Review Index:
Feedback Ultimate System Guide

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Systems
Manufacturer: General

Motherboard, Processors and Memory

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Motherboard – Tyan Thunder K7 (2462) - $500

Did I really have a choice here? It is by far the fastest motherboard we have tested here. AMD’s own AMD-760 MP chipset puts the power of multiprocessing Athlon’s at your fingertip. And the Tyan Thunder K7 is the only motherboard with power of this chipset. Not to mention it offers benefits like SCSI, LAN and on-board ATI Video.

If you want to read more on this motherboard, and we love it so much, read our full review of the Tyan Thunder K7.

Other Options: Tyan Tiger K7 ($300)

Though still unreleased, this motherboard will have the same functionality of the Tyan Thunder K7 motherboard, but without the costly extras. Chances are, we would have chosen this board over the Thunder K7 had it been released at this publication.

Processors – AMD Athlon MP 1.2 GHz CPUs - $220 each ($440 total)

When choosing to go with the dual-Athlon system, I would think you would want to be sure to go with the multiprocessor supported processors. Not only do these CPUs come in at a screaming 1.2 GHz, but with the new Palomino core in them, they actually perform better than their 1.2 GHz Athlon Thunderbird counterparts. For more information on these, take a look at our Athlon MP and AMD-760 MP Technology article.

Other Options: AMD Athlon 1.4 GHz CPUs - $160 each ($320 total)

If you are feeling antsy about paying more for 1.2 GHz CPUs than you can get 1.4 GHz ones for, you can always decide to use the standard Thunderbirds in your system. Yes, they will work. But no, they won’t be supported. What does that mean? Well, any day now they could do something drastic like release a bios that locks Thunderbirds out on all AMD-760 chipset boards; OR perhaps the system will fry after 6 months of use on the Thunderbirds. While neither option is likely, since the Thunderbirds aren’t supported, you would be S-O-L if anything happened.

Memory – 4 x 256 MB Crucial Registered ECC DDR DRAM $65 each ($260 total)

With memory this cheap, why not go for the full amount of memory you can currently get on the system board? While it is true some manufacturers offer 512 MB DDR DRAM modules, I didn’t receive any and I haven’t tested any, so I can not say anything about their performance. Crucial is planning to have 512 MB DDR available soon, within the next 60 days I am told. So, by then, we could upgrade the system memory to 2 GB.

Other Options: 4 x 512 MB Corsair Registered DDR DRAM $365 each ($1460 total)

See what I mean about a price increase? And again, since I haven’t tested it, I didn’t want to recommend it outright. But, Corsair has put out nothing but quality memory in the past and I see no reason why this 512 MB DDR DRAM would be any different.

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