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Which GIGABYTE GA-MA785G-xxxx Mobo is best for me?

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December 20, 2009 1:33:15 AM

I'm looking to upgrade my PC from a 2.4 GHz Northwood Pentium 4 on a Biostar P4M900 to an AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana.

I've pretty much settled on 2 mobos, the GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H and the GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H.

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I plan to do some light gaming (TF2 in particular, BioShock, Mirror's Edge, Prototype, etc.), multitasking office work, and some 1080p playback.

I already have 2x1GB DDR2 PC2 5300 RAM (667 MHz) in my system, as well as an ATI Radeon HD 4350.

Should I upgrade to the more expensive DDR3 enabled motherboard, requiring me to buy RAM, or should I stick with the cheaper, lower-end board with the built in HD 4200 GPU? Is it advisable to use this low-end RAM in my new build, or will it be a performance killer? It seems that DDR2 and DDR3 prices are about the same for the 2x1GB range.

EDIT

I guess my real question is, is it worth it to spend my money on new DDR3 RAM now, or should I get a DDR2 mobo and use the slower sticks I already have, given that DDR2 might have upgrade potential beyond a few months?
December 20, 2009 7:35:37 AM

I'd go with the GMT which supports the DDR3.
I'd go with the DDR3 RAM. As you say, the price is about the same.
DDR2 can clock at 1066MHz where the DDR3 can clock at 1600MHz.
A blind man could see which is the better clocked version of RAM.
Also, on average, DDR2 operate on a slightly higher voltage than the DDR3 which by definition means the DDR2 will run hotter than the DDR3.
The less heat you generate, the less heat you have to get rid of.
And, all the DDR3 strips I've seen have Heat Shreaders and that is a good thing.

Well, that is my opinion and I'm stuck with it.
FYI - I assembled my system and I have 12GB of DDR3 RAM.
So, you might say I practice what I speak.

Good luck with your new system. May it work the first time you turn it on.
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December 20, 2009 4:49:19 PM

Both 785G boards have the same onboard video..As gandalf says the main difference between them is the ram capabilities.

You will notice quite a difference between the faster clocked ram and the ddr2 5300. I would keep that older ram as spare and upgrade to the ddr3. I've seen kits on newegg over the last 3 days of ddr3 2X2GB for $80 with MIR. But really, at the same price why not get ddr3?
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December 20, 2009 5:44:03 PM

Thanks!
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