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r2d2d3d4d5
10-30-04, 09:02 PM
Unfortunately after four good (after some initial trouble) years together my nf1 motherboard has died. :cry: (salute) The initiall diagnosis seems to be leaking capacitors. As a result I'm forced into an upgrade I have not planed for. I plan on keeping all my existing parts so I'm sticking with Socket A. I also know I want another nforce board.

Unfortunately there is so much choice out there it's proving very difficult for me to make up my mind. :confused: I'm hoping some of you guys won't mind answering the same old question one more time.

I've managed to narrow it down to four boards from three companies. They all cost about the same. In order of preference they are:

Gigabyte: GA-7N400 Pro2
Asus: A7N8X(-E) Deluxe
Abit: AN7-Guru
Abit: NF7-S (Ver. 2)

In terms of features I like, the Gigabyte board seems to come out ahead. The dual BIOS is nice and so are the extra RAID options (although I probably won't use them). OK it doesn't have Sound Storm but then again my speakers don't have a DD decoder so I probably won't miss it. It is proving very hard to find any reviews from reliable sites of this board.

Asus' long track record and BIOS support appeals to me. So does their 3 year warranty (Gigabyte might also have a 3 year warranty (not sure)).

On the other hand a lot of people recommend Abit's nforce 2 boards.


I'm not a big overclocker. If I do overclock it's likely to be only via the CPU multiplier.


The big things I'm looking for are:
Stability
Reliability
RAM compatibility


Basically I'm looking for the kind of info on these motherboards that's not on the spec sheets.

Thank you for reading.

netviper13
10-30-04, 09:12 PM
I've had the NF7-S rev2 board since about a month after they were released, and have never had any problems whatsoever with it.

My FSB has been running stable at 400mhz with multiplier adjustments working on the CPU.

This thing has been stable as a rock, the only stability issues for me have been from a dying PSU that I had to replace and just pushing the processor too far a few times, other than that not a single issue. I think that also attests to the board's reliability as it's fairly old and still running like the day I got it.

I've run both Crucial PC2100 and Corsair XMS PC3200 memory with the board and have not had any issues that I can notice with either one.

All in all, I highly recommend this board. (please make sure to get the NF7-S Rev. 2 and not the NF7-S2, which is a different board.)

Cota
10-30-04, 09:58 PM
I have an AN7 and a NF7-s and a friend of mine has an Asus A7N8X deluxe.

for me the best is the nf7-s even if you don't overclock. The AN7 has better analog sound output than the other 2 if you don't want to use digital output.

CaptNKILL
10-30-04, 10:05 PM
NF7-S 2.0 is a GREAT board. Get it :)

(plus it has soundstorm!) :D

|JuiceZ|
10-30-04, 10:14 PM
The NF7s v2.0 is one of the best mb I've ever used, highly recommend it :cool:

r2d2d3d4d5
10-31-04, 05:43 AM
Thanks guys. I see that the Abit NF7-S (V2) board easily comes out ahead.

I'm still curious about the Gigabyte board however. Does anyone have any experience with this board/company?

r2d2d3d4d5
10-31-04, 09:32 AM
Ordered the Abit NF7-S (Ver2) board. Too many people seemed to be having problems with the AN7's Guru technology. The GB board seems to have its own problems with reliability.

The only problem I can see is the lack of diagnostic LEDs.

Thank you for all the advice.

_Thanatos_
11-01-04, 10:33 AM
NF7-s ver2.0
If you want to clock FSB to 260, then look on DFI.

Cota
11-01-04, 02:26 PM
Ordered the Abit NF7-S (Ver2) board. Too many people seemed to be having problems with the AN7's Guru technology. The GB board seems to have its own problems with reliability.

The only problem I can see is the lack of diagnostic LEDs.

Thank you for all the advice.

Diagnostic LEDs in the AN7 are pretty much useless. Guru technology also useless cause of instability. Still the board is everybit as good as the nf7-s for overclocking and has the best analog sound of any other nforce motherboard.

Pandora's Box
11-01-04, 02:31 PM
nf7-s definately. if a7n8x-Deluxe 2.00 was in your list i would recommend that too. havent had one single problem with my board.

r2d2d3d4d5
11-01-04, 03:32 PM
NF7-s ver2.0
If you want to clock FSB to 260, then look on DFI.Too late I'm afraid, the new board is due tomorrow. Not a big overclocker so I just went for a board that's well known for its stability/reliability and Abit's reputation.Diagnostic LEDs in the AN7 are pretty much useless. Guru technology also useless cause of instability. Still the board is everybit as good as the nf7-s for overclocking and has the best analog sound of any other nforce motherboard.I've found the LEDs on my old MSI board kind of useful. I hope the board is good at problem reporting using regular beeps. Hopefully I won't need it though. I've heard the same things about Guru tech on the AN7. I'm sure Guru Tech is going to turn out great but it looks like Abit needs to put some more work into it, especially on this board. At the same time Iíve never liked using motherboard manufacturerís own software for anything (as required by Guru Tech). If I had bought that board I probably would not have used it at all. I do use my computer for listening to a lot of music but I am kind of tone deaf so I probably couldn't notice any difference in sound quality between the two boards.nf7-s definately. if a7n8x-Deluxe 2.00 was in your list i would recommend that too. havent had one single problem with my board.The A7N8X-E Dlx seems to be about the same only with Asusí own WiFi slot and Gbit Ethernet. I canít quite remember how I eliminated the Asus board but it seemed to be a bit pickier about memory than the other boards. The Abit board also seems to have more space between the AGP and first PCI slot and also a little bit more space around the CPU socket. The active cooling on the NF7-S's north bridge is also appealing. The Abit board does seem to get more recommendations around the internet but that might just be because of itís overclocking ability.


Thank you for all the help/tips guys. :thumbsup: :super: :luv:

jAkUp
11-01-04, 03:38 PM
Another vote for the Abit NF7! Great board.

tristancarton
11-01-04, 03:59 PM
Abit NF7....wonderful absolutely wonderful

CaptNKILL
11-01-04, 05:00 PM
Oh! One thing about the NF7-S though...

If you decide to overclock a lot and want a huge heat sink, get one that mounts with screws, rather than clips. The board's temp monitoring is reaaally sensitive to fast temperature changes (regardless of how high they go), so if the heatsink is too heavy and isnt super tight, the temps will raise a little too fast and the system will shut off to protect your CPU.

This isnt real widespread but it is a known problem that I and many others have had. It isnt necesarily a bad thing since its protecting your system, its just a little irritating. I had my comp laying on its side to prevent this, now i have my clocks a little lower (raised FSB to 200) and its upright again and running fine. Part of the problem might just be the design of my heatsink. The supports on it touch the PSU a little, which could be the problem.

Its still the best board you can buy and you probably wont have this problem, I was just giving you the heads up.

r2d2d3d4d5
11-06-04, 02:05 PM
Oh! One thing about the NF7-S though...

If you decide to overclock a lot and want a huge heat sink, get one that mounts with screws, rather than clips. The board's temp monitoring is reaaally sensitive to fast temperature changes (regardless of how high they go), so if the heatsink is too heavy and isnt super tight, the temps will raise a little too fast and the system will shut off to protect your CPU.

This isnt real widespread but it is a known problem that I and many others have had. It isnt necesarily a bad thing since its protecting your system, its just a little irritating. I had my comp laying on its side to prevent this, now i have my clocks a little lower (raised FSB to 200) and its upright again and running fine. Part of the problem might just be the design of my heatsink. The supports on it touch the PSU a little, which could be the problem.

Its still the best board you can buy and you probably wont have this problem, I was just giving you the heads up.

I was a bit worried when I first read this because I do have a big-ish heatsink (Thermaltake Silent Boost) but thankfully I've not had this problem so far. I don't overclock though (Palomino core) so that might be why. Thank you for the heads up.


Otherwise Iím very pleased with my new board and everythingís working great (bar one or two minor things that I hope to iron out). Thank you for all the helpÖ. :clap: