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cpu + mobo + ram ...

Old 03-30-02, 12:27 PM
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cpu + mobo + ram ...

I currently have: a motherboard that has many nonfunctioning parts, a PIII-500 MHz CPU, and 512 MB PC100 SDRAM.

I would like to get: a decent motherboard, around 1.3 GHz CPU, and 512 MB RAM.

Questions:

(1) What are the good names for motherboards?
(2) What should I look for in motherboards (besides compatibility with CPU + RAM)?
(3) Are DDR SDRAMs worth it? I want to spend less than $200, so I'd like to get a mobo that supports the 168-pin PC100 RAM. Is this a mistake? Should I really spend more and upgrade to DDR SDRAM?
Old 03-30-02, 01:44 PM
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(4) What is RAID? Can I use any IDE drive on a RAID slot?
Old 03-30-02, 02:15 PM
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Asus is a good brand. If you are staying PIII, which is fine unless you are doing heavy multimedia, check out their TUSL2 boards. There are several other good brands too.

The compatibility with SDRAM depends on the CPU and motherboard. If you find a board that accepts your existing SDRAM you will be slowing things down considerably by only running at PC100.

A board with built-in RAID will give you 4 IDE channels which is very useful. Although you are stuck with their RAID as opposed to adding an inexpensive RAID card.

I haven't done IDE RAID so I'm not sure about the drives, but I believe any IDE drives will work. You probably should have matched pairs though. There is a small consideration about a few drives that run too fast to be used with just any RAID controller.

As for what RAID is, you should look it up to find which type if best for your purposes. You'll probably chose between RAID 0, which speeds up disk access since it reads and writes to two drives simultaneously and gives you the full capacity of the two drives (but no data security - lose a drive, lose everything), and RAID 1 which mirrors the drives, you only get one drive's worth of capacity and speed but you are covered in case one drive dies.
Old 03-30-02, 02:27 PM
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Ive got an ASUS A7A-266 in one of my computers which supports both SD & DDR RAM so you could use your PC100 RAM until you decide to upgrade to DDR.

However running it at 100MHZ will hurt performance and underclock your chip, but you will probably be safe running the PC100 at 133MHz, I have run some PC100 at 154MHz on that board before.

You could get that board and a 1.4GHz Athlon for about $200

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