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Need advice on new motherboard, cpu, and memory

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October 11, 2009 10:25:30 PM

Folks,

I'm in need of help!!!

My motherboard and possibly my cpu have died. I had a asus A8N-E with AMD athlon 64 X2 3800 CPU.

I would like to purchase a motherboard, CPU and memory and I have between $300 and $400 to spare.

In the past I used ASUS motherboards but I'm open for suggestions. I want a quality board with a decent CPU and 2 or 4 GB of memory. I would like to use my IDE and SATA hard drives and if needed my Geforce 6800XT video card.

Most of the time I do basic word processing, navagating the internet, but I like to do photography and I have Photoshop CS4. No heavy work with it. some basic photography.

Your recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

montevideano

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a c 128 } Memory
October 12, 2009 12:10:01 AM

I would look at the amd propus 620 for $99 at newegg and a 785 or 790 chipset motherboard. The am3 boards use ddr3; am2+am3 boards use ddr2. Fry's.com has 4 gb of corsair for $40 after rebate; frys and newegg have 4 gb of ddr3 for around $70. Just select the categories you're interested in using newegg's configurator to narrow your choices. They may have some combo deals for under $200 with the 620. If you need software, there are lots of closeouts right now, some with free windows 7 upgrade. I saw one gateway quad core box for $340 a few days ago.
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a c 435 V Motherboard
a c 159 à CPUs
a c 128 } Memory
October 12, 2009 12:20:47 AM

Newegg has the amd propus 620 with board for $163 (look under combo specials); you can choose a biostar 790 atx or asus 785 micro atx for the same price. Fry's.com has 2x2 gb of corsair ddr2 for $40 after rebate. For around $200, this is a good upgrade.
October 12, 2009 12:46:34 AM

what kind of power supply do you have?
October 12, 2009 12:59:04 AM

nun:

Thank you very much for your prompt response. I believe I have a TruPower 2.0 550W.

montevideano
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October 12, 2009 6:07:43 AM

montevideano, you commented on nun's post - did you see all the other replies and advice above it?
October 12, 2009 1:32:01 PM

Mongox said:
montevideano, you commented on nun's post - did you see all the other replies and advice above it?



Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, I did see the above comments and I'm in the process of making a decision on what I'm going to buy.

For sure, I'm buying the propus 620 which has a very good review and I believe it will meet all my needs.

Now, I'm trying to decide on a motherboard. I'm looking at the Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H which I believe you have one in your system. How do you like it and what brand and type of memory do you have on it?

Thank you for your help.

montevideano
October 12, 2009 1:45:19 PM

o1die said:
Newegg has the amd propus 620 with board for $163 (look under combo specials); you can choose a biostar 790 atx or asus 785 micro atx for the same price. Fry's.com has 2x2 gb of corsair ddr2 for $40 after rebate. For around $200, this is a good upgrade.


Thank you very much for all your comments and suggestions. I decided on the propus 620. Now, I need to decide on the motherboard and memory. I was looking at the gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H and the GA-MA790T. I saw the the biostar 790 but I never had a biostar motherboard. What's the quality?

Regarding the memory, most likely I will buy it from Newegg. Right now I'm extremely upset with Fry's. Twice, in the last few days I saw advertised packages of motherboard & CPU and wasn't able to get one. I get to the store at 8:00 a.m. and they tell me that they didn't received any packages. They gave me a rain check for October 22nd.

But, I need to know what memory do work with each individual board. I like the Corsair brand, but i'm a bit confused on DDR2 and all the different types they have. Also, in the recommended list of memory that is produced by Gigabyte they make a note that I dont understand: [/i]Due to AMD AM3/ AM2+ CPU limitation, DDR2 1066 or above speed is only supported by 1dimm per channel. [/i] :(  :( 

thanks

montevideano

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October 12, 2009 2:48:50 PM
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I am very happy with my GA-MA785GM-US2H. And my computer needs sound very similar to yours - My primary uses are MS Office, Internet and basic graphic editing and design. I play only one game, the MS series Age of Empires and it doesn't tax any system made in the past 4 yrs!

I'm quite satisfied with the built-in graphics of this board - heck, I reduce the memory devoted to it from 512MB to 128MB to give myself more memory in Windows. I run a 22" wide-screen in 1024 mode - if I used a higher mode I might want more RAM for it. Regardless, all is fast and slick from my viewpoint.

I use G.Skill 1066 "Pi" DDR2 RAM - which is actually rated at 1100MHz. I chose this RAM after going thru 2 other brands, learning a lot along the way - and I've been helping others since to avoid my errors. Here's the lessons.
1) Get RAM that doesn't require much over the "standard" voltage. For DDR2, this means 1.8V-1.9V RAM. Also, don't trust the specs for RAM listed on a sales website - always verify the numbers at the mfg's website.
2) Get the lowest latency possible at the speed you want to run at - while keeping an eye on the cost. For 1066 this means a CL=5 and for 800 this means a CL=4.

G.Skill is one of the best brands available. I actually run mine at the base speed of 800 rather than 1066. The reasons for this have to do with the lack of real speed throughput differences between those two speeds once you take the CL/Latency/Timings into account. You'll find many folks here willing to argue about whether it's worthwhile trading speed for latency and such, but the fact is, outside of the rule of looking for low latency at a given speed, the settings you choose is pretty much a personal choice. I "feel" my system runs better at 800 rather than 1066 but the 1066 RAM has the features I wanted! And yes, I know this isn't really clear!

As for the limitation of AM3/AM2+ socket boards. Here's how I understand it. The AM3-only design allows the use of DDR3 memory and faster RAM choices. The AM2 and AM2+ uses DDR2 memory and is limited to around 1200MHz speed - but generally you see a max speed of 1066. When you make a board that lets you use the full line of both AM2+ and AM3 processors, then you are using only DDR2. And in addition, you are limited to only 2 modules of 1066 RAM running at 1066 speed.

As mentioned above, being limited to running 1066 memory at 800MHz if you have 4 modules is not a real handicap. You'll gain the benefit of the faster latency by running them at 800 anyway. But to some, the idea that you don't get to make your RAM run at its fastest is a negative. In reality, 95% of users never have any idea how fast their RAM is running and don't really suffer too much because of it.

Here's the RAM I'm using. G.Skill F2-8800CL5D-4GBPI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And here's another G.Skill RAM I'd recommend. F2-8500CL5D-4GBTD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's a list of G.Skill 1066 RAM. Of these, I'd only recommend one - the last one which requires only 1.8V. Note the voltage requirements of the others range up to 2.1V. 2.1V is the max voltage of my Gigabyte board and many others. In addition, when you push more voltage into RAM, it tends to make it run hotter, draws more power by definition. And most would agree that RAM that need more than "normal" voltage isn't high-quality. It represents a lazy way to increase the specs of the modules, pushing it to limits of speed and latency it may not have been designed for. Intel has put the hammer down on higher voltage DDR3 RAM for its i5/i7 boards because they say the higher voltage to the RAM can affect the life of their CPUs. But no such rule for DDR2s is in place. But most makers are coming up with lower voltage because of its advantages - note the red "Low Voltage 1.8V" marketing blurb about the last G.Skill in that list.

I can't recommend ANY Corsair XMS or regular DDR2 in the 800/1066 range. Almost all require 2.1V and the ones that don't have higher latency. Corsair is one of the brands I returned before getting the G.Skill. (Update - as noted below, Corsair XMS does have a 800 module with 1.9V so I can recommend it.)
October 12, 2009 5:55:41 PM

o1die said:
I would look at the amd propus 620 for $99 at newegg and a 785 or 790 chipset motherboard. The am3 boards use ddr3; am2+am3 boards use ddr2. Fry's.com has 4 gb of corsair for $40 after rebate; frys and newegg have 4 gb of ddr3 for around $70. Just select the categories you're interested in using newegg's configurator to narrow your choices. They may have some combo deals for under $200 with the 620. If you need software, there are lots of closeouts right now, some with free windows 7 upgrade. I saw one gateway quad core box for $340 a few days ago.



Is this the Corsair DDR2 2x2gb http://www.frys.com/product/5611731?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...

Thanks,

Montevideano
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October 12, 2009 6:08:17 PM

Should be it. That 800MHz Corsair should be fine for the motherboard we discussed.
Here's the spec sheet on it.
http://www.corsair.com/_datasheets/TWIN2X4096-6400C5.pd...

If you buy in person, make sure it's marked 1.8V or 1.9V. Don't buy if marked 2.1V or more.
October 12, 2009 7:40:16 PM

Thank you all for all your suggestions and recommendations:

I want to make sure I have the right combo and this is what I think I'll be buying in the next couple days:

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5

Do you guys think I should buy a different fan and heat sink for the CPU?

Many thanks

Montevideano
October 12, 2009 8:39:18 PM

Quote:
Looks great, and considering the overclocking potential of that processor, absolutely you should buy a well rated aftermarket cooler.


Thanks,

montevideano
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October 13, 2009 2:58:20 AM

Looks good to me too!

My Scythe is $28.95 and no rebate, lol!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

One advantage is it's smaller with a 92mm fan and an angle to it. So it's easy to fit into a standard mid-tower case. Case size is the big thing when picking coolers, followed by how tall your RAM is. RAM isn't a problem for you regardless, those are low-profile.

If you've never had one, you can't believe how big these coolers really are!

For example, measure putting a ruler on your current board and pointing straight out the side of the case. This cooler sticks up just under 150mm's.

But it's so cute and small in this picture!
October 13, 2009 3:08:55 AM

Very true, the Sunbeam is mighty big! I had to remove the MOBO from the case to install it. The Temperature decrease was substantial--went from idling at 50C to 30C!
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October 13, 2009 3:20:49 AM

That is a nice cooling! I looked at it too. I went on my Phenom from normal temp of about 48C to 38-39C. Big thing was under stress dropped from mid-70s (which meant I stopped any testing) to never over 62C.
October 22, 2009 7:34:51 PM

Folks,

An update on my new system. I installed the following:

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2

Everything is running great!!!

I now I'm thinking of reformatting my HD and mabye purchasing Windows 7.

I want to thank you all for all your input, comments, and help.

Montevideano
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a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
November 1, 2009 4:17:17 AM

Glad to hear all is well and you're happy with all you got!

I reformat my primary drive every 18 months or so just to clean things up. Actually, I have a lot of drives and I usually pull my old primary and nominate another one to be the C: drive. This means I don't have to make yet another backup!

Read over posts in the Win7 forum here, good info there. If you're running WinXP, you always need to format to go to Win7 - even if you "upgrade" Same with any change from 32-bit to 64-bit.

LOL, that Sunbeam is a monster eh?
!