In your opinion, best motherboard?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Thomas, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Curious to hear what everyone thinks about motherboards; which one is the best for the money? I haven't been in the market for some time now and am kinda rusty at picking out what's what among hardware.

    I'm basically looking for a motherboard for an Athlon system. I think I'm going to go with an Athlon XP1800 - it seems to be where the price point is right now. Preferably under $100 - if features/quality warrants, I'd consider going over that.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    John-
    I am very happy with my MSI MS-6380LE. It is reletively low in cost and has proven to be a very stable board for me. I have had no problems that are related to the Motherboard.
    If you are considering and AMD system check out http://www.amdmb.com they have really good info on AMD based mobos.
    -Jasen
     
  3. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the tip Jasen. I'll check out the website. [​IMG]
     
  4. Kami

    Kami Screenwriter

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    IMO you are going to want to go with a chipset that has had some time to age and grow more reliable. Go for a mobo with a Via KT266A chipset (NOT KT266...the "A" is important). There's TONS of good boards out there, but I guess I can vouch for my own:
    Soltek SL-75DRV4:
    http://www1.soltek.com.tw/English/product/75drv4.htm
    In my search for a new motherboard I couldn't find one negative word about it anywhere on the internet, only praise as one of the best KT266A boards, so I went with it and got it for $133 Canadian. Should be under $100 US.
    Also has a nice software bundle. Full versions of Parition Magic 6.0, PC-cillin 2002, Virtual Drive and Drive Image 4.0.
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Don't forget to research boards based on what you're planning on doing, are you going to be overclocking the XP1800? If so, then you really should be asking which is the best board for overclocking and stuff like that, you'd like to get enough fan headers to support fans and clock timers and stuff like that in the bios (although most of the boards these days have bios controlled clock timers)....

    I don't bother overclocking my t'bird 1000 AMD, for what I use my PC at home is pretty tame and I'm running an EPoX 8Kha+ that is nice. Has a built-in POST board and enough fan headers for me. Only one is on the sensor though.

    Jay
     
  6. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    MSI KT3 Ultra:

    VIA KT333 Chipset
    USB 2.0
    ATA 133 RAID
     
  7. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    The MSI KT3 Ultra is a good cheap board...the one I helped my friend put together had on-board audio.

    My favorite is the A7N266-C, which of course has the nForce in it...I love the DD5.1 encoded sound! It's still a bit too new though unless you're really experienced with putting together a PC though, and it doesn't overclock as well as the VIA-based motherboards. Very stable though, and is excellent for HTPC applications. I love this board!
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Hypertech, a store I work with here in the KC metro has these stats I always like to point to:
    In the last three months, more then 800 boards (K7S5A) sold, of which 30 have been returned.
    In the last three months, 104 Soyo Dragon Plus Boards sold, 18 returns.
    In the last three months, 117 Asus A7N266-C boards sold, 8 returns.
    (these are AMD side, I could go through the intel side as well) with lots of other boards also selling but won't get into those since I prefer these three boards above most.
    The K7S5A is one of the most damned stable, reliable boards I've worked with. It's not a speed demon. It doesn't overclock worth spit. But it works (and is damned cheap) so I recommend it often. The Soyo Dragon board is a fantastic board, fantastic features, kick ass cost for what it does, and is very reliable. While it's returns are higher, a part of that is user expectations of the board (and the more complicated a board, the more likely things can go wrong.. ie, like a board being returned for a dead raid controller, etc.)
    The Asus NForce board is very reliable, works well.. but if you're into high end gaming, it seems to cast an odd "shadow" thing on Geforce cards.. which is really wierd.
    But all of the above boards are "good" boards. [​IMG] (I'm using a Soyo Dragon Ultra at home, and my wife a K7S5A)
     
  9. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Return rates are high on most mobo brands -and the nature of the Internet exagerates them tenfold. It's not a fair comparison unless you're able to compile a very high sample.

    I agree the above boards are all good. It seems the brand you have the most luck with is the brand you grow fond of. Do as Jasen suggested and hang out at AMDMB.com and you'll learn a ton.

    If I were in the market for a mobo right now I'd probably go for the Abit KX7-333. It's their Via KT333 board. Of the 5 boards I've had in my system in the last year I've liked my Abits the best.
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    What I was trying to say with those return rates wasn't "these are bad boards" I'm trying to say is that for a single store I work with as a consultant, they sell a good deal, and those boards are the ones that are returned the least (in terms of percentages) [​IMG]
     
  11. Jason_Lund

    Jason_Lund Extra

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    I'm running a Soyo K7V Dragon+ mainboard and must say it's by far the best system board I've ever used.
    Great features, great price and I have not encountered a single crash using Windows XP Pro since I built the machine 4 months ago.
    It looks like the KT266a based Dragon+ models are still in the $125+ range brand new. You might look at the SY-KT333 Dragon Lite for $95 plus $5 freight over at www.newegg.com . No RAID or USB 2.0 but for a solid, basic mainboard for $100 this one is hard to beat. Then again, there are a few great looking boards in that price range so shop the features and do some research at www.tomshardware.com and www.anandtech.com. Good luck!
     
  12. Matt_Briol

    Matt_Briol Agent

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    The Abit KR7A is a good athlon motherboard.
     
  13. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I also running the Soltek SL-75DRV4 and its been great for me.
     
  14. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    I am using the ECS K7S6A (the newer version of the K7S5A)... it is a very stable, very cheap board... plus it supports DDR333 (PC2700), which is really quite nice [​IMG] It is also a jumperless board, with little hassles in the installation process. [​IMG]
     
  15. Daren Welsh

    Daren Welsh Supporting Actor

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    Why not encode MP3's while watching DVD's and hosting your HT website? Good folks over at 2cpu can help you out ... because two is better than one!
     
  16. Rob FM

    Rob FM Second Unit

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    Well John, your only 2 requirements were "Athlon" & "
     
  17. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Ok I've never built a PC before but I'm going to help a friend put one together this week.

    The question, does Gigabyte make good motherboards or should they be avoided?

    The one he is looking at has a VIA KT333 chipset, supports DDR 333 memory, USB 2.0, Ethernet and sound on board.

    This person is not a gamer and will use the PC for word processing, bookkeeping and net surfing.

    Any opinions would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  18. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Gigabyte make very good motherboards. They're not often raved about but I think they're underated. Asus always seem to be the most highly rated, but they're also expensive. Epox make excellent boards, especially if you're into overclocking. But Gigabytes are generally stable and well made from my own experience with them. They've just brought out a killer Pentium 4 board which looks yummy [​IMG]
     
  19. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Rob thanks for the feed back as someone who has no experience building from scratch I always find it useful to get feedback from those who have actually experience with the products.
     
  20. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    The MSI KT3 Ultra is a decent board too...inexpensive, has on-board audio (2-channel), VIA KT333 chipset, USB2.0, etc. and should do the job for your friends undemanding purposes. Hmm, it might be slight overkill in some aspects, but the onboard audio does save a bit of cash. I've heard rumors that their customer support has gone downhill, but then I've never called a motherboard manufacturer support line before, as I believe customer support is worthless in most companies anyways. [​IMG]
    You could even consider a motherboard with integrated video, although most people hate them. Probably the least hated integrated motherboard would be those based on the NVIDIA nForce chipsets that have the onboard video as well as the audio...basically has a Geforce 2 MX integrated video adapter and 2-channel/6 channel audio, but "only" has USB 1.1 support. Again, should fit your friend's purposes. Example motherboards: Asus A7N-266E, Abit NV133R (uh, I think....better double check that! [​IMG] ), MSI K7N-something-or-other.
    You've got lots of options...the gigabyte sounds like a good mobo...the integrated ethernet is a good deal too, although you could by an ethernet PCI card for $10 nowadays, whereas video cards are still above the $50 mark. [​IMG]
     

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