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NForce2 Ultra MoBo recommendations Please

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by onewingedangel, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. onewingedangel

    onewingedangel
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    What NForce 2 Ultra motherboard would you reccomend, I intend on overclocking a barton 2500+ to 200fsb or more with ddr3200/3500 memory, so an easy to use, fully functional bios is needed. The ultra chipset is preferred due to its soundstorm chip, although I will not be using the dd encoding straight away, so I may be persuaded to go for a non ultra board and opt for a plug in soundcard at a later date. All recomendations are appreciated, thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mr_Belowski

    Mr_Belowski
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    The 'proper' Soundstorm audio is tons better than the standard Realtek650 on the cheaper nForce boards, and is (IMO) worth the extra money.

    The Abit NF7 version 2.0 is supposed to be good, as is the Asus A7N8X delux.

    One point you'll need to consider is the CPU. The newer Barton chips have their multiplier locked. I've got a 2800+ on an Asus A7N8X-X (the one without the good sound system), and my chip is multiplier-locked. Also, I can't run it at 400 FSB cos it just won't overclock that far without dropping the multiplier.

    It might be worth doing some more research into the CPUs to be honest - maybe try and find out which stepping codes are locked and which aren't. There also might be a hardware mod to unlock them but I've not seen one.
     
  3. james.miller

    james.miller
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    the nf7-s v2 is the best board for overclocking without a doubt. The asus a7n8s delux has a few more (IMO useless) features, but also isn't quite as stable, and doesnt overclocke nearly as well in my experiance.
     
  4. BOD

    BOD
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    james.miller: How do you know the Abit is the best for overclocking?

    Anyways - Ive tried:

    Epox 8RDA+

    MSI K7n2 ILSR

    Abit NF7

    8RDA+ is a lovely board and can be had for around £65. Great for overclocking - it unlocks everything and has the MCP-T (Soundstorm). It does not have S/Pdif out as standard. It does not have SATA.

    MSI K7n2 ILSR is around £82 but comes bundled with everything you could want. Has S/Pdif and SATA and is MCP-T and RAID. Overclocked my new Barton 2500+ last week straight from the box to a Barton 3000+ without a hitch.

    ABit NF7 - ensure you get the S version. Can be had for around £85. Again it is MCP-T and SATA and has S/Pdif out. Overclocking is much the same as the others.

    Out of those I am happiest with the MSI. Great support with the Live Update feature.

    You will not go wrong with any of them.
     
  5. james.miller

    james.miller
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    because ive tried 2 a7n8's and both of them couldnt overclock as far as my nf7-s. That, and the fact that its well know across the board that the nf7-s is the by far the best board overclocking-wise.
     
  6. vikingboy

    vikingboy
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    same here James, I junked the Asus a7n8x in favour of the far superior Abits Nf7-s v 1.3, and then v2 board. More overclocking options re voltages, better stability and nicer to work with all round. I also have a IC7-G Intel system and that board is superb as well. Abit really have their act together at the moment.

    Asus have in the past been the one to beat, but IMHO today Abit is the champ.
     
  7. mephistopheles

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    Have to agree that the ASUS reputation is flagging. I bought the A7N8X d/l from Overclockers and had to RMA 3 times before I got one that would POST.
     
  8. BOD

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    I cant agree with you James as you have only tried 2 manufacturers of Nforce2 Mobo's. So to say that the Abit is the best is shortsighted. Forums are a great place but if you were looking to buy a new board and thought that you may have a look at its associated forum you will be put off. The MSI forum under AMDmb is one such case. Full of horror stories (like most other forums) for my particular choice of board before I bought but experience has taught me not to take too much notice of these. I bought it and well..... I didnt get a single problem. Same with all the mobo's I have ever bought (except for an Asus). SO... read the forums for these mobos but remember people only tend to post when they have a problem.

    And, yes, even though I haven't tried the Asus A7n I have to say it would be my last choice as well. Only because I bought an Asus (not nforce) just over a year ago and was not impressed.
     
  9. Kramer

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    The Abit IS the best OC'ing MB currently available (Socket A).

    Nothing wrong with my sight :eek:

    :D
     
  10. wyerd

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    I notice that the abit has a cooling fan on the northbridge - is it noisy? Can it be removed and replaced with just a heatsink?
     
  11. Kramer

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    No fan on my Nthbridge - waterblock :eek:

    At very high FSBs they do get very hot, so if passively cooling I'd suggest something pretty meaty & then you'll still require adequate case cooling.

    Had my Abit at > 250FSB (dual DDR)! but happy with it 24/7 @ 235FSB.

    The fitted fan isn't that noisy IIRC.
     
  12. owain_thomas

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    I've got an MSI K7N2. Except for a couple of points I'm very happy with it:

    1. Very picky over memory, I think this may apply to all Nforce 2 MBs though. Found that the korean Samsung memory works fine in dual channel mode for me.

    2. DON't UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES plug the extra power lead from the PSU into the MB (you know the one that's meant to be for more power hungry P4s and Athlons). If you do this even once it will permenantly damage a sensitive component from the power regulation circuitry (can't remember what now, I'll find a link if anyone needs it). This means that whenever you do certain activities (notably scrolling through web pages) the MB will emit an annoying little "squeak". There seems to be no bad effect from leaving it unplugged. just don't even think about trying it out cos if it blows you're stuck with it.

    HTH
    Owain
     
  13. BOD

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    Never had that problem with MSI K7n2 regarding PSU extra plug & noise. What PSU are you using?

    Memory I am using with succes on this board is Twinmoss PC3200 512mb x 2. No page file - it flies!
     
  14. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Owain,

    I use the NF7 and I HAVE connected the extra power supply with not 1 ill effect. Do you have a link to a technical article about this, as I want to find out more before my MB dies.

    Cheers

    Rob

    P.S, I have had my NF7 running happily @ 200 FSB * 12 = 2.4Ghz I will take it further when I need more power (When will that be?)
     
  15. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Oh yeah, I forgot to say. I am using Corsair XMS RAM with no problems at all.

    Rob
     
  16. james.miller

    james.miller
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    www.overclockers.com
    www.overclockers.co.uk
    www.nforcershq.com


    they all say the abit is the abosulte best in terms of raw overclocking. Am i still shortsighted?

    By the way, i havnt tried only 2 nforce boards - i never said that. I only mentioned that against the two asus a7n8x's i have tested (both v2's), my abit is faster, as is the other 3 abit nf7-s v2's i have built pc's from.

    Oh and BOD, your choice of board - a great choice. BUT, how can you possible say anything about overclocking when you are still running stock (200mhz fsb). Try running 225mhz+ and then we'll talk;)

    About the 12v connector - it is very nessasary. If anything, it aids stability. I wont go into exactly why its there, but it does have a purpose. The easy answer is that it eases the load on the atx plug, so if you can, you should always use it:)

    I'm sorry but that is completely unfounded:thumbsdow, unless it only applies to msi boards - i have never heard of this problem.
     
  17. Kramer

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    Your sig....

    ...is huge :eek:

    OK, before this get's going, opinions have been expressed on Abit v Asus v MSI etc...

    It's only a motherboard guys ;)
     
  18. BOD

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    Just liked to say I am not an expert in overclocking. Yes, I could push my mobos higher.

    James - We must, I guess, agree to disagree. I did ask how you knew the Abit was best. It wasnt inflammatory or a leading question, I just wanted to know what experience you have had. Thats why I spoke of forums as being a good place to solve problems but not a good place to find out how good a mobo is.

    You can't beat experience thats why I will not comment on Leadteks, Gigabytes etc.I have never used them.
    I have a KG7 RAID thats been working 24hrs 365 days a week for the last 2 years without a hitch so I am well chuffed with Abit.

    Just one common failing point all these Nf2 boards may have:
    The Nforce SW IDE drivers. The latest are the best but for some are still problematic. Good news is you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

    Peace and goodwill to all - not just for xmas :)
     
  19. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    @BOD and pulsar,

    That's quite weird, I had to RMA two lots of TwinMOS memory before I found out it was incompatible with my MB, guess you must be lucky!

    Here's a link to the MSI forums describing the problem with the whining noise (it comes from a voltage regulator apparantly): http://www.msi.com.tw/program/servi...ardid=14&sid=8468626e23018227aa1615bfea3e338c The first K7N2 I had hadd this exact thing (sounds like fairly quiet HD access whenever you scroll a web page), fortunately the network adapter gave up on it and it had to go back to komplett, I have never plugged in the extra 4-pin connector on my barton 2500+ and I haven't had a single problem with my machine which is on 24/7. I have a Qtec 550w PSU, but this is supposed to be a problem with all PSUs (although not all K7N2s).

    Owain
     
  20. CENSORED

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    Quite right. Far too much willy waving going on here ;)
     
  21. BOD

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    Well - got myself an Abit NF7s based on recommnedations here and it lasted about 7 hours and died. Wouldnt post again.

    So far then the Abit is the worst for reliability. I will give it another go with my replacement NF7s, but if mucks up again - bye.. bye Abit!

    Damn - just noticed on the Abit forums that there are a lot of NF7s owners slagging off their own working mobos. Don't see that often in forums.
     
  22. CENSORED

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    I had an NF7-S (v2.0) that gave up the ghost after a few months. It is the only mobo that has EVER failed on me, but it was also the one that gave me the best clocks (better than my mule rig which is A7N8X v2.0 based) especially with XP1700+ and XP2800+ CPU's.

    It has since been replaced with another Abit board, this time the AN7 which I figured was the spiritual successor to the NF7-S and would hopefully inherit it's excelent OC abilities. I also reckoned that a new board design would also be absent of any flakey components or manufacturing fault which may have been responsible for it's older brothers death.

    So far so good and I haven't fiddled with uGuru yet. Ain't a patch on the Vapo though :D
     

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