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 Post subject: Choosing a motherboard for AMD 64 2X with...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:02 am
Posts: 125
Hey,

I posted mostly about hard drives earlier this year, preparing to build a new computer for when I go to America for 9 or so months (hey, lol, any excuse to build one... although any really heavy parts that I couldn't take home with me afterwards will be resold later). I've chosen a few more parts since then, but reached choosing the motherboard. At first I thought, yikes, where to start... but then I choose the RAM, and my choices of motherboard were quickly limited.

RAM: 1 GB (2 pcs 512) DDR (500) PC-4000 Mushkin Redline at 3.5V

HDD: 74gb Western Digital Raptor WD740 SATA (10,000 RPM)
HDD: 300gb Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 ST3300831AS SATA
CPU: Athlon 64 X2 4400 L2 cache 1MB + 1MB (possibly overclocked from 2.2ghz to 2.7ghz, although it'll be my first overclocking)

I picked that RAM because it seems to be one of the top performers, although I realise the heat it'll put out will take it's toll for sure on a quiet computer... I guess this computer won't be quiet though, unlike my last one, but oh well I'm trying to find a balance between noise and as much power as I can afford this time. heh.

I was wondering what motherboard you'd recommend (or RAM if you'd choose a different type)? To use the RAM like I mentioned, a review (AnandTech) says the motherboard must be a DFI nForce4 series Ultra or SLI to supply the 3.5V. So I guess that makes things a lot easier on choosing a motherboard.

It seems the DFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-DR (http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/xx_product_spec_details_r_us.jsp?PRODUCT_ID=3491&CATEGORY_TYPE=LP&SITE=US) is a popular choice, which I see is around US$200 (same price as the RAM will cost, and less than half of the CPU, lol!). And I guess it'll support the dual core Athlon with a BIOS upgrade? So that's ok.

Just wanted to see what people thought though. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:21 am
Posts: 363
Location: Houston, TX, USA
I have some reservations about that RAM, at least on a quiet computer. Here is a quote from Mushkin's site:

http://www.mushkin.com/doc/products/mem ... asp?ID=196
Quote:
Active Cooling Required *----Due to the extreme speed of these modules along with the added voltages used, Mushkin requires end users to Actively cool their memory modules. Modules that are not properly cooled will/may not meet rated timings and speeds, and may become susceptible to premature failure. We generally recommend 15-25cfm of direct airflow over the ram modules which can be easily accomplished with one 60mm or 80mm low rpm fan. This will insure increased stability and lifespan of your Redline modules.

Also, something that did not require 3.5V to run at full speed might be nice. It would give you a greater variety of motherboards to choose from, anyway.

Here is a review of the memory from Anandtech. They do give it a good review, but that state that it is not for everybody, for the reasons I have described above.

http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2416

Then again, you already realize that this computer may not be quiet. If it is truly, truly loud, I suppose you can always sell off the parts after 9 months. ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:02 am
Posts: 125
I'm wondering if SLI is something I need too... I mean I don't play games on the PC, but I want to do lots of 3D rendering... SLI would be a nice future proofing it seems, and it's not much more expensive, but I wonder if I'd actually take my motherboard home to New Zealand with me at the end... are they quite heavy?

One of those silent nexus case fans sounds like it'd do the job cooling the RAM though... and I can probably get a quiet PSU. I think the CPU cooling (and video card if it has a fan on it, I hope I can get a heatsink one instead) will be where most noise comes from.

What do you think of the motherboard? Is there a lot of other better boards out there, that limiting myself because of the RAM might be a bad idea? I don't really know enough to look past the specs of how many USB, SATA, PCI ports they have etc...

Hmm yeah that's true, if it's truly loud I can change it when I go home.

Thanks!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:21 am
Posts: 363
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Well, that DFI board has gotten good reviews, especially in the overclocking department. When not overclocking, it is pretty much middle of the pack.

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2337
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2358

Since I have not been shopping for a PCI-E motherboard yet, I am not really in the loop about what is good and what is not.

If you are going to be doing 3D rendering exclusively, you may look at the NVIDIA Quadro cards (though you may also look at their $$$ :shock: ). If you are going to be doing rendering on the side, go with the regular Geforce.

Motherboards are not heavy. Shipping weight is usually about 2 kg, and that inlcudes all the accessories inside the box.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:02 am
Posts: 125
LOL! Ouch those are some expensive video cards... :( I think I'll have to stick to the regular Geforce yeah, as it's just 3D rendering on the side. Decided to go without SLI too, which will save a bit.

About 2kg? Hmm that's not bad yeah. I have to admit the ability to easily overclock (there's that flag going up in my head about noise again... *quickly pushes it down, lol*) from 2.2 to 2.7ghz is interesting.

It's funny seeing the benchmark tests in the motherboard round up there... most are just 10th's of a second apart. There's a paragraph at the end though that says "An enthusiast may be happy with either the DFI SLI or the MSI SLI board, but buyers looking for the best feature set that truly enhances system performance will choose the MSI. The 2nd SATA2 controller, dual PCIe LAN, and hardware SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit are a standout combination in a crowded field of top-performing motherboards."

I'm not sure what the benefit to dual PCIe LAN is over the regular Gigabit lan ports (which it also has), SATA2 for both is nice but probably I won't have four SATA2 hard drives... SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit is nice... hmm... I shall think :)


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