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  1. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Ok I'm in the PRELIMINARY stages of looking to upgrade a pc. I am probably a couple of weeks out from pulling the trigger and actually buying it so please don't post special offers or today only type sales. I'm not that ready.

    I'm looking to get three things:

    Motherboard
    CPU
    RAM

    I have two main questions:

    1 - Are there any acceptable motherboard brands BESIDES gigabyte and ausus?

    2 - Is there a serious performance difference between an AMD Phenom x4 and a Phenom 2 x4?

    Budget (undetermined) - 130.00 to 180.00 usd

    I prefer AMD but I could look at INTEL if I can get it into my spending range. I'm also looking for a quad core processor. I know 6 is the latest but this is a budget build with future upgrading in mind.

    This will be mainly for video encoding - bluray to avchd level m2ts (possibly burnt or simply left as a file for my wdtv gen 1 media player). It will also be for 3d anaglyph encoding from side by side sources (side by side conversion from bluray will be done on a seperate computer that has the software I want to use it).



    The reason I am asking these questions is in my pricing at newegg, tigerdirect, fry and amazon I can get a 50 to a 100 price swing depending on these variables. If I go bottom of the barrel I can get it down to about a 130.00. If I start to make demands and stick to gigabyte or ausus and a phenom 2 x4 I jump to over a 150.00.

    My main requirements on the outset are:

    AM3 socket motherboard (am3+ seems to be so new I am not concerned about it)
    1 stick of 2 gig ram - any brand - cheapest preferred
    quad core amd processor (unsure about phenom x4 or phenom 2 x4

    If I can nail down the two questions above about which direction to go on quality of boards and the difference between a phenom 1 x4 and a phenom 2 x4 I can narrow down my parameters.

    I have some money already dedicated to the build but my final amount is up in the air. Once I get a FIRM budget than I may tweak some of my requirements and go a little higher on the minimum requirements.

    -------------------------------------

    Just to be clear on this the main use for the rig will be video conversion. I will not be gaming or watching movies on it.

    Also I'll be using UBUNTU 11.04 on this machine so that will also be a factor.

    Thanks for all of your advice. I have definitely reaped the benefit of everyones experience over the years here on computer matters.

    Edit - forgot to mention:

    I have a 430 watt pata power supply I'll be using. I have a full atx case that I will be recycling - ausus but don't know the model number. I will also be using a 40gb pata ide harddrive for the os drive.

    It doesn't have to be a full atx board - micro atx is fine.

    Edit 2- I'd also prefer to buy all three components from the same store. though I don't really have to but it would save on shipping costs and really simplify any return issues that might pop up.
    Last edited by yoda313; 23rd May 2011 at 14:24.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  2. You may want to rethink that PATA boot drive. Many modern motherboards have dropped support for them. Only SATA ports for for drives and in many cases no floppy controller either.
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  3. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TBoneit View Post
    You may want to rethink that PATA boot drive. Many modern motherboards have dropped support for them. Only SATA ports for for drives and in many cases no floppy controller either.
    Floppy is not a problem - the case (bought used) came with a floppy drive but I have no intention of using it.

    Won't a simple pata-sata cable adapter work? I have a bunch of those.
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  4. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I haven't seen a MB without a PATA connection. Probably a few out there, though. Most newer MBs only have a single PATA connection, for two devices. Some of the inexpensive MBs may also only have two SATA connectors and two RAM slots, so something else to consider.

    I would be a bit nervous at using a SATA>PATA adapter for a boot drive. Some of them seem to work, and some not.

    I still have a bunch of older 80GB PATA HDDs and use them in my servers for boot drives. Nothing except the OS on them, so it they die, no real loss. All the video files are on larger SATA drives.

    For a economy CPU, maybe a ~ $100US AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz. I would definitely go with a quad core, especially if you are doing any H.264 encoding. Avoid the OEM versions, they come without a cooler. The AMD coolers are adequate if you don't plan to overclock. (And you get a better CPU warranty.)

    For RAM, Gskill DDR3 in a 2GB size is about $20US and should work well.

    For MBs, a Micro-ATX will be about $50 - $60US in the economy versions. I still prefer Gigabyte, but I have used just about all the major brands in the past and no real MB failures. If you are looking for a bit more features, still quite a few MBs in the $80 - $90 range. But if you don't need HDMI, or more RAM slots or more SATA connectors, probably not really worth it for a economy build. Be aware that some of that 2GB of RAM will usually be shared with the video chip, though usually ~250MB, so not a major problem.
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  5. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redwudz
    I would be a bit nervous at using a SATA>PATA adapter for a boot drive. Some of them seem to work, and some not.
    I do have a 500gb sata drive that I use as my storage drive on my dual core pc that is my "main" pc right now. I could salvage that and repurpose it. I have two usb drives that I can use for shuttling files back and forth between the two (they will be in different rooms and networking isn't an easy option - and I don't think I"d like to wifi a video file upwards of 1gb and larger over the air).

    Originally Posted by redwudz
    For a economy CPU, maybe a ~ $100US AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz.

    For RAM, Gskill DDR3 in a 2GB size is about $20US and should work well.

    For MBs, a Micro-ATX will be about $50 - $60US in the economy versions.
    That would put it about 170.00 or so which is where my first runs at a few different stores have come to give or take. One thing I haven't tried is low balling at different stores and combining it that way. Might shave a few bucks as long as they have free shipping - otherwise it saves money to buy at a single store.

    Originally Posted by redwudz
    I still prefer Gigabyte, but I have used just about all the major brands in the past and no real MB failures.
    I guess thats the question I'm asking - what are the other "MAJOR BRANDS" aside from Gigabyte and Asus?

    Originally Posted by redwudz
    Be aware that some of that 2GB of RAM will usually be shared with the video chip, though usually ~250MB, so not a major problem.
    I have a couple of pci-e video cards that I can dump in it so that won't be a factor.

    Thanks again for chipping in Redwudz - our prior discussion really helped get my head in the right direction on this project.

    FYI I did get a blower can and cleaned out the case.
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    I own an MSI board. It will be two years old in September and I have no regrets about buying it. It has all solid capacitors and construction seem good. Some MSI boards do seem to have problems, but Gigiabyte has made one or two bad ones also.

    Your budget makes it difficult to find a recent motherboard from Asus, Gigabyte or MSI that will meet your needs. A board that is a known quantity with many good reviews is the safest choice, if you need to buy a different brand. Most of the AMD AM3 boards still have a PATA connector. AM3+ and some of the newer Intel motherboards are more likely to not have PATA.

    It is not a true Phenom, because there is no L3 cache, but this is probably the best bang for the buck in an AMD quad core at the moment.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103921
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  7. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    I own an MSI board. It will be two years old in September and I have no regrets about buying it.
    Thats good to know. I'll look out for MSI in my shopping as well.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    Most of the AMD AM3 boards still have a PATA connector.
    Glad to hear that. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for that stat in my search.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    It is not a true Phenom, because there is no L3 cache, but this is probably the best bang for the buck in an AMD quad core at the moment.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103921
    I"m not concerned about all of the bells and whistles of a quad core right now. I'm just wanting 4 real cores. I've seen amd quads around 80.00 or so that seem to be sufficient for my needs.

    ------------------------------

    One thing I need to keep an eye out for are boards that support 95 watt processors. It seems like x4s are usually 95 watts. The super budget boards are max 65 watt. It would seem that would be a minimum requirement I need to keep an eye out for.

    I appreciate the advice. Keep it coming if you see something I"m missing or will run into down the road.

    As I said I don't have a firm budget and I don't have a firm purchase date yet. But I would like to keep it under 180.00. That will constrain some needs but the main focus is video encoding. I know by constricting my search I won't be getting full speed out of any rig but I am still looking to roughly double my current processing time (compared to a athlon x2 2.7ghz processor that is - my current machine). I know core processing isn't truly scaleable from one core to multi-core but the raw power is what I'm after - even if on a budget and lower end.

    I'm using this to spring into possible 6 core use later on.

    --------- Will all am3 boards support 6 core or do I need to look for something specific?

    ----------- The 6 core cpu would be at a future date not now but I'd like to have the option available.

    Thanks again everyone.
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  8. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Most newer AM3 MBs should support the 6 core CPUs. But you can check processor support easy enough with the manufacturers link at NewEgg. The 6 core CPUs are 125W, so they do need a bit more cooling.
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    I have been watching prices on AMD quad cores for myself. I hope to get one later this year. You may be able to get a Athlon II x4 for $80 as part of a combo, but the current models in a retail box with a CPU cooler presently go for between $90 and $110 when purchased separately. The only current AMD quad cores that I have seen for around $80 are OEM, packaged without a CPU cooler.

    Most of the quad core Phenoms are 125W. The one I linked to is 95W.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 23rd May 2011 at 23:35.
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  10. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Ok so it looks like if I want this board to support 6 cores I need a 125 watt cpu support.

    Thanks redwudz and usually_quiet.
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  11. I just used this one in a i7 2600 build I'm doing for my brother, I think He'll like it when I replace his old P4. I popped in win7, 4Gb DDR3, 160Gb SSD Boot drive & 1Tb Data drive.

    I was so impressed I changed my home computer to SSD boot drive too.
    ASUS P8H61-M (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $84.99


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131716&cm_re=P8H61-M-_-13-131-716-_-Product

    It has VGA, DVI, & HDMI video out.

    I've used ASUS boards in the last two builds I've done.

    I tend to prefer Intel for Video work. If it were just internet I'd of probably went Core 2 Duo for the CPU.
    However i7 four physical cores + four virtual cores (HT)
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  12. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Thanks tboneit.

    Actually I have yet to price out a intel quad core build. That motherboard is quite a bit more than I was looking to invest into the motherboard portion of this project.

    I'm actually leaning toward this gigabyte amd motherboard:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128455&cm_re=gigabyte_amd-_-1...-455-_-Product

    Its a bit pricier than a bottom barrel am3 board. BUT it has these features I need:

    PATA support
    Northbridge and southbridge support

    Apparently the northbridge and southbridge relate to six core - I'm not sure which at the moment. There is verbage in the details saying it can handle six core.

    That would be important for future upgrading beyond 4 core.

    I do see what Redwudz and usually_quiet are saying about oem chips not having coolers.

    I do have a question - I have an old amd processor fan from my hp computer. It was for a single core amd athlon. Would that be sufficient for a quad core if I got an oem without a fan?

    I'm also tempted to go super cheap and get ram on ebay but I think I should still suck it up and get new with the rest of the project to make sure everything is on the up and up.

    edit - more and more it looks like I'll be scraping the $170-$180 range of my initial setup. Perhaps a little bit more depending on the final selections.

    I still don't have funds permanently in place for this project yet so this will be on the backburner for a little while longer - though the flames are on standby!!!
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  13. I'd say no on the fan. If you aren't going to overclock you could get by with a retail box CPU that has a HSF assembly in it.
    Make sure whatever fan you get can handle the heat from a 125watt processor. Or water cool and overclock. BTW I think the dual IDE card I ordered was around $15. It took a little looking to find one that will work in Win7. Most had driver support up to Vista.

    I'd say with an AMD multicore you want to have a fan at the bottom bringing cool air and at the top blowing the heated air out.

    Just for comparison in Win7 the WEI scores are CPU 7.6, Memory 7.6, Graphics using a 8400GS (4.3Aero) and 5.2 Gaming, and 7.3 Hard Disk. By comparison I get a 7.5 on the boot drive at home. However the larger drives do benchmark faster. This thing is fast, from the time the POST finishes til the desktop is fully loaded with A/V etc. is approx 20 seconds. That's counting using the 1 thousand one, One thousand two etc method.

    I'll be curious how yours does when you are done as I haven't seen any late model AMD systems here at work.
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  14. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tboneit
    I haven't seen any late model AMD systems here at work.
    This won't be a "late model" build if you mean the latest and greatest. I'm mainly wanting faster video processing with four real cores. I don't have to have the latest cache and all that jazz. I am concerned about getting a motherboard that can at least support 6 core processors should I want to upgrade from 4 to 6 down the line without doing a motherboard replacement again.

    The win7 benchmarking comparisons won't be possible for this build. I'll be using ubuntu 11.04 to save some extra money since I don't have a retail copy of windows to install (only two oem desktops).

    I'll certainly post results of various encoding projects and stuff once its up and running.

    Again I don't have a purchase date yet so that is a little ways away.

    ---- edit --- hsf?? I assume that is some abbreviation for heat sink? Not sure about the f. What would I look for to know if a particular oem has this feature? - If it saves 20.00 on a processor I might want to go that route - oem vs retail that is.
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  15. Heat Sink Fan

    BTW, I only buy Intel mother boards. I don't overclock, and they are very reliable
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    I have some suggestions for you to look at. Both seem like decent boards. It is unlikely you can do better on price without a sale. The memory was checked against the supported memory list for both boards.

    #1
    MOB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128455 - $ 59.99 + $7.87 shipping (not counting $10 rebate)
    CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103871 - $ 99.99 + free shipping
    RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148149 - $ 21.99 + free shipping

    $181.97 Parts + $7.87 Shipping (not counting $10 rebate)


    #2
    MOB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130559 - $ 54.99 + $7.56 shipping
    or http://www.buy.com/prod/msi-760gm-p33-desktop-motherboard-amd-socket-am3-pga-941-micro...219566753.html $53.24 + free shipping
    CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103871 - $ 99.99 with free shipping
    RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148149 - $ 21.99 with free shipping

    $176.97 Parts + $7.56 Shipping purchasing from Newegg only
    $175.25 purchasing from Buy.com and Newegg

    [Edit] Looks like option #1 is already on your short list
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 24th May 2011 at 19:13.
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  17. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    @usually quiet - thanks I appreciate the roundup help

    That msi mobo on option 2 looks just as good as the gigabyte for a few bucks less. Since it says it does both north and south bridge amds does that mean it can handle 6 core cpus like the gigabyte says it does?

    And regarding ram - I was penciling in about 20.00 for a 2gb stick so that looks about right. Is CRUCIAL a good brand? I wasn't too concerned about brand but might as well ask.

    ---------------------

    So with my own spec and price hunting and the help from everyone else here it looks like I will indeed be budgeting about 180.00 for this build. I'm almost there but not quite. Once I am I should be able to pull the trigger and go for it.

    I appreciate everyones help.

    -------------------

    And thanks for the definition stiltman. I guess I should have guessed f stood for fan doh!

    Is there any way to get an intel build with mobo and quad core processor in the same price range? Would the mobo support six core like the amd mobo? Or are there any 6 core intel processors?
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    Originally Posted by yoda313 View Post
    @usually quiet - thanks I appreciate the roundup help

    That msi mobo on option 2 looks just as good as the gigabyte for a few bucks less. Since it says it does both north and south bridge amds does that mean it can handle 6 core cpus like the gigabyte says it does?

    And regarding ram - I was penciling in about 20.00 for a 2gb stick so that looks about right. Is CRUCIAL a good brand? I wasn't too concerned about brand but might as well ask.

    ---------------------

    So with my own spec and price hunting and the help from everyone else here it looks like I will indeed be budgeting about 180.00 for this build. I'm almost there but not quite. Once I am I should be able to pull the trigger and go for it.

    I appreciate everyones help.

    -------------------

    And thanks for the definition stiltman. I guess I should have guessed f stood for fan doh!

    Is there any way to get an intel build with mobo and quad core processor in the same price range? Would the mobo support six core like the amd mobo? Or are there any 6 core intel processors?
    The MSI motherboard's supported/tested CPU list includes a 1055T 125W Thuban.

    There are differences between the two motherboards. The MSI board only has a VGA port, while the Gigabyte board has a DVI port too. The MSI board has a VIA VT1708S Audio Chipset while the Gigabyte board has Realtek ALC888B. (Realtek ALC888B is the better of the two.) In addition to the PCI-E x16 slot (which both have), the MSI board has 2 PCI-E x1 slots and 1 PCI slot, while the Gigabyte board has 1 PCI-E x1 slots and 2 PCI slot. The Gigabyte board has 4 SATA ports, while the MSI board has 6 SATA ports. The MSI board has 4 USB 2.0 connectors on the backplane, while the Gigabyte board has 8 on the backplane. The Gigabyte board has 1 PS/2 port, and the MSI board has 2.

    As far as the memory, Crucial is a budget brand, that I chose based partly on the tight budget for the project. That part number also received good reviews at Newegg and it was on the supported/tested memory list. I try to pick memory from the supported/tested memory list as insurance. Sometimes boards are not compatible with all the memory options that seem (on the surface at least) like they should work.
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    yoda313; With the motherboard, you might have problems getting any integrated sound chipset/networking to work with Linux. I'd always assume the on board sound/networking is incompatible unless stated otherwise, and factor in the cost of standalone cards.

    On board graphics might also be an issue.

    Worth checking here:
    http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/catalog
    http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/catalog/category/AUDIO
    http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/catalog/category/NETWORK
    http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/catalog/category/VIDEO
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    IMHO I'd stay away from MSI mobo's.....read too many horror stories of their mobo's burning out from fires....stick to either GIGABYTE or ASUS.....I stopped buying ASUS mobo's from P4 days due to poor quality control & shitty RMA services.........GIGABYTE FTW!!!! Also stay away from mobo's that use VIA CHIPSETS......Just my 2 cents!
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    Best Mobo bang for bucks: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138283
    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103871
    RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231150

    If you're just going to use 2 gigs ram, and don't plan to add more later you might get a little speed improvement using two 1 gig sticks of ram instead of one 2 gig stick.
    I have 2x2 gigs and see a slight improvement in video processing when running two sticks of ram in unganged mode.
    Of course my mobo is a Gigabyte, but it has the 880 chipset also.
    I would have went with the Biostar if I had seen it first, it was about 30 bucks cheaper than the Gigabyte I bought, and from the reviews I've read it's a very good budget board.

    I'd stay away from MSI boards, seems there's been some quality control problems with some of their boards.

    There's no way to build an Intel quad core system near this price range, the cheapest Intel I5 quad core cpu is around $185 plus a decent Intel board for an I5 is pricey compared to AMD boards.
    Last edited by gregalan; 25th May 2011 at 08:23.
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  22. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    @usually quiet - thanks.

    The slot layout and vga vs dvi is irrelevant for me in this particular instance. Down the road it might come back to haunt me but it isn't that important since you can throw in a video card - which I intend to do - and solve the problem.

    Regarding the pci slot issue - that isn't a factor either as I don't intend this to be a main workload pc. Just a video encoding machine. Anything I might need a slot for I could do on the other two desktops I have.

    I need to verify that the 60.00 gigabyte board can run a 125w cpu. It seems there are several votes against MSI from other users here on videohelp. For an extra 5.00 I might just go with the gigabyte board assuming it can handle a 125 watt cpu that seems to be needed for 4 and 6 core processors (the majority of them anyway).

    I'll try to keep the model number on hand for the crucial memory - I appreciate it.

    @intracube - I appreciate the concern. The only thing I"d be using sound for on the machine would be to check synch issues on video encodes. It would be a nice thing to have working but not critical as I could burn to disc or copy to a harddrive and test on another pc.

    I also have a usb soundblaster LIVE sound board that I could connect. Would those be ubuntu compatible? The live 24bit model that is several years old - not the newer xfi models.

    @budz - I appreciate the warning. Thats another vote against msi.

    @gregalan - holy crap that is a good board:

    I don't know if there are any negatives for a biostar board but it seems to have what I need plus a little extra for the same price as the msi board.

    If anyone has objections on biostar please let me know. I'll seriously consider that one or the gigabyte one (from usually quiets option 1 in the previous post).

    Also @gregalan - I am considering future upgrades of ram for this unit. Thats why I want to start with a single 2gb stick. That way its probably most economical to do 2 now so the system can run without being stifled too much. HOwever I'll have the easy upgrade to 4 available for only an extra 20.00 or so in the future.

    Also I think I'll be sticking with the 32bit ubuntu for this project. Is there any gain to be had with doing a 64bit ubuntu install?

    I know that you'll need a 64bit os to use more than 4 gb of ram. However that won't be at the initial stage of this project - possibly some point in the future but not now. Are there any benefits for video processing doing a 64bit os instead of a 32bit os all other things being equal?

    edit - I was just thinking is that 4gb limit on 32bit os a WINDOWS limitation? Or is it a universal constant for all OS's? I mean would a 32bit Linux install (ubuntu in my case) read more than 4gb ram?

    Thanks again for all the input everyone.

    edit 2 - how do you know which revision the board is on neweggs website? I checked out the gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-S2 board but my first look I didn't see an exact match. But the one listed on the gigabyte website says it can handle a phenom 2 x6 and up to a 140 watt cpu. If I can nail down which version of the board newegg carries I may just settle on this gigabyte board - and this gigabyte board did have dvi out on it.

    edit 3 - I looked the board up and there are 4 versions apparently. Three of the four have support for 6 core phenoms and up to 140 watt cpus. I did not check the last model, the numbering seemed odd - the ones I checked were revisions 1 to 3. This looks like the board for me. I will mark it off on my list for confirmed - I think I'll also do that crucial memory at 2gb. The last thing to decide on is the cpu. It probably will be that 100.00 athlon 2 x4 processor.
    Last edited by yoda313; 25th May 2011 at 11:02.
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    Gigabyte seems to be the favorite here. They do build good boards for the most part. However, both the Gigabyte and the MSI boards I suggested are budget boards. Neither has all solid capacitors. Some of the capacitors on both are electrolytic. However, they both also had some solid capacitors, unlike some other budget boards I saw. Neither is going to be as well-made as a board that costs $25 to $40 more, and neither is intended for hard use. I would definitely have made different suggestions if the budget were larger.

    I did look at some of Biostar's boards. I neglected to mention them earlier because they had only 6-channel sound, and fewer expansion slots than usual, but it looks like that isn't a problem. These two seemed OK for the money, have a PATA connector and support 125W CPUs I have yet to to check the memory selection for either.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138283
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138179

    There are fewer motherboards to choose from right now. I will say I think the current crop of motherboards with USB3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s are receiving more negative reviews than last year's models without these new features. Unfortunately, last years best models are sold out. Looking at a couple of the more expensive MSI boards, a few reviewers did say theirs caught fire. I didn't look at those boards, so I didn't see the reports of fires. I guess this is a bad year to buy from MSI.
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  24. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    @usually quiet - thanks for the post.

    The a770e3 biostar board for am3 amd 770 support looks promising. Its a full atx board.

    Also the board says it has solid capicators according to the website:

    http://www.biostar-usa.com/app/en-us/mb/content.php?S_ID=450

    The board looks great for expansion - 3 pci slots. It has dual channel ram support. I think I will add this to my list for motherboards along with the gigabyte I'm favoring.

    ------- Are all atx full size boards the same size? I'd have to measure my case to know for sure.

    Are there any serious negatives to biostar? I glanced at the first page of reviews on newegg and it looks to be 50/50 on good and bad reviews. I think in the end I would sacrifice some expansion room for reliability but this looks promising - and a little cheaper too

    Sorry about the bold in this section - I had copied the title for the biostar motherboard name off the newegg website and deleted it in this part of my post but I don't know how to unbold it. There doesn't seem to be an option. I'll try to edit it in "go advanced" and see if I can correct it. EDIT - Corrected - sorry the font is different I don't know what the forum default font is.

    Edit - also usb 3 and any fancy sata options are not critical to me either. Down the road it will be but there are always pci cards you can get. Also I may eventually be in a position to do a full 100% top of the line build but not in the immediate future hence the low balling here with upgrading in mind.



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  25. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    edit - I was just thinking is that 4gb limit on 32bit os a WINDOWS limitation? Or is it a universal constant for all OS's? I mean would a 32bit Linux install (ubuntu in my case) read more than 4gb ram?
    That's a 32bit limitation, irregardless of OS used. With a 32bit OS, that's the largest amount of RAM that it can address, minus whatever the video card uses. The math is:

    2(32) = 4,294,967,296 bytes
    4,294,967,296 / (1,024 x 1,024) = 4,096 MB = 4GB
    It’s different for 64-bit:
    2(64) = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616
    18,446,744,073,709,551,616 / (1,024 x 1,024) = 16EB (exabytes)

    If your video chipset uses 512MB of system RAM, then you would have a bit less than 3.5GB available for the PC. Starting with 2GB RAM and with a video chipset that uses 512MB of that can limit your usable RAM to about 1.5GB. But 256MB usage is more common for video chipsets. I believe the OS also reserves a small amount of RAM for it's own use.

    EDIT:
    ------- Are all atx full size boards the same size? I'd have to measure my case to know for sure.

    The size can vary, but the mounting points will be the same or it's not a ATX or Micro-ATX card.
    Last edited by redwudz; 26th May 2011 at 03:40.
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  26. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    thanks again redwudz.
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    The BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard does not have all solid capacitors. If you look at the picture, you can see more of them are electrolytic. However, you are not going to find a budget motherboard with all solid capacitors. There is no onboard video, but you want to use a VGA card. Look at the percentage of 4 and 5 stars reviews, and if you look you will see that did get some good reviews from Linux users. No budget board is made to stand up to hard use and they typically have more bad reviews than more expensive makes or models.

    To be honest, I would feel more confident recommending much more expensive boards for long encoding sessions, and would tell you to get 2 sticks of memory, but you have a very tight budget to consider. We all have to do the best we can with the money we have to work with. Hopefully things will still work out fine.

    Not all boards with the same form factor are the same size. Budget ATX and MATX boards are often smaller than the maximum allowed (Maximums are 12 in. x 9.6 in. for ATX, and 9.6 in x 9.6 in. for MATX) This means that for these smaller boards, one edge will often have no place for screws in either corner, where the full-sized boards would normally have them. The smaller size often means one expansion slot will be left off the board, as is true for the Biostar boards I suggested.
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  28. I agree MSI is definate second tier motherboard. Abit also on my S-List. The ASUS boards I've looked at recently have all been good parts on them, Polymer instead of electrolytics for the capacitors etc. The one time we had to keep rma'ing a ASUS board it turned out that the USB ports were going bad because of the customers printer and not a motherboard defect. I ran my old ASUS P4 3.0Ghz board hard many times 24 hours a day for days batch encoding. When I upgraded to dual core I sold it off as it was still working fine.
    If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
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  29. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Thanks usually quiet. I guess it is a tradeoff of what you want and what you can realistically get - at this budget that is.

    So I guess I'm still deciding between the gigabyte board and the larger biostar. Given the reverence the regulars here at videohelp have for gigabyte that might force my hand despite the extra features of the biostar board.

    Thanks tboneit I appreciate the information.
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    @yoda

    if your budget is in the under $200 range for ram, motherboard and cpu, it can be done, but it will be tough and you're looking at slightly older technology:

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0351634

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0351634

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0351634

    if you're serious about video encoding/editing, you should wait until june 7th to see what bulldozer brings to the table, some preliminary benchmarks make it seem like it will be another phenom 9500 style disappointment, some benchmarks make it look like it may be a legit competitor to sandy bridge. of course pricing will be the big question mark, but it will probably drive down the prices of the 6 core phenoms (X6) so a few weeks wait will be in your best interest.

    on another option is a sandy bridge based system and use apps that use intel's quick sync technology:

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0361810

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0359809

    there are many pluses to going the SB route, especially since gaming isn't an issue for you; quick sync technology is here to stay and will only get better as programmers gain experience fully exploiting the hardware, even a low end dual core will give you much faster encoding times than even the fastest software based solution powered by high end cpu's.

    the downside is that you will have to use somewhat higher bit rates to get what is possible with the better software solutions, but unless you're one of these guys that has a bit rate starving fetish, then it won't matter to you; on the bright side the upgrade path is pretty good as you can always upgrade to a 2600k, if finances should allow in the future.

    if it was me i would wait until i saw what amd brought to the table with bulldozer; if the benchmarks weren't awe inspiring, i would up the budget a couple of bucks and go with a $50 motherboard and a core i5 2400 ($150), mate that to a nice after market air cooler, crank up the turbo multiplier and also spend the cash on going with 8 gigs of ddr3, the total for mb/cpu/ram, sans tax, would be about $280 but you would have plenty of processing hp to keep you fat and giggly for at least a couple of years before the upgrade itch struck again.

    whichever way you go, post some benchmarks of whatever you build.
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