Just now getting around to registering, even though I've found this site and these forums so helpful in a variety of ways over the years. I've either been procrastinating or haven't had anything to say.
I'm getting ready to order a new 890G motherboard for a new build inside a HAF-922 in the next day or two. I've pretty much settled on the 890GPA-UD3H. It seems to have all the "oomph" I will likely need for the next several years. I'm going to plug an Athlon II 445 x3 into it because, frankly, it's all I will likely need for the near future. If I find I need more, I can always plug in something else. I will also be using a Cooler Master Hyper 212+.
I have a couple of questions I was hoping someone could help me with. I've narrowed my memory choices down to three likely suspects and was hoping for some advice or input as to whether any of these are solid choices or whether I should look at something else (I don't plan on doing much with the memory except make sure the timings are set properly):
Second, is there any benefit of choosing a Radeon 5830 over a 5770? I'm trying to stay within the $200-ish U.S. range. I'm not a heavy FPS gamer; I usually play RPG's and RTS's if that helps.
I've been doing some more research and this G.Skill memory at 1600 is being reported on a few sites as running very stable with AM3 boards, even though it's not on Gigabyte's QVL for this board, and is priced the same as the 1333 stuff I listed above. Any thoughts?
The support list is done when the board design is finalized to production, and almost never updated thereafter. When this is done, somebody with some degree of engineering talent, and knowledge of the hardware involved, sits down with a collection of RAM they have 'lying about', mostly samples provided by manufacturers who have a vested interest in getting their products on the list. He tosses aside the candidates he knows won't work, for one reason or another, on that particular platform, and goes to work setting up and testing the remainder. If he can get it working - it goes on the list; if not, not! I imagine he stays at it until he reaches some arbitrary number, or until his boss says "you got other, important work to do - GIT!"
This leaves a large number of issues for the user:
Being 'on the list' does not guarantee 'instant' compatibility for your use; the list provides no detail regarding "did it just come up and run with a 'Load Optimized?'', "did he have to enable XMP and it worked?", or, "did he (with 'inside' knowledge of the MOBO and BIOS) have to 'diddle around' a half-hour to set it up?"
Not being on the list certainly does not imply it won't work! I have built a little Excel 'tool' for evalution and comparison of RAM; I went to update its contents just to reflect what's available in 2G x 3Channel from NewEgg, and, if memory serves me, wound up with eighty-some odd part numbers! Considering the ungodly amount of MOBOs made, this would require a full-time staff of ten, even assuming the samples were consistently available - else another ten could work all day every day 'hunting down' samples! Your RAM part's absence may simply reflect that it was released after the board...
Many parts you'll see on the list are from unfamiliar makers - they may be available in every quick-service gas-station in Taiwan, but simply aren't available in your market...
The main advantage I see in 'sticking with' items on the memory supported list is just that - the position it puts you in, vis-a-vis support! If your memory can pass MemTesting a single stick at a time, and it is on the QVL, you have support pretty much 'over a barrel' - they have to help get the stuff running - they're the ones who said it would!
In any other situation, you're pretty much trapped in what, unfortunately, has become an industry 'standard operating procedure' of 'passing the blame' - kind of like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz crossing his arms across his chest, pointing in both directions, and saying "They usually go thataway!" The memory manufacturer says: "well, it must be your board, because that memory works at rated speed on 'ABC' board"; the board manufacturer says: "it must be your memory, because 'DEF' memory works on our board at that speed"; the CPU maker says: "it's your problem, because our CPU is rated to run RAM at 'GHI' speeds"; the software guys say: "it's obviously a hardware problem, because it works on 'UVW' platform; the hardware guys say: "it's obviously a software problem, because 'XYZ' program, which does the same thing, runs fine on our platform"; meanwhile, you are 'stuck in the middle', saying "'%$#&' these people, why can't somebody tell me how to make it work?!?"
Also, toward the end (Part III - "Evaluation and selection"), I do make passing reference to G.Skill being my preference as well - every single board that 'goes through' here, has it spec'd, have never had a failure, or a single bad DIMM. Another general thing I've found true: not only will they work 'at spec', but they will often far exceed spec! I don't 'do' AMDs, however, so my knowledge there is pretty 'slack'. What I do know, is that for AMDs, the ability to use fast RAM, especially fast and more than one DIMM per channel, is on a 'per processor' or 'per family of CPUs' basis - the BEs are 'best equipped', but for others, may want to see what others have working - again, noting that you'd really like to see someones results with a similar, if not the same, processor...
Thanks for the info, billbat. I think I'm going to give that 1600 G.Skill a go. What the heck.
By the way, your Gigabyte guide inspired me to buy a floppy drive. I think I'm going out to look for one this weekend. I should have kept some of those old 1.44's around. I think I have a spare IDE strap around here somewhere, too . . .
Great - wouldn't be without one! The only reason that every 'client' machine that leaves here doesn't go out with a floppy is that I use quite a few of these cases,, and they really just don't have a 'spot' for 'em - but you can bet they've all had a floppy, while being 'breadboarded' and flashed!
I just 'ordered up' some 1600 7-8-7-24 for a Clarkdale client build - likely too fast for the platform (they use a 45nm memory controller on the graphics core, off the 32nm CPU), but I figured: "won't know what's too fast" until I try it, and can always make it slower - that's relatively easy!
When I get around to installing a discrete video card in this thing, is there anything to do other than to disable the onboard graphics in BIOS? Is it just that one setting or are there more settings I should be concerned with?
That should do it - it's on the "IGX Configuration" sub-page, which you can reach from either the "MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)" page, or the "Advanced BIOS Features". I don't know if this is still an issue with the 8xx chipsets, or if it was just one peculiar 790 BIOS screw-up, but I always recommend setting the "UMA Frame Buffer Size" to 'auto' when disabling - there were, at some point, some issues with the memory not being properly de-allocated when disabling the on-board GPU...
I think it should do 'hybrid' Xfire, as well; but, much to my surprise, I couldn't find it on AMD's hybrid crossfire config page - will look a bit more, mostly just curious how the marketing guys could miss the opportunity?