Does The Mobo Go?

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Within weeks, we should be seeing these cheap TBredBs.

A big question (at least for some mobo manufacturers) is whether you’ll buy it a new home, or just evict the old Athlon from the old homestead and move in this one.

So we have a couple questions for those of you with current socket A systems who plan on buying one of these things.

1) Do you expect to buy a new motherboard for it?

2) If you would rather not, what motherboard do you have now?

Some Additional Information Before You Answer

Right now, based on the comments from Asus and MSI on CPU compatibility, Via motherboards from the KT266A on should be supported (and some KT133A boards may be supported). nForce1 and 2 boards should be OK, as well as the SiS 745 boards. You might find support for some AMD760 boards, but don’t bet on it.

Before buying, you should always check the motherboard company’s website to make sure your motherboard supports a TBredB.

In this situation, if your motherboard supports a 2400+, you should have no real problem with a low-end TBredB. Supporting a 2400+ means the BIOS supports the microcode for TBredBs.

Do NOT look at a chart under 1700+ or 1800+ and think everything is fine if the chart says “Yes.” What the chart is saying is that 1700+ and 1800+ Palominos are OK, not every 1700+ and 1800+. Palominos, TBredAs and TBredBs all have different CPUIDs.

Mind you, that’s just to get the chip running at default FSB. If you want to run at 166MHz FSB or faster, the older boards won’t let you do that because they have maximum PCI divisors of /4. You need a PCI divisor of at least /5 to do that, which means at least a KT333A for Via or an nForce2.

If your goal is to run at more than 200MHz FSB (and that may be a stretch), the only real choice at this moment is an nForce2 board with a confirmed PCI lock. As of right now, that’s the Abit, Asus and Chaintech boards (no doubt more will follow.

There are two boards where it’s been confirmed that the PCI speed is not locked at 33MHz: Leadtek and MSI. However, there’s been no confirmation that a /6 divisor is available. The reason why you want a /6 divisor is that if you don’t have it, at over 200MHz, your hard drives and other PCI devices will be overclocked over 20%. They may work at that speed, they may well not. Unless Leadtek and MSI say otherwise, it would be best to assume that they have a maximum divisor of /5 (they have to have that to run a 333MHz Athlon at default), so don’t buy the boards.

One company simply refuses to answer the question: Epox, citing NDAs. Funny, none of the other companies making nForce2 boards seem to have that problem.

If Epox wants to keep important information you need to know secret from you when no other company making the same product is, then let them keep their boards, too. If you’re aiming for the sky, don’t buy the Epox 8RDA+ until they tell you what you need to know.

Moving on, you realistically need a /6 divisor for a low-risk 200MHz FSB speed on a Via board, and no Via board provides that yet (the future Via KT400A likely will).

We think it best to wait until the CPU becomes available to buy the mobo, the prices are bound to be a little lower and the selection greater.

Thanks in advance to all who answer.


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