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Need help maxing out computer without overclocking

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September 20, 2013 4:19:55 PM

I have this motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

instead of buying a new motherboard, I would like to max this one out. So I'm thinking of ordering the following:

16 gigs DDR3 1600 Ram (Any recommendations?)
80 Plus Platinum PSU (Maybe 550 watts)
Samsung SSD hard drive
Microsoft Windows 8

What about CPU? It says the motherboard accepts "AM3". So I'm guessing it only accepts AM3 processors? On Newegg the Top-of-the-line processor AM3 is "AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95W". Is this correct or can I use Am3+? The motherboard can "handle up to 140 watts).

Please help. I know how to assemble a computer but I don't know anything about specifications.

Thank you.
a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2013 4:39:16 PM

Might I ask what this computer is being used for? 16gb of ram seems a bit excessive if your just a casual user.
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September 20, 2013 4:46:27 PM

Calvin7 said:
M3A770DE CPU Support List
http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/M3A770DE/?cat=CPU

Phenom II is better than Athlon II
AM3+ CPU is not compatible


Thank you for that list. Actually, I choose the Athlon II X3 because it was faster than some Phenom II's. I saw some benchmark list on Tom's Hardware back in 2010. But you could be right because I don't know much about computer specs and relied heavily on some graph.
a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2013 4:52:31 PM

budgy said:
Calvin7 said:
M3A770DE CPU Support List
http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/M3A770DE/?cat=CPU

Phenom II is better than Athlon II
AM3+ CPU is not compatible


Thank you for that list. Actually, I choose the Athlon II X3 because it was faster than some Phenom II's. I saw some benchmark list on Tom's Hardware back in 2010. But you could be right because I don't know much about computer specs and relied heavily on some graph.


The Phenom II's come in a variety of flavours, you got the dual cores, the quad cores and the ones with six cores. If you can, try to grab a Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition. It's got a good price to performance ratio.

Edit: If you can, see if you can find the benchmark or graph that showed the performance of the Athlon II x3 to the phenoms. My guess is you were looking at the dual core phenoms...
September 20, 2013 4:53:21 PM

socialfox said:
Might I ask what this computer is being used for? 16gb of ram seems a bit excessive if your just a casual user.


I originally built my computer for office applications but my friend got me into gaming. Now I would like to max my computer and graphics card to play performance-demanding games.
a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2013 4:56:06 PM

budgy said:
socialfox said:
Might I ask what this computer is being used for? 16gb of ram seems a bit excessive if your just a casual user.


I originally built my computer for office applications but my friend got me into gaming. Now I would like to max my computer and graphics card to play performance-demanding games.


What resolution do you play your games at? I myself have always preferred using 8gb of ram for gaming rigs, but if the price is right and the 16gb set is on sale, why not get it? However if your paying regular price, you could cut back on the ram and settle for 8gb and upgrade the SSD or maybe the video card IF you plan on getting a new one. Also what is your current video card?

September 20, 2013 4:56:24 PM

socialfox said:
budgy said:
Calvin7 said:
M3A770DE CPU Support List
http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/M3A770DE/?cat=CPU

Phenom II is better than Athlon II
AM3+ CPU is not compatible


Thank you for that list. Actually, I choose the Athlon II X3 because it was faster than some Phenom II's. I saw some benchmark list on Tom's Hardware back in 2010. But you could be right because I don't know much about computer specs and relied heavily on some graph.


The Phenom II's come in a variety of flavours, you got the dual cores, the quad cores and the ones with six cores. If you can, try to grab a Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition. It's got a good price to performance ratio.

Edit: If you can, see if you can find the benchmark or graph that showed the performance of the Athlon II x3 to the phenoms. My guess is you were looking at the dual core phenoms...


Thanks for the answer. My current Athlon II X3 has a normal CPU fan. In the CPU list Calvin 7, what CPU should need liquid cooling? What max CPU is good with just CPU fan?
September 20, 2013 4:59:54 PM

socialfox said:
budgy said:
socialfox said:
Might I ask what this computer is being used for? 16gb of ram seems a bit excessive if your just a casual user.


I originally built my computer for office applications but my friend got me into gaming. Now I would like to max my computer and graphics card to play performance-demanding games.


What resolution do you play your games at? I myself have always preferred using 8gb of ram for gaming rigs, but if the price is right and the 16gb set is on sale, why not get it? However if your paying regular price, you could cut back on the ram and settle for 8gb and upgrade the SSD or maybe the video card IF you plan on getting a new one. Also what is your current video card?



Good plan, thank you. I played Doom III and Left 4 Dead on highest resolution with ease. I'm sure the newer games will be demanding.

a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2013 5:00:47 PM

budgy said:
socialfox said:
budgy said:
Calvin7 said:
M3A770DE CPU Support List
http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/M3A770DE/?cat=CPU

Phenom II is better than Athlon II
AM3+ CPU is not compatible


Thank you for that list. Actually, I choose the Athlon II X3 because it was faster than some Phenom II's. I saw some benchmark list on Tom's Hardware back in 2010. But you could be right because I don't know much about computer specs and relied heavily on some graph.


The Phenom II's come in a variety of flavours, you got the dual cores, the quad cores and the ones with six cores. If you can, try to grab a Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition. It's got a good price to performance ratio.

Edit: If you can, see if you can find the benchmark or graph that showed the performance of the Athlon II x3 to the phenoms. My guess is you were looking at the dual core phenoms...


Thanks for the answer. My current Athlon II X3 has a normal CPU fan. In the CPU list Calvin 7, what CPU should need liquid cooling? What max CPU is good with just CPU fan?


Technically, the stock cooler of all CPU's should work fine with their respective CPUs as long as you don't overclock. So if you do buy a phenom II x4 955 Black edition, and like me grab the OEM version without a heatsink. Just grab a Hyper 212 or something along those lines. If it does come with a stock cooler, then use that one. In addition, water cooling isn't necessary for a computer at stock clocks, people get water coolers (custom ones) when they start to hit the heavy end of overclocking. Closed loop water cooling also works but not as effectively as a custom one.

So my suggestion, if not overclocking at all and at stock clocks, just stay with the stock heatsink. If it bothers you, then get something not too expensive like the Cooler Master Hyper 212.
September 20, 2013 5:19:26 PM

socialfox said:
budgy said:
socialfox said:
budgy said:
Calvin7 said:
M3A770DE CPU Support List
http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/M3A770DE/?cat=CPU

Phenom II is better than Athlon II
AM3+ CPU is not compatible


Thank you for that list. Actually, I choose the Athlon II X3 because it was faster than some Phenom II's. I saw some benchmark list on Tom's Hardware back in 2010. But you could be right because I don't know much about computer specs and relied heavily on some graph.


The Phenom II's come in a variety of flavours, you got the dual cores, the quad cores and the ones with six cores. If you can, try to grab a Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition. It's got a good price to performance ratio.

Edit: If you can, see if you can find the benchmark or graph that showed the performance of the Athlon II x3 to the phenoms. My guess is you were looking at the dual core phenoms...


Thanks for the answer. My current Athlon II X3 has a normal CPU fan. In the CPU list Calvin 7, what CPU should need liquid cooling? What max CPU is good with just CPU fan?


Technically, the stock cooler of all CPU's should work fine with their respective CPUs as long as you don't overclock. So if you do buy a phenom II x4 955 Black edition, and like me grab the OEM version without a heatsink. Just grab a Hyper 212 or something along those lines. If it does come with a stock cooler, then use that one. In addition, water cooling isn't necessary for a computer at stock clocks, people get water coolers (custom ones) when they start to hit the heavy end of overclocking. Closed loop water cooling also works but not as effectively as a custom one.

So my suggestion, if not overclocking at all and at stock clocks, just stay with the stock heatsink. If it bothers you, then get something not too expensive like the Cooler Master Hyper 212.


Oh good, because it sounds complicating. I will use that Hyper fan. I forgot, here's the graphics card I use: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2013 5:32:32 PM

budgy said:
socialfox said:
budgy said:
socialfox said:
budgy said:
Calvin7 said:
M3A770DE CPU Support List
http://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/M3A770DE/?cat=CPU

Phenom II is better than Athlon II
AM3+ CPU is not compatible


Thank you for that list. Actually, I choose the Athlon II X3 because it was faster than some Phenom II's. I saw some benchmark list on Tom's Hardware back in 2010. But you could be right because I don't know much about computer specs and relied heavily on some graph.


The Phenom II's come in a variety of flavours, you got the dual cores, the quad cores and the ones with six cores. If you can, try to grab a Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition. It's got a good price to performance ratio.

Edit: If you can, see if you can find the benchmark or graph that showed the performance of the Athlon II x3 to the phenoms. My guess is you were looking at the dual core phenoms...


Thanks for the answer. My current Athlon II X3 has a normal CPU fan. In the CPU list Calvin 7, what CPU should need liquid cooling? What max CPU is good with just CPU fan?


Technically, the stock cooler of all CPU's should work fine with their respective CPUs as long as you don't overclock. So if you do buy a phenom II x4 955 Black edition, and like me grab the OEM version without a heatsink. Just grab a Hyper 212 or something along those lines. If it does come with a stock cooler, then use that one. In addition, water cooling isn't necessary for a computer at stock clocks, people get water coolers (custom ones) when they start to hit the heavy end of overclocking. Closed loop water cooling also works but not as effectively as a custom one.

So my suggestion, if not overclocking at all and at stock clocks, just stay with the stock heatsink. If it bothers you, then get something not too expensive like the Cooler Master Hyper 212.


Oh good, because it sounds complicating. I will use that Hyper fan. I forgot, here's the graphics card I use: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Hmm...your video card is outdated but you said you can max out left 4 dead , what resolution do you play at? (1024x768, 1280x720, 1440x900, or 1600x900)

September 21, 2013 9:08:37 AM

Good afternoon. In Left 4 Dead 2, the options says: 1680x1050 (native). All of the graphic settings are on "high" and one of them is on "Very High". Multi-Core rendering is "enabled".

I absolutely do believe that I need a new graphic card if I want to play today's games. Maybe 8 gigs of high speed ram instead of 16, Phenom II X4 processor you were talking about, and SSD card. My computer is very outdated. My 300 Watt Sparkle PSU, PowMax computer case, 80gig Western Digital Hard drive, and DVD player, is from 2002. The motherboard, processor, graphics card, and ram is from 2010.
a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2013 9:12:45 AM

budgy said:
Good afternoon. In Left 4 Dead 2, the options says: 1680x1050 (native). All of the graphic settings are on "high" and one of them is on "Very High". Multi-Core rendering is "enabled".

I absolutely do believe that I need a new graphic card if I want to play today's games. Maybe 8 gigs of high speed ram instead of 16, Phenom II X4 processor you were talking about, and SSD card. My computer is very outdated. My 300 Watt Sparkle PSU, PowMax computer case, 80gig Western Digital Hard drive, and DVD player, is from 2002. The motherboard, processor, graphics card, and ram is from 2010.


What is your budget for a video card? I'd recommend the HD 7850 for your resolution and its on sale here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's also got free shipping. In addition, your really going to need the new power supply you mentioned in your first post and make sure you get a quality one such as XFX, Antec, Seasonic etc...
September 21, 2013 10:28:16 AM

socialfox said:
budgy said:
Good afternoon. In Left 4 Dead 2, the options says: 1680x1050 (native). All of the graphic settings are on "high" and one of them is on "Very High". Multi-Core rendering is "enabled".

I absolutely do believe that I need a new graphic card if I want to play today's games. Maybe 8 gigs of high speed ram instead of 16, Phenom II X4 processor you were talking about, and SSD card. My computer is very outdated. My 300 Watt Sparkle PSU, PowMax computer case, 80gig Western Digital Hard drive, and DVD player, is from 2002. The motherboard, processor, graphics card, and ram is from 2010.


What is your budget for a video card? I'd recommend the HD 7850 for your resolution and its on sale here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's also got free shipping. In addition, your really going to need the new power supply you mentioned in your first post and make sure you get a quality one such as XFX, Antec, Seasonic etc...


Wow, thank you. I'm going to buy this. I will buy everything you recommended. Another question: There are many types of PSU. What kind do I need? There are several choices: ATX, ATX/BTX, ATX12V, ATX12V/EPS12V, Micro-ATX, Micro PS3.
a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2013 1:43:49 PM

budgy said:
Another question: If I don't end up buying the processor, can my current processor handle DDR 1600 speed RAM?

Here's what I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


According to this:
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20X3%...

The max ram speed it supports is DDR3-1333. However I think (not too sure) the ram will then down clock to 1333 mhz. Either way, I suggest you do upgrade the CPU to something along the lines of a quad core such as the Phenom II's

Edit: Confirmed that the Ram will down clock to the compatible speed, so go ahead and buy the 1600 mhz ram set.
September 21, 2013 5:22:22 PM

socialfox said:
budgy said:
Another question: If I don't end up buying the processor, can my current processor handle DDR 1600 speed RAM?

Here's what I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


According to this:
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20X3%...

The max ram speed it supports is DDR3-1333. However I think (not too sure) the ram will then down clock to 1333 mhz. Either way, I suggest you do upgrade the CPU to something along the lines of a quad core such as the Phenom II's

Edit: Confirmed that the Ram will down clock to the compatible speed, so go ahead and buy the 1600 mhz ram set.


One more question, then I'll shut up. This is the fastest processor my mother board can handle: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why are all AM3 processors hard to find now? Aren't those fairly new? Even AMD's own website has no info on the X6!?!?

Best solution

a b K Overclocking
a b V Motherboard
September 21, 2013 6:42:33 PM
Share

budgy said:
socialfox said:
budgy said:
Another question: If I don't end up buying the processor, can my current processor handle DDR 1600 speed RAM?

Here's what I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


According to this:
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20X3%...

The max ram speed it supports is DDR3-1333. However I think (not too sure) the ram will then down clock to 1333 mhz. Either way, I suggest you do upgrade the CPU to something along the lines of a quad core such as the Phenom II's

Edit: Confirmed that the Ram will down clock to the compatible speed, so go ahead and buy the 1600 mhz ram set.


One more question, then I'll shut up. This is the fastest processor my mother board can handle: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why are all AM3 processors hard to find now? Aren't those fairly new? Even AMD's own website has no info on the X6!?!?



Well the Phenoms are quite old now, they were replaced by the FX series which is why they are harder to find. Some of the newer FX processors surpass the performance of the Phenoms. However your motherboard doesn't seem to support the FX line. So just settle for the 955/965.

Also, feel free to ask more questions. I do not mind the quantity of questions so speak your mind until you are satisfied.

Edit: Found a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, but seems to be on back order. You can order it and they will ship it out asap. Majority of retailers who sell these are out of stock, so im guessing that processor is soon going to be sold out as well. You may as well try your luck on ebay for more or if you want, you buy a new AM3+ motherboard and jump on to the FX series.

http://us.ncix.com/products/?usaffiliateid=1000031504&s...
September 21, 2013 9:09:33 PM

socialfox said:
budgy said:
socialfox said:
budgy said:
Another question: If I don't end up buying the processor, can my current processor handle DDR 1600 speed RAM?

Here's what I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


According to this:
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20X3%...

The max ram speed it supports is DDR3-1333. However I think (not too sure) the ram will then down clock to 1333 mhz. Either way, I suggest you do upgrade the CPU to something along the lines of a quad core such as the Phenom II's

Edit: Confirmed that the Ram will down clock to the compatible speed, so go ahead and buy the 1600 mhz ram set.


One more question, then I'll shut up. This is the fastest processor my mother board can handle: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why are all AM3 processors hard to find now? Aren't those fairly new? Even AMD's own website has no info on the X6!?!?



Well the Phenoms are quite old now, they were replaced by the FX series which is why they are harder to find. Some of the newer FX processors surpass the performance of the Phenoms. However your motherboard doesn't seem to support the FX line. So just settle for the 955/965.

Also, feel free to ask more questions. I do not mind the quantity of questions so speak your mind until you are satisfied.

Edit: Found a Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, but seems to be on back order. You can order it and they will ship it out asap. Majority of retailers who sell these are out of stock, so im guessing that processor is soon going to be sold out as well. You may as well try your luck on ebay for more or if you want, you buy a new AM3+ motherboard and jump on to the FX series.

http://us.ncix.com/products/?usaffiliateid=1000031504&s...


Awesome store. Instead of the X4, I am going to buy the top-of-the-line AM3 processor Phenom II X6 3.3 Mhz. The site you gave me says the processor is EOL.
!