I'm just setting up an intel system, good cost/performance ratio if you're an overclocker. My system so far 1.8A, epox 4pea with 512mb kingston 2700 coming soon hopefully. Should overclock to around 2.6ghz hopefully.
Heat shouldn't be a problem if you're not overclocking with amd, not sure of amd clock speeds. I'm sure there will be lots of people here who are.
Even if the boards do have built-in components, you can almost always disable them in BIOS.
Sometimes, integrated components are a GOOD thing! I can understand not wanting the sound because they usually aren't very good (although I've heard the nForce2 is nice), but onboard LAN, RAID(or ATA), USB2.0 are really nice features to have. Plus they save PCI slots.
I just got the A7V8X, considered getting the new asus nforce board, but didn't have the things I wanted that the 8X had (firewire, lan (okay its a gigabit, but still) USB 2.0 and of course, SATA) so I got that and saved about $30 instead. I would recommend that board. Very well designed, even though I don't like where the power connection is.
nforce2 boards are simply the best solution for amd-based systems right now. but if you get an nforce2 board, get two identical sticks of ram (maybe two 512mb 333hmz? or two 256mb)... then you can use the "Dual-DDR" feature of nforce boards which will double the memory bandwidth.
ps. nforce2 audio rivals that of most sound cards. thx-certified, even. it's impossible to find any new boards without onboard audio anymore. if you don't want it, just disable it.
nforce2 audio rivals even THX standereds? I really like to see that test. THX is the most cleanest and clearest audio you can get anywhere and trust me, I work with audio everyday -- professionally. If nforce THD noise signal is less then then .003 or lower, I would love to see that, but I'm not holding my breath on that. THX certification is REALLY REALLY HARD to get . Even the first Audigy card, to my knowledge didn't get it, however the second one did, which I now own. I also have not seen one trade magazine, online or paper that has said this. If you have a source for this, please show this to me, I would be very interested
and i can't find any evidence to support my claim anywhere. chances are i read from a mistaken source and they have since changed their words. or i could have been thinking about the dolby digital 5.1 encoder on the MCP-T... or the "thx-certified" altec lansing speakers... or the audigy 2.
nforce2 boards have 3 slots... they can be used as conventional ddr slots for up to 3GB of ram. but if you have 2 sticks, you put one in slot 1 and the other in slot 3, then enable Dual-DDR in the bios and viola! double the bandwidth.
i'm not sure if
1) the 2 sticks have to be the same size, or
2) if it can be done with 3 sticks (say, one 512mb and two 256mb)