TechSpot

Mobo for Athlon XP and IDE RAID

By Phantasm66
Feb 17, 2003
  1. Hello.

    There is a hypothetical situation....

    I have an Athlon XP 2100+ CPU.

    I want to fit this in a board that supports hardware RAID.

    RAID 1 is not a problem, since I want to use RAID 0. The board must be capable of handling a 2, 3 or 4 disk RAID 0 stripe set, and handle it well.

    What motherboard would you buy?
     
  2. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,199

    Well being me, personally, I would buy an ASUS A7N8x Deluxe, but that's just me and may not reflect the opinions of several other members of this board.

    If you want some serious RAID than try the Abit AT7 series. Hehehe.
     
  3. Supra

    Supra TS Enthusiast Posts: 236

    I like my Epox 8K3A+. It comes with the Highpoint HPT372 ATA/133 RAID controller. It can do RAID 0, 1, and 0+1. Stripes can be up to at least 2MB. I just started using my RAID controller last week when I got my second Seagate drive. I've had my two Seagate ST380021A 80GB drives in RAID 0 with 64K stripes for about 5 days now and I haven't had any problems and it was really easy to set up. The 8K3A+ can handle any AMD Duron, Athlon, and XP processor and has a KT333 chipset. I bought my board for $90 in December.
     
  4. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 837

    If you want to run 4 drive RAID 0 then the ABIT AT7MAX2 would be a good choice. It uses the Highpoint 374 4-channel RAID controller.

    The A7N8X Deluxe only supports 2-channel, 2 drive RAID through the SATA interface which would require SATA drives or SATA to PATA adapters.
     
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    After reading a review, the ABIT AT7MAX2 would be my first choice.

    However, this board is a little pricey for me right now. I am looking to the gigabyte ga7vaxp....

    Anyone got any comments?
     
  6. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,199

    I've heard from reviews that that's a great board. Arris has it, you should ask him about it.
     
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,628   +113

    I've not had any problems with the VAXP. Although the Promise onboard controller with a standard BIOS from Gigabyte is a "lite" controller that gives you the option of Performance or Standard for raid setup. This limits the strip size. From what the manual says it should support more than two disks in raid but I've only ever had two connected to it. There are some hacked bios' about that enable full raid functionality from the Promise controller. Tomshardware did some benchmarking a while back of different raid controllers and the promise one was average.

    The Highpoint controllers did a lot better and were actually recommended. If you want to know more about the GA-7VAXP and raid have a read through the gigabyte boards forum @ www.amdforums.com .
    As long as you don't plan to try and run the 2100+ at 166fsb (333 DDR) then you will be ok. The later revisions (1.2) of this board have fsb dips with 100 and auto. So it only runs at 166 if the cpu is an official 166fsb chip, while on the 1.1 board you have 100/133/166 options. There is also an Ultra version of this board which has SATA and if my memory serves me right gb lan onboard as well.
     
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    I'll be running the RAID with 3 IDE disks, in a RAID 0 configuration.

    Anyway, if I have the 2100+, what the appropriate dip switch and BIOS settings?

    Do I leave the multiplier at auto, or do this:

    SW1, CPU CLOCK - 133

    CLK_RATIO - >= 12.5

    The final setting is greater than or equal to 12.5.

    133 x 12.5 is 1662.5.

    According to here, an Athlon XP 2100+ runs at 1.73GHz.

    Therefore a multiplier of 13 is correct (133 x 13 is 1729)

    But as I said, the final setting is => , not =

    so is it 133 x 13? Does this sound sensible to you?

    FSB and RAM running at 133, times 13?
     
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    The system specs are going to be like this:

    Athlon XP 2100+
    Gigabyte GA-7VAXP Motherboard
    1 GB PC2100 DDR-SDRAM (upgrade to PC2700 later....)
    Geforce 4 MX graphics card
    Soundblaster Audigy
    RealMagic Hollywood Plus

    1 x 30 GB Maxtor HDD 7,200 RPM for Windows 2000 Adv Server OS

    3 x 60 GB Maxtor HDD 7,200 RPM for RAID 0 stripe set.
     
  10. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    What are you going to use it for?

    File server, game server, gaming box, "just a box" or?

    The reason I ask is that you might just be better off with a pci raid controller on an older mobo, than an integrated on a newer...
     
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    Its for downloading LOTS of stuff from the internet (mp3s, movies, etc) and then watching those direct from HDD to TV, or burning to CD.

    Its also a server for ftp, terminal services, SQL, etc.



    So, are the settings I have selected for the mobo switches correct would you say?
     
     
  12. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,628   +113

    Do you have the board already?
    The default multiplier is 13. Infact even with the Tbred B XPs its locked to this multiplier (need to do a little trick with a wire inserted into the socket to link a couple of pins to unlock multipliers). If you leave it at auto it should run 13x133 and you can set the memory speed in the BIOS. Get to the advanced settings by pressing Ctrl F1 in the main BIOS screen. If you can though get Revision 1.1 board as you can force it to run 166 fsb, which works fine for 2100+ Tbred B CPUs. Gives you a 2700+ for a fraction of the price. Not overclocked it will still be a nice machine for downloading and the other uses you mentioned.

    MrGaribaldi has a valid point, a dedicated PCI Raid controller would probably be better than an onboard one.
     
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    That's a lot of good help. Thanks to all, especially Arris.

    I won't be pushing my luck and running at 166Mhz.

    So, I can just set

    SW1, CPU CLOCK - 133

    CLK_RATIO - AUTO


    ???

    I am buying the board a week on saturday, when I get paid.

    I'm only really interested at running the hardware at manufacturer recommended settings.
     
  14. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,628   +113

    Well the SW1 on newer VAXP (rev 1.2) just has options of 100 and Auto, so you may just put it to auto and it will run 133. I just have my dips set to auto for CLK_RATIO and 166 for SW1. The default positions for this are auto if I remember rightly so you should just be able to put it together and go...
     
  15. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

  16. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    In that case everything looks "peachy" :grinthumb

    And the onboard RAID controller of the VAXP should be ok... :)
     
  17. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,628   +113

    I remember its wasn't that long ago that I was quizzing Phant about the IWILL boards and the Asus A7M266 :)

    One good turn deserves another :D
     
  18. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    Yeah, that's what we are all here for - to help each other.
     
  19. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    Oh, and I will add to the post telling you all how I got on.
     
  20. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Posts: 143

    Phantasm66
    My Abit KD7 - Raid works pretty well .... and they are available at
    a good price right now over at NewEgg.com, about $100 US
    It has 4 WD 40Gig 7200 on it and seems fine so far. I've only had
    it running for about a month now, but so far so good. everything
    was a breeze to install and set up. Not one "issue".
     
  21. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,628   +113

    Just as a quick UK price check, the KD7 with Raid is about £6 cheaper from www.scan.co.uk. So not much in it. Both are based on KT400 and are decent manufacturers. I haven't seen a review comparing the two but I would imagine there wouldn't be much in it.
     
  22. Mudshark

    Mudshark TS Rookie Posts: 143

  23. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,628   +113

    Have you built this machine yet Phant?
    Did you go with the GA-7VAXP? :confused:
     
  24. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 6,504   +6

    Yeah, I built it this weekend.

    Its a great board but I am having some problems.

    When I set the dip switches to 13x with 133 bus, it gets ignored.

    When I set the settings in the BIOS, the machine does not boot.

    ???
     
  25. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,628   +113

    I've got the multiplier set to auto. and the fsb set to 166.
    What happens when you have auto for both.
     
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