The ULTIMATE motherboard for Athlon XP ?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Hypothesis, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. Hypothesis

    Hypothesis Guest

    Hi.. I'm looking to buy some really good motherboard for Athlon XP, so I wanted your opinion. Do you suggest getting a dual system ? Which chipset ? VIA vs NFORCE vs something else ? I need the motherboard for my main DAW... It would be nice to have the firewire interface (but I guess all the newer motherboards do...). Which models should I avoid ? I also plan to put an UAD-1 card and 3x Maxtor 7200 ATA133 drives... Which CPU (is XP 2800+ fairenogh ?) ? Which grapchis card with dualhead should I get ? DDR400 or not ?All info appreciated !
  2. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    New Jersey (right outside the Big Apple!)
    Home Page:
    This is an area that Opus has expertise. If you do a search you'll probably find enough of his recommendations. I'll say one thing, depending on which audio interface you use, you should probably steer clear of VIA chipsets. I've specifically read that M-Audio products have lots of problems with them.
  3. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Indeed staying away from Via is a smart way to go.
    Going with AMD or the Nforce chips is a good idea.

    I'm not too sure whether or not the AMD systems utilize DDR 400. If they do it's only when overclocking and I don't recommend doing that on an AMD based system as they tend to overheat more than any other processor!

    I will check into which board you should look into but I think someone with AMD experience and knowledge should be able to help you out more so than I!

    Opus :D
  4. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Although I'm an "Athlon Man", I highly recommend you use an Intel machine for audio production. It's all about compatibility and stability. Athlons rule for the "common man", but audio and video production are far more critical and demanding. However, if you're hell-bent on an Athlon DAW, here it is:

    *ASUS A7N8X Deluxe mobo (disable all the $*^t you don't use). Remove the passive heatsink from the northbridge, and attach a TT CrystalOrb using Arctic Silver III. Take that passive heatsink and stick it on the southbridge with frag tape (yes, the southbridge gets VERY hot).

    *AMD Athlon !!!BARTON!!! CPU. $87 to $400+ at The Barton 2500 is the best CPU bargain on the planet. Without a 333 fsb you will not be reaping the benefits of the nForce2's capabilities. OVERCLOCK IT! Yes, overclock it! I'm not saying push it to it's limits, but these babies handle overclocking beautifully. Gaining a couple hundred Mhz is a piece of cake, with very little added heat. ALWAYS overclock an A7N8X "by SPD", with "Optimal" memory timing.

    *Cooling ... some of the best price/performance deals on the planet are the Glacialtech Igloo 2500 Pro, 2410 Pro, and Diamond 2000.

    *Power Supply ... Antec or Enermax, take your pick. 400 watts MINIMUM, but the more the merrier.

    *Memory ... the "Achilles Heel" of any nForce2 motherboard. If you skimp on your memory, prepare for the worst nightmare of your life. People generally have the best results with Samsung, Crucial, and Corsair. You must use AT LEAST TWO sticks of memory to take advantage of nForce2 technology, but for audio I suggest three. DO NOT buy 256Mb sticks! You'll be sorry later. Buy the 512Mb sticks, and don't spare the expense. The memory must, at a minimum, be able to achieve 333, but 400 will achieve much better capabilities and results.

    *Hard drives ... yes, that's plural. Partitioning a drive is not the same as using two individual drives. Explaination would be ridiculously redundant.
    Although the A7N8X supports SATA, it's a waste of money at this point. There are technologies yet to come, but for now...
    System Drive ... Maxtor 6YO6OPO. 60Gb, 7200rpm, 8Mb cache, and UATA133. UATA133 DOES have a slight benefit over UATA100, so use the Maxtor. Everyone has at least ONE fan in their tower, so selecting a hard drive due to miniscule differences in sound is ridiculous. ALWAYS create a partition of less than 8Mb at the beginning of your drive for the OS and programs. There are MANY reasons for this, but this is a long post, so please just take my word for it. :)
    Storage drive ... Maxtor 6Y200PO. 200Gb, 7200rpm, 8Mb cache, UATA133.
    If you really want performance, and you don't mind paying for it, go with UWSCSI320 drives, 15000rpm. If you haven't witnessed these things, you really should. They're AMAZING!
    A few words about hard drive installation: never mount them directly to metal. Always use rubber washers and/or shims. Usually this involves slightly bending the metal which they will be mounted-on, but it's worth the effort. This cuts-down on vibration and sound. DO NOT tighten the mounting screws too much or you'll compress the rubber and negate the purpose! Some case manufacturers are now building their cases with this rubber-dampening already built-in. Also, when you mount a harddrive, never mount them directly on top of each other, or directly on top of or underneath another component (such as the floppy drive). Always leave AT LEAST a drive's width above and below each hard drive to allow for air circulation (heat dissipation).
    Last comment ... ALWAYS format NTFS.

    *Video Card ... I can't believe recent posts I just read about this. Don't second guess this component. Don't try to "fix what aint broke". Shell-out the 95 clams for a Matrox G550 over at Newegg and get on with your life.

    *Operating System ... Winblows XP (extremely plagued) PRO. Load the OS from the CD, then don't ever let Bill Gates and his thugs ever see it (no updates EVER). Some with greater knowledge than I will say that some updates are needed, but I've yet to find the need for a single one, so use your own discretion. Remove Outhouse Express, Winblows Media Porker, and Winblows Messmeup. Do a Google search for help with those ... it can be done safely. Go through the whole damn mess and remove all of the unwated crap that they have bogged it down with, like samples, instructions, all the help files ... yada yada yada ... dump everything you don't need to record music. You'll be surprised how much weight you can force this bloated sow to lose! You'll now have XP Svelte!
    Once it's done, ghost it to another harddrive, so you never have to do it again, cuz it takes a long time to do, and you'll be using it for many years. When "Longhorn" comes out, it's going to be LOADED with CRAP (spyware and security junk), and it will take forever for software companies to adapt to it. XP is going to be around for a long time.

    *Modems ... don't let em near your audio box. You're just inviting problems. If you need to download something for your audio box, then download it with your internet computer, burn it to CD, and install it from CD to your audio box.
  5. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Geeeeez Micheal! Great to see you back, man!
    :c: :c: :c: :p:
  6. Hypothesis

    Hypothesis Guest

    Hi Son Of Smawg ! You've been REEEEEALLLY helpfull ! Thakz a lot... ! I still haven't decided which way to go AMD or INTEL, so if you have some spare time, please put in a few words about it... I want to make a powerfull MAIN DAW system, but until now I've used AMD mostly... ANY suggestions are appreciated ! Which MOBO for INTEL... ? Let it be the best one... :) Is Kingston HYPER-X DDR400 good ? Thanks AGAIN !!!
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Heloooo SOS!
  8. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Hiya, Guys! Thanx for the warm welcome! I've been busy doing stuff instead of talking about it ... LOL.

    AMD versus Intel is another one of those prime topics for a raging flame thread. You asked for a kick-ass AMD DAW, so I gave you the best one currently available. However, I'm sure you noticed that, before I went into my long-winded schpiel, I stated that you're really better-off with an Intel DAW, which is the God's honest truth.

    In my opinion, the only reason to build an AMD DAW is if you're on a strict, "small" budget. Using a Barton 2500 CPU ($87) will save you several hundred dollars, which some people may rather spend on some other important piece of their studio, or maybe on next month's rent ... LOL. However, some people try to shave too much off of their DAW box to save money, and end-up ^#$%ing themselves:

    I saw someone post, recommending the ECS/SIS motherboard ($60)... EEEK! Those things are $*^t. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES use a VIA, AliMagik, or SIS chipset for an AMD DAW. The extra $70 spent on the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe will yield you a HELL of a lot more performance, stability, and ease of installation.

    Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, don't skimp on the memory. PAY THE PRICE. Kingston memory is known to have problems with nForce2 boards. As I stated, people have the best results with Samsung, Crucial, and Corsair. Learn by OTHER peoples mistakes and trial & error rather than going through it yourself!

    I didn't STRESS the importance of the power supply in my previous post. These nForce2 boards are finnicky about their need for stable, consistent power. Don't save yourself $20 or $30 by buying some cheapo 400 watt power supply and thinking the "400 watt" rating is gonna make it okay ... it won't! Buy an Antec or Enermax, with a MINIMUM of 400 watts, PERIOD.

    I also saw several posts regarding the use of Radeon video cards in their DAWs, and recommending that others do the same! That's just plain WRONG, and those who recommend it obviously don't have have enough general DAW knowledge to be making recommendations. Just because it may be working with their particular set-up doesn't mean that it will work for others. The Matrox G550 is notorious for being totally compatible with 99% of the DAW hardware/software on the market. That's why those who KNOW consistently recommend it. Sheesh!

    All that being said, I still recommend an Intel-based DAW box. Opus (Gary) is THE MAN to give advice on that. I wouldn't dream of giving advice on that with him around. I learned a LOT of what I know about DAWs (and computers in general) from him, and I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn't direct you to him for your Intel-based DAW advice.
  9. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Active Member

    Mar 15, 2003

    with all due respect (and without wanting to start a "flame war") but as I am being personally attacked on a number of these issues ... :

    I agree with a number of things that you said but I also believe that some of the statements you made here are less than helpful unless someone "wants to spend as much money as possible on a DAW without really having to".

    First of all, recommending Intel processors for DAW's because they are more stable is really sooo behind us, isn't it? I have run AMD processors for a number of years in all kinds of combinations now and have dumped my Intels because they would crash on me. I am not bashing Intel processors for it - I think it is an even playing field, some combinations work, others don't. Bottomline however is that Intels are more expensive.

    Next thing, I can't believe that you are seriously suggesting to overclock DAW systems :roll: . It's just another story from the "Computer Urban Myths" column ... passed on from one person to another without ever being questioned.
    Now, I'm not saying it's a good idea to go with 200W PS's but I would argue that 100% headroom should be quite sufficient to cover power spikes from spinning up motors etc. :roll:

    On Hard disks: I don't know what kind of fans you are running in your system but I can tell you that the hard disks (IBM and Maxtor) in my systems were the noisiest components until I exchanged them for Seagates. That's why I keep recommending them. They also have 8MB buffers now and don't really cost more so why not use them? The improvement in noise performance was certainly not ridiculous to me.
    I also don't understand what you can do with an 8MB partition for OS and programs ... can we assume that that was just a typo that should have read 8GB?

    I don't know what your experience with Grafix cards is but I have been using the ATI Radeon VE in a number of systems and they continue to perform without problems. I recognize that the Matrox G550 appears to be a proven component so I usually mention it as a good choice but to simply bash the ATI ... I would need to see a lot more evidence to tell people it's a bad choice.

    I agree that it is of advantage to buy 400MHz memory sticks that are running at 333MHz. The extra headroom will keep them stable and cool. But talking about "better performance" is obviously bogus. They transfer data at whatever speed they are clocked.

    I am also the person who has repeatedly stated that the ECS K7S5A MoBo is working extremely well for me. I am actually running 3 systems with different configurations and they all work flawlessly. I know at least 3 other people personally that have followed my advice and are extremely happy with the performance and the money they saved. Why exactly does that make it a bad recommendation :roll: ? Because I didn't spend $150 on the MoBo alone ?

    Finally, before you bash me, keep in mind that I usually state freely that those things work FOR ME and in my different configurations. My outspoken (and I believe proven) philosphy is to spend my money where it counts and not waste it on overpriced components that give me zero (or next to zero) improvement in performance. My advice, I believe, has been consistent in that aspect.

    As a last word, I have no interest in discrediting anybody here but I would also appreciate if I was given the same courtesy.
    I am nevertheless always up for a facts based disussion that can be backed up with real data.


  10. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    LOL,to be completley indifferent and remain subjective here, I'd like say that the K7S5A is not for everyone. I've built a bunch of em, I've soldered the "voltage regulator trick" to the MOBO, ran all the great second party BIOS's, and even flashed a PC Chips version to a K7S5A version just to prove it was an identical board. I know them inside and out. But thats the thing. Not everyone is has my Virgo mentality, and needs to disect, comprehend and be one with the machine. They just need it to work as advertised the first time. That is not , I repeat, not a K7S5A for a lot of reasons. :D

    As far as power supplies go, a DAW needs to go first class all the way. The thing is, most of the "quality" starts to show when you get above 350 watts. Lower wattage ps's are budget built for the most part. Cooling, shielding, larger and higher quality capacitors, and components are found on the 350watt and up supplies( unless you find the older military grade computer stuff, but then it won't be ATX).

    I agree the ATI cards are fine, but for the few extra bucks, the clarity of the display, the professional software and superior mature drivers of a Matrox card are what make it a given for a DAW. True, not everyone has the dollars to "go all the way" on a DAW, so if there needs to be compromises made somewhere, yeah ATI will work.

    AMD vs Intel. We don't need to get into that one. I'm a former computer buff, I jumped on the AMD bandwagon, I've cut the traces on AMD Athlons with a Dremel tool, done the "pencil trick" to overclock em, ect ect.
    It has always sucked, waiting years(and I do mean years) for developers to finally take thier lunch money and put it towards AMD developed products. They know where thier bread is buttered.
    That being said, there are professional reasons to choose an AMD or an Intel based machine, and that would be tracking, and compatibility(Intel), or powerhouse mixing(AMD or Intel).

    Hard drives and associated technologies are flavor of the month. IBM was the one to beat for the longest time until the technology started to malfuntion. Maxtor bought Quantum and forged ahead with greatly advanced products. Seagate has remained an industry leader. So just pick one. All drives will fail eventually, thats the most important thing DAW users need to know.

    As a disclaimer, I'd like to say that I'm a guitar player, and not a geeky computer enthusiast :roll:

    And the idea of doing stuff instead of talking about it, is a real cool concept too! Exit stage left...
    Tommy P.
  11. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Active Member

    Mar 15, 2003

    appreciate your comments but also have to admit that I don't fully understand the K7S5A remarks. I have not made any modifications to my ECS boards, mine just work :D . I chose to eventually pick Seagates, being the quietest ones, and I am happy with that choice. Do you gas your car at 76 or Chevron ;) ?

    Finally, be assured that I am first in line to make music rather than to tweak systems.

    Back to making music :c:

  12. I'll send an S.O.S. too the world,
    I'll send an S.O.S. too the world...
    Welcome back S.O.S.! Doc
  13. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Mister Blue,
    I have been away from RO for many months, taking care of business, and only returned yesterday, after several days of having RO "on the brain" for some reason. I spent literally HOURS pouring through the posts here, and I had no idea that the things which I pointed out were mostly coming from you. I had no intention of deliberately "slamming" you, and I appologize for not being more aware. I wasn't even noticing names as I read, because most of them have changed so much since I was last here. As I typed my post, I simply remembered things I'd read. I really am SO sorry.

    There are very good reasons that I would definately recommend an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe with an AMD Barton 2500 processor over an ECS/SIS/"standard" Athlon XP combo. The gains and benefits FAR outweigh the relatively small increase in cost. The ECS/SIS motherboard is notorious for being problematic, to say the least. Since you are experienced with them, I'm quite sure that you know this. If you happen to get a "good" one, you're lucky, as most are not that fortunate. I, personally, sent two back for (1) RMA (2) exchange. Both Tommy and Gary can attest to that. That board handles a 266 fsb, and only has 2 DDR Ram slots. I'm not sure what the highest recommended CPU is for them. AMD has released 333 & 400 fsb CPUs now, so buying that board gives you absolutely no possible room for upgrade. Conversely, the A7N8X Deluxe now comes capable of the 400 fsb. So, you can use an $87 Barton 2500 for now, and then upgrade to a 400 fsb CPU when the prices come down (which is why I suggested the preference of PC3200 RAM). You can also take into consideration that this ASUS board has dual nics, 6 USB ports (2.0 capable), onboard Dolby Digital sound (very nice but disabled for DAW purposes), SATA, and a SWEET bios.
    You made the general comment that we don't all have a lot of money to throw at our DAWs, and I whole-heartedly agree. The ASUS A7N8X/Barton 2500 would be a better VALUE for your money than a K7S5A/AthlonXP 2200+. For the $100 difference in price, the added features, power, dependability, and upgradability are WELL worth it (IMO). I am personally more into "bang for the buck" than buying the cheapest thing I can get my hands on that'll "do for now". See what I mean?

    As for overclocking, in this case I wouldn't dream of NOT doing it. This particular CPU consistently runs ROCK SOLID at 2200-2300 without a hickup or breaking a sweat (under load, still in the 100 degree range with an "average" heatsink and fan). Even for a DAW, I'd bring it up to 2000 or so. Overclocking is generally taboo for DAWs, but IMO a little bump up without sacrificing stability is a good thing. (SOS foresees mad flurries of fingers flying accross keyboards in response to that ... LOL)

    I also must stand firm on my remarks regarding video cards. I've been part of RO since a couple of weeks after it was started. The general rule of thumb is to make recommendations that will result in the best success possible for all who take your advice. The Matrox cards have consistently performed flawlessly in the greatest percentage of DAWs. If you are an avid recording musician, I'm quite sure that you know that. As I said in my previous post, it's good that you've had success with the Radeon VE card, but it's far from being "standard of the industry", and certainly has not had the degree of time-tested success that the Matrox card has (in DAWs). As far as price, given the fact that gamers willingly fling $200-400 on the sales counter for their video cards, I don't feel that it's in the least bit extravagant for a serious recording musician to spend $95 on the video card that is most likely to perform without problems. You questioned my experience with graphics cards ... I suggest you start reading the back posts in this very forum, going back about 2 years. You'll find that most of the DAWs that people have designed, discussed, and built here have overwhelmingly had Matrox video cards, with fantastic success!

    As for power supplies, 300 watts, well again it may work for you, but as Tommy stated, generally 350 watts and up is preferred. As for my 400 watt minimum recommendation ... it's because I know the A7N8X Deluxe boards like my own back yard, and they require a good, stable power supply, with best results from 400 watts or more. I currently have two A7N8X Deluxe machines in my house (one's mine, one's my girlfriend's) and I've built 7 so far for other people. The best place to get info and help for nForce2 mobos is If you take a gander through there, you'll find that, as I staed in my first post, the A7N8X boards are finnicky about their power supplies, with best results achieved with 400 watts or more. A good Antec case with a 400 watt power supply is about $100. Do you consider that extravagant, ridiculous overkill? I doubt most here would.

    I have a total of 6 computers in my house, three of them have Maxtor hard drives ... the two A7N8X machines and my G4. I don't hear the harddrives AT ALL in any of them. If you have the sides on your case, a fan in your power supply, a fan on your CPU, and a case fan, you shouldn't be able to hear ANY decent harddrive. But, perhaps that could have to do with the quality of the case (?). And yes, 8Mb was a brain fart.

    Anyway, reading your post it's quite obvious that you were upset, and rightfully so. I had no intention of dropping in here to get into a squabble with anyone. It was purely a mistake on my part, and please accept my apology. I hope my clarifications were enough to let you understand my points. And with that, I'll bow out of here. My apologies to all for having caused trouble.
  14. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Active Member

    Mar 15, 2003

    apologies accepted - no harm done :D . You are obviously a very respected member of this community and know what you are talking about.

    I also accept the explanations you gave. I had heard that the early ECS boards had some issues and I know that they had initially a fair number of returns. The later (and current) boards (now called K7S5A Pro, sporting USB 2.0) seem fully stable. But I admit that myself and the different people I recommended the system to could have just been lucky. Dunno.

    Let's leave the grafix card and the power supply alone for now. I know that the Matrox G550 is a good choice for DAW's and thus one of only a few out there.
    I still have my doubts on the power supply wattage side but I understand what you are saying and since I don't know the Asus board as well I should not argue :D .

    Anyway, thanks for going through the pain and clarifying your position in great detail. I appreciate it and look forward to a fruitful exchange of information and opinions in future.


  15. suspec57

    suspec57 Guest

    Well I had one experience when a good power supply came in handy:

    The power supply that came with my friends computer case worked great when we had two hard drives(not one problem also using the K75SA with 1800 and 512 pc2100) but as soon as we stuck a third one in (so we can transfer some big files from the second drive to the third one), the whole computer just shut down. As soon as we put in a 350watt PS we were up and running. We still used the other PS for another computer but that just shows you why it would matter. On that same pc we used an ati card and had no problems.

    With the Anus system at my old job, I did notice that it was more stable and could handle more and part of that is due to the faster fsb. We did pay more for the system but it all boils down to what you have to what you really need. For a home studio, maybe you wouldn't need so much and the budget way might be the one to go with. i say, think about what you'll be mostly doing on the system then decide what to go on. If you're mostly doing sequencing and a few tracks of audio here and there then I say say your money and go with AMD. But if you will be doing large amounts of audio tracks then go with Intel. I don't know anyone personally who uses an AMD system with the new 400fsb so I don't know how good it is yet for a pc dealing with large amounts of audio tracks.
  16. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Active Member

    Mar 15, 2003

    I am certainly not argueing the value of well-built (!) and reasonably sized power supplies. A hard disk these days uses in the order of 10W. If that broke the camels back the older PS must have been somewhere around 200W and probably came with a somewhat cheap case ( ;) ).

  17. jscott

    jscott Guest

    Well, I've been away from this forum for a while as well, but will add to what "smawg" has said, based upon real world experience and answer the "MisterBlue" question at hand.

    The reason for the power is because the use of the motherboards that employ the NForce2 chipset, coupled with the devices present in a DAW demand an absolute minimum of 200 watts present on the combined +3.3, +5v leg. As you add something like a G4 graphics card, and install 1GB of RAM on 2 modules, the needs grow to no less than 220 watts on the 3.3,5v leg and a 28 Amp requirement on the 3.3 leg. If you look at the label with these specific specifications charted on the PSU, even most 400 watt supplies that come with low cost cases let alone 300 watt ones do NOT meet this specification. I reviewed specifications on many PSUs out there and even the coveted ENERMAX ones below 400 watts do not meet the crteria. However, an ANTEC TruePower 330 will as do many better 400 watt ones purchased after-market, hence their cost premium.

    Lack of power will cause both heat and memory errors which will cause erratic reboots. This is a known problem with NForce2 motherboards. Gammers tend to accept instability in return for pushing the performance barrier and if you cruse any of those forums, and MB forums, you'll find countless posts on instability created by the lack of power for the NForce2 motherboard.

    The ASUS board sited, tends to be one of the few that with a very carefull attention to detail, can be stable. The MSI offerings are plagued with problems (I Know from first hand experience) and the others just are sub standard performers.

    I do not completley agree with the "stay away from VIA" comment because since the KT333 series, the performance has been stable and fairly decent. If I were having to use the AMD CPU, I'd opt at this point for the VIA KT333 and above chipset because even with all the components "Smawg" suggests, people are still having stablity problems with the NForce2 motherboards, myself included. When they work, they work great. When they don't they are a total pain in the a$$. The key here is to MAKE SURE the software and Hardware you WANT to use is compatible on the manufacturers website BEFORE you build, not after. Once you are strapped with the system, and want to change hardware, you may find it wiser to have used the INTLE based system than have saved a few bucks and cannot use what you want.

    Its no longer enough to just buy a decent brand of memeory because the manufacturers are altering the chips they use. So you must pay attention to the actual chip used on the stick. From experience, Crucial memory for the NF2 is hit and miss whereas because Kingston Value Ram PC2700 uses Infineon chips, it works flawlessly, and is cheaper.

    Bottom line is, I also feel anyone building a DAW should use a Intel based system. If you are factual with yourself, you will find there isn't $20 difference in cost once you factor in the additional PSU and cooling demands.

    Performance will always be something that will be debated. But if goes 4% faster and crashes, whats the point? Stability needs to be considered and it appears to me, that Intel still has an enormous edge in most categories now.

    Guys that have built good AMD systems in the past need to focus not on the past performance, but where things are today for stability when saying people can use an AMD based system.
  18. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Active Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    The value-add that "brand name manufacturers" of memory sticks offer is that they test their products (the assembled sticks) to more stringent specifications than the cheaper ones. The reason that their products are more expensive is that they have ultimately lower yields and need longer test times.
    There is only a handful of manufacturers for RAM chips in the world so all stick mfgrs buy more or less from the same sources (although they certainly all have preferences). The RAM chip market is also so commoditized that price differences from manufacturers are minimal - it's a virtually transparent market where everybody knows what the others are paying.

    Starting to read the fine print on the chips is IMHO pointless. It's simply a question of whether you want to have your modules tested to a stricter specification, resulting in a slightly higher chance of NOT encountering any problems.

  19. jscott

    jscott Guest

    There appears to be a rash of people not reading or comprehending today, maybe it's me in how I write?

    These comments are with referance to the NVidia NForce2 motherboards:

    IF you buy a NForce2 based motherboard, and only purchase RAM based upon the fact that it is a name brand manufacturer, and DO NOT pay attention to the fine print, under the assumption that it will work because its tested, you stand a great chance of having a problem. You will then remember this conversation.

    Have you built an NForce2 system? NVidia has very specific RAM chip manufacturers listed on their site (which has recently been updated) and only a few of the mainstream RAM modules are certified. Moderators on some of the actual motherboard sites (MSI comes to mind) warn against just buying name brand memory or for that matter paying attention to the MB manufacturers recommendations because they are not holding up against users experiences.

    In the past, I would whole heartedly agree with your comment about brand name memory, and probably even agree as it applies to other products? But NForce based boards have changed some of the rules.
  20. jscott

    jscott Guest

    As of 7/26/2003 there was no Did you mean
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