with your 2600, if not longer. My 1700+ OC'd to 1.63Ghz does everything and anything. Although not the fatest, far exceeds my current needs. Once I have a little more time to play with settings of this board, I'll let you know how far I can get and where I end up at. I'll also post my findings at
<A HREF="http://home.wi.rr.com/ocingamd" target="_new">http://home.wi.rr.com/ocingamd&lt;/A> for everyone to see.

Let me know which way you go.





:cool: Save heating costs on your home, overclock your PC!!! :cool:
January 4, 2003 3:09:25 PM

Ok, here are my benches from the new A7N8X board and ram. Now this system is identical to the old one except for the following changes

Went to Windows XP from ME
512 of Corsair PC3500 vs 256 of PC2400 Corsair
Latest driver for my Ge3 Ti 200
A7N8X running in sync vs my KR7A running at 1623

old system stats:

Dhrystone ALU 4464
Whetstone FPU 2232

New
Dhrystone ALU 6078
Whetstone FPU 2453

old
integer aEMMX/ASSE 8837
Floating Point aSSE 10236

new
Integer AeMMX/aSSE 8964
Floating Point aSSE 9600(not sure why this is lower, maybe someone can shed some light on this )

old
RAM Int Buffered aEMMX/aSSE Bandwidth 2208
Ram Float Buffered aEMMX/aSSE Bandwidth 2066

new
RAM Int Buffered aEMMX/aSSE Bandwidth 2324
Ram Float Buffered aEMMX/aSSE Bandwidth 2197

old
Madonion 3D marks 6785

new

Madonion 3D marks 7248

As you can see it's a small boost except for 3dmark, which may be the newer drivers.

Also I haven't fully played with ram timings, and seeing if I can OC this 1700 any further than what I once had with my KR7A. My main reason still is that I wanted future upgradability. I also got this board free(built a system for a friend, he bought this board for me).

Anyhow as I get more time, I'll play with the settings and see if I can get any further.





:cool: Save heating costs on your home, overclock your PC!!! :cool:
January 5, 2003 11:30:24 PM

Victory,

I want to thank you for the insightful reply's. You made your points quite clearly and for the better have been thought provoking. I haven't yet decided on the _memory to ram_ variable differences, those I'll work out soon. I did decide on the AMD 2600+ though, it's at a nice price on one of these web resellers. Last couple of days I've been out to the local computer stores looking for a nice video card to go with the system. I saw a nice open box ATI 9700 pro that I could have gotten a sweet price for and almost bought it. I gave it a second thought and decided to find out what the rumor was on video cards by asking here. So perhaps you'd be so kind as to offer your insights one the matter of what's coming up for the nforce2 and video cards? Anything worth waiting for?

HavoK
January 6, 2003 9:08:05 AM

well, I'd buy the 2600+ but the price is still a little to expensive to me for what it's worth. Than again, if the P4's where cheaper, I'd be considering those as well. Anyhow for video cards, ATI or Nforce will do you well. I don't know much about ATI since I've been mainly an Nvidia guy since the death of 3DFX. Although I did just put a Radeon 7500 into a friends pc. Good card, once I updated the driver. It had conflicts with some of his kids games, which were corrected. The biggest issue I hear about ATI is that they are constantly having to tweak their drivers for compatability. Also not too long ago, how they cheated with Quake(or maybe Unreal) to lower some settings internally to boost their benchmark scores.

Bottom line with video, I hate paying 200+ for video!! Those days are behind me, my Ge3 Ti200 is very capable(not even OC'd, never have to this point). When 8X AGP cards filter out, I'll probably look at the 150 price range and see what is available and better than what I have. I do want the latest and greatest, but since my most cards/cpus have more power than the average user needs, I can't condone spending top dollar on new pc's. Especially since most of us here probably rework their pc's every year. If you stay within 1 year of currently new technology, you're actually better since you're taking advantage of the technology, while the latest and greatest, normally need software tweaking that won't hit software packages for 6-12 months(if not a little longer).
Just my 2 cent's on that.



:cool: Save heating costs on your home, overclock your PC!!! :cool:
!