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Need mobo suggestions for AthlonXP system?



I'm putting together a new system that's going to use an AthlonXP 1800.

I am looking for a good but affordable mobo to go with the chip and was hoping for some suggestions.

I'm looking for good performance/stability/features in the $70 or less price range. I'm not looking to build a speed-demon or overclocking system, just a reliable and well-performing system. I have PC133 SDRAM that I wouldn't mind using, but am also open to upgrading to DDR ram.

I've found boards using the KT400 (Biostar M7VIT), KT333(Biostar M7VIP), KT266a (AOpen AK77pro), and KM266 (ECS L7VMM) chipsets that all fall into my range. Which would be best in price/performance? Any opinions on these boards or know of any others that fit the bill?

I'll be adding a Geforce4 440mx agp card and a Seagate Barracuda iv drive to whatever I end up building.

So would there be any significant performance improvements with the newer chipsets? ie KT400 vs Kt33 or KT266a vs KM266?

And how are nforce chipset boards? I'm not really looking at nforce2 but I've found 1 or 2 nforce boards that are cheaper.

Any info is appreciated, thanks!


hardware monkey
the KM266 chipset is pretty old. it uses PC2100 DDR.
the good thing about those boards, though, is they include onboard video and most of them are micro-atx. so you want either of those, that would be a good one for you. otherwise, forget it.

the KT266A chipset is a little faster than the KM266. nothing special about it. probably good for a budget system. also uses PC2100 DDR.

KT333 and KT400 are good if you're gonna use PC2700 or PC3200, respectively. both should have lots of onboard features (good sound, lan, and even serial-ata or raid). shouldn't really cost much more than older chipsets, either.

if i were you, looking for a good via board at a decent price, i'd go with one of gigabyte's kt400 boards:

GA-7VAX (+ lan)
GA-7VAXP (+ lan, raid, firewire)

they all have 6-channel sound, usb 2.0 and are very good performers. the 7VA can be had for about $75.

biostar has lots of cheap boards but i can't vouch for their stability or compatibility. maybe try thier M7VIP (KT333) for around $60?

and if you want to spend as little as possible, it's okay to stick with pc2100. it's not much slower than pc2700 or pc3200 and is dirt cheap.
I recommend one of these:
Asus A7N8X Deluxe (or no deluxe) or Asus A7V8X
Gigabyte GA-7VAXP Ultra
MSI KT4 Ultra-SR or MSI K7N2G-L

If you have cash maybe a Soyo Dragon board.


Graphic Designer
I'll recommend my next upgrade that will contain this mobo :
nforce2 Platform Processor Chipset

EPOX 8RDA+ based on nFORCE2
Processor AMD Athlon, Athlon XP, Duron
Core Logic nforce2 Platform Processor Chipset
BIOS Award/Phoenix BIOS v6.0
Max. FSB 333MHz
Memory 3 x DDR SDRAM PC3200, 3GB max.
Form Factor ATX

Expansion Slots
AGP 1, 8x
PCI 6, 32-bit

PS/2 1 mouse, 1 keyboard.
Serial 2
Parallel 1
USB 4 onboard, 2 optional. USB 2.0
Network 1 x Realtek RTL8201 PHY
Floppy 2 drives max.
IDE 2 x E/IDE Ultra DMA/133, 4 drives max.

Sound Realtek ALC650E 6-channel full-duplex integrated sound
Option IEEE1394 Firewire interface


Shamus MacNoob

Political User
I have an EPOX EP-8k3AE takes DDR333 with my Athlon 1800+ and I like it very much I would recomend EPOX

or Gigabyte my Duron 1100 is on a Gigabyte and thats also very stable


Asus A7N8X Deluxe is the best motherboard I've ever used. I'll swear by this mobo, and here's why:

Socket A for AMD® Athlon™ XP/ Athlon™/ Duron™ 600MHz ~ 2.8GHz+
Thoroughbred core CPU ready (Barton)

North Bridge: NVIDIA® nForce2 SPP
South Bridge: NVIDIA® nForce2 MCP-T(Deluxe Model) / MCP

400 / 333 / 266 / 200 MHz

Dual-Channel DDR 400
3 x 168-pin DIMM Sockets
Max. 3 GB unbuffered PC3200/PC2700/PC2100/PC1600 non-ECC DDR RAM Memory (Twinbank)

Expansion Slots
1 x AGP Pro/8X (1.5V only)
5 x PCI

IDE Ports
2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33

Serial ATA (Deluxe Model)
Silicon Image® Sil 3112A Controller with 2 ports
Support RAID 0/1

Realtek® ALC650 6CH w/built in HP amplifier
Integrated APU (Audio Processor Unit, Deluxe Model)
SoundStorm™ / Dolby® Digital (AC-3) Encoder (Deluxe Model)

2 Ports
MCP integrated NVIDIA® MAC + Realtek® 8201BL PHY
MCP integrated 3Com® MAC + Broadcom® AC101L PHY (Deluxe Model)

2 Ports MCP-T Integrated IEEE 1394a + Realtek® PHY 8801B (Deluxe Model)

Special Features
Post Reporter (Deluxe Model)
Power Loss Restart
Q-Fan Technology
STR (Suspend-to-RAM)
C.O.P. (CPU Overheating Protection)
CPU Throttle

Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x Parallel
1 x Serial
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Audio I/O
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Surround L/R audio jack + 1 x CNTR/LFE audio jack (optional)
2 X RJ45 (optional, 2nd RJ45 is for Deluxe Model)

Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB 2.0 connector support additional 2 USB 2.0 ports
CPU/Power/Chassis FAN connectors
Game Connector
20 pin ATX power connector
IDE LED connector, power LED connector
2 x 1394 Connector (Deluxe Model)
2 x SATA (Serial ATA) Connector (Deluxe Model)
WOR, WOL, Chassis Intrusion, SM Bus, SIR
Headphone (optional)
Front MIC
CD/AUX/Modem audio in
Front Panel Audio connector (optional)

BIOS Feature
4Mb Flash ROM, Award BIOS, TCAV, PnP, DMI2.0, DMI, Green

Industrial Standard
PCI 2.2, USB 2.0

DMI 2.0, WOR, WOL, Chassis Intrusion, SM Bus

Support CD
ASUS® PC Probe
Trend Micro™ PC-cillin 2002 anti-virus software with Windows® XP support
ASUS LiveUpdate Utility

I/O Shield
SATA Cable (Deluxe Model)
2-port USB 2.0(Deluxe Model) / Game port bracket
Users Manual / Quick Reference Guide
UltraDMA 133 cable
2-Port 1394 Bracket (Deluxe Model)
FDD cable
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
9-pin COM cable
InterVideo® WinCinema (WinDVD/WinRip/WinCoder/WinProducer) software (Deluxe Model)

Any questions? All for $149 - that's a hell of a deal.


Must be dreaming...
nforce2 boards are probably your best bet now. I asked a similar question a few weeks ago, and ended up buying a Epox 8RDA+. I'm very happy with its performance and stability.
Thanks y'all. :D

Absolutely anything that has a nForce2 chipset +MCP, Intel may have the raw power over AMD, but AMD has better floating points, nVidia's chipset solution is far better then anything currently available for Intel.



Originally posted by o0RaidR0o
<snip> nVidia's chipset solution is far better then anything currently available for Intel.
pffft. think what you like :eek:


Re: Re: nFORCE2

Originally posted by jumpy
pffft. think what you like :eek:
Hmmm. Bartons Interger point and floating points average several hundred points higher than the Itaniums, which is why we see such an amazing performance leap clock for clock. AMD has been building towards this with the AthlonXP revamped architecture for some time - the revamped Barton is just another step towards an extremely powerful & efficient CPU.

The nForce2 motherboard solution consistantly shows the highest benchmarks over any other AMD platform by 5-10% (sometimes greater). With official support for 400mhz bus and higher available multipliers, the nForce points to much faster Bartons in our future (all natively supported with boards available now).

Much like ATI did to nVidia in 2002, AMD is poised to offer some major Intel stomping CPU's in 2003 & 2004.

At least that's what I like to think;)


hardware monkey
Originally posted by Digerati
I'm looking for good performance/stability/features in the $70 or less price range. I'm not looking to build a speed-demon or overclocking system, just a reliable and well-performing system.
why bother suggesting nforce2 to begin with?

kt333 will be just fine.


I wasn't talking about the actual cpu's deadzombie, I was "pfft'ing" (if thats a word ;)) at o0RaidR0o's comment that the nforce chipset is better than anything at intel. Take a look at the 845pe and e7205, boards that utilise these chips have taken the fsb to 210+ fsb, a showing of the true stability of intel chips. Though the nforce2 chipset is good, you could hardly say that the nforce2 chipset is a lot better than intel chipsets.
really anything for ASUS, i personally suggest the A7N8X, great boards from this company.

as for chipsets i would suggest the KT333 over the KT400. however if the KT400 is cheaper, go with that they are not bad.


I don't know much about the Nforce2 chipsets, but the mb I would recommend is the A7V8X, this board rocks. I got the massive version with everything on baord for $122, not bad:)

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