Need ABIT Motherboard/PC133

Discussion in 'Abit' started by Tom Dugas, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. Tom Dugas

    Tom Dugas Guest

    Greetings,

    I am a little behind on my PC reading, my knowledge is sort of stuck
    in 2001, which is the last time I built a PC. I am looking for a ABIT
    motherboard because I like them and I have used them before. I have a
    new Antec 550W powersupply, 80GB IDE Hardrive (7200rpm), Nvidia Dual
    Monitor PCI Video Card, ATX barebones case, and about 512MB of PC133
    RAM. All of the parts are NIB, with the exception of the RAM, which I
    salvaged from a PC that was being upgraded at work.

    Soooooooooo....I need a good ABIT motherboard to host all this nice
    hardware. I am not a speed freak. I still surf with a dial-up, cause
    its free (VPN). Don't do hardly any gaming, but I want to install
    Windoze XP PRO and Office Pro. I am sorta interested in playing with
    RAID technology, since I link the redundancy. I am not against buying
    another 80GB drive to make a simple RAID PC. Last but not least, I
    like stability, I MAY overclock, but at a later date when the board
    gets old. I like AMD processors cause they are good value. I may
    watch movies, so 5.1 sound built in would be super nice, but not a
    deal breaker.

    I would appreciate a good tip on where to buy a good ABIT
    motherboard/CPU combo that can use my PC133 RAM, >$50-$100 would be
    great.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Tom Dugas, Apr 14, 2004
    #1
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  2. Tom Dugas

    Phr3d Guest

    I'm stuck in 2001 on purpose (BX), so read this with a grain of salt. I
    purchased BX-133 RAIDs (dead) on eBay, and sent them to homie to replace the
    capacitors with real ones, purchased a Lin-Lin adapter on eBay, and
    purchased a Pentium III-S 1.4GHz/512K cache CPU. Final cost, reusing
    everything else, $80+$8+$130. System is oc to 1.5GHz. Other than the fact
    that it can't/won't soft boot (still researching why), I am amazed by the
    performance.
     
    Phr3d, Apr 14, 2004
    #2
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  3. Tom Dugas

    Tom Dugas Guest

    OK, I understood the following words in your post:

    ....salt...purchased...eBay...adapter...eBay...and...Final...else...is...to
    ....Other...soft boot...why

    Just kidding. What is the capacitor problem you describe with the BX
    boards? Is it endemic to ALL Abit BX boards?
     
    Tom Dugas, Apr 15, 2004
    #3
  4. Tom Dugas

    Tod Guest

    Abit KT7A, officially will work with up to 1400/133 MHz cpu
    Some people have been able to work with even faster AMD XP cpus.
    A ECS K7S5A PRO, will work up to AMD PR 2600/266
    and has two PC133 memory slots
     
    Tod, Apr 15, 2004
    #4
  5. Tom Dugas

    Jim Guest

    That PC133 is a real drag on the system. Most any modern mobo that still
    supports PC133 is going to be in the "value" market, something from ECS,
    perhaps, who is still selling hybrid boards (SDR-RAM and DDR-RAM). You night
    get these pretty cheap, maybe $40-60. But you're not going to
    find anything *new* and *modern* in the PC133 arena among the enthusiasts
    market, like Abit, Asus, etc.

    And while I suppose you could pick up an older PC133 model, such as a Abit
    KT7A-RAID, and save some money, compatibility always becomes an issue. You
    don't have to step too far back anymore to find "quirks", things that don't
    work just right, lack of support for the current high-end Athlon
    processors, etc. Plus so many of the modern mobo's have integrated
    components, you'd spend MORE money replacing them on an older board than
    simply buying a new, modern board. So I'd strongly advise against it.

    My recommendation would be to *dump* the PC133 on eBay. There are many
    people who are trying to upgrade older systems, who would be happy to have
    it. Some of it is hard to find, esp. the older low-density stuff (if you
    have that, it's worth even more). Because supply and demand dictates
    prices, not "age" (up to a point), with any luck, you can probably sell it
    for a decent price and use the profits to get DDR, or at least a good start
    on DDR. Until the DDR prices went insane over the past 8 weeks or so, it
    was almost an even trade!

    Among AMD mobo's, and Abit specifically, the choice among DDR solutions is
    either the NF7-S v2, or AN7 (there are NO PC133 solutions!). Although the
    AN7 is supposed to be the follow-up to the NF7, it's not been getting
    particularly good reviews (
    http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NTU3 ), to be fair, expectations may
    have been too high. The NF7-S v2 is still extremely popular, very mature
    (nearing the end of its life cycle), and stable. People just rave about it.
    Has just about everything, including on-board sound from NVIDIA (5.1 channel
    SoundStorm w/ digital OUT), USB 2.0,
    firewire, SATA, LAN, SoftMenu (still the best), for about $105 shipped (
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=13-127-166&depa=0 ).
    Since you already have an 80GB IDE, you can use the included SATA adapter,
    then purchase another SATA drive, and use the RAID features. It's either
    that, or pick up another IDE HD and a Promise FastTrak100 TX2 RAID
    controller off eBay for about $35.

    The NF7-S is definitely targeted at gamers, but frankly, all AMD models are,
    that's its strength. So I see nothing wrong with using it for lighter
    duties, bound to be even more stable than it already is. Overclocks easily,
    so if you just want to dabble, shouldn't be a problem.

    The only Abit alternative is the AN7, newer w/ newer chipset, only $5 more,
    but I'm less confident about this model. Many people do swear by it, and it
    is the latest and greatest, so that's something to consider. There's really
    not that much difference, primarily the AN7 has the new NForce2 Ultra400
    chipset, plus Abit has added the uGuru features, which are overclocking
    facilities. It's really a matter of deciding whether it makes more sense to
    go for the the maturity and stability of the older NF7-S v2, or take a
    chance on the newest improvements as expressed in the AN7 (pricing is
    basically the same). If it were me, I'd read a few reviews on each, then
    decide.

    But that old strategy of trying to revive older technology, leverage old
    hardware, etc., it just doesn't work anymore, just not worth it. In the
    end, it will cost you more in terms of actual $$$ *and* aggravation. Trust
    me, I've been there, I dumped *all* my old stuff on eBay, and w/ the profits
    paid for at least %50 or more of my new system. Happy to be rid of it.
    JMTC.

    As far as processor, that's really just a matter of finding the sweet spot,
    might be a Athlon XP 2600+ "Barton" 333MHz (
    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-417&depa=1 )
    right now. Pick up some PC2700 to go w/ it, over PC3200 if you want to give
    yourself some overclocking headroom.

    HTH

    Jim
     
    Jim, Apr 15, 2004
    #5
  6. Tom Dugas

    Tom Dugas Guest

    DING DING DING DING DING! We have a winner.

    Thank you for the outstanding post. You told me *precisely* what I
    needed to know.

    Yeah, I sorta realized the danger of trying to saddle the fence with
    the PC133 RAM, and your advice about Ebay is rock solid, as I make
    serious cash there selling things from my other hobby.

    You're right. Sever the ties to the past and move on. I think I am
    going to get the ABIT board you advised, the rock solid "mature"
    model, I like the sound of that.

    Time to sell off the Celeron 333 MB and acessories to fund up for this
    board.

    Thanks again....
     
    Tom Dugas, Apr 15, 2004
    #6
  7. Tom Dugas

    Gareth Jones Guest

    While I don't disagree with the majority of Jim's post, its worth
    pointing out that you can pick up some very, very cheap older athlon
    boards nowadays that support PC133 (e.g. Shuttle AK32) and will take
    266MHz FSB chips (i.e. XP2400+) that are also really cheap.

    The difference in performance you'll get compared to your celeron will
    be outstanding. The difference between it and a new XP3200 won't be as
    bad as you think (if you notice it at all for what you are using it for)
    and I guarantee that you won't perceive any difference in performance
    between PC133 and DDR400 !

    Synthetic Benchmarks are one thing. Real life speed improvements are
    another. In my field of work, I've had to do some benchmarking using
    real life apps and seeing the impact of varying the memory speed. The
    bottom line is that the FSB speed has very little impact. CPU speed
    however is a different matter (I used multiplier unlocked chips to keep
    the final speed constant).

    Upgrading to a new MB with AGP*8 (and a corresponding video card)
    striped SATA 150 RAID (i.e. two new drives) and a fast P4 or Barton
    Athlon is going to give you a flying machine (which I'd recommend
    wholeheartedly - just built two such machines recently to upgrade our
    'his and her' machines).
    Just bear in mind though that you're looking at possibly a tenfold
    difference in price compared to the simple MB/CPU upgrade option!

    --
    __________________________________________________
    Personal email for Gareth Jones can be sent to:
    'usenet4gareth' followed by an at symbol
    followed by 'uk2' followed by a dot
    followed by 'net'
    __________________________________________________
     
    Gareth Jones, May 2, 2004
    #7
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