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 Post subject: Are there any GOOD fanless 939 boards?
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 1:23 pm 
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Question as title. I'm looking for something that's stable (no OC), supports C&Q, PCI-E or AGP I'm not really bothered about at this stage since either way the video card fitted will be a basic fanless item. PCI-E might be good just from a futureproofing aspect.


It's all going inside an Antec Sonata. HDD's will be 2.5" so SATA won't be used.


I'm also slightly unsure about all the different generations of the A64. Rather than asking for an explanation of all the variants, could you just give me some pointers... like what's the best to get for a *very* lightly loaded HTPC? As I understand it, the lowest speed A64's have some memory management issues, is that correct?


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:21 pm 
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I personally found that it was counter-productive to try and find a passive 939 board. After much trouble, and then RMA'ing a Soltek, I got an Asus A8N-E and replaced the stock HSF with a Zalman cipset cooler (blue). It is not that hard to replace it.

On my Asus A8N-E with 3500+ Winchester, Cool and Quiet works fine. It runs at 1.0 Ghz and 1.1V most of the time.

I don't think you need a Venice, but am not familiar with problems on lower speed Winchesters. Make sure the problems are not related to over/under clocking (exept as provided automatically by Cool and Quiet).


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 Post subject: Re: Are there any GOOD fanless 939 boards?
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:37 pm 
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sappy wrote:
As I understand it, the lowest speed A64's have some memory management issues, is that correct?

Really? Have you heard something I have not :?:


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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:48 pm 
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You should just look for a good mobo, making it fanless is so easy to do later with a separate NB heatsink.

About CPU's, the memory management issues are related to revisions, not speed. You should get revision D or E, because they're made in 90 nm technology and uses much less power. Revision E does have the best memory controller. Check out this review. The graphs in that page shows that 90 nm CPU's (Winchester revision D, Venice revision E) uses about half the power compared to older 130 nm CPU's (Clawhammer, Newcastle).

If you don't care about 64 bit support you should have a look at Sempron, it got the same revisions. Review.

Note that it can be quite difficult to figure out the revision for some CPU's.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 3:25 pm 
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All right. I have a few of those blue Zalman hedgehogs lying around so presumably that'll do the job, yeah? In which case, what's a good 939 NF4 board with a chipset that doesn't overheat with the Zalman and a stock Sonata? (extremely unlikely to go SLI with these)


Thanks for the info regarding the CPU's. Is there an easy way to tell which is which when I'm buying?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 3:57 pm 
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s939, Passive, PCIe, HTPC, no OC...

I've only had it installed a couple days, so maybe other owners can speak for it more than I can, but MSI's RS480M2-IL meets all those criteria.

Oh yeah, it also has integrated video. So if you were only going to put in a very basic graphics card, you may be able to do without any card at all.

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Last edited by Wraith on Mon May 09, 2005 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:07 pm 
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If you're not worried about PCIe or AGP, you could get an ASUS A8V Deluxe. It's passively cooled to begin with so no swapping is required. I built a system a few months back with an A8V and AMD 3200+ Winchester. With C&Q, it runs about 32C and is very stable. I also have a passively cooled Gigabyte nVidia 6800 AGP video card in there that runs about 65C idle, which seems kinda hot, but even when gaming it only gets up to about 75C.

I've never heard of the memory issues, but I would get a Winchester core (they're only available at 3000+ and higher i think) or one of the new Venice cores. I can't vouch for the Venice core since I haven't seen or read that much about it, but the Winchester core AMD Athlon64s are great. You can usually tell which core you're buying if you buy from NewEgg. On other sites, make sure its socket 939 and 90nm. That should ensure you're getting a Winchester.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:41 pm 
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Hello:

The Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra 9 is a fine motherboard with a passive HS. A more feature packed motherboard would be hard to find. :twisted:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:42 pm 
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sappy wrote:
Is there an easy way to tell which is which when I'm buying?


Look at the end of the manufacturer's part numbers:

...AS/ASBOX = CG clawhammer
...AX/AXBOX = CG newcastle
...BI/BIBOX = D0 winchester
...BP/BPBOX = E3 venice
...BN/BNBOX = E4 san diego

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:04 pm 
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To answer the second part of your question, since you're buying now you might as well go Venice. As I write this a retail box Venice 3000+ is selling for the exact same amount of money as a retail Winny 3000+. The Venice has an improved memory controller (which probably won't make too much difference unless you plan on running 4x512 memory) and the SSE3 instruction set, which can help in multi-media applications, perfect for a HTPC. But if you can obtain a Winchester more easily, knock yourself out. As long as it's a 90-nm fab process you'll be fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 5:39 pm 
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Why not get a VIA K8T800/Pro (AGP) or K8T890 (PCI-E) based motherboard? I believe they generally run cooler than nVidia nF3/nF4, which should make passive cooling more feasable.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 6:23 pm 
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Asus A8V-E Deluxe + Zalman NB47J

The VIA K8T890 doesn't seem to run very hot, so it should do with the NB47J.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 6:47 pm 
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sappy wrote:
All right. I have a few of those blue Zalman hedgehogs lying around so presumably that'll do the job, yeah? In which case, what's a good 939 NF4 board with a chipset that doesn't overheat with the Zalman and a stock Sonata? (extremely unlikely to go SLI with these)

Thanks for the info regarding the CPU's. Is there an easy way to tell which is which when I'm buying?

The Asus A8N-E is a very good board. There is a pic of Zalman chipset cooler installed in the NF4 Chipset Replacement thread (page 3). Runs great with Cool and Quiet.

Any decent on-line retailer will identify whether the chip is Winchester, Vencie, Newcastle, etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 10:33 pm 
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The abit AX8 seem to be a good board, and it is passivly cooled out of the box.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:54 am 
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My 2 cents: I would (actually am going to in the coming month) go for the Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra 9 mentioned by Neil for its passive cooling and full feature set. DO note that I have read in a different thread here that it's apparently relatively easy to chip your northbridge if you're trying to install the Zalman heatsink on it. It sounded like it was maybe a semi-risky thing to do, although many have reported success doing it.

(OF course) make sure you go with a socket-939 system for futureproofing.

As already mentioned, you might as well go with the Venice core: it's $2 more than the analogous winchester at newegg.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:57 am 
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frostedflakes wrote:
Why not get a VIA K8T800/Pro (AGP) or K8T890 (PCI-E) based motherboard? I believe they generally run cooler than nVidia nF3/nF4, which should make passive cooling more feasable.


Has anyone done any significant amount of research on the performance differences between Via and nVidia's chipsets for AMD64?

I haven't had time to do this yet myself, but from the few preliminary glances, it looks like the performance differences are only noticeable in benchmarks.

Basically, my question comes down to this: is the convenience of a passive-by-default northbridge (ie VIA K8T800) sacrificing anything in terms of performance and reliability compared to an NF3/4?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 11:39 am 
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I built my sister a system recently with an Asus A8V Deluxe, which uses a passively cooled VIA KT800Pro. I’m fairly pleased with it but it’s still not quite as stable as I’d like. I’ve never been 100% pleased with any VIA based motherboard that I’ve used; that’s only about 4 over 10 years but every other motherboard that I’ve used over that period has given me no reason to complain. I built an A64 system on a NForce 3 last year and that gave me no problems. If you don’t need SLI, then an NForce3 board that supports dual-core could be a good option.

I’ve kept way from VIA since Socket 370 days until recently and I think I’m gonna embargo their ass again from chez crow :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:00 pm 
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Sappy: Remember that the location of the chipset is important (and not the type of chipset cooling, as mentioned earlier). For instance, if you look at DFI Lan Party UT nF4 SLI-D and Albatron K8SLI you see that the DFI mobo is not as suitable for a big, passive chipset cooler like the Albatron mobo is (...and none of them are optimal for it anyway), the heatsink is right in the way for a video card. This is a typical nF problem, which you don't see on VIA, SIS or ATI mobos. Besides, ATI got the best integrated graphics by far, comparable to Radeon X300 (and 9600?). At least MSI, Gigabyte, Jetway, Sapphire and ECS makes ATI mobos, I know Asus and others will follow soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:11 pm 
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matt_garman wrote:
Has anyone done any significant amount of research on the performance differences between Via and nVidia's chipsets for AMD64?

I haven't had time to do this yet myself, but from the few preliminary glances, it looks like the performance differences are only noticeable in benchmarks.

Basically, my question comes down to this: is the convenience of a passive-by-default northbridge (ie VIA K8T800) sacrificing anything in terms of performance and reliability compared to an NF3/4?

That's what I thought until I bought a board with a VIA 890Pro chipset and then discovered that a whole bunch of things didn't work correctly or did not work at all (like the Ethernet).

Actually, when I touched the passive northbridge heatsink on my Soltek 890Pro (RMA'ed) it was much hotter than the NF4 on my new Asus A8N-E board with a passive Zalman installed. All the OEM HS or HSF’s are pathetically small, regardless of active or passive.+


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:17 pm 
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VIA K8T800 pro / K8T890 runs cooler than NF3 / NF4 ??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:20 pm 
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smilingcrow wrote:
I built my sister a system recently with an Asus A8V Deluxe, which uses a passively cooled VIA KT800Pro. I’m fairly pleased with it but it’s still not quite as stable as I’d like.

What kind of stability problems did you have?

I had mine hang occasionally when I set AGP/PCI to 66/33. When I switched it back to auto, it was a lot more stable.

I noticed that it was freezing on certain graphics events (Trillian's pop up notification when buddies sign on / off). Turned that off, updated graphics driver, and it's been fine until last night, when I accidentally put it into sleep mode and it wouldn't wake up.

I did the usual memtest86 / Prime95 on it and it was stable for over 12 hours. I should test it with some graphics benchmark next.

winguy wrote:
VIA K8T800 pro / K8T890 runs cooler than NF3 / NF4 ??

I remember some site (not this one) where someone measured power drawn and concluded that the nForce3 drew more power. Can't remember exact figure, between 10W to 20W from my memory.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 10:46 am 
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The MSI RS480M2-IL is your board.

It will do everything you want, and is quite future proofed.

It is fanless, and the ATI Chipset produces no heat.

Needs specific memory or you will have problems.

Look Here. http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=21810

It's also cheap, widely available and I like it (that says more about the product than you might think).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 7:43 pm 
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anything with a via chipset and without pci-e seems to trully run cooler.

800 chipset is great, stable, tried and true. I cant complain about it ever. My games smoke on it. SLI is a waste I feel, pci-e is actually a waste (what it does that agp framerates cannot do, i fail to see)

shrug.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 9:09 am 
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I must say the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra looked like it might be the answer you are looking for. Here is it in a review.
http://www7.tomshardware.com/motherboar ... 39-05.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 9:43 am 
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Thanks. I think I'll pick up the MSI with the ATI chipset and I'll figure out a home for it.


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