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LameDuck

Motherboard Recommendations

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Whats every one recommend for an extremely stable board? I'm having trouble finding any good reviews. One review says this board is good and another says it sucks. I just want a very stable board for my AMD 2500 chip. I already have a great video card, a sound card and a NIC. So I'd prefer if the board didn't have either of these. I was looking at the new Soyo Dragon KT400's, the Lite and Ultra, but I've heard bad things about them. So now the search contnues...

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nVidia's nForce2 is by far the best Athlon chipset around so that should narrow things down by quite a bit. It does have integrated LAN (x2 on some boards), sound and in some cases, graphics but you won't find a better chipset without them, at least not for Athlons anyway. The new i865/i875 chipsets look pretty good but you'll be hard pressed to fit your 2500+ into a board based on either of those wink

 

As for a specific board, I'm quite happy with my EPoX 8RDA+, it's pretty much unbeatable if you're looking for a board that isn't bogged down too much by integrated stuff (it has a single NIC, Sound, USB2 and Firewire along with all the usual stuff like PS/2, serial and parallel ports but it doesn't implement the second NIC nor does it have PCI SATA or integrated graphics).

 

As far as stability goes, it's been as solid as rock for the most part, I did have a bit of trouble getting Windows XP installed and I had some old hangups in Linux until I disabled ACPI and APIC in the kernel (that was due to problems in the Linux support of said features not for any problem with the features themselves, both work flawlessly under Windows) but once I got those sorted out it's been as right as rain.

 

If there's one drawback to nForce2 though it's that the Linux support for it is currently quite poor. nVidia provide a LAN driver (which uses closed source modules), an OSS audio driver and that's pretty much it. They recently included a patch to allow 3D Acceleration on non-nVidia cards but IO-APIC and ACPI aren't supported, Firewire apparently doesn't either, USB can be flaky and sound works, but the current drivers don't support any of the higher order functions the hardware is capable of including mixing meaning that only one sound can be played at a time without some kind of intermediate software like ARtS or esound. nVidia are supposedly working with the kernel team to get Firewire working, IO-APIC and ACPI may be supported in kernel 2.6 and with that, USB will most likely follow but it could be ages before a proper audio driver arrives, if it arrives at all. Despite that though, nForce2 is still the best the Athlon has.

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