Entering the 64bit era

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
This is going to be my first build of a system based on the AMD x64 processor. It's a 3200 one, and an Epox 8hda series motherboard. It's going to a client, unfortunately, and is not for me. Oh well, maybe the next one ;)

Anyone used the said motherboard? Any info about it? Just looked through the posts over at amdmb (moderated), but didn't find anything too alarming.
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
The motherboard is an Epox 8HDA3+, with audio (spdif and toslink output!) and dual lan and 4 SATA ports!

Not bad. The manual is more confusing to me, compared to the ASUS ones I'm used to.
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
Doh, reading the manual, I find out there are actually SIX (!) SATA connectors on the motherboard. So the only thing missing now is some SATA drives....
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
Attaching the boxed heatsink is a no-brainer. A welcome break from the ones I'm used to. Very nice.

Althoug I haven't broken a mobo with a slipped scredriver, yet, it's still a bit frustrating sometimes when one has to work on mobos with very little room (capacitators very near the cpu/heatsink).
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
I'm putting a PNY Geforce 5900XT in here, 1GIG of Kingston memory, one 160GB samsung and one 120GB samsung in it (video editing purposes). I'll get the case and PS tomorrow, damm. My fingers are itching to test this one out...

Ah yes, an LG 19" TFT, and Logitech cordless optical MX keyboard and mouse, and everything in a nice black colour.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,704
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
My Athlon 64s have Albatron K8X800 Pro and K8NNXP motherboards.

Of the two, I like the much less expensive Albatron board better. Gigabyte has a better layout (albatron puts the floppy connector in the middle of the bottom edge of the board, which is stupid), but I seem to get more silly little problems (X is less stable, for one) with it than with the Albatron.

The albatron also has a high-end Via Envoy sound controller that seems to be quite a bit better than the standard Via686 or Realtek onboard chips.

When I looked at the Epox, I didn't see it as terribly compelling.
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
Mercutio said:
When I looked at the Epox, I didn't see it as terribly compelling.

Why? Price/features?

My choise is usually easy, it is either ABIT (NO), MSI (no), Asus (out of stock at the moment), Soltek or Epox. Of these, only Epox was in stock for the 64bi t platform.
 

EdwardK

Learning Storage Performance
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
140
Location
Sydney. Australia
The JoJo said:
...Althoug I haven't broken a mobo with a slipped scredriver, yet, it's still a bit frustrating sometimes when one has to work on mobos with very little room (capacitators very near the cpu/heatsink).

I have got experience with that :oops: After that, I followed CougTek's advise and threw the hammer at it :mrgrn: I really hate those clip on CPU heat sinks.

Cheers,
Edward
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,704
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
The JoJo said:
Mercutio said:
When I looked at the Epox, I didn't see it as terribly compelling.

Why? Price/features?

My choise is usually easy, it is either ABIT (NO), MSI (no), Asus (out of stock at the moment), Soltek or Epox. Of these, only Epox was in stock for the 64bi t platform.

First off:
Abit Sucks. In fact, I think it should be a compound word: AbitSucks. If you want a northbridge fan than dies in three weeks or caps that pop like popcorn, AbitSucks is your company. Me? I'm not into that sort of thing, so I choose to avoid AbitSucks products.

MSI is simply not common where I live. I've seen exactly as many Soltek motherboards "in the wild" as MSIs, and my opinion after examining their packaging and board construction was that MSI was trying very hard to compete with AbitSucks. In particular I note the small number and small sized capacitors on MSI boards. Bleh.

Anyway, with those two criteria in mind...
Asus: Feature filled boards, but vastly overpriced compared to the Albatron board that matches it blow-by-blow for features.

Soltek: Price was right - $100 for a full featured board. Generic Realtek audio? OK... but where's the onboard LAN? Did they just forget about it?

Epox: Good price - $115 IIRC. Pretty standard feature set for a board at that price - 6ch. audio (Albatron's has better), USB2, SATA, Gbit (Albatron's is 100mbit), lots of good sized-caps... but I've had bad RMA experiences with Epox (i.e. they owe me some boards), and they still have the world's most retarded ATX power connector placement. Nice as Gbit is, I don't see myself using it widely, so to me there just wasn't anything to draw me to that product.
 

mubs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Nov 22, 2002
Messages
4,908
Location
Somewhere in time.
So is Albatron a good brand overall? I was somehow under the impression that they were ultra cheap, poorly designed & built products like PC Chips, Matsonic, etc. I build very few systems and have thus far stuck with brands like Tyan and Asus.

Fry's here often has bargain bundles of an Athlon CPU coupled with an Albatron motherboard and I've never ever considered them seriously. Should I? Do Albatron products have better than average design & buiild quality, life and at least avaerage performance?
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
Not arguing with you Merc about Abit and the others, as you can see from my list the (NO) after abit was intended to reflect just that, not an option for me. MSI is deffinitely falling away too. Too many problems with caps and otherwise some shakey stability.

Soltek, never used them yet.
Epos, used a few, pretty good so far.

Asus. Only Asus for me. Trouble free operation. I don't care if it costs 10-20 more than the others. It has worked better for me. That justifies the cost for me, anyday.

One Compucase case and a HEC silent 300w PS coming today, so I'll get to fire it all up (no, no matches here. No flamethrower either. ..).
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
EdwardK said:
I have got experience with that :oops: After that, I followed CougTek's advise and threw the hammer at it :mrgrn: I really hate those clip on CPU heat sinks.

Cheers,
Edward

:)

This new way is deffinitely a better way to attach them, much safer. Wonder if the heatsink is less
 

Tea

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,736
Location
27a No Fixed Address, Oz.
Website
www.redhill.net.au
If it works for you, don't change it!

Me, I hate ASUS. Unreliable, over-priced, difficult-to-work-on crap. A cheapskate motherboard at a premium price. Yuk. But if it works for you you, don't argue.

I like works.

My concern for the video editing on TFT is colour balance. I took a TFT home the other month to edit photos on. It lasted about three days. You just can't trust the colours on a TFT. For office work, sure - they're the best thing since raspberry ice-cream - but not where getting the colours right matters. For the usage you said, JoJo, no problem.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,932
Location
Brisbane, Oz
A huge issue with LCD is the horizontal 'polarization' (?) that means that merely tilting your head changes the entire appearance of the displayed picture. You need to keep the perpendicular of the surface aimed at or below your eyes to have any chance at all.

I'm afraid I'm with Tea - I think anyone trying to do color matching (i.e. photographic processes) is just kidding themselves with LCD, regardless of cost.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
13,508
Location
USA
I didn't know they had a term for that, time. I notice with my LCD a color-shift when certain colors are next to each other AND I tilt my head up and down. I thought it had something to do with my glasses and they way the light was refracted. I can see lines change when I change the angle of my head.
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,932
Location
Brisbane, Oz
My comparitively limited experience with Asus has been uninspiring to say the least. Practically a 100% hassle rate, in fact.

In the past year alone, that has involved:

Motherboard with faulty I/O. Waited 6 weeks for replacement, which turned out to be worse than original - couldn't boot any OS known to mankind. Supplier admitted entire shipment was faulty; I gave up and replaced it with an MSI. :roll:

A client has two identical servers with Asus CUBX boards - supposedly the best BX board Asus ever produced. About one in every 20 times, they fail to come up again while being rebooted. Too bad they're unattended servers ...

I have two PCs with Asus boards. One is even more unreliable than the Epox 8RGA+ POS of which I am also the accursed owner (I can't even blame this one on bad capacitors - at least, not yet). I've given up on hibernate and standby modes - I'm lucky if the poxy thing agrees to shut down half the time.

And then there's the perceived quality. Recent Asus boards I have seen are made in China, and bluntly, look it. In contrast, the Gigabyte GA-7VT600-1394 board I just fitted (to replace yet another Epox with blown caps) is made in Taiwan and looks a milllion dollars, comes with excellent packaging and accessories, and uses only the best capacitors on the planet. Mind you, Soltek is made in China and still looks better than Asus - IMHO.

Finally, there's the embarassing recent capacitor problem: http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=13674, and someone else's take on it: http://aceshardware.com/forum?read=115064579
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,704
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
mubs said:
So is Albatron a good brand overall? I was somehow under the impression that they were ultra cheap, poorly designed & built products like PC Chips, Matsonic, etc. I build very few systems and have thus far stuck with brands like Tyan and Asus.

Fry's here often has bargain bundles of an Athlon CPU coupled with an Albatron motherboard and I've never ever considered them seriously. Should I? Do Albatron products have better than average design & buiild quality, life and at least avaerage performance?

The experience I've had with Albatron thusfar has been highly positive. I can't speak to anyone else's findings, but I've received spit-and-polished K8X800s that have almost the same standard of quality I've found with Gigabyte. I'd put Albatron in the same broad category as AOpen and Epox.

... on the other hand, I haven't had an Albatron board long enough to know whether problems will be forthcoming.

Speaking of Asus: I bought several A7V266s to use for HTPC builds about two and a half months ago. I've returned 4 out of 5 of them in an 11 week timespan. That's just not cool.
Let's see: One wouldn't recognize a USB keyboard. One didn't work at all (it sat and made siren noises when powered up). One would boot with pretty much any RAM or CPU you'd choose, but could never get Windows installed... from a ghost image, and one had problems with its onboard video. Ordinarily I'd leave the first and fourth in service with appropriate replacement parts, but with the small sample size I'm dealing with and in light of the other problems, all of 'em are going back.
 

sechs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
4,709
Location
Left Coast
Handruin said:
I didn't know they had a term for that

Yes. It's called view angle. When you get outside of the view angle, the picture begins to distort and/or fade, actually disapearing when the polarization gets just right.

Unless properly calibrated, the colour that you see on an LCD monitor isn't going to be the same as you would see on a CRT. If you're editing pictures for print, you should be calibrating for your monitor and the printer, anyway; if you're editing for the web, calibration isn't going to make other people's monitors display it correctly, anyway.
 

CityK

Storage Freak Apprentice
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
1,719
time said:
And then there's the perceived quality.
That's the thing that kills me about Asus. I guess its just so easy to perpetuate some myth like that through the legions of amature hardware sites. I can't tell you how many times I've seen reviewers blab on about Asus being a high quality manufacturer and blah blah blah.

In my experience, the abyss known as Asus customer support provides concreate evidence of the existence of black holes. Emails go in, but they never come out.

Have you been to there user forum lately? Oh wait, I forgot - that's the same page that has had, for the past two years, a message that the the forum is currently unavailable but will be back soon. Its worded in such a way as to make you think there actually is an active forum but that it is just temporarily down.

And even in those rare occasions when they have had an operable user forum, its been moderated so heavy handedly against even the most subtle pronouncements of user dissatiisfactionsent that it makes Kim Jong Il look like a school girl...the Great Leader that he is.
 

Tea

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,736
Location
27a No Fixed Address, Oz.
Website
www.redhill.net.au
Yes, I agree with Time and Mercutio. Albatron still have a little way to go to bring their documentation and web site support up to the standards of Epox, Gigabyte, and co., but the actual products are good. We use them all the time. At present, we use:

Albatron: mostly their Nforce board with sound & video; quite often their excelent video cards; sometimes other main boards, notably the KT-600.

Epox: an amazingly cheap KT-400A (for practical purposes, regard this as a KT-600) with SATA that is solid and trouble-free. Other boards as required.

Asrock: integrated boards that truly suck (lots of minor piss-the-technician-off design faults - F2 to enter setup? Eeek!), but don't have the stability or reliability problems we have experienced with other entry-level boards. Don't like these, but don't have anything better to substitute.

Gigabyte: everything else.

For video cards, we use Leadtek, Sparkle, and Albatron for the high-end and mid-range, whatever seems like a good idea at the time for entry-level
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,704
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I think I could cut things down to just Gigabyte. I work at a very low volume (~50 PCs/year), though, so if I didn't mix in other stuff from time to time I wouldn't have any basis for comparison.
Which in turn would make me that much more pissed off the next time I worked on something else. Gigabyte's standard is just really, really high.

Man, I thought it was just me with the bad Asus experience.
 

mubs

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Nov 22, 2002
Messages
4,908
Location
Somewhere in time.
Gentlemen and Ladies, can we have model numbers wherever possible, please?

I've used only a few motherboards, and none have ever given me any problems. Granted, my sample size is too small to be maningful.

2 x Shuttle Hot-569 (TX chipset)

2 x Supermicro P5STE

1 x FIC PA2007 (some VIA chipset)

1 x Abit BH6 (BX chipset)

2 x Tyan S1832DL (BX chipset)

1 x Asus CUSL2-C (815E chipset)

Asus seems to have gone to hell in the last few years.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
13,508
Location
USA
sechs said:
Handruin said:
I didn't know they had a term for that

Yes. It's called view angle. When you get outside of the view angle, the picture begins to distort and/or fade, actually disapearing when the polarization gets just right.

Unless properly calibrated, the colour that you see on an LCD monitor isn't going to be the same as you would see on a CRT. If you're editing pictures for print, you should be calibrating for your monitor and the printer, anyway; if you're editing for the web, calibration isn't going to make other people's monitors display it correctly, anyway.

I know about view angle of a monitor, but what I'm seeing is a shift in color with a simple tilt of my head. If I focus on one thing on my monitor and tilt my head, I can see it change colors at the edge. It's most noticeable on the edge of a line.
 

sdbardwick

Storage is cool
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
572
Location
North San Diego County
Handruin said:
I know about view angle of a monitor, but what I'm seeing is a shift in color with a simple tilt of my head. If I focus on one thing on my monitor and tilt my head, I can see it change colors at the edge. It's most noticeable on the edge of a line.
Yes, glasses can have that effect. I'm REALLY nearsighted (more than -12 diopters) so with my lenses I can basically create color separations of images when viewing at an extreme angle through the lenses.
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
I've also had bad experience e-mailing Asus. Tried that a few years ago, without luck (can't remember why anymore).

But other than that, no problems. If asus is going down the drain in quality (haven't tried their Nforce2 mobos btw) it leaves me with a problem what to change to. The place I get my stuff from has Abit, Epos, MSI, Asus, Intel, Soltek. Nope, no clear winner there for me. So until I start experiencing problems with Asus Mobos (don't care too much about their tech support or RMA, the place I get the stuff from handles the RMA), I'll just stick to what "works" (TM, Patent pending by Tea) for me.
 

The JoJo

Wannabe Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
Finland, Turku
Website
www.thejojo.com
Got the case and PS yesterday, put the stuff in the case and fired it up. It started ok, so I delivered it to the client. The client has the HD's and optical stuff in his old computer so I'll probably head over there and install them and Windows onto the computer today.

And FAH....;)
 

time

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Jan 18, 2002
Messages
4,932
Location
Brisbane, Oz
sdbardwick said:
Yes, glasses can have that effect. I'm REALLY nearsighted (more than -12 diopters) so with my lenses I can basically create color separations of images when viewing at an extreme angle through the lenses.

I don't wear glasses. :-?
 

Adcadet

Storage Freak
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
1,858
Location
44.8, -91.5
I'm happy with my MSI K8T Neo FISR board. Also happy with the two AMD Athlon boards I built recently (forget the model number, but it's the Via one).
 
Top