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Old 10-27-2003, 05:09 PM   #1
inode100
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Question which motherboard ?


Hello.

I'm just embarking on my first PC project. When built I'll be running Redhat 8.0 or 9.0 on it.

I've been looking at motherboards and on a cost/spec level I rather fancy the

"Asus A7V8X-X SKT A KT400 8x AGP DDR Sound/lAN/USB 2.0" for around 46.00.

I've seen a few (old) posts on various sites where people have had a few problems with the board, getting the LAN and sound to work etc, but also seen some posts where people have managed to overcome these problems. Before I jump in and buy it, I just thought i'd ask on here whether people think this board is a good choice, or if you think i could do better for around 40 - 50. Not so much do better on spec but ease of use with redhat. (I'm thinking of using a 2600+ (AMD) CPU with 512ram or even maybe 1Gb ram).

BTW...My redhat is pretty good, my hardware experience is low.

Looking forward to your wise replies.

Inode100

 
Old 10-27-2003, 08:18 PM   #2
Scruff
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Welcome to the forums inode

I am using the A7N8X mobo (see hardware below), and I can tell you it is a very nice setup. There is a few linux probs however. It is no problem to install the nvidia drivers and get the LAN (nvnet) working. My sound worked out of the box, but only seems to support sound output from one app at a time. This is unacceptable IMHO. I ordered an Audigy over the weekend to combat that problem. The integrated sound quality is terrific though. The other problem, is getting an ATI vid card to work properly. It seems nvidia doesn't want us to be able to use any other card than their own with their mobo. My Radeon works fine in windows (not that it matters, since I don't use windows...), but I haven't yet got it to work right in Linux.

Otherwise, it has proven to be a feature rich, reliable mobo. It overclocks extremely well if you are into that sort of thing.

I consider myself to be a power user, and have yet to need more than 512mb's of ram. Unless you do video editing or other serious ram intensive stuff, you shouldn't need more that that. Make sure you buy either 2 256mb sticks, or 2 512mb sticks to take advantage of the dual-channel feature. It provides MUCH more mem bandwidth. Try to buy a 'matched' set of quality RAM to get the full advantage.

Last edited by Scruff; 10-27-2003 at 08:21 PM.
 
Old 10-27-2003, 08:48 PM   #3
inode100
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Hi Scruff, thanks for you reply.

I just Ordered some of my new kit.. so far i've ordered :-

Jeantech "trinity" case (www.jeantech.com)
Asus A7N8X-X SKT A Nforce AGP X8 Sound/usb 2.0 Motherboard
AMD ATHLON XP2600+ 333MHz FSB Boxed Inc Heatsink & Fan
Leadtek GeForce Fx 5200 128MB AGP 8x
Seagate Barracuda 80Gb 7200rpm UDMA100 Hard Drive

That little lot came to about 320 inc tax and del. about $500 i guess. (I think we pay more for our components in the UK.. the problem of living on a small island.

I went for the ASUS A7N8X-X, about 40% cheaper than the full A7N8X, I just didnt need all the extras on the full. I'm gonna use a wireless card, (already have a netgear wi fi in my old shop bought box, which i have working with redhat 8.0 - but thats another project

I figured on the Leadtek Geforce after reading about your experiance with ATI, so went with nvidia graphics card.

so.. just the memory, PSU and CD-DVD to buy now.. its 1:45am here, enough shopping already! time for some well earned sleep...

Once again, thanks.

Inode
 
Old 10-27-2003, 08:49 PM   #4
inode100
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hmm i screwed up the smiles at the end there... defo time for sleep!
 
Old 10-27-2003, 08:55 PM   #5
Scruff
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Quote:
Originally posted by inode100

I figured on the Leadtek Geforce after reading about your experiance with ATI, so went with nvidia graphics card.

so.. just the memory, PSU and CD-DVD to buy now.. its 1:45am here, enough shopping already! time for some well earned sleep...

Once again, thanks.
No problem. Nice hardware list! I don't think you'll be dissapointed. I think going with the nvidia vid card was a good idea. I am again working right at this moment on my ATI

Just don't skimp on the ram. Go with a good name like Corsair, or Mushkin. If you don't plan to overclock, you can use pc2700 (333mhz), but if you do be sure to go with some pc3200 (400mhz). I got a giant increase in mem bandwidth after overclocking my 2500 to 390mhz fsb. I get a little better than 2900mb/s

Memory is still the largest pc bottleneck. It can't even come close to matching current CPU speeds, so every little gain helps

Last edited by Scruff; 10-27-2003 at 08:56 PM.
 
Old 10-27-2003, 09:09 PM   #6
inode100
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thanks, yes i plan on buying 1gig of DDR400 RAM, i've just mailed www.Crucial.com with my kit details for advice on exact spec of stick I need. I bought memory from them about 2 years ago to improve my old 600mhz athlon shop PC, and was very impressed with service and product.. so going with them again...

good luck with the ATI..

inode
 
Old 10-28-2003, 12:25 AM   #7
Electro
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For linux you do not need a huge hard drive. A 20 gigabyte hard drive is sufficient even in games.

The video card that you pick will be very noisy. You can pick a GeForce4 Ti4800 and have a less noisy environment.

If you are thinking of overclocking in the future to get a little more performance or getting more life out your computer, try other memory brands like OCZ, Geil, Corsair, Kingston, Adata. I suggest buying brands that bundle pairs of modules for dual-channel memory chipsets. Any memory company that invest time to produce modules for overclockers will have enough time giving you tips on improving your computer and picking the right memory model for your needs.

The power supply is the most not thought of component in the computer. Usually people don't take the time to invest in a good one, so their computer only last for a couple of months. Either Enermax or Power Cooler. Also a good in-line UPS device will help get rid of those nasty surges and brown outs.

I would invest in aluminum cases because they dissipate the heat better than steel cases. Also aluminum has the highest heat convention characteristics than steel.
 
Old 10-28-2003, 12:42 AM   #8
Scruff
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What OS you use has nothing to do with the amount of data you might need to store on your hard drive. I use linux exclusively, and still have 200gb's worth of drive space. I just use the 40gb Maxtor for doing full system backups now. It's really conveinient.80gb's is full right now with photos, mp3's, and movies. It took almost 3gb's just for the full Slackware install. I still have like 100 cd's to rip as well. Ok, I also have a 10gb partition for XP since I still haven't got my wife to use linux at all. It's aggravating too. I would like to run my own personal mail server, but can't until I get her a pc so mine can be up 24/7.

I have to agree with the RAM suggestion. I questioned the Crucial choice myself. I would even put Kingston HyperX at the bottom of my choices. Crucial didn't even make the list. But, to each his own I suppose.

As far as aluminum cases go, they definitely will do better in the heat dept, but really; AMD's aren't notoriously hot either. I have my 2500+ overclocked to a 3200 using a $25 Igloo 1214 and it runs around 38 degrees celcius normal, and up to 52 under 100% load. Not bad really. In a steel case with two 7200rpm hard drives and a screaming cdwr (this memorex is fast, but too loud)

Last edited by Scruff; 10-28-2003 at 12:56 AM.
 
  


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