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Is the ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe worth it?

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February 11, 2009 5:12:19 AM

Every year, as the snow starts to melt, I take a look at my system. I am going about replacing out-of-date or stale equipment, and trying to clean up my case.
I currently have a MSI K9A2 Platinum board, bought about this time last year. It runs fine, but there are problems with it that I'd like to get rid of, such as inability to get x64 OS running properly, and PCIx16 slot placement.

I've liked ASUS in the past, and have been looking at the new ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe board. Can someone give me advice on whether this board is worth the investment or not? I'd prefer not to have to swap out motherboards again next February. Should I stick to an older generation board like the M2A79? Go to the relatively new and somewhat unknown M4A79? Stick with what I got, and deal with the side-effects?

This is my current build:
MSI K9A2 Platinum Motherboard
AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition QuadCore CPU (2.3Ghz OOB, Currently at 2.66Ghz stable, B2 Stepping sucks)
Zalman 9700 CPU Cooler
OCZ 4x2Gb SLI-Ready Edition DDR2 800Mhz RAM
Corsair 750W PSU
MSI NX8800GT 512Mb GDDR3 GPU Card
2x500Gb Seagate Barracuda 32Mb Cache HDD (Data)
36Gb WD Raptor 10kRPM 16Mb Cache HDD (OS)

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Theoretical Replacement build: (Attempting for a stable Dragon Platform build)
ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe Motherboard
AMD PhenomII X4 940 Black Edition CPU (3.0Ghz OOB, going to attempt for about ~3.8-4.2)
Zalman 9700 CPU Cooler
OCZ Reaper 4x2Gb DDR2 800Mhz
Corsair 620 Modular PSU (NOTE: If someone knows a more powerful Modular, please let me know. I'm not sure if this will be enough to power it all. By the numbers, I'll be right at ~565W usage, and that's not counting OC)
MSI R4870 Radeon HD GPU Card (NOTE: I've also heard the Sapphire 100259-1GL GPU Card is good too. Anyone know which of these two would be better?)
2x500Gb Seagate Barracuda 32Mb Cache HDD (Data)
36Gb WD Raptor 10kRPM 16Mb Cache HDD (OS)

(Stuff in italics is the changed equipment)

---------

Does anyone see a problem with the theoretical build. Last time I overlooked the compatibility of the Motherboard to SLI, and didn't check out the CPU Stepping for the OC. I'm just trying to get all my parts straight before I spend a good $900 on parts.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
February 11, 2009 8:29:26 AM

Ur RAM selection is gud but check out this one...

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $54.99
Free Shipping*
1x Winner of Customer Choice Award - Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if u want to stick wit the RAM then check out tis combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

1. OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2RPR800C44GK - Retail
2. AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail
Combo Discount: -$15.00
Combo Price: $280.99

As for the PSU, check these out...

SILVERSTONE ST70F 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail 124.99
($99.99 after $25.00 Mail-In
Rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake W0116RU 750W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $144.99
($104.99 after $40.00 Mail-In
Rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ700 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Patent Piperock Modular Power Supply - Retail $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Well for the MOBO Check tis out...has 2 pcie slots for crossfire and has the latest SB750 southbridge...
GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-DS4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $138.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 11, 2009 9:18:11 AM

For me your reasons for not liking K9A2 Plat doesn't seem to warrant a new mobo but it's your call :p  If i were you i ditch the 8800gt and 9600BE asap for a HD4870X2 and P2 X4 940BE (or just wait for the socket AM3 versions of the chip) hehe Your next mobo would be an AM3 one when DDR3 prices become much lower
Related resources
February 11, 2009 10:05:31 AM

gkay09 - Thanks for all those links.

The G.Skill RAM was actually what I first looked at for value, but I didn't like the looks.
It's pretty much pure aesthetics. And the OCZ RAM in my system hasn't given me a single problem. So I'll stick with them.

2 of those PSU's look promising, especially the Silverstone. I'll have to do some research into them, as I haven't heard of that brand before. And I've used ThermalTake equipment before. Good reliable stuff, especially their Armor cases. Used 2 of those for workstations computers at the repair shop I work at, and they're awesome. The ABS one would totally clash with my lighting system though.

The Gigabyte (good brand) Motherboard has the 790GX chipset, not the 790FX. While minor, I've heard from several places that the FX is better for overclocking. Also, the palcement of the PCIx16 slots on it isn't conducive to a Crossfire array, which I'd prefer to leave as an open possibility for down the road.

And instead of doing the RAM combo, I was going to do this one. Of course if I switch PSU's, I'll have to switch the combo out too.

batuchka - True, the reasons aren't the best, but I have ulterior motives. First off, the fact that the motherboard will NOT seem to recognize a 64-bit OS, while absolutely bad for me (Vista/7 x64), is just fine for my bro who runs XP x86.

Since he is running an old Celeron, with a nothing GFX card (6200 Series maybe), I figure upgrading his system to Quad-Core with 8800GT is a massive improvement for him.

And it gives me the chance to fully utilize my computer for what I want it for.

I plan on eventually upgrading to 8Gb of DDR2 RAM, and possibly going 2-way Crossfire on 4870's (1Gb GDDR5 model)

Waiting for socket AM3, would be stretching my time too thin though. Aren't supposed to come out Q4 2009?

And, finally, why would you go for the 4870X2? I know they are top of the line, but for 50% of the price, you can get about 70% of the performance. And that model I have picked out benchmarks a solid 28 FPS on 1680x1050 on Very High settings for Crysis.
a b Ĉ ASUS
November 12, 2009 9:28:19 PM

The G.Skill RAM was actually what I first looked at for value, but I didn't like the looks.
It's pretty much pure aesthetics. And the OCZ Reaper HPC RAM in my system hasn't given me a single problem. So I'll stick with them.

2 of those PSU's look promising, especially the Silverstone. I'll have to do some research into them, as I haven't heard of that brand before. And I've used ThermalTake equipment before. Good reliable stuff, especially their Armor cases. Used 2 of those for workstations computers at the repair shop I work at, and they're awesome. The ABS one would totally clash with my lighting system though.

The Gigabyte (good brand) Motherboard has the 790GX chipset, not the 790FX. While minor, I've heard from several places that the FX is better for overclocking. Also, the palcement of the PCIx16 slots on it isn't conducive to a Crossfire array, which I'd prefer to leave as an open possibility for down the road.

And instead of doing the RAM combo, I was going to do this one. Of course if I switch PSU's, I'll have to switch the combo out too.

batuchka - True, the reasons aren't the best, but I have ulterior motives. First off, the fact that the motherboard will NOT seem to recognize a 64-bit OS, while absolutely bad for me (Vista/7 x64), is just fine for my bro who runs XP x86.

I know that I'm just reading this now and it's a loooong time after your post but I did want to say that maybe your K9A2 had a problem with it because I have the K9A2 Platinum which I chose OVER the M3A79-T Deluxe because it was almost $100 less expensive and I see no reason to purchase a 790FX motherboard that doesn't have the right arrangement to fit 4 double-wide video cards. Anywayz, I ran Windows 7 Ultimate 64 for a very long time with no issues at all. My plat has proven to be a great board and I can say it turned out to be the deal of the century for me. One possibility is that I had to flash the BIOS to the newest version for it to recognize my Phenom II X4 940 and that BIOS flash fixed whatever it was that screwed up post-XP x64 Operating Systems. Whatever you decided to do, I hope it turned out for the best. :-)
November 14, 2009 12:14:19 PM

Err M3A79-T Deluxe being a 790FX does not come with IGP
!