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AMD phenom II x3 710 question

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August 1, 2009 8:05:19 PM

hey everyone, i had a quick question about these 2 products.

i haven't been up on any hardware stuff in about 4 years, so im a little lost with everything that is out now, but from what i have read this processor seems to be decent enough for gaming.

my question is if i should i get a mother board that supports DDR3, or this one that uses DDR2 is fine?

also, looking to spend around 800$ for the rig. All i need is GPU, p supply, ram, and mobo, have everything else.

would yall say what i have layed out so far is good or can i do better for the money im looking to spend?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2009 11:23:17 PM

Well the thing about DDR3 AM3 motherboards other than the memory being a little faster by a few percent is that since they are new you are far more likely to have support for future faster CPU's with new BIOS updates especially if you go with the higher tier brand motherboard manufacturers.

My last years AM2+ ASUS M3A32 MVP Deluxe (790FX) board even had support for the current latest Phenom II X4 955 BE CPU.I am tempted to update the CPU on my last years system but the Phenom II X4 940 BE would be the better match for it.

$800 is a good budget especially if you already have the case,a newer good capacity hard drive,DVD burner and an extra version of Windows (or Linux if you prefer).I doubt that you will have to spend all of your $800 as $600 or $650 seems more like it.
I think that you might prefer the slightly faster 2.8 Ghz Phenom X3 720 BE version since it has an unlocked multiplier.It's just $20 more.
Here is a good budget AM3 based 770 chipset motherboard with good reviews.
MSI like ASUS and Gigabyte tends to have good long term future CPU support BIOS updates.
This AM3 based one only has one PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot for a graphics card but that is perfectly O.K. with a budget build.You can use your extra money for a more powerful graphics card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just a week ago you could have got this motherboard with AMD's Phenom II X4 955 BE in a combo deal with $80 off essentially making the motherboard free or having the high end AMD processor at about the same price level as the Phenom II 720 BE.Always check the combo deals every so often because you can sometimes get fantastic deals.
Plus no need on a very powerful Power Supply Unit if you're not using that much power however it's nice to choose a quality PSU.
Be sure to check Tom's Hardware Charts on graphics cards too and the recent articles about the best graphics cards for the money.Sometimes they can be off a bit because the prices at newegg can vary a lot.DDR3 memory is about $20 to $30 more than DDR2 type memory
I looked at ASUS's website and they list a 3.0 Ghz Phenom II X3 740 as a CPU BIOS update so apparently AMD must be coming out with a faster Phenom II X3 (tri core) CPU soon.You might want to hold off on getting a graphics card since the Radeon 5000 series will be coming out in perhaps 2 months from now.
a b à CPUs
August 1, 2009 11:34:25 PM

Don't get the 710, its a waste of money....

Spend the extra 20.00$ and get the 720BE
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August 2, 2009 6:35:44 PM

wow youngster thanks, way more info than i would of imagined.

a few more questions and more on the situation if anyone wants to chime in also.

so would you say its worth it to go with the DDR3, for the extra output it has will it make much of a difference or not as large as im most likely assuming?

now with graphics cards, am i better off getting a great single card or 2 pretty good dual cards, the debate seems to rage on no matter where i look.

im looking to play mostly games like the new crysis, tf2, and the 2 new battlefields coming out.

now with the 720be i dont want to deal with overclocking, as it comes stock is is still significantly better than the 710, or should we say worth the extra 20 bucks(again this is if im not planning on overclocking)?
August 2, 2009 6:58:04 PM

If you plan on unlocking your 4th core, get something else than Asus motherboards. They are unstable and gives you an infamous Sync Flood error for no reason even if your chip is fully stable. It's easy and you don't have to overclock to benefit from the 4th core.

It's an issue on every Asus AM3 and AM2+ mobos. It even happens to peoples running X4 955.

If you don't plan to OC, the 710 will be just fine.

Also, you need to remember this about graphic cards... 2 small cards are better than a big one... it matters when you can pay half the price for the same performance.

a b à CPUs
August 2, 2009 6:58:33 PM

Since you are interested in playing games that are demanding both GPU and CPU wise...even though the 710 can play those games well, if you do encounter a bottleneck as far as the CPU goes you will not be able to increase its speed as easy as the 720...

In other words lets say that you buy a game in the future that requires a CPU @ 3Ghz or higher, with the 720 all you have to do is raise the multiplier (takes 5 seconds) and you are at 3Ghz... I am just giving you this info so you make a wise decision down the road and don't end up with a CPU that will need to be upgraded sooner than later....

I am waiting on the new Battlefields to come out as well.... And I am glad I purchased a Black Edition CPU due to the fact that I will not play the game under 3.5Ghz .... and I do expect amazing gameplay and graphics at those speeds...

I Agree with redgarl as far as the Asus issues.... The CrossHair III (AM3) does not have that issue due to they are being shipped with the latest bios...But they are the most expensive when it comes to AM3....

ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard-----------> [:jaydeejohn:5]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b à CPUs
August 2, 2009 7:15:12 PM

Yeah it's worth it to go with DDR3 although going from DDR2 800 RAM to DDR 3 1600 RAM will only be about a 4 to 5% performance increase in performance.
The main thing again is that AM3 motherboards will be supported for the next couple of years whereas last years AM2+ motherboards are losing support options.Some AM2+ motherboards already don't have updates for the AM3 CPU's although this is a far more common circumstance with the lower tier brand motherboards or especially those in name brand PC's.

As to the graphics it's nice having 2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots for crossfire however it's not necessary especially when one considers that there are Radeon 4850X2 and 4870X2 cards like this which circumvent the need for crossfire.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

If you do plan to get a motherboard with 2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots choose a 790FX chipset one as these will have full 16 X16 performance unlike the 790GX models.
Here is the best 790FX one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I am sure that these type of graphics cards (5870 X2) will be forthcoming with the soon to be released Radeon 5000 series in the next coming months.

There is a good reason why not to overclock in that it shortens the components lifetime and some people prefer their systems to last over 5 years or more.Other people care to get more performance by overclocking and consider that since their system will be obsolete in 3 years anyways they will just throw it away when it fails.I would say that if you run it at stock speeds it would be worthwhile to go with the 2.8 Ghz 720 BE or wait until the 3.0 Ghz 740 comes out.
August 2, 2009 11:03:28 PM

i think i will go with the 720 BE for sure

youngster, what do you think about the mobo overclkr posted for the 720?

and so i guess as far as vid cards go its personal preference if you do 1 big one vs 2 decent ones?
August 3, 2009 12:03:14 AM

1 big one allows for a cheaper motherboard. I prefer just one.
a b à CPUs
August 3, 2009 12:04:59 AM

I would say that the motherboard listed by overclkr is another fine one.
Nothing wrong at all about getting a 790FX motherboard and in fact they tend to have longer support for new CPU's since they are flagship type motherboards.
If you get a 790FX board either preference is fine but if I got a 790 FX board (in fact I have 2, both an AM2+ one and a AM3 one) you have the option of choosing the faster 4890 cards in crossfire.Having a 790 FX board gives you the option of full 16 X 16 crossfire if you so wish.It also gives you the freedom to put in a second card if your dissatisfied with frame rates on just one card.Usually 2 cards in crossfire will boost frame rate performance by about 50%.
Also you can do 4 way 8 X 8 X 8 X 8 crossfire with up to 8 monitors but I think that's kind of a crazy thing to do.In the past I wouldn't have recommended MSI because several years ago they were a budget brand but in the past 2 years they have put out some top notch quality motherboards.Their new AM3 series ones look great all the way from the cheap 770 one through their budget 790GX and flagship 790FX one.
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