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Thread: AM2 Motherboard Advice

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    AM2 Motherboard Advice

    I'm thinking of buying one of motherboards below for an AM2 build. Main use Windows, a bit of Linux, no games/intensive graphics. Which one would be better?

    Asus M2N68-AM Geforce 7025 Socket AM2+ - £41.96
    ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 Socket AM2+ - £52.48

    I'm going for an Nvidia chipset as I hear they have better Linux drivers.

    Reason for getting it from ebuyer is to get free delivery on a case Antec NSK 4000II Black/Silver ATX MiniTower

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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    I think the fact that the Asus M2N68-AM has two extra RAM slots and a faster integrated graphics core would sway it for me!! If you want to use Compiz Fusion under Ubuntu(or any other compatible Linux distro) the extra power of the 8200 will also help!! The extra graphical effects are cool!! The ASUS M3N78-VM even supports 140w Phenom processors which the Asus M2N68-AM does not!! Asus M2N68-AM also has DVI output which the Asus M2N68-AM does not have.

    I have the original version of the NSK4000. Great case BTW!! I remember getting mine for around £25 to £30 a year or so ago. The price really has gone up!!

    Unless you are looking for a smaller case the Antec 300 is better for only a few quid more:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854#
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 17-03-2009 at 01:14 AM.


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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I have the original version of the NSK4000. Great case BTW!! I remember getting mine for around £25 to £30 a year or so ago. The price really has gone up!!

    Unless you are looking for a smaller case the Antec 300 is better for only a few quid more:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854#
    Thanks for the advice on the motherboard

    I bought the case three weeks ago for my own build (I paid £44!) and think it's alright for a small case (chose this over the Coolermaster Elite 340) but you're right about the price - a bit high

    Now doing a build for my brother so will order another one. I think the Antec 300 will be a bit noisier as well.

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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Price of the motherboard has gone up - I think ebuyer change prices on a daily basis for some reason. As it's now a quid cheaper than a 8300 chipset motherboard. Would it be worth getting that instead?

    ASUS M3N-H/HDMI GeForce 8300

    Also looking to get a cheap/decent cooler. Would the following be ok for a AM2 5200?

    Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 PWM Socket AM2 - £8.49
    Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 GT - £6.64

    Or would I better off getting the Arctic 64 Pro 2 which is around £17?

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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Yep, I would go for the ASUS M3N-H/HDMI! If you are not overclocking and you have good airflow in the case I would go for the Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 PWM. It is rated for AM2 processors upto 90w. The cheaper cooler is only rated upto 70w.

    Edit: just looked at the Asus website!!

    http://www.asus.com/Product.aspx?P_ID=hR9xA49ZHyU31AeA

    It seems to only have an HDMI output with no native VGA or DVI connectors!! How strange!!

    It seems to get good reviews though and has all solid capacitors too:

    http://www.digital-daily.com/motherb...a_geforce_8300

    http://ixbtlabs.com/articles3/mainbo...ce8300-p3.html

    http://apcmag.com/asus_m3nhhdmi.htm

    It seems to come with converters though.

    This is what the first reviews says:

    "We note that the bracket with a VGA-output and an HDMI=>DVI adapter are rarely found in other motherboards, but for ASUS M3N-H/HDMI they are required items because only the HDMI is on the board among the integrated video outputs."

    This is what the second review says:

    "And finally, here goes the oddest solution that will certainly make the motherboard less attractive to its potential users. Video connectors on the rear panel include only HDMI. If you need VGA, you should plug an additional bracket to the connector behind PCI slots. It definitely deteriorates analog signal quality. Besides, the bracket will occupy one slot on the rear panel and decrease the number of available PCI slots."
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 17-03-2009 at 03:46 PM.


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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    I don't like to location of the main ATX connector plus the signal quality when using the adaptor,

    will see if the monitor has a DVI connection, the HDMI to DVI adaptor should give better quality?

  9. #7
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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by amjedm View Post
    I don't like to location of the main ATX connector plus the signal quality when using the adaptor,

    will see if the monitor has a DVI connection, the HDMI to DVI adaptor should give better quality?
    Why? They're both digital connectors.

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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Splash View Post
    Why? They're both digital connectors.
    The location of the ATX connector makes it difficult to have a clean looking system and may block airflow exiting?

    I meant to say the DVI adaptor when plugged in to the HDMI will give better signal than the VGA plug in (monitor won't have HDMI).

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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Some more questions,

    would it be a better solution if I went for a cheaper Nvidia motherboard and a separate graphics card? The Asus motherboard above only has HDMI connector and I'm not sure what the quality of the supplied VGA connector will be.

    If I go for the 8300 motherboard (with integrated graphics), it will be advisable (I think) to buy some more RAM (currently have 2 sticks of Ballistix 1GB modules) as the graphics will eat some up

    Will OCZ 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Gold XTC work in conjuction with the Ballistix?

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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by amjedm View Post
    Some more questions,

    would it be a better solution if I went for a cheaper Nvidia motherboard and a separate graphics card? The Asus motherboard above only has HDMI connector and I'm not sure what the quality of the supplied VGA connector will be.

    If I go for the 8300 motherboard (with integrated graphics), it will be advisable (I think) to buy some more RAM (currently have 2 sticks of Ballistix 1GB modules) as the graphics will eat some up

    Will OCZ 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Gold XTC work in conjuction with the Ballistix?
    I would go for this motherboard:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152752

    http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=ovqEgLFRjnSClhSV

    It has all the connectors you need.



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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Did you buy the m3n78-vm?
    Am about to buy one myself for my htpc. Reasons I've chosen this one are the hdmi and spdif (I may need both, but have read of issues with the sound on this mobo / chipset) and the decent spec of the integrated chipset (i want to do some VERY occassional gaming at 720p, low to medium settings will be fine).
    I've also opted for this over the amd 780 chipset for the hybrid power sli (when I eventually get a new graphics card).
    Will be running either a 5050e or a 5400+ (currently got one on loan) and be used for hddvd/bluray and mkvs.
    So, what's your experience so far matey?
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  15. #12
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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by llololloy View Post
    I've also opted for this over the amd 780 chipset for the hybrid power sli (when I eventually get a new graphics card).
    It seems that Hybrid Power will not be supported by many of the newer Nvidia cards:

    http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?op...11684&Itemid=1


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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Balls. I really liked this idea. No loyalties with nvidia or ati, but hybrid power sli is for me a killer app in a gaming htpc.
    Well, chances are that it'll be upgraded towards the end of this year, most probably with a 9800gtx / gts250 or a gtx260, basically something around the £100 mark. And that will only be if I get a 1080 set, something that will only happen if I change jobs, which ain't going too well at the mo.
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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by llololloy View Post
    Did you buy the m3n78-vm?
    Am about to buy one myself for my htpc. Reasons I've chosen this one are the hdmi and spdif (I may need both, but have read of issues with the sound on this mobo / chipset) and the decent spec of the integrated chipset (i want to do some VERY occassional gaming at 720p, low to medium settings will be fine).
    I've also opted for this over the amd 780 chipset for the hybrid power sli (when I eventually get a new graphics card).
    Will be running either a 5050e or a 5400+ (currently got one on loan) and be used for hddvd/bluray and mkvs.
    So, what's your experience so far matey?
    Er em experience , none.

    I installed the components in the case and handed it over to my brother . All he's done so far is install XP, not even installed the drivers.

    Sorry I can't be of greater assistance.

    Me - I'm worried about northbridge temps on the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H I have.

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    Re: AM2 Motherboard Advice

    Ended up buying the board, running Windows 7.
    Had a few teething issues, most not major apart from audio.
    Wanted it so I can have hdmi audio to the telly most of the time, then spdif to the amp for movies.
    Proper head ache, messing with drivers, bios settings for ages. Reverted to vista for a while.
    Could get hdmi working but not spdif, or spdif but not hdmi, or most of the time neither.
    However, after reinstalling build 7100, I installed chipset drivers (but not nvidia hdmi), then via audio drivers, and now I have audio through hdmi, then as long as I change default audio to spdif I have that working too.
    It certainly isn't a breeze, and there are still bugs, but I now have a functioning htpc again.
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