• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Another mobo question (settle in, long-winded) ...

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Ach3r0n

New Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
I can see from reading the threads that most here seem to recommend only 1 of 2 motherboards based on the 955 chipset: Abit AW8-Max or Asus P5WD2. I've actually never used an Asus board, but I hear good things mostly. I had great luck with my last Abit board (lasted 6 years and was stable as they come). Anyway, w/o even looking at the specs, I'm sure either would suit my needs. My current board is an SiS-based AOpen and omg what a PoS .. never again will I go SiS and honestly I'm even soured on AOpen b/c of it. People use to recommend Gigabyte mobos often but I haven't seen that much anymore. What happened? I've noticed a lot of serious problems mentioned with the Abit and ASUS boards (i.e. via posts on their respective forums) so that concerns me a bit. :x

Stability is my #1 issue here. I don't mind sacrificing a little performace for it. Any suggestions for other good boards would be welcome as well though on the 955. Any at all? :)

My 2nd question is a bit of a longer. multi-facted one .. Is it worth it for me to pick up a 975-based board instead? I need to upgrade by year's end - not much time as you can see. I have no need for Crossfire and I never will. My rig will be used mostly for everyday multitasking, video encoding and other multimedia tasks (TV, movies, etc). I barely do any gaming so Crossfire means squat to me.

The biggest draw of the 975 I can see is the potential to support future CPUs that the 955 may or may not support. Anyone have any input on that subject? The chances of me upgrading in anything less than 2 years is slim, but I guess it depends on what Intel brings to the table.

At the moment, I will be fitting whatever mobo I get with a cheapo Celeron D (found one for $80 I will prob go with) b/c I need to get this box together within the next week. When Presler arrives, the Celeron will go up for sale.

Because there won't be much 'real-life' data on the 975 mobos, b/c there are so few to choose from, and b/c I have 0 need for Crossfire, I'm a bit hesitant to go in that direction. Anyone have some insightful thoughts on this to help me make my decision? :)
 
Last edited:

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
The main reason for going i975 is futureproofing. Otherwise, the i955 is fine. I personally do not know for sure if the i955 will support Presler (but I hope it does). That's something that you probably should research a little more. I personally would only buy an Intel chipset on either an Abit or Asus mobo for overclocking.
 
OP
A

Ach3r0n

New Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
From what I've read, the 955 will definitely support Presler but it may or may not support future dual-core chips. My upgrade cycle is about once every 2-3 years so future chips may not matter to me. In my experience, by the time I upgrade it's usually time to upgrade nearly everything. I absolutely agree about using an Intel chipset - though my reason was for stability. :)

After doing some extensive reading, I'm very worried about both the flagship Abit and Asus models in regards to memory compatibility among other things. For instance, the latest Abit bios revision adds support for Presler, but apparently it makes nearly any decent type of RAM incompatible. That's a bit of a problem obviously. :(
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Looks like you are right about Presler and Cedar Mill support. The new BIOS says this:

1. Support Presler/ Cedar Mill CPU.
2. Support DDR2-800.
3. Support four 2GB memory.
4. Enhanced compatibility with certain PCI SCSI cards.
5. BIOS compiled date: 11/30/2005

Since I have an AW8, I decided to do a little research. Looks like the latest BIOS 15 is a little buggy. Like DDR2-800 RAM not running at the 1:2 ratio. My AA8XE never would work right at the 1:2 ratio either, so big deal. They are supposed to be fixing the bugs with the next BIOS update. I have seen some folks having RAID problems, but there are always some people having RAID problems no matter what mobo they use.

The thing to remember is people with problems tend to be quite vocal about it, but they are probably a small minority. The P5WD2 has it's share of complaints too, but most folks here on the forum generally have really good luck with that board.
 

Rocinante

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2002
Location
Houston, TX
Either board will suit you just fine, I prefer the Abit's Award bios to the Asus AMI version, and have just had better personal luck with Abit...

The only draw back to the Abit is it only has 1 IDE connector so if you have more than 2 IDE devices, your S.O.L. ( had to finally give up my Zip drive )
 
OP
A

Ach3r0n

New Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Thanks for the replies fellas. :)

I've had great experience with Abit in the past so I am leaning towards that one also. My big concern at the moment is the memory issues that arose with revision 15 of the bios - since I will need 15 to support the 930 I'll be putting in there. Hoping Abit gets their s*it together so I can get my new rig built. :D I was all set to throw a Celery in there to tide me over until I hit this little mobo snag.

I can live with the DDR2-800 probs as I will only be running 667 in there anyway in all liklihood. So basically I just want them to bring back the mem compatibility that existed in rev. 14 while maintaining the Presler support in rev.15. Fingers crossed rev. 16 will sort these probs. One thing I have always given Abit kudos for is their frequent bios updates. I currently have an AOpen mobo and they have only issue ONE bios rev. since I have owned this mobo and this board was considered pretty high-end when I bought it. Shameful. hehe

np on the single IDE chan Rocinante. I spent the last month clearing my IDE drives and moving everything to SATA so all that remain are my 2 DVD burners for the IDE chan. :)
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
if you are not in a super huge hurry. I'm in the process of finally setting up my AW8 right now (I've had the mobo for a couple months). Had to completely overhaul my watercooled system. Got it plumbed yesterday and will start testing for leaks this morning. Anyway once it's all back together, I can test the new BIOS. I have Kingston HyperX and OCZ DDR2. The KHX will do DDR2-800 with relaxed timings and a bit of voltage. Abit has always been good about staying on top of BIOS updates. I'm sure a new BIOS will be out within a few weeks.

EDIT: Well, I had a leak on one of the reservoir fittings, so I had to partially disassemble it again. But, think I have it fixed now. Continuing the leak test.
 
Last edited:
OP
A

Ach3r0n

New Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Good luck with the leak test batboy and will look forward to your test results on the RAM. :) I'm in a hurry but I'm trying to hold out for the Pentium 930 so I got a little time still. :) (Jan 6 I hear now)
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
OK, good news, I'm up and running. My AW8 came with BIOS 10 and my OCZ Platinium Edition rev 2 with tight 3-2-2-8 timings would not boot up initially (same problem with my AA8XE too). Had to use my KHX PC2-5400 to setup, then I updated to BIOS 14. Now my OCZ DDR2 works fine. Thank goodness for Abit's BIOS updates. I'm currently testing the system at 300 FSB which works out to be 4.2 gig using the 14X multiplier. I have BIOS 15 downloaded, but haven't installed it yet. I'm sort of thinking about upgrading to a Presler too... now that I knocked my load temps down 15 degrees.
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Ok, I flashed to BIOS 15. Personally, I haven't seen any difference compared to BIOS 14. My KHX DDR2 will run the 1:2 ratio at 200 FSB on both BIOS versions. Admittedly, they are not rated DDR2-800 though (and won't go much higher). I've been seeing conflicting reports about BIOS 15 now. Some claim it solves problems and others claim it's buggy. I'll do some more testing tomorrow.
 
OP
A

Ach3r0n

New Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Thanks for the update. It's good news you were even able to get the system to boot with the OCZ RAM. There have been problems reported with just about all the major brand mem modules (excluding Corsair so far) but OCZ really seemed to be the biggest problem. Many .. or even most .. of the problems were on DDR2 667 also.

Anyway, I'll check this thread again tomorrow and see how things are going. :)
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
I was playing with the new system some more tonight. Popped my OCZ PC2-4200 back in and tried a suicide run. It booted up at a little over 4.8 gig, but I wasn't able to get a screenie before it crashed. I did get a screen shot of 4.76 gig though. My previous stable speed was 4.4 gig, but right now so far I'm running pretty good at 4.5 gig using the 3:4 memory ratio. Not sure if the extra speed is due to the watercooling or the AW8 or both.