Need advise on am3 mobo&cpu

Hey everyone.
I am planning on throwing away my old comp and building my first computer.
I only use my computer for web-surfing, since the computer im using now cant even handle solitaire. I dont need a really good gaming computer but i will probably start playing more once i get this set up. Also i am planning on using my 37inch lcd as a second monitor.
I do not know what to build tho. I am going amd because of my budget also for their upgrade-ability. I want to get an AM3 mobo, but deciding which one is the hard choice.
Also I do not know if i should buy the PhenomIIx4 955 or 965, or buy a PII or athlonII with dual or tri core and try unlocking the extra core. I am thinking of going with the athlon2 and waiting for the new hexcores to come out then upgrade then when the prices of the quads drop.

Any suggestions on an AM3 motherboards with ddr3 that are budget friendly? Also any ideas to as what i should buy for my cpu?

Thank you
10 answers Last reply
More about need advise mobo
  1. What is your budget ?
  2. CPU - see the list:,2520.html

    CPU - This is a good choice off list @ $100 price point:

    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail - $96 with free shipping

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $90 + $8 shipping

    Note that I went with a Crossfire capable mobo since you indicated you were perhaps going to move into gaming. Crossfire would let you start with a moderate card and, if you want to later add more power, just add another moderate card instead of throwing away the first and buying a more expensive card.
  3. I agree with the motherboard. If you budget is infinite, just get a phenom II 955.
    Also, if you plan to buy a CPU now and upgrade when the x6 comes out, I don't believe it would be worth it, I don't think the 955 will drop enough for even buying a sempron now and upgrading to the 955 later to be less expensive than just getting a 955 now. If you want the budget route, I can attest that the Athlon IIx4 is a solid CPU.
  4. Budget wise i can afford about 600-700usd.
    I agree i want a crossfire ready motherboard so when i have extra money down the road i can buy another decent graphics card instead of throwing a good one away and spending another 300 on a dual.
    I also like that mobo it has quite a few PCIe slots

    But after getting a case, 1tb hdd, atleast 4gb of ram(DDR3), a radion 1gb vid card(or 2 512's), it will be hard to meet. To cut corners i was thinking about getting an athlonII x3 440 @ 3GHz for 100$ cdn, and rolling the dice that the 4th core is good and i can figure out how to unlock it ( i am not that tech savy dont know much about unlocking cores or OC'ing) I was hopping in a year or so the hexcores will either become reasonably priced or i can go with a PII 965 BE

    The price for that mobo and athlon x3 cpu is 240 off of
  5. The price for that mobo and the X4-620 is also $240 off
  6. If you aren't afraid to try overclocking or unlocking cores, I'd recommend the athlon II quad core instead. It's an easy overclock to 3.2GHz without increasing the voltage. Remains cool with stock heatsink and you won't have to gamble on the fourth core. comes at about $100.
  7. the reason i am a little hesisitant on the althon is that they have no L3 cache. For 112cdn off, i can buy either the althon2 x4 630 or phenomII 720 black edition?
    the extra core and a tiny bit slower core speed, or only 3 cores with an L3, but with the potential for decent oc'ing

    as i said before i am not a computer wiz never tried oc'ing or any of that, but i heard it was realitivy easy to unlock the extra core off of the processor if you get lucky and get a good 4th core
  8. Here is the chart comparing the X3 720 and X4 630. Which is faster varies by application - generally the X4 630 is faster in what I would consider the real world applications - but the 720 is close. They should both OC - althought the 720 may have an advantage here.

    I suggest you pick based on what applications are most important, with some allowance for OC. Although also keep in mind that overtime the extra core may become relatively more important as more applications learn to take better advantage of multiple cores.

    When looking at chart, make sure you keep straight on which are in time - when lower is better - and which are in FPS or raw scores - when higher is better:,1396.html?prod%5B2610%5D=on&prod%5B3015%5D=on

    Both would be nice for a system.

    Also take extra care when selecting video cards since you plan to use a 37" LCD for a monitor - I have no idea what size it takes to run a monitor that large - you need to do some special checking rather than relying on standard reports for more standard size monitors.
  9. I believe that the 730 BE has a higher potential for overclocking, but i probably would not be able to push it to much. What is L3 cache? is it really that immportant? So is the general poll going with the althonII 630?
  10. jpolish1 said:
    What is L3 cache? is it really that immportant?

    Level3 (L3) cache is a special memory that on the cpu and used by it. the L1, L2, and L3 cache is meant to reduce time by not have to look for info on the system ram and HDD/SSD.

    Is L3 cache important? depends. if an application can use it, the app typically runs faster. if it doesn't then a athlon II and a phenom II at the same GHz (and with same amount of cores) will run identical.

    Now what makes L2 and L3 Caches different.

    Well generaly L2 can only use by core that it is on. (for phenom II's and athlon II's) meaning the second core can not get info from the first core l2 cache.

    While L3 caches is shared by all cores. Meaning all cores can get the same info.

    Just to help visualize what im saying, here a pic for the core i7 arch. (couldn't find a highly, detailed phenom/athlon II cpu layout like this core i7 layout)

    So is the general poll going with the althonII 630?

    Well for what your wanting your computer to do, i would say so.
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