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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28th October, 2002, 01:42 PM
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A little help.

I'm looking to build a new rig. Someone recommend a mobo please. I haven't been keeping up with the news lately and I've been somewhat out of the loop in terms of new products. One thing I need is RAID. Other than that, any additional features are fine. Good overclocking features are a must.
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Old 28th October, 2002, 02:15 PM
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I know a lot of people are gonna reocmmend Epox boards, so I'll recommend an Asus board instead! Here in Denmark Asus are cheaper than Epox, but I think its the other way around in the US. (?)

Asus A7V333 W/Raid
http://www.asus.com.tw/mb/socketa/a7v333/overview.htm
It sports the VIA KT333 chipset, has onboard sound (can be disabled, but is better than nothing), USB2.0, Vcore adjustments from 1.75 to 1.85 + 2.12 to 2.22, Vddr adjustments, Promise ATA133 RAID, Asus C.O.P (CPU Overheating Protection), up to 3 GB ram, jumperfree overclocking (1MHz FSB increments) etc etc etc.

I'm quite happy with my A7V333 although it is not a RAID board. It is stable even at high FSB speeds. Easy to flash the BIOS over the internet (I've tried, it works great).

$139 at newegg.
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Old 28th October, 2002, 02:32 PM
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Epox 8k5a2+ KT333 chipset based board with raid. Same board as Dan used to get 215 fsb (and if even dan can get that high you can too)

Or Epox 8k9a2+ KT400 board, probably a slightly better overclocker than 8k5a2+ but with AGP 8X Serial ATA and DDR400 support too. This is the board I would be buying myself, im not sure if there in the shoips yet but they will be soon.

As for other components probably Xp-2400 Corshair Ram
GF4 ti4200 for a cheaper graphics card or radeon 9700 for the ultimate (bit expensive for my liking)

With serial ATA on 8k9a2+ you will be able to use new super quick SATA drives once they are avalable.
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Old 28th October, 2002, 08:01 PM
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I have both the EPoX 8k5A2+ and the 8K5A3+ love 'em both.

The 8k9a2+ looks awesome. If I was buying today I'd jump on the 8K9A2+ and never look back. Holst can you explain the new serial ATA, so even Daniel ~ can understand it? ":O}
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Old 29th October, 2002, 04:51 PM
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Ok, settled on the EPoX 8K9A2+. What kind of power do guys think I need if I'm running 4 HDs in RAID 10 with a DVD and a AXP2400 OCed to around 2.3-2.4Ghz? 400W Sparkle enough or so I need more?
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Old 29th October, 2002, 10:03 PM
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400 watt sparkle will be plenty.
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Old 29th October, 2002, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Holst
400 watt sparkle will be plenty.
GREAT!! Already ordered. Just gotta wait for it now...
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Old 31st October, 2002, 08:15 PM
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mooky, if you want a quiet and very good PSU, look at the new Antec TruePower, especially the 430W version is very appealing. I cannot even hear it running from 1m away in an empty case(no CPU or anything else).

As for the board, 8K9A2+ would be my choice too, that is if I could not wait for the nForce2 or whatever VIA will do to the KT400.
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Old 31st October, 2002, 08:21 PM
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Ok Holst, I admit that was to big a challenge! Just explain it so most can understand what Serial ATA is on about and I'll get Patti to explain it for me!
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Old 31st October, 2002, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daniel ~
Ok Holst, I admit that was to big a challenge! Just explain it so most can understand what Serial ATA is on about and I'll get Patti to explain it for me!
I'll take a shot Daniel~. Serial ATA is a new standard for hard disks. As of now, it can offer data transfer speed of up to 150MB/Sec. There are plans for Serial ATA2 and Serial ATA3 which will increase the bandwidth to 300MB/Sec and 600MB/Sec. As you can see the major improvement of Serial ATA over standard Parallel ATA is that Serial ATA is much faster. Serial ATA is similar to other current serial technologies such as USB and Firewire in that it is a very fast serial, not parallel, connection.

There are other benefits. The cables will be much narrower. You will be using an 7 wire cable as opposed to the 2 inch monster we now use. The cable can also be longer, up to a meter in length as opposed to 18 inches.

Serial ATA is more reliable due to the fact that the data stream is dependant on only two of the wires. Furthermore, electrical interference is minimized with Serial ATA.

Truth be told, today's HD's can't really take full advantage of Serial ATA. They can barely sustain 100MB/Sec transfer speeds, and never for any serious length of time.

One of the limitations of the current iteration of Serial ATA is the fact that it is still based on the PCI standard. Basically that means actual data transfer speeds will be limited to 133MB/Sec. One way around this is to have multiple streams of data transfer, similar to RAID if you will. This is what will be available from Intel sometime next year as a 533MB/Sec transfer Serial ATA.

I hope this has helped somewhat. I'm sure someone who knows more will chime in soon.
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Old 31st October, 2002, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexandrus
mooky, if you want a quiet and very good PSU, look at the new Antec TruePower, especially the 430W version is very appealing. I cannot even hear it running from 1m away in an empty case(no CPU or anything else).

As for the board, 8K9A2+ would be my choice too, that is if I could not wait for the nForce2 or whatever VIA will do to the KT400.
I have also heard good things about the TruePower PSUs. I didn't realize though, how quiet they are. For my next machine, I will definately give it a try.

P.S. Shouldn't you be over at the EPoX forum?
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Old 1st November, 2002, 02:27 AM
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The present nForce2 mainboards have a bit of an odd shortcoming. AFAIK, they're happiest with PC-2100 RAM run in synch with the FSB. This will probably be seen to soon. I really love my nForce mainboard. As KT-333 is a minor improvement over KT-266A, I wouldn't miss PC-2700 RAM all that much. The nForce"1" mainboards perform the same as KT-266A's, that's why I brought up the Via chipsets.
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Old 1st November, 2002, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mookydooky


I have also heard good things about the TruePower PSUs. I didn't realize though, how quiet they are. For my next machine, I will definately give it a try.

P.S. Shouldn't you be over at the EPoX forum?
Yep, they're very quiet, but it's pretty cold in my room though so that might be a reason, temp controlled fans you know.

PS.
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Old 1st November, 2002, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daniel ~
Ok Holst, I admit that was to big a challenge! Just explain it so most can understand what Serial ATA is on about and I'll get Patti to explain it for me!
As Mooky has already pointed out lots of things about Serial ATA, I thought I'd stick my oar in.

Serial ATA is a cost cutting measure by hard disk manufacturers that has side effects (benefits). Smaller connectors with less pins cost less, and the cabling is cheaper. In addition, the circuitry to handle Serial ATA is cheaper for the manufacturers to produce.

Serial ATA is a point-to-point connection. This means each device (hard disk/cdrom/etc) requires a seperate cable from the drive to the controller. This means that drive manufacturers don't need to put jumpers on their drives, and you don't need to worry about setting 'em. Cheaper'n'easier. No master or slave setting.

In addition, there is a form of Serial ATA the provides power and data. That means that a Serial ATA drive doesn't need a seperate power connector, so there's only one lead going to the drive. (On the bad side, this means that the motherboard will have to handle higher currents, perhaps stressing the ATX connector further.) There's a form of Serial ATA that only handles data. Serial ATA drives with a Serial ATA power connector will require +3.3V, +5V and +12V! The picture at the bottom was taken from the Serial ATA specs, and shows Serial ATA with power, and a Serial ATA without power.

Serial ATA supports cables up to 1 metre in length.

Serial ATA is backwards compatible from a software point of view. That means no new drivers should be required in order to operate Serial ATA. You'll probably realise why after the next statement.

Most Serial ATA devices at the moment are nothing more than a standard ATA (IDE) device with a parallel to serial converter! This is why Serial ATA does not need new drivers. To the OS, a Serial ATA controller looks like a standard IDE interface.

Each Serial ATA connection is capable of 1.5Gbit/sec (150Mbyte/sec), making it equivilent to ATA150. Further evolution will occur, up to 600Mbyte/sec. This should (they say!) cover 10 years worth of evolution. Yes, this means there's already a Serial ATA II, and a Serial ATA III coming. Serial ATA II should have the same connectors as Serial ATA, as they've designed the headroom in for it. Serial ATA III is unlikely to. Serial ATA II is probably going to be introduced in mid 2004.

Serial ATA runs at a lower voltage than ATA(IDE) does. This makes for less level converting (5V to 3.3V), and follows the trend for lower heat output. I suspect that the reduction in heat output won't be noticed against the heat generated by things like the motors though.

Serial ATA will support more SCSI like features, such as queueing and overlap (bus disconnect in SCSI). This will, theoretically, allow for slightly faster transfers.

One big problem with this is that the Serial ATA rate is faster than 33MHz 32bit PCI's transfer rate. With each drive connected via a 150MByte/sec connection, it will be relatively easy to run out of bandwidth during cache burst operations. With four drives bursting at their maximum, that's 600MByte/sec trying to squeeze over PCI's 133MByte/sec bus. Solutions to this include moving the Serial ATA interfaces into the Northbridge, where they can take advantage of the full bandwidth, or moving to an updated PCI spec (like 66MHz, 64bit PCI, which runs at 528MByte/sec, or PCI-X.)

I've no idea how overclocking the FSB will interact with Serial ATA. With a little bit of luck, Serial ATA will have it's own regulation, so bringing up the FSB won't run the risk of corrupting drives!

Serial ATA is NOT designed for connections outside the box. It's trying hard not to compete with Firewire/USB2.

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Old 2nd November, 2002, 02:46 AM
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Talk about annoying. All the stuff I ordered arrived EXCEPT the CPU! Now I have to wait the weekend to start fiddling. I guess that's a sign to get the other non-working machines working first...
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Old 3rd November, 2002, 02:33 AM
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Tell me how terrible this is. I got the board, an EPoX 8K9A2+. I have 4 HD setup in a RAID 10 config. I have a GeForce 4 4200. All of this is currently running a Duron 1Ghz because my new CPU won't arrive until Tuesday or Wednesday.
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Old 3rd November, 2002, 02:40 AM
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Yup, hope you make it till Tuesday!
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Old 3rd November, 2002, 10:50 AM
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Durons are great mooky:P

Holst my sparkle has met its match! 3.6ghz worth of Athlon XP drops the voltages accross the board! Do sparkle make a beefier PSU?
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Old 3rd November, 2002, 12:11 PM
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Mooky, AidanII, Patti says that your explanations were very clear, she is sure she can make me understand before S. ATA III comes out! Many thanks!

I put up a link from the front page, I just know that somewhere someone is almost as clueless as myself!
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Old 3rd November, 2002, 06:18 PM
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Almost! Thanks AidanII and Mooky for the insight to SATA. I see
that I have enough stuff here to last untill SATAIII comes out.
if I can't wait 6 mos. then I would get the EP8K9A2+(9A3?). alltho,
like Closters, I would like my next mb to be an N-Force.
EPoX has tilted me off my ASUS soap box with the 8K5A2+ so I
am looking for them to keep it up.
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