Hey Kia, that's a nice motherboard you're getting there! I'm sure you'll be happy with it. I have the same type of board, only from Asus. So far, my Athlon XP and board have given me impressive performance for the money.
Hale, if you're talking about TRUE 5.1 surround sound, then only Doom 3 will have it. No other game has 5.1 sound yet.
has EAX2 support, so that probably means four channels only.
As for suggestions on what to get for an upgrade. Well, I'm partial to AMD based stuff because it performs well for less money. So here's what I'd recommend. (I have nothing against Intel, a P4 and Canterwood chipset board is a great pick, but expensive.)
- Almost any nForce2 chipset motherboard is the best choice right now, I prefer Asus myself. (Yeah, I know, funny how I like nVidia nForce2 but don't care for the GeForce line.
- Don't buy any faster than an Athlon XP 2800+. The new Barton chips are currently a waste of money. They don't perform much better, at all.
- You may want to buy PC3200 DDR memory to future-proof yourself, but PC2700 would be cheaper. Besides, only the Athlon XP 3200+ (Barton) would take advantage of PC3200.
- You don't need to buy a Sound Blaster Audigy if you get an nForce board, because it has built-in sound that's really good. So you save some more money. (But you can still get an Audigy, if you want.)
- For a graphics card, it's kinda tough. I prefer ATI over nVidia, but I'm sure the 5900 FX Ultra will be fine. I'd go with a 9700 Pro or 9800 Pro if I could afford it, right now. If you're on a budget, you could get a Radeon 8500, 9100, 9500 Pro, or 9600 Pro. Stay away from the non-Pro versions, they're always much slower. Also stay away from the 9000 Pro and 9200, they actually suck. If I had to go with nVidia, I'd stick with a GeForce 4 Ti 4600.
Both video card brands will work fine with
. Just because nVidia designed the glow effect, doesn't mean it only works on nVidia cards. The glow effect will work on any card that supports DirectX 8.1. (Just in case anyone is still confused about this.)