Talkin' Techie

This is for those of you who do not know about technology. I will try to enlighten you, but you must have an open mind about learning something new...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Dream Machine - Motherboards Galore

Welcome to the first installment for the creation of the Dream Machine. Over the next few weeks, we will be creating the best system we can come up with, along with a total price. Following, we will be discussing other options, including the BGR, or Budget Gaming Rig. This will include something good, but not too expensive. Today, we start with the motherboard...

First, we all need to know more about motherboards. A motherboard is the pathway for everything to connect to. It is the nervous system, the ligaments, tendons and tissues attaching all parts of the computer. It connects everything to the brain (processor, MPU). Everything either connects directly to or through a cable to the motherboard. Knowing this, you should be able to determine that it is a very crucial piece of hardware. So, be sure that you get a good one.

The biggest and the best are those that keep on producing the top of the line stuff. Currently, the biggest is ASUS. ASUS has been the top performer for the longest time. Others are ECS, Gigabyte and MSI. They continue to compete with ASUS, with (in my opinion) Gigabyte doing the best. You will just have to decide, but for this Dream Machine, we will be using an ASUS motherboard.
Where to buy
If you don't already know, then be sure to look over this section and check out the links. We know that if you go into a standard retail store, you can get a pre-built PC and some times you can get a decend motherboard, but it has quite a hefty price tag. Being this, if you don't mind either waiting for it or driving to get it, the best place is to get a motherboard is online or at FRY'S Electronics. The sites that I recommend are newegg, tigerdirect, and zipzoomfly. Fry's also has an online retailer (Outpost), but be wary; the prices online do not reflect those in the store. For all of the hardware, we will be searching newegg.
Dream Machine Motherboard
Being that there are 2 main processor manufacturers (AMD and Intel), I will discuss both of them, and then we will be choosing the best for the machine.
AMD is normally the cheaper of the two, and the standard socket, which the processor plugs into, is a 939-pin. This means there are 939 pins on the processor that must match up with the board.
Intel has many many sockets, which opens it up for smaller or larger processors. Be sure, if you are an Intel fan or just want an Intel MPU, that you get the same socket to match the processor you purchase.
Currently, with the Dream Machine in mind, we want the biggest and the best. First, we will use an ASUS motherboard that supports an AMD processor, socket 939. For this, I have found the ASUS A8N-SLI Premium Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail. The cost being 159.99 With this, we can support SLI and several other components through standard PCI or PCIe. You can check out the features at the link. This will do exactly what we need to build the Dream Machine.
Stay tuned for more to come on building the Dream Machine
Disclaimer (All prices are subject to change from time of posting. Sometimes they go down, sometimes they go up)

Budget Gaming Rig - Inexpensive Motherboards

Being that a majority of us don't have several thousand dollars to spend on a computer (which is why it is known as a Dream Machine), we need something a bit more, um, conservative, but can still pack a wallop when playing a game. We will try to keep it under $1000, while still building a decent computer.

For the first section, I have decided to start with, once again, the Motherboard. For this one, we will try to keep it under a hundred dollars, but still keep the PCIe slots for the faster graphics cards. This will enable us to get the faster frames per second and the better overall usage from our GPU. We know that a great mobo will be hard to find, but lets check it out...

I have chosen to use the following motherboard for this computer, being that it is inexpensive and has all we will need for a budget PC.
ECS 945PL-A (1.0) Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945PL Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
This mobo runs about $62.99 and is for and Intel Processor. The processor is 64-bit and will run about $130. This is good, due to it being dual core and the total for both will be approximately $200.

So, for this, we are going to start with a standard mobo and work up from there. Stay tuned for more on the BGR!!