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Need help on SMPS and motherboard

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May 11, 2009 7:51:20 PM

Hey people, :bounce: 
First time poster, long time reader. Here is my built that I have to buy ASAP. I have a problem with the motherboard and SMPS selection. Please advice.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Gaming, gaming, surfing, video/audio editing, documents

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, Keyboard and monitor(Samsung 2233SW 1920x1080)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I do not reside in US, so no sites required

PARTS PREFERENCES: Nothing

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Really need help on SMPS


Okay, so I have already decided on the build

Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720BE

Motherboard: ASUS M3N HD HDMI
http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=izFQDwwPZxUK0wcU&...
OR
biostar ta790 gx 128m (could not find any link. Just for reference. I will buy the new item and not the open box)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card: Palit nvidia GTX 260 core 216 OR ATI 4870 1GB

RAM: 4GB

PSU: Antec EA 650 SLI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case: Based on availability.

HDD: WD 500GB or 640GB.


Okay, so here is the concern:
1)Is the PSU fine or should I go for Corsair 650TX. (Please mention why the PSU is good or not good).

2) The asus mobo is based on nforce 750 SLI chipset. The biostar is based on amd chipset. Now, ASUS is a well known brand, but comes with a nforce chipset, while I have my reservations for biostar (which has a better chipset). Please advice which one should I go for. Is biostar a reliable brand. I have hear of people complaining about its components (fans etc.) in various forums. Is that true? Also, why are nvidia chipsets a problem? Do they have any issues with the USB ports or what?

Please people, whatever you write, please mention reasons to back them up. This is not my first build and am not a computer illiterate. :D  :bounce: 

Thanks in advance

EDIT: Found a link for the biostar mobo

More about : smps motherboard

May 11, 2009 8:00:39 PM

I can say the GTX260 or the 1GB 4870 are both good cards. I would go for the 1GB 4870 because it overclocks higher and has overall better performance than the GTX260. Its also probably wise to keep all AMD products in one system...especially if it involves mobo and cpu.

The PSU will be more than fine. I suggest you get a good brand like Enermax, thermaltake, corsair...or brands you have heard of.

RAM...DDR2 1066 or better is for overclocking. You can push your CPU higher with less effort than the DDR2 800's
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2009 8:26:08 PM

That Biostar MB has been known to enable the 4th core of the X3 720 BE. I'd give it a try. Having Crossfire is a big plus at your resolution too.

The HD 4870 is quieter than the GTX 260.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4870,1964-16.html

The 650TX is a good choice for HD 4870 and that Biostar 790GX because it will allow you to add a second card in Crossfire. You are going to play at a high resolution so you'll probably want Crossfire eventually. A 750TX would be even better here, IMO, but the 650TX can handle it anyway. The Antec 650W is a good PSU too, but that Corsair is the best 650W PSU out there AFAIK.

WD 500GB Caviar Black is good stuff. WD 640 GB is better. That is, faster because the platters are denser. Whatever you do, avoid the older WD5000KS or WD5000AAKS, those are slow.
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2009 8:27:53 PM

I forgot: what do you mean by SMPS???


a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2009 8:33:49 PM

helliswell said:


2) The asus mobo is based on nforce 750 SLI chipset. The biostar is based on amd chipset. Now, ASUS is a well known brand, but comes with a nforce chipset, while I have my reservations for biostar (which has a better chipset). Please advice which one should I go for. Is biostar a reliable brand. I have hear of people complaining about its components (fans etc.) in various forums. Is that true? Also, why are nvidia chipsets a problem? Do they have any issues with the USB ports or what?




That particular Biostar board gets decent reviews at Newegg. 62% are very happy (5 eggs), and only 2% hate it (1 egg).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138130

The M3N-HT on the other hand has only 46% of Newegg reviewers happy, and 14% hate it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131343

I'd say between these two the Biostar is way more likely to satisfy you.

Of course, Asus is a better known brand and makes some very good stuff (e.g. P6T Deluxe V2), but you can't generalize unfortunately. They have their bad days too, like with the P5N-D or with this M3N-HT. :(  Guess what, the P5N-D is based on an nVidia chipset too.


Of all the horror stories about nVidia chipsets, the one that worried me most was about data corruption. That is, files that seem to be saved all right but later contain garbage, etc. There was another one about overheating, but that can be fixed with a high-airflow case.


Edit: actually, you're talking about M3N-HD (based on 750a) and I'm talking about the M3N-HT (its more expensive version based on 780a). I couldn't find the M3N-HD at Newegg. Who knows, maybe that one is better.

May 11, 2009 8:37:39 PM

Thanks for replies so far people.

aevem, SMPS means Switch Mode Power Supply i.e. the PSU. I am sorry, should have mentioned PSU in the title, but they mean the same thing.

Awright, so I am not getting the processor to enable the fourth core, coz that core may be bad. Although I will overclock the processor. I am not interested in unlocking the fourth core.

Now, so I get it that the antec EA 650 SLI is a good PSU.

Now, the only concern is the motherboard. Is biostar a reliable brand? I am searching the forums for any problems related to that motherboard. But any opinions/past problems about the mobo will be appreciated here.

Also what do you guys think about Zotac as a brand for graphics cards?
May 11, 2009 8:41:15 PM

Just like any other motherboard, they have their share of problems, but its very stable if you use it right. Keep in mind its not an extreme motherboard...so you have to be careful of what you are doing to it...
a b V Motherboard
May 11, 2009 8:46:36 PM

Yes the Antec EA650 is a good PSU. However, the Corsair 650TX is better. The EA650 can deliver at most 45A on the 12V rails combined (540W), while the Corsair can do 52A. That's very important when you're doing SLI or Crossfire with decent gaming cards.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=17-371-015-07.jpg&Image=17-371-015-11.jpg%2c17-371-015-04.jpg%2c17-371-015-05.jpg%2c17-371-015-06.jpg%2c17-371-015-07.jpg%2c17-371-015-08.jpg%2c17-371-015-09.jpg%2c17-371-015-10.jpg%2c17-371-015-02.jpg&S7ImageFlag=0&WaterMark=1&Item=N82E16817371015&Depa=0&Description=Antec%20EA650%20650W%20Continuous%20Power%20Power%20Supply

Zotac: I'm not impressed. Here's an example:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500095


May 11, 2009 9:04:18 PM

OMG, thanks for the zotac link aevm.

Also, Antec PSU has three 12v rails at 22A, 22A and 25A. total = 69A. Does the third rail not count?
The thing is that the corsair PSU is almost INR(Indian National Rupees) 1000 more (~USD 20), which is quite substantial.
Its not a major problem but every penny saved counts for me.
And, kill@dor, what do you mean by that? Will that board not allow me to overclock the processor? Please elaborate.
a b V Motherboard
May 12, 2009 1:38:28 PM

There's an ugly side here that the PSU ads don't usually show. Those rails don't all work at max at the same time. That is, you'll get at most 45A total at a given time from all 3. Say, 22A+22A+1A or 0A+16A+29A, etc. You won't get 22A+22A+29A ever. Sorry...

That Antec EA650 will handle two HD 4870 cards, according to Sapphire's recommendations for their flavor of HD 4870.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801

It can also handle one GTX 260 card (minimum needed 38A, you have 45A), but not two (needed 50A).
http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-260-review/4
May 13, 2009 8:10:59 PM

:bounce: 

Okay, thanks for the replies people. really helped me a lot. In view of your comments, I decided to go for a motherboard with AMD chipset. So, I have narrowed it down to three motherboards.

1) Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

2)AsusM4A78-E
http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=Bz2b2aYdPioLbN04&...

3) GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


And, along with this I will go for Sapphire or or sparkle or Palit 4870 1GB. And add another one in 6 months.

PSU: Antec EA 650

Rest of the specs as per the OP.

So, questions:
1)Which motherboard out of the three should I go for and why? I nothice that 790FX doesnt have onboard graphics(which really comes into play for hybrid crossfirex) and the ASUS mobo that I mentioned has soundcard from VIA instead of realtec. Will this be a problem? Also, what should I go for, 790GX or FX?

2) I will be buying the first ATI graphics card of my life. Which brand should I go for and why? Also, out of Sparkle, palit and sapphire, which one is the best in terms of customer support and reliability?

3) IS Antec EA 650 enough for crossfiring 4870?

I really appreciate you all for taking time out to read this and thanks in advance for helpingme out.

PLease hurry, I have to order the system latest by tomorrow.

a b V Motherboard
May 13, 2009 9:00:37 PM

1) I'd stick with 790GX because it's cheaper. It does Crossfire as well as 790FX when HD 4870 cards are involved. The 790FX has an advantage only when Crossfiring two HD 4870 X2 cards, and you're not doing that.

No worries about the onboard video. Either way you won't use it since you're getting a graphics card.

Realtek onboard sound is good these days. I don't know about VIA. Asus has tried something called ADI in the past which turned out to be just as good as Realtek's chipsets at the time. I think it's safe either way. At worst, you'll have to spend $50 on a sound card later.

2) Sapphire

3) yes
a b V Motherboard
May 13, 2009 9:04:27 PM

I'd pick the M4A78-E because it supports AM3. That is, better chance to upgrade the CPu later if you want to. Apart from that, it's got about the same features as the GA-MA790GP-UD4H, and both get good reviews.
May 13, 2009 9:10:32 PM

You will need 750W+ to run crossfireX with 2 cards ^_^...minimum.
May 13, 2009 9:13:26 PM

I ddin't say you can't OC with that board...You can if you want to ^_^. Its up to you on the RAM...DDR2 800 or DDR2 1066 is fine and it supports both.
May 13, 2009 9:33:44 PM

Ohh, thanks for the replies so far.
I cant go for AM3 (as much as i would love to) coz the prices of DDR3 are steep here in India. Its like 4 times the cost of same DDR2. Not woth it IMO.

And, Kildor, according to tis link I need 600W for crossfirex(I am googling for reviews to seethe power requirements in the meanwhile)

http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd4800/requirements.h...

And how is powercolor as a brand and customer support and all?
a b V Motherboard
May 14, 2009 1:14:21 AM

4 times??? Man, that's horrible. In North America they're much closer already.

All right. Get the M4A78-E and use DDR2 then. That board supports AM3 CPUs and DDR2. (So, see, AM3 does not necessarily mean DDR3 :)  )
May 14, 2009 7:24:01 AM

aevm said:
4 times??? Man, that's horrible. In North America they're much closer already.

All right. Get the M4A78-E and use DDR2 then. That board supports AM3 CPUs and DDR2. (So, see, AM3 does not necessarily mean DDR3 :)  )



I know man. It ssucks...

Anyways, Thanks for being with me all the time aevm. I will never forget this. If and when you come to India, contact me on kamalgupta06@gmail.com man. Its a beautiful country. You should really watch slumdog millionaire if you can I really appreciate all your help. Thank you man.. :) 

So, i have decided to go for Gigabyte 790gx ud4h just coz of onboard video and realtek audio etc. Really dont trust VIA. Would be a bummer if someone asks me next "Can your "soundcard" handle Crysis" lol.... But you know what I mean...... right?

So finally my system goes like this:

Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720BE

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H

Graphics Card: Palit sonic ATI 4870 1GB

RAM: 4GB

PSU: Antec EA 650 SLI or Corsair 650TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371015


Case: Based on availability.

HDD: WD 500GB or 640GB.


Kinda off topic, but can you guys tell me if the processor accompanies a stock cooler or not? If so, how much can i overclock my processor on it? Also, what thermal paste should I go with? And how can we oveclock the processor on this particular mobo? Links apreciated if possible. If I get some replies here, well and good, otherwise I will start a new topic in a few days.

And lastly THANK YOU aevm.. You are the man....
a c 156 V Motherboard
May 14, 2009 9:18:02 AM

Boxed retail sets contain a heatsink. OEM chips don't. I wouldn't overclock with the stock heatsink. Aftermarket heatsinks generally contain thermal compound. Aftermarket, Arctic Silver is popular. (Not saying that it works substantially better, just that it's a popular brand.)

For overclocking, google something like "overclock amd phenom II" or "overclock <insert motherboard model>".
a b V Motherboard
May 14, 2009 2:29:09 PM

You're very welcome.

MX-2 is also a popular thermal paste. I prefer it to the Arctic Silver because it doesn't conduct electricity - it helps if I spill :) 

I agree with jsc, you need an aftermarket cooler if you're into overclocking. The problem with that is that the best coolers are also the largest, and you need to be careful to pick a cooler/case combination that fits. For example I've seen cases with side fans that can't fit large CPU coolers because of that side fan. Try to get a case at least 8.1" wide. The Antec 300 for example is very popular around here and it can fit even things like the Scythe Mugen 2 or Xigmatek HDT-S1283.




!