Motherboard and CPU choice

By Investors
Dec 17, 2003
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  1. WOW, I haven't used this forum for almost a year.

    I am trying to replace my old Gateway system. I have decided to go with XP2500+ Barton for my new CPU.

    Now, I need to make a decision regarding my motherboard. My final choices are ...

    Asus A7N8X or Abit NF7-S. which one should I go for?

    (Note: I am going to build a new system while using some of the components from my old gateway such as CD ROM, hard drives ... and so on. I am not going to build a system by myself. What I will do is I will take the specs to a local computer store and have him(her) build one for me.)

    Thanks
    :grinthumb
  2. Steg

    Steg Newcomer, in training Posts: 422

    Both motherboards are based on the nForce2 Chipset and both motherboards support more or less identical features - both boards get good reviews and overclock well - so it really is just personal preference? Asus? or Abit?
    Personally i would go with the asus (see below) but there really is VERY litte to choise between the two - both are great boards with great features

    Steg
  3. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    I have chosen XP 2500+ Barton as my new CPU. Now Asus or Abit motherboard?

    It seems the UK people like Abit better and the US people prefer Asus.
  4. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    I heard from the UK people that they heard a lot of things were wrong with Asus. What kind of problems?
  5. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper Newcomer, in training Posts: 467

    if you're going for abit nf7-s, get the revision 2.0 version. some people had problems with the previous version. then again some people had problems with the asus A7N8X. both abit and asus nforce boards are great. it is just very unlucky for someone to get problems with those boards though.
  6. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Okay, then...

    What's the best version of Asus A7N8X? Rev. 2.0; Deluxe; v.2.0?

    And what's the best version of Abit NF7?
    NF7-S; NF7S rev.2.0... and so on?
  7. Scol

    Scol Newcomer, in training Posts: 140

    For ASUS, I'd go for the Deluxe, or you could go for the A7N8X-E Deluxe with even more onboard goodies (Gigabit LAN, and WiFi ready, etc)

    As for ABIT, the NF7-S rev 2 supports 400FSB and the AN7 doesn't look bad either.
  8. Captain_Jon

    Captain_Jon Newcomer, in training Posts: 31

    Investors... why don't you build it yourself? it's a lot more fun and isn't really all that hard... besides you get to learn a lot more about the PC by doing it yourself... Just a suggestion.
  9. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Afraid... I will pass this one and If this works well with a local vendor, then I will build one for my sister by myself. Until then...
  10. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    If your going to be OCing get the NFS7, if your not going to be OCing get the A7N8x. The NFS7 unlocks the multi right off the bat for you which is pretty badass :D (the a7n8x doesnt)
  11. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper Newcomer, in training Posts: 467

    building a system is not really that hard. at first it is intimidating but when you start doing it, you just break it down the installation into smaller steps. you focus on the cpu area; the ram; then the agp and pci slot area of the motherboard; then the hard drives, floppy drive, and optical drives; etc. it is basically just plugging things into other things. just make sure you are grounded before touching any components. if you need help building your system, i am sure that many of the board's member would be more than willing to give some advice.
  12. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    unlocks the multi right off the bat? -What do you mean by this?

    I have decided to go with AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton and Abit NF7-S Rev. 2.0. Good choices?

    Now, I need to decide on RAM. What do you think? Corsair or Kingston? What Spec Corsair?

    Thanks. (PS: I like this board. There are a lot less speculations on this board.)
  13. bluescreenNoob

    bluescreenNoob Newcomer, in training Posts: 43

    I would go with Corsair XMS 2700. Corsair and Kingston both make good ram. It's really up to you. :grinthumb
     
  14. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Maybe I should just follow the specs of others including yours. Yes, I wanna go with Corsair XMS PC 2700 or 3200. But there are so many XMS es for the same price. what on earth?
  15. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    I am going with 2x 512 MB Corsair XMS PC3200. So I want any of the followings? (note: Do I need to be this specific when I give my spec to a local computer who is going to build me one?)


    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Platinum Series, Low Latency (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) ECC Registered DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    $295.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, Low Latency (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200PRO - Retail
    $283.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200PRO - Retail
    $259.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) Registered DDR PC-3200 w/ Platinum-Silver Heat Spreader - Retail
    $255.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, Low Latency (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    $253.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack)184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    $252.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    $211.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, Low Latency 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200PRO - Retail
    $148.00

    Why are they so expensive? Is a twin pack called a duel pack? I was told not to get a duel pack. What is wrong with a duel pack?
  16. Steg

    Steg Newcomer, in training Posts: 422

    a twin pack is 2 matched modules for use in dual channal mode with the nforce2 chipset.
    if you are into SERIOUS gaming/video editing/image editing the you want the
    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, Low Latency (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    however if you dont need the whole 1gb of ram then you can happily go with the this set
    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, Low Latency (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 512MB(256MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    And it is so expensive because it is the BEST ram on the planet. full stop
    hope that helps

    Steg

    edit : fixed links
  17. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Platinum Series, Low Latency (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) ECC Registered DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    $295.00


    ah ok your first one costs more because its ECC. Dont bother getting ECC ram, its not any better then non-ecc for what your going to be doing and as you can see it cost a lot more.

    The dual/twin packs are good! They are the way to go if your going to be getting 2 sticks of ram. They're just better because they are made for dual channel (can work out of dual channel though without any probs). Its good to get twin packs for dual channel because the modules are exactly the same so it will 99% work.

    Second and third down the list:

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, Low Latency (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200PRO - Retail
    $283.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200PRO - Retail
    $259.00


    The top one costs more because its "Low Latency". I'm not sure if it would be worth the extra money for the "low latency".

    Fourth down,

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) Registered DDR PC-3200 w/ Platinum-Silver Heat Spreader - Retail
    $255.00


    Dont know why this is cheaper then the third down :blackeye: It even comes with a heat spreader, which is why the 5th down is $2 cheaper then this one, because the 5th down doesnt come with a heat spreader. Spend the extra $2 ;)

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack)184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    $252.00

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) DDR PC-3200 - Retail
    $211.00


    ^^ Difference between these two would be the latency. One has better latency then the other.

    Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, Low Latency 184 Pin 512MB DDR PC-3200PRO - Retail
    $148.00


    ^^ This is a ton cheaper because its only 1 stick of 512MBs, all the others are twin packs (which come with twin/dual sticks, ie. 2 sticks).

    I would get Corsair over Kingston without a doubt. Out of all that RAM, I'd get the "Corsair XMS Extreme Memory Speed Series, (Twin Pack) 184 Pin 1GB(512MBx2) Registered DDR PC-3200 w/ Platinum-Silver Heat Spreader - Retail
    $255.00". The 'low latency' one for $28 more probably isnt worth it.

    Hope this helps :)
  18. wicka_wicka

    wicka_wicka Banned Posts: 179

    The NF7-S doesn't unlock the multi, it's just that the A7N8X locks it by default. If you have a proc with a locked multi you have to connect a couple of the bridges to unlock it.

    Also, I'd get Kingston HyperX over Corsair XMS any day. Corsair is good RAM but the HyperX is just better; I'd try getting an older stick with the BH-5 chips. The best RAM out now is OCZ, so I'd get that over Corsair or Kingston if you can. And low latency RAM is better than higher latency RAM, so if you have the money, go for it.
  19. SubKamran

    SubKamran Newcomer, in training Posts: 303

  20. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,382   +15

    Glad we could help :grinthumb Stick around ;)
  21. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    Thank you all for your feedback, teaching, reply, response... I can always get the answers I need on this forum without much speculation.

    Now, I have to make some tough decision. I just realize my budget for my new computer-to-be-built is out of control. Thus, I'd like to spend less than $151 on RAM.

    That means I can't go with 2x512MB PC 3200. I will have to go with one of the followings:

    No.1: 1x 512MB PC 3200 Corsair XMS
    No.2: 2x 256MB PC 3200 Corsair XMS
    No.3: I thought about going with PC 2700 Corsair XMS, but they are about the same price as PC 3200, so consider this option ruled out.

    Their prices all range from $115 to under $150.

    What do you suggest?
  22. Investors

    Investors Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 73

    PS: already decided on CPU and MB: 2500+ Barton and ABit NF7-S Rev.2
  23. Scol

    Scol Newcomer, in training Posts: 140

    Get 2x256, so you could dual channel it. Unless you plan on investing in another 512 later down the line, then hold off and dual channel it later.

    Kingston's HyperX series is another good brand to consider. I got my set for much less than Corsair, and my timings are pretty good (2-3-3-7).
  24. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond Newcomer, in training Posts: 164

    Most people have problems with Asus Motherboards because they use cheap RAM or RAM that is incompatible.
  25. Steg

    Steg Newcomer, in training Posts: 422

    *1 - The ASUS A7N8X Deluxe (or the NF7-S for that matter) has NO problem with multipliers - anything 2500+ or faster (barton core) has a preunlocked multiplier so the multiplier can be changed on any board that supports it

    *2 Yeh - you definatly want to get the 2*256mg ram for dual channel mode

    *3 Kingston better than Corsair? still? not quite! kingston have had their day - they were the best for a good many years but now when it comes to high perforance overclocking or gaming ram the leader is no longer kingston. If you REALLY dont want to buy Corsair (who are NOW the best) you want to go with OCZ or Mushkin - but NOT kingston

    Steg
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