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Best AM2+ Mobo for Phenom II X4 965?

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April 14, 2010 7:43:13 AM

I want to upgrade my CPU from a Core 2 6700 to a Phenom II X4 965. I'm gonna go with an AM2+ motherboard because I already have 4GB of DDR2, and I don't really want to buy DDR3 yet.

Who makes the best ATX AM2+? Also, other than DDR2 vs DDR3, are there any significant disadvantages to getting an AM2+ vs an AM3?


*Edit*
FYI: I'm a gamer so I'm looking for performance, and I don't need onboard video. I also always go with the fastest single video card so I don't care about SLI or Crossfire.

More about : am2 mobo phenom 965

a c 297 V Motherboard
April 14, 2010 1:29:36 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

If you are looking for performance, the DDR2 will bottleneck your processor.

What is your budget?, you can buy a VERY good mobo and RAM DDR3 for $210 aprox.
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April 14, 2010 1:32:55 PM

@randomkid - I'm not a big fan of MSI boards to be honest, and that one has the old SB710 south bridge. I'd prefer something with the SB750 south bridge. I appreciate the option though.


@saint19 - I've looked at benchmarks at a dozen different tech sites, the difference between DDR2 and DDR3 is very small in most situations. At least for real world performance.
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a c 297 V Motherboard
April 14, 2010 1:46:32 PM

Trust me, I'm using a DDR2 ram with a X4 955 and that RAM bottleneck my CPU, because the recommended RAM for this CPU is 1333MHz.

Now is you want something new, the SB750 isn't the last chipset of AMD, at the end of this month the 890FX chipset comes out with a SB850. So, if you really want get the best performance for games, and your rig, I suggest to you that buy a mobo with DDR3 or wait until 26th of April that comes out the MSI 890FX-GD70 and the ASUS Crosshair IV.

Buy a mobo AM2+ at this time for a X4 965, IMO will be a waste of money.
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April 14, 2010 2:36:50 PM

Different results for different people I guess. I have several friends who expressed their disappointment after spending the money to get DDR3, and then saw very little performance increase in anything other than synthetic benchmarks.

I'm only looking for a short term upgrade anyways, I'll probably upgrade again next year. If I was going to spend the money to include new RAM, I'd be getting an i7.
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a b V Motherboard
April 14, 2010 11:32:32 PM

JDR1373 said:
@randomkid - I'm not a big fan of MSI boards to be honest, and that one has the old SB710 south bridge. I'd prefer something with the SB750 south bridge. I appreciate the option though.


@saint19 - I've looked at benchmarks at a dozen different tech sites, the difference between DDR2 and DDR3 is very small in most situations. At least for real world performance.

I agree about buying a DDR2 to be able to re-use existing RAMs. It is the cheapest upgrade option that offers considerable saving.
The reason I recommended MSI is because I have 3 build 3 PC's based on them and they really look very good with the black & blue color. They generally have good reviews.

Anyway, what are you a fan of and how much is your budget?
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April 14, 2010 11:52:43 PM

randomkid said:
I agree about buying a DDR2 to be able to re-use existing RAMs. It is the cheapest upgrade option that offers considerable saving.
The reason I recommended MSI is because I have 3 build 3 PC's based on them and they really look very good with the black & blue color. They generally have good reviews.

Anyway, what are you a fan of and how much is your budget?



I'd like to get something for around $100, but it's not a big deal if I have to cough up a bit more. I used to really like Abit mobos, but I've used mostly Asus or DFI in recent years.
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April 15, 2010 12:17:29 AM

There is no bad motherboard. Even ECS is now very good in quality. You are going to see more bad review from cheap board because lots of people buy them and use them with cheap PSU, cases, ... because of budget concideation. I've used lot of them with good quality parts and none of them gave me trouble.. in fact, the only board that fail on me was an Asus..

So, just check newegg or your favorite parts dealer and choose the one the best fit your budget. Just remember that cheaper board has less feature or less overclocking option, and the higher thay go on price, the more feature they are going to have.
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a b V Motherboard
April 15, 2010 6:17:35 AM

JDR1373 said:
I'd like to get something for around $100, but it's not a big deal if I have to cough up a bit more. I used to really like Abit mobos, but I've used mostly Asus or DFI in recent years.


Unfortunately, I never have the opportunity to try Asus or DFI. The first Asus motherboard I tried for my kid's build failed right at the shop so they promptly replaced it with Gigabyte which is working well until today. They cost of ASUS motherboards relatively higher for the same features.

I really think MSI is good choice. Take a look at them and if you don't like what you see, then look elsewhere...
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April 18, 2010 8:40:26 AM

Well I ended up getting an X4 965 and a new mobo yesterday. They were having a sale at Microcenter near me, I got the 965 for $180, and a $30 discount on any motherboard that I purchased with it. Most of their AM2+ boards were mini-ATX, I had to choose between an MSI and a Biostar mobo to get an ATX board.

I went with the MSI, and, ironically..... it turns out to be that same one you linked to, the MSI 785GT-E63
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a b V Motherboard
April 18, 2010 10:24:46 AM

That's a good one. :)  Enjoy your new CPU & Motherboard.
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