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AMD - Mobo and Video Card Options For Am2 & AM2+

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July 16, 2008 3:12:04 PM

Hi I had a few questions...

I have been out of the building market for a while, and I am really confused with all the new products out there. I am trying to set up a mid-range gaming rig.

So far this is what I know I want...
I want a mobo that is am2 and am2+ compatible. I will buy a AMD X2 cpu then later when the phenoems are more avaible I will upgrade to those.



Heres what I am thinking:
I think that nvidia is more price effective for midrange.

Pricewise vs performance I don't think the 3870 is worth it. (Feel free to contradict me, I'm just going by the vga charts here http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/graphics-cards/3dmar...)

I have yet to see any reviews on the 38xx stuff please link me with comparison charts.

With that in mind I think I am more gun-hoe for the nvidia 8800 GT OC. Which is featured on newegg for about $129 w/ rebate.

Not Interested In:
- dual sli (seems pointless unless im spending big bucks)






My otherwuestions:
What should I be looking for in a mobo, that best benifits the follwing requirements:

1) AM2, Am2+, Works well with nvidia (what kinda chipset should I be looking for?)

or...

2)AM2, Am2+, Works well with ATI (what kinda chipset should I be looking for?)

or...

3. Should I just stick to AM2 for right now? Wait a really long time before my comp is gaminguseless and upgrade completely again.

For mobo's I am trying to stay within the $75-$175 range (give or lose some)


Thanks!!!
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July 16, 2008 3:20:58 PM


MSI K9A2 CF-F V2 AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX: $104
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100242L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3: $190 ($160 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


If you need a bump for your cpu ...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Brisbane 2.8GHz 65W: $87
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


When you bump the X2 5400+ to 3.1-3.2GHz (with stock cooling and maybe a slight bump in voltage) you will be quite 'snappy' with a video card that's smokin' (and a CrossFire upgrade path)
July 16, 2008 3:25:06 PM

-editted-
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July 16, 2008 4:10:05 PM

No there are no charts but a review in the AMD/ATI section (access it from the main page on Toms) but the 4850 easily keeps up with a GTX280 and also beats the 9800GTX/GTX+ in most cases.
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July 16, 2008 4:21:55 PM

Quote:
do these mobos have cpu power/hz limits? and if so how do i find them?


Nope.

Quote:
also please inculde how much power i will need for these components if you know thanks.


With a single HD4850 ...
(with minimal system expansion)

Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Power Supply: $65 ($35 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With a single HD4850 ...
(with maximum system expansion)

OCZ StealthXStream 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply: $85 ($60 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With 2 x HD4850s ...
(with moderate system expansion)

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply: $110 ($90 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With 2 x HD4850s ...
(with maximum system expansion)

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply: $130 ($110 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
oh yeah, im also not interested in dual sli (seems pointless unless im spending big bucks)


While single cards are preferable limiting future upgrade options (in this case) is unwise - especially if gaming at 16x10 and up is on your road map. $160 for a HD4850 can't be beat for price/performance and it's safe to say that that price will be much cheaper down the road.

Quote:
Also why Ati? Does the chipset on the mobo help?


AMD chipsets in many areas are quickly moving to the top of the food chain. In the next few weeks we will find out just how high with the release of the south bridge 750 (790gx and 790fx refresh).

The sb750 should improve system timing and performance, and raise OC headroom for the Phenom quads (that's the rumahs, anyway :)  )
July 16, 2008 4:41:47 PM

but does these sb's such as the 790 cater more towards ati or nvidia? i found that when i first did my build Athlon XP 2000+ I bought a budge ati card... it had problems bottom line, so i then switched to a similarly priced nvidia, and it worked until halo just fine... where as the ati couldn't handle some of the games i used before halo came out...
July 16, 2008 4:43:53 PM

also when should i see these new releases? :) 

do you have a website you frequent for upcoming computer products, the ones i used to use arn't that great anymore :p 
July 16, 2008 5:33:17 PM

Nvidia and ATI have both had their ups and downs. Nvidia has the highest performing cards right now, if you want to pay a lot. ATI's 4850 is the best bang for the buck right now according to an overwhelming number of reviews. The Nvidia 8800 GT that you mentioned is probably not a bad deal either if that is the max of your price range. I read an article lately (I think on Toms) about the best video cards in each pricing category, and that 8800 GT OC was at the top of its category.
July 16, 2008 5:58:40 PM

depends on your budget for a card with $200 better go for HD 4850
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July 16, 2008 6:30:11 PM

ATI Radeon HD 4850 System Requirements

450 Watt or greater power supply with 75 Watt 6-pin PCI Express® power connector recommended (550 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a list of Certified products.
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July 16, 2008 7:17:58 PM

The AMD Chipset is made for the ATI cards. AMD owns ATI. The AMD GAME platform is the Phenom/ 770/790 chipset / ATI HD3XXX/4XXX series cards.

If you want the best AM2+ Board get the AMD Chipset. If you want the best card for that setup get the HD4850 GPU.

The HD4850 is in the same range as the 9800GTX. The 8800GT is a good card for the price.

If you get either brand GPUs in the same price range they will be in the same performance area. ATI will win in some games, Nvidia in others. Look at the games you play and the reviews for the cards you want.

1Haplo
July 16, 2008 9:27:49 PM

cool thanks you guys, do you know when the next batch of ati cards will be released? that way i can just nab an 48xx when the price drops again?


it looks like i am def going for amd brand chipsets & ati then!


what is the difference between the 750, 780, 790 's can someone link me to an article? what do these numbers mean, and how can i tell which is better? thanks

also when should we expect to see 140w mobo's out in the wild?
July 16, 2008 10:33:01 PM

cshorte said:
cool thanks you guys, do you know when the next batch of ati cards will be released? that way i can just nab an 48xx when the price drops again?


it looks like i am def going for amd brand chipsets & ati then!


what is the difference between the 750, 780, 790 's can someone link me to an article? what do these numbers mean, and how can i tell which is better? thanks

also when should we expect to see 140w mobo's out in the wild?


For the next generation of ATI cards you're probably looking at around 6 months at least since the 4800's were just released last month. You may see a price drop next month when the 4870X2 is released however as it will likely force Nvidia to slash prices again and AMD/ATI will be forced to respond.

As far as the chipsets are concerned, the 770 is more of a budget chipset, the 780 is an integrated graphics chipset, and the 790 is AMD's performance chipset.

The 140W motherboards that can support the 9950 are already on the market. If you want one that comes with the SB750 southbridge you will have to wait another month or so.
July 16, 2008 11:40:03 PM

thanks everyone for your help, most of my questions have been answered :) 

I'll wait for the 140w with sb750 to come out and then play it by ear.

I am def going am2/am2+ and ati!




between the 790 i noticed there variations with fx, v and stuff like that, whats the deal with that? Which is better for cross fire?

Also can I get some feedback/reccomendations/pro-cons/brand comments on these power supplies... two scenerios: i do the hd4950 as a single card... or later down the line i upgrade to crossfire

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
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July 17, 2008 1:43:21 AM

As far as the power supplies efficiency > 80% and for Crossfire you need to verify that the unit has 2 PCIe connectors designated either "" 2 x 6 pin "" or "" 2 x 6+2Pin ""

I'm not sure how many pins the power connectors on the HD4850 require :p 
July 17, 2008 3:49:45 AM

cshorte said:

between the 790 i noticed there variations with fx, v and stuff like that, whats the deal with that? Which is better for cross fire?



The 790FX has 4 pci express slots and supports quad crossfire. In my opinion this is not desirable as it is highly unlikely anyone will ever use 4 graphics cards on one computer and having the extra x16 slots generally means that there are no x1 slots that could otherwise be used for something like a nice soundcard or a TV capture card. The 790X is basically the same chipset with only two x16 slots. In my opinion the 790X is the better board as it gives you a couple of x1 slots in locations where you might actually be able to use them. This chipset will still crossfire two cards just fine.

If you're waiting for the SB750, the 790GX chipset looks to be the new sweetspot. You can read a little about it here. http://www.tweaktown.com/news/9640/amd_s_upcoming_790gx_mobos_get_an_early_showing/index.html

July 17, 2008 4:51:19 AM

wait if the 790x is the same but with 2x pci express, what makes it different from the 780g?
July 17, 2008 5:05:22 AM

cshorte said:
wait if the 790x is the same but with 2x pci express, what makes it different from the 780g?


The 780G has integrated graphics and the SB700 southbridge. It also has only a single pci express x16 slot so you cannot crossfire with it. The 790X has two pci express x16 slots and cand crossfire but only has the SB600 southbridge. The new 790GX will have integrated graphics but will also have two pci express x16 slots for crossfire capability and will have the SB750 southbridge which is supposed to improve stability and overclocking potential.

My suggestion would be to get the 790X if you want to buy right now, and buy the 790GX if you are willing to wait a little bit longer. Word is that the boards with SB750 will be released in the next 2-3 weeks if that helps.
July 17, 2008 6:22:08 AM

cshorte said:
wait if the 790x is the same but with 2x pci express, what makes it different from the 780g?


The post your replying to here got it a bit off.

790FX can have up to 4 pci-e 2.0 x16 slots. It's also the only chipset capable of 4 board crossfireX. Scary part is that AMD recently said they'd tested a system with 4x4870x2's on one, assuming it was a newer one with sb750. But don't count on that since they don't plan on having driver support for it. Also what the previous poster said about the extra x16 slots doesn't make sense, since you can install an X1 or X4 card into an X16 slot. K9a2 Plat for example has 4x pci-e 2.0 x16 slots, 2x pci slots, and I think 1 or 2 pci-e x1 slots. Don't feel like opening my case right now to count em ;) .

790GX Will be released at the end of this month, along with the sb 750 southbridge. It is basically a cross between the 790x and 780g chipsets. Will have integrated Radeon HD3300, that is capable of hybrid crossfire, and hybrid graphics for extra power savings. Plus like the 790x it will have 2x pci-e 2.0 X16 slots. Hybrid graphics will allow the IGP to take over display operations for 2d mode and instances where huge amounts of 3d horsepower aren't needed, when paired with another Radeon HD discreet card. Mostly certain 3000 series cards, and the newer 4000 series cards.

Others have already explained the differences of the others. Hopefully board makers don't skimp on the PWM area's of the new sb750 boards.

8800gt is a good card for the price, as long as you're not goin SLI it will run fine on the amd based boards. If you're going closer to the $200 range, then the 4850 is probably the best options hands down.

As far as buying a board goes, I'd wait and see for the 790fx/gx+sb750 boards.

A suggestion also, is if you're buying ram, get DDR2 1066 Ram, lowest voltage possible, with 5-5-5-15 timings, Mushkin is good for that, so is G.Skill. That way when you later upgrade to a k10, you will have good Ram for it. Just remember to set it to DDR2 800 mode for the regular X2's, though it will also allow you some OCing headroom as well.

As far as PSU I'd get a good quality 600 or 650w single 12v rail, with good efficiency rating.

Halo for PC isn't a good example to base video cards on. I too had an Athlon Xp 2100+ with an nVidia Nforce 2 Ultra 400 board, and a GeforceFX 5600 Ultra for a while. Had difficulty playing Halo with good visual options at anything higher than 800x600. Doom 3 wasn't much better either.
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July 17, 2008 1:04:09 PM
July 17, 2008 10:36:37 PM

Mathos said:
The post your replying to here got it a bit off.

790FX can have up to 4 pci-e 2.0 x16 slots. It's also the only chipset capable of 4 board crossfireX. Scary part is that AMD recently said they'd tested a system with 4x4870x2's on one, assuming it was a newer one with sb750. But don't count on that since they don't plan on having driver support for it. Also what the previous poster said about the extra x16 slots doesn't make sense, since you can install an X1 or X4 card into an X16 slot. K9a2 Plat for example has 4x pci-e 2.0 x16 slots, 2x pci slots, and I think 1 or 2 pci-e x1 slots. Don't feel like opening my case right now to count em ;) .


I did go over the capability for quad-crossfire on the 790FX so that part of my post wasn't off. You may be correct on the pci-express slot issue. I am aware you can plug x1, and x4 cards into x16 slots, however my previous experience with boards having multiple x16 slots has been that the x16 slots could run either a video card or nothing. At least this is the way it worked on my old NF4 board as I could either run a second NV card or a "dummy" card in the second slot. Perhaps the situation has improved since then.

!