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Thread: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

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    Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Backstory:

    I've been having huge problems with my 1 and a half year old PC since May, triggered initially by my Asus A8N-E's chipset fan failing. After getting two different replacement chipset fans, it worked fine for a while, but then the PC developed a new problem. It boots up to windows, invisibly, passes POST, etc (I can tell, because it responds to keyboard commands as if it has booted to windows) but there is no vga signal. It is not the monitor, graphics card, cable or the vga port, as I have tried alternatives. It must be the motherboard in some way.

    So, I am sick of being without my PC and I want a new motherboard. Been searching for another socket 939 motherboard all week, but my choices are constrained by the fact I'm avoiding all Asus/Asrock boards due to their terrible customer support, and I am also avoiding foxconn because of some bad stuff I heard about them. Yesterday I gave in and ordered an Abit KN8 SLI skt 939 motherboard from custom PC warehouse for the high price of £75 including postage.

    But, having gotten round to being willing to pay that much for it, I now feel maybe I should cancel my order and switch over to socket AM2, because I can get a cheap motherboard, 1gb DDR2 PC6400 ram, and a new dual core x2 AMD 64 4000+ for £106, not including postage. So for £28 or something more than I'm paying for the Abit motherboard, I could get what amounts to a new system.

    My question is - is it worth it? The main advantage is obviously the more upgradable motherboard with the newer socket - I was considering the mysterious Abit AN52. Although there is more room for expansion, memory wise, it is more of a low end motherboard, than the socket 939 Abit KN8 SLI I've ordered. Not sure if that matters.

    Would I be likely to experience much of a real world speed increase upgrading from single core AMD 64 3200+ (2.1ghz) to dual core AMD 64 4000+ ? I don't use my PC for gaming, the most processor intensive things I do with it image editing and very small scale video stuff.

    Also, how difficult would it be to get my existing boot drive to work with an entirely new motherboard and new dual core processor? I take it that I would need to reinstall windows? That is difficult for me because my install disc doesn't have service pack 1 yet alone service pack 2 included, and can't see drives over 120gb, and my boot drive, although partitioned, is 250gb.

    It seems a shame to replace still working components that I only bought about a year and a half ago, and which I expected to last me a long time. I suppose they could be used for something else, maybe.

    If I didn't got the AM2 route, I could potentially spend the £28 on 1gb of ram, bringing it to a total of 2gb. Would that be a better use of the money than a new processor and motherboard or is it more important to have a newer socket and processor?

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    I've been looking to get a cheap 939 setup to replace the main socket A PC but it's near enough impossible to get hold of a cheap good motherboard

    Second hand DDR Ram and single core processors are selling at good prices but motherboards are no where to be found.

    I'm thinking of going AM2 route as well.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    To be honest now there is no real reason not to go AM2, it costs basically the same if not less now than 939 kit, so...

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    For an extra £30 you can go the Intel route, using a gigabyte G33 motherboard, Pentium Dual Core E2140 and 1 gig corsair memory, gives you a better upgrade route as well.

    The problem with the HDD can be solved in two ways, one if partition the drive to 50GB for the C driver and use the other 200 gig for storage/progams. THat way once you have windows installed on the 50GB you can get all the updates sorted and then parition the rest of the drive. Alternatively you can partition the full amount you can without SP2 and then use a 3rd party program like partition manager to parition the drive once SP2 is installed and I beleive you can merge the 2 partitions or just extend the partition you have on the drive.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    If you can afford it, as Madafwo said, a C2D system is the way to go.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Thanks everyone, I decided to try and cancel my socket 939 motherboard order.

    As to the intel possibility, the only reason I'm getting a new processor is really that the Socket 939 motherboard I was going to to buy is not that much cheaper than just overhauling the whole thing with an AM2 socket processor and motherboard. Spending £30 more than a socket 939 motherboard for new system guts isn't so bad, but spending £60 over that is too much, considering I felt no burning need for a new processor anyhow. Hopefully, by the time I really feel a need for a new processor after this one, barring more hardware problems, the options for processors and motherboards will be a lot different anyhow.

    Hopefully the company will be ok with my order cancellation. Does anyone have any non Asus, non Asrock, non foxconn recommendations for a £35 to £50 socket AM2 motherboard? I don't need onboard graphics (I hope not, anyway, since my motherboard problem is graphics related), but I do need 4 sata II ports and 3 USB headers (for 6 usb ports), 4 memory slots, an nvidia chipset and preferably ATX. I'm surprised at how primitive, spec-wise, some of the new AM2 motherboards are. I saw some that come with 2 SATA 150, rather than SATA 300 ports, for example, and some only support a 2gb of memory with only 2 slots.

    I'm considering the Abit AN52, with the nvidia 520 chipset, or an MSI K9N Neo F v3 with nvidia 560 (not sure what the difference is between the chipsets). Unfortunately, reviews of both of these are rare, and there are some people on the internet that have had stability issues with them, especially the MSI. I'm not sure if that's just because the people with problems are the ones that write about these boards, or if there really is some major problems.

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Every time i have used an MSI chipset i have had instability issues. They can usually be fixed with a bios update but its just not worth the hassle or the risk, especially seeing as you are avoiding asus & asrock because of their poor customer service.

    I would definately say get an AM2 on that budget.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=570815

    This looks like the kind of motherboard you are after.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
    Does anyone have any non Asus, non Asrock, non foxconn recommendations for a £35 to £50 socket AM2 motherboard?

    Biostar TForce loads of performance

    Biostar TF520-A2 £39.66

    http://www.cclonline.com/product-inf...0&tid=tf520-a2

    Biostar TF560 A2+ £43.11

    http://www.cclonline.com/product-inf...0&tid=tf560a2+


    I have owned Biostar TForce 6100/2xBiostar TForce 550/Biostar TForce 560 A2+ great boards
    Last edited by Max Tractor; 27-08-2007 at 12:05 PM.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Do you really what to fix your PC or are you looking for a new pc with a bit more power?

    You currently have a low spec pc that's broken - £30-£40 M/B should fix it, but I cannot see one that matches your criteria. The 4 memory slots, 4 SATA ports and manufacturer seem to be the issue

    Note you will need new memory as well as a CPU if you move to AM2 (or C2D).

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Well.. I made my choice. I went for AM2. And for the first time in ages, I'm actually using my PC! Ok, not really my PC now, since only the hard drive and graphics card are the same. I ended up spending more than I meant to out of desperation. I wanted to get the stuff as quickly as possible. But as luck would have it, the telephone line at my house failed! I had to go into my old university to use the internet and make my choice quickly. And nobody had the motherboards I wanted in stock with the AMD 4000+. I went with an AMD x2 4400+ and the biostar t-force AM2+ board from ccl computers, and some 'swissbit' 1gb DDR2 memory..hrm. Ordered it on Tuesday night, arrived today at 10am, so not bad.

    I had a horrendous time trying to get the AM2 heatsink on. They seem to require so much force, but I was paranoid about breaking it. Is there any special secret to getting them on or is it just brute force? Also, first time I screwed the motherboard in it ended up squint somehow, despite the case standoffs lining up absolutely perfectly. Didn't help that I hardly have any motherboard screws left.

    Anyway once all the stuff was in it powered up first time. I haven't reinstalled windows, but all the drivers are loaded and my PC is sort of back to normal.

    I'm happy that so far that it seems like the new processor makes a discernible difference in one regard - I may, depending on finances, be getting a new 10 megapixel DSLR within the near future. I noticed the AMD 64 3200 took a while to open 10 megapixel RAW files that I tested it with. It wasn't unusably slow, just not as good as what I was used to with smaller files. With this new processor, they open much more quickly, which is good.

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    Senior Member Max Tractor's Avatar
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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Great choice on the biostar board, I would do a full reformat, and remember to install the dual core fix, I install both microsofts and amd.

    The AM2 heatsinks I found very easy to slip on, I did a am2 x2 4000 just last week, the retention clip looked slightly dif from the ones previous, but it was a breeze to put on

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Tractor View Post
    Great choice on the biostar board, I would do a full reformat, and remember to install the dual core fix, I install both microsofts and amd.
    If you don't mind could you please post a link as I haven't a clue. Am running a S939 X2 4200.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    It is not really wise to use both dual-core timing issue fixes.
    Dual-core Optimizer is available on AMD website under dowloads section.
    Microsoft fix is here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896256.

    Also I don't understand it when ppl say that getting C2D rig is the only futureproof option. All existing AM2 boards will support 65nm and 45nm K10 processors.

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Well, my happy little new PC joy lasted about 5 seconds.

    I didn't reinstall windows, but I did try that dual core optimiser from AMD. After installing it, the PC hung for ages 'detecting IDE drives' (which really should be SATA drives). When it finally booted up, it reset itself immediately, then spent a long, long time on the windows XP screen. Then when it got to the desktop.. rebooted itself again.

    This is driving me mad, this PC, overall. I am so damned sick of these endless PC problems. I'm so damned sick of not having my own PC to use. Anyone got any suggestions? Can I even reinstall windows when it won't even boot without doing this lovely little repeating dance?!! Did the dual core optimiser possibly cause the problem?

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    AMD Fix http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/..._13118,00.html

    After a format I install Hotfix KB896256 followed by the AMD patch, I followed this thread when I first started on dual core

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ad.php?t=81429

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    Re: Motherboard replacement dilemma - get another skt 939 or switch to AM2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post

    I didn't reinstall windows, but I did try that dual core optimiser from AMD. After installing it, the PC hung for ages 'detecting IDE drives' (which really should be SATA drives). When it finally booted up, it reset itself immediately, then spent a long, long time on the windows XP screen. Then when it got to the desktop.. rebooted itself again.
    Your old chipset drivers from your prervious setup could be causing all sorts of problems, even uninstall using driver cleaner etc is not something I would recommend. Have you been into the bios?

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