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My upgrade

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I have taken out my old biostar mainboard with the Athalon 700 processor and 192 SDRAM and replaced it with a Gigabyte GA-7VRXP. I was a bit nervous after seeing posts from those who have had trouble with this board, but everything seems pretty OK. I used a retail AthalonXP 2000 chip and 512 MB of corsair PC2700 CAS2. I can now see all of what FS2002 has to offer (see how I keep it on topic?). I have a flyover of manhattan saved that I use for reference and am able to get almost 20fps with all the sliders up, but with multitexturing off, and running Quincunx antialiasing through the GF3 Ti200 gainward board. I cant run the memory at 333mhz yet, as it causes errors. I believe this is due to the cheapo 250 watt power supply I have, and am in the market for a 350-400 watt model. This was my first motherboard exchange, and has mostly been a positive experience. I have a question tho. I have a Soundblaster live value card from the old mainboard. Also The gigabyte board has integrated sound via a creative labs pci 128 chip. Which to use?

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If you can get them to work adequately, I'd use the integrated devices. The SB is getting a little dated (I'm still using one :-( ) and it's just one thing less to have inside the box generating heat. When you get to looking at power supplies you might want to consider either the Enermax or Antec brands in the 400 watt range and with dual fans (the extra bottom fan is especially important in keeping the Athlon running cool). They are both excellent brands and are on the AMD recommended manufacturers list. But low power aside, I'll bet you're really enjoying the new machine - it's good combination.TripNorthwood 2.2a at 2.72Ghz Abit TH7II-R512MB Samsung 40ns PC800Gainward 64MB GF4 Ti4200 300/57040.41's DX8.1 WinXP ProInwin case / Enermax 431W PSU3DMark2001SE = 13089http://service.madonion.com/compare?2k1=4330740

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I recently upgraded also, not by choice though (storm fried my old Shuttle AK31). I used to get some stutters when changing views alot, but the extra FSB of the 7VRXP got rid of that. I use the Audigy Platinum in perfect sync with the onboard. Got my sound system hooked up to the Audigy and use the onboard for the Roger Wilco. Its a perfect combo.HAPPY FLYING!

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This must be a popular upgrade time and a popular board to get. I just bought a new mobo combo today, although my choice was the 7vrx. I believe they are the same boards except for raid support which I dont need. I also got the XP2000 proc, but havent upgraded my video card yet. This system is so fresh that MSFS isnt even on the HD yet. I do have a question for the guys that have either the vrx or vrxp board....did any of you have problems setting windows xp up? I had to reinstall 4 or 5 times before I finally got it to work, and even now it says that I have an invalid boot.ini and loads from C:WINDOWS on its own. I bought a stick of 512MB 2700 Samsung memory which seems to be working great so far. Overall I am pretty happy with what I purchased today and will probably be even moreso when I purchase a GF4Ti4200 this weekend.Craig

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Trip,If you don't mind me asking, what kind of cooling fan are you using to run your Northwood 2.2a at 2.72Ghz ? Are you just using the boxed retail CPU fan ?I was considering trying to implement a very similar setup. Cheers,Allen

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Skyboxer,Just wondering what your impressions are of the Corsair RAM? I take it that is the XMS memory with the blue aluminium heat spreader? I'm seriously thinking about getting my first Athlon DDR mobo and was thinking of getting either the Corsair or Mushkin RAM for it. I always used Mushkin and it's been 100% reliable, but it isn't available locally whereas the Corsair stuff is.btw, in relation to your comments about not being able to run memory at 333 mhz. That is not uncommon in some recent Athlon mainboards. I can think of two boards off hand where many users simply have to run the memory at 1:1 ratio in order to ensure near 100% stability (one uses an SiS chip, the other a Via chip). Perhaps yours is the same. In any case, those users forced to run the memory at 266 mhz find there is very little improvement attempting to run it 333 mhz in any case.

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I also have the Gigabyte 7VRXP with the S/B Live and corsair XMS2700 ram. At first I tried the on-board sound and was a little disappointed by the quality so I installed the S/B Live and was surprised (maybe not) to see an increase in frame rates so the S/B Live lives on in my system. Initially I also had trouble getting the system to run stable with the ram set to 333 but I don't think it is power supply related as I am running a PC Power & Cooling 350 watt unit. I think it is more related to one of the other bios settings that change when Top Performance is enabled and Fast Command is set to ultra. I've been able to get the system to run stable with ram at 333, CAS 2, 1T, etc. by selecting the Optimized bios settings and then changing the ram to the more aggressive settings.

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Jon, The corsair ram seems to work fine for me. My only regret is not giving up the extra 10 bucks for the PC3000 (or 3200, whatever) and then running it ar PC2700 speeds just for safety. Dean, I don't think I ever tried loading the optimized settings, but I did try enabling the top performance, which is what caused my only errors so far. I do have a side mounted case fan blowing almost directly on the video card and CPU. My CPU temp is about 50C with my core volts increased 5%.For everyone else, there are alot of reports of problems with the vrx and vrxp boards. THis originated from a bad voltage regulator in some version 1.0 and 1.1 boards, and caused the voltage to drop to the AGP card, and was most easily seen by those using the GeForce 4 Ti cards. It seems that the version 2.0 boards have fixed the problem.Just to keep it on topic, now that I can have double digit framerates in the VC's, I'm kinda warming up to them :)

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Yes, I'm just using the Intel HSF Allen. I had ordered a Swiftech/Delta but it never came so I finally just cancelled and decided to keep what I have. The stock Intel unit really does pretty well. Even at 2.72Ghz the temp never gets above 57C under a full, 100% load. And that's not bad for a 500Mhz overclock. Anything below 60C is fine with me.Trip

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