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Which 775 motherboard for a basic computer?

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January 8, 2010 3:47:54 AM

I want to build a new computer for my daughter. She mostly use Word and does not have any special performance needs.

I would like to use a Pentium Dual Core E5200 or E53000 processor and an ASUS motherboard.

My priorities are stability, reliability and integrated graphics that can run Windows 7.

Which ASUS motherboard should I get? Any other motherboard I should look at?

Any other CPU I should consider?
a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 5:11:05 AM

How basic? Do you have a budget in mind?

I would strongly recommend an AMD CPU - there are really the best values for basic systems - and a Gigabyte mobo - primarily because of the UD - ultra durable - construction. Also you may have better longevity with the AM3 mobos for AMD compared to the aleady outdated 775 socket for the E5300.

Here are the THG recommended CPUs by price:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,249...

Read this article about $100 AMD and Intel CPUs and see if one of them fits:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,243...

Once you settle on a CPU we can address what particular mobo is best. Here is an article about the UD construction on the Gigabye UDx series of mobos that are available for most CPUs:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabyte-ultra-dura...

And if you have not read the model build stickee - you might want to check it out to get some ideas:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/269162-31-recommended...
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a c 148 V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 3:49:15 PM

Nice suggestions. I'll second the advice to consider AMD for this build. The integrated graphics on AMD motherboards runs rings around Intel integrated offerings, even capable of some gaming.
I like ASRock AMD motherboards myself. I ran one of my own ASRock systems for probably 8 months as a Teamspeak server, and it was on 24/7 with probably 99+% up time (down for some component testing, another of its functions). It's now just a backup, and continues to perform as needed.
I will assume this PC will have Internet access; since you will of course be loading anti-virus, firewall, and likely other software that runs in the background, your daughter would probably appreciate a triple- or quad-core CPU. Since those are in the $87-$100 range now, you can easily fit one into even a $500 budget.
For the PSU, it would be hard to beat the 80+ bronze certified Antec Earthwatts 380D.
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January 8, 2010 5:21:53 PM

I plan to only replace the MB, CPU and memory. The rest of her present computer is pretty good including her 330W Seasonic PSU.

Budget is flexible.

I have read the THG recommended CPU list and from what I understand the Athlon II X2 250 would be a good choice. Would an Athlon II X3 435 be significantly faster?

I would really appreciate if you could suggest a specific motherboard with integrated graphics powerfull enough to run Win 7. Would an ASUS M2A74-AM be a good choice?

Do we really need 4 GB of memory to run Word and Internet Explorer? Would DDR2 800 memory be a good choice?

Would such a setup be faster than my Core 2 Duo E4300 @ 3.0 Ghz?
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a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 7:07:46 PM

nvidia nforce motherboards have great onboard graphics i was running an nforce 610i\ w 7050 on it ran windows 7 very smooth windows 7 gace it a 4.7 rateing which is fairly decent for onboard graphics
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a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 7:09:13 PM

as for the memory question i have windows 7 running on a older dual core with 2 gigs of memory and it flys
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a c 148 V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 7:18:30 PM

An Athlon II X3 might not be a lot faster, but it wouldn't be slowed down as much by background tasks, even what's built into Win7.
An AMD 785G or 790G mobo has a better IGP than the nForce. This one is $80: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .
While 2GB would be enough, you'd notice the difference if you get 4GB. The difference is probably around $45; I think worth it.
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a b V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 8:49:55 PM

I believe I have found a great upgrade package. I found a great mobo with no integrated graphics and graphics card that together cost only about $10 more than a mobo with onboard video and will perform substantially better.

As to the amount of memory you need – that depends on what OS you will use. Assuming just simple activities like word, surfing the net, or DVD playback, (basically no moderate to heavy gaming nor video encoding or editing) the with XP 2 GB is adequate and that is what I have listed below. For Vista, most everyone says 4 is minimum for reasonable performance, although obviously someone above disagrees based on their experience.


AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail - $87 with free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail - $70 AR
2x Winner of Customer Choice Award - AMD Motherboards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You might be interested in an article about the UD – ultra durable – feature of the Gigabyte mobos:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gigabyte-ultra-dura...

ASUS EAH4650/DI/512MD2/A(LP) Radeon HD 4650 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX
Support Low Profile Ready Video Card – Retail - $30 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-2GBHK - Retail - $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total Cost - $242 AR and before taxes and shipping



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a c 148 V Motherboard
January 8, 2010 10:46:13 PM

Well, the OP specifically states "...that can run Windows 7," so the only thing I'd suggest changing in Rockyjohn's selections is the RAM. It will run with 2GB, but run visibly better with 4GB.
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a b V Motherboard
January 9, 2010 12:37:23 AM

^ I agree - Windows 7 should also have 4 GB of memory so switch to these so you still have the two empty slots for later (same memory just 2 GB / stick):

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail - $97 with free shipping
(Also a smidgeon cheaper than 4 x 1GB)
Timings still 8-8-8-21
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Although for only a few dollars more you can go to this GSkill memory with faster timings

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would go with the later - you will find few opportunities to speed up processing so much for a few dollars. And the mobo is on the memory's compatibility list:

http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=223

You asked earlier "Would such a setup be faster than my Core 2 Duo E4300 @ 3.0 Ghz?
Yes it will definitely be a fair amount faster because even though the speed is about the same the architecture is about 3 generations ahead. And even faster when processing multiple applications - even when the others might just be background applications.

Now that said, your existing E4300 should be more than ample to handle Word - I don't know that your daughter will notice much difference - except if she is using the speech option or except when loading the application - althought with Windows 7 loading will be pretty fast anyway since it will be set up to fetch quickly.

The X3-435 is much faster than the X2-250 and worth the few dollars more for future use if nothing else. For memory, you want to go with DDR3 as the cost is about the same as DDR2, which is going to slowly become less available while prices increase.
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