Motherboard recommendation

Hi,

Can someone please recommend the best motherboard to get. I am building a system shortly and want to make sure that I get the best hardware. It will have a pIII 800MHz or 900MHz
CPU. Right now I am thinking about getting Asus P3V4X Apollo Pro133A. Any thoughts?
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geoff2000Asked:
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alhaqqConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hello,

I'm going to assume you know some things about hardware, and not describe every term in detail. Hopefully this will help, however, you (and all the rest of us) are in a confusing time in the pc hardware industry. Depending on who you listen to, you can:

1. Stick with your choice of motherboards. Asus is a quality manufacturer and has good documentation and customer support. The VIA Apollo is a good chipset solution for those who don't want to sink their life savings into buying expensive Rambus Memory. If you don't know what Rambus Memory is (and why to avoid it like the plague), see the (highly technical and NEGITIVE) article by Dr. Tom of Tom's Hardware Guide. (I believe the link was given to you above. If not, www.tomshardwareguide.com) This advice is predicated on the fact that you already "have" the CPU. If so, consider yourself lucky, Intel is having a TERRIBLE time with yield rates of their new "Coppermine" processor, because they have changed the way the package the processor (I work in the PCB industry and what I hear is that they are having LPI plugging problems with the BGA assembly of their chips, amongst other fun things, but that is rumor). With this said, getting these processors (either the slowly dying Slot 1 or the FlipChip-PGA [in a socket 370 format--but not pinned-out like a Celeron--beware!] package) is going to be difficult and I expect few vendors to have anything in 700mhz and above.

2. Others have mentioned using the i820 chipset with Rambus. If, again, you wish to spend your life savings on Rambus modules, or want to put up with the bugginess of the MTH (former South Bridge chip), you 'might' see a modest gain or drop as opposed to the ASUS board with VIA Apollo 133 chipset and PC133 memory--depending on whose review you read. From what I've seen, the ASUS board/VIA chipset combo is modestly faster and MUCH cheaper. The best solution (from Tom's Hardware Guide), would be to take a 440BX motherboard and overclock the Front Side Bus to 133mhz and add a PCI ATA/66 card to maximize the hard drive speed. This would be MUCH cheaper than an i820/Rambus combination (Rambus 128mb modules were approx $600 per stick, best price from Pricewatch--6+ times the best price of a PC133 dimm!) .

3. Since you are going to have to wait for that chip anyway, consider other options. Both Intel and AMD are coming out with "new" designs soon. Intel is going to come out with an i815 chipset that will replace the terrific 440BX chipset, and will allow you to use simple, cheap and plentiful PC133 DIMMs (now, I don't know if they are going to 'fix' the MTH chip problem--specificially, the memory bus issue, but, I suspect that they won't, so expect less performance). Also, later in the year, Intel will introduce the next IA32 processors--the "Williamette" processors, not to mention the IA64 processors--the "Itanium" processors. (Ugh! have to catch my breath.)

4. Which comes to my true (biased) recommendation. Dump the Intel ideas. Go AMD. (I DON'T work for them.) They have several things coming down the runway that will leave Intel in the dust (so to speak...). I won't get into details, because I assume you have your heart set on a PIII system.

In the end, it comes down to what you plan to do with your system. Are you doing ACAD or Video editing or the like, get the fastest thing your money can buy and lots of it. (Do please take my advice and steer clear of the Rambus, however.) If you are going to surf the web, rip mp3's, watch streaming video, a PIII 500+ (or a Celeron 500 or any Athlon) would be fine. Take the excess money and get yourself a DSL account (or a T1 trunk--if you have the cash!), because the problem is bandwidth not processor speed.

Again, I hope this helps (more than confuses).  Good Luck.


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1cellCommented:
Go with the Intel 820 chipset which supports Rambus and might well be the way of the future.
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geoff2000Author Commented:
Thanks, I have heard that from some other folks. Does anyone know of a place
to read up on the Intel 820 chipset? Anyone else have motherboard recommendations?
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1cellCommented:
hardware reviews

www.tomshardware.com
www.sharkyextreme.com
www.arstechnica.com

they should have plenty of info for you

also , check out MaximumPC magazine
or online www.maximumpc.net
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sorgieCommented:
www.intel.com
Gives a good description and specs of the chipset and intels 820 motherboard with rambus memory

Not to say 1cells suggestions aren't worth looking at mine is just another voice!!
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SuperKirkerCommented:
Another great site (and run by a guy only two years older than me =)

www.anandtech.com

I am personally partial to Abit mobos mainly for the jumperless design and the fact that the BH6 is (IIRC) one of the first boards with a 133MHz bus that properly reduces the speeds of the other buses (PCI, IDE, ISA) down to compensate...only one it doesn't do is AGP, but there's only a PCI video card in there anyway =)
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fracheCommented:
Another voice :
Choose Intel I820 chipset, to avoid software patchs ....
With AMD Athlon choose AMD chipset...
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alhaqqCommented:
alhaqq changed the proposed answer to a comment
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