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Buying Phenom II X3 720...what mobo and RAM?

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January 3, 2010 3:47:38 AM

Hey all! I was hoping to run to my local Fry's Electronics tomorrow and spend the $100 in gift cards I got for Christmas there, to buy the x3 720.

I had hoped to only spend $200-$250 of my own $ on the rest (mobo and RAM) as I also got the Intel 80 GB x25 SSD G2 for Christmas, and I was planning on building a new rig with the X3, the SSD, a new mobo, RAM, and then just using the components I have currently in my Pentium D setup from Dell from '05 (well, that and the GeForce9800GT I bought a few years ago).

So, I had been told that the GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard and the G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-2GBPK - Retail

Were two good components to get, but I wondered if this was the best?

For some perspective, I want something that is good at stock, but with the slight possibility of unlocking that pesky 4th core, I heard you needed a different North or South bridge on the mobo.

Also, I've never ever OCd a system before, but I'd like to try. Besides these 3 components and the 2.5" --> 3.5" bay converter for my SSD, what else would I need? The CPU comes with a fan...what would I need to make the whole system as quiet as possible, and run cool so I have the possibility of overclocking? new fans? are my Dell case fans OK for this? they've kept my 130W Pentium D cool for 5 years...

In addition, is there a better mobo/RAM combo anyone can think of for around the same price as the above 2? can anyone make a compelling argument to spend the extra cash on the x4, and if so, how much extra are we talking? Thanks!
January 3, 2010 10:51:33 AM

Quote:
Don't waste your money on DDR2 memory. It's going the way of dinosaur. Get a nice AM3 board and some DDR3 memory


http://www.frys.com/product/6067068
http://www.frys.com/product/5959834
http://www.frys.com/product/5994644



Hey- thank you for the response and the links. I have decided on the x3 for the possibility of OCing and the slim chance it will unlock the 4th core. also, I read some tests saying that DDR3, while the next wave, is not quite ready for primetime, as it isn't that big of a boost, plus some have said my RAM would be good for overclocking... Any data somewhere to boost your recommendation?
January 3, 2010 11:16:33 AM

jcarrey42 said:
Hey- thank you for the response and the links. I have decided on the x3 for the possibility of OCing and the slim chance it will unlock the 4th core. also, I read some tests saying that DDR3, while the next wave, is not quite ready for primetime, as it isn't that big of a boost, plus some have said my RAM would be good for overclocking... Any data somewhere to boost your recommendation?


You will want DDR3 because it comes with AM3 boards. And you definately want AM3 for future proofing.

Look for 1333 and low latencies for your RAM.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ddr3-1333-speed-lat...
Related resources
January 3, 2010 2:48:03 PM

Quote:
I don't have any links to provide that DDR3 is supreme king but why would you pay the same price for old tech DDR2 when DDR3 is the same price? Also AM3 is here to stay and the board i linked is a very good board for the money. Honestly if i wasn't so hell bent on a 670 i would go with that exact setup i linked to you before.


Ok, good to know. last question, then: Why did you link me to an Athlon II x3 435? I'm pretty set on the Phenom II X3 720. The mobo I specified is AM3, but the one you specified is better tech...what about the RAM and mobo you specified in terms of overclockability? When I was told about the two I specified, some said they were very good value because they were fast up front and were capable of overclocking well...what about these?
January 3, 2010 3:55:22 PM

Quote:
IMO the 720 isn't worth the 30 dollars more then the 435. YES there is a chance of unlocking the 4th core on the Phenom but it's not always likely. The AM3 board i linked i have used before and liked very much. DDR3 is simply DDR3. Faster, Better, Not being phased out. No new setups use DDR2 anymore. Everything is DDR3. There's no reason to buy DDR2 since the two cost the same. The 790GX Chipset with the 750 SB is the way to go. Even if you pass on the Athlon II for the Phenom II the board i linked is one of the best bang for your bucks for overclocking.

Read this review and if you still want the Phenom II X3 go for it. They're both great chips for the money.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/athlon-ii-x3-435-processo...

Review of the board i linked...

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/790gxg65/

"Well, when it comes down to the wire, apples to apples, the DDR3 memory support does give the AM3 processors a bit of a lead. In just about every test there was an increase when using a 790GX based board with DDR3 memory support over DDR2 memory support."


!! I honestly wish I could select your answer as "best answer" 10 or 20 times, because that is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for the detail and the factual info with reviews and specs. I'll be leaving to go to fry's to buy that mobo and RAM combo...but I think I'm sticking with the Phenom II 720 BE. THANKS AGAIN!
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