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Need motherboard advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bob Hirschfeld, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. My Soyo Dragon+ with AMD 1900+ has died and I need a new MB.

    My main consideration is that I'm using 6 hard-drives (doing video
    editing) plus 2 optical units, utilizing the Soyo Dragon's RAID
    capabilities (I'm not actually running RAID.)

    My first inclination is to get the Soyo Dragon-2 Platinum, but I've
    read various newsgroups and there seem to be a fair proportion of
    people who have experienced serious problems.

    I wouldn't object if the overwhelming advice is to go Intel, and buy
    one of their nice new boards, but I need to run all those hard drives.

    I don't mind spending a few extra $$ for a good piece of hardware that
    will perform well and meet my needs.

    Any advice?
    Bob Hirschfeld, Dec 10, 2003
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  2. Bob Hirschfeld

    ray Guest

    ray, Dec 10, 2003
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  3. Bob Hirschfeld

    idunno Guest

    I tend to trust/prefer Supermicro, Intel, Tyan, & Asus (in that
    order). Forget processor brand. AMD & Intel both make good
    processors. Choose the chipset first and then research any issues
    users may be having with the boards you are considering.

    If you need SMP the dual Athlons can be good but are still rough
    around the edges. If you are not interested in doing a ton of
    research before buying, go Xeon. Some Athlon boards use aggressive
    PCI timings or have Pci bus inefficiencies. If you are upgrading
    video capture or other boards, you may need to explore some issues in
    this area.

    Personally I'm not a big fan of onboard raid. A good card might be a
    better bet. It might not be worth the effort if you skimp here.

    A quality chassis, power supply, and ram can also make a big
    difference for stability and your general computer experience. Take
    these items seriously as well. Don't forget to consult the board
    manufacturer's compatibility lists esp for ram.

    You didn't mention how this board died. You need to reexamine the
    whole system if you want the next build to last
    idunno, Dec 13, 2003
  4. Thanks for the advice. I'm surprised you don't mention Soyo at all.
    I've been very impressed so far, even with their documentation.
    Bob Hirschfeld, Dec 14, 2003
  5. Bob Hirschfeld

    idunno Guest

    You might do well with a soyo board (even though your Soyo should not
    be dead yet). I've seen a few cheap MSI boards that work well also.
    However these companies don't make anything that is considered a
    serious workstation/server platform. Since you are talking about
    video editing it is wise to look at this level of machine from a
    performance/reliability/compatibility standpoint.

    Even if you only want a "desktop" board it is wise to examine the
    server/workstation lines for a few reasons: You are more likely to
    get a stable, reliable, compatible board from a company that
    specializes in "mission critical" business products. The desktop
    boards of these companies are often equipped with the same features
    (like remote management) and general quality as the higher end server
    boards from the same company. For example whether you get a bottom of
    the line Supermicro or their flagship quad Xeon model you can use
    their Super Doctor utility which provides a wealth of real-time
    diagnostic information about your hardware & software and allows you
    to control the machine remotely. Once you get used to features like
    this or these machines' trouble-free operation (relatively) it's hard
    to do without them.

    On the low end I like the P4SDA+. It has onboard audio, front & rear
    USB & supports ECC DDR. It is a pleasure to build and use. It can be
    used with some IBM serveRAID controllers that simply don't work on
    other generic systems. The BIOS is very nice and allows you to tweak
    just about everything. You can still get into the BIOS of this board
    even if there is a conflict that would otherwise hang other boards. A
    thermal event will not only trigger an alarm and light a led, but the
    CPU will be throttled down and a backup fan is turned on for
    supplemental cooling. The computer will also page you or send you an
    email if there are problems.

    The price hasn't changed much this last year, but it is still
    idunno, Dec 15, 2003
  6. Great useful info. I appreciate your time. I'm definitely going to check it out.
    Bob Hirschfeld, Dec 16, 2003
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