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Motherboards for dummies?

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December 18, 2009 11:11:56 PM

Hi, I'm new to building PC and have been studying here for 2 weeks now. I think I got the basics for CPU, hard drive and graphics card now but I don't know where to start for motherboards. I understand that it's an important circuit that houses all other components but that's about it. Can anyone give me some pointers? Thanks.

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a c 216 V Motherboard
a c 229 U Graphics card
December 18, 2009 11:17:11 PM

give us a budget and we'll make suggestions
December 18, 2009 11:26:57 PM

Thanks JAckNaylorPE, but I want to study the options myself... I'm really enjoying reading articles and posts in this site :)  I'm a student so I'm hoping I can complete the build for under $500 excluding LCD. And I'm not planning to get a PC right away, I'm just getting prepared since my notebook is in bad shape and could die any second.
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December 18, 2009 11:56:22 PM

Hi there! I don't have anything on the motherboard in its entirety, but this article by 'hardwaresecrets' will tell you what you need to know about the voltage regulator circuit.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/616/1

Hope this helps you out some. :) 
a c 156 V Motherboard
a b U Graphics card
December 19, 2009 12:03:51 AM

DokkRokken said:
Hi there! I don't have anything on the motherboard in its entirety, ...

Walk before run.
December 19, 2009 12:14:13 AM

Thanks for the link DokkRokken! Nice article, though too bad I can only check it out after I buy them...
December 19, 2009 2:09:02 AM

I've read some articles about Asus M4A785TD-V EVO... Is this a solid motherboard?

Currently I'm considering

-Athlon II x4 620, mild OC (or triple core if I can unlock disabled core)
-DDR3 2G RAM

-no graphics card, though I'll add them on one day (I heard that integrated graphics in 785 mobos are great)

I'm looking for reliable mobos with decent scalability (I'm on a budget so I hope to use this mobo as long as I can)... Is this too much to ask for under $100?

If would be great if anyone can tell me the position of this mobo in car analogy (For example, Intel i5 = Porche 911, intel i7 = Pagini Zonda)... Sorry but I'm a real dummy for these kind of things, especially motherboards :) 
December 19, 2009 2:33:35 AM

'Hardware Canucks' has a review on that very board and its mATX cousin. You should be able to find the link right on the front page.

Long story short, it's a great board for the price, and adds a big dollop of jam to what is a relatively 'bread and butter' chipset. They also describe their core unlocking (very successful I might add) although results can vary.

If I were to give you a car analogy, I'd say this is the 'Cobalt SS' because while it doesn't have the frills of the big boys, it has the muscle where it really counts for a very reasonable price.
December 19, 2009 2:51:59 AM

Thanks a lot DokkRokken :)  It looks like this mobo has a decent voltage regulator.

I wonder if Asus has any indicator of component quality like Gigabyte? I've read some articles on Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-785g-motherboar...) and it says:

"UD3H designation indicates Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 3 suite, including 50,000 hour Japanese capacitors, 2 ounces of copper in the board's inner layer.."

December 20, 2009 4:16:39 AM

Y'know, I think a lot of that is more marketing spiel than anything. However, Gigabyte makes fantastic boards too, but Asus fans often swear by their products. Providing there aren't any hiccups, you can't go wrong with either brand's 785G option.

Also, you mentioned that you're not intending on getting a graphics card; are you looking to rely on the 785's integrated option to game?
December 20, 2009 5:39:25 AM

Oh I see. As for the graphics, I don't feel the need to buy it right now because I don't play games :)  I might need one if I get a second monitor though. I hope the integrated graphics in 785 will be enough for watching HD video, my celeron notebook with intel integrated graphics nearly crashed after I tried watching HD (not Full HD) at 60fps...
December 21, 2009 7:48:54 PM

DokkRokken said:
Y'know, I think a lot of that is more marketing spiel than anything. However, Gigabyte makes fantastic boards too, but Asus fans often swear by their products. Providing there aren't any hiccups, you can't go wrong with either brand's 785G option.

Also, you mentioned that you're not intending on getting a graphics card; are you looking to rely on the 785's integrated option to game?


Hi Dokkrokken sorry for jumping on your thread, I am interested on you opinion of the intergrated graphics quality in the 785 MoBos and particularly how they compare to a separate older graphics card, like the 4650? Here is my budget build which I have tried to achieve the most bang for the very least bucks.(It might seem low class now but i think this system a year ago was up their for performance and cost) Would an intergrated graphics system compare?
December 21, 2009 7:50:56 PM

CPU/Processor Athlon II X 3 435 2900 AM3 € 53.45
MOBO/Motherboard M4A785-M € 63.20
RAM/Memory 3GB 2X1GB + 2X512MB
GPU/Graphics Card Radeon ASUS EAH 4670/DI/512MD3 € 61.26
HDD/Hard Drive - WD 500GB 16MB 7200rpm 3.5inch SATA3.0 € 41.00
ODD/Optical Disk Drive - DVD RW SAMSUNG 22x SATA € 18.25
PSU - Aopen QF50G - Case MidiTower w. USB/Audio 400W € 51.25
Total €288.41
December 21, 2009 8:59:01 PM

HD4200 IGP is designed to play full HDs and blue rays so if you don't play games, they offer a lot of value. Gaming is another matter, you'll have to use lower resolution with reduced detail settings. With active cooling, you can get great overclocking results from 4200 IGP on the 785 mobos, something like 500Mhz -> 1020Mhz though. HD4650 should be able to play at lower resolution without reducing detail settings, and higher resolutions with reduced detail setting. Much better than the HD4200 IGP actually.

Edit: it looks like I can't post links from other hardware sites for some reason. Go to Hardwarecanucks and check out the Page 17 (IGP Gaming Benchmarks) in ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO & M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 Motherboards Review, which you can easily find on the front page.
December 21, 2009 9:13:10 PM

Thanks for the feedback but the hyperlink you posted doesn't work. I am interested in the idea of utilising the onboard memory in a hybrid crossfire setup
!