MoBo recommendation needed for AM2 X2 4200+

By Mugsy
Aug 29, 2006
  1. I was considering a 939 as an inexpensive upgrade, but due to its questionable future and slightly higher running temps, I'm focusing now on an AM2, particularly the A64 X2 4200+.


    o ATX MoBo under $150 US.

    o MUST have at least 3 standard PCI slots. I have an HDTV card and SCSI card I'm not looking to give up. And until I get a PCIx video card, I'll be using an old PCI card.

    o MUST support FOUR IDE devices (IDE1 & IDE2). I have three EIDE HD's and a DVD-RW (too many only have IDE1 now).

    o AT LEAST three 3-pin case/cpu fan headers/connectors. Heat is a serious problem for me, so I have lots of fans in my case that need power. I can use Molex plugs and splitters if need be, but I'd prefer no to so much.

    PREFERABLY: RAID and SATA 3GB support. 4x DDR2 800 support.

    A number of boards I looked at were arranged really badly, for example, putting the Floppy connector below the PCI slots so that the cable would push on them... ditto for putting the power molex on the far side of the DIMM slots. That's just stupid.

    No real preference of chipset or number of PCIX slots other than at least one 16x and one 1x). The more, the better of course.

    I don't expect to overclock, but having the option would be nice. And if I can't download the user manual, bios or drivers for the MoBo off their website ("HELLO, EPoX!"), don't even bother.

  2. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    I don't see why people are even bothering with AMD when Core 2 Duo is clearly superior. The 4200+ x2 costs 187, where as the E6300 Core 2 Duo costs 193. THINK.
  3. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Yes that is true but the Core 2 motherboards cost ALOT more. He said he was looking for an "inexpensive upgrade." Also, 775 motherboardsof often not compatible with new technologies while AMD motherboards are almost always compatible with every single processor made for them even if the processor is 2 years newer (socket 939 was like this) so AMD motherboards are far more future-proof.
  4. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    Wow, I never saw it that way. ::eyes are now open:: haha

    Don't be too picky on an AM2 mobo, just make sure it is with the Nforce chipset!

    I found one that you MIGHT like, your stance on Epox confused me because they are a great Mobo manufacturer so check this one out and tell me it's flaws. Please be open :)
  5. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    Define "superior"?

    In terms of raw clock cycles, the Intel is "superior". That's it.

    The warmest AM2 still runs 10'C to 20'C cooler than the coolest Pentium (you have to drop to a P3/Xeon to see the 55'C idle temp of the fastest AM2).

    The best Core-2 is only 26% faster than the AM2, and when AMD starts building AM2's using the same 65nm fabrication, they will torch the Core-2 while maintaining backwards MoBo compatibility.

    Everything that uses the Pentium is more expensive too, driving up your overall costs. Not only is the CPU more expensive, the MoBo's are typically $100 more for the same features, and the high-end ram it typically requires pushes your costs up even more.

    Until the unjustified premium pricing of Intel's come down, they just can't compete.
  6. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    Firstly, what do you think of the motherboard I chose? (nvm they are out of stock)

    Secondly, I am not talking about Pentiums, I am talking about Core 2 Duo's (HUGE difference). Also, 55c is nothing to brag about for an idle temp either. I highly doubt that 65nm of the same architecture that AMD is using will change the fact that the Core 2 Duo has a better design. I am just looking out for your best interest though, and Metalx opened my eyes as to the good reasons you wouldn't get a Core 2 Duo. Intel's Core 2 Duo pricing is fine, their motherboard's pricing is not, as Metalx said.
  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    Only complaint with EPoX was their support, but...

    Yes, that board is already on my short-list.

    My only "complaint" with EPoX was when I went to their website to do a little research, and hit page after page of "file not found" or "sql server error" for BIOS, Driver and "Users Manual" downloads. But they replied to my email quickly and sent me to the site, which is fuly stocked, so they are again leading my list. :)
  8. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    Ah man that must be a temporary site problem, no need to judge them! I have an epox board and they have great support for these boards, believe me. One time I OC'ed too far and damaged my board, and they gave me a new one! And they are really stable and dependable unlike other brands ::cough Gigabyte and MSI::

    What about this one; it is an Nforce 4 Ultra like mine, it has SATA 3.0gb unlike the first one i showed you, plus it is in stock.
  9. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    My List

    That is the current top of my list. Here is where I currently stand (in order) unless I get better recommendations (or words of warning) from others on here:

    1. EPoX EP-MF4ULTRA (best layout of all the AM2 boards, plus chipset fan)
    2. ABIT KN9 (decent layout. Heatpipe North to South bridge. No reviews on NewEgg)
    3. ASUS M2N4-SLI (lacks a third PCI, but well laid out with two x16's)
    4. ASUS M2V (4 pci's, but with floppy plug below them, odd SATA config)
    5. GIGABYTE GA-M55plus-S3G (worst layout, but 4pci plus two 1394's)
    6. EPoX EP-9U1697GLI Socket 939 (if I end up having to go the "cheap" route and reuse my ram; perfect layout).

    All found on NewEgg; one or two found at my local supplier as well.
  10. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    Did you pick or buy yet
  11. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    No decision yet. My options are becoming more limited.

    No, but a sudden increase in the number of crashes I've been experiencing (resolved only by underclocking my PC ever slower) have me reconsidering going the 939 route as it would be my fastest/cheapest upgrade path should my PC suddenly die before I could make a decision.

    My 3200+, once okay at 2500+, must now be set to 1900+ to keep from overheating and crashing after extended use. :(
  12. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    As an immediate choice 939 is adequate. You'll be sorry though when new processors come out for AM2 and you can't get them unless you build a new system. I say you deal with the underclocking and not screw yourself :)
  13. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    I've been considering the "ASRock 939SLI", which is AM2 upgradeable via a Daughter card. But the practacality of these seems questionable. The expansion card plugs in vertically (like a standard card) which makes me question the stress a heavy heatsink would put on the slot. It also has 4 ram slots on it because it can not reuse the existing DDR ram on the 939 MoBo. What a waste.

    And lastly, I know little to nothing about ASRock as a brand.
  14. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    I don't trust ASrock. You'd be wasting money if you did that, even more money than if you went the AM2 route. Youd be buying two new computers instead of one if you got that ASrock motherboard.
  15. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    Minimal saving from buying now.

    I don't know enough about them whether or not to trust them.

    As for "buying two computers", the cost of upgrading the ASRock ($30 for the AM2 card, plus the cost of CPU and RAM that I'd have to buy anyway) would be substantially less than buying an entirely new computer (not to mention the parts will be cheaper in two years than they are now), so any loss would be minimal.

    The question then would be whether it would be more beneficial to buy a dedicated AM2 board now (at 2006 prices), vs the cost of a 939 plus "AM2 upgrade" later (at 2008/9 prices).

    Now if I just knew more about the ASRock MoBo, it would make the decision much easier.
  16. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    I'd get a normal 939 mobo and CPU. It isn't outdated, and you can get very fast CPU's for it. You have Athlons 64 & FX, X2's, and Opterons.

    Also, you can get a good mobo for under 70, and an Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego for under 100.
  17. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    That's not an extremely bad mobo. Check the reviews at Newegg. Some people complain about it (who doesn't), and some people love it.
  18. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    Considering the 939's.

    Right now, the 3 or 5 reviews on NewEgg are all I have to go on. :(

    I agree that the 939 is still a very viable option. If I don't buy the absolute fastest processor, faster models will still be around for upgrading for the next few years (the FX-60 is the fastest 939-compatible chip, and it is currently right in there with the top five fastest AM2's.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  19. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    I just saw more than 60 reviews for it :)

    And be sure that the FX60 is an excellent CPU, and some day, will be priced under $200 :)
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