buying a replacement socket A motherboard

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buying a replacement socket A motherboard

Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:32 am

Hey,

This is my first post at the TR forums, but I have been lurking around here for a while. My ECS k7s5a board is dying and now sound doesn't work. First it was the sound blaster live card that stopped working and now it's also the onboard sound. Whenever I try to put a soundcard or enable the onboard sound I get crashes booting windows because of some IRQ conflicts, and the same for linux. Anyway, don't want to bother too much with the details, but I would like some advice about a couple of issues:

1. should I get a socket A board with PATA raid so that I could raid my WD 80GB drives. I found something on newegg for $58. Or I could go with the cheapest on newegg, which is a pcchips board at $28 or so (no PATA raid).

2. my system (Athlon 1800+) is getting old anyway, should I not bother with even the replacement board and just update to a new system instead?

3. I don't play games, so the A1800+ is fine for my purposes (a little slow when I do programming), but the main problem is the heat it generates. It really makes a huge difference in my small room. So if I want to upgrade, what's a nice cool processor that I can use? From what I understand, the P4's are out of question. Are the mobile xp's okay, and what about the p-m's? Or are the A64 venice cores good if I'm not overclocking?

Thanks for the help.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:39 am

Go grab a 3000+ Athlon64 off newegg, and whatever motherboard you feel like.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:46 am

I'd recommend against the "get the cheapest" and the "get RAID" approach. PC Chips don't generally use the best quality components, and absent a concrete reason to run it, RAID isn't a great idea. I'd say spend a couple bucks more, get a slightly better branded board, and just stand pat with what you have. Another k7s5a would be great (easiest migration), but they're less available these days.
...
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:07 am

I'de stick with with mattsteg said. Spend the money and get something that won't be even more hassel. I would suggest an nForce2 chipset with passive cooling.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:27 am

Welcome to the forums. 8)

Like others have said, a replacement is probably the most straight forward and may be the least cost.

However, if you want to look at a new machine, you can do some research in our new <a href="http://techreport.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=33">System Builder's Anonymous</a> forum for some advice, or start a new thread there to ask. Please state your budget, uses of the computer (whether you game, overclock, etc.) and your location (newegg may not be available in your area).
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:06 am

If you are dead set on keeping Socket A definitely get an NF2 board of some kind. I have 2 Asus A7N8X Deluxes that are worth every penny. Keep in mind, though, that Socket A is effectively dead. The last Socket A processor was shipped from AMD so what is in the market now is the last of a dying breed.

I would suggest, if you have the money, upgrading to a Socket 939 Athlon 64. You can get a fairly fast one for pretty cheap. It looks like the NF4 boards are about as good as you can get on that side. Keep in mind also that if you go NF4 you'll have to get a PCI Express video card.

Honestly, all my stuff is still Socket A. I just don't have the cash right now to upgrade. If I did I would get one of the dual core X2's.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:48 am

I use an abit nf7 ver2 board i got from monarch a while back for $64. Excellent oc features and handles the mobile xp chips nicely. high quality board :) while it's effectively dead, it also presents the best performance you'll ever see from chips costing so little - $70 for an xp-m that hits anywhere from 2.3 to 2.7GHz.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:56 am

Welcome to the forums Beomagi and sugar326

I love the xp-m that I have and it does indeed produce less heat. I can't say how much less b/c I've got a GPU and other things *cough*3 monitors*cough* that help on that respect.

If you have a small budget, I'd say just try and find another K7S5A (I had one of those paired with an 1800+ on my last computer) or something similar and keep trucking on.[/b]
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:37 am

Socket-939 with PCI-Express:
$ 88 MSI RS480M2-IL Socket-939 PCIe Radeon XPress200 integrated graphics
$146 Athlon64 3000+ Venice 1.8 GHz 512KB L2 cache Socket-939

Socket-754 with AGP:
$ 64¼ EPoX EP-8KDA3I Socket-754 AGP NForce3-250
$120 Athlon64 2800+ Newcastle 1.8 GHz 512KB L2 cache Socket-754
or $ 72 Sempron 2600+ Palermo 1.6 GHz 128KB L2 cache Socket-754

Socket-A with AGP
$ 46½ ECS N2U400-A Socket-A AGP NForce2 Ultra
$ 0 AthlonXP 1800+ Palomino 1.53 GHz 256KB L2 cache Socket-A

If you can get a good deal on an inexpensive NForce2 Socket-A motherboard, then you could continue to use your existing CPU for a while longer yet.

I would not sink any money into a socket-A processor at this point. Socket-939 with PCI-Express offers the best upgrade path. The Radeon XPress200 motherboard linked above has integrated graphics to keep the initial cost low while still offering a PCIe X16 slot for a graphics card upgrade.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:29 am

When is AMD moving from the 939 pin socket, now, as was reported somewhere several months ago? Irked me a bit to learn that. I think it's not much more than a year or 2 from now, but can't presently find any roadmap showing it.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:07 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:When is AMD moving from the 939 pin socket, now, as was reported somewhere several months ago? Irked me a bit to learn that. I think it's not much more than a year or 2 from now, but can't presently find any roadmap showing it.
M2 is scheduled to arrive next year, but 939 will probably still be around for that as well. At this point M2 is for DDR2, and DDR3 (presumably another socket) will be 2007. But that's too far out to be the eventual roadmap. They may yet skip DDR2 but who knows.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:15 pm

Yeah, I found the relevant rumor report in the Register here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/09/amd_socket_m2_desktops/.

All the pins make things too delicate for my taste, and now they're going to move their server stuff to 1207 pins? :o
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:35 pm

I have a question: Why do they need so darned MANY pins?
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:47 pm

memory buses.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:01 pm

moved to System Builder's Anonymous
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Postposted on Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:44 am

CampinCarl wrote:I have a question: Why do they need so darned MANY pins?
excession wrote:memory buses.

Now we know why.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:59 am

If youre going to stay with socket A...i will second the NF7S v2!! Best nf2 board to ever come down the pike...bar none.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:28 am

Flying Fox wrote:
CampinCarl wrote:I have a question: Why do they need so darned MANY pins?
excession wrote:memory buses.

Now we know why.

Since so much I/O is DMA controlled, I have to wonder how big of a difference this will make in many cases.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:29 am

Before you truck down the Athlon64 path, remember that your system is old, so your RAM probably won't keep up, either. Remember that if you don't have PC3200 RAM, you really SHOULD buy it for use with an Athlon64.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:11 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Now we know why.

Since so much I/O is DMA controlled, I have to wonder how big of a difference this will make in many cases.

Well... a 16 lane PCIe slot's bandwidth is roughly the same as an Athlon64's HyperTransport link (assuming 1GHz HT clock). So with a single PCIe x16 slot running flat out, you've saturated your HT link. Also keep in mind that all DMA in current Athlon64/Opteron systems is routed over the HT link, since the system memory is attached to the CPU, not the northbridge!

I also think anything that reduces the opportunities for 3rd party chipset vendors to f*ck things up is a good thing...
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