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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,

TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: techindex
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To: RiVer19
I wanted to upgrade my video card to the 64MB GeForce2 MX400 card to which you refered. My problem is that it requires AGP 2.0, and my motherboard (ABIT BH6) is only AGP 1.0 compliant. Do you have any ideas on a similar card I can use? Thanks.
61 posted on 12/09/2001 9:07:02 PM PST by tjg
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To: RadioAstronomer
Oh, those Audigy based cards are fantastic. Again, it's a Cadillac of cards (like the GeForce3 in video). Best price I see is a $59 OEM card. Most are $80 and up. So, I weight the need for computer audio excelence .vs. price. I will have to stick with the $29 SB Live card. I don't listen to that much audio on my PC. My home audio system is for that and the DVD player plays mp3 disks. Shoot, in games I don't have time to take in the audio effects really. So, that's not a big deal to me either.
62 posted on 12/09/2001 9:14:57 PM PST by RiVer19
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To: RiVer19
No kids and 17 computers on my network at home. :) I hope I was not coming across as bragging! :(

I also love fine hardware. My main gaming machine is a 1.8Ghz P4/Asus P4-T with 512Megs dual channel RDram 800, 16x DVD, 40x Plextor CDRW, Audigy platinum Sound card with fire wire and optical out, 75Gbyte IBM HD, Hercules Prophet III (Geforce3), Swiftech 462A cooler, Lian case, Enerex 465W PS, LS120 drive, floppy, 2.0 USB, optical mouse, and a 10/100 ethernet card. I Also added rounded IDE cables for greater cooling.

63 posted on 12/09/2001 9:16:01 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
that would do, i got 640 mb for a 700 mhz duron and moves fast.
64 posted on 12/09/2001 9:17:49 PM PST by green team 1999
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To: tjg
Check out the prices of an ASUS C2SL2 MoBo. Not hard to change out and is a fantastic motherboard! Rock stable and will support all PIII processors amd modern vid cards.
65 posted on 12/09/2001 9:19:26 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: green team 1999
i got 640 mb for a 700 mhz duron and moves fast.

Sounds like a great machine! :)

66 posted on 12/09/2001 9:21:20 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: tjg
I think you are out of luck with that AGP 1.0 motherboard. No GeForce2 cards will run on it with any stablity. You'd get a lot of lockups and such from all the user comments on newsgroups about such setups. The best I think you can get would be a TNT2 based card with the 1.0 AGP.

You maybe should consider saving your pennys a bit longer and upgrade your motherboard/CPU combo too. But, then that usually means a new case due to needing a 300w power supply. So, you get into money when you only wanted a better video card.

Stay away from the GeForce2 PCI video cards. They can be had inexpensively. But, the performance is awful on most things from what I've read. The PCI interface would over come your problem, but you'd still be disappointed with the performance. The memory bandwidith is just not enought to feed that chipset on a PCI bus. It's a suckers market card I believe. It's like putting a 4 cylinder engine in a corvette....

67 posted on 12/09/2001 9:26:37 PM PST by RiVer19
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To: RiVer19
Would he have to upgrade the PS and case if he only added an ASUS MoBo and Geforce2 MX? Keep the same processor. Or is that abit MoBo a non ATX compliant board?
68 posted on 12/09/2001 9:33:39 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
Oh, I imagine that motherboard is ATX as almost all are now. That sounds like a fine solution to me. But, it really depends on how fast is the CPU he currently has to determine if it's a smart solution. I mean, I wouldn't do that if he has a 500MHz PIII. I'd go ahead and get a 1.2GHz motherboard/CPU/fan combo for about $150. There are some good combos out there for this price now.

I just wouldn't advise a new motherboard for someone with a processor of less than 800MHz today. Seems like a waste of money for something you won't be happy with in a year. It does depend on what you want to do with the PC. If you are not a power user, that would mean a slower PC would do fine for you longer. But, if you want to play games all bets are off. Nothing pushes PC sales and upgrades like PC game playing.

69 posted on 12/10/2001 3:57:26 AM PST by RiVer19
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To: RiVer19
I afree completely. But money gets tight. You can upgrade the board, then the vid card and finally the CPU. over time its much less painful. :) And the ASUS C2SL2 supports the fastest PIIIs. :)
70 posted on 12/10/2001 4:49:14 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RiVer19
Great Post!

How would you answer the same question for someone looking to put together a system to run Photoshop, working with 130 Meg files...i.e. memory type, RAID, video card (2D mainly), ?.

(See )Moonhawk

71 posted on 12/10/2001 5:30:13 AM PST by moonhawk
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To: moonhawk
Memory: You needs lots of memory. That is the main thing when running Photoshop on large files. I'd go with a 512MB minimum. It's cheap now. Maybe get three sticks of 256MB for a total of 768MB. The 512MB sticks are just a little more expensive. But, they do keep you from filling up your slots for memory. I think 512MB would be sufficient for working with graphics files less than 200MB.

RAID: Now, I do RAID systems for the hospitals at work. I design hospital computers for a living. But, those systems host data that peoples LIVES depend on. For a home PC or most business PC's I don't think it's necessary. If you want speedy disks, get something faster than a 5400RPM disk. 7200RPM or 10kRPM is a good choice. Each getting a bit more expensive. But, like I said earlier, the 7200RPM 100MB/sec UATA 40GB disks are just $98 now (for Seagate). And, those are darn quick and a good value. Disk drives are really very dependable these days in general. I've actually NEVER had a hard disk fail on me at home on multiple systems. I really have faith in Seagate drives because of this and it's all I buy for my systems. Just based on experience. I'm sure others with disagree with me. Stay FAR away from IBM drives. Trust me there....I won't get into it. Very bad quality.

Video card: For your application you probably don't need a 64MB video card. I know, I know it seems to defy logic considering the size of the graphics files you are working with. But, the truth is on these video cards most all of that memory is used up for 3D graphics buffering. In a 2D business application it doesn't mean jack. BUT, I would still get the 64MB GeForce2 MX400 card. Why? Well, it's a well supported card, with great looking output, super drivers from nVidia. You can get a Jaton brand card like this for $68 right now (again I shop a lot at - they are just my most recent inexpensive/reliable supplier). Don't use the drivers that come with the card. On any nVidia chipset card just download the nVidia drivers and use theirs. Super controls for brightness, contrast, and gamma right there on the control panel. Color enhancment supplied by the drivers is super - sliding bar that lets you adjust the color saturation. Very nice driver features. So, best card for the money all around to me.


72 posted on 12/10/2001 6:44:24 AM PST by RiVer19
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To: moonhawk
Beautiful images by the way...You take those yourself?
73 posted on 12/10/2001 6:46:48 AM PST by RiVer19
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To: RiVer19
Thanks. I recently bought an Envision 17" LCD. Beutiful montior but it doesn't seem comfortable with my current hardware arrangement. (The system hangs more after I intalled it.)

So I thought I'd try a new video card. But that was difficult for the reasons we discussed. So I thought to just build another system. I did my homework and priced out the parts. But I ended up buying a Micron refurbished (they are here in town). I got a P4 2GHz system cheaper than I could buy the parts.

Problem was I got it home and it was so noisy from the 4 fans I couldn't live with it. I went to take it back but they wouldn't accept a return; all refurbished sales are final.

To make a long story short, I gave it to my kids, and I'm back where I started, $1500 poorer, trying to find a video card.

My ABIT MB is maxed out. PIII600, PC100, AGP 1.0. I need to build a new system, but I want a quiet machine and that adds a whole level of complexity to the problem. I've been researching it and will probably start after the holidays.

I was hoping to find a video card to tide me over but it looks like a no go. Thanks for your input.

74 posted on 12/10/2001 7:06:28 AM PST by tjg
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To: RadioAstronomer
I'd have to find a slot 1 MB since that's the processor I have. That's a dead end street.

Of course any computer is a dead end street if you wait long enough. I get one or two upgrages it seems before the whole thing is obsolete, and it's time to start over.

I'm there. This time around I'm going to focus on reducing noise as opposed to blinding speed.

75 posted on 12/10/2001 7:19:50 AM PST by tjg
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To: tjg
I would think you should get the Envision drivers for that monitor. BUT, I checked on those and actually downloaded them and they say this "monitor drivers do not control the number of colors you can display in Windows. They only enable Windows to recognize the maximum resolution and refresh rate of your monitor". And, they are only a .inf file. I don't see how that could cause your system to hang. I would tend to guess something else is going on. The job of those monitor drivers doesn't seem to do much to your system like one with .dll's or loadable drivers. I can't see how they would make the system lockup. But, it does sound like your problem started after adding the monitor. Could be a coincidence though. May want to get the latest drivers for your current video card, sound card and really anything you've got. Usually it's drivers causing this problem. If that fails to stop the lockups, you may want to consider reloading windows. I've been in similar situations and reloading the OS fixed it. I never could figure out what part of the OS was causing the problem so I just reloaded it and the system was then very stable again. Could cost you time, but not money. Good luck.
76 posted on 12/10/2001 7:30:52 AM PST by RiVer19
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To: RiVer19
I did the drivers thing. Both for the monitor and the video card. Didn't do the sound board and the other stuff. I'll try that.

I thought about reistalling windows, but don't I need to reformatt the hard drive and start fresh? Eek.

77 posted on 12/10/2001 7:42:24 AM PST by tjg
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To: tjg
Well, yes you'd need to reformat and start fresh for the best reslults. There's something wrong with your system and most likely it's drivers or some other program that's getting loaded at boot time. The only SURE way to deal with it is to reformat and start over. But, that's not such a bad thing really. I bet you've never heard of "Windows arthritis" have you? It's a condition affecting the Windows OS where over time the system gets slower and slower due to build up of useless crud in the Registry. I promise you if you reload your OS you'll find your system faster. It amazes me every time I see it. But, it's a true fact of this OS. It is the very big payoff to the pain of reloading windows. You end up with a faster more stable computer every time.
78 posted on 12/10/2001 7:50:06 AM PST by RiVer19
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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.

Not necessarily. Mirroring is nominally slower writing, but fastest reading.

79 posted on 12/10/2001 11:44:36 AM PST by peabers
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To: damnlimey
Global Win fans are great, but the FOP38 sounds like a 747 on rollout. I use a Global Win FOP32 with my Athlon 800. With a decent heatsink/fan combo you can easily get 1 Ghz out of your T-bird (10 x 100 Mhz bus).

Just make sure you have a decent power supply. I use AOpen cases with a 250 w PSU, and it runs the overclocked Athlon, 512 M or RAM, three 20 GB HDDs and a CD-RW just fine. However, cheaper PSUs would choke on that. AMD recommends at least a 300 W PSU for normal operation.

80 posted on 12/10/2001 11:52:53 AM PST by peabers
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