Clarification on MB Terms

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by jim evans, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. jim evans

    jim evans Guest

    Every time I have to redo my computers the technology and terms have
    changed. I at that point again.

    I'm considering the GigaByte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard.

    Here's a link to the description page

    Question 1:
    It says it has, "Integrated ATI Radeon HD3200-based graphics (DX10),"
    but I didn't find it mentioned in the specs. Does this mean there's a
    built-in video card? If not, will this MB support A4 & A8 plug-in
    video cards?

    Question 2:
    MBs used to all have two built-in COM ports. The specs only talk
    about "1 x serial port header." Does this mean it has only one serial

    Question 3:
    It says it has:
    1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot
    2. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
    3. 2 x PCI slots

    I need three ordinary PCI slots. Are PCI Express x1 & x16 downward
    compatible with ordinary PCI?

    I appreciate the help. Otherwise I'd have to spend 6-8 hours
    researching this stuff and still be somewhat uncertain about the
    answers even after that.
    jim evans, Aug 26, 2008
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  2. jim evans

    jim evans Guest

    Thanks very much and one more question I'll put in another reply.
    jim evans, Aug 26, 2008
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  3. jim evans

    jim evans Guest

    I'm looking at the AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core, but a willing to change if
    another processor gives a better price/performance combination with
    this MB.
    jim evans, Aug 26, 2008
  4. jim evans

    Dave Guest

    There is a built in video card.

    It will also support a PCI-Express format plug-in video card, but NOT an AGP
    format video card.

    Not necessarily. Out of the box, it has ZERO serial ports. But it has a
    serial port header. That means that you can plug a serial port connector
    (on a expansion card slot bracket, for example) into the motherboard. This
    means that you could add one or two serial ports to this motherboard. Now
    the question you need to ask is, does the motherboard include the serial
    port cable/adapter, or not? Probably the easiest way to find out would be
    to download the manual, or look at pictures on newegg or something.

    No, they are mechanically and electrically different. No backward
    compatibility. If you need a board with three PCI slots, you need to buy a
    different mainboard. Or if you have your heart set on this mainboard, you
    might be able to buy a PCI-Express version of one of your (three) PCI
    expansion cards.
    But, considering this motherboard doesn't have a lot of expansion room, it
    might be smarter to find a board with more expansion slots. Look for one
    with 1 PCI Express X16, 2 PCI Express X1 and 3 PCI. Like the following:
    Dave, Aug 26, 2008
  5. jim evans

    Paul Guest

    First of all, always check the motherboard maker's CPUSupport chart,
    to make sure the processor is supported. Sometimes, a BIOS update
    is needed, to support the very latest processors. Also, the high
    end processors can use 125W vcore power, and the motherboard selected
    must be able to support those power levels. Here is an example of
    a company making known that its newest designs are good for those
    power levels. If all you care about, is using some 45W or 65W
    (cheap) processor, then this is not an issue at all for you.
    Virtually any motherboard can supply power for a 65W processor. But
    if a 125W processor is in your future, then it is a consideration
    when selecting a motherboard.

    You can examine the AMD products on Newegg, to get some idea of price
    and performance. 50001028&bop=And&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=100

    A dual core Brisbane is $48. OEM means it comes with no heatsink/fan for the CPU.

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Brisbane 2.3GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor

    A triple core processor is $104. Retail includes a heatsink/fan.
    Clock speed is slightly lower than the other one. Total compute
    power only becomes evident if multithreaded programs are used.

    AMD Phenom 8450 Toliman 2.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail

    This quad is $149 and comes with a heatsink/fan. Note that some
    of the early Phenom quads have a TLB bug. The "9600" number means
    it is an early revision. A "9650" would be a revision with a fixed

    AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor $149

    This is a 9650, meaning it is "fixed". But in terms of pricing, the
    9650 is $199, while the 9850 is $210. For an extra $10, a better processor.

    9650 2.3GHz quad 95W $199

    9850 2.5GHz quad 125W $210

    The additional cores help if a single program happens to use
    internal multithreading. For example, Photoshop can split a
    problem into four pieces, and then four cores can work on the
    problem at the same time. A number of other, relatively new,
    multimedia programs are like that also.

    Something like Microsoft Office, is more likely to be single
    threaded for any significant activity, which means the highest
    clock rate you can achieve may be more useful to you. So it
    is not always clear that a quad core is the answer for everybody.
    It depends a lot on the software used (multimedia might have more
    multithreading), and the usage pattern (lots of movie conversions
    going on in the background, while you edit email).

    Perhaps a dual can have a higher overclock than a quad. Then,
    for a single threaded program, you get faster answers.

    This 6400+ runs at 3.2GHz, so is a bit better than a 2.3Ghz one.
    This is the best you might do, for a single threaded world.
    But this is a 125W processor, and AMD power goes up pretty fast
    as you overclock. So if you get this, get a decent third party
    heatsink and one of those 140W capable motherboards. Because
    this particular one is OEM, there is no heatsink/fan provided.
    On some lesser motherboards, installing a processor like this
    can lead to Vcore failure, and that fact should also be
    expressed in the motherboard manufacturer's "supported CPU" list.
    This is $119, but the savings can be eaten up, in the beefed up
    infrastructure you provide for it.

    Oh yeah, Intel makes processors too :) And some of those don't use
    as much power. AMD makes more sense at the low end.

    Have fun,
    Paul, Aug 26, 2008
  6. jim evans

    peter Guest

    Answers in line.......

    DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
    offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
    If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
    me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate... ;-)

    ***********yes.....what would you sue the com port for nowadays???**********
    *****PCI cards are not compatible with PCI Express slots**********
    peter, Aug 27, 2008
  7. jim evans

    Stephen Guest

    UPS, bar code scanner, dial up modem for when cable is down, a coco3 &
    Stephen, Aug 27, 2008
  8. jim evans

    geoff Guest

    I currently use that board with a quad core processor. The main reason the
    board is like that, not many PCI slots, etc. is because it is a micro-atx
    board. It will fit fine in an ATX case.

    My only criticism of the board is it does not support ECC.

    On the question of ports, the new way is to use USB ports. Most of the
    peripherals I have do have a USB connection.

    geoff, Aug 27, 2008
  9. jim evans

    jim evans Guest

    I have a medical device that uses a comm port. I have a GPSr that
    uses a comm port. I have a modem for faxing that uses a comm port. I
    have a Palm computer that uses a comm port.
    jim evans, Aug 28, 2008
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