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Old 05-17-2003, 04:47 PM   #1
tigerflag
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Need new Motherboard and Video card


My cpu fried when the power supply went flakey. Lost my motherboard, too. I bought an Antec True Power 380-W to avoid this kind of disaster in the future, but now I'm looking for a new mobo to go with the Athlon XP 1800+ I'm getting. While I'm at it, I want to upgrade my AGP card a bit. I just do studying, surfing, audio CD burning, would like to learn the GIMP.

I want to keep my existing PC133 SDram for now, but may want to upgrade to DDR in the future, so I'm looking at a Shuttle AK266-A mobo with a VIA KT266-A chipset.

I also want a low-to-medium priced AGP video card with good 3-D support in XFree86 4.3. I've never succeeded in downloading NVIDIA drivers, so I'm wondering what cards have good 3D support. Something better than my Riva TNT2 M64, but not too expensive. (I don't do much gaming, but my husband might like some of the 3D games if he could see them.)

I'm using Mandrake 9.1 but want to give Slackware another go. Any suggestions are welcome.
 
Old 05-17-2003, 05:01 PM   #2
whansard
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That's the motherboard i'm using right now.
that shuttle with the 2 sdram and 2 ddr slots.
i've used both kinds of ram in it, and both work.
i ran some benchmarks, unixbench and some divx
encoding, and got the same scores with either kind
of ram. i couldn't believe it.
i might get a difference if i had a faster cpu in it.
right now it's just an athlon 1ghz running at 1350
at 1.65v
 
Old 05-17-2003, 05:44 PM   #3
tigerflag
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I read that it's a nice board for overclockers. Did you find it easy to overclock? Actually, I'm curious about underclocking to make a cooler, very quiet box.

May I ask what kind of video card you're using?
 
Old 05-17-2003, 06:10 PM   #4
whansard
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a voodoo3 agp card. i don't play games. the card was $20.

i am able to overclock better with this board than with
the previous abit kt7-raid i was using. just a little better.
i don't like the way you can only raise or lower the voltage
by .1v with this board. i had been running this chip at
about 1.55v with my otherboard. I want it really quiet too.
i have a big fan, undervolted to be quieter too.
adding this to my rc.local enabled the cooler idling, but
it makes my offboard raid card drives run really slow.
i rarely use a drive hooked up to that card, but i have a
another script that turns that stuff off, when i want to.
setpci -v -H1 -s 0:0.0 70=86
setpci -v -H1 -s 0:0.0 95=1e

also, it seems to run the memory on a different clock.
i think it leaves the memory at 133 or 266 depending
on the type of ram, no matter the bus speed, so you
don't get as much of a boost from a faster clock as you
would from some boards.
anyway, i'm really picky about hardware.
i have 2 iwill ka7266? with the ali chipset i don't use.
2 abit kt7a-raid's i'm not using. a chaintech something.
and a few MSI boards, and i'm using the shuttle, so
that should tell you something.
 
Old 05-17-2003, 06:13 PM   #5
tigerflag
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Thank you, Whansard!
 
Old 05-18-2003, 05:31 PM   #6
davecs
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If you're not too bothered about fast games, the PC-Chips 810LMR has everything (built in modem, ethernet, 2D/3D graphics and sound, and 4xUSB1.1), takes PC-133 RAM and runs an Athlon XP2000 comfortably: and it's cheap. It needs no special downloads to make it work. It has an AGP socket to upgrade the graphics later. It would work well with the other parts you have.

I used to have one, and it loaded Mandrake 9.0 and 9.1 comfortably. However older distros and XFree's don't correctly run the video system. The so-called "experimental" 3D graphics on the later systems work on it also.

I got a new mobo only because the computer ceased to function due to an inadequate power supply, and I initally blamed the wrong component. That said, my new mobo took 2 weeks to get up and running! Reason? nVidia drivers. Don't let that put you off if you can connect to the net another way there is plently of help: indeed there is a help forum at nVidia's site, where they claim that nVidia's video drivers increase the performance of a number of non-nVidia cards including the SiS630 found on the PC-Chips 810LMR!

DAVE
 
Old 05-18-2003, 10:25 PM   #7
Timothy Miller
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For a cheap, reliable board, I like the ECS K7S5A. It takes either SDRAM or DDR, can run any of the 266 FSB athlons, and has onboard sound and networking, along with the 4x USB 1.1. Good board overall, I run an Athlon 2200+ in it just fine, dual booting Windows and Linux on it (currently Mandrake 9.1, but it rarely keeps any 1 distro for more than 2 weeks).
As for the video card, I'm impressed with my Radeon 9000. Looks nice, and is pretty good for a $60 card (now, not when I bought it)(non-pro 128 MB). Like Nvidia, there's plenty of help out there to get it set up, and it's more up-to-date technologically than the GeForce4 MX line. However, depending on the price of the GeForce FX5200, I'd recommend one of them. Although in certain benchmarks (real life benchs mostly), it actually performs worse than the 9000, it's more up to date. And I'd think it would be overclockable good, since it's .13 micron based. I know of no way to overclock the ATI cards in linux without hacking BIOS.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 05-18-2003 at 10:29 PM.
 
Old 05-18-2003, 10:59 PM   #8
whansard
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the ecs k7s5a has few bus speed options without
a beta bios. i don't think you can change the multiplier.
i don't think you can change the cpu voltage either.
i had one a year and a half ago. i also couldn't get the
idle cool either. maybe you can get the. i sold it to a
friend and he had a duron 750 overclocked to 1000 in it.
it ran ok for a few months, then started crashing. he set
it back to 750 and it was fine, but there were no bus
speed settings between 750 and 1000. it was either or.
i liked the board though, but that shuttle board costs
about the same.
 
Old 05-19-2003, 02:39 AM   #9
Electro
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Post Special Note

I like to pick a very stable motherboard instead of buying for a budget. I think a well engineered motherboard like ASUS, ABIT, GIGABYTE, Supermicro are good motherboard manufactures. A motherboard suits your foundation for your computer. If the motherboard isn't stable and well engineered, the rest of the system won't last long.

Another thing, try to look into the future. If you are thinking of using DDR, get it the best brand and the fastest right now while its cheap. Since your components break down, get a motherboard that can harnest the CPU's bandwidth like dual-channel DDR chipsets. Soon or later you may need more grunt in your processor for graphics. Your motherboard will not be holding you back, so you can easily upgrade the processor.

For video cards, just about any card will do. Graphics editing doesn't take much GPU power. In the game arena, GPU power is used intensivly. Either pick from ATI or NVidia. Don't forget to install Xfree86 with 3D support. That option could be your problem in your previous setup. Mandrake gives you an option of 3D support or none 3D support during installation.

Getting a good power supply doesn't really help these days. Many systems gets damage by the household current. Buy an UPS devices that clean out the current. I heard that Arizona's power is very spiky and brownouts occure all the time so a UPS should soften it out.
 
Old 05-19-2003, 08:15 AM   #10
uglydot
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I am presently running an epox 8rda under slack 9, and it is running beautifully. The only issue with nForce 2 boards is that they don't seem to be able to load agp gart, so no radeon cards here till there are new drivers. I am running a geforce 3 now, and it is working well enough. Very solid board for OCing as well. I wouldn't bother underclocking, it won't make it quieter.
 
Old 05-19-2003, 03:28 PM   #11
Timothy Miller
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Quote:
Originally posted by uglydot
I am presently running an epox 8rda under slack 9, and it is running beautifully. The only issue with nForce 2 boards is that they don't seem to be able to load agp gart, so no radeon cards here till there are new drivers. I am running a geforce 3 now, and it is working well enough. Very solid board for OCing as well. I wouldn't bother underclocking, it won't make it quieter.
Actually, it can. I had a Athlon 1400 MHz (T-bird core) that I underclocked to 1266, and was therefore able to replace the annoying 5000 rpm fan with a 2500 rpm fan, and it still ran 1 degree celcius cooler, and MUCH quieter. Of course, individual results would vary, and I got great success out of that because at that speed, I could also lower the core voltage, therefore DRASTICALLY reducing heat. If you get a chip to underclock, get a Thoroughbred "B" core Athlon. They already run cooler than the Palamino or "A" cores, and perform only marginally slower than a similarly clocked Barton core. But for significantly less than a similarly clocked Barton core.
 
Old 05-19-2003, 04:28 PM   #12
slightcrazed
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I would have to vote for the K7S5A as well. I use it as a default board for most of the systems I have ever built... very stable, cheap, takes PC100, PC133 and DDR.... has an AMR, 4x AGP, Integrated NIC. It is just an all around good board.

slight
 
Old 05-19-2003, 04:48 PM   #13
whansard
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you can also undervolt the fan too.
there's a bunch of ways to do that.
like hooking up the fans ground to a 5v instead.
gives you 7v.
 
Old 05-19-2003, 05:20 PM   #14
Electro
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For overclocking in a quiet environment use water cooling. It doesn't produce noise at all.

You can still use PC133 or PC150 in any SDRAM based motherboard. Its best if you get PC150 if you are going at 133 because in real life environments the memory chips changes thats was on paper. This goes true for other memory technologies.

AMR or CNR slots uses the same schemes as a winmodem, so it may be hard to install the device.

Motherboards with a combination of SDRAM and DDR slots. Use only one memory technology. Not both.
 
Old 05-19-2003, 09:56 PM   #15
tigerflag
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Thanks, all of you! Sorry I took so long posting back... been at work.
I do have a good ups by Cyber Power. The problem with my power supply, was my fans slowed- possibly stopped, and my athlon burned up. (BTW, the customer service from CyberPower is the BEST. I highly recommend them.)
Crucial and PNY have good DDR prices now. If I can afford it next paycheck I'll get a stick of DDR 2100, and use my SDram on another box. I can get a PNY Verto MX440se for $25 (after rebate) at TigerDirect... can't pass that up!
I decided to go with the Shuttle AK32. Read a lot of reviews on the web and user opinions at Newegg. I like it's layout and it seems to be well-built. I never like to go cheap-quality with a motherboard, but I like paying less money for a good board that's one or two steps behind the technology curve.
 
  


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