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Motherboard and Processor

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by sapper, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. sapper

    sapper
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    Good morning.

    I am in the near furture at last going to start building ahome media box for DVD reply, net surfin storing of music etc.

    The Plan is to start with the bare essentials and then add to it as and when.

    However I will want a good vale for money motherboard and processor, together with a graphics card. I'd like the motherboard to be as future proof as possible, with raid, and other new technologies.

    Additionla soundcard willl be added later.

    Which ones on the market would you recomend, and from where!

    Any help appreciated.

    Adrian
     
  2. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Firstly - can I buy your Audiolab pre & power setup (it rocks)... £100?

    Worth a try.

    I would recommend a Nforce 2 motherboard. If its quietness you want then the Epox 8RDA+ has passive cooling on the northbridge.

    Otherwise I would recommend (boards I have tried)....

    MSI K7n2D ILSR - NF2/Raid/serialATA etc

    A lot of people like the Asus A7n8x Deluxe V2.
     
  3. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    Count my vote for the ASUS :). Main reason for selecting it was the excellent on-baord audio for when analog is needed, otherwiser it also has on-board SPD/IF output so absolutely no need for a sound-card as far as I was concerned .. do those other cards implement SoundStorm too?

    As for CPU .. for normal DVD playback my XP 2000+ is more than I need, which'll give you some idea of CPU power. BUT, if you want to be able to play the HiDef 720p Windows Media stuff that's beginning to become available .. by one means or anther ;) .. then really that processor is about the minimum to consider IMHO.
     
  4. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    The Epox 8RDA+ is soundstorm but has no built in S/Pdif out.

    The MSI K7n2d ILSR is soundstorm and has S/Pdif outs.

    CPU - Go for the Barton 2500+ £60. Its a bargain and will surpass most HTPC needs.
     
  5. james.miller

    james.miller
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    what dac's do the asus boards use?

    anyway, id say xp1700+ or xp2500 and an ABIT nf7-s v2. The reason i say go for abit is that they are *generally* more stable than asus boards, and dont suffer frome the bios coruption like the asus's do. Also, those cpu's are very overclockable if you want to gain some free performance.
     
  6. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    I've had 3 ASUS boards, never a BIOS problem. :confused: On the other hand my ABit KR7A wouldn't boot with my Audigy at first power-up .. took months for Abit to fix their BIOS.

    :)

    The on-board DACs are pretty average, IIRC they use a Realtek chip, they're fine for MP3 playback when I don't use my DVD player. However, since I'm only interested in SPD/IF output for DVD playback the DACs don't concern me over much. I certainly wouldn't use the on-board audio for multi-channel playback for DVDs.
     
  7. james.miller

    james.miller
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    ahh same dacs as the abit then. i dont use analogue at all now - it's all digital to my amp.

    Tbh, the bios problem is only really apparent with overclocking - so that wouldn't nessesarily apply to you. However it's still there, thats why i try to avoid them.
     
  8. sapper

    sapper
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    HOw does one overclock? What sort of fan do you need to keep the temperature cool if you are over clocking?

    YOurs curiously?

    Adrian
     
  9. james.miller

    james.miller
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    overclocking is simply the process of running a component above it's stock speed. It's very easy to overclock with these boards.

    for instance - look at my sig. I have an xp1700 which runs at 1.47ghz default speed. Mine can run at anywhere up to 2.4ghz which is nearly a whole 1ghz faster and puts it's performance right up close to p4 3.2ghz's which is amazing for a £40 cpu.

    Overclocking is simply about getting more for your money.

    my cooling consists of 2 80mm slow case fans and an slk-800 heatsink and an adjustable 80mmm cpu fan.
     
  10. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    SAPPER - you need to be clear from the outset what you want from your box.

    If you want to overclock for performance (gaming/encoding) then expect noise.

    If you want a media server with a bit of net browsing then stick with stability (ie dont overclock).

    Abit NF7s has a northbridge fan so is more noisy. It is a great overclocking board - but it takes work. My Abit NF7s died after 7 hours without overclocking. If you trawl the forums you will see that if you stumble upon a good NF7s it will be a stoncker for overclocking but as I read it (and in my experience) they seem to be more troublesome than other Nforce2 mobos.
     
  11. james.miller

    james.miller
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    automatically associating overclocking with noise is a common mistake.

    [​IMG]

    That my xp1700+ doing 2.25ghz @ 1.65v. Full load is 52c.

    There are 3 80mm fans in my case. one case fan is running on 7v and spins at 1800rpm, the other case fan is powered by the mobo and spins at 2% which is too low to regester any speed. My cpu fan, which is the 3rd 80mm fan, is also running at 7v and ALSO to slow to regester any speed from it.

    I can confidently say its even quieter than stock amd cooling, while running 800mhz faster. You don't nessesarily need loud cooling - you just need the right cooling.

    nf7's aren't the most troublesome per se - they do have their little quirks when overclocking but in all they are really the most stable of them all in my experiance.
     
  12. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Nice.....

    What other NF2 mobos have you tried then James.miller?

    Is that an Amiga 1.3 ROM on your desktop - I loved my Amiga 500.
     
  13. james.miller

    james.miller
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    two asus a7n8x's, 3 abit nf7's and an MSI k7n2 i think it was called (not all mine lol)

    the rom? how did that get there?:blush: yeah i love all kinds of emulators:)
     

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