View Full Version : Dual AMD Motherboard?

05-06-2004, 06:11 AM
I'm new to hardware, not new to computers in general. I've installed some ram and hard drives, CD drive, etc but never touched my motherboard or processor. I run a buttload of applications at home while working and I was just thinking to myself.. why not try dual processors? Question.. is it worth it? I imagine it is considerably dangerous for someone with little knowledge of the motherboard..

Well thats the story! Heres the question! How can I tell what kind of motherboard I have? LOL I know that may sound stupid but we've got to learn somewhere I guess. I tried to install my old ram in this new box and the damn thing just beeped on me and wouldn't let me use it.. then I checked the ram inside and its DDR 266.. looked that up on new egg and found this http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=20-155-106&depa=0

I'm looking to upgrade my ram asap, so I'm curious does my ram depend on which motherboard I use? And if I'm running an AMD Athlon XP processor can I purchase any higher version of the processor like the 3000 and it will work as well? Lastly do any of you run dual processors and is it at all worth it? :lol:

Lots of questions but please, if you have the time and willing to help I would greatly appreciate it.. really want to do it myself and get the satisifaction from upgrading my own board as opposed to payin someone else to do it. Mucho gracias, domo arigato.

05-06-2004, 06:49 AM
use cpu-z or aida32 to find out what kind of motherboard you have, just search for them on google.
once you know what motherboard you have you will then be able to find out waht proccessor you can upgrade to.
as long as the motherboard supports DDR then just about any stick should work
dual processors are only really worth it if you do alot of heavy multi tasking like video editing

05-06-2004, 07:20 AM
Thanks for the wicked fast reply! Downloaded the tool, gave it a run. Seems I have the VIA chipset.. PM266/KM266

So.... what should I look for in a processor? And I do run a lot of applications but I don't do any real video editing, but I do a lot of video encoding. Maybe just a strong chip would give me the strength I need. Could you recommend a powerful AMD chip whos price matches its power? My current one is 1700. Thanks again, I really appreciate the help.

05-06-2004, 07:31 AM
This is the motherboard I found

Edit: I think I understand now.. looked more into it and I see I can only get AMD Athlon XP processors.. and the max bus it can afford is 266mhz so that means I could get this?

But! I can't get the full usage out of the 333mhz bus, am I right? Well the question is what would be a considerable upgrade to improve speed.. Was looking at this just now: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-103-381&depa=0

Up to 2.1 from 1.4 so any thoughts? :D

05-06-2004, 11:24 AM
Those processors will be severly underclocked and won't even run at their clock speeds...

That motherboard is just plain bad. It would be better to spend $50 - $100 on a motherboard. Some new chipset I forgot the name of is out and seems to top the nForce 2 Ultra 400 in some areas, but arguably it isn't that much better. So I'll just suggest these to you, depending on budget:
The first is everything you need and leaves plenty of upgrade options in RAM and processor.
The second one, however, is very good. It has on-board SATA/RAID, IDE/RAID, gigabit eEthernet, Firewire.... If you are willing to spend the extra money for it, it would be quite good. Even if you don't use that stuff now, you will appreciate having them if you ever upgrade your HDD.

As for processor:

Pretty nice for the price. You can use the heat sink/fan you already have, or (as I would recommend) get a new one along with some thermal compound (look for Arctic Silver 5 and a socket A heat sink.fan, about $20 total for both with pretty good qualtiy).


Of course, you're really spending quite a bit of money here, and you probably could use your HDD and video card upgraded, too. If you have quite a bit of money, around $1000, it would be best just to replace the entire system (excluding, possibly, the case and HDD).
What HDD do you have now? If it's anything less than 7200 RPM, you're going to want to replace that (well, get another drive, you can use both).

05-06-2004, 12:22 PM
Well I've got $600 to spend on the project so.. I think I'll pick up the second motherboard you suggested, the 2nd one. And the processor, I have the same one selected but with the heatsink/fan as I'm not too sure about the wear and tear on the current one.

I saw the Artic Silver 5 compound, but I don't know how to apply it.. is there a site perhaps with images showing how? How the ram on my list now too. Will this motherboard have any effect on my SoundBlaster sound card or will I have to reinstall XP after installing it? My graphics card is.. I want to say a GeForce 5200 so I don't think it is too far behind.

I'm not sure how to sell my hard drives but I just got a new one and they're all serving me very well so far. The [b]only[\b] thing that worries me is installing the motherboard.. it will be my first time and I just imagine I would just record everything on the first one and put everything back together the same way lol :roll: I imagine if I'm careful I don't have too much to worry about. But could anyone recommend me a site that has a clear explanation of how to put this puppy together? Or is anyone interested in getting some cash via Paypal for an accurate description? :lol: Thanks again, I'm almost there! Buying the parts tomorrow.

05-06-2004, 01:16 PM

For building it, I wouldn't worry. It's not much more difficult than plugging in a computer you bought from someone else. For the most part, you just put stuff where it fits. However, a quick Google search reveals a rather in-depth guide, some of which you may skip:

For Windows XP, you will have to reinstall. It's not even an option. It simply won't work to just move your HDD to a new motherboard.

I can give you a step-by-step to installing a fast, stable, and secure system when you do that.

As for video card, are you into gaming? If so, spending $210 for a Radeon 9800 Pro would give you very pleasing results.
If you don't play games, however, whatever you have is more than enough.

For the hard drive, go to Control Panel\System\Hardware\Device Manager\Disk Drives.
Expand Disk Drives, and you have your hard drive. It should meniton the manufacturer in the name. Go to the manufacturers page and search around for some specifications. Mainly, RPM and Cache are what you're looking for. If it sucks too much (which probably won't be the case), you can get a couple 80GB SATA drives and put them in RAID (we'll get to that later, hehe). That would probably use the remaining money up. I'll link to one later, if the situation is that your HDDs suck.

Also, do you know the wattage of you computer's power supply? I can't think of how to figure it out right now without simply looking at it. Just do that if you don't know. It should say somewhere on it. If it's crappy, getting a good brand name 350W or 400W PSU would be really smart.

As for the whole PayPal, thing...
I'm always willing to take donations. However, I have helped dozens, maybe hundreds of users over the months I have been here with no gain except a few online buddies and a bit of knowlege and experience here and there. I don't expect you to pay me or anyone else anything for the help, but you can if you really want to. I'll be helping out either way.

05-06-2004, 02:28 PM
Hmm.. so the Artic Silver is supposed to conduct the heat and.. sort of get rid of it? Dang thats some crazy stuff, didn't even realize such things existed! Didn't even realize heat was that big of a problem.. ahh well all added to the cart.

Damn.. reinstall XP? If I had of know that I wouldn't have reformatted and reinstalled everything last week. Could I just reinstall windows over my current installation or do I need to wipe my drive again? That would really suck.. but worth it for 50% increase in speed and reliability. Funny thing is I saw that build your own PC guide but I, somewhat new to this, didn't know which were outdated or wrong or what have you.

..There sure is a tubload to plug in on the motherboard. I think I can handle it though, I'm going to map it before I start removing anything so I have something in reference to or if I do fry it somehow I'll have my old one :lol:

2 of my hard drives (including the main one I run) are at 7200rpms but my 'storage' drive I put large files on is 5200rpm though I rarely really use it anymore but its there just incase so I think I'm alright there.

So basically we're talking..
better motherboard
better processor
better ram,
papa johns

I'm really considering just getting a new case to go with it, might as well since I'm basically unplugging everything! And I don't mind the reinbursement, if I make it back from the massive upgrade and back online then it will be more than worth it.

05-06-2004, 02:34 PM
Quick question.. which Artic should I get?


Not sure which is better, both cost the same..

05-06-2004, 03:08 PM
Yeah, those HDDs should be good. The 7200RPM HDDs should be used for OS, applications, and paging file (we'll get to this stuff when it actually matters). I suggest reformatting whatever you put your applications and Windows on. Just put any files on the other drive. That said, it's not absolutely necessary and you can just do a fresh install.

Look at the specifications. The one with 25% silver compostition should be better.

If you were to later pay me with Pay Pal, the e-mail address you would use is [email protected] However, let's just wait until I actually start helping you. :D So far I've just given some hardware recommendations. I think what you'll be particularly happy with is how I have you setup the system itself. All in good time... :D

05-06-2004, 03:38 PM
I'll post back here in a few days once I have the goods in hand. Thanks for taking the time out and I've saved your Paypal address. See you in a short while!

05-08-2004, 11:15 AM
Alright! Ordered all the parts! Heres what I got, for reference.
Processor (with heatsink and fan)
Artic Silver

And I was considering buying this

Not sure if it would be worth the money. Anyway, when you get the time Yawgm0th if you could begin writing me the guide so I have something to refer to once my parts come (and I can ask questions beforehand) that would be awesome. Thanks in advance! :D

05-09-2004, 03:00 PM
The heatsink is definitely worth it. Best you order it soon, you're going to want it immediately.

As for a guide, (assuming your talking about simply assembling the computer) there's not much to write. I can maybe e-mail you a few things to keep in mind when you build, but just about everything else will be covered in the motherboard manual (make sure you take a peek at that), or something you probably know.

With the more complicated things (software configuration), I'm thinking I might actually write up a guide that you would find useful and others could use in the future. It would probably be something like this guide:
But including the stuff that comes before of the tweaks (and probably excluding some of the tweaks, I'd just link to the guide :D ).

In any case, I'm going to need your e-mail if I'll be helping you with the building portion. Some stuff will be easier to demonstrate with pictures.

Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot... Do you have a case, 350-400W power supply, and video card for this thing? You're going to need those if you don't have them...

05-09-2004, 03:45 PM
Damn, should have asked you before I purchased the other parts. I got them shipping next day and didn't get the additional heatsink (I did get the one that came with the processor but not the Thermaltake SilentBoost). Would it be possible for me to add that later on?

I'm just upgrading my current box I have so I do have a case and everything I'm just hoping this upgrade will allow me to do some real damage. In any case though I doubt I'll have much problem with the hardware installations.. just take my time and pay attention. But more help is always, always appreciated. I'm sending you a PM with my email just for spam percautions.

I cannot tell what power supply I have but I imagine once I crack her open I'll see it labeled somewhere and if it is below 300 I'll just buy the 400 something supply I saw and slide her in, hopefully it isn't too difficult.. wouldn't imagine so.

Thanks again!

05-09-2004, 03:46 PM
Ahh I see I can't PM you :lol: well I'll hit the email button instead. Also writing up that guide would definitely be awesome, anything to get this box to run at full speed is great I'm sure a lot of people will benefit from it.

Edit: Forgot to ask.. how do I view how hot my comp is running? Want to know if I'm doing any harm to it so I can start learning. After a year I'm really looking forward to throwing some serious cash at a monster comp, the dual motherboard creature.

05-09-2004, 04:47 PM
Get the heatsink and wait for it to come. You won't want the retail heatsink; it sucks.
If you don't have a good PSU, you'll want to order a 400W. If it isn't at least 350W, don't even waste time with it. Otherwise, try it, but be prepared for the situtation in which it doesn't work.
You still need a video card if you don't have one.... What exactly are you using this for computer, anyway?

05-09-2004, 04:56 PM
When I wake up (as its 4am here) I'll peek inside and see if I need a new power supply, and if so I'll get both the power supply and heatsink.

These two are alright?

Power Supply


And I'm currently typing to you on the computer I'll be upgrading so it does indeed have a video card haha the problem isn't that it doesn't run, the problem is I run a lot of applications.. mainly rendering in Photoshop and encoding movies, do a great deal of web design/developement. My previous 850mhz with 600mb something of ram could barely hold out.. then I got this new box with the faster processor but my damn ram wouldn't fit.. didn't realize there were different types of ram.

In any case, thats why I was considering the full solid upgrade and why I'm more than eager to get anything this box needs to run at optimal speed. I very rarely play games, I just need something powerful enough for me to work with tons of rendering, encode while I sleep and be able to handle another full day. I generally run about 4-5 heavy applications at once (switching inbetween them to complete various tasks) so I'm hoping the 768mb of ram (not sure what dual channel is but sounds good) and 2ghz processor plus the tweaks will allow me to do that.

05-09-2004, 05:21 PM
The HSF and power supply look good. Go ahead and buy them. :D

That's 512MB of RAM, actually. And I wouldn't throw another stick in with it, if that's what you were thinking. Maybe another two PC3500 of very similar (or identical) quality. If you wanted the extra RAM, although it wouldn't really improve performance too much, buy the same thing again. That will give you 1GB of dual channel (I'll save the explanantion; dual channel = faster). However, I think you would be content with just 512MB. You won't see too much difference with more.

For video card, if your current one is pretty bad (which certainly won't help you), I would suggest getting this Radeon 9600:
It's not expensive and won't give you the insane performance that many gamers like, but it will do everything else fast and it should run all games. I have personally purchased the card from that exact same link and used it on a system similar to your current one, and I was quite pleased.

However, if you don't do too much gaming, it's likely you won't see much benefit from getting that card, or any other. The choice there is entirely yours; I can't even recommend either way.

05-10-2004, 04:03 AM
I knew your recommendation was 512mb, the two sticks :lol: , I just meant I already had 128mb of ram and since the thing had three slots then the more ram wouldn't hurt. I bought the power supply and heatsink, I'll get them same day hopefully.

05-10-2004, 05:24 AM
Actually, the 128MB will probably hurt. Just buy more of the same RAM or leave it out.

05-10-2004, 08:01 AM
I'll leave it out then, didn't know it would hurt. How can I tell my cpu's temperature and incase you didn't get my email could you explain more about the IDE hard drive such so I can put my slow drive on the different channel? Not sure how to do that.

05-11-2004, 08:43 AM
The BIOS should display the temperature before boot. It will either flash across the screen, or be accessable from one of the BIOS configuration screens.

05-11-2004, 10:13 AM
Good stuff, thanks for the knowledge. I imagine the motherboard book will have the BIOS info. Thanks again. Tomorrow looks like the big day!

05-12-2004, 05:26 AM
If I have to install my power supply upside down.. will that have any impact on the computer? Sounds strange but the supply doesn't line up with the case properly, but if I turn it upside down I can get all but 1 screw in and it is very secure. Only thing that bothers me is that the fan is upside down.. not sure if that will have a signifigant impact on its functionality or not. A quick yes or no anyone, please. Thanks.

05-12-2004, 05:50 AM
If the fan is still on the correct side, meaning by the vent on the case made specifically for the PSU fan, than it should be fine. There no such thing as upside down with a fan; just backwards and forwards.

05-12-2004, 06:01 AM
Well there is another fan on top of the power supply.

See the fan on top? Thats what I mean. Instead of facing the top of the box it is upside down. The other fan near the switch is facing correctly though, besides the words being upside down :lol:

05-12-2004, 06:10 AM
I don't think it will matter. If it overheats or something you can problably RMA back to Newegg.

05-12-2004, 08:12 AM
Alright.. got it to boot up but it takes a long time detecting my IDE drives. Then when I enter BIOS and go to check on the drives all of them are slaves. Did I hook my IDE cables up incorrectly or is there something I'm missing?

05-12-2004, 08:16 AM
Good gawd.. the CPU is running at 96 degrees.. I turned it off as I'm not sure what the problem is but I don't want to burn it to the ground.

05-12-2004, 08:20 AM
Is it running at 96 degrees celcius? I really doubt it...
Even if you left the heat sink off.....
Are you sure it wasn't 96 degrees Fahrenheit? That's about 36 Celcius, no big deal....

05-12-2004, 08:22 AM
It just said 96 in the bios, not sure what that means. Never the less.. is the IDE/hard drive booting up problem because the IDE cables aren't connected correctly or is there something for me to set up via BIOS? So close yet so far away..

05-12-2004, 08:26 AM
Uhg.. yes it was 96 celcius

05-12-2004, 08:30 AM
Look at the back of your hard drives (and CD drive). You should see a little piece of plastic connected to some pins with labels such as "slave," and "master." You should be good if you set one as master and one as slave.

What exactly are you booting into? I would suggest you don't even install Windows until I post more/write that guide.

Edit: 96 celcius? Did you properly apply the thermal compound and heatsink/fan (which needs power)? Sounds to me like your HSF isn't on....

05-12-2004, 08:34 AM
I have one set to master, just as I did before.. and I plugged the master hard drive and the other 7200 RPM into the 1st IDE slot and the 5000 and the CD Drive into the second.

It doesn't actually boot into anything.. just loads up, takes about 2 minutes to recognize the IDE drives.. then boots into another screen trying to detect hard drives and it finds none, then it says Windows didn't shut down properly.. if I try last good configuration (thinking maybe it was booting a different drive) it just reboots.

In BIOS it will recognize the drives.. strange it won't during the boot. Unfortunately I have to get it running asap, it is my main computer and has all my files.. this one is just for the internet mainly.

And still worse, no idea why it is running so hot!

05-12-2004, 08:37 AM
Hmm.. it says the system fan isn't running but the PCU fan is running at.. I think 6000 or so RPMs. Is that good or bad? I tried to install the system fan but didn't see a plug or anything for it.

05-12-2004, 08:37 AM
There's nothing to boot into.....
You can't boot into an old Windows installation on a new motherboard. It shouldn't even boot. Even if it did, it wouldn't work properly.
Edit: As in the case fan? There should be regular power connecters for it...

05-12-2004, 08:41 AM
Naw, the case fan runs (assuming you mean the 2 fans on the side panel). And I understand it isn't going to boot, but then how am I to install Windows if it won't recognize the drive? I mean when I first reformated I could just put in the CD and it would allow me to boot from CD but... ahh, I think I need to set it so that my CD drive boots before my hard drives or something to that effect? Trying to remember. Thank you for your quick replies, I'll get it soon.

05-12-2004, 08:50 AM
Yeah, you need to go into your BIOS and set the CD drive as boot device.

Try switching around the cables on the drives. Assuming you followed my instructions and have the CD drive and slower HDD on the same channel (which you seem to), while the two 7200RPM drives are on the faster channel:
Swtich the two cables on the 7200RPM HDDs
Switch the two cables on the slow HDD and CD drive

I guess it's possible that the temperature thing on the motherboard is just wrong. Because 96 degress celcius is very hot for an idle CPU.

05-12-2004, 08:55 AM
Yes, I set up the IDE cables/drives as you instructed. I seriously, seriously hope the BIOS is just wrong.. is that practical? The temperature being incorrect I mean. Is there anyway I tell if it is a problem with my fans or some such? I made sure I hooked everything in correctly, and the fans are running.. all 4 of them. The 2 on my case side, the heatsink and the fan on the motherboard. I want to run it and try to boot up Windows (I would rather wait for the guide but I must get back to work by tomorrow.. took off the evening to get up to speed) but I don't want to risk frying my processor as I don't have the cash for another.. :?

05-12-2004, 09:05 AM
Go into your BIOS and have it redetect your HDDs. You can also try simply not using certain drives to tell if certain ones are the problem. One other thing to try is setting the master to "cable select" instead of "master."

I think we should be able to get the HDD thing resolved, but I'm not sure if I can think of anything for the cooling. I'm going to see if I can get a second opinion regarding the matter.

05-12-2004, 09:19 AM
Tried redetecting. No go. Going to switch the cables around in just a moment. Went and checked the temperature again.. the system temperature is only 20 but the CPU (don't know where I got PCU earlier, just a strange typo) is running between 96 and 101 (thats what it maxed at).

Could it be possible I did not apply the heatsink properly? Or the Thermal compound was faulty? (.. just throwing out ideas :? ) The instructions were pretty thorough except I couldn't get the damn thing to turn on but a few extra minutes got that fixed.

Also, the motherboard came with a BIOS CD I have not yet put in to try but I figured no hard drive what would I install the BIOS into? Perhaps the CD does something else, you're the expert just trying to jog some thoughts.

05-12-2004, 09:31 AM
The CD is most likely (almost definitely) just drivers for the chipset, RAID, and SATA.

Even if you did apply the thermal compound incorrectly (which I doubt), I don't see how the temperature could be that high. If the HSF is on the processor and running, the temperature should be much lower than it is.

Are you absolutely positive that it is Celcius, and not Farenheit?

05-12-2004, 09:52 AM
Sorry the fan isn't running at 6000 rpms I checked again and it is 2500rpms give or take. Got my drives fixed, just had to switch the cables.

05-12-2004, 09:57 AM
It says 96 C so yeah, I'm sure unfortunately.

05-12-2004, 10:05 AM
That's the right RPM.... I guess it's possible you just didn't put it on right or something....

Either you just made some silly mistake (nothing that I can think of), or I'm missing something here. Still looking into that 2nd opinion on the cooling issue.

05-12-2004, 10:16 AM
Well, I would take off the heatsink and put it back on but it was a ***** just putting it on in the first place. Would it make a difference that the motherboard didn't come with the screws it was supposed to and I used the screws from my other board but a few holes are open although it is completely secure. Thanks for looking into the second opinion for me.

05-12-2004, 10:51 AM
Well I checked everything.. took off the panel and turned on the box to watch and everything runs smoothly and the heatsink/fan is tightly secure. Maybe I didn't hook something up, that could be why the temperature for the CPU is reading wrong?

05-12-2004, 10:58 AM
Did you use a good Thermal Interface Material?

05-12-2004, 11:13 AM
Yup I used the Artic Silver compound.

05-12-2004, 12:33 PM
Well I just applied a small bit more silver. Didn't help. Switched back to the factory heatsink/fan.. didn't help. I've been searching through the internet and it seems even WITHOUT a compound the comp shouldn't run more than 40-50 while doing nothing. Forces me to believe the BIOS aren't showing the correct temperature.. but the Artic site says it make take several reboots for the stuff to work? Maybe if I increase my fan's rpms..

05-12-2004, 12:58 PM
I guess you can just ignore it. I may not be quite as good with cooling as with other areas, but my understanding is the most accurate way to identify temperature is hardware. I know there are software programs to do it, but I have heard they simply don't work. Unless someone says otherwise or comes up with an idea, I suggest to just go ahead and install Windows if you really need the computer. I'll try and get the guide done tonight, but I can't guarantee anything. You can always reformat and rienstall after installing, even if it's an hour or two out of your life more than expected. It will be worth it in the long run.
However, if you don't need the computer before tommorrow, just wait. I'll certainly be done by then.

05-13-2004, 11:12 AM
Let me know the link to the guide once you're finished please. Thanks.

05-13-2004, 02:37 PM
I will get to editting and fixing everything later, but I just finished the guide a few minutes ago. Until I change some stuff, you can download a .zip folder with the guide in HTML format. Later on, I will just have my page with the guide as a link and people won't need to download anything.

If you have any questions regarding the guide, please e-mail me rather than posting them here.
The guide can be downloaded here: