Gaming PC: Whats a good motherboard?

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ReNxWar

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I currently have a
AMD Athlon XP2600+ (333mhz FSP)
30gig 7200rpm Maxtor Hard Drive
128mb nVidia GeForce4mx440 Video Card
52x24x52x Pacific Digital CD-RW
Windows XP Professional SP1

I have a PCCHIPS motherboard and a no-name case, both I'm going to upgrade. I bought a 512 stick of generic DDR ram (PC2700, the highest the motherboard could support) Which was defective, and after sending it back it got lost in the mail. Luckily it was insured, so I'm going to be recieving a refund. Rather than try and get more PC2700, I've decided to just get a good motherboard to even everything out.

I'm possibly looking at 512mb PC3200 DDR Dual-Channel memory..how exactly does this work, and is it worth it? I'm also looking at an Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=590679&sku=A455-2032) ...anyone have any experiences with this?

Looking at the dual channel memory, I'm deciding between "Ultra Dual Channel 512MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz (2 x 256) Memory" (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...ails.asp?EdpNo=558580&Sku=U10-5100&CatId=1082) and "OCZ Dual Channel EL 512MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Platinum Edition (2 X 256MB) Memory" (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...ils.asp?EdpNo=587483&Sku=O261-5110&CatId=1082) Both are the same price, but the Ultra has a 20$ mail-in-rebate. The Ultra runs at CAS Latency: 2-2-2-6-T1 and the OCZ runs at CAS Latency: 2-2-3-5 1T...

Thanks in advance
 
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Great board ( A7N8X ) .. would not be disapointed.. Also might wanna check out ABit NF7-S ver 2.0 ( which supports 200 FSB natively).
Used A7N8X in my little pimp rig and did not have a problem. Stable and overclockable .
Dual channel DDR ( if you go with Asus , use Slot 2 and 3 ) means that data can be written and read in the same time from both sticks of RAM ( well more or less, but i try to simplify :D ). It's a boost ( it will not blow the doors off, but will notice the difference.). I would suggest to go with Corsair or Kingston ( OCZ is great too ) instead of Tiger "noname " brand. Why ? For the simple reason that you get what you paid for :D.. in other words for a little extra you get piece of mind and quality.
Now as a side note both Abit and Asus will let you " play " with the cpu multiplier ( the higest you will be able to use is 12.5 ..but 12.5X 200= 2500 .Just keep in mind that Asus will use "buffers" to achieve that vs Abit (ver 2 ) which will run native.. Again just as a though..
HTH
 

ReNxWar

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Yeah, I'm most likely going to go with the OCZ because I read a review on it (ocaddiction.com, I think?) and they said it was defiently worth the money.

I dont really plan on overclocking, why mess with something when it works fine? XP2600 is more than fast enough to handle anything without worrying about increasing anything. My processor has 333mhz FSP, so would the Asus be a better choice?

Also, my current BIOS lets me overclock and lets me view the hardware temps (CPU, VCore, System) ..both these mobos have this, right? (This is on all the new ones, right?)

Thanks for all the help this far.
 

ReNxWar

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Another quick question: Should I change out the stock AMD CPU cooler? There was one I was looking at that looked really good..its like Cool Master X-Dream or something like that?
 
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Originally posted by ReNxWar:
I dont really plan on overclocking, why mess with something when it works fine? XP2600 is more than fast enough to handle anything without worrying about increasing anything. My processor has 333mhz FSP, so would the Asus be a better choice?

Also, my current BIOS lets me overclock and lets me view the hardware temps (CPU, VCore, System) ..both these mobos have this, right? (This is on all the new ones, right?)
I have worked on the ASUS A7N8x deluxe boards, they rock and easy to overclock... Just up the multiplier up 1-2 notices... But watch the heat first so you can note the changes...

Just do minor overclocking... about 200Mhz should be easy. Stock RETAIL fan should be enough, as long as its under 60c under heavy load. (under 55c is prefered).

Here is what ya need for yer new gaming system:

1 - Mobo & memory, which you're keen on (Will smoke that PCChips nightmare).

2 - good case, I'm in love with the Enermax 101 series: http://ap.terrabox.com/rpc

Next you need a real gaming card: Depending on your budget:

$80 - Ti4200-64mb (will smoke your 440) www.pricewatch.com Get the MSI brand - very good.

$160 - ATI 9600Pro (DX9 ability)
$350 - ATI 9800Pro or MSI 5900Ultra (ATI is a bit faster)

Check out this cooler:
http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage...08-04.JPG/35-118-108-03.JPG/35-118-108-02.JPG

A 400watt Fortron PSU for about $60 will give you low noise, reliable operation.
 

ReNxWar

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158
Actually I was looking at that cooler. I've got the case taken care of, ThermalTake XaserIII V1000A (http://www.str8buy.com/thxaiiiv1bls1.html) I've been wanting this one for awhile.

I currently have a 350 Watt powersupply, though it might not run at that. My computer is running as we speak, but only on 128mb DDR PC2700 ram (Note, Windows XP Pro) so its not exactly habitable. I've decided I'm going to defiently go with the mobo, I was up til like 3AM reading reviews and it defiently looks like it'll more than suit my needs. Thanks for all the help.
 
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I dont really plan on overclocking, why mess with something when it works fine? XP2600 is more than fast enough to handle anything without worrying about increasing anything
Well , why not ? :D.. With a good heatsink it will not be a problem and yes the Coolmaster XDream looks like a good candidate.
Now like compilerxp said, stock AMD heatsink is fine ... but it's not quite that good. So i suggest going with the coolmaster instead since it's all copper and have a 80 mm fan which can keep the cpu cool. As i said it before , for couple extra bucks you get a piece of mind .....

Both mobos .. be that Asus or Abit ( why i keep bringing Abit you wonder, because it tends to have more options in BIOS then Asus and it's a bit smaller which makes it easier to install in any case vs Asus ( if you are going with the Delux ver ) which is a bit bigger and might have a hard time installing it in a medium case ( don't know what case you have .. ). And both mobos come with temp monitor software ( as in -- install it and will know the temp of the cpu , chipset , voltage ). Most of the mobos ( at least newer ones ... like 1999 and up ) support temp monitorization , and if they don't have there own software Motherboard Monitor by Alex Kaam will do just fine.
If i may suggest something.. In case you have cash left for a new video card , do yourself a favor and get an ATI 9600... It's a good *** card and perfect balance between price and performance . On the other hand if "sky is the limit" he he :D, nothing beats an ATI 9800 Pro 256 megs..
And i do prefere ATI because IMHO graphics/visual look better on it..
HTH
 

ReNxWar

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Of course. I personally like ATI too, but I got my card for 60$, so I'm not complaining. I have a large case right now, and soon be upgrading to an even bigger one, so size is in no way a problem.
 
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Looks like you know what you want & are making good choices for hardware. :D I'm a big fan of Gigabyte boards myself. Most people seem to be stuck on Asus boards. Never had one myself, but I have have been using Asus video cards for quite some time & they're great.

I came across this FX 5900 for only $263.99. Which is a good price as far as I can tell.

I've just finished this box yesterday. Using it for a rendering machine.

Asus P4T Socket 423\Intel 850 chipset\400mhz FSB
Intel 1.5ghz\stock fan-heatsink
512MB OCZ PC800 RDRAM
Visiontek Xtasy 6964 GeForce3 Ti500
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live!
Western Digital WD800JB 80GB\8mb cache
El-Cheapo case & 400watt PSU ( for now )
15" AOC LM520 LCD
Some old Gateway speakers
Windoze XP Pro


Best of luck to you.
 

ReNxWar

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Now thats nice :) ..I think I'm going to wait a couple months before upgrading the video...I have no complaints. After that, most likely I'm going to get a Radeon 9800 Pro 128mb (256mb is overkill) ...3DFX or whoever actually recently came out with the first 512mb video card. Probably making up for the rest of the card being so crappy.
 
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Not so fast young jedi :D It might look like 256 megs are overkill now , but wait for DOOM III and Half Life 2 and those 256 megs will not be an overkill anymore.. :D
 

ReNxWar

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Hopefully 128'll still run with those beasts...it would just be a matter of getting like 120fps instead of 80, right?
 
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3Dlabs makes a 512meg card, but it's not made for gaming. It's more of a workstation thing.
 
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