PDA

View Full Version : A couple Motherboard Questions


Gilgamesh
01-18-2003, 09:31 PM
Hi again.
I was hoping someone could help me out and explain the differences between via and nforce chipsets, if or how they relate to dual processor systems, and what other options there are.
Secondly, it seems like most of the dual processor motherboards I've been looking at have a 266 MHz Front Side Bus. (Athlon MP) Is there anything faster, or is that just how it goes?
Thank you!

elvis
01-18-2003, 09:53 PM
currently the only chipsets available for AMD SMP systems are the AMD 760MP (and 761MP southbridge) and AMD 760MPX (761MPX southbridge).

both of these are 133/266 chipsets, and offer very little overclocking/tweaking options. the reason for this is that they are focussed at the server and high end workstation market, which prefers stability over tweakability. that and the only chips available for SMP in an AMD system are the athlon MP chips, which are all 266FSB at the moment.

the barton cores for athlon MP chips should be out soon, with a bus jump to 333MHz. with the new chip AMD will no doubt release a new chipset. i've got no idea on ETA for this yet. it seems february is the magic month for a lot of hardware this year (geforceFX, via kt400a, AMD opteron/hammer, AMD barton "XP", etc, etc) so i'd probably guestimate it will debut around then too.

Gilgamesh
01-19-2003, 08:32 AM
OK, that's good to know. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on something. I probable will still get the 266, since I'm not usually on the cutting edge. (too expensive)

I'm still curious about the difference between nForce and VIA, even if it doesn't apply to Dual Chip setups.

elvis
01-19-2003, 09:11 AM
currently only selected via kt333 chipsets will support 333FSB athlon XPs. all via kt400 and nforce2 boards support them.

the up and coming kt400a will also support 333FSB.

the nforce2 board has dual-channel memory, which in laymans terms basically means the board can access two different sticks of memory at the same time. this obviously means you need two sticks of ram to benefit from it, but this is not typically an expensive option (2*256 instead of 1*512 is not much of a monetary difference).

as to which is the "better" out of the via and nforce chipsets, well i'm not going to answer. whatever you do, don't ask madmax nor myself into a thread like this! we all know what happened last time... :p lets just say the opinions on the matter are pretty varied.

and on the subject of "last time", there are plenty of threads in this forum already about the two brands. do a search and see what you come up with. :)

Gilgamesh
01-19-2003, 08:24 PM
Alright. Thanks dude.

Cheers
01-19-2003, 09:52 PM
Before I go any further, I will just say that I love my Athlon MP rig, but I must admit that I am glad I built it some time after the initial AMD launch of the MP chipsets.

Who can forget the USB bug that hampered those initial boards, not to mention power connecters welding themselves to the sockets (Tyan boards, if I remember rightly).
To be honest, Gilgamesh, I think you are better off with your decision to chose the current 266FSB options. As with any new technology, I expect AMD & the board manufacturers to be spending the first year ironing out the bugs in the new generation chip sets.

Cheers

Gilgamesh
01-20-2003, 12:55 AM
Thanks for the advice. The other upside I can see is that PC2100 RAM will be cheaper. So I can get more of it.
While we're on the subject, can you recommend any good MP motherboards? I'm planning on going with Asus right now, just because that's what I'm used to and they haven't failed me yet. They don't have very many to choose from, though.
If I could, I would like built in sound, USB 2, and possibly firewire and raid. I don't know if those are as popular on dual processor boards, though.

GregHess
01-20-2003, 03:15 AM
Gilgamesh,

With Dual AMD boards, if you want to use more then 2 dimms, you need to use REGISTERED DDR.

You can use normal cheap unbuffered PC2100 DDR...but then you can only use 2 of the 4 dimms. To use 3 or more dimms, you'll need Registered PC2100 DDR. (Its alot more expensive)

Dual AMD boards are up in the air currently. The upcoming 2600+ MP is slated for an early feb release (1st week) and is supposedly running at a 333 FSB. Since no dual amd boards currently support this currently...there could be some new ones on the horizon (or at least new revisions of older models) within 2-3 weeks.

Gilgamesh
01-20-2003, 05:29 AM
I hope I'm not being too insufferable, but if anyone has some time and patience, I'm just curious about this stuff. What is the physical difference between registered and unregistered RAM, and why does that limit it to two dimms? Also, aside from being able to only have two of them, are there any other drawbacks? Lastly, can you mix registered and unregistered dimms?
I know I could probably find this info after a couple minutes surfing, but it's much more fun to ask.
Thanks again guys.

GregHess
01-20-2003, 03:00 PM
What is the physical difference between registered and unregistered RAM, and why does that limit it to two dimms?

Registered Ram is taller (about .25 a normal dimm height taller) and usually has an additional chip for Error correcting.

The limitation of two unbuffered dimms is a restriction of the AMD 760 MP and MPX chipset. If you want to know more about that, I'm sure AMD has an extensive white paper.

Also, aside from being able to only have two of them, are there any other drawbacks?

On a whole, because of ECC, and the higher quality level required of registered ram, then tend to be more stable then unbuffered sticks.

Lastly, can you mix registered and unregistered dimms?

No you can not mix the two ram types.

On an Dual AMD you can either have...

An unbuffered dimm in slot 1, an unbuffered dimm in slot 1 and 2, or registered dimms in any # of slots.

Cheers
01-20-2003, 05:41 PM
I'm using a ASUS A7M266-D with two 2000+ MP's, Gilgamesh...and have no complaints.
Ohhh and I'm using 1Gig (2x512MB sticks) of Registered DDR :o)

Cheers

Gilgamesh
01-20-2003, 07:19 PM
Thanks guys, you rock.

MadMax
01-20-2003, 10:46 PM
nForce2 is currently the best platform for AMD processors.

You can find this on pretty much any hardware site that has reviewed them.

I would rather be tortured by demonic hordes and boiled in hot oil before I'd buy anything from VIA.

elvis
01-20-2003, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by elvis
as to which is the "better" out of the via and nforce chipsets, well i'm not going to answer. whatever you do, don't ask madmax nor myself into a thread like this! we all know what happened last time... :p lets just say the opinions on the matter are pretty varied.

:applause:

Gilgamesh
01-21-2003, 12:10 AM
LOL
What have I done?

Cheers: That's pretty much the setup I've been looking at.

Thanks again

CGTalk Moderation
01-14-2006, 05:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.