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Need Advice: AMD Chip & Mobo combo?

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Need Advice: AMD Chip & Mobo combo?

Old 01-04-02, 04:38 PM
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Need Advice: AMD Chip & Mobo combo?

Here's my dilemma - I've got a piece o' crap computer that keeps crashing on me and I know it's not the software installation, and all I can come up with is a bad mobo or something to that effect. So here's the deal. I'm just gonna replace the motherboard and possibly the chip as well.

Currently it's some generic piece o' crap mobo with a 850 MHz AMD Duron processor (not one of those slot processors). What I'm looking for is either a) A really good motherboard that I can try and carry the 850 MHz AMD Duron over to, or b) a mobo + chip combination package with an AMD (preferrably Thunderbird) of at least 900 MHz (1.1 or 1.2 or higher would be optimal).

MOBO Specs:
NO ON-BOARD SOUND - I have a sound card and don't want to have any conflicts or similar problems.
AGP SLOT - I'm going to install either a ATI Radeon VE or a similar card that would need an AGP slot.
2 PCI SLOTS - I am going to install the sound card - that's one slot and if there's no on-board LAN, a NIC will be installed, so a minimum of 2 PCI slots.
ON-BOARD LAN - See above slot. Not a requirement, but would be nice - I have a spare NIC, so again, not a requirement.
SERIAL PORT - I figure it's pretty standard, but not many people require serial ports any more, but I do need one.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. I just built a computer for my brother with a Soyo mobo and it was very easy to set-up and it runs flawlessly, so perhaps I'll go that way - I'm just looking for input from the DVDTalk community before I make a purchase.
Old 01-04-02, 06:33 PM
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I would definitely go with some type of Soyo motherboard. I am about to replace an older Soyo with a SY-K7V Dragon Plus. I wanted a mobo that could handle an Athlon XP processor and has the VIA KT266A chipset. I would go to Tom'shardware.com and the Soyo site before making any decisions.

Last edited by JohnH72; 01-04-02 at 06:35 PM.
Old 01-04-02, 08:24 PM
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I had a Soyo mobo with a Duron 700, and it crashed constantly. I replaced the Soyo with an Asus A7A266, and the crashes were permanently banished. Same CPU, same cards, same hard drive, just the mobo was replaced.

Lots of free slots, too, and there is a version of the A7A that comes without the annoying onboard sound (which you want to avoid if you are going for a Radeon for physical fit reasons).

RD
Old 01-04-02, 08:24 PM
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Well, if you're wanting to use your current memory and it's SDRAM, that would limit your options a bit. I believe th ALi Magik and SiS 735 chipsets support both SDRAM and DDR-SDRAM; but I'm not a big fan of SiS or ALi. The older Via KT133A would probably be your best bet. It's a SDRAM only chipset, but it performs well and should be fairly inexpensive at this point.

Board vendors that I personally have found that consistenly produce well designed and well built motherboards are MSI and Asus.
Old 01-04-02, 08:38 PM
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your requirements describe pretty much any motherboard. i went to toms hardware too and went w/ the soyo mb dragon +. i hear good things about the epox boards too.

i like the lan built-in (less cards to worry about) and the extra IDE channels really helped me out as i have 6 devices (4 hard drives, dvd and cdrw). i have a sb live sound card which i'm using but i like the built in sound too - which i would use if i had a dolby digital speaker system instead of my current 4.1 point speakers.

anyway, i'd consider the abit, asus and epox boards also.
Old 01-04-02, 10:06 PM
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well i would get the asus A7V133. use your existing ram and processor. flash the bios later to get athlon XP support.

I use this motherboard and it is great. nice at overclocking also
Old 01-04-02, 11:17 PM
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Well I am probably no help, but I 2nd and 3rd the votes for Asus and MSI.

I have an Asus A7A266 which has been stable for months, even when overclocked. It also has support for 3GB SDR RAM or 2GB DDR RAM. There is no onboard video or audio on this board!

I also have a MSI K7T266A Pro2 motherboard that has been overclocked and stable since I built it a few weeks back. This motherboard has onboard audio.

Both these boards will run your Duron no problem and are also upgradeable to use the XP processors.

But wait......I have this emachine with.....oh forget it
Old 01-05-02, 12:14 AM
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jumbojp,
you said that the board was upgradeable. In another thread gcribbs said that he couldn't upgrade his A7M266 board with the XP CPU in place. Do you know if you can upgrade to XP CPU with an XP CPU in the A7A266 board before you've upgraded the mobo? He said he couldn't even boot to a disc to update the bios and had to install a 1.2 Athalon processor first, boot to disc, update the board, then install the XP CPU. I'd prefer not to have to do all that
Old 01-05-02, 12:33 AM
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Originally posted by Lampei
jumbojp,
you said that the board was upgradeable. In another thread gcribbs said that he couldn't upgrade his A7M266 board with the XP CPU in place. Do you know if you can upgrade to XP CPU with an XP CPU in the A7A266 board before you've upgraded the mobo? He said he couldn't even boot to a disc to update the bios and had to install a 1.2 Athalon processor first, boot to disc, update the board, then install the XP CPU. I'd prefer not to have to do all that
I have no idea!

I use a T-Bird still, but the last bios update added support for XP processors so it is definately upgradable to support those.

But like gcribbs found out, you may have to use a different chip to flash the bios to the new XP supported bios and then put in the XP chip, which would be a semi pain in the ass if all you had was an XP chip!
Old 01-05-02, 12:45 AM
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It probably wouldn't mess the board up if I tried to boot up with the XP CPU first to try it out though, would it?
Old 01-05-02, 02:18 AM
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Originally posted by Lampei
It probably wouldn't mess the board up if I tried to boot up with the XP CPU first to try it out though, would it?
no it should not damage the Mb or Xp cpu. at least the A7M266 did not.

In fact when i first installed it i booted into the bios right way to set everything. I thought everything was going great in fact. then i saved and exited the bios and it did not boot up. i hit the reset. tried again. same thing. went online after spending 30 minutes trying to get it to boot. read some sites and realized the cold truth
Old 01-05-02, 02:36 AM
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here's a link to some board comparisons... sorry, i didn't even bother reading the whole thing. i'm sleepy.

zdnet gamespot
Old 01-05-02, 04:55 AM
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I just went with the Asus a7v-133c ($97 at newegg) and a 1.33Ghz Tbird with stepping ($99) and am VERY happy! Asus has absolutely top rate customer service and RMA procedures. The board comes with a 3 year warranty and as was mentioned before, an updated bios adds XP support. Updating the bios on this board is a piece of cake. There's a program on the mobo cd that does it all for you from windows. No more making bootable floppy and flashing it maually. It's automatic baby Or if you don't want to out the $200 bucks now just pick up the mobo and use your current 850 chip for a while.....

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