View Poll Results: Which is the better budget motherboard ?
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Best Budget Motherboard Debate *help
ok I'm on a tight budget and have been researching into great stable easy to use motherboards on a budget. I have come down to two motherboards. The first is the EPoX 8k3a which I've heard alot about and the other one is the ECS k7s5a which I've heard even more about. Any feedback about these boards would be great. Oh and what does raid do and is it worth spendin a few extra bucks for?
The best way I can describe RAID is just SCSI for IDE. That is what I was told anyways to simplify it. The literal meaning is Random Array of Inexpensive Disk. I wish I could help more with that, but I'm perfectly satisfied with the performance of my 7200rpm ATA-100 Maxtor being run as IDE, so I really have never tried out RAID.
As far as a comparison between these two motherboards, there is NO comparison. The ECS uses an inferior SiS chipset (I have nicknames SiSsies). The 735 to be exact. The EPoX uses VIA's KT333CE chipset. The EPoX has recieved top reviews from just about everybody that has tested it. Overclockability is unmatched, stability is as perfect as you could get, the board is extremely easy to set up, and it comes from a long line of high performing motherboards from EPoX.
Think of it like this. The EPoX is a Corvette, and the ECS is a Honda. The Honda gets the job done, and some will argue that Honda is a good car. Now pull that Corvette next to it. After 10 seconds of racing the Corvette's tail lights will just be a memory to the little Honda. While this comparison may be an exaggeration, the point is made. Pay a little more and get the better board. Or you could even pay less and get the EP-8K7A and still outperform the ECS.
Here are some prices to play with. All include shipping. From Pricewatch.
EP-8K3A - $77.50
EP-8K3A+ (RAID version) - $105.95
EP-8K7A - $62 (LegendMicro.com)
EP-8K7A+ (RAID version) - $64.99 (LegendMicro.com)
ECS K7S5A - $55
Let us know what you go with. My advice is to do the research yourself. Don't take my word for it, see what the guys that compare these for a living say.
AMD Athlon Xp 2200+ unlocked 200x9 (Retail)
Corsair 512MB PC2700 XMS
Maxtor 60GB 7200RPM UDMA-133
Windows XP Professional
I've been looking in to it and I have really been leaning towards the epox motherboard. It gets better reviews and I hardly (if ever) see a bad review for it. if anyone else has any comments feel free to share.
I'm not quite sure how / why you've narrowed it down to those two boards in particular. It seems that you're looking for a socket A board. I would suggest that you first choose a chipset. Via KT333 or SiS 745 are probably your best bets right now for a 'bargain' The Via will tend to be a bit more expensive, and offers higher memory performance. Some prefer the SiS chipset because of some PCI performance / compatibility issues with Via chipsets. If you are interested in the SiS chipset, then MSI and ECS both make boards based on it. ASUS as well, but the ASUS doesn't OC very well because of the lack of voltage controls and a 1:5 PCI divider. Just about every manufacturer out there has their version of the Via chipset. Just price / quality / support and features differentiate them.
BTW, amusing analogy with the Corvette and Honda. Did you realize that Honda is one of the top companies in the world for auto racing? They just choose to concentrate in the economy car / family sedan segements of the market. I'd take a NSX up against a Corvette on a twisty course. On an oval I have to concede to the raw power of the Corvette. That was maybe a better analogy between Via and SiS than you even realized when you posted it.
Don't buy an ECS
I've tried for weeks to get Alton or ECS to provide me with the .ROM file for the V694D or D6VAA revision 3, but, shocking as it may seem, they won't do it!
I give up and am returning the board for a refund.
I will never buy an Alton or ECS board ever again. I recommend avoiding their products like the plague unless you like banging your head against a wall.
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