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Thread: Wanted: mobo recommendation

  1. #1
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    Wanted: mobo recommendation

    Currently I'm looking to build a new Linux box. It will use an Athlon XP 1900 Socket A. So let's hear your personal experiences w/ various mobo's - what works what does not, BIOS options etc. Thanks.

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    mobo recommendation

    Hi Rickenbacherus
    I recently bought an Abit IT7-MAX2 mobo from an online store that had an excellant resellers rating.
    The mobo came with a piece of software called "hardware doctor".
    This reported that the DDR voltage was excessive at 3.2 volts; also the VTT voltage was excessive at 1.6 volts. The program also sounds a loud siren that I could only shut off by loging out.
    When I went to the stores web page I found that there was a list of manufacturers who handle their own RMAs; Abit was one of them.
    Now the fun begins. At first I was, for some reason, unable to access their RMA page; so I looked for a phone and found that they had no 800#; just a local california #. I am in Ontario Canada.
    I phoned, and after going through the usual automated answering system I eventually received the message that there was no -one in.
    Getting a bit annoyed I phoned the main number and the girl said that they were probably out to lunch.
    I then sent them a fax. 2 days later, not having heard anything I phoned the RMA #, got through, and was told that they could not find my fax
    Subsequently I received a RMA #, but on their RMA page I found that they were going to charge me 25 dollars labour.
    Further emails about this were not answered
    (their warranty states no labour charge for the first year.)
    NB. a resellers rating on a store which passes all the re turn problems off onto the manufacturers will have a much better rating than any store that handles it themselves.
    good luck
    ps I should add that after numerous emails their tech dept told me to apply for an RMA

  3. #3
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    Bummer to hear about your troubles w/ buying a mobo. Let us know how it turns out eh?

    I'm leaning toward a Shuttle board w/ nvidia chipset as I hear too many problems involving the VIA and SiS chipsets. I did manage to get an XP220 for $60 shipped.

  4. #4
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    I built my home PC using an MSI nforce2 motherboard and haven't had any problems. To save money, I bought one with integrated video (model K7N2G - not sure if its still on the market). Of course, the integrated networking doesn't work with Knoppix from the CD because of proprietary platform drivers. I installed Knoppix to the hard drive, installed nvidia drivers, and everything is great. The integrated video supports TV-out, so I can watch create divx files using mencoder and watch them on TV with mplayer

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    Oh, and I bought everything from Newegg, they are the best!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_yates
    I built my home PC using an MSI nforce2 motherboard and haven't had any problems. To save money, I bought one with integrated video (model K7N2G - not sure if its still on the market). Of course, the integrated networking doesn't work with Knoppix from the CD because of proprietary platform drivers. I installed Knoppix to the hard drive, installed nvidia drivers, and everything is great. The integrated video supports TV-out, so I can watch create divx files using mencoder and watch them on TV with mplayer
    A $50 Shuttle from newegg:

    Shuttle Motherboard for AMD processors Model AN35N400-Ultra Retail
    Specifications:
    Supported CPU:AMD Socket A, Athlon XP, Athlon, Duron CPU
    Chipset:nForce2 400 + MCP
    FSB:266/333/400MHz
    RAM:On Board 3 x 184-pin DDR Socket, Up to 3 GB
    IDE:4x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 IDE up to 4 Devices
    Slots:1X 8X AGP slot, 5x PCI slots
    Ports:2xPS2,1xLPT,2xCOM,1xLAN,2xUSB, Audio & Gameport
    Onboard Audio:Realtek ALC650, 5.1 channel audio
    Onboard LAN: Realtek 8201BL 10/100 MBS Ethernet Model#: AN35N400

    All well supported under Linux. I have a Radeon 7200 AGP but I have heard issues using ATI cards w/ nvidia chipsets. Rumors? I dunno.....

    This one for $70 is very tempting:

    Model MN31N - Retail
    Specifications:
    CPU: Socket A, AMD AthlonXP, Athlon, Duron
    FSB: 200/266/333 MHz
    Chipset: nForce 2 IGP + MCP-T
    Memory: 3x Dual Channel DDR 200/266/333+ SDRAM, Max 3 GB
    IDE: ATA 133/100
    Slots: AGP (8X), 3x PCI
    Ports: 2x VGA, 6 USB2.0, 2 Sets of 2x5-pin Front Panel IEEE 1394 onboard headers, 1x LAN, and Audio ports
    Onboard LAN: Realtek 8201B 10/100 Fast
    Onboard Video: Built in GeForce 4 MX (Dual VGA Ports)
    Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC650E (6 channel audio)

    You get alot of bang for your buck there but unfortunately it offers little overclockability.

  7. #7
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    Have you looked at:

    http://www.nforcershq.com/

    It ofers lots of information and they have a Linux specific forum:

    http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/

    You may find information on the rumored ATI graphics card problem.

    My board is $96, so it is somewhat more expensive. I also don't overclock. People have reported problems with using certain kinds of system memory with integrated graphics. I use Crucial and haven't had any issues, but if you have your own card it wouldn't be an issue.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_yates
    Have you looked at:

    http://www.nforcershq.com/

    It ofers lots of information and they have a Linux specific forum:

    http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/

    You may find information on the rumored ATI graphics card problem.
    Thanks for the links! I have been eying this bitching board for $67. It has the nVIDIA MCP-D Dolby Digital 2-Channel Audio with S/PDIF-in/out module and GeForce2 MX 3D graphics! That would solve the graphics problem and I wouldn't have to listen to the Solo1 card anymore. Although I must say it works rather well w/ Linux.

    People have reported problems with using certain kinds of system memory with integrated graphics. I use Crucial and haven't had any issues, but if you have your own card it wouldn't be an issue.
    I learned my lesson long ago when buying ram. *cough* buffalo ram *cough* so I intend on using 512M of Kingston, Micron, or Samsung for RAM. If I do get the above board then perhaps MICRON 512MB True PC2100 266Mhz NonEcc 64X64 184PIN DDR DIMM for $71 should do nicely.

  9. #9
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    No doubt about it, the ECS K7S5A is the cheapest, fastest, most stable FSB133 board you can (just about) still find. It does have it's own brand of querks, but nothing on the scale of NF boards. And you will need one of the third party BIOSes, or some tiny wire strands if you plan to overclock it much. Should run at 147GHz with your cpu. Some specimens can 'lose' the CMOS settings once or twice a year, but this is trivial to reset. Don't believe all the BS about needing a big, expensive PSU - not true: just watch that the 3V is +/-1%. Use an Audigy for perfect sound. Be sure to get the XP 'B' cpu or better, buy the new Duron 1.6, close the fourth L2 bridge to recover the 256K cache and clock it to 147 for a really cheap option.
    OG.

  10. #10
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    Hi rick, I have a spare Athlon XP1700+ myself, and am toying with the
    idea of building a dirt-cheap system meant for experimenting and frequent
    reinstalls. As to MB with video/lan/sound/usb2, two that are easy to
    find here are:
    From what I've been (un)able to find, they're both problematic under
    linux. Has anyone good/bad experience here with getting the integrated
    devices of either of these boards to operate with knoppix/debian?

    My understanding is that for nforce2-based mainboards, non-oss drivers are
    available from nvidia. Is this correct ? Anything comparable for Via?

    Thanks for all shared info.

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