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How to select an AMD mobo??

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The Faceless Rebel

Mar 3, 2001
Sorry...up until now I've used nothing but Intel. Intel was easy, you just use 1 chipset: 440BX ;)

Now I have decided that since people can run Athlon T-bird [email protected]+ with nothing more than aircooling, I think that I am tired of Intel and I am tired of Intel promising the next P4 will be good. F*** that.

So now I am reading about AMD mobo and wow theres like 4 chipsets, and some have DDR and some don't, and some people who have EXACT same mobo have compatibility issues with SbLive! and other stuff and some don't? How the hell does VIA stay in business??? Anyways, I would like a nice mobo to stick a 1.33ghz T-bird in.

It seems like it's not worth it to get DDR now...but if you get DDR now you will be in much better shape for the faster procs. But none of the DDR boards are all that good right now it seems. And I really would prefer to avoid VIA. I have an SbLive! Value and I like it and stuff. Since I will eventually run some variant of Win2K Aureal old stuff is out of the question.

So what do you guys think? I'm willing to get an SDRAM mobo if it will work with Palomino, but even there no one seems to know what the hell is Palomino going to use? Will Palomino be Socket-A? Or if I buy AMD now will I be orphaned much the same way present P4 buyers are going to get orphaned?

Advice is good :)
BTW, additional Q: there sure are alot of AMD mobo reviews out there. Usually I like to read Anandtech reviews because they have good stability tests. But Anand hasn't reviewed any of the DDR AMD mobos. So, what is your favorite mobo review site?
Well, it definitely sounds like you're going to want a board with multiplier adjustments. I'd say that having that would be your #1 priority. I am with ya on the DDR thing.... still not quite there yet....

Next, you gotta think about what you like. If you want full jumperless setup, Abit is the way to go. If you're shooting for getting an ultra-high FSB, Iwill would be your route. Aside from that, there are good boards from Abit, Asus, Iwill, MSI, Epox, and a couple other select companies. I'd say the most important things are :

#1: KT133A chipset (if you go the SDRAM route)
#2: Multiplier adjustment

As a longtime Intel user, messing with the FSB is in my blood. Multiplier unlocking sounds pretty damn dangerous...i mean, I would be drawing lines with a pencil on a $200 CPU! I'm used to cranking up the FSB to absurd levels....my components like it too. I've run an AGP/PCI ratio of 78/39 and my components keep on truckin. So I would probably like higher FSB more than multiplier unlocking really...

I'm looking at the Iwill KK266-R and the Abit KT7A-RAID. Also I'm considering the ASUS A7M-266 with the DDR. Does anyone have the A7M-266 and like it or dislike it?
I currently have two ASUS boards up, an A7V and an A7V133 (with the VIA KT133A chipset). I have a Sound Blaster Live Platinum on the A7V133 and another Sound Blaster on the A7V. I have no compatibility problems whatsoever. I've set them up with both WIN 98SE and WIN ME. On these boards you can go into the BIOS and set the IRQ's manually if necessary.

I've been extremely pleased with the results I've gotten. On the A7V133, I have a DURON 600 @113OMHz (133*8.5) Global Win WBK38. And on the A7V, I have another DURON 600 @ 1100MHz (110*10) Global Win FOP32.

Both of these boards support both FSB and multiplier overclocking, although the A7V is saddled with the first generation KT133 chipset which limits the FSB to 110MHz (an issue with all first generation KT133 boards). AMD socket "A" CPU's, run at higher temperatures than what you've been used to, but the bigger problem with them is cracking / chipping the core while attaching the heat sink, stay away from the "ORB's. My preference has been with Global Win FOP's and the new WBK series.

I'm not trying to take anything away from the ABIT, IWILL, MSI etc. Success on these boards is well documented. I'm just relating my experiences to you.

You've started off the right way, gather as much information as you can, then make an informed decision, Research is the key to a successful overclocking experience.

As far as closing the bridges, there's nothing to it, just connect the dots. You may be depriving yourself of a healthy increase in performance if you don't take advantage of that option.

Good Luck!


i have the Abit KT7A and i love it the IWILL boards are also great, haven't had good experiences with ASUS as i seen one burnup a 1 gig Tbird. so my opinion is go with either bit or IWILL
Just to let you know, most 1.2 and all the chips that are higher come factory-unlocked - no need to pencil out the bridges, true you can get a 1.0 AXIA but personally, I say spend the 20 bucks - 1.33s OC slightly higher (in speed, not %) than 1.0s anyway.

Or my config is pretty nice too.

1 ghz Amd Tbird running at 1370 mhz (8.5 x 161) Unlocked with Pencil
The ram is fast as the lightning
Iwill KK266-R
Rock Stable
I just wonder if the DDR is really worth it?
I dunno...I don't like the way most of the DDR boards are laid out.
Plus those DDR boards don't let you adjust the FSB in 1mhz increments.
I know, I'm being picky here, but if I'm going to shoot for 1.5ghz I will need every weapon at my disposal...
Also, I still have this ALPHA PEP66t with Delta 38cfm fan...it's overkill on an Intel rig, but the fact of the matter is it's what I got. How's it cool Athlons? "Pretty good? OK? Disaster for Russian Space Station?"
Also, props to the first person to name the movie that quote is from :)
Also, has AMD stated for sure when Palomino comes? Apparently AMD's "official" word is May-June, but now I hear that AMD is so content with T-bird yields that they might push it back to July-August. I'm willing to wait a month till June if I can get my hands on Palomino...
Does anyone know about this?
While I'm here picking all ur brains :p

Is a 300W PSU enuf? I got the Antec PP-303X, it came with my SX-1030B. If I knew that AMD now sucks enuf juice to need 350+W I would have got the SX-1040. But no matter. Here's what I got.

1 Zip
1 40GB 7200rpm HDD
1 8.4GB 5400rpm HDD

what are the chances I'm actually going to be able to run this rig with a 1.33 T-bird on a 300W PSU?
All I know is I got it down to two boards,
The Abit KT7A Raid and the Iwill kk266-R
I wonder if raid really does anything except secures your data do it significently increase the transfer speed? All the reviews I seen said, the Iwill is the best AMD-non ddr board out... I agree but is it worth the extra money? cause the KT7A is just as good but 20$ less.... I got 300$ and once I save up 500 or so I'ma look foward to build my new system...

what ya think the Abit or the Iwill????