Several pre-purchase A7N8X-Deluxe questions (to make sure I don't waste money)

Discussion in 'Asus' started by K Ruck, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. K Ruck

    K Ruck Guest

    My old PC is dying, and I'm trying to get caught up with what is available,
    anything is better than my half-dead system.

    My proposed configuration is below, but I have a few questions...

    Will this MB support multiple monitors? I'd like one main monitor (for
    gaming and stuff) but I'd like to use my second monitor, is this pretty eady
    to set up on this MB? I assume one fast AGP card, then a garbage PCI card
    for the second monitor?

    I want to get 1 Gig Ram, should I get the Corsair twin pack (2x512) of
    PC-3200? or with PC-3200 am I forced to only get the one chip, or can I get
    true dual channel with DDR400? I'm not totally sure I understand this, so
    any info is appreciated. Also, how much real-life performance difference is
    there between ultra-low CAS ("2-3-2-6 T1") vs regular ("2.5"), as it is an
    extra $100 for the ultra-low CAS.

    I'm not planning on doing RAID, but I figured if I get SATA that would free
    up an IDE channel- and I'm maxed now, that would give me the 4 IDE channels
    for: DVD, ZIP, CD-RW (secondary, for CD-to-CD copies), and old HD (for
    backup storage). Any issues with this kind of setup? any potential problems
    burning DVDs with images bounced off the SATA (buffer,speed,etc)? Am I
    wasting money on SATA (should I just go IDE and ditch the backup drive?).

    2800 seems to be the current sweet spot (price vs performance) for AMD CPUs-
    is that correct?

    Proposed config:
    -------------------
    Existing tower case
    Existing (350W?) PSU
    ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe
    AMD 2800+ Barton
    1 Gig DDR Ram
    160 Gig Samsung SATA HD
    Plextor IDE DVD/CD RW drive (drool)
    Existing HP CDRW (as backup)
    Existing IDE HD (as backup)
    Existing ZIP drive
    10/100 ethernet card for now, maybe upgrade when ASUS comes out with a
    802.11g 3-way wireless card

    Also, what is a good, quiet fan for this CPU? Will the Coolermaster Aero7
    allow the ASUS MB to do it's variable speed CPU fan thing? Anyone have
    something else that they like even better?

    TIA,
    Keith
     
    K Ruck, Dec 13, 2003
    #1
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  2. K Ruck

    Paul Guest

    Could you get a video card with dual head capability ? Maybe that would
    only take one slot and do what you want.
    According to the review article on Anandtech, you can even run three
    sticks of ram at DDR400 rates on Nforce2 boards. Dual channel operation
    only provides a small difference in performance - dual channel helps when
    the Northbridge has integrated graphics but otherwise is mostly a waste.
    The A7N8X Deluxe does not have graphics built into the Northbridge.

    This site had a very nice table of empirical results for the Nforce2,
    but seems to be gone now.

    http://www.systemcooling.com/images/reviews/Misc/Overclocking_Guide/matrix.jpg

    I have a copy of the chart stored locally, so I can give you a few lines
    from the chart. I picked these lines to demonstrate that
    "clock rate is king" - a higher clock (FSB:MEM in sync for best results)
    does more good than buying for better CAS.

    CAS-TRAS-TRCD-TRP

    205MHz x 11mult Opt 2.5-5-2-2 Sandra Integer 3184 Float 2989 3DMark 12237
    205MHz x 11mult Opt 2.0-5-2-2 Sandra Integer 3194 Float 3016 3DMark 12236
    205MHz x 11mult Aggr 2.0-5-2-2 Sandra Integer 3193 Float 3028 3DMark 12450
    220MHz x 11mult Aggr 2.0-5-2-2 Sandra Integer 3438 Float 3258 3DMark (DNC)

    There are also a few articles on Anandtech about Nforce2 based boards.
    Search for "nforce2" on the web site. Here is one article:

    http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=1719&p=4
    For other info on Nforce2 boards, you should also check out nforcershq.com
    There are forums there specializing in these boards.
    Buying a 2500+ and overclocking it used to be the sweet spot. Be aware
    that there are rumors circulating about the latest batches of AMD processors
    changing the locking method, so the "free lunch" may have stopped. I don't
    know the best way to verify about the changes in locking method.
    For a HSF, check out the Zalman 7000 series.

    http://www.zalman.co.kr/english/product/cnps7000a-alcu.htm

    The aluminum/copper combo is lighter than the all copper design. But note
    that in terms of heat spreading, having all copper plates in the die area
    of the CPU helps spread the heat better. I wish the mounting method for
    this thing bolted to the board, because it is so heavy that a sudden shock
    to the computer case could cause it to fall off. Also, take careful note
    of the dimensions of this thing - it is huge. If the processor socket is
    too close to the top of the motherboard, the fins can bump into the power
    supply. You also have to check for interference with any tall capacitors
    in a fairly large radius around the processor. I wanted to buy one
    of these for a project I was working on, but it just wouldn't fit.
    In terms of design concept, it is a work of art. Even with the fan at
    full speed, it is quiet. (Some people make it fit by bending a few fins,
    but that would be a crime against art :)

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Dec 13, 2003
    #2
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  3. K Ruck

    Nero Guest

    At present SATA drives are no faster than ATA.
    I have just rebuilt my pc with the A7N8X Deluxe, and 1 gig of pc2700 ram,and
    an XP2800 Barton.
    It replaced my MSI K7N2 delta with 1 gig of pc2100 with an XP2400.
    Be aware that on boot it will say 166 and not 333 as this board seems not to
    show it as DDR and shows it as the ram speed(PC2700 is 166).
    Also it seems that sometimes auto setup in bios sets the cpu as 100Mhz and
    not say 166 for an XP2800.
    XP2800 set to 166*12.5
     
    Nero, Dec 13, 2003
    #3
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