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Topic # 43099 16-Oct-2009 21:56
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G'Day All,


It has finally come time to upgrade from my Athlon 800 system to something remotely into the 21st century!  


I am a linux guy and not really into gaming.  I suppose I really only need enough grunt for normal stuff like email, music and vid's.  


I do however want to be able to utilse the box as a so called "media server" so i can run music and video to my home theatre setup.  might get to proper HTPC one day but for now a semi-passive backend is sufficient.


Anyways, enough words - I am after a good value AMD motherboard with onboard sound, onboard video,etc.  I was looking at the 780G series and the 785G but would be keen on some recommendations from anyone out with a few more clues than me!




Thanks,
Supersimmo

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  Reply # 266536 24-Oct-2009 11:13
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I'm a fan of Asus, and this mobo in particular -
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=10563
Good luck mate :)

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  Reply # 267158 27-Oct-2009 10:49
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The 780/85g are good motherboards :)
Drop an EE chip or 65w AM2 chip into it and you'll save power as well as have the onboard graphics power to decode HD stuff :)

Plus you can pretty much get a complete system built for $400-600




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 267166 27-Oct-2009 11:17
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Its been a few years since we have touched asus boards (they were once our board of choice), however over time we realised they were horrible, and very unreliable boards that were way behind the technology curve.. That one posted dosnt look to bad though, and they have got there act together over the last couple of years. The board posted is based on the 785 chipset (as is the one im about to post) which offers hdmi, 7.1 sound, decent onboard graphics.

Gigabyte is the way to go though in my opinion. Have a look at the board posted below its at roughly the same price point as the asus but offers more features. Also has an eSata port, and the graphics card has 128mb of dedicated ram (also will take some onboard ram if you want it too). Basically unless you plan on gaming the onboard graphics on this board is sufficient for everything. We have well over 150 of these in our systems, havnt had any issues with any of them.. (touch wood lol)

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  Reply # 267168 27-Oct-2009 11:37
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I have 2 motherboards for AMD processors.

Asus M2N68-CM - Cheap and cheerful, it's running my server (Linux) and has been reliable, it's on 24/7 and I haven't had any problems with it. Has GB ethernet and a GeForce 7x series video chipset, but it's very basic.

Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H - A very nice board, it's running my HTPC (Windows) and has also been very reliable, it's also on 24/7. The specs are very similar although it has the 780G chipset which has superior video (although I've ended up putting a video card in it, a silent Radeon HD 4550). I have a low power AMD Athlon64 X2 4850e passively cooled (it's only 45W), everything runs quite nicely (no complaints from the other half, that's the true indicator).

I think the Gigabyte boards are a bit better than Asus but you also pay a higher price for them, personally I've had no problems with my Asus board. The 780G chipset is very nice (and very popular for HTPC), I couldn't get the onboard video to play TV3 smoothly but I've read of others having more luck.



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  Reply # 267269 27-Oct-2009 14:27
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Hi There, Thanks all for the replies thus far - all very helpful and I appreciate the time taken to reply!

It occurred to me that a few more details of my proposed system and uses may be helpful.

My preference would be to build a system that is going to last another 10 years (like my current one!) However, I am realistic that technology keeps moving faster so I am happy to settle for a system (read m/b) that enables me to do modest upgrades like CPU, hard drive, GPU, RAM and tv tuner card over time. The specs below fit this bill I think (happy for comments though!):

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550BE 3.1Ghz (good value and potential for o/c and perhaps enabling other cores?)
GPU: Onboard initially then move to an Nvidia GeForce GT 220 PCI-E (VDPAU hardware decoding mpeg-4) for HTPC
RAM: No preference between DDR2 and DDR3 but will run 2Gb to start and perhaps upgrade to 4Gb later
CASE: Needs to be replaced but I want to do this on the cheap so will search about for the best <$100 deal with a 500W p/s

When it comes to m/b I have been researching significantly and reading everything I can find since my first post:

I am pretty keen on a full size ATX board for accessibility and features reasons. It seems silly to me that a m/b has loads of extendability but it can't be used as the heat sync or other component cards obscure the ports. I am not suggesting the boards suggested so far fall into this category but it is nagging concern at the back of my head (whether right or wrong!).

RAID configuration of my h/d's seems like a good idea at some future point - RAID 5 seems ideal but at the budget end of the spectrum the pickings seem to be thin looking at integrated m/b's. The 790 chipset seems to be the only way.

Ideally the board would sport a firewire connector and an eSATA port. This will just make life easier transferring data between the PC and other devices.

I think from this I have narrowed the list down a smal handful of m/b's (in descending preference order!):

ASRock M3A790GXH AMD 790GX+ DDR3 (has all the features for <$200 - are ASRock any good? don't want a crap m/b!))
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P DDR3 AM3 ATX (around $150 and based on 770 chipset but has great reviews across the net)
Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H AMD785G AM2+ ATX (around $160, has the expandibility and uses cheaper DDR2 RAM)
Asustek M4A785TD-V- AM3 AMD 785G ATX (around $175 reviewed well on toms hardware)


These boards perhaps put me in slighty higher than strictly "budget" category but hopefully one of them is the right one to choose. Appreciate all and any comments especially if you know stuff about these m/b's that I might have missed!

Thanks Again, Supersimmo

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  Reply # 267282 27-Oct-2009 14:54
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I'd take the ASrock, they are good motherboards, but just bear in mind, you'll have to purcahse DDR3 ram for it :) and an AM3 socketed chip

In saying that though, the Am3 socket chips are good performers and very very cheap at the moment. I reckon do it :)




I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 



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  Reply # 267815 28-Oct-2009 19:32
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thanks vinnieg you make a good point about the am3 chip. i had assumed that the Phenom II X2 550 would fit but after more googling it appears it won't - bummer! so i either shell out an extra $50 for the Phenom II X3 720 chip or I move to the Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H AMD785G AM2+ ATX m/b and save $50. a swing of $100 on a $400 spend is significant!

multicore processing on linux is really only its infancy at the moment so I am not going to get the benefit up front if I go the ASRock way. However, it wont be long I suspect before this does come of age and then I will be kicking myself that I didn;t spend the extra.

since I am not likely to be upgrading again for some time (hopefully!) multicore will be in full swing by then i think i will do it and spend the money.

thanks for everyone's help and advice!


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