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 Post subject: Need HELP choosing new nForce2 mobo
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:24 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:06 am
Posts: 1
Long time lurker, first time posting on ANY forum, so let's get right to it. I've been building / repairing PCs for nearly twelve years now, though I retired from full-time work a few years ago, and tend to spend most of my free time on extended motorcycle trips these days.

I want to build a BUDGET system, using an nForce2 motherboard which I can overclock to hell and back. I already have an AMD Mobile CPU (2600+), along with DDR-RAM (512 x 2). Now, I want to build one nForce2-based system using a "bang-for-the-buck" perspective; the motherboards I'm considering include (in alphabetical order):

1. Abit NF7-S

2. Albatron KX18D Pro

3. Biostar M7NCD { 2 DIMM slots }

4. Biostar M7NCD Pro { 3 DIMM slots }

5. Biostar M7NCD Ultra { 3 DIMM slots; SATA / RAID }

6. DFI NF2 U400 S-AL

7. EpoX EP-8RDA3IPro { with SATA / RAID }

8. EpoX EP-8RDA+Pro { with FireWire; no RAID }

9. Soltek SL-75FRN2-RL

The EpoX and Soltek boards seem to have the most room between the voltage regulator caps and the ZIF socket, which is a consideration for cooling; I don't want to be limited in the size of the HSF I can install, because of the layout of the caps.

Another plus for the EpoX boards is the POST-code LED block, a feature I consider LONG overdue on consumer-level boards; the heatsink included on the southbridge just makes it that much nicer.

I'm not a fan of the Asus A7N8X boards, I'm not convinced that any of the Gigabyte or MSI nForce boards overclock well, and I'm not really interested in any cheap crap from PCChips, ECS, Chaintech, or any of the other bottom-feeders of the PC world.

Truth be told, I'm leaning towards the EpoX board, with the DFI board a close second. I REALLY like the Abit NF7-S, but I understand that it doesn't work too well in dual-channel mode with more than 512 MB of RAM (256 x 2) ; that said, I tend to doubt that ANY of the nForce boards handle more RAM than that well in D-C mode.

I don't care about onboard audio one way or the other (my Soundblaster 5.1 will work just fine for my purposes), I don't intend to buy any SATA HDDs for AT LEAST another year or more, and I don't forsee a need for FireWire anytime soon. I simply want a motherboard I can rev the rings out of, like my old Suzuki GSX-R 750; something that will run my mobile 2600+ at 2.5Ghz 24/7, doing the full-tilt boogie, without a hiccup. I have a few quality PSUs to choose from, so that isn't a concern.

The Suzuki was sold to a young(er) rider several years ago; these days, I prefer to spend time on my VFR 750. It isn't the sportbike the GSX-R was, but it suits me fine at something less than a frenetic pace; arthritis got me young, and won't let go.

I plan to jack the Mobile 2600+ into the system; I'm not a gamer, so I'll be perfectly happy to install a GeForce 4200 for my videocard. I've already begun modding a case for the thing, though I won't cut the extra blowholes until I know EXACTLY which board I'll install.

I'm open to suggestions for CPU HSFs to cool the CPU, although I recently bought a Thermaltake TR2-M2 A4002D, because I like the Tip-Magnetic Drive design, and I dislike noisy fans. The adjustable speed switch is nice, though I'll probably relocate it to the front of the system, into a home-made baybus.

Anyway, any and all intelligent input is welcome; I'm particularly interested in what the hardcore hardware hackers, my brothers-in-arms, recommend here. The budget is UNDER $100; those boards can all be found at newegg for less than that, which suits me fine.

Thanks in advance for advice / comments / suggestions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:09 am 
Celeron
Celeron
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:13 pm
Posts: 7362
Location: New York City
NF7-S


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:20 am 
Contributing Writer
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:09 pm
Posts: 9602
Location: Land of the Lounge Lizards
I'll second the Abit for an overclocking oriented rig.

Abit NF7-S


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 7:40 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:01 am
Posts: 8091
Currently running an Abit NF7-S.... my only complaint is that since then they've figured out how to run the SATA drives over the southbridge instead of the PCI bus. I don't know of any boards that use it though =/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:14 am 
Northwood
Northwood

Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:38 pm
Posts: 2583
Location: Room112
id go with the Abit nforce 2 motherboard. pretty good in performance and it was made for overclocking enthusiast.


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