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November 28, 2005, 6:09 am
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You missed BF sales - some killer deals.
Anyway --- I used to have an ASUS a7n8x too and a 2500 barton I OCed
to 3200 totally stable.
SATA --- it has kind of taken over all MBs nowadays that I know of
come with SATA connectors now but IDE hasnt gone away. Most MBs still
have PATA IDE connections so you can use both.
Theres also a newer SATA II that came out with a few more features.
The thing is until recently all the incredible deals were IDE PATA
drives. SATA sell at a huge premium - not comparing regular prices but
with rebated deep discount sales where the prices differ radically.
For example a 160 gig PATA IDE may have a regular price for $100-150
and a SATA may be slightly more but the PATA IDE may often be on sale
with rebate down to $29 while the SATA may only get down to $70-80 a
big difference especially considering most SATA drives that arent the
newest top models may not even have a performance edge despite the
fact the connection has a theoretical much higher max throughput --
the mechanical aspects of the drive cant take advantage of it.
The big difference is with some of the top models like the 10,000 rpm
RAPTORS they dont come in IDE PATA format so you have to get them in
The best deals are still in PATA but SATA is finally just coming down
radically in rebate deals. For the FIRST TIME ever --- I saw a $19 I
think it was HITACHI sata 160 gig drive at compusa this BF and I got
one. This may be a one off sale though and not mean much or it may
signal the start of a big decline in at least the older SATA drives.
I also got a 200 gig PATA for $29 after rebate there. In fact I got
it even lower because of a wacky angle which I wont mention here but
for others who took part in the AOL signup - KILLER DEAL of the year !
Anyway - most of the nforce boards have drifted much lower in price
now. Just pick an ASUS nforce board with the features you like.
The nforce4 is the standard chipset now along with the VIA KT8xxxx
series. I like to stick to nforce. Your older Asus A7n8x deluxe the
same one I had as I mentioned was a nforce2 with a socket A - Athlon
XP 32 bit chip.
Then came nforce3 (and VIA and other counterparts) with socket 754 for
the mainstream mkt , and they pushed a higher end socket 940 that used
ECC mem for the more pro mkt. There are still many 754 socket AMD 64s
out that use AMD 64 budget sempron chips and AMD 64 Athlon chips but
they will be phased out.
They superseded those with one socket the socket 939
The chipsets are
There were claims the ULTRA was the mainstream one with slightly
better features than the nforce4 /performance but I later heard that
wasnt true etc, I dont know if its true or not I havent bothered to
check but I got the nforce4Ultra and might as well stick to it as
prices have really fallen and compressed many models dont have huge
price gaps. The SLI version is the one with two PCI express video
card slots so you can run two video cards for allegedly faster
performance. I dont think you would be interested in that nor was I.
Heres the Ultra model
They are decked out now. Sata and IDE PATA
Heres the two nforce4 non SLI ASUS boards I noticed the latter
slightly more expensive one is getting bashed a bit at Newegg by two
The AMD 64 athlons 939 sockets -
they came out with Winchester cores first and now are selling Venice
The 3000 and 3200 are decent at around 139-180 range.
The 3000 may have dropped more I havent checked recently.
There are of course higher chips if you want spend more.
Get the retail the fans/htsinks are decent on the units.
The new thing now are dual cores two cores in on chip
the lowest price for AMD is 3800 X2 which came out at 399-350 but is
rapidly falling with a low Ive seen posted at 299-330. No performance
advantage with most single threaded stuff but if you do certain
multitasking chores and stuff like rendering etc theres an advantage.
The memory believe or not is the same 3200 DDR. I carried over my mem
from last ASUS a7n8x deluxe board cheapo Centon and Kingston in dual
mem mode. They work no problem. Some of the new stuff is different in
the low end - had problems with new Kingston and PNY sticks in my
Chaintech nforce4 board and so have others.
The cheap stuff tends to work on many boards alone but if you mix it
with some brands or older sticks it doesnt get along. And some of the
new stuff just doesnt work well with some boards. Mem is getting cheap
again though lots of sales on DDR 3200 even matched pairs which is no
bid deal but even they are cheap at places like NEWEGG which has had
on and off sales like on Patriot memory pairs of 512 ddr 3200 $66
after rebate its CL 3 though Ive heard eventhough it says CL 2.5. Most
of the new stuff seems to be CL 3.
Even DDR2 is getting real low. Theres talk that the M2 by AMD
supposedly supposed to come out next year somtime will use DDR2 too.
So DDR may be on its way out in a few years.
And the other big change new slots.
The nforce4 uses PCI express NOT AGP so you need a new video card.
Most boards usually have if they are full sized ---
2 slower PCI express slots
3 older PCI card slots