Building The Perfect Beast

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BML

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Nov 24, 2001
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I'm in the "research" stage of my project and I think i really need some help deciphering the maze of hardware out there.

I'd like to start by putting together a core system and using my hardware for the time being, upgrading HD as money permits. What i need to start off with is a CPU/Motherboard/RAM/Video Card....and of course a case to put it all in.

I think I'd like to go with an Athlon-based system as opposed to P4. The sketch in my head has an Athlon 1.5gb CPU with 256mb of DDR RAM and 32mb Video RAM card. But there are soooooo many boards out there.... here are some question I've come up with to start.

What's the difference between an Athlon & Thunderbird & XP?

What type of chipset do I need to look for on the board - will all Athlons use the same chipset? The "Socket A" motherboards list different chipsets.

What is a good quality brand of board to look for?

What is RAID Ultra-DMA? Do I really need a motherboard with this?
 
Joined
Dec 2, 1999
Messages
12,041
Try this article for an explaination of raid
http://www.apushardware.com/?action=articles&id=22

Video card, either a gforce3 TI 500 or TI200
ATI 8500 is also suppose to be good but I can't say the words ATI and video drivers in the same sentence.

The athlon xp's are suppose to be the top cat now.

Just my opinion, I am sure someone else will have one.

Sorry, not keeping up on the latest motherboards and chipsets
 

BML

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Messages
687
Well that solves at least one piece of the puzzle! I'm not getting two hard drives...so I won't have to worry about the benefits of a RAID.

So if I got a motherboard with RAID it would still work as a normal motherboard using only one HD?

what's the main difference between the Athlon and the **new** XP? Should i really invest in an XP?

Bruce
Huntsville, Alabama
HP6653c right now...
 
Joined
Dec 2, 1999
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No you don't have to use the raid option

Here is a write up about the athlon xp's

As you can see from the specs above, Athlon XP incorporates the Palomino enhancements present in Athlon 4 and Athlon MP, they've just been lumped under the QuantiSpeed architecture name.
If you recall, the new core brings with it hardware data prefetch logic. This essentially increases the efficiency of the L2 cache, and is one of the most significant performance enhancements added to the new core. In addition, Intel's SSE instructions are supported, we've found that this increases the performance of the processor with multimedia applications for tasks such as video encoding, Adobe's Photoshop program is another application that benefits from the SSE instructions.

Full article here

http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/athlonxp/default.asp
 
Joined
May 26, 2001
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Wow that is interesting about the RAID thing... I never new all that exactly... nice to get the facts straight... :D

I would recomend ATI for video but that is my opinion.

If you are going AMD then go for the Athlon XP.

As for what mobo... anything that says it supports the cpu you want will work. I suggest MSI, Asus or Abit... they are all good to use, but that again is my opinion.

As for the question about whether a RAID mobo will work as a regular mobo yes it should, but I would assume that in a RAID mobo you are paying for the RAID controller... so why pay for something you don't want? That is the whole concept (well part) behind building your own system--so you don't pay for what you don't want... :D
 
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Get an abit KR7A Raid Motherboard with an AthlonXP 1800(1.53Ghz) oem version, non-conductive shim(make sure shim is for athlon XP version), sk6 heatsink, delta 35cfm fan. arctic silverII thermal paste heatsink compound.

http://www.azzo.com/test2/cooling-paste.html

The Kr7A Raid has ata 133 raid, but you can use just one hard drive on the raid controller until you get 2 (or just don't use it at all and use 1 hard drive on the regular controller). The raid is there if you ever need it. Plus it has the normal ata 100 eide interface too and 6 pci slots. All the goodies. Available now. You could have a total of 8 hard drives. 4 total on the raid and 4 total on the regular ide channels. Plus has 4 ddr slots. You can use all 4 slots at the same time up to 3Gb of memory with unbuffered memory. 4Gb of memory requires you use registered.

Just make sure you get a motherboard with a kt266a chipset(the abit is the only one with ata133raid, the rest have ata100 raid or no raid at all).

Abit KR7A-Raid

Epox EP-8KHA+

Asus A7V266-E

Soyo K7V-DRAGON Plus

Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1

reviews....

http://www.gotapex.com/reviews.php?rev=kt266a/index.html

http://www.hothardware.com/hh_files/Motherboards/epox_and_shuttle.htm

links...
http://www.viahardware.com/faq/kg7kr7/kg7kr7faq.htm

http://www.essencompu.com/nupplysingar.asp?ID=1383

Plus if you want to use the ata 133 bandwidth of the raid controller, you would need an ata 133 hard drive like a maxtor D740X series.


plus for video card get the most feature rich GeForce 3 Titanium 500 the Asus AGP-V8200T5 Deluxe

http://www.gotapex.com/reviews.php?rev=asus-ti500/index.html

for memory get at least 256Mb of Kingmax DDR333 Cas2.5. Runs on 166MHZ bus at Cas2.5 but will run Cas2 at 133Mhz bus(which would be default). You can get it at www.azzo.com
 
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