Stuck between two choices.

Discussion in 'Processors, Motherboards & Memory' started by The_YongGrand, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Ah, I'm now trying to have to change my motherboard to accomodate my new Pentium 4/D processor, but I'm already too stuck between two choices.

    I can choose the Asus ones with the Radeon chipset, or the Foxconn with the Intel 915 chipset - only priced RM130.

    Which one will you suggest if I happen to put the P4 with HT processor inside the board? And are Radeon chipsets good? I have the lovely 7300GT PCIE gfx card, but if I put the card into a Radeon board, will it cause the combination not to work?

    Please suggest - I'm new to the Intel boards world. :mrgreen:
  2. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    I am also new to the Intel board worls, having just built up a Pentium 4 3Ghz 630 onto a Foxconn 947G7MA motherboard. I have an nvidia 7300 gs pci-x card, not the gt.
    I have had some problems with this particular mobo but I am putting it down to the 945 chipset. What I would suggest is check out Intel's website to make sure that the Intel Chipset that is installed onto your chosen motherboard will give you maximum support for your chosen processor.
    In my personal experience the Pentium 4 630 does NOT go well with the 945 chipset!
  3. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Ah! What a coincidence! :D

    A long long time ago, I wanted to purchase the Pentium 4 630, but it's just waaaaaaaaaay too expensive back in late 05.

    After a while, there's the Pentium 4 531 - which is cheaper, but the cache is only 1MB, but that's already very good for my overall home use.

    And maybe I'll be wedging that processor into a Intel 915 chipset board - or maybe the Radeon xpress ones. Again, lemme check the website for more info.

    What's the incompatibility problems like, theapprentice? Is it hangups and lockups in WinXP? :D
  4. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    Well, I got a couple of hangups, mainly desktop crashes, but I had a VERY difficult time keeping the sound intact, driver kept disappearing on me. The implementation of the Hi-Def Audio codec is abysmal.
    On paper the 945G series chipset is quite nice, but I do not seem to be realising full processor capability for some reason, poor performance on motherboard math benchtests, game compatibility issues (cannot get breakthrough to run at all), maybe Foxconn kludged something when they put their bits on the end of it.
    The 630 CPU is awesome but I feel that the mobo is holding it back somewhat.
    I just found a useful review site that compares the 915 chipset with the viakt890, radeon x200 and the nforce4 ultra chipsets at:
    Hope this helps...
  5. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Thanks. :D

    The 630 is very awesome - but I couldn't find this processor anymore - I don't know why. Newer species like the 531, 541 suddenly come out, so I would like to give one of these a try.

    I'm planning to purchase the Foxconn 915P7MH board since it's very cheap (about RM 130), furthermore I just want it to work with the casual P4 and not much upgrade can be done.

    Or maybe I can get the Radeon chipset board, but I afraid my nVidia 7300GT refused to work on different chipsets.. :haha:

    And have you read the CPU support documentation before you install the 630 into your Foxconn motherboard? :D
  6. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    yeah I made sure the cip went with the board ok, no probs there. I am coming round to thinking that it is what Foxconn did to the board that is giving me grief.
    My board is the 945g7ma with on-board graphics. Well the onboard graphics are limited, not really aimed at gaming or hi-end stuff, and do not support hardware pixel shading. So I got myself a 7300 and slotted it in.
    Yeah it seemed to put the onboard graphics to sleep no problems but the video transfer speed across the pciex-16 bus is terrible due to some internal chipset architecture problem.
    If u can find a board with no on-board graphics built in to the northbridge then yeah, go for it.
    btw I had a quick look at the Radeon chipset stuff, as far as I can see you shouldn't have a problem using an nvidia card with the radeon xpress 200 chipset. ecs make a board for around 40 quid BUT there you are stuck with on-board graphics again which may lower your pciex-16 performance.
    I also noted that radeon seem to be optimising their stuff for the amd64 bit platform so maybe do a bit of research into that one as well before commiting yourself.
    Overall, I don't mind the Intel stuff, I just seemed to have bought myself a bad comination this time around.
  7. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Thanks for the info. Maybe I should double check the specs before ever purchasing one of these. Intel motherboards are very difficult to choose, and maybe I'll choose the 915 chipset.

    Have you done an RMA the motherboard? I thought all Intel chipsets will just fit perfectly with Intel processors? :D
  8. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    No probs
    Yeah there do seem to be a lot of different Intel boards out there, it is difficult to know which one to go for, although I still maintain that the on-board Intel Extreme Graphics 3 option should be avoided.
    I have found an old but informative link about the 915 chipset here:

    No I haven't tried an rma on my board yet but what I was thinking of doing is to get hold of another make of board (maybe on sor) with the same chipset and try that. When mobo manufacturers decide on using a particular chipset, they implement the hardware around that chipset in different ways. Some use different sound codecs, some use different onboard video options etc... it's entirely up to the manufacturer how they "implement" the chipset.
    My board seems to be crippling functionality in some way so I figure if I get a different board (maybe a genuine Intel instead of Foxconn) with the same 945 chipset, I can compare performance results between them. If the new board still chugs then it is a Chipset issue.
    I'm now about to go off and email Western Digital coz I have just lost a 200Gb Hard Drive which is under 12 months old. Controller has just failed!
    1 person likes this.
  9. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Hmm... I'll check the board's manual, since it's the 915P7MH Foxconn and the stores near my place are selling 'em so dirt cheap!

    Oh, I thought when a seperate graphics card is detected the onboard is usually bypassed/skipped?

    The Radeon Xpress 200 is also a fine chip, but I think I will get an Asus board with that chipset - since I'm recycling my DDR RAM and my PCIE card too.

    also the graphics performance might be weak because 7300GS is a weaker version of a 7300GT, if I'm not mistaken.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2006
  10. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    Just a quick reply before I have to go out for the day :)

    Yeah, usually when you plug an external card into the pcix-16 slot it should put the onboard stuff to sleep. THAT is where I am getting problems because although it SEEMS to go to sleep, whenever I bench-test the 7300 it never seems to reach full performance.
    I am about to try this card in a friend's machine (no on=board graphics) to compare results but I know it is capable of far more than what I am getting at the moment.
    This is why I think that the on-board graphics are not being cleanly shut down.
  11. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Hmm... the onboard is still alive? Quite strange. In fact, for my board in the 1st rig in my signature, I can able to shut down the onboard graphics without any problems upon installing a PCIE card.

    Exactly when did you purchase the combo? I thought the P4 630 was about 100 pounds back in late 2005? :D

    And I'm sure you might have done the installing of the processor - is there any videos or any pictures to show the detailed installation of it? Want to get the combo Pentium 4, but I'm not experienced in dealing Intel boards. :haha:

    edit: I checked the forums and other boards - some of them told that the Radeon Express 200 is quite so-so in terms of the quality... but I've seen HP and Compaq intergrating these in their computers as well?
  12. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    Apologies, I got back late last night (or should I say early this morning :)). I just logged in now...
    Yeah, it's strange that I can't get full performance from my 7300. Maybe I'm assuming the wrong thing and the onboard graphics has gone to sleep, maybe the 7300 is faulty?
    I am in touch with Foxconn at the moment about another issue (secondary IDE channel problems) so I will get back to them on that one.
    I followed the motherboard manual instructions for putting the 630 in, no probs. I seem to be running both hyperthreads at a full 3GHz quite smoothly. I will install 3d-mark and let you know the results, that should uncover a few things I hope.
    Yeah the 630 was expensive... I paid about 116 pounds for it back in June, couldn't resist it :)
    I agree that the Radeon Express does have some good reviews, although they do seem to be leaning towards the Athlon 64 very heavily. They apparently have modified the X300 core for their integrated graphics architecture.
    I found a great little review of the X200 series chipset here:
    I will post back when I hear from Foxconn to let you know what they say.
  13. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Thanks. :D

    The 630 is darn expensive, and really darn good too. The cache is 2 times more than the 531, but I don't really mind that since this is my last upgrade and it's for the whole home use only.

    I don't know what's the performance of the 531, do you have any friends who happen to have the processor? I wanna compare it to my Sempron.

    And apparently Foxconn once manufactures motherboard which is for Intel right? That means most Intel motherboards are manufactured by Foxconn. The quality should be very very good. Is it? :mrgreen:

    edit: Okay - if I couldn't find the Foxconn 915 chipset board in my place - probably it is already extinct. The nearest I could get the Radeon chipsets ones, but I'm really doubtful about the chipset. I hope it's good for my most games and good for any home use. And I don't do overclocking here. :D
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2006
  14. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    Another l8 night so this will be a brief post, more tomorrow when I am fully awake (I HATE shift-work...)
    Yeah seems like Foxconn have dropped the 915 chipset, although I only had a quick scan I couldn't find one anywhere :(. They are not bad boards for the price (despite my own problems with this one I've got), although their tech support could be a tad better, more on that later...
    Intel actually make complete motherboards as well as chipsets but I haven't actually played with one so I don't know how good they are (yet :)
    I don't know of anyone who has a 531, but I can sure ask around for you, no probs. Maybe try Toms Hardware Guide ( to see if they have reviewed any.
    I will have to chesk back with you on the Radeon chipset stuff tomorrow (today?). Not having owned one I will have to do a bit of digginf for you (my last board was nForce Socket A)
    catchyall l8r
  15. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Thank you very much for your advice. I hope you don't mind me asking too much questions, since I'm a super newbie on these LGA775 stuff (I had a Celeron D 775 once but not satisfied at the performance).

    At least the prices of P4 dropped sharply and I think I have the opportunity to get the combo at the lowest price since the Cores are around.

    Well, they have the Foxconn 915P7MH board in Foxconn channel website, go and check it out.

    Seen it in some stores that they are still selling it at around 50 pounds. There's some shops which are selling these at around 25 pounds so I think I wanna get it before it ever extinct. :boohoo:

    If all else fails, I have to get the Radeon Xpress chipset. I hope this will be very suitable for gaming, and hope it'll be better than these Via chipsets (I had the MSI PM8M2-V board and the features are severely lacking!!). :haha:
  16. TheApprentice

    TheApprentice Newbie

    My apologies, serious problems geting online yesterday. Didn't get on until gone 1am this morning. Very sorry.
    Yeah, looks like the Foxconn will do the trick for you, I checked out the website and it actually looks quite tasty. It takes both DDR and DDR2 and has an 800 FSB. Only 1 IDE but that shouldn't be a problem.
    It inly has 5.1 channel sound as well (I actually prefer this) so you won't have the same problems I had with the Hi-Definition audio driver.
    AND... they have 64-bit drivers available (something else I had to dig for on my mobo)
    I still haven't found anything more on the Radeon stuff but I seem to remember reading somewhere that you can use most pci-x graphics cards with it (including nvidia). I would suggest a quick email to ATI themselves should sort that one out :)
    I will be off-line most of the weekend as I am swapping out some hardware on my server pc, I need to check and defrag the raid and upgrade the primary drive etc. Please feel free to leave messages here, I will get back to them when I go online next.
    Hope this helps for you, you must be looking forward to building this new system :=)
  17. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    That's okay, take your time to reply.

    Just purchased the 915P7MH-S Foxconn board and the Pentium 4 531 this morning. Hope I can put it all together without difficulties. :D

    And the only thing I'm worried is the boxed processor said something like the 04A platform compatibility guide... very confusing... hope the combo will work perfectly... :rolleyes:
  18. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    This morning, just installed the board and the processor.

    I managed to put the processor's heatsink successfully, but the plastic tabs are too freaky. I popped three tabs, and the last one is quite difficult to be popped into, but I did finally secure the heatsink after I heard some 'clomp' and then a micro pop from the last tab. I looked at the tab's spring and it went all down just like the others. Whew. :haha:

    I hope the heatsink is already secured, as I'm quite new to this Intel world.

    Turned on the comp, and it's working good. Maybe I'll stress test it later, as I'm quite sleepy nowadays.

    Performance? Very good, a major improvement. The 915 chipset is quite old-fashioned already, but everything works very well and smooth. :mrgreen:

    Anyway, thanks for your advice. I appreciate it very much. :mrgreen:

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