New build, which mb?

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Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:25 pm

New build, which mb?

Post by fredk » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:48 pm

I'm at the point where my current system just isn't enough anymore.

This time around I want a quiet PC so I have spent a lot of time reading here at spcr. For my needs - browsing, non-hd movie watching (rented not ripped), music server - a basic system will do just fine.

My current pc will do all of the above except that I want to do my movie watching on a (soon to be purchased) larger fp display that will require a decent software scaler, even to do 480p dvds properly.

Since I don't need a lot of horsepower, a low end athlon x2 will be more than enough for now and should last me for a good number of years. By the time I am ready for HD (whenever the format wars are over and copy protection is sorted out) I should be able to add a graphics card to handle decoding and scaling.

Given the noise the hard drive on my current system makes, my choice of drives is limited to the WD caviar or samsung spinpoint and 500 gigs seems like the sweet spot. Add a quiet seasonic s12 II 380w power supply and all I need is the right mother board.

So what is the right motherboard? It seems that the first thing that needs upgrading on any system I have ever had is memory, so I thought that a board that will handle at least 4 gigs of ram is a must. I turns out that this is not as strait forward as it seems given the current state of memory allocation. How do I determine that the mb chipset and bios will support at least 4 gigs of user/application memory?

Other board requirements will be modest: a slot for a future graphics card, a slot for a decent sound card (once I figure out how I want to set this up as a music server), basic raid so I can add disk mirroring at some point, reasonable on board graphics until I upgrade for HD.

Is there anything else I need in a mother board? Any suggestions?


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Location: Australia

Post by darkb » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:12 am

I've had an Abit AN-M2 motherboard.. worked fine, but had a few issues with USB.. my USB keyboard was basically useless untill windows had loaded,
and my USB-IDE adapter didn't work properly.. I would get the "this device could perform faster" popup and it would work at USB1.1 speeds =(

Apart from that.. it was a good board.. I had a (Brisbane) X2 4000+ in it and it performed rather well.

I should point out though.. when I put the 4000+ in an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe it's performance dropped noticably.

It seems the new cpu's work best with new motherboards.

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