At the beginning of this year, I thought this whole DDR thing would be a nightmare. I was wrong; it’s been worse. I expected Bozo the Clown, instead I’m getting Waiting for Godot.
You buy an AMD DDR board, you’ll get something that more or less work, but subject to instant obsolescence when or if the other clowns get their act together.
God only knows what’s happening over at Via. The impression I’m getting is that we’ll see boards that will stand getting pushed out the door in a month or two, but it won’t be appreciably better than the AMD boards.
Now we’re being threatened with SiS boards. Early reference boards are doing 3-5% better than AMD boards. That’s pretty good. When can you buy one? Probably not for a few months. That’s pretty bad if you need something right away.
Who knows how well NVidia’s Crush will do, or when or possibly even if.
Saw an interesting quote the other day:
Motherboard makers including Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology, AOpen and Abit Computer say there is really not much difference between VIA and SiS from the standpoint of technological proficiency or production capacity. Intel, by comparison, is like a professional ball team among amateurs . . . .
Don’t get mad at me. I didn’t say it, the mobo companies did.
What To Do?
I think you have to ask yourself the following, “Can I wait until the fall, or not?”
I really don’t think we’re going to see anything cooked that’s different than what we have now until then. Doesn’t look like there’s any particularly
good reason if you really need something now to hold out another month or so.
By early fall, we should see Palomino. If you already have a socket A system, and the whole purpose of the exercise is to get a motherboard for Palomino, don’t buy it now. You’re not going to get any wondrous improvement out of it alone. Wait until Palomino comes out, then buy it. Otherwise, you’ll just pay more and get less.
By fall, if Via wants to remain a serious AMD mobo company, we’d better see something decent from them by then. By then, we’ll should
see SiS boards. Might see Crush. ALi is supposed to have another revision coming out fairly shortly; that might be the only surprise that happens in the next few weeks.
If you need to buy soon, that pretty much leaves the AMD760 boards by default. Abit is supposed to come out with its 760 board, the KG7, shortly. The good news is that it will have four DIMM slots. The bad news is
that the highest Mhz Softmenu supports is 150Mhz.
Sometime early next week, I’ll take a look at user comments about these boards, and see what they have to say about them. I don’t see an ideal one out there that I
can say, “You all should buy this.” All the major ones look to have strong and weak points. Which is best for you will depend on your strong and weak points. 🙂