In the Forums...
Posted: October 1st, 2001
Written by: Tuan Huynh
These days, when a CPU above 1GHz can be had for a measily $100, you might be wondering which motherboard to use. Unlike choosing a processor, choosing motherboards can be much harder and more of a headache. Since there are so many brands and types of motherboards that you can purchase, you’ll probably have a difficult time deciding on a motherboard.
Since AMD has become increasingly popular among enthusiasts and system integrators, AMD has great support from motherboard manufacturers and chipset designers. Great support from motherboard manufactures means greater choices for the end user. But are greater choices a good thing, or a bad thing?
The computer industry has come a long way since AMD released their K6 processor. Back in those days, people used the price philosophy to judge which motherboard is better. This isn’t the case anymore! The “Higher priced means its better” philosophy isn’t a valid argument when choosing a motherboard any longer.
While Abit, Asus, and MSI are some of the brands that will most likely come to mind when thinking of purchasing a motherboard, but they might cost over what you have for a budget for those of you looking to put together a computer as cheap as possible. This is where the underdogs such as Elite Group Systems, Biostar, and Shuttle Computer come in.
All 3 companies are known for producing low priced budget mainboards. When people hear the term “budget”, they will most likely associate it with “cheap and poorly built.” Is that the case anymore, or have things changed?
Today we’ll take a look at three different DDR motherboards from Biostar, Shuttle, and ECS aimed towards the budget segment using either the VIA KT266 or SiS735.
The three contenders this time around (from left to right), are the Biostar M7VIB, ECS K7S5A, and Shuttle’s AK31 v2. Most readers are probably familiar with the ECS and Shuttle board. The ECS board has gained praise from many hardware sites and users due to performance and cost. The Shuttle board has also gained many awards and praise do to its performance, stability, and great deal of overclocking features. The Biostar board on the other hand is not very well known since Biostar targets mostly OEM’s and not enthusiasts; thus the M7VIB is not a popular motherboard.