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| The Ideal Motherboard For Power Users (5 comments )|
by: Aikanaros (2) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round 1 Prelim 2
Posted 76 months ago in category DEFAULT
Look at the standard motherboard layout. You have a motherboard that have 4 ram slots, 2 PCIe X16 slots, 4 other PCI slots, Serial ports, PS/2 ports, USB ports etc etc etc..... Have you ever tried filling up ALL of this slots and ports and actually get a rig working flawlessly?
If you can fill up all 4 memory slots and boot successfully into windows without a hitch, you are lucky. There are always stability problems thrown in. I had known more than a fair share of users upgrading their ram by buying more memory modules, plugging their shiny new memory modules in happily, and hearing the dread beep.... beep.... beep.... tones that signify a memory error. Or, they could boot to windows successfully, but their rig is less stable than before, and they actually got to throttle back their overclock. Talk about upgrading dude!
Assuming that you got no problems with filling up the ram slots and wondering what the fuss is about, try filling up ALL the PCI slots. Yep, use an SLI or a Crossfire configuration, add in a Creative X-Fi, an Adaptec SCSI adapter, a video editing/ TV tuner card, and a wireless 802.11G adapter. The rig will never run right. Sure, you can try configuring the bus master, changing the PCI latency, reassigning the IRQ, reinstall driver after broken driver, and even wiping the whole damn harddisk with a clean install of Windows. None of them really worked.
So why are we having all of these slots in the first place if we cannot use all of them? Just get rid of them. It makes the board layout simpler and cleaner and probably makes a higher overclock as well.
What is THAT? A floppy disk drive connector? You still gonna put in a windows 98 startup disk? Press F6 for your raid drivers? I think making a custom startup CDROM with all your favorite drivers in it is a much better and faster idea. Or you can use thumb drives. Let the old floppy die in peace.
Parallel IDE ports? Ditch them. Its time to move to SATA. SATA 3.0Gb to be exact. Do include a Parallel IDE to SATA converter so that we can hook up our stubbornly parallel DVD-RWs. Also, include a SATA to eSATA adapter so that we can hook up our external hard disks easily. Can we have plastic clips to prevent the SATA connectors from jumping out accidentally? Thank you! By the way, integrate the Robson memory module to the motherboard. This should drastically (I quote from Intel's website) "improve multitasking performance with 2x improvement in application load and run time as well as a 2x improvement in resume time from hibernation over systems without Robson". Now, as long as it does not crash our rig and does half of what it advertises, Robson's a very good idea.
Allow us to configure our hard disks in RAID 0, 1 or 0+1 configurations. And please do not spend so long a time in detecting them.
PCIe X16 slots? Whoa, we need a big runway to land my Boeing 747 graphics card. Can we land without bumping into other PCI private jets please? Or will our exhaust blow soot into their cockpits? Stay clear! Stay clear! Let this airport be big enough to house an SLI configuration comfortably! Let all of the PCI connectors (not just the graphics cards) have plastic bars to lock them into place too.
Likewise the CPU. Clear the way for the largest Zalman heatsinks!! And place the CPU fan connector at a strategic location to prevent fan from slicing the wires!
Solid capacitors. I think that this is the way to go. Electrolytic capacitors have the annoying tendency to leak.
Power to the CPU. Go for 8 or more power phases. It makes the supply more stable and thus more overclockable as well.
Heatsinks. I think the chipsets and the MOSFETs should be cooled using large heatsinks and heatpipes only. Having a tiny fan on a very thin heatsink to cool them is a bad idea, because we probably have our own arrangements for active cooling (like our intake and exhaust fans). Do not epoxy or solder the heatsinks to the board. Just a combination of thermal paste and screws would do. We would like to remove these heatsinks and pipes if we decide to watercool the system, or if they interfere with some other plans we had in our minds. Gigabyte's Crazy Cool is a good idea. But it has to be removable so that we will not be stuck with it when we decide not to use it.
Ah... the CMOS clearing pins. Can we have a switch instead of two pins and a jumper? Its much easier to switch on, count to ten, switch off.... than to do brain surgery using tweeters, a torchlight and a jumper.
The Front Panel Jumpers! The bane of all sane people! Can we space them out? Arrange them vertically or something? Or better, invent a standardized connector for this? This is the most irritating part of PC Building!
Back Panel Connectors
Look at the serial ports dude. Use any of them? If you connect them to a printer or a scanner, then its probably time to change a printer or a scanner. Its more than 5 years since the USB revolution.
Get rid of integrated sound. Its a total waste of motherboard space and resources. Any decent gamer i know of has an X-Fi or Audigy.
PS/2? Sorry buddy, you got to go as well. Among the back panel connectors, the PS/2 port is most easily defective. Let the USB rule.
USB. A very critical resource. Give us more ports. 4 is a bit short, 6 is alright, 8 is even better. But make all of the ports USB 2.0 please. I do not want a mix of USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 ports to confuse me.
Ethernet. The RJ45 connector is likewise critical. Make it a gigabyte ethernet. 1 is just enough, 2 is better.
IEEE 1394. If it is natively supported by the chipset, then i suppose it is alright for it to be there. But if you need a separate chip just to power this one, then it just have to go.
The BIOS. Allow us to set all our bus speeds separately. We like our ram speeds to run differently from our PCI speeds to run differently from our SATA speeds and so on. This is to maximalise our overclock.
That spells the end of our ideal motherboard for power users. Of course, this motherboard might not be ideal for everyone in the world. Some people need that integrated sound. Some need integrated graphics. Some need something else. For these people, you can easily grab any motherboard out there and it would fulfill your needs. There remains a not so niche market in the motherboard business that remains unfilled. I am sure i am not the only one that craves a legacy-free motherboard that has a good board layout, ports and connectors that can actually work even when all of them are filled. The lesser requirement for IRQs and other resources could very likely result in a more overclockable motherboard. Even if you do not practice overclocking, it would still be a much more stable motherboard for your rig.
|5 User Comment(s) • 4 root comment(s)|
| chentsen (41) Feb 22, 2007 - 07:30 am|
|It's apparent you know the subject matter at hand, but often times thats not enough, you state that there is an ideal type of motherboard for power uses, with this kind of article it's typical to include comparisons of several you think would work well, you fail to mention any. Your sentence structure is fragmented. That's okay sometimes but not when used so much as you do. Also, it seems you are trying to be funny in the article, however your brand of humor is largely lost on me. (Especially that quip about the jet planes?) But then of course, that is subjective.|
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| Aikanaros (2) Feb 28, 2007 - 04:00 am|
|Thank you guys. I am trying to inject some humour here in the article, but it seems that it had backfired.|
This article is lamenting about the fact that none of the motherboards currently are ideal because of reasons stated in my article.
I apologise for my bad grammar. I did not know that my english is actually so bad. I am blaming it on a bad sense of humor there :)
Despite all of the bad grammar, I hope that readers of my article do learn something more about motherboards. Like what srbce1 said, What i would like is some motherboards that are close to the ideal board for power users and are out for sell right now.
So can you guys give me a chance? I am pretty disheartened after getting an extremely low score.
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