New AMD mobo

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Omega21, Nov 16, 2003.

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  1. Omega21

    Omega21 Guest

    Just wanted to see what everyone thought was the best AMD DAW board. I'm leaning toward the ASUS A7N8X, but wondered if anyone has tried the MSI K7N2 or K7N420 PRO boards? Are there others that I should look at instead?

    The only requirements I have are that I keep my XP1900+ processor, and my Terratec 24/96 audio card.

  2. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    I have an A7N8X Deluxe - it's a fine board and have no problems running SATA with Cubase SX, Wavelab etc (using an Echo Gina card). The nVidia chipset is considered to be one of the best. Probably not the fastest chipset/mobo, but certainly one of the most reliable. The speed differences with other boards that may be faster are negligable. Note though that whatever board you get, take the opportunity to put as much high quality RAM into it at the time of building your system as you can.

    Good Luck
  3. jscott

    jscott Guest

    Of all the MB's I have recommended to people, one that stands out to NOT buy is the MSI K7N2 series. This board has nothing but problems for a wide range of users. I've tried to get 2 of them working well, and despite all efforts, they never became stable. MSI appears to be way behind the curve for updating these boards.

    While the ASUS has wide appeal, I've noted that in the last two months, ASUS has had problems with their website, and has taken the Forum off the air. To me this board is too expensive but I admit that I am biased against ASUS, I think they are over-rated.

    One I would recommend as my first choice is the ABIT A7N-S board. ABIT has really been trying to step it up and better most all competition. I've built 2 of these systems now and they are just real fast and stable.

    Which ever you choose, pay very close attention to the Power Supply and memory modules you purchase. They can make or break the system.

    Also check out (and the forum there) for up to date info on all NFORCE based products.
  4. Omega21

    Omega21 Guest

    Which ever you choose, pay very close attention to the Power Supply and memory modules you purchase. They can make or break the system.

    Not trying to be difficult, but could you explain that part a little more? I just don't know enough about it when it comes to mem chips & power supply differences. DDR is DDR to me...


    Oh yeah..I did find this thread here:
    (Dead Link Removed)
  5. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Todd, just curious, what's wrong with the board that you're currently using?
  6. Omega21

    Omega21 Guest

    (Dead Link Removed)

    That was the beginning of my efforts on straightening up my current mobo. Since the last post on that thread, I've swapped power supplies, replaced all the cables w/canare quad cable, connected a 12 guage ground wire through all of my gear, changed every option in bios to see if it would shut up, redid all the IRQ's, changed video cards again, changed power filters, did every imaginable tweek to XP...and still have processor racket in the %$#@!& audio.

    Overall, my system is way quieter than it was before, so the effort wasn't totally wasted. I basically am resigned to the idea that the VIA chipset is allowing back voltage from the processor into the buses...creating the buzz in the audio.

    Anyway, I got a screamin deal on an A7N8X to replace it ($50) & everything else (HD's,processor, cards, power supply) I have will work with the new mobo just fine. Still really curious about the power supply/memory statement though.
  7. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    I don't come around here much anymore, but as you can see by my member number, I've been around here for quite some time, having worn several "hats". :)

    I'm a tech and builder, and I generally prefer AMD peecee systems. Basically, a typical home user can have a more powerful, less expensive AMD system compared to a Pentium, with equal stability and compatibility. Obviously, I want to give my customers the most bang for the buck.

    When it comes to DAWs, however, the issue isn't as much about the power-to-cost ratio as it is compatibility and stability. Those who have been around DAWs for a long time and have seen a lot of users' experiences know that Pentium systems are better suited for DAWs. This is not about opinion or the AMD-vs-Pentium flame crap, this is plain fact, written in forums all over the internet for many years.

    If you really want to build an AMD DAW, DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE BUYING ANYTHING!!! DO NOT use a VIA, Ali, or SIS chipset mobo. DO NOT use dual processors. DO NOT think that you can automatically use most of the components out of a different computer just because they will fit in the appropriate spaces in your new DAW tower.

    The best chipset for an AMD DAW is nForce2. The best nForce2 mobo is Abit, followed by ASUS. I will warn you though ... if you have a prob with an ASUS product, their customer service SUCKS. Also, if you buy an ASUS nForce2 board, remove the northbridge heatsink and replace it with a Thermaltake Crystal Orb. Now take that heatsink, bend and break the retaining tabs off of it, and stick it to the southbridge with "frag tape". Yes, the south bridge gets VERY hot. If you go with the ABIT board, I suggest you put a heatsink on it's southbridge, too.

    ALL nForce2 mobos are EXTREMELY particular about power supplies and memory. Each brand and each model works best with it's own peculiar brand and model of power supply and memory. What works fantastic on one nForce2 mobo will throw a different nForce2 mobo into fits and seizures (literally). So, decide which mobo you are going to buy, then do your homework on forums, and find out which PARTICULAR power supply and which PARTICULAR memory it works best with (and I mean PARTICULAR MODEL, not just the brand). I cannot stress this enough. If you do not heed this advice, YOU WILL BE SORRY.

    I highly suggest that you buy two 512Mb sticks of RAM right from the start. If you buy two 256Mb sticks, you've shot yourelf in the foot for future upgrade. If you buy one 512Mb stick, you are crippling the nForce2's performance.

    The best bang for the buck processor (right now) is the AMD Athlon XP 3000+ "Barton", 400 FSB, 512K Cache - OEM ($207 right now at Newegg). To cool it, use a Zalman CNPS6000-Cu Pure Copper CPU Cooler ($35 right now at Newegg). It will not only keep the CPU plenty cool, and be relatively quiet, but the separate fan on it's bracket keeps the fan vibration from the CPU! Attach the heatsink with a high-quality thermal paste (not that white, pasty crap). I use Arctic Silver 3, although there are other good ones on the market. When considering your case, make sure that it will allow enough room between the top of the mobo and the power supply to accomodate the Zalman heatsink.

    Use a Matrox G550 video card. Ummm, I'm not even going to waste my time explaining this. One word sums it up ... compatibility.

    Harddrives ... Seagate, Western Digital, or Maxtor. 7200rpm, and make sure you get the 8Mb cache. SATA is okay, but you won't notice a difference between that and a UATA 133 drive.

    ALPS are the best floppy drives around. They work well and reliably, and they're very quiet.

    Plextor CDRWs are the best. Don't skimp here!

    This is good solid advice for your AMD DAW. If you are tempted to cut a few corners to save a couple hundred bucks on your tower, STOP, slap yourself upside your head, and resign yourself to the fact that your tower is the heart of your DAW, and to cut corners would be akin to pissing in the wind. A good metaphor for this situation would be that of building your house on a good, solid foundation.

  8. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    Very enlightening post SonOfSmawg!

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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