Motherboard recommendation


J

jeffc

I've built a few systems myself, but I've been out of the loop for a couple
years. I'm trying to help my friend revamp his PC. Basically he wants
Pentium II or III class compatibility (i.e. he wants a machine that will run
children's games or other software requiring a minimum of a Pentium II). I
suppose this could mean AMD, but he feels more comfortable with actual
Pentium of some sort.

Information is much easier to find on newer products. What would be an
older (trailing edge) motherboard that we could stick in there for
relatively cheap? He's looking at definitely under $300 for motherboard,
CPU and memory - I doubt that should be very hard. He was looking at an
Intel, VC820 (think I remember that right) but I was going to steer him away
from that because of the proprietary and expensive Rambus memory (that's how
I remember it anyway.) He wants to keep his case, hard drive, CD drive. He
will be using either Win98 or XP.

Suggestions?
 
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H

H

You can buy a barebones system within that budget. He can keep his hard
drive and CD ROM etc.

h
 
J

jeffc

OK, then let's drop the $300 budget (which was what I told him so he would
be happy with a lower price later, rather than vice versa). Let's upgrade
that thing for cheap - let's say <$150.
 
L

Larc

| OK, then let's drop the $300 budget (which was what I told him so he would
| be happy with a lower price later, rather than vice versa). Let's upgrade
| that thing for cheap - let's say <$150.

That's a hard figure to reach with a new Pentium system. The best price I can
find on a PIII 1GHz CPU is $94 shipped from Newegg. Plus there aren't many new
PIII motherboards around anymore. I'd suggest going with a Pentium 4-based
Celeron. A 1.7GHz Celeron is $56 shipped from Newegg. The Shuttle AV40
motherboard is only $46, although it has a VIA chipset and I wouldn't wish one
of those on my worst enemy. With a 256MB stick (realistic minimum for WinXP) of
DDR PC2100 RAM for less than $45, everything should come in a tiny fraction
under $150. But this assumes your friend already has a P4-capable PSU. If not,
add about $40 for a decent one shipped.

An AMD setup might cost a bit less.

A good used system could be a better bet, though. Many of us who build our own
have some pretty good systems we've "graduated" out of that are still sitting
around collecting dust. ;-)

Larc



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V

\(\) |V| 3 G A

i`d personally go with asus for a make. a7v333 and a7n8x i`ve both had
experience with and are rock solid. running a7n8x deluxe rev2.0 now. just
it's somewhat expensive and high end board (£95UPK - around $150USD). then
again, thats AMD based. can pick up a joe-average board for around £50-60 -
$90 USD.

also from personal experience i`ve used both intel and amd based machines,
and i far prefer amd. in my eyes, intel are like sony - good quality but
over priced somewhat.

i`ve NEVER have a compatability issue with games or software due to amd
chip.

as for CPU and ram - go for 512mb minimum if running winXP, 128-256mb for
win98. corsair XMS, OCZ, etc are out of the equation. just get branded run
of the mill ram.
buy a cpu with whats left.

just my 2cent (or tuppence as it is in the UK)
tim
 
J

jeffc

Larc said:
| OK, then let's drop the $300 budget (which was what I told him so he would
| be happy with a lower price later, rather than vice versa). Let's upgrade
| that thing for cheap - let's say <$150.

That's a hard figure to reach with a new Pentium system. The best price I can
find on a PIII 1GHz CPU is $94 shipped from Newegg. Plus there aren't many new
PIII motherboards around anymore. I'd suggest going with a Pentium 4-based
Celeron. A 1.7GHz Celeron is $56 shipped from Newegg. The Shuttle AV40
motherboard is only $46, although it has a VIA chipset and I wouldn't wish one
of those on my worst enemy.
Why do you say that? see below
An AMD setup might cost a bit less.
I'd be willing to talk him into that. I was looking at a review of Asus
A7V8X-X on Tom's Hardware. I could put an Athlon XP 1500+ in that for $70 +
$45. But this has a VIA chipset, right? Tom didn't have anything at all
negative to say about that. This would also allow for a much faster Athlon
in the future, with a FSB up to 400, I think.
 
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S

spodosaurus

jeffc said:
I've built a few systems myself, but I've been out of the loop for a couple
years. I'm trying to help my friend revamp his PC. Basically he wants
Pentium II or III class compatibility (i.e. he wants a machine that will run
children's games or other software requiring a minimum of a Pentium II). I
suppose this could mean AMD, but he feels more comfortable with actual
Pentium of some sort.
compatibility? wtf are you on about?
Information is much easier to find on newer products. What would be an
older (trailing edge) motherboard that we could stick in there for
relatively cheap? He's looking at definitely under $300 for motherboard,
CPU and memory - I doubt that should be very hard.
And this is which country's dollars?
He was looking at an
Intel, VC820 (think I remember that right) but I was going to steer him away
from that because of the proprietary and expensive Rambus memory (that's how
I remember it anyway.)
Rambus? You really need to do some reading and come into the year 2003
(which is almost over anyway). most everything is DDR now.
He wants to keep his case, hard drive, CD drive. He
will be using either Win98 or XP.
What kind of power supply does he have? What is the Wattage? How many
amps on the 12V rail?
Suggestions?
Gigabyte motherboard (nforce2 or via chipset, depending on absolute
dollars available after the other components), athlon XP 2500+ Barton
core, and 512mb (2x256mb if using nforce2 based motherboard to take
advantage of dual channel memory). All up, this should come in under
$300 unless you go way overboard on the motherboard. Looking at about
$240 actually.

Ari



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and ask about registering to be a bone marrow donor.

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S

spodosaurus

jeffc said:
I'd be willing to talk him into that. I was looking at a review of Asus
A7V8X-X on Tom's Hardware. I could put an Athlon XP 1500+ in that for $70 +
$45. But this has a VIA chipset, right?
Years ago via made some dog chipsets. Larc is still living in the past.



--

Are you registered as a bone marrow donor? You regenerate what you
donate. You are offered the chance to donate only if you match a person
on the recipient list. Visit www.marrow.org or call your local Red Cross
and ask about registering to be a bone marrow donor.

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J

jeffc

spodosaurus said:
compatibility? wtf are you on about?
"wtf" I am "on about" is that certain software has certain minimum
requirements. For example I recently tried to install the Teradata demo on
my older Celeron 333, and it wouldn't install because it checks the CPU
first. The minimum requirements specifically call for a Pentium II-class
machine. It would install fine on my newer Athlon 2000+ machine. My friend
had the same problem with another application, hence the upgrade path.
And this is which country's dollars?
Dollars? What means? This is in Bosnian-Hawaiian chekels*.
Rambus? You really need to do some reading and come into the year 2003
(which is almost over anyway). most everything is DDR now.
DDR? I you think the VC820 does not use Rambus, then I gently suggest that
YOU need to do some reading.
What kind of power supply does he have? What is the Wattage? How many
amps on the 12V rail?
I don't know off the top of my head. It's a standard Dell machine - so
probably 250-300 watts.
Gigabyte motherboard (nforce2 or via chipset, depending on absolute
dollars available after the other components), athlon XP 2500+ Barton
core, and 512mb (2x256mb if using nforce2 based motherboard to take
advantage of dual channel memory). All up, this should come in under
$300 unless you go way overboard on the motherboard. Looking at about
$240 actually.
In what country's dollars? I would probably actually go with a mboard like
that, but with a cheaper Athlon like 1600+, which would meet his current
needs plus allow a nice processor upgrade if he so desires in a year or 2.
I think 256M would be enough memory for him. If I used 2x128, is it
feasible to add a single stick later, or does this defeat the purpose of
this mboard?

*No offense to Bosnians or Hawaiians. No Bosnians or Hawaiians were hurt in
the making of this message. Equal opportunity employer.
 
S

spodosaurus

jeffc said:
"wtf" I am "on about" is that certain software has certain minimum
requirements. For example I recently tried to install the Teradata demo on
my older Celeron 333, and it wouldn't install because it checks the CPU
first. The minimum requirements specifically call for a Pentium II-class
machine. It would install fine on my newer Athlon 2000+ machine. My friend
had the same problem with another application, hence the upgrade path.
So you shouldn't have bothered muddying the waters by talking about some
outdated software requirement issue?
Dollars? What means? This is in Bosnian-Hawaiian chekels*.
If you want help with making it undr $300, then specify as more than one
country uses the 'dollar' as it's unit of currency.
DDR? I you think the VC820 does not use Rambus, then I gently suggest that
YOU need to do some reading.
You completely missed the point. You're talking about an upgrade.
There's no sense in going off on a tangent about outdated rambus.
I don't know off the top of my head. It's a standard Dell machine - so
probably 250-300 watts.
That could be a problem. Some Dell PSUs didn't have the ATX wires in
the same fashion as a normal ATX PSU. You also need to check if the
case wires (power, LEDs, speaker, etc) are in a format that can be used
on a non-Dell motherboard.
In what country's dollars?
You didn't specify, so I chose American dollars, as Americans tend to be
the types of folks that assume there're no other countries in the world
(Central America = Kansas and what not).
I would probably actually go with a mboard like
that, but with a cheaper Athlon like 1600+, which would meet his current
needs plus allow a nice processor upgrade if he so desires in a year or 2.
I think 256M would be enough memory for him.
He'll like it a lot better with 512 if using XP, but with his old HDD he
should probably save his money for an upgrade of that. Recently
bringing my wife's XP home machine from a Celeron 733 with 256mb RAM
using an old 6 GB HDD to an Athlon XP 1700+, new motherboard, and 512 mb
RAM I discovered that retaining the old HDD made the system slower than
it should have been plus a lot noisier. Her new 40GB 7200rpm HDD makes
the system so much faster and quieter.
If I used 2x128, is it
feasible to add a single stick later, or does this defeat the purpose of
this mboard?
Well, if you go with an nforce2 board you'd be better off selling the
2x128 and buying 2x256 when the time comes. I looked at 2x256 prices,
how much of a price difference are we talking about here between 2x128
and 2x256? Also, just buying 1x256 would probably be a better option
than 2x128 if he's going to be wanting to upgrade in the future. You'll
just miss out on the 'bonus' speed that the nforce2 board is capable of
delivering with the dual channel memory architecture. The system won't
be slow(er)!
*No offense to Bosnians or Hawaiians. No Bosnians or Hawaiians were hurt in
the making of this message. Equal opportunity employer.

--

Are you registered as a bone marrow donor? You regenerate what you
donate. You are offered the chance to donate only if you match a person
on the recipient list. Visit www.marrow.org or call your local Red Cross
and ask about registering to be a bone marrow donor.

spam trap: replace shyah_right! with hotmail when replying
 
J

jeffc

spodosaurus said:
You completely missed the point. You're talking about an upgrade.
There's no sense in going off on a tangent about outdated rambus.
I think you missed the point. One of the upgrade options is an Intel VC820.
I said I was thinking of steering him away from that choice because Rambus
is a bad choice. This is hardly a "tangent". It was one of the main issues
in my original post. If you don't disagree with my original statement that
Rambus is proprietary and expensive and should be avoided, then why
disagree?
That could be a problem. Some Dell PSUs didn't have the ATX wires in
the same fashion as a normal ATX PSU. You also need to check if the
case wires (power, LEDs, speaker, etc) are in a format that can be used
on a non-Dell motherboard.
I will check into that, thanks.
Well, if you go with an nforce2 board you'd be better off selling the
2x128 and buying 2x256 when the time comes. I looked at 2x256 prices,
how much of a price difference are we talking about here between 2x128
and 2x256? Also, just buying 1x256 would probably be a better option
than 2x128 if he's going to be wanting to upgrade in the future. You'll
just miss out on the 'bonus' speed that the nforce2 board is capable of
delivering with the dual channel memory architecture. The system won't
be slow(er)!
OK, I wasn't sure if 1x256 would work at all, or if it would be a serious
performance hit. I think the 1x256 now and another later would be a good
route. I think going on the cheap now will not only please him with
avoiding higher cost that he dreaded, but also leave him an upgrade route in
a year or 2 that will actually be significant (256 to 512 or more RAM, slow
6G hard drive to 60G fast hard drive, and 1500 processor to 3000 or whatever
is the highest that will go in that motherboard later). I'm not a fan of
spending more money for "upgrades" that amount to about 10% performance
boost! Thanks for the suggestions.
 
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Z

zalzon

Asus K7VT2 or ECS K7S5A and a 1700 AMD XP+ chip?
256mb ddr266 now, and 256 more if he needs it later.
40gb hd
ECS 64mb graphics card, 4x agp (its cheap)
use his current cd-rom & floppy.
need a new case & power cos of the ATX form factor
keep his monitor, his keyboard, his mouse, his speakers

u can get that for a reasonable amount of money.

the thing with going for a low low budget system is that if u spend a
little more... u get a lot more. I think that would be a great system
that would last him some time... until 64 bit computers are well
established and microsoft comes out with its win64 next year.

then it may be time to upgrade (yet again). :( ahhhh....
 
J

John

Try checking out Ebuyer.com

They have some cheap stuff there.

As in:

case+PSU $19.99 :code 124392 (Just do a search for the code)
CPU+Mboard $84.18 :code 55209 and 69503
Ram: $39.04 :code 55881

Total: $143.21 + shipping

That should keep him going for a while at least!

I've bought stuff from the UK version of Ebuyer and they worked out
well!
 
L

Larc

| jeffc wrote:
|
| >
| > I'd be willing to talk him into that. I was looking at a review of Asus
| > A7V8X-X on Tom's Hardware. I could put an Athlon XP 1500+ in that for $70 +
| > $45. But this has a VIA chipset, right?
|
| Years ago via made some dog chipsets. Larc is still living in the past.

You're right. It has been in the past. It's been almost two months since I had
my last bad experience with a motherboard with a VIA chipset (Soyo SY-P4VX2L
with a VIA P4X400). Although I don't think they tend to be as troublesome now
as they were back when the Apollo Pro's were around, VIA chipsets — and their
drivers — still don't come up to most Intel chipsets operating in conjunction
with Intel CPUs.

Larc



§§§ - Please raise temperature of mail to reply by e-mail - §§§
 
L

Larc

|
| | > On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 11:24:52 -0400, jeffc pondered exceedingly, then took
| quill
| > in hand and carefully composed...
| >
| > | OK, then let's drop the $300 budget (which was what I told him so he
| would
| > | be happy with a lower price later, rather than vice versa). Let's
| upgrade
| > | that thing for cheap - let's say <$150.
| >
| > That's a hard figure to reach with a new Pentium system. The best price I
| can
| > find on a PIII 1GHz CPU is $94 shipped from Newegg. Plus there aren't
| many new
| > PIII motherboards around anymore. I'd suggest going with a Pentium
| 4-based
| > Celeron. A 1.7GHz Celeron is $56 shipped from Newegg. The Shuttle AV40
| > motherboard is only $46, although it has a VIA chipset and I wouldn't wish
| one
| > of those on my worst enemy.
|
| Why do you say that? see below
|
| > An AMD setup might cost a bit less.
|
| I'd be willing to talk him into that. I was looking at a review of Asus
| A7V8X-X on Tom's Hardware. I could put an Athlon XP 1500+ in that for $70 +
| $45. But this has a VIA chipset, right? Tom didn't have anything at all
| negative to say about that. This would also allow for a much faster Athlon
| in the future, with a FSB up to 400, I think.

I was thinking more in terms of a VIA chipset with an Intel CPU. I'm not aware
of specific problems with VIA and AMD CPUs.

Good luck!

Larc



§§§ - Please raise temperature of mail to reply by e-mail - §§§
 
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S

spodosaurus

zalzon said:
Asus K7VT2 or ECS K7S5A and a 1700 AMD XP+ chip?
limited upgradeability and performance due to slower bus speed for
memory/CPU.
256mb ddr266 now, and 256 more if he needs it later.
40gb hd
ECS 64mb graphics card, 4x agp (its cheap)
use his current cd-rom & floppy.
need a new case & power cos of the ATX form factor
keep his monitor, his keyboard, his mouse, his speakers

u can get that for a reasonable amount of money.

the thing with going for a low low budget system is that if u spend a
little more... u get a lot more. I think that would be a great system
that would last him some time... until 64 bit computers are well
established and microsoft comes out with its win64 next year.

then it may be time to upgrade (yet again). :( ahhhh....

--

Are you registered as a bone marrow donor? You regenerate what you
donate. You are offered the chance to donate only if you match a person
on the recipient list. Visit www.marrow.org or call your local Red Cross
and ask about registering to be a bone marrow donor.

spam trap: replace shyah_right! with hotmail when replying
 
Z

zalzon

limited upgradeability and performance due to slower bus speed for
memory/CPU.

zzz who cares. By next year 64 bit computers will be well on the
market and so will 64 bit OS. "Upgradability" does not mean a thing
no matter what 32 bit board u get now. It will all be junk.

It makes more sense to get a cheap mobo & chip now and save the monies
for the 64 bit for when the time comes.

The only downside of these boards is they can't take ddr400 memory
which could be transferred to 64 bit boards. But you can bet by the
time 64bits drop in price, there will be even faster 1GB memory at low
low prices.
 
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V

\(\) |V| 3 G A

maybe via did make a crap chipset many moons ago, but i`ve had 3 via chipset
based mainboards and have been rock solid. 2x cheap ass jetway's on celeron
466, and the asus a7v333 (althonXP). if it wasnt for nvidia's nforce2 chip,
then almost indefinatly i`d be using via chipset again.

i had a hard choice between the nforce2 and the kt600. nforce2 swayed me due
to independate agp/pci clock rates against the fsb.

tim
 
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