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What is the best nForce Motherboard?

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IT Director Senior
Oct 15, 2001
I'm doing research for a computer for a friend. He doesn't need overclocking potential, per se', but he does need good video output to TV possibility, good sound, and a solid motherboard. I was thinking of an nForce motherboard because it would have decent video and audio built into the board and is supposed to be pretty solid.

Note: Video needs are for DVD playback and everyday usage, not so much 3D gaming.

Is nForce a good choice? Which manufacturer would you suggest? I noticed MSI, ABIT, and ASUS so far, with the ABIT board being the cheapest.


the real xtremesys admin in exile
Aug 26, 2001
I forget the site ... but they pitted the MSI and the ASUS against each other and the ASUS whiped the floor with the MSI in everything except with MS EXCEL.... but who cares about office?

my money is on and has bought me two ASUS a7n266 mobo's


IT Director Senior
Oct 15, 2001
Ok, the ASUS is good, but it is pretty expensive. $50 more than the ABIT.

Anyone got experience with the ABIT board?


Jedi Knight Senior
May 9, 2001
Portland, OR
Why not just get a really stable KT266A board? The performance gains of DDR333 (PC2700) over DDR266 (PC2100) are so marginal, they're barely detectable through benchmarks, let alone actual computing.

The Abit KR7A and MSI K7T266 Pro-2 are both extremely stable boards, although the MSI lacks overclocking abilities (Capped at 133MHz FSB, but you said he doesn't need it anyway). Both of them offer XP functionality without a hitch. There is an ATA-133 version of the KR7A (Not that you really need it over ATA-100). The MSI has USB 2.0.

Here's the Abit KR7A boards at newegg (KR7A, KR7A-133, KR7A-RAID, KR7A-133RAID).

And here are the MSI boards (K7T266 Pro-2, K7T266 Pro-2RU).

Indeed, the onboard video of an nForce board is better, but it's also $30 more than one of the non-RAID versions of these two boards, and on top of that, the KT266A chipset is proven and has all the kinks worked out.

Plus, you can pick up an ATI Radeon 32MB DDR for $44 here at Newegg. That's far superior to any onboard video, GeForce family or not.

Edit: Here's some more links from the manufacturer's websites so you can easily compare features:

Abit KR7A
Abit KR7A-133 and KR7A-133RAID

MSI K7T266 Pro-2
MSI K7T266 Pro-2RU
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Apr 20, 2001
St. Paul, MN, USA
Über~PhLuBB said:
, although the MSI lacks overclocking abilities (Capped at 133MHz FSB, but you said he doesn't need it anyway).

This is not true. My brother has a KT266-Pro2 RU; there are plenty of speeds available above 133. The highest setting is 164, I'm not sure if it's full 1MHz increments between them, though, but there still are a lot of options. My brother's board, with good memory and an unlocked CPU, will run its max 164MHz FSB.

Toms Hardware posted that the board was capped at 133MHz FSB; I have no idea what the reviewers there were smoking, but they should have a closer look at boards before they print crap like that. The only thing worse than no information is misinformation.

Personally, I'd have the MSI before the Abit. Not to take anything away from the Abit from an OCer standpoint (they are excellent overclockers boards), but the MSI has a more attractive feature set, IMHO, and are pretty inexpensive to boot; $119 shipped from Newegg, including USB 2.0 and RAID.


Mar 27, 2002
The Asus a7n266-c is probably the best board out right now in terms of all around performance and the digital audio blows anything else out of the water either built-in or addon. Mine is running rock sold stable @ 172mhz and the performance and stability is great. My sandra 2001te (I hate 2002) scores are above even the kt333s @ 133mhz fsb/cas2/turbo I get 1006/917. My score in Pcmark2002 for memory is 4148 which is one of the highest @ 172mhz fsb. http://service.madonion.com/compare?pcm=113213
So as far as the kt266a and kt333 being better than the nforce 420....yes but not better than the 415. Getting rid of the graphics core really boosted performance. Too bad they didn't do that 4 months ago via would have their hands full then :).