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Old 09-11-2004, 10:42 AM   #1
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Motherboard question

Hi folks,

I'm prepared to upgrade a K6 PC to following config;

CPU – AMD Athlon X 2600+/2800+ 512K
RAM – 1G, DDR400
Hard drive – SATA

I have been searching for a new motherboard and found following boards interested;

Gigabyte GA7UT600-1394
   1. Northbridge : VIA KT600
   2. Southbridge : VIA 8237
   3. Integrated peripherals
         1. VIA VT6306 IEEE1394 controller
         2. Realtek Ethernet 10/100Mb LAN chip
   4.Realtek ALC655 AC97 codec Chip

Internal I/O Connectors
   1. 1 x FDD port
   2. 2 x UDMA ATA133/100/66 Bus Master IDE ports
   3. 2 x IEEE 1394 connectors(support 3 ports)
   4. 2 x USB 2.0 connectors (support 4 ports)
   5. 1 x GAME/ MIDI connector
   6.2 x Serial ATA connectors

Front Side Bus

   1. 400/333/266/200 MHz FSB

   1. Type : DDR400(PC3200)/ DDR333 (PC2700) / DDR266 (PC2100) -184pin
   2. Max capacity : 3GB
   3. DIMM slots: 3
North America
CPU  	Socket A for AMD Athlon XP/Athlon / Duron
Thoroughbred/ Barton Core Support

Chipset 	VIA KT600
VIA VT8237

FSB 	400/333/266/200MHz

Memory 	3 x 184-pin DIMM Sockets support max. 3GB unbuffered non-ECC PC3200/PC2700/2100 DDR SDRAM memory

Expansion Slots 	1 x AGP 8X
6 x PCI

Storage 	2 x UltraDMA 133/100
2 x Serial ATA with RAID 0, 1 function

Audio 	ADI AD1888 6-channel CODEC
S/PDIF out interface

LAN 	Integrated 10/100 Mbps LAN controller with external PHY
2thMax 8RDA3I Pro
Socket A Motherboard
New nVidia nForce2 Ultra 400 + RAID MCP AGPset chipset
Supports socket-462 based AMD Athlon XP processors
Support DDR400/333/266

On Board P-ATA IDE:
    * 2 IDE ports (up to 4 IDE devices) with UDMA-33, ATA-66/100/133 support from embedded IDE controller.

onboard S-ATA:
    * 2 x S-ATA ports from RAID MCP with up to 150MBps bandwidth.

On Board LAN:
    * 1 x RJ45 from onboard Realtek RTL8201CL 10/100Mb Fast Ethernet PHY.

DRAM Memory:
    * 3 x 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM sockets.
    * Supports single or double sided 2.5v DDR-266/333/400 DIMMs with dual channel architecture in 128/256/512Mb technologies.
    * Supports up to 3GB system memory. 

On Board LAN:
    * 1 x RJ45 from onboard Realtek RTL8201CL 10/100Mb Fast Ethernet PHY.
Kindly advise and comment.

Besides is there much difference in performance between AMD Athlon X 2500+ and 2600+


Old 09-11-2004, 12:27 PM   #2
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I'm not sure about the motherboards, but I can tell you that it's probably worth getting the 2500+. I bought a 2500+ instead of a 2600+ because I had heard better reviews about it. I overclocked it to 2.2ghz (faster than a 3200+) with no performance issues at all and still running cool with a very cheap (but big) heatsink. Besides, the performance difference between them will be unnoticeable.
Old 09-11-2004, 06:13 PM   #3
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Hi ZooL,

Tks for your advice.

Comparing their spec. there is not much difference between 2500+ and 2600+ but their price differs. Especially the retailers are dumping 2500+. Maybe its production shall cease soon.


Old 09-11-2004, 07:10 PM   #4
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The 2500+ has the Barton core with additional onboard cache. This makes it a better performer than the older 2600+.

You only list Via-based boards and I haven't used a Via chipset since the KT133a-based boards. You can get very affordable nforce2-based boards nowadays and they still provide good bang for the buck.

Old 09-11-2004, 08:00 PM   #5
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I agree, perhaps you should also include nForce2 based motherboards on your shortlist. One of the PCs I am using to run Linux is based on an nForce2 and I have no problems with it.

I doubt if you will notice any difference in performance between a 2500+ and a 2600+.
Old 09-12-2004, 10:45 AM   #6
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Hi folks,

Tks for your advice.

Yes, there are many nVidia nForce2 based motherboard on market. But I need both SATA and ATA ports that limits my selection. It also comes to my awareness that 2500+ AMD CPU is now being dumped selling at interesting price. For such a reason I posted this posting seeking folks' advice.

Actually I'm more interested on 64 bit AMD CPU taking into consideration of the timing of this upgrade. However most software available are 32 bit. It sounds that I may own a powerfu race car able to run 300+ KM but the speed limit on road is 100 KM.

Besides is there any disadvantage/problem in running 32 bit software on 64 bit CPU?

It also comes to my notice that a 7200 rpm SATA hard drive having not much better performance than a 7200 rpm PATA or even worse. Therefore I need to shop for a 10,000 rpm SATA HD



Last edited by satimis; 09-12-2004 at 05:14 PM.
Old 12-31-2004, 03:55 AM   #7
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I have bought the A7V600-X motherboard from ASUS.
Everything seems to work including the S-ATA interface.
I have not tried the RAID feature.
I'm having truble getting the onboard audio device to work. Maybe I have to install my old pci-card too.

My machine: (Actually my mother's)
512mb (I have forgotten the brand)
160Gb Seagate S-ATA
Radeon 9550SE 128mb Power Color
Old 12-31-2004, 05:14 AM   #8
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For overclocking the ABIT NF7 can be clock much better than ASUS nForce2 motherboards because of the addition of 12 volt ATX connector and 3 way power supply.

Picking a motherboard based on SATA, audio, NIC, and firewire will give you headaches when it comes time to set them up. I suggest Highpoint RocketRAID 1520 or 1540. Any PCI NIC brand and model will work in Linux.

Some 32-bit programs can be compile for 64-bit with out any trouble. AMD processors is engineered so that there is no performance penalty when running programs with smaller bit data. This means the AMD Athlon 64-bit processor will not slow down if its running 32-bit programs.

AMD Athlon 64-bit processors are much, much faster than Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition in 32-bit programs. Also the AMD Athlon 64-bit processors beats Xeon processors in some applications. You get Xeon like performance for a lot less than a Pentium 4.

RPM on a hard drives does not related to how fast the drive is. The RPM is used to make sure the sustain rate is going at the set goal (whatever that is by the manufacture). The accessing time relates how fast the data or files can be access. A 5400 RPM hard drive with an accessing time of 4 ms can beat a 10000 RPM hard drive with an accessing time 8 ms during file accessing benchmarks. The 10000 RPM hard drive will beat the 5400 RPM hard drive in huge file (about 100 MB) accessing benchmarks but not by much. 5400 RPM hard drives can sometimes beat 7200 RPM hard drives on data through benchmarks if the 7200 RPM hard drive's firmware is not programmed to handle error correction fast enough. The sustain rate also relates to how many platters there are.

To increase OS speed. You need to find a hard drive with low accessing times and a lot of cache.

The SATA hard drives has a SATA to PATA bridge, so the speed will be a little lower than PATA. If you take the bridge away, the speed for the SATA hard drive will be a hair higher and it can be about a meter away instead of 45.72 cm (18 inches).
Old 12-31-2004, 07:38 AM   #9
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I build several machines a year for friends and myself for the past ten+ years. For good performance for cost I have settled on ABit mobos. They have plenty of features for the money. Don't be tempted to buy cheap ones from the likes of PChips and especially Elite. They simply aren't worth the hassle. These are the only ones I have ever had to take back!


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