recom for newegg amd64 box?

Martin Cracauer cracauer at
Thu Jan 5 11:50:38 PST 2006

Mikey Galum wrote on Tue, Jan 03, 2006 at 07:40:56PM -0800: 
> If I study
> pick a motherboard that appears to be supported and
> then try to
> locate a manufacturer that has a prebuilt system with
> that mobo,
> or a motherboard bundle, I run into problems. Newegg
> doesn't have
> this or that exact motherboard, bla bla bla, mwave
> stopped stocking
> that the other week, blablabla.

For 754 and 939 boards I have Asus K8V-X, Abit KV8-Pro, Asus A8N-E
Premium, DFI SLI Infinity, Asus A8V-E SE and DFI SLI-DR.  Hm, I need
to ebay off some stuff.  Anyway...

The only board doing everything perfect is the K8V-X, but it has
weaknesses with RAM.  Everything means all devices work in FreeBSD-6.0
including temperature monitoring, and also does ECC RAM.

However, not only does it lack dual-channel RAM support (being socket
754), it also seems to like to keep RAM frequency at or below 200 MHz,
with two sticks defaulting to 166 MHz.  Still nice, with a Newcastle
3400+ you can build a very nice system very cheap if you don't want to
overclock.  Obviously, it doesn't do dual-core.

The board I like best is the DFI SLI-DR, the right board for a control
freak.  It doesn't do ECC RAM, though, and the slots arrangement is
stupid, the PCIe x4 is blocked by most oversized CPU HSFs and it only
has 2 PCI slots.

The A8V-E SE is nice but challenged in the I/O department.  Of the
above it is the only board that does 4 GB RAM with ECC support and
correct remapping of the I/O space to above 4 GB.

The SLI Infinity has the best potential being cheap, having many
slots, supports ECC (well, in theory) and decent control options.
Right now it is BIOS-challenged, though.  Not sure whether I want to
wait for DFI to come around, since it's not their top board I doubt
they polish up the BIOS to a sufficient level.

> Can someone recommend a simple reliable amd64
> motherboard that's
> readily available as a bundle or even a prebuilt
> system?

Monarchcomputers is doing pre-tested mainboard/CPU/RAM/hsf combos.

> I would have hoped something like an asus A8N32-sli
> dlx with

Why in the world would you dump the money not only on a SLI board but
on the N32? Even under Windows games that is useless.

My A8N-E premium does not correctly remap the I/O space above 3 GB.
So not a good choice for 4 GB RAM.  Nice board otherwise, but lacks
BIOS control.

> athlon 64x2 3800+ 2x512MB RAM, etc would be nice but I
> haven't
> been able to learn if this is supported.

Of course it is.  I would get 2 GB of RAM, though, the G.Skill HZ kit
is nice and cheap.

I would recommend a dual-core socket 939 Opteron instead of the X2,
though.  If you ever want to overclock (don't send us bug reports
while doing it, though) it'll likely do much better.  The bigger cache
is almost useless, though.

I have a huge bunch of random notes from my board testing and
unfinished writeups, I guess I could dump them somewhere.  Let me know
if you want that.

Martin Cracauer <cracauer at>
FreeBSD - where you want to go, today.

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