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New Computer, Which Mobo?

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  • New Computer, Which Mobo?

    I am looking at an Epox board, and I have a couple of questions about them. I'm lookin at either the 8K3A+ or the 8K5A3+. What is the difference between these two?
    I want to get the Athlon XP 2200+, do these boards support it? Also, what is the Athlon MP 2200+?

    Will I be able to upgrade to newer chips for a while, or are they changing the chips to the point of needing a new mobo in the near future?

    Do these have onboard sound, LAN, and/or anything else? If they do, is it easy to shut off to upgrade to a PCI card?

    What is AGP 8x, and do these boards have it? I want to make a computer for gaming, and I've been reading about needing AGP 8x for a good video card.

    Do these boards overclock easily?

    This is my first time building a computer, so I really don't know much of anything. Also, the only reason I picked the Epox board was because it is the one that jumped out at me and said buy me, dunno why. So if you have a good reason, recomend a different brand.


  • #2
    I think EPox is a good choice. That is the only type of board that I buy. (aside from needing a new slot-A board when I fried the old one) There are also a couple other people in the forums that swear by them. I can tell you from experience that the onboard sound is easy to shut off. I have never used mine, cause I already have pci cards that I didn't want to go to waste. I would imagine that any other onboard stuff would be just as easy on the Epox boards.

    If you don't need all the onboard stuff, get the 8K3A+. If you don't need the raid, which you don't really need for a gaming box, just get the 8K3A (no +). I nice 8MB cache on the WD HDDs will do much more for you with less headache. Both versions will support XP 2200+ chips. They will probably need nothing more than a BIOS flash, if that, the support the 2400+ and 2600+. If you do decide that you would like the onboard sound, the newer revisions of the 8K3A(+) comes with 6-channel audio instead of the older 2-channel.

    XP are for normal people :laugh: you don't really need an MP unless you are expecting to use dual (Multiple) Processor. You don't need to worry about 8x, IMHO, it seems that they aren't really reporting any performance jumps over 4x.

    I have found that the Epox MBs overclock very well and are stable. The new desktop chips from AMD, Clawhammer, will require a new MB. They will have a significantly more dense pin count. They have recently been delayed until 2Q? 2003. They probably won't be priced for normal human consumption until near the end of the year.

    If the price is not that much of an issue for you, consider getting the 8K3A+, even though you don't need the onboard stuff, the LED diagnostic readout may be useful for troubleshooting when you are overclocking and becoming familiar with the wonderful world of computers. :thumb:
    Have you hugged a Midget today?


    • #3
      Here's a link to Epox Athlon mobo page. You should find more info about the boards you are thinking about buying there.


      • #4
        From what people say the XP2200+ is not very overclockable......but u can try if u like :)

        I think the 8K5A3+ also has USB2 i think off the top of my head.


        • #5
          Originally posted by buckchoi
          From what people say the XP2200+ is not very overclockable......but u can try if u like :)

          I think the 8K5A3+ also has USB2 i think off the top of my head.
          Don't be telling me that!


          • #6
            After some more research, I'm going with the Epox 8K5A2 or the 8K5A2+.

            I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the onboard sound on each one. If there was a major difference in the "full duplex sound" on the 8K5A2, and the "6-channel sound" on the 8K5A2+.

            Also, is the onboard network on the 8K5A2+ good, or would I end up going with a network card anyways?



            • #7
              There's a review of the 3+ here on TweakTown. The 3+ is identical to the 2+, except it has 2 more RAID channels.

              Networking performed pretty impressively.


              [EDIT] I'd like to recommend if you're going to purchase online. They have a good pricing on the boards you're looking for.
              Chris "Raven"
              News Crew - TweakTown
              <font size=1>
              <font color=green>Main Beast:</font>
              - Athlon XP [email protected] | EPoX 8KHA+ | Corsair 512MB XMS3200C2 | GeForce3 Ti200
              - 2x80GB WD 7200RPM | 40x12x48 Sony CDRW | Pioneer 16X DVD
              - Swiftech MCX462+ / Tt Smart Case Fan 2 | Antec 1030SX case w/ 431W Enermax PSU
              // -->
              "Look at life like your morning cup of coffee. You might have one every day, yet you still enjoy it."

              How to ask a good question


              • #8
                The "Plus" versions have much better sound as they use a dedicated sound chip over the southbridge option. ;)


                • #9
                  1) all amd athlon would surelee die after zee warrantee periods
                  zee 1st thinggies 2 goes r yr power box
                  dun kum your cpu fans
                  last but nok least your overkocked cpu..
                  regd agp8Xs..
                  pls feel free 2 read..
                  damn disappointin!
                  next few daes
                  depending ow muck marnee moi makes
                  if make enuff
                  would buy dat agp8X mobos 2 run iz...
                  remembered hor if gok marnee hor!


                  • #10
                    Now would someone please translate that for me? :?: