What is the "best" (I know there's no such thing) motherboard for a STABLE AMD-based system?
Posted on 2006-03-27
Okay, since I'm spending so much less time here than I used to, I have some free time on my hands :-)
As anyone who's followed my posts knows, I'm an "Intel" guy -- BUT I've read enough about the AMD "Cool 'n Quiet" that I've decided I should give that a try, especially since AMD's dual-core CPUs are so well rated. SO ... I'm going to build an AMD-based system ==> I can always toss the motherboard & CPU and switch back to Intel if I don't like it :-)
I can select my own "stuff" quit nicely -- but am interested in the opinions of a few folks as to the most "rock solid" AMD motherboards. MUST support Cool 'n Quiet. I don't need suggestions for any other components -- I've already decided on the case, power supply, CPU, memory, Video, hard drives, optical drives, floppy drive, and UPS.
Requirements for motherboard:
(1) Must support ECC memory (I never build a system without it)
(2) Must support Cool 'n Quiet technology (that's the reason I'm building an AMD system)
(3) Does not need SLI (I'm not a gamer) but it's okay if it has it
(4) Native SATA support would be nice (like Intel boards have) -- but that's apparently not available in the AMD boards. The F6 driver load is no problem for XP ==> but how are SATA drives treated with DOS-based programs? (i.e. if you boot a Windows 98SE boot disk will it "see" a SATA drive -- presuming there's a FAT32 partition on it?)
(5) Overclocking features are of no use to me -- I do NOT (& will not) overclock. If I want a faster CPU, I'll just buy it. I want my systems to run QUIET and STABLE.
(6) Must support an Athlon 64x2
My initial inclination is to just buy an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe or Premium. But I'm in no hurry (may not do this for a month or so) -- and am interested in feedback from some of the key AMD folks here.
Please don't waste your time & mine by posting to this question if you (a) don't actually have an AMD-based system using Cool 'n Quiet; (b) are basing your post on 'Googling' results and not actual experience (I can read/research quite well); or (c) are suggesting a different CPU or some other component (I've made up my mind). I'm interested ONLY in feedback on the most stable AMD motherboards -- and any features/lack-of-features that make specific boards stand out; or "gotchas" that you've encountered with particular boards (e.g. does the board have room for a Zalman CNPS9500).
I do like STABLE ==> my current system has not been turned off or rebooted (other than those needed for updates) in 18 months. This system probably won't replace my current one -- it's just an "extra" PC to "mess with" (although if it performs nicely, I may migrate to it).
Points are low to start - but will be adjusted to reflect the value of the responses :-)