View Full Version : Which motherboard chipset is best?

11-11-2003, 01:44 PM
I'm looking at purchasing a new computer soon. What I want to know is what chipset is best for an AMD AthlonXP system? I have heard somewhere that the nForce ones are the best, but they are somewhat more expensive. Anybody have any comments/suggestions?

11-11-2003, 02:12 PM
Nforce2 chipset is the best in everyway,I just picked up the Ecs version,shes missing a few bells and whistles compared to the more expensive models, But she suports the needed things(pppffttt...who needs raid anyway:D) and the price was right.

Anyway,shes got six channel audio and the pure grunt and stability that comes with the nforce2 chipset,this baby sure does fly.

If you cant buy an nforce2,then the latest via chipsets out perform the SIS chisets but i cant vouch for the stability of the via.

My last 4 or 5 motherboards have all run the sis chipsets,and they have all been excellent performers and rock solid.(and all ECS motherboards...)

11-11-2003, 02:40 PM
Thanks metla. I think I would invest the extra $$ in a nForce2 mobo if it proves me with extra stability and performance.

I was thinking of getting the Gigabyte GA-7N400Pro2 motherboard, which would probably keep me future-proofed for at least 3-4 years hopefullly. Any suggestions anyone?

Susan B
11-11-2003, 02:50 PM

Metla: She??

Out of interest, what is your computer/s name? :D


11-11-2003, 02:56 PM
My computers name?

well under the computer name tab its listed as Asus,as i name my systems after whatever video card they have in them in order to identify them on the network.

Steve Askew
11-11-2003, 03:00 PM
> I was thinking of getting the Gigabyte GA-7N400Pro2
> motherboard, which would probably keep me
> future-proofed for at least 3-4 years hopefullly. Any
> suggestions anyone?

I have the same mobo ( Gigabyte GA-7N400Pro2) & I'm very happy with it.
but I doubt it will be future proofed for 3-4 years, Be nice if it was tho .

Cheers Steve

11-11-2003, 03:03 PM
Of course its not future proof,the cpu's these range of motherboards suport have come to the end of there development cycle,the atholon 3200 is it im afraid,If you want to be better set up for the future then buy an Nforce3 and a 64-bit amd cpu,should only increase the price of any potentiol system by a couple grand.....

Pete O\'Neil
11-11-2003, 05:35 PM
personally i wouldnt touch a ECS motherboard with a 20ft barge pole too many horror stories, its ur call u might be lucky. Any board with the nForce 2 chipset is solid , you wont go wrong with one of the below:
Abit NF7-s
Epox 8RDA+ (personal fav)
Soltek SL-75FRN RL (nice and cheap)
Gigabyte GA-7N400

BUT in saying that the new VIA KT600 chipset is pretty damm nice, stability isssues are old news so dont worry about them. The only advantages the nForce 2 has is its sound(Soundstorm, and not all boards have this but the Abit NF7-S + Epox 8RDA+ and the ASUS board do), dual channel ram this is not a big deal as the Skt A platform doesnt really benefit from it. The only place that the nForce 2 pulls ahead is overclocking, its a overclockers dream, u can manually set AGP/PCI frequencies, adjust multipliers and the FSB very easily.

One BIG plus if u want a kinda future proof board is the addition of hardware support for SATA to the latest addition of VIA's southbridge(VIA 8235(8237) - please dont quote me on those numbers i might be wrong). Prior to this all motherboards had a independant chip on the motherboard for running SATA drive meaning it was limited to the speed of the PCI bus. This latest addition means slight increase in speed of sata drive and will mean less work for the system overall as it is not required to opperate the SATA drives.

so when u looked at it either chipset is awsome(it should be they've had a long time to get it right Skt A's been around for awhile). It really boils down to whether your a overclocker/gamer or just a enthusiast. personally i think the SATA of the KT600 looks very appetizing if only VIA could do something with their overclocking

11-11-2003, 07:34 PM
I have the Soltek75FRNRL

USB2, SATA and RAID on board.

Sound on board too but not using this as I have a Creative Audigy card.

I paid $210 + GST for this board about three months ago and I'm more than happy.

Murray P
11-11-2003, 08:00 PM
Never had a problem with my Asus 7N266VM nForce board, solid as. Hmm, it's getting a bit long in the tooth now, might be time to pass it down the line.

Cheers Murray P

11-11-2003, 08:01 PM
so Metla how many female computers do you have then????

brow beaten? LOL

by the way the people who have looked at mine beasty, all called it a she as well???? must be a guy thing? i called it female due to its temperamentalness :O did i say that??? corse not. :D


11-11-2003, 08:11 PM
The only advantage is the soundstorm?


The advantage is the nvidia chipset,quite simply it has been proven to be the best performing available,its rock solid and its got an excellent rep.

It also performs considerbly better when run with dual channel ram.Benchmarks atest to this.

As for Ecs boards,it is indeed my call,and seeing as all that i have used personally(5 or 6,i dont count em) and comercially(28,i do count these ones) have been rock solid and excellent performerce wise i do personally doubt the horrer stories,i believe many people should look at there own practices rather then blaming the component.Only takes one slip of the screwdriver.

I use them myself because im cheap,dont get into overclocking and all the extra bells and whistles are of no interest to me,....and im constantly upgrading motherboards.In each and every case they have proven to be fast and stable...and working.

However,If ya got the money theres no reason not to go Asus.Or even as has been noted Epox or gigabyte,personally i don't like either brand for not for any reason i can put my finger on,maybe because i look to Ecs if budget is major concern or Asus if i want to plant down some heavy cash...

11-11-2003, 08:12 PM
I would recommend the VIA KT400 chipset. I't's on my motherboard and its a really great chipset.

11-11-2003, 10:27 PM
I also agree with segfualt that there is nothing wrong with the VIA KT400.

I used one of these for about 8 months and I had no problems there either.

I guess its just like the O/S war.... or the Intel v AMD..... Or the Holden v Ford. For most of us we have to work to a budget and that is why I use AMD CPU's for myself. I believe I get more bang for the buck. That is just MY opinion If anyone feels that they have to have an Intel CPU then that's fine by me. You also need to think about what you want to do with the system as a whole. I know a Chemist not far from here who runs a 486 for stocktaking and labels. This works for him. OTOH if the Grandchildren want to use this computer to get on the Net or play Doom etc then it just won't. No modem and a ISA 2 meg graphic card in there.
O/S is MSDOS 5 If you want to run Linux then that system would.

The best idea is to work out what CPU you want ( to start with )

The next thing is what Graphics you want ( on board AGP or a dedicated AGP card ) I might add that unless you are a serious Gamer then the later onboard graphics are fine. Bear in mind the onboard graphics use your main RAM

The next thing will be sound ( on board or a dedicated Sound card ) In MY case I like listening to music and must admit that I have never tried the onboard sound I have. For most people, they have a stereo but I use my computer in a separate room for sound. Unless you are an audiophile you probably don't need anything other than onboard sound.
My Wife ( who I dearly love, watches TV and I can do without TV most of the time ) I can get my news off the Net. That way I can get other persons opinions. Several slants on one story.

From there you ought to work out what motherboard you need.

Oooops forgot things like SATA, RAID, USB, Chipsets, DDR Ram, RAMBUS etc. A hard drive wasn't mentioned. Backup wasn't mentioned though probably more important if you are writing the great NZ novel.

I use the nForce2 chipset. This works for me.

What was said once?

"Different strokes for different folks."

Oh.... Don't forget the BUDGET.... No point in having a system I could put together and then can't afford a roof over the head and things like water and food. I can't afford the best system I could build. A few years ago I wanted a Cray Computer. I think they were only about $2.2 million!!!

11-11-2003, 10:39 PM
> so Metla how many female computers do you have
> then????
> brow beaten? LOL
> by the way the people who have looked at mine beasty,
> all called it a she as well???? must be a guy thing?
> i called it female due to its temperamentalness :O
> did i say that??? corse not. :D
> beetle

At the moment im running 2 computers,that number tends to change depending on how bored i get or what parts/systems i have lying around.

Generally ill make an attempt to get most systems that come my way up and going but they all end up ripped apart and used for spares or given/donated away.Well,the older ones do anyway.Had a big clean out awhile ago,gave away a ton of stuff and threw out a boatload...ive regretted it every day since so im starting to hoarde it all again.

Actually,awhile ago i sent a couple harddrives and a cpu and some ram to another user of this forum and i do wonder if they made it to a good home.

And yeah,in my eyes all computers are female.

If they were male they would just keep on working hard day in day out.....


Either that or just refuse to work from day one and live off the taxes payed by those with enough merit to get out and do something.

12-11-2003, 08:41 AM
Thanks everybody for your comments.

The nForce2 chipset on the Gigabyte GA-7N400Pro2 provides me with quite a bit of expandability, should I need it in the future (eg. SATA, Gigabit LAN, RAID etc.) I would probably be looking at getting the AthlonXP 2400+ CPU, mainly because it's within my price range.

I would be looking at a dedicated graphics card (currently investigating Geforce FX 5200), because even though I don't play any graphics-intensive games at the moment, I have been given some games by friends which won't run on the graphics card I have in this computer at the moment (nVidia TNT).

Sound - I'm not exceedingly picky, so it shouldn't matter whether it's onboard or not.

Hard drive - I'm not writing a novel or doing any mission-critical work, so regular backups to CD/DVD should suffice. I don't need an exceedingly large hard drive either, as I'm not intending to fill it with MP3's or digital video.

Once again thanks for all your suggestions everyone.

Steve Askew
12-11-2003, 09:14 AM
> I would probably be looking at getting the
> AthlonXP 2400+ CPU, mainly because it's within my
> price range.

For an extra $15 -$20 I would recomend the XP 2500+ with Barton core.
Here's an example from www.dragonpc.co.nz

AMD Athlon XP2400+ (2000Mhz) 266FSB SocketA CPU Box with FAN & XP Sticker. $174.00 inc Gst

AMD Athlon XP2500+ 333FSB SocketA CPU Box with FAN & XP Sticker, Barton core. $189.00 Inc Gst

Cheers Steve

Pete O\'Neil
12-11-2003, 10:23 AM
go for the Athlon 2500+ far better chip than the 2400+. OEM Computers in manukau has it for $180. you will only notice the benefits from the nForce's dual channel ram if ur using the onboard video solution.
What game do you intend to play on the GeforceFX 5200? of all the video card solutions avaliable on the market that would have to be one of the least future proof. BUT in saying that i will easily surfice for day to day tasks such as surfing the net or office task, it really depends on the type of games u intend to play. Ive been looking all over the net trying to find if the gigabyte board has Soundstorm ive got a feeling it might do but im not sure

12-11-2003, 12:18 PM
Thanks guys.

GeforceFX 5200 - well i'm not really sure. I just suspect that it's better than the Geforce MX 400s etc. since it's newer. I'm not into the graphics-intensive first-player-shooting games, so hopefully it should suffice.

Athlon XP 2500+. Ok. I'll definetely look into that then.

Dual channel RAM - not a primary concern at the moment. Since the mobo has capability for it, it could be useful in the future.

Soundstorm - I think the motherboard only has AC97 sound, but then again I'm not too picky.

12-11-2003, 06:20 PM
Thanxs Metla, we females just tend to juggle more than the males though.
so the stress levels and load on the poor wee puters is a bit much..... :p

sorry somebody for hijacking the thread.


13-11-2003, 12:12 PM
No problem. It seemed to keep the post up near the top of the list so it got me a couple of extra responses :D