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Need tech advice on abit kt7a raid board

Posted on 12/09/2001 5:24:14 PM PST by damnlimey

I've just been given an abit kt7a raid board along with a 800mhz athlon .
Rather than spend hours or days searching the net for advice I thought I'd throw it
out to the techs at FR first.My questions are:

Is there an appreciable speed advantage to using the raid technology and 2 drives?(stripping?)
What video card should I get?
Are there any heatsink/fan choices that work better than others?(dual fans?)
What type of memory ,I know this board supports pc133 but is it DDR compatible.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated,
Thanks.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: techindex
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1 posted on 12/09/2001 5:24:14 PM PST by damnlimey
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To: damnlimey
dang. santa in town or something?
2 posted on 12/09/2001 5:26:11 PM PST by go star go
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To: damnlimey
btw, i'm a database man so raid is for protection...
3 posted on 12/09/2001 5:26:51 PM PST by go star go
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To: go star go
No,my brother just upgraded to 1.4 Athlon and gave me all his old bits.
4 posted on 12/09/2001 5:27:58 PM PST by damnlimey
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To: damnlimey
Software raid is about 10% so hardware raid is going to be more than that. Considering that you can get 2 drives for abou the same price as 1 that is twice as large, I'd go for it.

But I'd recommend getting 3 drives and use the striping/parity raid option so that you get both incresaed speed and reliability.

5 posted on 12/09/2001 5:31:39 PM PST by tbeatty
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To: damnlimey
Whenever I feel my processors are moving too slow I simply remember the days of the Commodor,cassette tape programs and 2400 baud modem.
6 posted on 12/09/2001 5:32:18 PM PST by Fighting Irish
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To: damnlimey
2 disks configured as a RAID 0 (Striped with no fault tolerance) is definitely faster than running 2 disks as a master/slave configuration.

Personally, I've got a RAID 1 (Mirroring) because it reduces my need for backups, but it all depends on what you want.

7 posted on 12/09/2001 5:32:56 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: tbeatty
You're right, RAID 5 is best, but my ABIT P III RAID motherboard only supports RAID 0, 1, 1+0, and Span (JBOD)I hope he has more options than that, but if their Athlon mboards are similar, then those are the options he's got as well.
8 posted on 12/09/2001 5:37:25 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: damnlimey
Look into the Gforce2 Pro with 64Megs DDR ram for your vid card. Will work very well and not be nearly as pricey as a Geforce3. :)
9 posted on 12/09/2001 5:39:06 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: damnlimey
PC-133 should work just fine for this system and not cost an arm or a leg. Due to mail in rebates, I was able to get 512Megs of PC-133 for free from Comp USA. :)
10 posted on 12/09/2001 5:40:56 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Oschisms
BTW, the mirror is for my backup server. I am totally aware that it is the worst config performance wise. My main workstation is a single hard disk machine.

Note to self: Whew, there's plenty of time to look like a fool on tech threads, no need to do so within the first 10 posts.

11 posted on 12/09/2001 5:41:49 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: damnlimey
Talk about coincidences, I just read a review of that board on http://www.anandtech.com earlier today. If you go over there most of your questions will be answered. Try their forums for additional info.

I've been trying to find a good article that talks about raid. Let me know if you find some good info on that.

Both Anand and Tom's Hardware have some good info on Heat sinks and fans. If you are not going to overclock you don't have to be concerned about going dual fan. Another consideration is noise. All those fans in the box make a racket, you might want to think about an effective but quiet cooling solution.

What video card depends on what you want to do. Both the above sites have lots of info. Get one that doesn't have a fan if you are concerned about noise.

Finally if you want a rea challenge and are interested in building a quiet box go to http://home.swipnet.se/tr/silence.html. Be prepared to spend some time.

12 posted on 12/09/2001 5:44:54 PM PST by tjg
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To: damnlimey
Is there an appreciable speed advantage to using the raid technology and 2 drives?(stripping?)

As opposed to what? The main advantage to using RAID is data security, i.e. if one drive in your array goes down you can replace the drive and rebuild the lost data from a mirrored or parity drive.

13 posted on 12/09/2001 5:45:38 PM PST by randog
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To: damnlimey; *tech_index
I'm just a semi-computer-literate guy who can use a screwdriver, bolt parts together and pray that they work.

But the tech_index guys will know how to make it work.

14 posted on 12/09/2001 5:45:49 PM PST by LibKill
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To: tjg; damnlimey
Brush up on your RAID
15 posted on 12/09/2001 5:48:51 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: RadioAstronomer
Does anybody remember when 512 megs of ANY type RAM would have cost the same as a down payment on a car? Running Raid 1 myself and it is an appreciable difference in search speed. I've had a drive crash before and wasn't able to retrieve anything off that drive so I've learned my lesson there
16 posted on 12/09/2001 5:51:08 PM PST by billbears
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To: damnlimey
You'll find everything you need right here

Click the link!!

17 posted on 12/09/2001 5:58:04 PM PST by IoCaster
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To: billbears
Arrrgh; You're right- I wasn't specific enough in my earlier post. My RAID 1 is faster reading (because there are 2 drives to read from) but slower writing. (Because it has to write data twice.)
18 posted on 12/09/2001 5:59:56 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: damnlimey
Is there an appreciable speed advantage to using the raid technology and 2 drives?(stripping?)

I currently run a Abit KT7A-Raid with 1200 mhz in Raid-0 configuration.
Raid-0 provides a significant disk speed increase.

What video card should I get?

A Geoforce 2 MX card would give you a good price/performance
ratio. Geoforce 3 better but more expensive.

What type of memory ,I know this board supports pc133 but is it DDR compatible.

Motherboard does not support DDR, pc133 is fine.

For further information on the KT7A-Raid motherboard, go to
http://www.viahardware.com/faq/kt7/kt7faq.htm.

19 posted on 12/09/2001 6:02:00 PM PST by Deagle
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To: billbears
I remember when 256K ram chips were 12$ each for an XT I was building. Total; 432$ for 1 meg. For 512 Megs it would have cost me 221,184.00$ back then. (1984).
20 posted on 12/09/2001 6:04:33 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Deagle
I would gowith the Geforce2 Pro instead of the MX for the vid card. Much higher performance and not a great deal more expensive.
21 posted on 12/09/2001 6:07:43 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: damnlimey
Thanks everyone,I knew FR wouldn't let me down,
Lots of good advice and good links.
22 posted on 12/09/2001 6:11:08 PM PST by damnlimey
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To: Oschisms
You're right, RAID 5 is best

Best for low cost redundancy but worst for performance. If your looking to improve performance, use RAID 0. This provides no redundancy as the failure of any one of the drives will result in loss of data. RAID 1 will allow for redundancy with only a slight performance hit on writing as the data needs to be written to both drives to provide redundancy.

RAID 5 provides good performance on data that is rarely updated but it sucks for writing as it needs to read and write the full stripe plus the parity even if you are only updating a small portion of the data. Depending on what database engine you are running and what you are using the data for the performance hit could be worse than running on separate drives.

RAID arrays will only protect you against loss of data in the event of a disk failure but won't protect you against data loss from accidentally deleted files or a poorly written update query. You still need to back it up every day.

23 posted on 12/09/2001 6:12:12 PM PST by eggman
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To: Oschisms
Actually it could seem slower in comparison to my workstation because of other things, too- I'm going to shut up now.
24 posted on 12/09/2001 6:12:26 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: damnlimey
DDR RAM is fairly inexpensive. Get as much as you can afford, it can be a critical element for performance. Forget the 133 stuff. Your system will be useful for a longer time if you load up with RAM. If your board only works with the PC1600 DDR RAM you can plug the PC2100 into it and it will scale down to PC1600 speed. PC2100 DDR RAM is going for $43 at Pricewatch right now.

Pricewatch

25 posted on 12/09/2001 6:14:54 PM PST by Brett66
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To: Fighting Irish
Kind of dating yourself aren't you?
Was it Commodore-64 or Vic-20?
26 posted on 12/09/2001 6:17:16 PM PST by DonnerT
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To: Oschisms
Thanks for the link.
27 posted on 12/09/2001 6:18:52 PM PST by tjg
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To: Oschisms
I think Raid 1+0 should be okay but I htink it requires more than 2 drives (3 minimum, I think). That will give him some redundancy.
28 posted on 12/09/2001 6:19:10 PM PST by tbeatty
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To: Brett66
I have never used this board or even looked at one. Does it support DDR ram or is it a PC-133 only?
29 posted on 12/09/2001 6:33:58 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Brett66
I am using dual channel RDRAM-800 in my systems.
30 posted on 12/09/2001 6:35:19 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Fighting Irish
We lived on the wrong side of town I guess. Couldn't get a Commodore, only a TRS-80 Coco with a cassette drive. Oh, how I remember getting a 5 1/4 floppy. Had friends for weeks just to come over and look at it. LOL!!
31 posted on 12/09/2001 6:40:35 PM PST by billbears
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To: damnlimey
I've got a lot of experience building computers for myself, family and friends. CS degree, and worked for a large computer company for 14 years. ....so for what weight that add's, here goes.

Video card: If you want to play 3D games like Quake3, Unreal Tournament, Tribes, etc.....The best price, performance, stability and gorgous picture - 64MB GeForce2 MX400. Looking at $68 + shipping @ shentech.com If you don't plan on playing demanding 3D games, go with the 32MB GeForce2 MX200 at $54 (@ same place). I've bought and installed both these cards in the last month for different people. You won't be disapointed.

RAID: No, don't do it. Unless you are just wanting to complicate your install....There's no real reason. Just get a 7200RPM/ 100MBs UATA hard disk for the speed. 40GB Seagate (brand) drive like this for $98 right now. I've installed several of these over the last couple of months. Very fast and reliable. No need for RAID on your home PC in my opinion. But, if you want to complicate things and spend more money go for it. ...I do realize it's not THAT complicated. But, it's unnecessary for a home PC in my opinion.

Memory: Just get the PC133. Don't waste your money on the DDR stuff. Price/Performance...It's not worth it. You can get 256MB of PC133 for $29 right now. Three weeks ago it was down to $22. But, the price is always up and down. 256MB should be plenty. But, hey if you want to spend the money 512MB would be sweet. Get two strips of 256MB.

FAN: Humm, this one's tricky as it depends on if your processor is a Slot-A or Socket-A. The bigger the better when it comes to CPU fans. But, I've got a few AMD 1.2GHz Athlon Thunderbirds out there with just $8.99 fans in them playing demanding 3D games and not overheating. On the Slot-A systems I think you get more heat and need a bigger fan. I've used a $15 big fan on a few of those with no overheating playing demanding games.

My kids systems are my best test systems. They give them the severe workout continuously over hours playing 3D games. Well, that's my 2 cents worth. I can at least speak from a lot of system building experience. ...don't mean to sound cocky I swear. Just trying to be helpful to a freeper.

RiVer

32 posted on 12/09/2001 6:41:01 PM PST by RiVer19
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To: Fighting Irish
Whenever I feel my processors are moving too slow I simply remember the days of the Commodor,cassette tape programs and 2400 baud modem.

when men where men

33 posted on 12/09/2001 6:42:45 PM PST by THEUPMAN
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To: RiVer19
Question. Why the MX over the pro? on the vid card. Not a huge price diff and there is a huge performance diff. I finally installed Gforce3s in my systems. Love them.
34 posted on 12/09/2001 6:43:44 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer; damnlimey
Did some checking at Abit's website. This board does not support DDR RAM, only 3 slots for 100/133 SDRAM.


35 posted on 12/09/2001 6:46:10 PM PST by Brett66
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To: Brett66; damnlimey
Check with Comp USA. I am building a computer for a fellow Freeper, and I was able to populate the computer with 512Megs of PC133 for free. :) Not sure if that rebate is still in place but its worth checking out.
36 posted on 12/09/2001 6:49:53 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: damnlimey
Be careful on your fan selection. Athlons can be very sensitive to any damage on the insulating interface on the fan/cpu interface. I was messing around with the insulator on a cooling orb because it was running too hot and installed it on the CPU. After about thirty seconds the thing died with a little streamer of bluish smoke during boot-up. What a painful lesson that was. The AMD approved fans work better than the non-AMD approved cooling orb from my personal experience.
37 posted on 12/09/2001 6:55:27 PM PST by Brett66
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To: damnlimey

I know this board supports pc133 but is it DDR compatible.

No it isn't DDR compatible and DDR isn't even compatible between vendors. The pc133 is dirt cheap now. The manufacturers are selling it at a loss. Eventually, DDR will replace pc133 as low end memory once the bugs are worked out of it. Until that future date, buyer beware of DDR!

38 posted on 12/09/2001 6:56:31 PM PST by fso301
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To: RadioAstronomer
Well, the best price I see for the 32MB GeForce2 Pro is $112. Compared to the $68 for a 64MB GeForce2 MX 400. Big difference to me and the other people I'm building systems for. Usually it's most bang for the buck they (and I) are after. The 64MB GeForce2 Pro is $149. So, price is the only reason. I do realize that they are faster. But, for the things the user is doing the GeForce2 MX cards are super. My two kids really push their systems playing the most recent games and the MX 400 class card really still holds up well at the resolutions we use (800x600, or 1024x768). If you've got the money, go for it. The GeForce3 is a fantastic card. I just won't buy one until the next generation card comes out and I get one for cheap. But, I'm just that way. I find what works for me and wait on the cutting edge stuff. ...as long as the current stuff does its job. ...which it does.
39 posted on 12/09/2001 6:56:59 PM PST by RiVer19
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To: Brett66; damnlimey
Also be very carful installing the fan. It is not terribly difficult to damage the CPU with too much force.
40 posted on 12/09/2001 6:57:45 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
I caught that sale a couple of weeks ago. I have 256 Megs of DDR RAM on my system so I didn't really need it. They were also selling 17 inch monitors for $159 with a $100 rebate! That deal was too good to pass up, I grabbed one.
41 posted on 12/09/2001 6:58:17 PM PST by Brett66
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To: RadioAstronomer
Also be very carful installing the fan. It is not terribly difficult to damage the CPU with too much force.

This sounds like the voice of (unfortunate and expensive) experience.

42 posted on 12/09/2001 7:00:26 PM PST by Scully
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To: RiVer19; Brett66; damnlimey
Thanks for the reply. I have never used an MX and was unfamiliar with the visual performance. I only have either Gforce2 Pros or Gforce3s. I gave away my one Geforce2 GTS.

So it sounds like the MX is the better option for the price.

43 posted on 12/09/2001 7:01:50 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Brett66
Cool! I have dual channel RDRAM as apposed to DDR. I don't think there is much performance difference between the two.
44 posted on 12/09/2001 7:03:35 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Scully
This sounds like the voice of (unfortunate and expensive) experience.

LOL! Sigh!!!

45 posted on 12/09/2001 7:04:15 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
Well, on a slot-A, which an AMD 800 very well could be, he doesn't have that worry. It's in that big 'ol case. ha! But, with a little care he shouldn't be afraid of clipping a fan on a socket-A CPU. It's just a metal clip...although you've got to carefully push it into place for that "snap" on the CPU mount. Just hooks on one side, and clips over a catch on the other. Don't be scared.... :-)
46 posted on 12/09/2001 7:05:10 PM PST by RiVer19
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To: damnlimey
bump for morning
47 posted on 12/09/2001 7:07:02 PM PST by fnord
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To: Scully
I also "killed" a 1.7 Ghz P4 a while back when changing a heat sink. Why? To this day I still have no idea. Intel did replace it for free though. Double Sigh!
48 posted on 12/09/2001 7:07:04 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RiVer19
ROFL! :) Not scared just got in a hurry. I have built lots and lots of machines. :) My first was an S-100 where I had to solder the chips onto the boards.
49 posted on 12/09/2001 7:09:12 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
Intel did replace it for free though.

Interesting, and a bit surprising. How old was the P4?

50 posted on 12/09/2001 7:24:00 PM PST by Scully
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