On 1 Mar 2004 14:16:45 -0800, Searcher7@mail.con2.com (Darren Harris)
>Can anyone tell if if integrated options on a motherbaord, like video,
>audio, firewire, ect., a better idea than using add-on cards if the
>priority is to avoid configuration problems when building a system?
>Thanks a lot.
>Staten Island, New York.
Well you've received a lot of feedback about (a lot of things outside your
Onboard integrated features may have their IRQs set better, which is good
for the simple old OS, but Windows can reassign IRQs so that's not as
significant anymore, plus you can always swap around PCI cards to
Otherwise you'll have the same configuration issues with the integrated
feature(s) as you would with same chipset (or in some cases, very similar
technology or system performance requirements) add-on cards. RAID cards
are no different than integrated if they have same chipset (which many do)
except onboard RAID is often the "lite" BIOS version so only RAID 0, 1, or
0 +1 are options.
Onboard video is the same, if that particular chipset wouldn't be
problematic as an AGP card you shouldn't expect problems as an integrated
feature. Same with network adapter except they almost always work fine,
just a bit slower and higher CPU utilization (not very significant) than
high-end solutions like Intel Pro adapters. Sound can be more troublesome
but that's mostly due to quick-n-dirty drivers, either it works or else
most people abandon it for a similarly cheap $10 audio card. If you know
you need very high-end pro quality or special featured audio then you'll
want to buy the exact audio card you need.
The bottom line is that you should build the system you want, keeping your
fingers crossed but mostly putting a fair amount of research into the
particular motherboard, for example in motherboard forums like
http://forums.amdmb.com or a newsgroup dedicated to the respective
motherboard manufacturer. Don't get in a rush and impulse buy the
cheapest (thing) out there.
If you use common, fairly modern hardware from the larger manufacturers
there's a lower chance of configuration or compatibility problems, and the
better motherboard manufacturers will issue an appropriate number of BIOS
revisions to combat any bugs, sometimes even issues with particular
popular hardware that isn't really a motherboard problem per se.
Keeping the details you accumulate in mind, you can just build it any way
you want, integrated or non. For the most part building systems is TOO
easy, you'll get overconfident and overlook something obvious while
getting wrapped up in the finer details... it helps to be fully awake, no