New Mobo Advice

  Paranoid Android 16:18 17 Aug 2003

I am looking for a cheap mobo upgrade (current board is OK but no DDR). Considering MSI 745 Ultra (Ebuyer £ 24) against ECS K7VTA3 DI (Ebuyer £ 33).

I have very high opinions of MSI, but no experience whatsoever of ECS. I do not especially need the bells and whistles offered by the ECS board, but it seems excellent value for so many features, and a little more future proof (RAID, Firewire, USB2, DMA133 etc). However I don't want to end up with a dog.

Views please ?


  Bandy 19:06 17 Aug 2003

I haven't tried the ECS board you mention but have tried/used many others and can only speak well of them.

As always you can find better but they've been good value boards to me.

  Paranoid Android 22:31 17 Aug 2003

Thanks Bandy.


  JIM 23:13 17 Aug 2003

How you doing old timer:)have not had the pleasure to see you around for a long time.

Had a good look at your poss purchase's and out of the two i would personaly go for the MSI 745 Ultra (Ebuyer £ 24)Very affordable for building a system that needs minimum configuration and looks like overclocking is second nature for his board.

Review if you want to.Good pics.

click here

some pros of this board are
CPU ratio, FSB (1mhz), Vcore, AGP, DDR voltages adjustable.

Might be worth checking to see if more than two Dimms will support PC2700 333mhz unlike a previous board,

and cons No USB 2.0 Heatsink uses double sided tape No Onboard LAN.

  Paranoid Android 23:36 17 Aug 2003

Thanks bud - back at you.

This is really an upgrade on a tight budget, finding the right timing in the market. I'll be sticking with my Athlon 1600XP for a while, but I want to make the jump to DDR RAM. I don't know what I'll be doing in 2 years, but at the moment I have no RAID, Firewire or USB2 devices - only USB1. I am tempted by the ECS board because it it such excellent value with so many goodies - but the MSI will do the job.

Rock solid reliability is the key motivator - and I NEVER overclock. (This is mainly because I run a 'silent' system and I like to keep my fans quiet).

Any more opinions welcome, the decision is not yet made.


  rasalom 00:29 19 Aug 2003

Am currently using the ECS L7VTA (£38.90 incl vat at Ebuyer) which is an excellent board for the price - RAID, AGPx8, DDR, on board audio & LAN, 4 USB2 ports, firewire and will take upto a xp3000+ cpu. setting up the drivers for the board is also much easier than other manufactures i've used in the past.

Have used other ECS boards before and found them to be very good value for money.

  Djohn 00:52 19 Aug 2003

I had the elite K7S5A for a couple of years with no probs. at all, then changed to K7S6A with 1800XP CPU. They go together very well, also each manufacturer recommends the other for it's products. j.

  Paranoid Android 17:03 22 Aug 2003

Thanks all - I have decided on the ECS L7VTA as a compromise, no raid or firewire but I don't really need these, but it is faster and has better future upgrade potential than the MSI board, including USB2 and UDMA133. Also lots of good comments on Ebuyer, unlike the L7VTA3, which had quite a few negatives !

I'll let you know how I get on.


  Paranoid Android 17:05 22 Aug 2003

Ooops - should read 'unlike the K7VTA3, which had quite a few negatives !"


  Paranoid Android 20:09 28 Aug 2003

Hi again, I'm back.

Due to the L7VTA suddenly going out of stock at Ebuyer after I placed my order (don't you just hate that?), I have now re-ordered and settled in the MSI 745 Ultra (basic). Probably the one I should have gone for in the first place as it meets all my needs.

However I am not used to SIS chipsets so I would appreciate some pointers.

1) I am going to use PC2700 DDR RAM, but would I be better to clock this at 266 MHz (synchronous with CPU) or 333 MHz (asynchronous) ?

2) There are various bits of software listed click here , does anyone know what they all do? Info is sketchy to say the least.

MSI Core Centre
USB PC2PC Driver
3D Turbo Experience
Fuzzy Logic 4



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