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Seeking help with affordable Motherboard


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#1
Shirahime

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I've been recently trying to start up my own computer, but the biggest problem I'm having is finding a good motherboard within reasonable pricing ($500ish or less if possible), and hopefully not so many problems to support a few things I already have.
I'm interested in something that has 4 slots for 256MB DDR Ram
ATI Radeon 9200 Graphics Card
and a SoundBlaster Live 16 Sound card.
I have a large case, so it can house pretty much anything, but this is what I need, as I have everything else (HD's, Drives, etc.)
Thanks.
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#2
austin_o

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Hi and welcome to Geeks to Go. With $500.00 to spend you can actually get a good barebones system (case, motherboard, CPU, RAM and even a graphics card) with lots of room for expansion. If you are only looking for a motherboard, we need to know what kind if CPU you are considering, AMD or Intel? What socket? (754, 939, etc). You can get good motherboards for less than $100.00. For folks to help you, please tell us more about what it is you want to do.
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#3
Shirahime

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Sorry, guess I should've been more explanatory. . . As for the few things you mentioned, I really don't know what they mean. LoL This is why I've been having trouble finding one. . .
My main purpose is to end up with an awesome gaming system, built by myself. . .As I said, needs at least 4 slots for 256MB DDR & Ati Radeon 9200 AGP card, also my HD's are a 250GB HD with a 120GB slave HD. Needs to have VERY quick loading time, Um. . . Not sure what else, if you can help explain what else (if any) details I should give out for one, please let me know.

Oh, forgot, also Pentium IV (At least if possible) and like Windows XP PS2

Edited by Shirahime, 29 May 2006 - 02:59 PM.

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#4
austin_o

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Ok, lets start with a basic question that needs to be answered before you get to other components. What brand of CPU? AMD or Intel. Personally I prefer AMD and it is considered to be superior for gaming, and cost vs performance you get more for your money with AMD. It can easily be over clocked if you WISH to do that (but you don't need to to have a smoking gaming machine). You need to make this decision first. Do you already have a cpu or are you trying to decide on that too?

some interesting reading for you to get started:

http://www.tomshardw...able/index.html

Edited by austin_o, 29 May 2006 - 04:42 PM.

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#5
Shirahime

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Well, I've read that bought AMD & Intel both have their bonus' for me. Maybe you can make a final decision fo rme. . .
Things I do with my computer
1.) Heavy Gaming (MMO's, and all.)
2.) Video Editng, including making Music Videos (Adobe Premier, Movie Maker, etc.)
3.) Always running music based files
4.) ALways have at least 6 programs running at a time from the start to shutdown of PC use.

That's pretty much the basis of what I use on any computer at a given time. Hope it helps give a better perspective on which one would be better for me.
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#6
austin_o

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It is an on going raging debate "which is better, AMD or Intel" and there is no simple answer. Personally I prefer AMD and have three AMD 64 systems (socket 754). It really comes down to the fact that it is your decision to make. Some good resouces:
http://www.hardforum.com/index.php?
(especially info on power supplies)
and
http://forums.amd.com/ All kinds of info on AMD
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#7
Shirahime

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Okay, I think I will try AMD. Everytime I have gotten a computer, it is always Intel, but they like seem to die out after a short time, and doesn't fully extend my needs. They slow down badly when too much is running. Now the questions are which AMD Motherboard will support the items I already have (listed in first post) and pricing. . .
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#8
austin_o

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Your best bet is to use google (or the search engine of your choice) and make the decisions yourself. AMD socket 754 is still available and would be a lower cost to get started. AMD socket 939 is more expensive but I have seen bare bones systems on ebay for less than $500.00 (new, bare bones). AMD2 is the newest and no doubt at a premium cost. I suspect socket 939 prices will go down as AMD2 hits the market. Newegg.com is a good place to look at pricing. I have bought stuff from them. No complaints. So those searches and do your homework. Once you have a list of what you plan on buying, post it with links and someone will check it out for you. If you spend some time here exploring topics already posted on "building a new computer, need input please" , you will see what I mean.
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#9
Shirahime

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Okay, I'm looking around on Newegg.com, and I apologize for being a nuisance but I totally don't understand everything. LoL I was looking at this Motherboard: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131540

Now on the sites it lists. . .

Chipsets, I don't understand.

Memory: Means, it'd support my 4 256MB, but I don't understand what the "Max Memory 4GB" is. . . Is that the Mhz?

Expansion slots, I know what AGP & PCI is. . . I guess this Board wouldn't be so good since I have an AGP Graphics Card

Storage Devices, I don't understand that either. . .

Onboard Video, Means wether it comes with one or I need one of my own, right? lol

Onboard Audio: (Same with Video ? )

Onboard Lan: (I don't do LAN parties, so I believe that's not any concern.)

Rear Panel Ports, I know what the USB is I'm not sure what you need with 6 Audio Ports, but I know what that is. - I don't get PS/2? LPT, or IEEE ?

Onboard USB: 6 USB ports, self-explanatory.

Onboard 1394: I don't understand that

Sorry for all the questions, I know I don't entirely understand Computer Hardware, but I do want to try and do something on my own. Thanks for the help.
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#10
austin_o

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You are correct, no AGP slot on this motherboard. You are looking at an Asus socket 939. Take a look at this from the Asus web page http://usa.asus.com/...aspx?l1=3&l2=15
It lists the socket 939 motherboards by chipset. Think of the chipset as the brains of the motherboard, providing all of the features and capabilities. Which one is better? Read about different motherboards and chipsets and decide for yourself. Memory, this one allows up to 4 Gigs (1 gig per each of the 4 ram slots) 184 pin DDR400. Socket 939 boards typically are up to 4 gigs of memory. Socket 754 are typically 2 gigs, and some up to 3 gigs.
Storage devices is hard drives and/or cd/dvd drives. SATA is serial ATA. If you want to learn about storage, options, do some reading at this forum http://www.hardforum.com/index.php
Onboard video, video is built into the motherboard. Usually not as good as a dedicated video card.
Onboard audio is built right into the moterboard. I use this on 3 of my 4 systems, works fine for me.
Onboard LAN is cat 5 connection for network connection to broadband cable modem (ethernet) or DSL. If the motherboard does not have this, you will need a network card (NIC). I use built in on 3 of my 4 systems. Works great.
IEE? Is 1394 firewire. Great for capturing video from dital video cameras, or connecting any firewire device.
PS2 is your mouse and keyboard connections. LPT is your parallel printer port. Common, do some reading and look at the pictures. Take a look at those motherboards in the first link I gave you: http://www.tomshardw...able/index.html This will help you understand.

I recently replaced my daughters old 450 mhz PIII with an AMD64 socket 754 system I built myself. I got a kit with motherboard, cpu, case, dvd drive, power supply, speakers, mouse, keyboard. The motherboard manual wasn't great, but it was enough for me to follow and put it together. Everything worked. I installed the OS and it booted right up. Next time I am getting components separately, no kit. I have been looking at socket 939 for the next one. There are lots of good guides and forums for help, like this one. More resources:
http://www.mechbgon.com/ there is a first time builders guide here!
http://www.answersthatwork.com/
http://www.dougknox.com/index.html
http://www.petri.co.il/index.htm
http://www.winsupersite.com/
http://www.fonerbooks.com/pcrepair.htm
http://www.theeldergeek.com/
http://www.michaelst...nxpinstall.html
http://www.monarchco...nt2/merchant.mv
http://www.geeks.com/
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#11
warriorscot

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AM2 is the new socket take a look you might be able to get a 3000+ or 3200+ priving wise here they are about £20 more than 939 and with the price drop in 939 they are about the same price as 939 was a couple of months ago, 939 has advantages and AM2 does as well but you would need new ram for AM2 which isnt a bad thing in your case as your ram isnt great and of course both 939 and am2 are pci-e mobo types and you would need new gfx again not a bad thing because your current 9200 is REALLY slow wouldnt make the grade for a gaming system by a long chalk.

If you want to build you need to do some more research on PCs how they work and what does what, if you dont understand what you need to buy you dnot have a chance of putting one together.

Given you have a case and drives $500 is plenty of a budget, only thing you might need that we havent mentioned much is a bigger powersupply.

For 939 what you look for is an nforce4 ultra preferably under $100 which is easy enough to do, 4 mem slots is standard and get it from a good company like Abit, DFI, Gigabyte or MSI.

cpu something like a 3200+ is cheap and i can vouch for them as i have one myself, http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819103535 $135 with free shipping its a good chip for gaming with plenty overclocking potential if you are into that.
Add in a new gfx card for about a $100 more if you like so x1600 maybe a 7600 is what you are looking at good prices can be had on x1600s. that adds up to only $315ish plenty left in the budget for a new PSU if you need one or some better RAM. And you have got rid of your old sucky gfx card and have a relativley new and pretty upgradable system.

It would be possible to even do an am2 system you would definately need new ram for that though as they are ddr2.
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