Phenom II x4 955 - which MB/RAM should I get?

I just ordered an AMD Phenom II x4 955

and

Two ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB.

I now need to pick out a motherboard and RAM...I'm looking for top of the line as I do a lot of gaming- and some graphic design, animation, and watching movies.

I have tried looking for a good AM3 MB comparison, but not many sites over an easy and understandable overview.

Any help or direction with either the MB decision, or the RAM decision would be very appreciated.

Thanks!

Alex
13 answers Last reply
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  1. If I were you, DDR3 RAM, and a 790GX or 790X chipset would be on my list. ASUS makes very good looking boards for 780G and 790X chipsets. AM3 would be the way to go. 6GB of RAM would be fine, no more would be needed. I would say either ASUS or Gigabyte for the mobo. Corsair, OCZ, Kingston for RAM. Good luck.
  2. sprucebr1 said:
    If I were you, DDR3 RAM, and a 790GX or 790X chipset would be on my list. ASUS makes very good looking boards for 780G and 790X chipsets. AM3 would be the way to go. 6GB of RAM would be fine, no more would be needed. I would say either ASUS or Gigabyte for the mobo. Corsair, OCZ, Kingston for RAM. Good luck.


    don't get 6GB of ram, get either 4GB (if only gaming), or 8GB if you do video editing, the Phenom II's don't use triple channel so 6GB would have to be 2x2GB+2x1GB and is usually not advised
  3. Search on newegg for am3 mb's

    the 790g has 8x/8x gfx slots which should be ok for a 4870
    the
    790x is the same

    and the 790 fx has 16x/ 16x slots , which could give you a very small performance increase , but costs more .
    Very hard to go past the quality of ASUS and Gigabyte IMO

    You DO NOT need 6 gig of RAM . The 6 gig kits are for intels ci7 processors in X58 motherboards .

    Phenom uses dual channel and 2 x 2 gig is fine . The memory articles on this wesite show no improvement in using high cost high MHz RAM
    1333 MHz with low latency like 7-7-7-20 [ or less] performs just as well as more expensive ram . You dont need more than 4 gig unless you use VM's or CS4
  4. I use CS4 photoshop and dreamweaver - but my projects are usually smaller than 15mb. mostly editing code / webpage graphics.

    Thanks for the info on the RAM, thinking I'll go with the 4gb.

    As for the MB, will I see any major gaming improvements by using the 790g compared to the 790x? would there be a step-up from those?

    I typically use ebay to purchase all of my parts, I'm not too concerned about having to find them on newegg. I've had a lot of success with ebay parts.

    Thanks again!
  5. The difference between the 790g and 790 x is that the g model has onboard gfx. I think I have seen benches where the g is a fraction of a percent slower than the x models but its so small you would never notice .

    The step up is to the fx models with dual x16 pci-e slots at 16 x are the top of the range

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128377

    or
    ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AM3 DDR3 AMD 790FX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131363
  6. OR GA-MA790FX-UD5P,,takes ddr2 ran has 2x16 pci-e sees all [almost] AMD cpu's and no onboard grafix to get in the way,just remember to upgrade the bios ASAP..:)
  7. I'm finding the 790fx models slightly out of my price range...

    Are there any major performance drawbacks from going with a 790x or 790gx?

    When looking at the 790fx cards, I liked that the gigabyte only had 2 PCI x16 ports (since I am only using 2 cards) and would allow for more breathing room for the fans.

    I keep searching for reviews/comparisons, but am finding a lot of information that doesn't suit my build( Phenom II x3, no crossfire support, Phenom II x4 940, best MB for overclocking)

    As I was running along the Overclocker's reviews, I noticed that you can change voltage settings very easily. Would there be a way for me to configure the voltages to have my CPU perform better but not loose (or even increase) it's longevity?

    Would you recommend I get a 3rd party heatsink/fan to increase longevity/performance? (I know it would, but I don't want to bother if increasing voltage is going to kill the life of my chip)

    Thanks so much for all of the awesome responses!

    I'm also planning on building a creative/custom case - I'll definitely have some pictures if anyone's interested to check back in a month or so.

    -Alex
  8. Are you under tight budget? If you are, go with 790x and DDR3. You won't notice a huge difference between 2x PCI-E x16 and 2x PCI-E x8.

    I'd recommend this board here: GA-MA790XT-UD4P

    Since FX is out of your budget and you don't need GX, that would be your best bet.

    As for RAM, you could check this out:

    KHX1333C7D3K2/4G 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL7 DIMM (Kit of 2)

    Since you have a Black Edition, you shouldn't encounter much problem overclocking unless you plan on doing something extreme. You should probably look for an after-market cooler if you are going to overclock.
  9. For RAM, I'd recommend Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664BA1339. It's $67.99 at Newegg. You can bump it up to 1600 with 8-7-7-18 timings. Best bang for the buck, imo. 4GB's usually enough. 8GB's more than enough. Guess that's why 6GB's been the sweet spot, lately.

    For the motherboard, look for something stable and if you want to utilize your dual 4870's fully, you'll want both Dual PCI Express X16 slots running at X16. Outlander_04 mentions the better boards to support that requirement. If you prefer something cost effective, alikum's GA-MA790XT-UD4P recommendations is just as good as what I use for my x3 720 BE with an unlocked 4th core. ASRock M3A780GXH/128M for $92.99 (I bought mine on sale for $80).
  10. I have a deal for OCZ 4 GB Memory 1600 MHz PC3-12800 EB Platinum Edition
    at $60

    should I jump on it?
  11. Ok I bought a bunch of stuff. Here's the lineup so far:

    -GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 AMD 790FX Motherboard

    -AMD Phenom II x4 955

    -Two ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB

    -OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W Power Supply

    -OCZ 4 GB Memory 1600 MHz PC3-12800 EB Platinum Edition


    Wondering if I should go with XP 64-bit, Vista 64, Windows 7?

    Also, any recommendations on LAN cards / sound boards? Do I really even need them?

    Now I'm also considering either a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS, 500 GB, 16 MB Cache - or jumping on the SSD wagon (I know better, and I should wait for them to develop)

    Probably going to build a custom see-through case with paint job/lights....I'll post pictures when it's finished.
  12. ampedal said:
    Ok I bought a bunch of stuff. Here's the lineup so far:

    -GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 AMD 790FX Motherboard

    -AMD Phenom II x4 955

    -Two ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB

    -OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W Power Supply

    -OCZ 4 GB Memory 1600 MHz PC3-12800 EB Platinum Edition


    Wondering if I should go with XP 64-bit, Vista 64, Windows 7?

    Also, any recommendations on LAN cards / sound boards? Do I really even need them?

    Now I'm also considering either a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS, 500 GB, 16 MB Cache - or jumping on the SSD wagon (I know better, and I should wait for them to develop)

    Probably going to build a custom see-through case with paint job/lights....I'll post pictures when it's finished.


    Go with Windows 7 x64.

    The board has a dual Gigabit LAN, you don't need a LAN card. Sound is okay. Don't really need a sound card, but that's always up to you.

    I only buy SSD's and use my existing Hard Drives as backups and storage. I've used both the Corsair P128/P256, and Crucial CT128M225/CT256M225. I recommend both, but they have their differences. For you, I'd recommend the Crucial CT128M225 as your Primary disk to put your OS and applications. Use an existing non SSD for storage and backup.
  13. dokk2 said:
    OR GA-MA790FX-UD5P,,takes ddr2 ran has 2x16 pci-e sees all [almost] AMD cpu's and no onboard grafix to get in the way,just remember to upgrade the bios ASAP..:)

    Hey I know this is an old post but how do onboard Gfx get in the way?
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