Torn between boards - gaming PC


BUDGET RANGE: $1K CAD, with about $100 wiggle room

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Media, virtualization, print/file/http server, general-purpose

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, OS (Win7 Pro x64), Monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: DirectCanada (free ground shipping over $300), NCIX (price match)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Asus or Gigabyte motherboard, Corsair power supply, XFX video card (negotiable), Antec, Lian Li or Coolermaster cases, Western Digital hard drives

OVERCLOCKING: I will be overclocking my CPU, would like to hit around 3.6 but will depend on the type of CPU. Will be GPU overclocking as well


MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 at the moment, have a Samsung 21.5" 1920x1080 on the way

The build I'm looking at right now is the following:

Asus M4A77TD Pro AM3 DDR3 motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE
4GB G.SKILL DDR3-1333 CL7-7-7-21 Ripjaws Memory
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 (in stock at a local PC shop for $310 CAD!)
Western Digital WD10EADS Caviar Green 1TB 32MB cache SATA hard drive (I have a Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB at the moment in an external, I'll be switching the two and using the Caviar Green in the external)
Antec Three hundred case
I'll be borrowing a DVD drive to install my OS, as I don't need it at the moment
Coolermaster Silent Pro 850W modular power supply

What I'm conflicted between is a better motherboard and a Phenom II X2 instead of the quad.
For the same price as what's above, I could also get an Asus M4A79T Deluxe paired with a Phenom II X2 550 BE.
I do a fair amount of multitasking and would like to overclock whatever Phenom I get by a fair amount also.

So I guess I'm having a hard time deciding between a AMD770 motherboard+quad and a AMD790FX motherboard+dual-core.
I would love to be able to use a more expensive board with the 790FX chipset if it will be a better board for overclocking (also was looking at the Asus Crosshair III Formula for similar price as the M4A79T Deluxe, or a Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P)

One more thing, the G.SKILL Ripjaws memory is marketed as "Core i5 Memory". Would it be incompatible with a AM3 motherboard? The Ripjaws memory is usually $10-20 cheaper for the equivalent speed and CL timings of non-Ripjaws memory kits.

Thanks for any feedback or advice
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about torn boards gaming
  1. The Core i5 and Core i7 memory tag just means the RAM will run below 1.65V, which is the max those motherboards will allow RAM to use. It will work fine on an AM3 motherboard also.

    I would save some money and go with a Corsair 750TX PSU instead of that Coolermaster 850. The corsair 750 will handle two 5850s and overclocking easily.
  2. I had originally included the Corsair TX750 but was worried about having enough power for overclocking and whatnot. Haha, I had tried to squeeze a kilowatt Antec Quattro into my build but my budget wouldn't allow it.
    So I think now I will go with the TX750. I've only ever heard good things from this unit as well.

    As for the motherboard and CPU, what are your recommendations?
    I think it's just a little out of my budget to include a M4A79T Deluxe with a quad Phenom II.
    Would it be worth the downgrade in motherboard to get a quad? I know I could benefit from it a lot since I multitask quite a bit but I do want a good quality board.
    I was considering a Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P which is about $50-70 cheaper than 790FX boards.
    On the flip side, I could easily include a 790FX motherboard if I go with the cheaper Phenom II X2 550 BE but I lose two cores.
    There's the chance to unlock it but I've read up quite a bit on the 550 and I know it's not guaranteed to unlock those extra cores stably.
    Any advice?
  3. Best answer
    Ther is no logic in a 'better' mobo if you not intending to crossfireX :P In any case the single GPU option is always the smarter option for me as well so your original build looks good to go for me 770 chipsets OC just fine and 3.6 is not record breaking either hehe Also for single GPU i would say a Corsair VX550 is good to go
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