My roommate says to me "Get me a new mobo/cpu"

Discussion of all forms of processors, from AMD to Intel to VIA.

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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:21 am

Sounds simple enough eh? No, not really. Due to some self imposed limitations it has to fall into these categories.

Socket A. Support for Durons as well as XP's.
Non VIA Chipset - I just don't wanna deal with em.
DDR Support. Min of 3 dimms.
Needs to support a minimum of 1 gb of memory.
No Additional IDE chip onboard.


Bonus: Onboard Lan and or Sound. He's got my Aureal Vortex2 soundcard, and well, it's mine. I want it back damnit! I need to place that into a frame for the "Bestest Sound Card Evar!"

My primary concern is stability and for it to work ‘out of the box’. Performance is nice but not the most important aspect.

And, to top it off, it has to be under 300 for Mobo/cpu/ram.

What you guys think?
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:22 am

I think you're screwed. :razz:
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:24 am

Thanks man. :smile:
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:31 am

Looking just at chipsets, you'll spend almost $300 on a board that will support 4 DIMM's (760MP). You'd eat a lot of your budget on an nForce, too -- although that does get you good sound and decent graphics (not sure about the memory). That leaves you with two very "below the radar" chipsets -- the wildly unpopular ALi Magik 1, and the SiS 7x5. I have no experience with either, so I can't say anything about them.
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:36 am

Yea, I know, hence my problems.

I have found a MSI Nforce for 150.00, add 75.00 for the cpu, I still have a whopping 75.00 to blow on ram. :smile:
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:37 am

On a more serious note... I've never worked with the chipset or manufacturer so you'll have to get opinions from others, but the only board that I could find so far that fits the bill in both cost and integrated parts is the Leadtek WinFast 7350KDA using a SiS 735 chipset. It's about $100 and may not be the perfect board, but it's a place to start looking.
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 1:05 am

Ok, I think I've got the board down.

MSI K7N420 Pro, street price is about 150-165.

Ram, dunno what prices are now. :smile:

Duron, cheap 'nuff.
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 1:16 am

On the bright side, at least the video is covered, too. :smile:
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 1:45 am

for the Ram you should check prices on Price Watch. http://www.pricewatch.com
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 1:58 am

Darth: Yea, he already has a PCI Geforce2MX, but with 2 sticks in it, it should perform about the same.... So, I get me a spare Geforce2MX out of the deal.... I could prolly pawn it off on someone.

ZeroIQ: Yea, I should do it, but I gotta find out recommended mau's for the nforce, if I 'member correctly they are fairly picky about ram....
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 3:13 am

I can answer any of your nForce questions Dim.

If you need inexpensive memory, the Crucial does work on the nForce.
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 7:57 am

Ryu: How do you like the MSI board? Stability?

Would you recommend it?
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 2:10 pm

Leadtek Winfast 7350KDA (SIS 735 chipset, onboard lan, sound, XP support, 3 DDR DIMMs, 1.5GB max)= $96 from newegg

Duron, 1GHz = $50

two 512 MB DIMMs (crucial)=$320...

sorry bro.... way over on the RAM (in fact, even with 256 MB DIMM's, I don't see how you'll be able to keep the price of 1GB of ram below say $240)
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 4:15 pm

On 2002-01-05 06:57, DiMaestro wrote:
Ryu: How do you like the MSI board? Stability?

Would you recommend it?


I love my nForce board. In terms of stability I cannot kill it. If you check my signature at the bottom, you'll see I have this board chock full of hardware.

The platform is young. You'll want to be sure to flash to the 2.1 BIOS and put the memory in slots 1 & 2 (not 3) before you begin setting up the system. You'll also want to download the newest manual from MSI and use it instead of what comes with the board.

There are some general quirks, as such a install might go super easy or you might have to put your thinking cap on. I haven't found a quirk yet that causes this board to crash. My greatest problem was the 23.11 drivers and some nForce users have success with them.

Of course there is always the remote possibility that you will receive a lemon board; buy from a vendor who will do a burn in before you receive it. If it flakes and crashes or won't install right for them, then chances are it won't for you either and it needs to be replaced.

There is a article in the queue at TR that goes into great detail about the above. It's fairly long and it's being run through the editing process. If you want you can hang tight and read it first or you can go ahead and leap. I'm not sure what kind of time constraints you are facing.

As for would I recommend one? Yes, I would buy one for family, friends, and another one for myself. In fact I'm thinking of getting one for my fiancee and letting her have this 1.2 GHz TBird I have laying around.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Ryu Connor on 2002-01-05 15:19 ]</font>
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Postposted on Sat Jan 05, 2002 5:30 pm

On 2002-01-05 13:10, lllama wrote:
Leadtek Winfast 7350KDA (SIS 735 chipset, onboard lan, sound, XP support, 3 DDR DIMMs, 1.5GB max)= $96 from newegg

Duron, 1GHz = $50

two 512 MB DIMMs (crucial)=$320...

sorry bro.... way over on the RAM (in fact, even with 256 MB DIMM's, I don't see how you'll be able to keep the price of 1GB of ram below say $240)


Ahhh, I probably wasn't clear in my first post, it needs to support 1 gig, I won't be putting a gig in right away, for starters, due to cost limitations, he just gets 256.

I found a setup that works from NewEgg, but it's using the Asus A7m266. This looks like a nice board, but it's limited to 2 dimm slots, other than that, it's got a lot of what I'm looking for.

With Ryu's information that he's given me, I may try to talk him into spending another 50 or so and going for the MSI. Mainly for selfish purposes, I want to work with a Nforce board and see how they work, if there are any quirks, and overall stability. If they're good, I may start building systems with them. The onboard options for the Nforce make a cheap gaming system a possibility, nothing spectacular, but w/ onboard decent 3d performance and audio/lan you just can't go wrong.
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Postposted on Sun Jan 06, 2002 3:03 pm

Easy. Get an ECS board with the SIS 735 chipset. Don't know why you insist on 3 memory slots - you can get to 1 Gb with only 2 slots. If you must have 3 get the K7S6A. My choice would be the K7S5A - built in LAN and sound, and if your budget is really tight you can use SDR memory until you can afford DDR. Widely available for under 60 bucks. You'll have enough money left for an AthlonXP and a stick of DDR.
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Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2002 7:20 pm

Well, an update. I finally decided on the K7S5a from ECS. I've read good reviews on it, and it was absolutely cheap. 61.00 is what I found it for, the cost savings alone will make up for any defeciencies in the board.

My only hope is we get a rev 1.1 otherwise his upgrade path will be kind of hampered, but heck, it was only 61.00. :smile:

So, we got a 1.4 256 ram, mobo for under 300. :smile:

Thanks everyone for your help here. I've really fallen behind on mobo's in the past 6 months.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DiMaestro on 2002-01-13 18:20 ]</font>
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Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2002 7:37 am

Just one thing!!!
Make sure your powersupply can handle alot of current on the 3.3V rail; that is the one and only drawback with the K7S5A(and an advantage, because it keeps the board more stable as long as you have an adequate psu). With an Athlon XP you will probably need 25-30A on the 3.3V line.
As long as you got a capable psu, the K7S5A is SUPERB, my local computer store sells about 1/3 of all his systems on this board( with 5-6 others making up most of the rest systems).
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