Opinions please: MSI or ECS for new AMD Athlon Computer?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AndyVX, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Hey all,
    After months and months of delay I'm finally going to be building my new computer either mid-December or very early January. I've pretty much nailed down what components I want, except for which motherboard (and processor which will be the Athlon 1600 or 1700 or 1800 depending on the price when I go to purchase it). Well, maybe I'll give all of you a list of the components and you can help me decide which motherboard would be best (value/performance/known issues).
    Processor: AMD Athlon (1600/1700/1800)
    Motherboard: MSI K7T-266A Pro2 or ECS(don't remember model number [​IMG] )
    Memory: 512MB PC2100 DDR-SDRam
    Videocard: MSI GeForce2 64MBDDR (This doesn't have to be MSI though...I just like the red PCB [​IMG] )
    Case: Antec 1030SX(B)
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda IV 40GB ATA100
    DVD: Pioneer DVD-116 16X (Tray)
    CD-RW: Lite-On 24x/10x/40x
    Soundcard: Hercules Game Theater XP
    Monitor: Samsung 955DF
    NIC: Intel or 3Com 10/100
    OS: Either Windows 2000 or XP
    (obviously a floppy drive, keyboard, and standard MS optical mouse(2 button + scroll wheel))
    So, what motherboard should I choose, and if their are any other changes/recommendations people would make please let me know.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Ian Wilson

    Ian Wilson Agent

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    I won´t comment on the MB other than to say VIA chipsets tend to have more problems than Intel chipsets (from a HTPC POV). But you can´t beat the price of an AMD system. I would change the Video card to a Radeon - the concensus is ATI produces the best picture quality, thanks to its 10 bit DAC - Geforce is 8 bit.

    Having said all that if gaming is the main aim then stick with the geforce/AMD solution.

    Ian
     
  3. Bernard L

    Bernard L Stunt Coordinator

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    uh... if you're not overclocking, then stay with an ECS K7S5A and you'll save a quite a bit of money.
    about the radeon having better image quality, that's true... But if you don't know, ATi products are VERY VERY often plagued with driver bugs and driver updates are very rare and often useless. That's the only reason why ATi isn't beating its competition right now.
    the Nvidia GF2 is a good choice if you're a gamer. it's about the same speed as the original radeon ddr64 if you're trying to compare, but it has much better driver support. You may want to consider the Radeon8500... it's relatively cheap for the performance it outputs, has dual display, DVI, performs close the GeForce3... but then, there's the driver issues again [​IMG].
    Antec 1030 is an EXCELLENT case for hardcore computer freaks [​IMG].
    seagate ide harddrives are half decent...
    Hercules GTXP is also excellent. Especially with the new drivers that are fully compatible with WINXP, and the breakout box with all gold plated connections... you really can't go wrong.
    network card, if you go with ECS, it has a built in network adaptor so you'll save yourself another bit of money too.
    good luck.
     
  4. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Bernard,
    Few questions.
    What other drives would you recommend besides Seagate then (40GB drives)? List any besides IBM, because I won't use an IBM drive if you payed me. [​IMG]
    As for the NIC on the ECS mobo, does it have it's own processor of sorts or does it rely on the AMD CPU much like WinModems?
    I was considering the ATi cards, but seeing as their driver support is next to none, I think I'll pass (unless they improve on their track record) I also was considering the GeForce3, but the cost seems to high for my budget right now. Maybe when nVidia's next chipset comes out in Q2 2002 I'll pick up a GeForce3.
    Also, is the ECS as stable a board as the MSI is reported to be?
    Thanks again.
     
  5. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    If you're dead set against an IBM drive I'd go with a Maxtor. Also, you didn't say what you'd mainly be using this system for, but for a few more bucks why not move up to at least a 60GB drive? 40GB is a lot but these days with video, mp3's, etc you might be sorry in a year if you start to run out of space. By going to at least a 60GB drive you're increasing your storage by 50% (100% for an 80GB) and the price difference between a 40GB and a 60GB drive isn't too far off.
     
  6. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    I personally don't like these huge drives(why? I couldn't tell you). If I think I'll need more space, I'll just add another 40GB drive when I buy the computer.

    Main use will be gaming, graphics(adobe and light 3DSMax), and audio(which I haven't figured out what program(s) to use yet).
     
  7. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    I think the problem you run into with hard drives when they add another platter is jut slows it down even more.

    I love my MSI K7T-pro 2A MOBO ... Just before the DDR rage hit I got it at the computer show in January.

    I'll assume it has a network riser(CNR) slot. Makes it cheap to add what you need. Jut look on ANANtech ETC.

    Brent L
     

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